Micro USB Vs Mini USB: Know the Key Differences

If you have not been living under a rock for the last 30 years, you know what a USB connector is. You see it in your mobile chargers, in some laptop chargers, and in so many more places around you. It is one of the best ways to move your media files and other documents from one device to another.

Micro USB Vs Mini USB

A Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a technology that allows two devices to communicate with each other. Today not only the wired or connected technology provides efficient speed, but also the wireless communication became easy with the help of the USB WiFi adapters. One of those two devices is usually a computer. A USB connector can also be attached to other hardware such as input devices (mouse and keyboard), output devices (printers) and media devices.

The USB connectors have developed a lot in the last few years- from being available with a memory capacity as small as 128MB to as high as 128GB in a few cases. The USB connector is nothing more than a simplified device that allows universal connectivity between peripheral devices and computers. It can also be used to connect two peripheral devices to each other. The invention of the USB connector to carry data and supply power has widened the usability of devices and increased the applications that they can be used for.

Types of USB

USB are of two types- Type A and Type B. Type A USB is used in devices that provide power, like the computer, while Type B USB is used on peripheral devices for the purpose of data connectivity.

Now, let’s take a look at the similarities between the Mini and Micro USBs first.

Mini USB and Micro USB are the most common Type B USB connectors. In physical dimensions, both are smaller than the standard USB. Mini USB was introduced in 2000 while Micro USB was brought to the public in 2007. There are a few physical similarities in both-

  1. Both are constructed with 5 pins instead of the standard 4 pin USB available until then. The five pins are divided as follows- one for power, one for ground, two for data and one as ID pin.

  2. They are both smaller than the standard USB in size, mainly to count for the shrinking size of all electronic peripheral devices.

Let us look at the differences between Micro USB and Mini USB in more detail.

  • The lifecycles of the two cables are very different. Mini USB survives for 5000 cycles of connect and disconnect, while Micro USB can easily give an optimal performance for at least 10000 cycles of connect and disconnect.

  • The ID pin present in both the Mini and the Micro USB have greatly varied functionalities. The ID pin is kept in the Mini USB to prepare for the eventuality of future upgradation of technology. But in Micro USB, the ID pin performs a much more crucial function. It allows a USB connector to perform multiple functions. Thanks to this pin, USB connectors can send storage data in a two-way direction. They can also work as chargers. Slowly they are becoming the norm in mobile chargers.

  • When we look at Micro USB Vs Mini USB, their resistance to wear and tear comes out as a very important factor. Although Mini USB is more resistant to wear and tear as compared to the standard USB (which has a life cycle of only 1500 connects and disconnects), it is still less resistant as compared to Micro USB.

  • When we see Micro USB vs Mini USB in terms of sizes, we can see that they have been varying the last few years, but overall we can say that the Micro USB is smaller than that of Mini USB. The size is also another reason for the popularity of Micro USB over Mini USB as it provides more convenience and comfort.

Differences between Mini USB and Micro USB


Mini USB

Micro USB

Applications Mostly has a single purpose- to transfer stored data or act as a charger connector Can be used for dual purposes- to transfer stored data and act as a charger connector at the same time.
Connection with devices Can be connected to a large number of devices, like printers, scanners, digital cameras, etc Can be connected only to smartphones and digital cameras.

These days, Micro USB is the standard norm for connecting cell phones to their power supply and connect devices like Desktop PCs with tablets and smartphones. While all kinds of USB connectors are still being made and used, Micro USB ports have replaced non-USB, standard connectors that were being used before.