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I don't use cloud services. I just manually backup my phone using a rotation of a few SD cards I own, and when I have access to a family computer, I transfer what's in those cards to the computer, in order to "double" backup.

(Not the best approach but works fine for me.)

A few years ago (pre-type-C being the norm), I tried to depart from SD cards (just for convenience, so that I wouldn't have to remove and insert them to/from my SIM tray all the time) and gave some flash drives and external HD's (via an OTG micro-USB cable) a chance, as they're more "plug and play".

Me being careful in general with my equipment and their cables, and always mindful about properly ejecting flash/hard drives, it's safe to say I've almost never experienced corrupted files on a computer.

But that wasn't the case on my phone. I tried both flash and hard drives (even with an externally powered OTG cable) and I'd encounter some corrupted files after moving them back and forth.

So I just figured micro-USB might be unreliable for this purpose and I went back to using SD cards.

Has type C been any different? Other than transfer speed (which is not my biggest concern) is it more reliable than micro-USB?

In terms of reliability alone where does it rank between micro-USB and SD cards? Am I better off with my SD cards as it is, or type C is reliable enough, for me to quit SD cards and start using it instead?

Like I said, type C's transfer speed is less important than reliability, but it's tempting nonetheless.

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USB-C has multiple advantages, however speed is usually not one of it. Unless you buy a high-end smartphone the USB-C port usually operates with USB 2.0 speed. But that is device specific, hence check it out what USB transfer speed is supported by your device.

However from my USB-C has from my perspective the following advantages:

  1. Easier handling (easier to plug-in, reversability)
  2. Because of the easier plug-in the chance to break the USB-port soldering is lower - broken USB-ports because of inserted too often too much force is a common problem
  3. I am not 100% sure but I would assume that the durability of an USB-C port is higher than micro-USB when it comes to plug cycles
  4. For USB-C- USB sticks you don't need an adapter (however considering 2. an adapter cable also has advantages compared to a large USB-C stick - the smaller the stick/plug the lower the force that can be applied orthogonally to the USB-plug (because of the leverage).

On the other had you have to consider that micro-SD card slots are usually not designed for may insert/eject cycles. Therefore I would be carefully when regularly use if for inserting an card for backup purposes. An Micro-USB or USB-C port is usually designed for way more plug cycles.

Production quality of Micro-USB plugs and connectors

I don't know if this is a problem of cheap devices only but it seems to me like the quality for Micro-USB plugs and connectors is often terrible. At the moment I have devices and cables that are all "Micro-USB" but some Micro USB connectors are so tight that not all of my cables fit (e.g. a Nokia 2.2 phone) and on other devices the standard Micro USB cables are so loose that the plug pops out if I move the device a few centimetre (not that we are talking about brand new devices, not old device that has been plugged/unplugged hundred of times, an example: TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750 mini router). Therefore I even got to a point where I categorize my Micro USB devices and cables into three sub-categories: thin, normal and wide.

Another problem of Micro-USB pugs is that not every plug fits regarding it's length.

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  • That was very informative. Have you encountered file corruption with type C? Sep 27, 2020 at 20:14
  • @AndysCafe1879 The USB connector only has an impact on the file integrity if it fits so badly that you have a loose connection or if the USB connector is defect because of the broken soldering and therefore causes a loose connection. See also the last paragraph about the quality of Micro USB I have added.
    – Robert
    Sep 28, 2020 at 7:06
  • I mean, I don't see how the quality of the ports/cables is the real issue with me encountering file corruption. Back then I had a Samsung S6 (with genuine peripherals) and now an S9. I'd expect the built quality is as good as it gets with these flagships. The flash/hard drives were also working flawlessly on my computer. Are you sure file corruption is attributed to hardware (i.e., USB ports/peripherals) and not to software (poor programming for transfers on Android)? Sep 30, 2020 at 17:22
  • File system mount and unmount are standard functions of Linux. Samsung heavily modifies Android but I would assume that those Linux parts remain unmodified. Therefore software problems are nothing I would expect.
    – Robert
    Sep 30, 2020 at 18:45
  • Can you elaborate further on "On the other had you have to consider that micro-SD card slots are usually not designed for may insert/eject cycles."? ___ I haven't heard that before. What's the issue with SD cards and their longevity? Do I damage them every time I insert/remove them? I'd expect they're durable, the oldest one I use is several years old. Sep 30, 2020 at 20:56

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