You’ll say OMG for Brando’s MicroUSB OTG 4-port hub

otg4port
If you think Brando’s MicroUSB OTG 3-port hub with smartphone stand which I reviewed recently is cool, you’re going to flip over the MicroUSB OTG 4-port hub also from Brando. It has one more port so that you can connect an extra USB gadget to your Android powered smartphone. Imagine connecting a regular USB keyboard, a USB mouse and 2 USB flash memory drives to your Android device. Laptop? Who needs a laptop. That’s what OTG can do for you. In case you didn’t know, OTG stands for On-the-go and it’s a feature that is built in to devices that have version 3.1 or higher of the Android OS.

This new hub from Brando doesn’t have a built in stand like the one I reviewed, so you’re on your own to prop up your device, but at $11.00 (the 3-port is priced at $10), it’s a very useful gadget to keep in your gear bag. It even comes with an adapter so you can plug it into your computer and use it as a hub there as well. I guess I should have waited a little while before buying 2 extras of the 3-port hub. Now I want a 4-port just because 4 is obviously better than 3. :)

Posted in: Android related, Cables, Batteries and Chargers, News

{ 24 comments… add one }

  • digi_owl July 31, 2013, 9:17 am

    Not sure how much juice a OTG port can deliver.

    1
  • Passing Stranger July 31, 2013, 9:33 am

    Firstly, OTG is supported by Android versions prior to 3.1, perhaps you meant 2.1?
    Secondly, no stand. Silly idea.
    Thirdly cables delivering multiple USB Host ports via OTG have been around for at least two and a half years, I got one for ~€3 with my first tablet. It supported USB mini and micro for OTG connection also, unlike Brando’s device.

    As for power, OTG supports 0.5A current draw at most however most host devices further limit draw.

    2
  • Julie Strietelmeier July 31, 2013, 9:44 am

    @Passing I got my versioning info from the OTG Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_On-The-Go

    @digi_owl I was able to use a keyboard, mouse and a flash drive with no problems using the 3port stand. It would not work with a physical USB hard drive though…

    3
  • poqeteer July 31, 2013, 10:59 am

    @digi_owl True OTG cables/hubs have been around for a while, this is a nice design with the attaching cable tucked into the hub itself. I think I’ve seen it for standard portable USB hubs, but don’t think I’ve seen that setup before for OTG. Might have to pickup one… I could use it with the simple smartphone stand I came up with:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=43084306&postcount=1

    Hmmm… The cable maybe to short?

    4
  • Ryan Chapman July 31, 2013, 1:18 pm

    So would these make it so you can add storage with flash drives to a Nexus? My husband eyes the new Nexus but without the expandable storage slot, its a no go.

    If you have a flash drive plugged into your android device, can you watch movies from the flash drive?

    5
  • Rob Tillotson July 31, 2013, 1:51 pm

    @Ryan Chapman The answer is a qualified “yes”, meaning you might need an app to do it. On the old Nexus 7, the stock OS didn’t recognize USB drives even though the hardware supports them just fine — the new one may or may not have fixed that. There are three ways around this:

    – Use an app like Nexus Media Importer ($3.99) to stream movies and photos off the external drive. This is the simplest solution for a non-technical user since it doesn’t require root, and lets you do the most common thing you are likely to want to do (watch movies).

    – Root the device and use an app like StickMount or USB OTG Helper (both free) to mount the drive when you plug it in. This makes it appear in the filesystem somewhere so you can just browse to the drive in a file manager or use whatever app you feel like to open files off of it.

    – Replace the stock OS with a custom ROM like CyanogenMod that mounts the drive automatically like the apps above. Obviously this is a pretty drastic thing to do just to use a flash drive, but if you were planning to do it anyway it will incidentally fix this issue.

    In other words, yes you will be able to play movies from the drive but it may require some extra work to do. (Keyboards, mice, xbox360 controllers etc. just work when you plug them in FYI.)

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  • Julie Strietelmeier July 31, 2013, 3:09 pm

    @Rob With your last comment, you have me wondering about my own setup on my SGS3. I have a custom ROM (Carbon), but I also installed StickMount. I’m wondering now if I even need it. I think that Carbon is based off of CyanogenMod.

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  • Rob Tillotson July 31, 2013, 7:36 pm

    @Julie Yeah a lot of the custom ROMs, as well as manufacturer stock ROMs from Samsung and others, automount USB storage without an app. Try uninstalling StickMount and see what happens.

    8
  • digi_owl August 1, 2013, 4:18 am

    Thinking about it some more, i guess it should work with anything that only need 0.1A (i think that is the minimum a USB device can request). The hub itself likely draws 0.1, leaving 0.4 to the shared among the ports. A HDD may even work, if it has an external power source.

    As for the Nexus series and external storage, i suspect the issue there is legal rather than technical. Microsoft have browbeaten just about every major OEM of Android phones into paying a FAT32 license. Google seems to refuse to do this for the Nexus range, and so leave out any support for SD or USB storage.

    In all honestly, Google should push for UDF to be made into a SD and HDD format and implement full support for it in Android.

    9
  • Drew Baker August 3, 2013, 12:15 am

    OMG, there I said it. What do I win?

    10
  • Julie Strietelmeier August 3, 2013, 3:30 pm

    @Drew email me your address and I’ll send you a prize :)

    11
  • Alan R Townend September 28, 2013, 4:22 pm

    Thank you so much for this great breakthrough. Also I love the small USB keyboard, please could you tell me the make?

    Alan

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  • Julie Strietelmeier September 28, 2013, 4:38 pm

    @Alan I’m not sure which keyboard that is. I took the picture from Brando’s site. You can probably find it there.

    13
  • vlad November 13, 2013, 7:47 am

    What is the process to mount multiple usb flash drives in android OS?

    14
  • Julie Strietelmeier November 13, 2013, 8:08 am

    @vlad if you have an Android device that supports OTG and it is enabled, you just plug in the drives and they will be visible in file manager apps.

    15
  • Lin November 16, 2013, 6:58 pm

    Hi Julie, sorry for my bad english but… i have a question: How do I charge my phone?, if the hub is occupying my micro usb gs3 ? does de hub ave any dc port? thanks.

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  • Julie Strietelmeier November 16, 2013, 8:47 pm

    @Lin unfortunately you can’t charge your phone at the same time that you’re using the OTG hub.

    17
  • NeedHelpWithOTG December 18, 2013, 10:18 pm

    I am trying to set up OTG with Nexus 7 (2013) using a keyboard and mouse. I am trying to avoid problems such as cables having loose connections. Any suggestions as to what I should use?

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  • Julie Strietelmeier December 19, 2013, 7:39 am

    @NeedHelpWithOTG Something like the 4 port hub won’t work for you?

    19
  • NeedHelpWithOTG December 22, 2013, 1:11 pm

    @Julie I think so. But I’m not sure how I could avoid problems such as loose cable connections.

    20
  • Julie Strietelmeier December 22, 2013, 2:40 pm

    The connections seem pretty secure to me. Are you planning on using the hub in a heavy vibration area or something? Otherwise, I don’t see an issue.

    21
  • TabletFanz December 26, 2013, 11:28 pm

    can you go into more detail into why this hub can’t charge something like a Dell Venue Pro tablet if I connect the hub to it in the following manner? I want to plug the hub’s Micro-USB B male connector directly into the tablet’s Micro-USB B female port, and then connect the tablet’s AC/USB combo plug into a wall outlet and connect the other end of the tablet’s AC/USB cable (the one with the Micro-USB B male connector) to the Micro-USB B female port adapter that Brando includes with the hub so that the USB A-Type male connector end of the adapter is plugged into one of the hub’s four USB A-Type female ports – what do you think?

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  • Julie Strietelmeier December 27, 2013, 9:38 am

    @TabletFanz I had to read your description a dozen times before it finally made sense to me :) Unfortunately, I can’t answer the question because I can’t seem to find that hub to try with my Nexus 7. My guess is that the hub isn’t designed to provide enough outgoing power to charge the tablet.

    23
  • charly February 17, 2014, 5:50 pm

    hi,
    I just red that it would be a problem to charge your device from this hub. I wonder if it’s possible to use it with the laptop adapter to have at the same time a xbox controler and a micro usb \ hdmi adapter?

    It would be nice to play on big screen…

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