The Axcel USB Lightning Sync & Charge iPhone and iPad Cable line is certainly not the cheapest data and charging cable available. We paid nearly $22 for ours at Lowe’s, which is roughly akin to the pricing on similar Apple-manufactured lightning port cords.
But its construction, larger size of connectors, and thicker wires make this Axcel charger cable quite the rugged interface conduit between your mobile devices, computers, and wall and car chargers. Though not exactly a “Genuine Apple Cable,” these Axcel Apple-equivalent units function just as well and may even outperform Apple in terms of durability, ease of use, and slightly lower cost per copy. Of the cables we’ve tested, THIS is the best USB lightning cable we’ve found.
Axcel Lightning Cable Advantages, Benefits, and Features
Comes in Various Lengths
Available in three and six foot lengths, in white and black colors. Extra long cord in the 6-foot (1.8 meter) Axcel lightning cable. Almost 2m. In fact, the so-called 2-meter lightning cables are often a bit less than that length.
High Current Capable
Even the 6-foot cord works well in high-current USB applications (those requiring more than one amp). No noticeable increase in required times to fully charge iPhones and iPads. Often, the longer cables slow down charging. But not this Axcel lightning cable.
Thick and Heavy Construction
The Axcel lightning cable is noticeably thicker than the one that comes with the stock iPad Air USB lightning charge cable. So we predict increased durability. And, though thicker, the wire is almost as flexible as the original Apple charge cable that came with our iPad Air.
Standard USB Male Jack
Since it features a USB-D port connector, use it with most universal USB chargers to charge lightning-accepting devices.
Strain Relief Provided
Both ends have strain relief sleeves, at both ends.
Easy-to-Grasp Lightning Plug
The lightning connector is rather small. It sometimes gives us fits when trying to grasp it on the stock Apple cables. But this Axcel Electronics version features a longer and fatter body, that is much easier to grasp, insert, and pull out.
When we used Apple’s stock lightning cables, that featured too-small connector bodies, we preferred the older 30-pin dock connector to the newer lightning one. However, Axcel has devised in this product, an easier-to-work version of the lightning connector, so that now, we prefer lightning to the Apple’s nearly obsolete dock system connector. The connectors on this cable require about the same small effort as the dock connectors, and can be aimed at the mating holes with greater precision and ease than Apple stock lightning cords. The reason is likely the longer connector body featured in this cable, than what you find on current Apple cables.
Works Very Well as a Lightning Cord
This Axcel lightning cable is made specifically for and works well with most any mobile device that has the lightning connector as its USB like interface, including iPod, iPad 4th Generation, iPad Air, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPad Mini, iPod Touch 5th Generation, and iPod Nano 7th Generation.
Gold Plated Connections
Gold-plated contact pins on both the lightning and USB D plugs.
USB 2 and USB 3 standards supported.
Exceeds some of the Toughest Industry Standards
Meets or exceeds Apple’s rigorous performance standards.
Concerns, Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Limitations of this Axcel Lightning Cable
Strain Relief Too Rigid
The strain relief at the lightening connector end of this cable is not sufficiently flexible, and appears to be fabricated from nearly the same rigid plastic as the connector body. So, we’re not sure how effective this feature will be at protecting the cable from breakage due to frequent bending at the connector end. In fact, these may just be a part of the connector bodies, not intended to provide cable strain relief. Reinforced yet flexible strain relief would be an endearing improvement.
A bit costly for a simple data cable, even an iPhone charger cord. This however, may be due to Apple’s proprietary hold on the licensing fees that third manufactures like Axcel must pay, in order to build compatible cables to the Apple mobile device line.
Made in China
Contains Sensitive Electronics
Lightning cables feature some internal electronics that devices use to “authenticate” the cable before permitting data or charging to take place. This built-in chip might make the cable more susceptible to premature failures. Cables like this have a reputation for being “fragile,” and they stop working rather quickly. As such, they should be treated as you would any other piece of delicate electronics. Avoid static electricity, bright sunlight, wet environments, Etc. We’ll note any such observations here over time, as our copy of this cable ages.
Not Full USB Charging Support
Will not charge micro-USB devices, although you can purchase a lighting-to-micro-USB adapter to fill that need, if you absolutely must use a lightning cable. However, our recommendation is that you simply purchase a USB-D to micro USB cable for that purpose, as those cords can be purchased for far less than cords with lightning connectors.
Only Certain Stores Sell This
Axcel USB to lightning cables are sold primarily at Lowe’s. We’ve not found them elsewhere as of this writing, so they can be hard to procure if you don’t happen to live close to a Lowe’s store.
Single Device Charging
Can charge only one device per cable. Other cables feature multiple charge ports, both USB and lightning ports. But no biggie if all you have is a single Apple phone or tablet.
Our Rating for this Axcel Lightning Cable for iPhone
This Axcel USB Cable for Apple mobile players appears to go beyond the stock Apple cables in terms of ease of finding it, as well as overall quality. Though a bit pricey for a data patch cord, this product is by no means OVER-priced. We were pleased to find it at Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers here around Pennsylvania. Now that the lightening interface has grown sufficiently in popularity since its release in 2012, cables like this one are becoming easier and easier to locate. Hopefully, Apple will ease up on its licensing fees for third-party product builders, and these cables will fall in cost yet remain in the upper crust of good construction.
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References for this Axcel Lightning Cable
- Axcel Electronics America Web Site
- Gripes about Apple LIghtning To USB Cables
- What is the Lightning Connector? on Wikipedia
- Where to Buy Axcel USB to Lightning Cables
- 2019-07-07: Added more tags.
- 2019-03-19: Added key phrase targeting and more subheadings.
- 2018-02-26: Updated tags list and added a Related Posts section.
- 2015-12-01: Added appropriate tags.
- 2015-09-19: Added more tags for USB data, sync, charge, and lightning cables.
- 2014-12-15: Tweaked content and added whitespace for improved clarity.
- 2014-10-28: Originally published.