While most third-party Lightning cables only differentiate themselves from Apple’s in terms of color or length, Bad Elf’s Charge & Sync Cable for Lightning Connector ($30) actually brings with it a slightly different design. With a cable gauge that’s almost double that of the standard 1m Lightning to USB Cable, it still terminates in a USB plug on one side, and a Lightning connector on the other. Rather than the latter plug extending straight out, it’s angled to face backwards — just about parallel with the cable.
This is the 1-meter version of the cable, while a 2m edition is currently being tested.
The advantages to this unique design are that it will reduce strain on the cable in certain circumstances, and help with cable management. In placements where the iPhone is straight up and down, such as when being used in a windshield mount, it’ll be easier to tuck the cable behind the phone.
If the handset is in landscape orientation, the cable won’t have to bend as much as it would with a straight cable, and therefore may take less wear over time. The reinforced sheathing around the cord leading to the plug and extra thickness help make sure of this.
While this solution isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s still clever, and we give Bad Elf credit for that. It passes the most important tests Lightning cables face — it transfers power and data — and feels sturdy.