While the iPhone itself gets more and more resilient every year, the cables that come with them can feel like they’re made of paper mache. I’d say there’s good odds that you’ve replaced your phone cable at least once. You don’t want to do it again. So here’s three cables that have stood up to the rigours of daily life.
Most current Apple devices use the company's proprietary Lightning-to-USB cable that was introduced back in 2012. It’s a tiny, 8-pin data and power connector that connects your iDevices to other peripherals for charging and data transfer.
A good cable is something you never want to think about – it should just exist in your world without much thought, like vuvuzelas (see, you forgot about those) or liquid paper (people still write with pens?). But it is important to consider the options available when you replacing the Lightning-to-USB cable that came with your iDevice.
For me, I like to lay down at the end of the day when my phone’s battery is on its last legs and scroll through social media, so I need a slightly longer cable that is less prone to getting tangled in my sheets, in my pillow or around my neck. All of the cables below are MFi-certified, which means they've been given Apple's tick of approval, so you can rest easy knowing they'll work with your iPhone or iPad without issue. Here are the options that have worked well for me:
I have a fondness for Belkin’s MIXITUP series because they just do what they say they do and don’t cause any hassle. Although they come in at a slightly higher price point than some of their competitors, they are a higher quality make that has survived all sorts of mishaps – spillages, unending tangling and bending connected to my car charger and being sandwiched in a backpack between laptops, reusable coffee cups and keys.
The Kevlar conductors and nylon that encases the cable ensure high durability but it’s the way the MIXITUP is designed to withstand bending at its pressure points that gets me excited about this cable. The connection between the cable and the plug housing is generally the place where fraying occurs, but the MIXITUP can withstand being bent a full 180 degrees, apparently, more than 5000 times.
The DuraTek cables come in four different finishes (black, rose gold, gold and grey) that perfectly complement the iPhone. The slightly cheaper ‘Metallic’ version is worth looking at too, but it comes with slightly less durable cabling.
Anker might not be a cable you see too often at retail in Australia, but they are a beloved brand in the US, and rightly so. They’re wonderfully constructed cables, similar in design to the MIXITUP, using bulletproof aramid fibres and nylon to achieve great durability. I can’t understate their flexibility – the connection between plug and cable is incredibly resilient so you can yank on that thing until your heart’s content and it’ll continue to resist degradation.
The PowerLine+ also comes with a felt carry pouch that Anker touts as allowing you adjust the cable length to any situation. This is a great thing for increasing the life of your cable and keeping things neat and tidy, if you remember to use it. Honestly, it’s just another thing for me to lug around so I often forgot it even existed.
The PowerLine+ comes in both 0.8m and 1.9m. You can grab it from CableGeek, an authorised reseller in Australia. The prices are similar to those you’ll pay for the MIXITUP.
Generally speaking, the trade off with a Cygnett cable is that you’ll be able to get it at a cheaper price point for much greater lengths but the overall durability certainly doesn’t compare to the Belkin or the Anker. The Source cites the connections to both the USB and Lightning plugs as “injection moulded connectors which are designed to last” but they don’t feel quite as sturdy as their rivals.
The Source comes in five different sizes (I use the 2m cable at my bedside because it’s the perfect length for me) but take into account that longer cables tend to break easier because there’s more of them to break, right? Also, the Source only comes in two different colours - black and white. Overall, the Cygnett is a good choice, not a great one and if it’s aesthetics that concern you, rather than price, there are definitely better options.
If there’s a particular cable that’s stood the test of time for you, let us know in the comments!