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 cables selected that are also mfi certified are. The abbreviation "mfi" stands for "made for iPhone" - that is, 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 both cables for under 5 EUR and "original Apple charging cables" for under 10 EUR are available here. I would strongly advise against all these offers. I've already 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. It can also happen that such cables charge more slowly than mfi-certified cables.

And the alleged "original Apple Lightning cables" for 10 EUR can also be forgotten. There is a high degree of certainty that this is a product counterfeit, because the Apple charging cables cost 20 EUR - anything below that should make you puzzled. And in the event that you (from my point of view despite better and cheaper alternatives) want an original cable from Apple: Prefer to buy it directly in the Apple Store, because there you get 100% original goods.

On Amazon, even the expensive "Apple dealers" have bad reviews of the original cables, but after a month the Eject the 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 - 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 connector
    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 twists almost automatically during use. Sheathing with nylon is also advantageous in order to protect you from cable breakage (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 cover, you should use a cable that does not have a Lightning connector that is too "thick", otherwise you will get the cable not past the cover into the Lightning socket.

Conclusion in the Lightning cable test: The test winners

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

The Anker nylon Lightning USB cable

In terms of materials, the anchor cable with aluminum and a sheath made of coarse-meshed nylon is impressive. This makes the Kabekl look very valuable (and I'm sure it is - the usual Anker quality). Thanks to its flexibility and sheathing, it does not tend to get tangled like the original Apple cable. The Lightning plug is very small, but Anker still points out that the charging cable cannot be connected to the "Lifeproof iPhone 6 case"- 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 go well with the trend color - I personally like timeless "space gray". :)

The MacLife testers also point out that the anchor cable is slightly less "stuck" than the Apple cable. Some customers have also given a bad rating because the cable would get stuck so loosely that it would lose contact with the slightest movement. In my experience, this is more due to the "worn out" Lightning socket of the iPhone, because I had the same problem and even the anchor cable. But after my iPhone was completely replaced recently due to a defective battery, the Lightning cable is again "solid" and free of loose contacts!

At just under 8 EUR, the anchor cable is very well placed in terms of price. 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.

The Just Mobile cable is - despite the high price of EUR 24 - my personal test winner in the "Practice" category and absolutely recommendable 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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