Scosche’s flatOUT LED ($20) is the second recent Lightning cable we’ve seen that uses a built-in LED to inform users if a iOS device is charging or fully charged. Unlike Just Mobile’s AluCable LED, which contains a small LED on the USB plug of the cable, flatOUT LED’s indicator is next to the Lightning plug side of the cable. A flat, tangle-free cable is another key part of the 3-foot flatOUT LED’s design.
Our testing of Just Mobile’s AluCable LED revealed something odd — the cable denoted a full charge of an iPhone 6 Plus a bit early, at 97 percent. Scosche’s flatOUT LED showed us the same thing, at the same percentage. Perhaps it’s something related to the iPhone 6 Plus, but it’s still a strange quirk that makes one wonder what the point of these cables is. However, the cables differed when charging an iPad mini 2. While flatOUT LED worked properly with that device, correctly switching from pulsing red to blue at a full charge, Just Mobile’s effort still had some issues. We’d be hesitant to suggest either of these cables — or any future similar cables — are truly needed, but flatOUT LED is only $1 more expensive than Apple’s own Lightning cable, which may make it worth a look.