The Best Short iPhone Cable: Anker iPhone Cable Review

An increasing range of Apple devices now come equipped with USB-C or wireless charging capabilities. However, a significant portion of devices, such as iPhones, AirPods, Magic Keyboards, and others, still rely on Apple’s exclusive Lightning port. The challenge lies in the reputation of Apple’s Lightning Short iPhone Cables, known for their fragility and relatively higher cost compared to many third-party alternatives. Even some third-party cables that Apple has certified to perform equally well are available at a more affordable price. Whether you’re dissatisfied with the cable that accompanied your Apple device or simply seeking a spare, we’ve conducted extensive testing on numerous Lightning cables to identify the top choices for various requirements.

The best Short iPhone Cable for USB-C ports: Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable (10 feet)

The Best Short iPhone Cable: Anker iPhone Cable Review

Alternate Length Options: 3 feet, 6 feet

Recommended for: Individuals seeking a lengthy and robust cable for efficiently charging their iPhone and other Lightning-compatible devices at maximum speeds.

Why it’s exceptional: The Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable (10 feet) stands out primarily due to its capability to support the swiftest charging rates feasible. When combined with a USB-C port outputting a minimum of 18 watts of power—typical in many favored laptops, power banks, and wall chargers—the PowerLine II outperforms a USB-A-to-Lightning cable by charging an iPhone up to three times faster.

When coupled with a sufficiently potent wall charger, this cable can elevate the charge of an iPhone 8 or newer model from complete depletion to 50% within half an hour. In contrast, using Apple’s standard cable and charger, the charge only reaches 17% in the same duration (based on our tests conducted with an iPhone XR). Although charging speeds can fluctuate, this approximation translates to a complete phone recharge within an hour, in contrast to the standard three hours.

This cable bears the MFi certification, a confirmation from Apple that it performs optimally concerning charging and data transfer with their Lightning-powered devices. In contrast, Lightning cables lacking this certification, such as those found at gas stations, often come at a marginal price difference but pose the risk of slower charging or even damage to your devices.

The PowerLine II features a rubber casing that is both sleek and slip-resistant. Its durability was evident during our rigorous daily usage tests, lasting well over a year without signs of wear and tear. The Short iPhone Cable’s connectors—the components linking the metal plugs to the cable’s body—are notably robust and comfortable to grip compared to alternatives.

Constructed from a single piece of matte-textured rubber, these connectors offer ample space for a secure hold when inserting or removing plugs, a crucial factor in preventing fraying and breakage. When we connected both ends of the cable to various devices, we observed minimal movement, ensuring a stable connection for both charging and data transfers.

An additional yet notably valuable feature of this cable is the included hook-and-loop tie. This tie is convenient and user-friendly, effectively preventing the cable from tangling or unwinding in your bag or becoming a mess on your desk.

Distinguished from the majority of Lightning cables, this particular cable boasts a luxurious 10-foot length. If you frequently find yourself charging your phone at a distance from an outlet—like when lounging in bed, relaxing on the sofa, or waiting at the airport—the extended length proves to be a game-changing asset.

For those who prefer a shorter cable, the 3-foot version offers a slim and compact design, easily coiling up for pocket or purse storage. Similarly, the 6-foot option is well-suited for carrying in a backpack or briefcase, or for maintaining a stationary presence in a desktop or bedside charging arrangement.

All three variations are available in black or white (with the 6-foot version offering an additional dark green option), and they are supported by Anker’s lifetime warranty. It’s important to note that, at the time of writing, the 3-foot and 6-foot cables are priced lower than their Apple counterparts, especially since Apple does not produce a 10-foot Lightning cable.

Minor drawbacks, although not deal-breakers: Our only critique is that the Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable is slightly bulkier than some other options we tested, including Apple’s Lightning cables. Nevertheless, given that it remains one of the more compact choices and excels in all other aspects, the additional size is tolerable.

Also consider: Nomad USB-C to Lightning Cable with Kevlar (10 feet)

Another available length: 5 feet

Recommended for: Individuals seeking a cable with remarkable length, top-speed charging for Lightning-powered devices, and enhanced ruggedness compared to the Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable.

Why it’s exceptional: Similar to our preferred Lightning cable for USB-C ports, the Nomad USB-C to Lightning Cable with Kevlar (10 feet) excels in swiftly charging iPhones, AirPods, and other Lightning-powered devices when combined with an 18 W USB-C wall charger. Holding an MFi certification, this cable’s impressive 10-foot length allows it to easily span across most couches.

While we usually don’t advocate splurging on fabric casing, the Nomad cable boasts the sturdiest exterior among all cables we’ve encountered. Constructed from a thick, double-braided Kevlar material, it demonstrates reduced susceptibility to wear and snags in comparison to more common nylon cables. The included rubber cable tie from Nomad is also notably robust, featuring thick ridges that ensure secure coiling and storage of the cable.

The cable’s resilient plastic connectors exhibit added flexibility due to small ridges along the collar. Similar to Anker’s PowerLine II cables, the Nomad cable features metal connectors that fit snugly into most Lightning and USB-C ports.

Although Nomad’s five-year warranty doesn’t match Anker’s lifetime warranty, the coverage is substantially longer than most cables we’ve tested. It’s important to note that in most “lifetime” warranties, such as Anker’s, the term refers to the cable’s lifetime rather than a human lifespan.

Minor drawbacks, not deal-breakers: Given the Nomad cable’s extended length and robust build, it may be less compact for convenient storage in a pocket or purse compared to other cables. However, if your intention is to primarily use this cable in a stationary setup or if you have ample space in your bag, this shouldn’t pose a major inconvenience. While the cable boasts a sleek appearance, the tactical-gear aesthetic might not appeal to everyone, and it’s only available in black. Furthermore, it comes at a higher cost than any other Lightning cable we’ve tested. Nevertheless, if you’re seeking unmatched charging speeds, length, and durability, this cable proves to be a valuable investment.

Also consider: Anker USB-C to 90 Degree Lightning Short iPhone Cable (6 feet)

The Best Short iPhone Cable: Anker iPhone Cable Review

Another available length: 3 feet

Recommended for: Individuals seeking a Lightning Short iPhone Cable featuring a 90-degree plug, designed to alleviate strain on the cable housing while propping up an iPhone—ideal for activities like movie watching or video chats. Additionally, it offers a more streamlined appearance at the plug-to-port junction.

Why this Short iPhone Cable exceptional: This cable, akin to our preferred Lightning cable for USB-C ports, is MFi-c rtified and supports up to 18 W of power when paired with the appropriate charger, ensuring optimal charging speeds for your Lightning-powered devices. Available in black or white, it includes a convenient hook-and-loop cable tie to loosely coil the cable in a bag or drawer. The connectors’ housings are spacious, boasting smoothly rounded edges and constructed from plastic with subtle ridges for enhanced grip during insertion or removal. The cable’s body is encased in a slim, flexible rubber sheath. Notably, unlike other 90-degree cables we tested, this one is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Minor drawbacks, but not deal-breakers: It’s worth noting that this cable isn’t as lengthy as some of our other recommendations. However, it’s important to mention that during our testing, we didn’t assess any cables with a 90-degree plug that exceeded 6 feet in length.

Also consider: Anker PowerLine III USB-C to Lightning Short iPhone Cable Cable (1 foot)

The Best Short iPhone Cable: Anker iPhone Cable Review

Other available lengths: 3 feet, 6 feet

Recommended for: Individuals seeking a short cable to connect two compact devices—one equipped with a USB-C port and the other with a Lightning port—that are within a distance of less than a foot from each other.

Why it’s exceptional: Holding an MFi certification, this cable ensures equivalent performance to Apple-branded cables, further supported by Anker’s lifetime warranty. When used with a sufficiently potent charger, it achieves top-speed charging for Lightning-powered devices, supporting up to 18 W of power. The cable’s slim and flexible protective sheath encases its internal components, while its connectors boast rounded edges and shallow ridges, providing an additional grip-friendly texture. Sturdily constructed, it includes the same hook-and-loop cable tie we value in our other recommendations, enabling neat storage in a coiled loop. Available in black and white color options.

Minor drawbacks, not deal-breakers: It’s worth noting that this cable is slightly longer than ideal for this specific category. However, it’s essential to consider that very few Lightning Short iPhone Cables that fulfill our other criteria are available in lengths under a foot. If maximum charging speeds aren’t an absolute necessity, we also have a 4-inch Lightning cable recommendation for USB-A ports.

Also consider: Nomad USB-A to Lightning Short iPhone Cable: Cable with Kevlar (10 feet)

The Best Short iPhone Cable: Anker iPhone Cable Review

Other available lengths: 5 feet

Recommended for: Individuals seeking a cable of substantial length and enhanced ruggedness compared to the Anker PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable.

Why it’s exceptional: Just like our favored Lightning cable for USB-A ports, the Nomad USB-A to Lightning Cable with Kevlar (10 feet) holds an MFi certification. Boasting a 10-foot length, it’s capable of spanning the expanse of a couch, a king-size bed, or even a smaller room. Its exterior features the same durable thick, double-braided Kevlar material as the other recommended Nomad cable. It includes a rubber cable tie for secure coiling and storage, mirroring the features of the previously mentioned Nomad cable. The plastic connectors are both sturdy and flexible, fitting snugly into most Lightning and USB-A ports. Despite its five-year warranty being shorter than Anker’s lifetime warranty, it still exceeds the coverage offered by most cables we’ve tested.

Minor drawbacks, not deal-breakers: As with all Lightning cables for USB-A ports, this cable can’t provide the fastest possible charging. Aligning with the other Nomad cables we endorse, its thicker sheath can make it less convenient to pack in pockets or purses. It’s only available in black and possesses a distinctive aesthetic that might be a matter of personal preference. Additionally, it comes with a higher cost compared to most cables we’ve tested. However, depending on individual preferences, the cable’s 10-foot length and increased durability might outweigh these drawbacks. It’s also worth noting that the Total Phase Advanced Cable Tester identified a DC-resistance error in this cable. Nevertheless, this is a common occurrence with many cables we’ve tested, and the slight power loss indicated by the error is unlikely to be noticeable for most users.