Picture of front of original package for the Belkin Lightning Sync Charge Cable.

Apple Lightning Cable Replacement by Belkin, Review




This Belkin Apple lightning cable replacement for charge & sync (part number 8830bt15381 Rev B01 ) for Apple devices, at just several dollars per cord online is a steal. It’s among the cheapest cables we’ve bought. Yet this lightning cable carries the Belkin name brand, which means high quality. Yet this cable still charges even the biggest iPads, whereas many cheaper cables will not. The construction here with the thicker cabling make this charger cable quite the rugged patch cord. Though not exactly a “Genuine Apple Cable,” Belkin cables like this one are Apple-equivalent units. In fact, they function as well as Apple cords in terms of durability and ease of use. They perform better than Apple in terms of lower cost per cable. Of the cords we’ve examined, this Belkin cord works as hoped.




Advantages, Benefits, and Features of this Apple Lightning Cable Replacement by Belkin 

Reasonably Affordable

Much less costly than a genuine Apple data cable. This Apple lightning cable replacement by Belkin is way cheaper than a stock iPhone sync charge cord. But it is more expensive than the absolute cheapest versions.  So this is sort of a middle-of-the-road lightning cable.

Thicker Cable

This Apple lightning cable replacement is thicker than the cord that comes with the stock iPad Air, though not as thick as the Axcel Apple Lightning Cable we reviewed some time ago. So we see increased durability. And, though thicker, the wire remains flexible. It’s almost as rubbery as our genuine Apple charge cable.

Fits Any Universal USB Charger

Since it has a USB-D port, it fits into most universal USB chargers to charge your Apple devices.

Strain Relief Provided

These Belkin lightning cables include strain relief, sort of, at each end. Some end-wire protection is better than none. So it’s nice that Belkin includes this. But it really needs more flexibility.

Larger Plug Body

Though the lightning connector itself is rather small, and sometimes gives us fits when trying to grasp it on the stock Apple cables, this Belkin lightning USB cable had a fatter, longer body, that is a bit easier to grasp, insert, and remove.

Charges Most Lightning Devices

Belkin makes this cable for most any mobile lightning device. These include iPod, later iPads, iPhone 5 and up, iPod Touch, and iPod Nano 7th Generation. We have seen issues with devices failing to charge, even though they say that they are charging. But we saw this only on the bigger Apple products like the iPad Air units. However, this cable charges our iPad Air well, always.

Good Connections

Gold-plated contact pins on both the lightning connector and USB D connector, enable maximum charging current and data transfers.

About as Easy as Apple’s Docking Plugs to Put In and Take Out

When we used Apple’s stock lightning cables, we like the old dock plug better. These new stock cables had a too-small connector body that made them hard to grab. So we preferred the older 30-pin dock connector to the newer lightning one.

However, with this Apple lightning cable replacement, Belkin has devised, an easier-to-work version of the lightning plug. This plug changed us into lightning fans! Indeed, we now prefer lightning to the old dock plug. The plugs on this lightning replacement cable need about the same small effort as the dock plugs. Plus, aiming them at the ports is faster and simpler than with the Apple stock lightning cords. Why?  Because lightning cords plug in either way, whereas the docking plugs only go in one way. Overall, we find them much easier to use.

High USB Current Handling

Works great in high-current iPads. No noticeably longer full charge times. Often, the longer cables slow down charging.  This one though, does not.

2-year Limited Warranty

Apple lightning cable replacement by Belkin, as originally packaged.
Apple lightning cable replacement by Belkin, as originally packaged.




Concerns, Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Limitations of this Apple Lightning Cable Replacement

Not Full USB Charging Support

Will not charge micro-USB devices. While you can buy a lighting-to-micro-USB changer to fill that need, we say DON’T!  True. This cable does not do that right out of the box. But don’t try to make it fit where it won’t. If you must use a lightning cable, buy one with the ends you need already built in. To that end, we suggest a USB-D to micro USB cable. You can get those cords for far less than cords with lightning plugs. Don’t use lightning to USB changers. Too many problems.

Strain Relief Too Hard

The strain relief at both ends of this Apple lightning cable replacement by Belkin is not flexible enough. Appears that they built it from the same hard plastic as the plug body. So, we don’t know how useful this feature will be. It may not protect the cable from fraying due to lots of bending at the plug end. But, we hope it works well.

These may just be a part of the plug bodies, not to strain-relieve. So, definite reinforced yet flexible strain relief would be a great improvement.

Contains Delicate Electronics

Lightning cables have some internal circuits. These systems talk to devices when connected. These devices “authenticate” the cable. This must happen before lightning devices allow data exchange and charging through the cable.

But, the built-in chip in this Apple lightning cable replacement by Belkin, might make the cable more prone to failure.

So, cords like this one appear “fragile.” As such, treat them as you would any other piece of delicate electronics. Avoid static charges, bright sunlight, wet places, Etc. We’ll note here any such failures in this cable we see, as ours ages.

Single Device Charging Only

Can charge only one device per cable. Other cables have multiple charge plugs, both USB and lightning ports. But no big deal if all you have is a single Apple phone or tablet.

 

Picture of the Apple lightning cable replacement by Belkin, showing the back of the original carton..
Apple lightning cable replacement by Belkin, showing the back of the original carton.

Our Rating

This Apple lightning cable replacement by Belkin passes by the stock Apple cables. In terms of how easy it is to find, lower price, and generally great build. This cable fits our bill well. Though we find tablets that this cable does not charge, the cheaper price well offsets these very occasional problems. It charges all our devices. So finding this cord on eBay pleased us a lot. Now that USB lightening cables have grown more popular, Belkin cables like this are easier to find and cheaper to buy. Thus we’d rate this lightning cable at 94 out of 100.




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References

Revision History

2018-03-13: First published.