Most Lightning cables look the same, sometimes with varying colors, but what’s inside can vary widely.
The materials used in the Lightning cables can affect everything from long-term durability to charging speed.
Wirecutter recently measured the charging speed of nearly 50 Lightning cables and then sent the fastest 11 cables to an electrical engineer for teardown analysis and found that the three-foot long Anker Lightning to USB Cable, which starts at $5.99, is the one to buy.
Anker Lightning to USB Cables are Apple MFi Certified, so they feature complete charge and sync compatibility with iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5s, 5c, 5, iPad Air, Air 2, iPad mini, mini 2, mini 3, iPad (4th generation), iPod nano (7th generation), and iPod touch (5th generation).
The cables sport a compact (0.34in × 0.22in / 8.6mm × 5.6mm), heat-resistant Lightning connector that fits into virtually all external case cutouts. Anker cables also come with a long 18-month warranty.
Wirecutter reports, “The Anker stands out among the competition thanks to solid build quality inside and out, a Lightning-connector plug that works with almost any case, and a price tag that’s less than half of what you’ll pay for one of Apple’s cables.”
MacDailyNews Take: Interestingly, the Apple MFi Certified Anker cables are the exact same make of Lightning to USB cables we use when we’re not using Apple’s.
We also use the shorter Anker 12-inch Lightning to USB cables in conjunction with Anker PowerPort 4 USB Wall Chargers featuring 4 ports with a with foldable plug ($19.99) when on the road. These are smart chargers that provide the fastest possible charge for iPads and iPhones no matter which of the four ports you use. Each wall outlet spouts 4 Lightning cables for your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPod touch devices. It’s perfect. Nothing goes uncharged!