HTC's ExtUSB actually supports mini USB too! (HD video)

DK and I made an interesting discover with this HTC phone we were playing. Out of curiosity, we tried to plug in an ordinary mini USB cable into the port, and without any difficulty at all, as if it was designed to, the mini USB cable plugged right into the port, providing both power and data!

Hmmm….

In fact, after doing some reading up, it turns out that this was intentional after all! The idea is that with a normal mini USB cable, you can charge and sync your HTC device, but with an ExtUSB cable, you can have audio/video input and output thanks to 6 extra pins! In essence, this is a “best-of-both-worlds” design, since you can just bring a single mini USB cable to connect all your USB devices (bonus if you have a mini USB to micro USB adapter, which I have) as well as to charge them all, and yet still support more powerful proprietary accessories thanks to the 6 extra pins! Consumers win!

After this discovery, I just fell in love with HTC’s smartphones a little more…

  • DK

    Yeah. Biggest mistaken identity. We keep thinking that its a proprietary port. Haha.

    Now we know its not. 🙂

    • I think they should make it more clear that it supports mini USB too, cos it will be to their advantage…

  • Nice discovery. On a ranting note of proprietary connectors, I’ve seen 2 different cameras that both seem to have micro USB ports but the cable for 1 camera would not fit into the other camera’s port! Man that was annoying to find out

  • Pingback: Review: HTC Magic()

  • Pingback: Review: HTC Magic()

  • Pingback: First Look: HTC Magic | JT's World()

  • Goran Dizdarevic

    It’s really very nice that regular mini usb fit into htc extusb. Problem is that is not ” backward compatible” and that extusb cable doesn’t fit into regular usb. I have one extusb to 3.5 mm with mic adapter cable but is only 4 inches long what make mic awful close to the phone and this is really bad because if you are listening to music and got a phone call you need to dig your phone out of pocket and hold in the hand to have mic close to the mouth. One 3 feet exusb to 3.5 mm with mic could fix everything or if not that just regular extension cable exusb male to exusb female but i did not find such cable until now and i am searching almost one month ( since I have the phone) . If someone have some idea please let all of us know.
    Goran

  • I have just bought an official HTC car kit for my Hero and saw that the supplied power cable is standard miniUSB. True, it fits the Hero’s extUSB socket, but the fit is not as snug nor is the insertion and removal as smooth.

    I have other concerns, too. The standard miniUSB could also short the extra pins in the Hero’s extUSB socket. I tried a standard PC-to-miniUSB cable and found that it would not insert into the Hero’s extUSB socket without excessive force… I refused to push harder to get the miniUSB in, as I did not want to wreck the phone.

    The seller of the HTC car kit sold it on the basis of it being for the Hero, but I am not happy with this and am waiting for them to reply to my email.

    • Hey there, just wanted to point out that it’s officially designed to allow miniUSB cables to plug in as well, so it won’t short the extra pins. It would not break the device if you plug it in. That’s why it’s called extUSB. It extends the normal USB port’s capabilities, not replace. You can ask an official HTC representative if you want to be sure.

  • An update re the official HTC Hero car kit and extUSB cable,
    http://blog.3dbloke.com/2009/12/13/htc-hero-to-extusb-or-not-to-extusb/

    • I also want to point out that if you look at the cables and the ports carefully, it’s not a case of fitting a round peg into a square hole into the port, as the extUSB is simply a miniUSB with a loose corner. The pins for HTC is on the otherside of the cable, which usually doesn’t have anything.

    • Fast forward our video to 1:05 and pause it, you’ll see that the plastic for the extra 6 pins on an extUSB cable shows that the centre peg on the phone is smaller than the centre peg on a normal USB port, meaning that the 6 pins won’t touch the USB cable at all. The only reason why it might feel tight is because your USB cable might be a tiny bit wider or taller. There’s nothing to break, especially the contacts, since they’re smaller rather than larger. The only part the phone’s port will touch is the top flat metal piece and the bottom flat metal piece.

      • Hi Daniel. I received an email today from HTC supporting what you have said. While I accept that HTC intend extUSB(F) to be backward compatible with miniUSB(M), I am still troubled by the lack of up-front information regarding this from HTC and the following statement from the Hero User Guide, section 1.3 “Charging the Battery”, quote: “Only the AC adapter and USB cable provided with your phone must be used to charge the battery“.
        An obvious solution would be for HTC to provide a miniUSB(F) to extUSB(M) converter.

    • I believe that statement is more of a legal statement to prevent themselves from getting sued if someone uses a 3rd party charger rather than to say that other chargers or cables won’t work. Every device manufacturer would say that to make sure that if someone uses a badly made 3rd party charger that damages the phone, they will not be liable for it.

      Making a converter would be unnecessary in this case since it’s been designed to use them without a converter. In fact, I hate 3rd party companies who sell such converters, charging them significantly more than they are worth to make, to cheat uninformed consumers.

  • Andy

    No shit Einstein… 😉
    This is already so since HTC started using ext-usb years ago… but nice you finally found out on the Diamond2, most likely one of the last generations of HTC phones using the proprietry extUSB connector 😉

  • niels erik andersen

    Thanks a lot – were looking for cabels to for charting to buy, and found this info instead. And it work!!!!
    nice

  • Keith

    Haha brilliant! Thanks, just broke my extUSB and I ordered a new one but I can use miniUSB til it arrives. Thank you!!!

  • Sdkoning

    Yur kidding me right?

    this is a big joke?
    you guys only found this out on April 23, 2009??

    hahah.

  • Hi

    I have a HTC Touch2 which i bought in singapore on return from my honeymoon. It has a handwriting function on it but as it was bought in singapore it has chinese script set as the handwriting languague. Does anyone know how to change it. the phone has no other handwriting languagues installed on it.

    Regards
    Des

  • Guy73

    Hi All,
    I have an HTC Polaris. Can anybody please advise me if it’s possible to get a video output from it’s usb port? If possible please, give me some guidance.
    Thanks
    /Guy

  • Learjeff

    Unfortunately, while the Mini USB cable works for data, it won’t charge an HTC Imagio. This is true even if the charger (110 VAC – USB wallwart) is the one supplied with the HTC.

    It won’t charge regardless of whether the phone is on or off.

  • Pingback: larom.tk — @Kine_H http://www.tech65…()

  • Nilsfinkendk

    Thanks a heap! I can now update my HTC Magic without a proprietary cable.
    Nils

  • Fredrik

    Would have been great if i had found out this earlier, cus it has been a hell to find a ExtUSB carcharger:P Cheers, will be much easier to find a miniUSB carcharger:D

    Fredrik

  • Emil

    Damn, thanks man, I would never figure this out. My ExtUSB is just about to break and I were going to buy a new one!

  • Brokecable17

    So will the audio still work with out the extra 6 pins?

Daniel
Daniel Tsou is our fabulous host, who decides mostly what we talk about and basically calls the shots, Yes, he does. I, writer of this bio on Mr Tsou is very much afraid that by commiting this post to words, I will be dragged off in the night by a black Truck, or a Segway more like. Other than that, Daniel is tall, lived for a period of time in Venezuela and Spain, and is enthusiastic for all things tech.
more blog posts
Dolby Atmos - A Review
65bits #298: The Week of the Really Weird News
65bits #290: iPads, Macs, Windows and a Chromebook.
Review: LG Optimus 4XHD
iPhone 5 Pricing on Contract
CommunicAsia 2012 Opens
First Looks: Toshiba Satellite P850
© 2011 Tech65 Some Rights Reserved