Of the three cables, Apple’s is going to be most familiar to anyone who’s previously used the company’s standard Lightning to USB Cable. It’s exactly the same in every way, except for its length. The cable gauge, sheathes around the plugs, and white coloration are all identical. We measured it at 20” from end to end, or just under half the length of the longer version.
As we said in our review of the first batch of Lightning cables, it’s not so simple to rate cables compared to other accessories—extra cords are a mandatory cost for most users, even if there is nothing “great” about them. Although we can’t say we’re surprised to see Apple charging the exact same amount for a shorter cable, it strikes us as a poor value proposition. As such, the Lightning to USB Cable (0.5 m) earns a limited recommendation: it might be convenient to have less cord bunched up in certain circumstances, but is limiting otherwise. Amazon’s cable, on the other hand, is the best Lightning value we’ve yet covered. While it’s not fancy, it does the same basic job at a better price than Apple’s cable, has a tiny bit of extra length on its side, and merits a strong general recommendation. Finally, there’s Griffin’s super-long cable, which earns a general recommendation. While most people will never need such a long cord, the price makes sense in the current scale, and it will be useful to a certain group. The $30 asking price is reasonable given the quality of this Lightning cable, which while not cheap, is less expensive per foot than any of the competing Lightning to USB options we’ve tested.
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