To be honest, Lightning cables can be really handy. The problem is, they’re so small and fragile, only the most extreme of situations can actually find a use for them. Because of this, most people don’t bother using them. That’s why we’re going to show you the best Lightning cables in the market. These cables are made from high quality material, so they’re durable and not prone to damage. They also have high-quality connectors, so they don’t get damaged easily. The best part, however, is that these cables have a really long life, so they’re not going to break every time you use them.
You’ll notice that there’s a huge amount of cables on the market… But while some are great, some are terrible. This post will show you the best and worst of the best.
– You’re probably not thinking about the cable you use to charge your iPhone. But the right charging cable can charge your phone faster, is hard-wearing, and fits easily into your storage bag without getting tangled. Over the past few weeks CNN Underscored counted 15 of the most popular Lightning cables to help you get rid of that old, frayed, incendiary cable in your pocket and buy a charger that will stand the test of time – and only one Lightning cable we tested stood out. Anker’s Powerline II cable couldn’t be better. It’s very affordable, charges quickly, and is more durable than Apple’s cables. Moreover, there is a lifetime warranty in case of problems. Whitson Gordon/CNN The Anker Powerline II is a basic cable that does all the work well, without the bells and whistles that drive up the price. The 2 metre cable is available in three colours: white, green and black – as well as a 3 metre version which is available in white and black. The Powerline II uses the same rubber shielding as most other cables, though slightly thicker than Apple’s offering, with stronger connections. We tested the strength of the cables by pulling hard on them and bending them a bit, and found that they held up well over time, whereas other cables can break and crack at the ends. It’s flexible enough to easily wrap around on a drum kit, but stiff enough that it doesn’t crumble and tangle as easily as some thinner cables, and it even comes with a small Velcro cable tie. The Lightning end is small enough to fit into the hole of every phone holder we’ve tried, and both ends fit perfectly into their respective feet without wobbling or coming loose in the holder. More importantly, the Powerline II is also MFi certified, meaning it has passed Apple’s quality tests for iPhones, iPads, AirPods and other products. This is important because cables that are not certified by Apple may not work as well and may even damage your device. So it’s much better to buy cables from a reputable, MFi-certified company than to buy cables online from the drugstore. Oh, and we’ve owned several copies of this particular Powerline II cable over the years, so we can speak personally about its quality and durability. Anker also offers a USB-A version, which we tested. If you don’t have USB-C chargers, this would be a good alternative. However, we recommend the USB-C cable to most people. Not only is USB-C the future – Apple and many PC manufacturers have introduced it exclusively for their laptops – but it also charges your phone faster than USB-A. With a compatible USB-C power adapter, the Anker USB-C to Lightning cable charged the iPhone 8 or newer by 50 percent in about 30 minutes in our test. For more information on compatible iPhones and iPads, visit Apple’s Fast Charging page. The USB-C cable is also suitable for charging older iPhone and iPad models. While these don’t necessarily charge as fast as fast-charging devices, our tests showed that they charge slightly faster than the USB-A cable. On our old 9.7-inch iPad Pro which is not compatible with the new fast-charging standards, Anker’s USB-C cable charged the iPad up to 50 percent faster than its USB-A counterpart, in about 15 minutes. In fact, all the USB-C cables we tested were faster than their USB-A counterparts on this older iPad. So it’s worth switching to USB-C even if your device doesn’t support fast charging – after all, your next device probably will. Whitson Gordon/CNN While Anker’s cable is durable enough for average use – and comes with a lifetime warranty in case of problems – there are other, more durable cables on the market for those with more active lifestyles. Anker’s Powerline II+ line, for example, has a braided screen and more color options for a few dollars more. If you have higher durability requirements, Nomad cables are unmatched thanks to their rugged Kevlar-reinforced construction and extra-thick jackets. And if you want to solve the problem of a cable constantly falling off your desk or nightstand, Native Union is worth considering. The brand offers a unique cable with a weighted knot at the end to prevent the cable from falling off the table. Whitson Gordon/CNN Over the course of a month, we tested each of these cables with the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 Plus and 9.7-inch iPad Pro with a number of different settings. Of course, the most important thing about a charging cable is that it can charge and transfer data at a reasonable speed. So we used each cable in conjunction with a 65 watt power supply to charge our devices from discharge to 50%. We also used it to transfer a 1.5 GB video file from the computer to the device using iTunes, timing the process. Fortunately, all of our MFi-certified cables performed similarly in both scenarios: with the fast chargers, all USB-C cables we tested charged to 50 percent in about half an hour, as promised by Apple, and all USB-A cables took longer to charge to 50 percent, but within minutes. The data transfer was also the same. Each cable took about the same time to transfer data to the iPhone and iPad. This allowed us to keep charging and data transfer speeds out of our evaluation, with the exception of the differences between USB-C and USB-A (USB-C was slightly faster than USB-A cables, even on our iPad Pro without fast charging). The Native Union cable was the only one that showed significantly lower charging speeds, likely due to its length, which was significantly longer than the other cables tested. So most competitors struggled with the design. Although we were unable to test each cable for months or years to determine its life expectancy, we evaluated its construction, joints and flexibility, and conducted flexural and tensile tests to find obvious weaknesses. We’ve listed the warranty life of each cable – because no matter how well made a cable is, some users will experience problems, and how a company resolves problems is just as important as how well its products are made. Whitson Gordon/CNN Nomad Lightning to USB-C ($39.95; nomadgoods.com) Although Anker offers the best value, Nomad’s USB-C cable received the highest score in our test for its superior design and durability. Shielded with a double-woven Kevlar jacket, the Nomad is thicker and stronger than any other cable we’ve tested, without sacrificing flexibility. It comes with a rubber cable tie to wrap the cable neatly, and the connectors have proven to be the strongest of all – with a five-year warranty included. If you want the best cable you can buy, the Nomad Lightning to USB-C cable – and the Lightning to USB-A version, which we also tested – is second to none. Their $40 price tag was too high for us to recommend them to anyone, and they are more suited to travelers who want luxury and durability. Belkin BoostCharge Lightning to USB-C with strap ($29.98; amazon.com) The Belkin USB-C to Lightning cable is another high-end cable option to consider. Made with technology Belkin calls DuraTek, this cable has a flexible, braided jacket and unique speckled connectors on the end. It also comes with a leather cord, but ours was already coming loose when we took it out of its new packaging, which isn’t exactly confidence inspiring. Belkin also offers a USB-A version of this cable in different lengths and colors, but we n’t test that one. Anker Powerline III Flow USB-C to Lightning ($24.99; amazon.com) Anker’s latest cable is called Powerline III Flow, which is probably due to its unmatched flexibility. Unlike the hard rubber typically found in charging cables, the Powerline III power uses an incredibly soft silica gel that bends freely like no other cable we’ve tested can. The brand also claims that, despite its flexibility, this cable is the most durable of the bunch – and in our tests it seems to have held up under normal use. It is available in 3 and 6 foot versions, and five colors are offered. Unlike other Anker cables, this cable comes with only an 18-month warranty. Our first choice, Powerline II, offers a lifetime warranty. Whitson Gordon/CNN Native Union Lightning to USB with Node ($39.99; amazon.com) Everyone knows the frustration of pulling the plug and seeing the cord from the desk fall into the abyss behind them. Native Union cables attempt to solve this problem by using a weighted knot that can be slid along the cable to hold it in place. It is incredibly practical and very stylish, thanks to the woven top that is available in different colours and patterns. There’s only one drawback: Native Union only offers these cables in 10 foot lengths, which charge our test units 5 to 10 minutes slower than the more typical 4 to 6 foot cables. However, if speed is not a major concern, a practical design may be worth the small sacrifice. There’s also a USB-C version for faster charging, but we didn’t test that one. Anker Powerline+ II Lightning cable ($20.99; amazon.com) If you like the idea of rugged braided cables but prefer a more affordable price, Anker’s Powerline+ II cable is an excellent compromise. It costs a few dollars more than the standard Powerline II cable, but for that extra price you get a braided jacket and a few extra colors to choose from – with the same excellent lifetime warranty as other Anker cables. We tested the USB-A version, but there is also a USB-C version available for faster charging. Belkin BoostCharge Lightning to USB-C ($14.99, originally $19.99; amazon.com) Belkin’s standard BoostCharge cables are similar to Anker’s Powerline II: no frills, just good cables for a good price. They use the same standard rubber jacket as other cables in this price range and the same standard connectors. Belkin’s cables seemed slightly softer than Anker’s slightly stiffer cables, but given the two-year warranty, we decided that Anker’s cables were the best buy for almost everyone. Belkin offers these cables in USB-C and USB-A variants. Apple Lightning to USB-C ($16.61, originally $19; amazon.com) Apple’s own Lightning cables are thinner and more flexible than the competition’s, and have very small plugs on the end. This seems like an advantage, but Apple’s cables also have a reputation for breaking and fraying more easily. So while both the USB-C and USB-A cables performed well in our tests, we think most people will be better off with the more durable third-party option. Mophie Fast Charge USB-C with Lightning Cable ($19.95; zagg.com) Mophie’s USB-C and USB-A cables come braided in three different lengths, but they don’t really differentiate themselves from the competition: they’re thinner than Anker’s cables, but not more flexible, and the warranty is only two years. But they performed well in our tests. So if you like design, they’re good for the job. Satechi Lightning to USB-C ($24.99; satechi.com) The Satechi cable is clearly designed to be a rugged monster, just like Nomad’s Kevlar cables. While the Satechi performed as well as the competition in terms of charging and data transfer, we found it much more robust than any other cable we tested, without the robust connectivity of the Nomad cables. It’s a good option – we just prefer the more flexible nature of the other cables we tested. Read the rest of the CNN Underscored practice test:
Frequently Asked Questions
Who makes the best lightning cable?
There are many Lightning cables out there to choose from. However, there may be a better option than the others out there. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a Lightning cable, such as color, brand, and price. Of course, you want the best deal that you can get for your money, but you also want it to work well. So, which cable gets the edge from this perspective? The best Lightning cable? We all know that Apple’s lightning can charge our devices quicker than a standard USB cord, but they are also bulkier and can scratch more easily. Are you looking for a lightning cable that works with everyday gear? If so, you’ll want to check out these options that are both affordable and durable.
What is the most durable Lightning cable?
Lightning cables are a dime a dozen these days: there are countless specks in the market with fancy names like “Apple MFi Certified” or “MFi-Certified”, some of which include a micro-USB port on one end and a Lightning port on the other. But do you know which ones are the most durable? We’ve all been there: you’re working from home and you find yourself in need of a longer Lightning cable. You’ll make a run to the store, but by the time you get back, the cable you’ve been using has already started to show signs of wear and tear.
Who makes the best iPhone charging cables?
Charging cables have been a constant concern for iPhone users, who are always looking for the best Lightning cable that will charge their phone quickly and efficiently. In the past, we recommended buying the Anker Speedport, but in the past year, this cable has been proven to be the worst of all. A new product has recently come out that many deem as the best lightning cable available today, and we even gave them a try. The cable is called the USB-C to Lightning Cable, and many of the reviewers have found it to be even faster than the previous best option. Apple and Samsung both make great iPhones and great lightning cables. But which one is best? The consensus is that Apple’s cables are the most reliable and well-made, but Apple’s official accessories can get expensive. Samsung’s cables are also reliable, but a lot less expensive. To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of the best iPhone charging cables we could find. There’s no clear winner in our list, but we tried to include the best cable for most people.
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