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You're playing with fire if you sideload Essential Phone updates with the included cable

Essential announced on Twitter that the Essential Phone's included USB Type-C cable isn't intended for data transferring.

Published onJanuary 22, 2018

  • Essential confirmed the USB Type-C cable included with the Essential Phone is not spec-compliant.
  • The included cable has given some folks headaches when sideloading or flashing software.
  • People are advised to pick up spec-compliant cables from other manufacturers.

From bi-weekly (now monthly) Reddit AMAs to timely updates, Essential has gotten back into the good graces of those willing to give its flagship a chance. Unfortunately, that effort recently took a step backwards, thanks to the USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable included with the phone.

Android Oreo is already available for the Essential Phone, but only in beta form at the moment. To give it a whirl, you have to sideload it via ADB, which requires the use of a USB Type-C cable.

Some laptops feature USB Type-C ports, which allow Essential Phone owners to use the included cable with their computers. Unfortunately, some have reported issues when flashing or sideloading software on the Essential Phone.

The company acknowledged the issues on Twitter and said they occur when using a USB 2.0 cable. The included USB Type-C cable for the Essential Phone happens to be USB 2.0. Because of that, Essential recommends people not use its cable and, instead, turn to a high-quality, spec-compliant USB 3.0 cable.

Some users have reported issues when flashing or sideloading using a USB 2.0 cable. The cable included with PH-1 is USB 2.0 and is primarily intended for charging. If you’re flashing or sideloading PH-1, we recommend using a high-quality, spec-compliant USB 3.0 (or higher) cable.
— Essential (@essential) January 19, 2018

Keep in mind that the cable Essential provided is “primarily intended for charging,” so it appears that it was not meant to be used to transfer data. Also, kudos to Essential for sucking up its pride and coming clean.

Even so, it is weird we are still dealing with non-compliant USB Type-C cables in 2018. Remember when Google gave OnePlus grief for the same thing? That was back in 2015 with the OnePlus 2. It’s also strange that, for a device partially built with the hardcore Android community in mind, the device comes with a cable that wasn’t intended for data transfer.

We reached out to Essential for comment, though the company still recommends buying a spec-compliant USB cable if you plan on sideloading updates to the PH-1.

Until Essential releases a spec-compliant cable, your best bet is to look through our list of the best USB Type-C cables.

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