MHL Cable choices
The chances are that if you’ve come to this post, you’re already aware that your device has MHL (video out capability), so I won’t explain what an MHL cable is used for (there are good definitions within the linked products below) and we also have this post, which explains what MHL does and shows off some of its coolest features.
However, while MHL is an industry standard (meaning that in theory the same cable should be compatible with all MHL-enabled devices), that is not the case – some use a 9 pin arrangement, others use a 5 pin arrangement. The point of this post therefore is to tell you which MHL cable is compatible with your device.
Samsung Galaxy S4/Samsung Galaxy S3 MHL Adaptor
We have created a video to show the description below in action, which you can view here
The Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S4 MHL adaptors are interchangeable with both handsets. That’s to say, the S4 MHL adaptor will work with the S3, and the S3 MHL adaptor will work with the S4. However, there are still some differences.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 uses MHL 2.0. This means that there is no power connection needed for the MHL adaptor to work – the S4 can power the connection itself. That being said, it is advisable to power the connection if possible (using your handset’s microUSB charger) in order to prevent battery drain. Both the S3 and S4 adaptors work with the S4 without the need to power the connection.
The situation with the Samsung Galaxy S3 handset is the opposite. Both the S3 and S4 MHL adaptors will need to be powered if you are using them with the S3. This isn’t a huge problem as the microUSB charger supplied with you handset is fine for this purpose, it just makes the setup slightly more inconvenient.
The other difference between the two adaptors is that the S4 adaptor has a 60MHz refresh rate, whereas the S3 has a 24GHz refresh rate. This means that the S4 adaptor will provide a better image on screen, whether you are using it with the S3 or the S4.
11-Pin MHL adaptor
5-Pin MHL adaptor
Other accessories that offer MHL capability
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Smart Dock – due early April. It’s possible that this will also be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3, but we will confirm this once we have received stock.
There was a similar product for Sony handsets called the LiveDock, but this has now been discontinued.
Handsets that you may expect to have MHL, but don’t
MHL is a relatively new standard when it comes to its inclusion with smartphones, so you could be forgiven for expecting it to be included with newly released handsets. however, some new handsets do not include it, but use other standards such as SlimPort, which we explain here. Here are a list of those that we are aware of that do not use MHL and the equivalent standard that they do use.
LG Nexus 4 – SlimPort