MicroUSB 2.0 and 3.0

AH Primetime: Why Did Samsung Revert To MicroUSB 2.0 And Why Is There No Need For USB 3.0 Just Yet

November 14, 2014 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

I don’t know how many of you know, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 actually came with the microUSB 3.0 port on the bottom of the device, instead of the microUSB 2.0 port which was a standard back then and basically still is. Samsung touted the inclusion of this new port as “revolutionary” back when they were unveiling the Galaxy Note 3. Interestingly enough, the Galaxy Note 4 ships with a microUSB 2.0 port, so why did Samsung decide to backtrack on their decision and exclude the microUSB 3.0 and replace it with its predecessor? Well, we’re here to find out.

The newer, microUSB 3.0 port, is significantly faster than the microUSB 2.0, well, USB 3.0 is faster than USB 2.0, we’re not talking only about ports here but USB 2.0 and 3.0 capabilities. USB 3.0 allows for transfers up to 5Gbps which is about 10 times more than its predecessor which is able to transfer data at 480 Mbps. The added speed of the microUSB 3.0 is somewhat unnecessary though, by many people’s opinions, it can come in handy when you’re transferring files from your phone to your computer via cable or the other way around, but very few people use cables to transfer data from or on their phones.. This is not a drawback though, it’s still an advantage, added speed is a good thing. USB 3.0 can also deliver more amperage to your device, it provides up to 900mA, while the USB 2.0 can only provide 500mA. In theory, this means that USB 3.0 can provide a lot more power to your device and thus charge it faster, right? Well, most wall charges provide at least 1 amp of current and some even go up to 2, they do that without the need for a special cable or a port on the actual device.

None of the mentioned specs are actually bad, but none of them are necessary either, let me explain why. In order to use the USB 3.0 you actually need a special cable, because the port is different as I already mentioned. How many of you actually have or use the 3.0 port on your PCs? I guess not many, I for example have tons of USB 2.0 ports on my PC and use them, 3.0 though, not so much. I don’t believe that I’ve ever used a 3.0 port to be quite honest, 2.0 is a standard these days. What about the added power? Well, you don’t need it. You can achieve those charging times via any wall charger basically, so there’s no point. Not to mention that USB 3.0 connections actually interfered with the radio frequencies on 2.4GHz devices and caused some people serious headaches with it. There are of course solutions for it, but they include exchanging your already owned devices with a 5GHz wireless devices or simply use shorter cables for the USB 3.0 connections. No matter which way you spin this, it’s an unnecessary complication and it seems like USB 3.0 connections are ahead of its time at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong here, USB 3.0 might come to the big scene sometime in the future, but not yet. USB 2.0 is still a standard and Samsung jumped the gun when the company included that port in the Galaxy Note 3 and didn’t want to make the same mistake with the Galaxy Note 4, so they reverted their decision and went with the (micro)USB 2.0 port. As I said, I believe that USB 3.0 connections are somewhat ahead of its time, they might become a standard in the future, but they are not at the moment.