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Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Made of durable material
Compatible with wide range of Apple devices
Doesn’t tangle easily
Provides charging and syncing
Not MFi certified
No warranty coverage
The Hiway Nylon Braided Lightning Cable is an inexpensive option to the proprietary Apple Lightning cable, with a little bit of design flair and similar performance as the original cable.
If you’re an iPhone user and you want a more visually interesting and heavier-duty alternative to the traditional white Apple Lightning cable, the Hiway Nylon Braided Lightning Cable serves up strong performance and more design interest as well. Like an Apple Lightning cable, it can plug into your MacBook or Macbook Pro’s USB port, charges, and syncs data, and is widely compatible with iOS devices. I used this accessory as my primary charging cord for powering two different iPhones over a couple of days, and it was solid performer overall.
Charging cables of any kind can suffer from irritating knotting and tangling. The 6-foot braided nylon cord does a good job of fighting these issues. It’s long enough to stretch behind shelves or far-away outlets without managing to wrap around itself. There’s also a pretty substantial feel to both ends of the cable. Pulling and fitting these pieces into devices and charging ports doesn’t feel precarious or like its contributing to fraying or weakening cables, which is how proprietary Apple Lightning cables can feel over time.
In a few days with this Lightning cord, it held up to any bending and manipulation.
The manufacturer also claims that this cord is heat-resistant and has undergone other rigorous durability tests to plugs, temperature extremes, and bending. In a few days with this Lightning cord, it held up to all of my bending and manipulation. I did not treat it gingerly and it did its job.
I used this cord with a 60-watt Anker USB wall charger with individual ports that support a maximum output of 5 volts/2.4 amps. The iPhone 6S charged from fully drained to 100% at around 2.75 hours both times I charged it with the Hiway Lightning cable. That’s slower than the performance I see from the proprietary iPhone Lightning cable, which is consistently 2.5 hours.
You’re not going to get next-level charging performance, but it’s almost as good as the original.
I also tested this cable a few times with an iPhone 7 Plus, charging for 1-hour increments, and an hour of charging would consistently bring it from 10 percent to 75 percent. You’re not going to get next-level charging performance from this cable, but it will be almost as good as the original accessory.
The Hiway Nylon Braided Lightning comes in a three-pack of 6-feet cables for about $10. That’s an attractive price for three high-functioning cables. The only caveat with this bargain price, though, is that this cord is not MFi certified, which means it doesn’t have Apple’s seal of approval that it meets the brand’s compliance requirements.
If you’re fine spending $10 for cords that do seem like they play the part well but don’t offer a guarantee of reliability, then this isn’t a ridiculous sum to pay. Unfortunately, if these cables fail, there’s no warranty coverage. For $19 more you could pay for the official Apple 6-foot Lightning cable. But if you balk at that price and you’re willing to take the risk, this isn’t an expensive risk to take—depending on your point of view.
If you’d rather pay around $10 for a three-pack Lightning cable set that is MFi certified, the PCLOCS iPhone Lightning Cable comes in three different lengths: 3 feet, 6 feet, and 9 feet. For about $1.50 more than the Hiway cable, you get lifetime quality assurance. This product shares the same gold braided nylon appearance and thick copper wire construction, but you may get slightly faster charging performance since the PCLOCS cords are rated for a maximum 2.4-amp charging speed versus a maximum of 2.1-amps from the Hiway.
An affordable and attractive knock-off Lightning cable.
The Hiway Nylon Braided Lightning Cable is longer, more affordable, and more stylish than the official, standard 3-foot iPhone Lightning cable. But while it offers nearly the same charging performance and a sturdier feel, there’s no assurance that it will go the distance.