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Ultimate test shows Apple charging cables are actually better than Belkin, Anker, and more

Published Jan 11th, 2024 10:22AM EST
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Port
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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You probably had to buy a new iPhone Lightning cable from Apple sometime in your life because the one in the iPhone’s box broke. Also, you might have the feeling that Apple’s (Lightning) cables don’t last that long.

I always had this feeling, even though I kept buying them. But Consumer Reports did some empirical testing at the end of 2023, and after testing cables from Apple, Samsung, Belkin, Anker, and others, it had an interesting finding.

According to the publication, it found two clear champs: one priced at $29 and the other at $6.55. Quite a difference, right?

CR did two tests: The Bend Test and the Twist Test. In the first one, all the cables were bent on one end at a 90-degree angle until it surrendered its power. On the other one, the rig twisted each cord repeatedly while it powered a makeup mirror illuminated by LED lights.

After that, the publication discovered that Apple’s iPhone Lightning cable, which cost $29 (the test was made with the 2-meter version), lasted longer. In contrast, the Amazon Basics USB-C cable, costing $6.55, was as good as Apple.

“The Amazon Basics cable was outstanding in our bend test, lasting the equivalent of six years without breaking,” José Amézquita, a project test leader for CR’s Rapid Response team, stated. “The Apple cord was the priciest on our list, but given its performance, it’s worth the extra money.”

That said, all cables tested exceed the 1.5-year threshold. Anker and Belkin’s exceeded 5,000 bends, which puts them close to three years of use.

Should you keep buying Apple’s iPhone cables?

Apple's iPhone Lightning cable against other brandsImage source: Consumer Reports

Probably, yes. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider Anker, Belkin, Samsung, and even Amazon’s super cheap cable. They’re all good, but you should avoid a few of them, such as Amazon Basics USB-A to Lightning, Onn’s USB-A to Lightning, Samsung’s USB-A to USB-C, and Bytech USB-A to USB-C.

Despite that, Apple had the best Lightning cable, and other brands have great USB-A to USB-C cables. Interestingly, Consumer Reports didn’t test Apple’s USB-C to USB-C cable, nor the similar ones from the other brands.

That said, if you enjoy third-party cables from these premium brands, you shouldn’t worry much, but at least we all know that Apple’s iPhone cables can actually hold up a lot.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.