How to check if your Android smartphone supports USB On-The-Go (OTG)

USB On-The-Go (OTG) is a standard specification that allows devices with USB ports to directly interface with each other without the need for a middleman which in most cases is usually a PC.

Thanks to USB OTG, devices like smartphones are able to read data from external media and removable devices like flash drives, game pads and so on.

If you are one of those with pricey high-end smartphones then you don’t have to worry if your device supports USB OTG or not. It definitely does!
For everyone else using a mid-range or entry-level device, you have to go a step further to ascertain that your device actually supports USB OTG.
That can be in several ways. The most common way is that the manufacturer of your device will likely list USB OTG support on the box/package if it exists either as part of the spec sheet or by displaying the “Certified USB On-The-Go” logo.

A good example is two devices we have had in for review recently from Tecno: the DroiPad 8 II and the PhonePad 7 II. Tecno made sure everyone knew that the former had USB OTG support by screaming from the rooftop about it and even including an adapter in the box but was very silent about the same feature’s existence on the cheaper latter model.
Where no mention of such exists, like in the case of the Tecno PhonePad 7 II, then you may have to do something else. For Android device users, this is simple. Install this app, ascertain that your device supports or does not support OTG, uninstall the app and live happily ever after. Something like that.

I didn’t know you could do this with an app. I thought the only way was to use an OTG flash disk or something. I also saw people saying that these apps sometimes get it wrong. I guess one should not trust an app completely for this check - it’s better to do it physically.

Is OTG that important anyway?

Yes, definitely. Particularly if your phone has limited internal memory and few options to expand it. You can also use OTG with numerous peripherals but there’s also Bluetooth for that. Media transfer is the best use I can think of for OTG and it can be quite important if you watch movies on the phone.

With apps like Xender, I don’t even walk around with my flashdisk anymore. I have never used OTG, never seen anyone in need of it. That’s why I was asking.

Yeah, there are so many options that OTG seems like a novelty but it’s not. I realized that wireless file sharing can be slow and eats the battery. I still use a flash disk for movies. You know, not everyone streams TV shows. Some of us still download movies and use cyber cafés.

true these days i send data from my phone to laptop wirelessly no need of using cables all the time

Slow? Have you used Xender? Just try it. You will throw away your flash disk.

Nope. I’ll give it a whirl.

I don’t recommend Xender or Shareit. Pure adware.

Go with AirDroid, Portal or Dukto. I personally use AirDroid. It is fantastic.

Phones without NFC or Wi-Fi direct (savage land phones like Tecno) it can be useful when transferring large amounts of data during migrations - though some tecno ones don’t support OTG.

Xender, flash share and others use the WiFi protocol to do the transfers. Unlike the sister Bluetooth, it’s really fast and you will find yourself throwing and literally forgetting the flash disk

It’s very important. Not only does it support flash but other services like print.

I have had many people call tecno phones Savage, but I remember clearly, I started using OTG in a less than 10k tecno phone back in 2014 – tecno H6

@peter, OTG supports print too. I have not done it once or twice – printing from my phone.

In fact, tecno took so long to even know what USB otg is. I bought a tecno H6 (at only 9k) back in 2014 and it supported USB-OTG. Not even a single tecno care center/sellers guys knew what the hell that was. I knew because I made some USB otgs for.myself and once decided to buy a “real” OTG cable. All the tecno shop attendants would give me that look; there does not exist such a thing. Which I would calmly point out that I do use and needed another; they would just resign to a weak and embarrassed “basi hiyo hatuna”.

Small price to pay for really fast transfers. I used Dukto but at some point it became too slow due to the manual process.

I have heard of AirDroid but never used it. Does it use Bluetooth or a network connection?

Getting terrific speeds on AirDroid. I mostly use it to transfer files from my PC.

As long as the PC and phone are on the same network, it just works.

I had to create hotspots on Xender which was extra work. Plus the ad infested ‘quick charge screen’ they had really pissed me.

They also have Xender Buy and the permissions required are shady. (Why do you need location data to improve hotspot discoverability)

Oh, and when you disable the shady permissions, the app will not launch.

I wouldn’t say all that is a ‘small price’

It can use your existing network, hotspot or remote connection if the phones are on different networks (Requires a premium subscription to lift limits).

I get you. It was a concern to me as well but I just had to turn a blind eye and send files. With Xender the process of creating the hotspot is automated and that’s what makes it easy for me to recommend it to anyone.

I will still keep my OTG flash disk because I can save movies I’ve downloaded to it and watch them on my phone and when I get tired of staring at a screen that’s 5cm from my face I plug it into my home theater and continue from there. I know how to use all these fancy features like Wi-Fi direct but I prefer to minimize the toll on my phone hence the old school way of doing things.

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