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Lifewire / Jason Schneider
Great color options
Overly simplistic package
AmazonBasics’s budget Lightning cable is a great choice for those looking to save on their charger as long as you keep your expectations modest.
The AmazonBasics Apple-certified Lightning cable is about as basic as third-party Lightning cables get. We tested a white cable in our day-to-day, and found it nearly the same as Apple’s official cable. There were some minor differences, both cosmetically and physically, but we’ll get to that in respective sections. At the end of the day, the reason you’ll go for the AmazonBasics cable is if you’re looking to save a few bucks over the proprietary options without sacrificing any performance.
The design of the AmazonBasics cables varies depending on which option you choose. They actually have a lot of different versions, included braided cables, the standard thick rubber unit we tested, and even some with a few visual extras.
The cable did feel solid, and we saw little-to-no differences from when we unboxed it and after a week of use.
This version is about the most basic you can get, with a smooth rubber covering most of its length, with a hard rounded plastic leading up to each connector. It’s actually not that different from the official Apple cable in most of its design accents. The USB logo on the USB-A end is just a little bit bigger and more noticeable. You can buy this particular Lightning cable in white, which we tested (it’s slightly less pristine than the official Apple white), black, royal blue, red, and a nice medium gray. This variation in color gives you a nice way to customize your cable to your style—something you can’t normally with Lightning cables.
Because this cable is designed and built out of the standard layer of rubber, you won’t get any levels of unusually high strength, like you’d get from the other third-party cables that promise “unbreakable” status. The texture of the rubber is a little smoother and not quite as grippy as you’ll find on some cables. In our opinion, this makes it a better cable, as it doesn’t get as easily tangled. It’s a little bit more rigid, which means you can’t coil it up as nicely as a softer cable, but it should withstand more abuse.
Amazon claims you can bend the ends of the cable up to 95 degrees up to 4,000 times. These sorts of numbers are important, but they should be taken with a grain of salt, as they are usually done in lab scenarios. In our testing, the cable felt solid, and we saw little-to-no differences from when we unboxed it and after a week of use.
In our opinion, this makes it a better cable, as it doesn’t get as easily tangled. It’s a little bit more rigid, which means you can’t coil it up as nicely as a softer cable, but it should withstand a bit more abuse.
This category isn’t entirely a fair review point for a cable alone. Charging speeds come from the wattage of the brick you use more than the cable. Of course, if the cable isn’t built to spec, you’ll get some finicky connectivity. That isn’t the case for the AmazonBasics cables. They’ve taken the time to secure MFi, official Apple certification, which is really the one most important step a third-party cable can make. We found that this one worked like a charm, and it gave us a steady, stable charge, with no dropouts, and not finicky issues. The compatibility lets the cable work with every modern iPhone, from when Apple released the Lightning protocol all the way through to the iPhone XS series. It’s a solid cable where connectivity is concerned.
AmazonBasics has taken the time to secure MFi, official Apple certification, which is really the one most important step a third-party cable can make.
As with most of the AmazonBasics products, you open the box and you have little else outside the product itself. The cardboard box is really all there is outside the cable itself. You don’t get the cases or the cable ties you’ll find in the flashier cables, but you will get all the core functions you might ask for. At 6 feet long, you get a nice length—one that will easily stretch from the wall to your bedside, but not so excessive you’ll trip over, as with 10 or 12-foot cables. It’s a barebones product with solid reliability.
If you’re in the market for an AmazonBasics cable, chances are you know you’re in the bargain department. The AmazonBasics cable comes in at only $8 MSRP, half the price of the official Apple cable, and a few bucks less than most of the other cables in the category. What you’re really buying here is decent durability and a nice length. It’s supremely affordable, and we definitely count price as a plus here.
AmazonBasics Double Braided: If you’d prefer a less conventional cable, one that doesn’t have the smooth texture, but if you want better durability and less risk of tangling, this cable is a good bet. Just keep in mind it’ll cost you a little bit more.
Apple (official): As mentioned, this is double the price, shorter, and has a softer, more premium-feeling rubber. We wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re keen on getting the peace of mind of an official Apple product.
Anker PowerLine+: For right around the same price as an official Apple cable, you can get Anker’s top-of-the-line cable, that comes with a carrying pouch and impressive durability.
Affordable and capable alternative to costly cables.
The AmazonBasics Lighting cable is a solid option for the budget conscious. You get all the benefits of an official, Apple-manufactured cable for a fraction of the price. Plus, you can get it in a few different colors, varying lengths, and you can even order in bulk for a better deal.