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The quest for the elusive USB On-The-Go cable

USB On-The-Go or USB OTG is an old feature that allows you to connect USB devices such as flash drives, external storage, keyboard, etc. on another device like phones, tablets, and other portable media players. It’s not a new feature but it’s also not a widely supported by handset manufacturers.

width="230"On top of my mind a bunch of Nokia Symbian phones has it including the N8 and E72 which has the necessary cable included in the package. Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Tab supports it as well and also some of the new Xperias like the Sony Xperia S, P and U. It’s also available to most Android phones once rooted and the USB host driver installed.

USB OTG is a very much useful feature especially now we’re seeing a lot of smartphones without microSD slots. Just have the USB OTG cable with you and you can read/write files to and from your flash drives. It’s better than swapping microSD cards.

Now here’s the catch. That USB OTG cable is extremely hard to find in stores here in the country. Most sales people don’t know what it is. Some call it USB adapter. Or you can try calling it a microUSB to a Female-USB cable. Or just explain to them what it does. I found sellers in Sulit.com.ph selling it for P250 but I wanted to try it first to see if it works on my phone.

I tried looking for one over the weekend (SM MOA and SM Megamall) to complete my review of the Sony Xperia P. Nokia stores don’t sell that accessory separately. Sony Xperia shops don’t have it either. I tried their authorized dealers to no avail. Even the ever-reliable accessory shop CD-R King doesn’t have it!! All they have is the 16-pin to female-USB cable that’s used for tablets.

samsung usb otg

Then I went to a Samsung shop in Megamall and found one (and already reserved), it’s called the Micro USB to USB Adapter and it’s priced at a steep P700. Not cheap for a simple cable.


Finally, my search led me to this little stall called Phoenix Tab that sells China-made tablets and accessories for it. They have it for P400.

USB OTG on Xperia P

I tried it out on my phone and voila, it read my Sandisk Cruzer correctly. I wasn’t able to play the files from it because ES File Explorer doesn’t recognize the disk. Astro File Manager does though I heard. I was able to list the file content using the phone’s Office app anyhow so that’s good enough for me.

If you want to extend the functionality and storage of your phone, do get a USB OTG cable if your device supports it. If you’re wondering where this Phoenix Tab stall is located, it’s at the SM Cyberzone area in Megamall near the 4th floor parking lot entrance.

UPDATE: I also just learned that Widget City is also selling these for P500 a pop so if you’re buying your gadget that supports USB OTG from them, ask if they can squeeze in the cable too.

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  • You can actually create your own OTG cable by buying some micro-usb b cable (costs around P40-P50) and another USB male to female cable (same price of P40-P50) in CDR King. All you need is to short Pin#4 and Pin#5 on the micro-usb b and you’ll have your own custom-made OTG cable; then you just have to connect the male (micro usb B) to the female adaptor (you just need to connect the 4-colored wires). I personally created mine and currently using it on my ICS-powered Kindle Fire – now I’m able to mount USB devices on my Fire without spending too much on buying a high-priced OTG cable.:)

    • hey man, can you direct me to a site or video on how to short pin#4 and pin#5? Bought me a female usb to female usb adapter from cd-r king and i already have the generic micro usb to usb data cable. thanks!

      • Neil
        • aarrgghh wala naman akong soldering machine. mas mura pa bumili na lang ng cable. hahaha.

          • uyayi

            Basically yung “micro-usb b” lang yung kailangan ng trabaho. Refer to this image: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jof0fais7u303nm/DIY-OTG-Adapter-%26-DIY-OTG-Y-Adapter.gif.
            Di man ako gumamit ng soldering machine; ang mahalaga lang ikonekta mo yung bakanteng pin dun sa micro-usb b sa “black” wire ng USB cable mo. Basically yun lang ginawa ko sa cable ko.

          • I was actually able to buy a self powered 4 port Hub, so my 30-Pin Apple OTG cable for my Ipad 2 could run multiple devices at once. I bought my OTG cable from LWGADGETS.COM – tHEY WERE A LITTLE EXPENSIVE, BUT ATLEAST IT WORKED COMPATED TO ALL THOSE CHEAP ONES OUT THERE!

  • Griswold

    Cool! thanks for this info. now i’m looking at rooting my phone. Hindi ba pwede miniUSB to microUSB cable in case I want to connect my external drive?

  • Sanggria

    DIGITAG sells it for only P150.00 🙂

    • oh… where’s this DigiTAG?

      • Sanggria

        12D Broadway AVE, New Manila, QC.
        Next street after LRT Gilmore Station from Cubao 🙂

  • eZMe

    that’s funny, your pendrive have pirated softwares?

  • protruska

    The otg cable you found is pretty expensive because the legit samsung otg cable is just between 600 – 700 pesos. The only problem is we still need to order it overseas 🙁

  • John

    Hi Sir Calvin,
    Ever heard of Nexus Media Importer? I’m asking if you’ve tried that one on ASUS Google Nexus 7 provided that you use a USB OTG Cable. Is it effective in transferring files from the USB Flash Drive or USB SD Card Reader and SD Cardto the Nexus and from the Nexus to the USB Flash Drive or USB SD Card Reader and SD Card? There’s no need for your device to be rooted.

  • Denz

    Sir Calvin, I would like to ask if you can still use this as a cable charger(in your wall socket or connect it in your pc to charge) for your smartphone/tablet and use it as USB OTG cable for mouse, keyboard or flash drive?

  • leepink

    Sir Calvin,
    I read in some blogs na pwede i-connect yung 3g dongle/ usb broadband sa android tablet na wifi lang. Posible po kaya i-connect yung smart/globe broadband na hindi na kailagang i-root yung tablet like nexus 7?

    Thanks 🙂

    • i think kelangan i-root.. pansin ko applicable yung feature na yun sa mga china tablets.

  • Vhangell

    CDR King has them for 30 pesos. Ok naman

  • jon

    baka may alam kayong mabibilan ng otg for samsung galaxy tab 2.0 7 P3110?

  • bataliit

    Looking for otg that has a socket for power. Searching online this is available on us market. Can anyone suggest where to buy it in here in the philippines.. thanks..

  • devilisme666

    how to use otg cable for smart bro on samsung galaxy tab 3 7.0?


    USB OTG is already available in CD-R King shops for 30 pesos (lowest price).

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  • joseph

    I will not put faith on 30 pesos cdr king otg. if your phone is generic or supports generic otg cable then your fine as for me. Xperia sola. It does not work. I need some kind of gender changers + otg cable fpr otg to work sucks to be me. I was told cherry mobile supports otg. God I really wish I can use external powered disk to my sola . My phone sucks . Philippines sucks more because phe abundance of generic otg cables