iLoveHandles attracted media attention with the announcement of its Trunk Lightning Cable ($20), and after a significant lag, the company recently began shipping its product to customers. What sets this three-inch, non-licensed cable apart is that it’s supposed to be able to bend and hold its position, offering the functionality of a stand in a compact body; it’s designed to be portable, and to hold your iPhone or iPod upright when attached to a USB port. Unfortunately, our testing found serious issues with the quality of the unit, matching the experiences of many customers.
The 5/8-inch wide cable is just shy of three inches long, and the total length from end to end is a little bit less than four inches. At one end is a standard USB plug, and at the other, an obvious copy of the Lightning connector. While we don’t automatically knock products that don’t use Apple’s official plug, there are often clear quality differences in products from those that don’t; sometimes they simply look cheap.
Trunk is able to properly carry a charge, and sync data between a computer and an iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Unfortunately, we found some real problems during testing. Within seconds of using the accessory, the Lightning connector sustained damage; not only did it flex out from its base, being left wobbly, but the plug itself became bent. Clearly, that’s a big problem, but it’s actually moderate compared to some reports we’ve read from other unhappy purchasers. As for the stand functionality, it does work for iPod and iPhones, as long as the shape is bent properly. It’s far too easy to do damage to the plugs if you’re not extremely careful.
iLoveHandles had a pretty cool idea, but it’s clear that the quality of this product is not up to snuff. Products shouldn’t break from normal use, especially not the first time they’re used. The fact that functionality could also be blocked be future software doesn’t help, either. Overall, we simply can’t recommend Trunk Lightning Cable. It’s a good idea, but not a good product, earning a D+ rating.
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Compatible: iPad (4th-Gen)*, iPad mini*, iPhone 5, iPod nano 7G, iPod touch 5G