Google engineer calls out OnePlus USB-C cable and adapter for damage risk

A Google engineer warns of potential dangers when using OnePlus accessories with fast-charging USB-C devices.

A Google engineer’s crusade against dangerous USB-C cables has implicated a high-profile offender.

Engineer Benson Leung is telling people to avoid buying OnePlus’ USB Type-C charging cable and adapter, or at least to avoid using them with fast-charging USB-C devices such as the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Chromebook Pixel. Otherwise, users may damage the charger, hub, or PC to which these devices are connected.

As Leung has explained previously, many USB-C to legacy USB charging cables and adapters are not using a proper resistor value. This can cause charging problems, and in a worst case scenario can cause damage to whatever device is plugged in on the legacy side. For the past couple weeks, Leung has been reviewing cables (both good and bad) on Amazon, prompting a website where users can find compliant and non-compliant products.

In a statement, OnePlus told BGR India that its cables and adapters should work just fine when connected from a OnePlus 2 smartphone to legacy USB devices. But that’s not even the issue at hand, as the OnePlus 2 does not have fast charging capabilities. The problem is that OnePlus’ cables will be mismatched with any fast-charging USB-C devices, such as Google’s new Nexus phones.

The risk of damage would occur when users upgrade from the OnePlus Two to a new device with fast charging, and use their OnePlus cable or adapter to connect that new device to a PC or legacy USB wall charger. Leung recommends that OnePlus owners label their cable or adapter so they know not to use it with future fast-charging USB-C devices.

Why this matters: When Leung kicked off his awareness campaign, it seemed the only offenders were obscure accessory brands such as CableCreation and Kupx. By comparison, OnePlus has been trying to make a name for itself as a slayer of flagship phones. Instead of refuting claims that no one actually made, OnePlus should consider living up to its “Never Settle” messaging and addressing this issue directly.

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Jared Newman

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