Charging cables are essential purchases, but they’re not all one and the same. Though some manufacturers offer Lightning cables very cheaply, it’s worth being wary – a dodgy wire could potentially cause electrical damage to your device. Even if you escape damage, the general consensus is that unbranded cables are prone to charge slowly, struggle to sync properly and often barely last a month before they stop working. Apple strongly warn against the use of counterfeit or uncertified accessories.
Apple’s official Lightning cables are a solid bet, but they’re fairly pricey and pretty run-of-the-mill. Surely we can find better? We’ve taken a look at third-party cables certified with Apple’s “Made for iPhone” seal of approval, and have found three options to suit a variety of needs. Don’t forget that these are Lightning to USB cables and won’t go straight into a power socket – you’ll need to use the USB wall plug bundled with your device, or plug directly into a Mac or Windows computer.
Note: all prices are accurate at the time of publishing, but may be subject to change – so make sure to double check before buying!
Best alternative to Apple
Anker 3-foot Lightning to USB Cable (£6.99)
So you need a replacement Lightning cable, and want to grab something as close as possible to Apple’s official offering. Anker make by far the most reliable third-party budget cables, passing the all-important Made for iPhone certification tests and averaging more favorable reviews than even the official wires. These things are pretty resilient, too, able to survive thousands of bends without breaking, according to Anker. The company has more than 10 million satisfied customers for a reason – you can’t go wrong with one of these.
Best for long distance charging
Fuse Chicken Titan Lightning Cable (£24.99)
It’s not the cheapest Lightning cable in the world, but having been put through intense durability testing you can be sure this one will last a lot longer than your average cable. Made from a high-strength flexible steel, it’ll withstand assaults from kids, pets, and everyday clumsiness – and its makers are so confident in their product that it comes with a lifetime warranty! If you’re sick of broken or frayed wires, this three-foot cable could be the solution to your frustrations.
Best for convenience
Nomadclip Lightning to USB Carabiner Clip (£23.99)
A carabiner clip housing a very short Lightning to USB cable is a great way to make sure you’ve always got a charging cable handy. It can easily attach to a backpack or belt loop, or become part of your key ring so it’s always available. It’s more interesting and unusual than our other picks, and is much more convenient for travel. If you often find yourself stuck on the road without a trusty cable, or are prone to losing things which aren’t bolted to something, this could be just what you need.