Google Pixel 3 XL showing USB C and cable stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

USB (Universal Serial Bus) cables are everywhere. If you’ve ever needed to charge anything, from smartphones to tablets, to cameras and even new laptops, you’ve likely needed to use one. However, USB cables come in different shapes and sizes despite the fact a lot of them do the same things. In this short and handy guide, we’ll take a look at all the different types of USB cables available on the market and give you some examples of where you might find them in use.

See also: USB cables – A buyer’s guide

USB Type-A

USB Type A cable type
USB Type-A connectors are extremely common and will likely be at one end of many USB cables nowadays. You can connect devices such as smartphones, cameras, keyboards, and more to computers to transfer data or plug into wall chargers to charge these gadgets with a Type-A port.

USB Type-B

USB B cable

These cables are not quite as common and versatile as the others on this list. USB Type-B connectors are primarily for connecting printers and scanners to computers. They have a square shape with beveled exterior corners on the top ends. You might still find a USB Type-B port on some devices, but it’s becoming quite rare.


mini USB cable type

This was the standard for various devices a while back but was quickly replaced by the micro-USB connector mentioned below. You’ll find it on older models of multiple gadgets, especially cameras, MP3 players, and game controllers, among others. As its name suggests, it’s smaller than a regular USB but larger when compared to its successor.


micro USB cable

Micro-USB was widely adopted but is quickly being left behind. The micro-USB connector is tiny and it let manufacturers produce slimmer devices. That said, some ultra-affordable smartphones even now come with micro-USB ports. You might find micro-USB ports on certain accessories like Bluetooth speakers, wireless earphones, smartwatch charging stands, and more as well.


USB C cable

USB-C, previously known as USB Type-C, is the latest king of the hill. You will find it on most new devices, and it offers faster data transfer rates than previous USB versions. The biggest advantage of USB-C is that it’s reversible and can be plugged in either up or down. It has become the new standard for mobile devices. Universal adoption is still a little ways away, but it’s never been closer than with USB-C.

See more: The best USB-C cables you can buy

So, there you have it. These are the many types of USB cables that are in use today. Many of them have fallen by the wayside, while others have quickly become the new standard for smartphones and other mobile devices.