Top critical review
16 people found this helpful
Shoddy cable... at best.
on August 27, 2014
I have a Verizon Galaxy S3 and was looking for a simple solution to mirror my phone on my TV. Researching the topic, I became familiar with the fact that 'new' Samsung phones (S3, S4, S5, etc.) require a special 11-pin adapter to work with standard MHL cables. The cable set specifically note that the adapter is included.
These cables have very polarized review scores. Lots of folks report the cable works perfectly. Lots of other say the cable is useless. And, a few folks state you have to follow very specific steps to get the cable to work correctly. I was reluctant to pull the trigger on purchasing these cables, but, ultimately decided to make the purchase. Sadly, after attempting to use the cable, I fall squarely into the 'cable is useless' category.
* I've tried following the manufacture's directions to the letter. The cable doesn't work
* I've tried following advice from other reviews of the product. The cable doesn't work
* I've tried my own permutations of hooking up the cable in various orders. The cable doesn't work
* I've tried using different USB/AC power adapters to power the cable. The cable doesn't work
* I've tried plugging into various HDMI ports on various TVs. The cable doesn't work
* I've tried NOT using the supplied 11-pin adapter in the hope that somehow my S3 magically had a 5-pin connector. The cable doesn't work
* I've tried using a Galaxy S4 (with and without the 11-pin adapter). The cable doesn't work
* I've tried using a Galaxy S5 (with the 11-pin adapter). The cable DOES work. Wait... what?!?!
So, yeah, Galaxy S5 works without issue. That made me wonder why. The best theory I can come up with is that the Galaxy S5 uses a more recent revision of the MHL standard that DOES NOT REQUIRE external power for the cable to function (aka passive MHL). The Galaxy S3 and S4 use an older revision of the MHL standard that requires external power for the cable to function properly (active MHL).
It's been pointed out by other reviewers that this cable tends to charge phones at a snail's pace, even when not connected to a HDMI port mirroring the display. My experience confirms the slow charging. Besides seeing the battery charge at a trickle, the phone software, itself, reports that the phone is only 'trickle' charging. This slowness was confirmed across 3 different AC adapters (one of which is a rather beefy tablet charger) that have no issues quickly charging my phone when plugged into a quality USB cord.
My conclusion is simple: The USB charging cord that comes attached to this product is either (1) defective, (2) built with cheap/unreliable parts to cut costs or (3) both. The USB charging cord cannot pull enough juice to supply power to both the phone and the MHL-to-HDMI cable. As a result, the MHL-to-HDMI portion of the cable fails to work. I'd speculate if the manufacture had spent an extra $0.03 per USB charging cord, the cables would work without issue.
Sooooo... if you have a phone that works with passive MHL (like the Galaxy S5) this cable will probably work wonderfully for you. Similarly, if you have a phone that requires active MHL and doesn't require much current to properly charge (i.e. to not 'trickle' charge), this cable will probably work for you. If you don't fall into one of those categories, I'd say you're looking at a craps shoot. If you're lucky enough to get a 'good' USB charging cord attached to your cable, things will probably work. If you're unlucky, you'll have a rather useless cable on your hands.
As a result of my experience, I feel that I can only give this cable 1-star and recommend everyone to steer clear of it. The company clearly states it works with a boat-load of specific devices. It clearly does NOT... unless you're lucky enough to get a 'good' one. That's false advertising in my book.