USB OTG: Everything you need to know

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USB OTG, or USB On-the-go, is one of the features that help make our smartphones more capable. Here’s everything you need to know!

Usb-C Otg

What is USB OTG?

USB OTG is a specification for devices such as smartphones and tablets. A compatible phone can act as an “host” and allow you to use it with other USB devices such as flash disks, keyboards, mice, and more. The USB OTG adapter is basically a microUSB or USB type C cable that runs to a USB port and allows you to plug many accessories into your phone or tablet.

Does my smartphone support USB OTG?

Most of today’s Android smartphones support USB OTG. If you are not sure, download the USB OTG Checker app and run it. The simple and easy-to-use app will instantly tell you if your device is compatible with this feature.

Some additional devices, such as flash disks, are equipped with a USB-C end and can be plugged directly into a phone or tablet. However, more often than not, you will need a USB OTG cable or adapter. There are many options to consider.Â

What can USB OTG be used for?


Extra Storage

USB OTG allows you to quickly and easily transfer files, photos and other information from your smartphone or tablet to a flash disk. These days, there are plenty of USB-C flash drives that can be plugged into a phone’s charging port directly, like this great option from Sandisk and Silicon Power. However, if you already have a regular flash disk, all you need is a USB OTG adapter.

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Of course, flash drives aren’t your only option for expandable storage. Even if your phone doesn’t have a microSD card slot, you can attach an SD card reader to your phone. It’s also a great way to transfer files from your digital camera to your phone for editing on the go. Anker has a standard SD card reader and a USB-C variant that plugs directly into the phone.

Game Controllers

Today’s Android phones are compatible with a wide range of Bluetooth game controllers, including the excellent Xbox One wireless controllers. However, if your phone supports USB OTG, you can use a wired option like the always reliable Xbox 360 controllers. Of course, the games you play must have controller support as well.

USB Microphone(Additional)

If you want to record high-quality audio recordings on your phone, a good USB microphone will help. With the right adapter, options like the Blue Yeti X and the ultra-portable Samson Go are great microphones to choose from. However, something to keep in mind is that the microphone may not work on a system level, and you may need to download an audio recording app from the Google Play Store.

Keyboard and Mouse

In addition to a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, you can use a wired option or a device that requires a wireless receiver with your smartphone or tablet due to USB OTG. You’ll find our recommendations in our complete collection of the best keyboards you can get.