You’ve used your phone’s USB-C port for other tasks

OnePlus 9 review USB C

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

USB-C ports on smartphones are used for a variety of reasons, with the two main uses being charging and connecting to a PC (for data transfer or tinkering). These ports can be used for much more though.

We thought it would be a good idea to ask Android Authority readers whether they use their phones’ USB-C port for more than just charging and connecting to a PC. Here are the results of that poll.

Have you used your phone’s USB-C port for anything else?

Results

This was a mega-popular poll, accruing over 14,300 votes since we posted it on May 17. It turns out that just over two-thirds of respondents (roughly 9,700 votes) say they have used their phone’s USB-C port for tasks other than charging or connecting to a computer.

We got plenty of reader comments in this regard too, noting that they’ve used the port for USB tethering, webcam functionality, external mics, Dex/outputting to a larger screen, game controllers, wired headphones, Ethernet via a USB dongle, car diagnostics, and for accessories like a keyboard/mouse and flash drive.

More USB-C coverage: The best USB-C cables you can buy right now

Meanwhile, just under 32% of polled readers (roughly 4,500 votes) said they didn’t use the USB-C port for anything else. At least one reader said this was because of a manufacturer (Google) not implementing video output via USB-C, while another noted that their phone still had a headphone jack (presumably so they use traditional earphones instead of USB-C audio).

Comments

  • William Hennegan: No because Google refuses to fully implement USB Type-C video out on their phones for some stupid reason. However, on my last type C Motorola, I successfully ran a 3.5″ floppy drive off it, and played a SNES ROM from a floppy disk.
  • Ronson Wagner: I’ve used my Note9’s port for lots of things. A webcam for my computer using the Camo app, for USB tethering to my laptop instead of the wifi hotspot, for connecting an Xbox one controller that didn’t have bluetooth, for a flash drive, for directly printing to my printer with the PrinterShare app, for the smart switch from my old phone when I got this phone, and also for my Yubikey 5c.
  • N0Y0U: I use it for audio, midi to my computer, file transfer, as a drive for moving things between devices, dex, for a keyboard and mouse while my wifi was down and needed to work on a document, for an external mic so I could record with it from further away, for a USB camera to use it as a temporary security camera, for controllers both game and midi. I’ve used iflt for just about everything you could think of.
  • mattc: I plug in a DAC to use good headphones vous the USB c. They sound better plugged in. And I don’t have to charge them, one less thing to charge. At work fair security reasons I transfer photos via the USB c. Occasionally I’ll reverse charge from the phone. I use a portable monitor with my laptop, which sometimes I’ll use with my phone.
  • Gianluca Di Maggio: No, because my phone has a headphone jack 🙂
  • Andre McGee: I use my phone as a mobile gaming rig, as the S21 Ultra is powerful enough to run PS2 emulation. I ran Kingdom Hearts 2 in 4x native resolution flawlessly. I use a Razer Kishi as my gamepad, as it’s USB-C, so zero lag, and it has passthrough charging.
  • pro_gamer: I use my Type C port either for outputting video, or my Razer Kishi.
  • Joe Hrdina: Gigabit Ethernet works with a USB dongle on my Pixel 4XL. The last good Pixel imo.
  • Wilson Buck: I use Samsung Dex as a PC replacement. I have a USB c dock on my desk for my work computer and when I want to do personal stuff I just plug in my phone and away I go. Can’t believe it hasn’t taken off in all these years (I’ve been using this since my s10e). HDMI monitor, USB keyboard and mouse and a printer make it fully functional.
  • Jonathan Peters: I’ve used my usb-c port in Pixel 6 Pro with a card reader and microSD from camera to view footage
  • Kropolis: Yes. I have hooked mine up to a USB hub for keyboard and mouse support.
  • Kasey Smith: I’ve used the Type-C port on my phone for a lot of things! Storage, with flash drives, hard drives, and SD cards. Audio, input… I’d use it for HDMI out if Sony hadn’t dropped it for the XZ2. Thankfully the new ones have it. The strangest thing I’ve used it for “Serial USB Terminal” and a generic USB adapter, to check on Cisco switches and control my lab power supply. Oh, and I’ve even used it for Ethernet a couple of times.
  • Glenn: I plugged in a USB-powered fan, and it actually worked. Haha.

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