3 galaxy tabs, 2 galaxy phones, kindle fire HD, and an RCA tablet all for charging ports is just the start of today. I’m sure we’ve all seen the debates of which company produces the best devices and/or highest quality per dollar spent. And we all know how the carrier reps are told what to push and given bonus incentives to sell certain devices over others regardless if they are better. They know most the tech specs are exaggerated in some form by the retailers and 99% of those specs go over your head anyway. So I’m going to move past that. Cause we are past the buying and using process and I’m here to discuss the more important part, reliability.
The average micro-USB charging device (like kindle, Samsung, HTC, LG, and other androids) have 5 current/signal transferring prongs made of copper and about the thickness of a fingernail soldered to the board to deliver the required voltage and data for charging and syncing. It is held in place by 2 or 4 through-board anchors that are soldered also. A thin plastic “tongue” has the leads laid on it for your cable to make contact when plugged in. Your newer devices have two extra “ground” prongs I believe primarily to help hold the rest better, but not so much. The newest Samsung ports have a total of 10 and I have yet to figure out why, cause your USB will only supply 5 channels. I say all this to help you realize, it’s not steal and carbon fibre. It’s solder (weaker than aluminum), copper (also easy to bend and break), aluminum framed, and plastic. It’s not designed to be used while plugged up. I repair on average 30 charging ports a week due to the copper leads snapping or the plastic tongue breaking off.
Now you may ask, where’s apple on this. Well, their original thunderbolt ports sported 30 terminals with 10 actually in use, the others planned for expansion later and 6 anchors holding the assembly to the board followed by a polymer coating after assembly for more stability on top of locking clips on either side. We replace those due to being years old, water damage left unattended corroding the leads, and people (mainly little ones) forcing one in upside down. Then the lighting port has 7 used spring contacts top and bottom with soft latch and can be reversed (plugged in either way) and still work. Basically designed for use while plugged up. Of course polymer encapsulated also. Usually only replaced because of water damage or cleaned out from lint built up.
Now I’m not making a biased post, I’m posting provable and researchable facts only to raise awareness. Don’t use your android while it’s plugged up. If you do, expect to visit a repair shop, me being one of only two that do it in house in the central Texas area. And for whatever unprovable or unknown at this point reason, Samsung is second worse at going out. Kindle is first but that’s because they only use TWO through-board anchors and usually QC don’t check them and when we see them they aren’t fully soldered. So the weight is solely on the copper leads, never designed to hold the assembly in place.
I know the stigma “Apple is an overpriced, big headed, pretentious company!” But their engineering is unmatched, only one close behind is HTC with the ONE series devices. And don’t get me started on the ematic, RCA, Hisense, BLU, and other pop up companies that all look the same on the inside and have 2007 technology pushed to its limits to deliver an android tablet or phone for $50-$100. They rarely last more than a few months. And are literally designed by intention to break so you buy another. They are geared around quantity, no quality.
And that’s all I have to say about charging ports today. Let me rest when the battery is low. Unless you like spending an extra $50 on your device every few months.