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Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Genuine Apple product
Reversible port design
Delivers consistent charging
Doesn’t feel as sturdy as some rivals
Cord could be too short in some situations
The Apple Lightning to USB Cable (3-Foot) provides adequate charging length for Lightning-compatible iPhone devices, and while it’s not the cheapest option, there’s comfort in authenticity.
Maybe you lost the cord your iPhone came with or you want a backup for travel and work. The Apple Lightning to USB Cable (3-foot) option should fit the bill. It’s good to go with your Apple 5-watt wall charger or in the USB port on your MacBook or MacBook Pro for safe charging and data transferring. I used this cable in a wall charging block and with a 5-watt Apple charger over the course of four days with an iPhone X and iPhone 6S and found charging performance to be solid and daily use easy.
The Apple Lightning Cable is a bit of a puzzle. Compared to the expensive and high-end hardware of iPhones, this rubber cable is both flimsy and underwhelming. There’s a sheen to the USB connector and Lightning cable heads, but the cord itself is a dull white color that smudges almost immediately. It also isn’t thick or ultra-durable. If you’re hard on devices, you may want to exercise a bit of extra care when plugging and unplugging this cable. In the short time I used it, I didn’t notice any issues with the rubber casing breaking down, but this is an issue some customers have reported.
Since this is an accessory built specifically for Apple devices, it’s natural to expect consistent charging speeds, and this cord delivers on that. I charged my iPhone 6S four times, twice with the 5-watt wall charger, and that produced a 2.75-hour charging average from zero to 100 percent. When I used a 5-watt portable solar power bank, I saw the charging time to be a bit faster at 2.5 hours. And that’s also what I saw when I plugged this cable into one of the 5-volt/2.4-amp USB ports in the Anker PowerPort 6 wall charger. I also charged an iPhone X twice from 24 percent to 100 percent in about 2 hours using the 5-watt Apple wall charger and the Anker PowerPort 6.
It’s natural to expect consistent charging from this official accessory, and this cord delivers.
The one big drawback of the Apple Lightning to USB Cable (3 feet) is the price. At $19 (MSRP), it would be nice to have a storage pouch or some sort of velcro cord organizer. But the authenticity and compatibility are what you’re paying for. Of course, if you’re willing to pay this price for a slightly more durable cable style, that’s possible.
The one big drawback of the Apple Lightning to USB Cable (3 feet) is the price.
As far as iPhones go, using genuine accessories provides value in reliability. The Anker Powerline+ Lightning Cable offers similar assurance. It sells for about the same price ($18) but you’ll get an extra 3 feet of cord and a more durable braided nylon construction. If you prefer the smooth feel of a nylon cover over the rubber and easy-to-scuff, white Apple Lightning cord, this Anker cable is an attractive alternative. It’s supposed to last over 6,000 bends and can withstand as much as 176 pounds of tension. It’s also MFi-certified (which means it’s been authorized by Apple and made specifically for iPods, iPhones, and iPads) and comes with an 18-month warranty, which is 6 months longer than Apple’s coverage.
The real deal, but you may find a heavier-duty MFi-certified option.
You want your phone to work properly, and compromising that performance with a subpar Lightning cable isn’t worth it. In that respect, the Apple Lightning Cable (3 feet) is well worth the price, but if you’re not married to OEM accessories, more durably constructed, Apple-backed options from brands like Anker will still cost about the same without sacrificing peace of mind.