Note 8 and USB-C: Everything you need to know

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 includes a lot of exciting new technology — an iris scanner, a giant bezel-free display and a dual rear camera system. It also comes with a new USB Type-C port, which doesn’t sound quite as exciting, but it makes a huge difference to how you can use your phone compared to the Micro USB port that came on older Notes. Here’s what you need to know about USB-C on the Note 8.

1. It works either way up

Yes, the best advantage of USB-C is also the one you’ll notice first. The plug has a symmetric design, so you can insert it either way up. No more inserting a Micro USB cable three times to finally get it plugged in right.

2. It’s more powerful

You can also send more power down USB-C lines, up to 100W! That’s useful for rapidly charging the Note 8 using Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging standard, and it also means you can power more complicated USB devices from your phone using a USB-C to USB adapter.

3. You can do way more

Because you can send more data and power through the Note 8’s USB-C port, you can also connect a whole bunch more stuff.

Official Samsung DeX Station Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus Display Dock

Samsung have made great use of this with their DeX Station, a dock that allows you to turn your Note 8 into a full-scale desktop-like computer by allowing you to connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse. You can read more in our Guide to DeX right here.

Official Samsung USB-C to HDMI Adapter

You can also connect various USB-C adapters that let you connect all manner of interesting widgets and doodads. An HDMI adapter that lets you hook your Note 8 to a 4K TV? No problem. How about an all-in-one USB-C adapter with a bunch of full-size USB ports, and 4K HDMI? You got it. Even a wired ethernet port for super-fast internet access? It’s all possible — just look at our range of USB-C accessories and see for yourself!

5. You can still use Micro USB accessories

Olixar Micro USB To USB-C Adapter

Of course, all of this progress comes at a cost… you can’t use all of those Micro USB docks, chargers and other accessories! Actually, you can — all you need is a USB-C to Micro USB adapter and you’re back in business. However, you could also decide to make a clean break for USB-C, as you’ll get it on almost every new phone going forward. If that’s more your style, check out our USB-C Cable Starter Pack which makes things a whole lot less painful.

Wrapping up

Anything else you want to know about USB-C on the Note 8? Ask us anything in the comments below, and we’ll add it to the article or respond to you directly! Thanks for checking out our blog, and keep us in mind for Note 8 accessories! We’ll catch you on the next one!

Update: We’ve received reports that Samsung reps are stating that the Note 8 doesn’t support USB 3.1 speeds. There’s conflicting information online, and we haven’t been able to replicate USB 3.1 speeds in our own testing, so we’ve removed this section of the article for now until the matter can be settled. If you’d like to provide your own testing or anecdotes, please feel free to do so in the comments below.

Update 2: With a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 cable, we can reach transfer speeds of 120 MB/s (3.59GB in 30 seconds). This suggests that the Note 8 can indeed reach USB 3.0 speeds, although transfer speeds are limited by its internal storage speeds (and the storage speeds of the other device).

27 thoughts on “Note 8 and USB-C: Everything you need to know

  1. Hi there, I wondered if you managed to figure this out? I have a similar issue with the micro-USB to type c adapter. It won’t let me charge the Note 8 using my portable chargers (micro-USB). I messaged Samsung Support but they’re completely stumped. It should be backward compatible with portable chargers which output 1A or 2.1A. Unsure if I need to now get new portable chargers (both bought < a yr ago). Any advice is appreciated.

  2. Thanks for the reply William.

    I find that only the USB A to USB C adapter allows data transfer.
    Guess the micro USB to USB C is only intended for charging the phone with older chargers.

  3. Not able to get the micro usb to usb c adapter to work for data transfers.
    Im using the adapter provided in the box, for connecting the gopro quik key micro usb card reader.

    Can someone pls confirm if the adapter provided in box for note 8 allows data transfer??

  4. USB-C adapter does not work with Concept 2 PM4. With the micro USB on my old Samsung Galaxy Mega, it recognized it straight away and opened the Boatcoach app…but nothing using my new Sumsung Note 8 and the USB-C adapter on the micro USB to Standard B Type Printer Cable

  5. I posted in the wrong spot. Grr! Still getting the error, will do the requested factory reset this weekend and start working toward a replacement Note 8.

    Thank you for your help!

  6. Failed to open file again. Looks like I have to back up and factory reset my phone before contacting Samsung about a replacement. :(

    Thank you kindly for your help!

  7. No worries. Can you try a usb 3.0 card reader? I’m using a Kingston model (should be possible to find on Amazon by comparing to my photo). I’m really curious to know if this will solve this problem.

  8. Thank you for checking! Both of the cards worked in the micro SD tray, and can be read there so I am assuming the formatting is appropriate. Sounds like I received a problem phone, although it is perfect in every other respect. I have tried using the following readers:

    If there is a different reader that may work, I’m happy to buy it and try it.

  9. In theory, this should definitely work. I wanted to test this, so I connected my Note 8 to a USB 3.0 card card reader via the USB-C to full-size USB adapter that comes in the box. I inserted an SD card from my camera into the reader, and I was prompted to open USB storage from the lock screen. I double-tapped the notification, and the My Files app opened and showed me the files. I can open individual pictures and everything seems to be working.


    Things to check for you: What format is the SD card in? Have you tried a USB 3.0 card reader via an adapter? It shouldn’t be necessary to boot into safe mode or turn on USB debugging — for me it just worked out of the box. Hope this is helpful.

  10. I bought a Note 8. I have been trying to connect a micro SD reader to the Type C connector for reading files. My Files doesn’t recognize any connection. ES File Explorer recognizes the connection but returns the error: Failed to open file. I have used different Samsung micro SD cards (64gb and 128gb) and different Type C SD card readers and continue to have the same issues. I tried engaging USB debug, I tried booting the Note 8 in Safe Mode and nothing has worked.
    Did I get a defective phone? Samsung wants me to (ugh) factory reset the phone. Is anyone else having this kind of difficulty getting it to work?

  11. There is an app but it’s readings were very low compare to the meter I purchased.

    I didn’t say those things didnt charge the phone, I stated it didn’t charge them at the speeds of those standards.

    Everything will charge the phone, the problem is how fast will it charge.

    You bought a 60w charger for you MacBook and it charges the Note, but does it charge the Note at 5v or 9v or 12v? That’s the question. 5v is the norm, doing PD means it would be 9 or 12 or higher

  12. This is false.

    I have the Note8 and I’m able to fast charge it with my 61w Macbook Pro (USB-C) charger. So it does support Power Delivery (PD).

    Also I am able to fast charge with my OEM Note5 wall charger along with my Aukey 12v QC car charger. Using the provided USB-C adapter along and the provided USB to USB-C cable also works too!

    From about 10%, the phone states that it’s going to take about 1 hour 10 minutes-ishhh to charge.

    Is there an app that I can use to see how much voltage/watts is being drawn?

  13. Note 8 does not Support QC 2.0/3.0 or USB-PD.

    I have actually tested this.
    I purchased multiple USB-PD chargers and chargers that support QC 3.0. I do not get any increased power output. The best i have gotten in my testing using a USB meter was 4.8-4.9v at 1.8amps, even on the USB-PD chargers.

    Using the Samsung Adaptive Fast Charger, i do get 9v at 1.6amp. But that is the only charger i have gotten this one.

    This review is only highlighting possibilities but isn’t supported by testing.

    You will not damage your phone from using a more powerful charger because they are smart like that. They only take the power they feel they can use.

  14. I have a c to c power brick and cable with pd I used to charge my nexus 6p. It says fast charging when I connect it to my note8 but is it safe to charge the note with this on a regular basis? I have a total of 3 of this set up, one at home, work, and travel bag, since this c to c with power delivery was the only safe way to fast charge the 6p, from what I understood. I hate to have to replace them with quick charge a to c if its not necessary.

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