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Best USB cables for Android Auto: top-2023

Author: Vladimir Brown
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When choosing a high quality USB cable for Android Auto (AA), it is important to pay attention to its technical parameters. Unfortunately, most drivers do not pay attention to this, as a result of which the USB cable does not fulfill its task - connecting Android Auto to the head unit.

In this review, we'll list the best cables for Android Auto and tell you what specs to pay attention to in 2023.

We conducted our testing on a 2018 Audi S5. We used a Samsung Galaxy S21 phone with Android 13 as the source of Android Auto. All updates are installed on the phone, also the latest firmware for Audi MMI is used on the Audi S5.

Tips when choosing a USB cable

Price is not the most important parameter when choosing a cable. Expensive is not necessarily a quality universal USB cable that can be used to connect AA.

On the other hand, a quality USB cable cannot cost less than 10 USD. The exception is the Samsung USB cable, which Samsung users get virtually free with the purchase of a cell phone. It is great for functioning Android Auto navigation on the car's head unit.

Cable protocol - If possible, choose a cable that supports the USB 3.1 standard. This protocol provides a high speed data transfer rate of about 5 GBPS, which ensures reliable and high quality data exchange between your phone and head unit.

Also pay attention to the length of the cable. Preferably, the USB cable length should be not more than 2 meters, or 6 feet. The longer the cable length is, the more likely it is that the stability of the connection between the Android device and the head unit may be compromised.

Thus, do not buy a cable longer than 2 meters to use Android Auto in your car. Also beware of USB extension cables, which are guaranteed to degrade data transfer quality if used in a vehicle.

Best USB cables for AA

Anker Powerline II USB-C

This USB-C to USB 3.1 cable, despite its excessive length of 3ft, is great for using Android Auto in the car. It supports 10Gbps Data Transfer, so you can transfer data through it using SuperSpeed data transmission. SuperSpeed is not required for Android Auto to work, though. However, if you're not going to watch HD movies on the head unit screen, the 10Gbps Data Transfer feature will be useful.

Other features:

  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (3A 60 W) fast charging function is supported
  • Lifetime warranty: If the cable fails through no fault of your own, you can return it back or replace it with a new one.
  • USB-IF Certification: This cable has been successfully tested for quality and reliability.
  • Cable is available in 3ft and black color only
  • Works with all USB C devices: tablets, phones, USB adapters
  • Good quality braided cable: Braided shielded cable
  • Supports USB 3.1

The cost of the cable for 2023 is about 18 USD.

AUKEY CB-CD31 Nylon USB-C to C cable

A great high quality cable for data exchange between Android phone (AA) and car. It allows you to transfer data at 480Mbps. The cable is about 1 meter long - this is the optimal length to connect Android Auto through any available USB connector of the car.

AUKEY CB-CD31 features:

  • The cable is convenient to use for fast phone charging (100W USB Power Delivery is supported).
  • The cable allows you to transfer data from your MacBook to your phone via USB at 480Mbps.
  • USB Cable is made of high quality materials. It uses durable braided nylon as the sheath.
  • TPE-coated USB-C connectors are used for connection (you can be sure that USB cable will not wear out).

Thus, AUKEY is a universal cable that can be used for various purposes: connecting AA, transferring data from PC to phone, fast charging.

Oyen Digital USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C Male to Type-A Male Braided Cable

  • Connectors: USB-C to USB-A
  • Length: 16-inch / 0.4M
  • Construction: 22 AWG / 32 AWG wire, braided shield and jacket
  • Warranty: Lifetime Warranty

Low-cost USB 3.2 Gen 2 data transfer cable. Supports phones with USB C connector and head units with USB Type-A. The data transfer rate is up to 10 Gb/s.

A durable, yet flexible braided jacket is used. This avoids breakage or errors during data transfer.

Samsung USB Type C Cable

Samsung's proprietary cable can also be used to connect Android Auto to the head unit.

Although the thickness of the braided jacket does not inspire confidence, the cable is comfortable and reliable to use. Some users report that sometimes errors occur during navigation (rebooting the phone helps), but we did not encounter any error messages during our testing of the Samsung cable.

  • Belkin SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1 Type-A to Type-C Cable (3', Black)
  • StarTech USB 3.1 Type-C Male to USB Type-A Male Cable (3.3')
  • Pearstone USB-C 3.1 to USB-A Charge & Sync Cable (3')
  • CHOETECH USB Type C USB Type C to USB Type A Cable (3.3 ft., 1 m)
  • Inateck USB C Cable (3.3 ft., 1 m)
  • iOrange-E USB C Cable (6.6 ft., 2 m)
  • LTNLab USB Type C to USB 2.0 Cable (3.3 feet, 1 m)

Which cables we do not recommend for AA

Xiaomi can only be used to charge your cell phone. Cables from this manufacturer are not suitable for AA.

Baseus is a Chinese premium cable that is good for fast charging and data transfer. It can theoretically be used for Android Auto navigation, but many drivers write that when connecting Android to head unit Android Auto does not work. Conclusion - use Baseus cable only for USB charging.

IKEA cable is only suitable for charging the battery. Android Auto does not respond in any way when connected to the car. The functionality of the cable is greatly reduced. The cable material itself is of excellent quality.

Verdict: which high quality USB cable to choose

The test results are not surprising. On the market, even among not cheap variants (IKEA, Baseus), there are a lot of cables designed for fast phone charging. And it is not always explicitly stated by the manufacturer on the packaging. Therefore, carefully study the technical characteristics of the USB cable and if possible, test before buying.

Based on these tips, the best high quality cable is USB cable AUKEY CB-CD31. The cable has no technical problems and is easy to use. Aukey USB cable in conjunction with Android Auto works stably with any car.

Huawei cable can also be used for AA. This is not a bad budget cable, which is suitable for both charging and using AA navigation. In some cases there are failures in operation, but this is all compensated by the cheapness of the cable.


Do I need a special cable for AA?

Yes, a fast charging and data cable will not work for Android Auto.

Can a Chinese cable be a quality cable?

Yes, but by buying a Chinese USB cable you run the risk of getting a non-working version for Android Auto. Many Chinese manufacturers do not label the cable in any way, do not specify its specifications.

How to know if your USB cable supports Android Auto

In 2022, the Android Auto app learned how to determine the quality of a USB cable. The corresponding diagnostic functions were built into this utility after the next update.

How to use USB Startup Diagnostics?

The USB Startup Diagnostics function works as follows.

  1. Make sure your Android Auto version is 7.5 or higher. If it is not, update the Android version.
  2. Connect the cable to the phone and head unit,
  3. Go to Android Auto's settings > Connection help > USB startup diagnostics section
  4. Next, the application determines the quality of the cable. The result will be displayed as a message on the phone screen.

Can you use Samsung AA cable for high quality connection?

The Android Auto developers recommend using the standard USB cable that comes with your phone. It is less than three feet long. Using a standard cable will avoid AA compatibility issues, as other cables can vary greatly in their specifications.

I'm Vladimir, your guide in the expansive world of technology journalism, with a special focus on GPS technologies and mapping. My journey in this field extends over twenty fruitful years, fueled by a profound passion for technology and an insatiable curiosity to explore its frontiers.