Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus is known for surprises. When it released the One back in 2013, it was a device that redefined what it meant to mean "budget." Now, after reportedly getting a complete overhaul with both its hardware and software, OnePlus has confirmed that USB Type-C will be coming to its next flagship.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) June 22, 2015
That's right. The OnePlus 2 is going to have...a different charging port! Wait. What? Who cares, you say? Well, it just happens to be a Swiss army knife of awesome that's going to make your smartphone a lot better. We've already waxed poetic about the many benefits of USB Type-C, but if you need a quick primer, here's a lowdown from former Gizmodoan Eric Limer (rip):
- It's reversible, like Apple's Lightning cable. No more fumbling to plug it in the right way.
- It can transfer data at up to 10 Gbps -- i.e. 10 times your crazy Google Fibre connection per second. (If you have Google Fibre, I hate you forever.)
- It can do video. Forget specialised video ports like DisplayPort and HDMI (eventually anyway) because Type-C can do that too. And in both directions. A single cable could carry video from phone to PC or PC to phone. Or to TVs, tablets, you name it.
- It can carry a crapload of power. Depending on the wall-wart you plug your Type-C cable into, it can deliver up to 100w of power. That's enough to charge full-size laptops, not just ones with underpowered processors.
- Like all USBs, Type-C is an open standard. It won't be exclusive to any one company or line of gadgets.
- Type-C is backwards-compatible. You can use with the old ports that are already all around you (if you get an adaptor).
- It's tiny. Small enough to make laptops thinner and work its way into phones and tablets.
So...yeah. Even though OnePlus isn't the first one to turn to the new charging standard on a smartphone, there are many reasons to be excited. Whereas the inclusion of USB Type-C is only 100 per cent good news, there's a few other double-edged sword type of rumours also surrounding the OnePlus 2. The company's also confirmed that the OnePlus 2 won't be quuuiiite so friendly to your finances. An improved Snapdragon 810 processor and a quad HD display (among other things) will not make the OnePlus the eye-poppingly cheap smartphone we're used to. But hopefully with enough standout features like USB Type-C, it won't get lost among the smartphone crowd.