7 USB-Lightning charging cables for iPhone and iPad in the test

iPhone charging cable tested - here the Just Mobile AluCable Duo

In the March 2016 issue of MacLife magazine, the editors looked at seven charging cables for the Apple iPhone and iPad. Of course, it's about the USB to Lightning cables as they are used on current models of iOS devices. The selection of test candidates was based on the sales rank on Amazon. That said, we've got a comparison of the seven top-selling candidates here. And of course they were ONLY cable selected that too mfi certified are. The abbreviation "mfi" stands for "made for iPhone" - i.e. cables that have been approved by Apple and that also reliably charge the iPhone or iPad.

Of course, these cables are not ONLY suitable as charging cables but also as data cables for synchronization between iPhone / iPad and the MAC / PC with iTunes. I only mention this again because it has come up as a question in the past.

iPhone charging cable tested - here the Just Mobile AluCable Duo
Various iPad and iPhone charging cables in the test - here the Just Mobile AluCable Duo, which impresses with its Lightning AND micro-USB connector (photos: Amazon).

Attention chinaware: often incompatible and fake!

Anyone looking for Lightning cables on Amazon will find that cables for less than 5 EUR as well as "Original Apple charging cables" for less than 10 EUR are available here. I would strongly advise against all these offers. I've had cheap cables and these often don't charge the iPhone, but only provoke an error message on the iOS device stating that the cable used is not suitable for the iPhone. Likewise, such cables may charge slower than mfi-certified cables.

And you can also forget the alleged "original Apple Lightning cable" for 10 EUR. There is a high degree of certainty that these are counterfeit products, because the Apple charging cable costs EUR 20 – anything below that should make you suspicious. And in case you want an original cable from Apple (in my opinion, despite better and cheaper alternatives): Prefer to buy it directly in the Apple Store, because there you get 100% original goods.

At Amazon, even the expensive "Apple dealers" have bad ratings for the original cables, but after a month the Throwing out usual error message from non-mfi certified cables: “This cable is not certified and will not work reliably with this iPhone".

For this reason, my tip to avoid trouble: Use cables from well-known manufacturers. I'll tell you some of them below, all of which are recommendable and well-priced.

The test candidates: Lightning cables from Apple to Syncwire

As mentioned, seven Lightning cables with mfi certification were examined carefully in the test. The exact product name can be found here in the following list. Please note that the prices can fluctuate and the prices mentioned here are from March 4.3.2016th, XNUMX:

  • Apple Lossless Audio CODEC (ALAC), - Lightning to USB cable
    Length: 1 m; Color white
    Price: approx. 20 EUR (reference: Apple Store)
  • Amazon - AmazonBasics Connection cable Lightning to USB
    Length: 90 cm; Colors: white, black
    Price: approx. 8 EUR (purchase: Amazon)
  • Syncwire - Charging cable Lightning to USB cable nylon
    Length: 1 m; Colors: space gray, rose gold
    Special feature: lifetime guarantee
    Price: approx. 8 EUR (reference: Amazon)
  • rampow - Rampow Nylon Lightning to USB
    Length: 1 m; Colors: space gray, rose gold
    Special feature: lifetime guarantee
    Price: approx. 8 EUR (reference: Amazon)
  • Anchor - Lightning to USB cable braided with nylon
    Length: 0,9 m; Color: white, black, gray, pink, gold, silver
    Special feature: Velcro tape on the cable (as a cable tie)
    Price: approx. 8 EUR (reference: Amazon)
  • StarTech - USBLT1MBL Lightning USB cable
    Length: 1 m; Colors: blue, yellow, green, red, black (with angled plug), white
    Price: approx. 22 EUR (reference: Amazon)
  • Just Mobile - AluCable Duo
    Length: 1,5 m; Color: Black
    Special feature: with integrated Micro-USB-Plug
    Price: approx. 24 EUR (reference: Amazon)

Important properties - one should pay attention to this with the cables

The testers know exactly what to look out for when it comes to charging cables. I assume that the daily use of your own iOS devices has sensitized you a bit. :)

On the one hand, the flexibility of the cables is important so that they are not unwieldy like "wire". A good cable should also resolve kinks and tangles almost automatically during use. A nylon sheath is also advantageous to protect them from cable breaks (the most common "cause of death" with original Apple cables!).

The last - but also very important - aspect is the thickness of the Lightning connector: if you use a case, you should use a cable that does not have a Lightning connector that "bulks too much", otherwise you will get the cable not past the case into the Lightning socket.

Conclusion in the Lightning cable test: The test winners

In principle, the testers highlighted two cables as “test winners” that they found particularly good. I can only agree with their opinion, because coincidentally I also use both of the cables mentioned and find them to be of very high quality and - especially the second one! - very convenient. Here are the two candidates in detail:

The Anker nylon Lightning USB cable

In terms of the materials, the Anker cable impresses with aluminum and a sheath made of coarse-meshed nylon. This makes the Kabekl look very valuable (and I'm sure it is - the usual Anker quality). Due to the flexibility and the jacket, it does not tend to get tangled like the original Apple cable. The Lightning connector is very small, but Anker notes that you can't use the "Lifeproof iPhone 6 case” can use – all other cases should be compatible according to Anker.

Anker iPhone charging cable in rose gold
The manufacturer Anker also offers its high-quality iPhone charging cables in rose gold, so that they match the color of the trend – I personally like timeless “space grey”. :)

MacLife's testers also point out that the Anker cable is slightly less "tight" than the Apple cable. Some customers also gave a bad review as the cable would be so loose that it would lose contact with the slightest movement. In my experience, this is more due to the “worn out” Lightning socket on the iPhone, because I had the same problem and even the anchor cable. However, after my iPhone was recently completely replaced due to a defective battery, the Lightning cable is also "fixed" again and free of loose contacts!

At just under 8 EUR, the Anker cable is very well priced. And I have already praised the good and accommodating support from Anker several times. For this reason, I would see the cable as the test winner in the "price-performance" category.

If you want to buy it, you will find it here at Amazon.

The Just Mobile AluCable Duo - Lightning and micro USB cable in one

Just Mobile AluCable Duo - the most practical Lightning cable in the test
Just Mobile AluCable Duo - thanks to the micro USB to Lightning adapter, the most practical (unfortunately also the most expensive) Lightning cable in the test.

In terms of price, of course, significantly more expensive (approx. 24 EUR), but equipped with a special extra, the Lightning cable from Just Mobile is my recommendation (and also the test winner of the MacLife authors). It has a micro-USB plug at one end to which a mini-adapter from micro-USB to Lightning is attached. This means that you can use this charging cable to charge your Kindle, power banks, many Bluetooth headphones and a few other accessories - without having to pack an additional cable.

I've been using the cable on the bedside table for a few weeks, because that's where my Kindle is (for the bedtime stories). And if I notice again shortly before nodding off that the battery is almost empty, I can easily charge the Kindle. The fact that the adapter is firmly attached to the cable is also a very wise decision, because this way you always have it at hand and cannot lose it.

But the Just Mobile cable is also processed to a very high quality. It doesn't have a nylon braid as a sheath, but the cable is still very flexible. Of all test candidates, the Lightning connector sits best in the iPhone / iPad - but the connector also has the largest dimensions. So you should see whether it should be used with a case and, if necessary, check whether the recess in the case is big enough for the Lightning connector.

Despite the high price of EUR 24, the Just Mobile cable is my personal test winner in the "Practice" category and is highly recommended for people who also want to charge micro-USB devices.

If you want to buy the Just Mobile AluCable Duo, you will find it here at Amazon.

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