I’ve mostly moved away from USB type A cables and chargers, with one notable exception: my iPhone and iPad still charge with Lightning to USB type A cables. I’ve purchased Apple’s official Lightning to USB-C cable in the past and as with the Lightning cables that come out of the box, I found its overall durability to be lacking. In the quest to provide a thin, good-looking cable, Apple sacrificed function over form and these cables are often prone to fraying.
After waiting a long time for someone to compete with Apple’s Lightning to USB-C solution, suddenly the floodgates opened and manufacturers like Belkin and Anker were allowed to produce third-party cables, which was awesome. While Belkin’s cables are about the same price as Apple’s, Anker is coming in hard at a good $10 – 15 less than the competition.
I received these cables in white, and they came coated very well with a thick, but still pliable rubber outer layer, a handy tie down (which I love because I can use them for other unruly cables I have lying around), the usual Happy/Not Happy card, and not much else. The unboxing experience was quick, to the point, and it better well be because I just want my cables, man.
I’ve owned both the Powerline and Powerline+ lines of Anker cables for multiple devices, and I’ve always found them to be extremely sturdy charging solutions. This new Lightning to USB-C cable is no slouch, and delivers the same amount of durability and flex I’ve seen in previous Powerline cables I’ve owned. Charging via USB-C now opens a ton of opportunities for me to quick-charge my phone and iPad with various chargers I own – and I’ve tested all of them in the week and a half that I’ve used this cable so far. On the docket was a PowerPort Speed PD 30, a Powerport 5+ PD, a Powercore Speed power bank, and (just for fun), an 89W Macbook Pro charger.
So how fast do these things really charge? Here’s a small comparison table with my findings. These are in no way scientific; but I attempted to charge each device via each of the chargers above from empty and collected the average. As you can see, the difference is pretty significant:
- iPhone XR via USB-A: 136 Min
- iPhone XR via USB-C: 62 Min
- iPad Pro 10.5 via USB-A: 223 Min
- iPad Pro 10.5 via USB-C: 90 Min
Because Apple caps the amount of juice that these devices suck up, all of the chargers I outlined above actually charged my gadgets at the same rate. I’ve heard rumblings that the 89W Macbook Pro charger would actually charge slower than a 30W charger, but I didn’t see a perceptible difference.
Not really a negative, but more of a preference: I wish that Anker had made a Powerline+ version of this cable. I really enjoy the ruggedized nature of those cables and they’re definitely my preferred charging cable when traveling. Still, this version of the cable will definitely work for me, as it’s sufficiently durable and a lot thicker than Apple’s cable as you can see.