Picture of the iEdge Lightning USB Cable Glitter Series E-380.

iEdge® Lightning USB Cable Glitter Series E-380 Review

The iEdge® Glitter Series 6 Ft. Lightning USB Cable costs less than we’ve ever found for an Apple-compatible sync and charge cable.

While there’s no indication on the packaging that this accessory is MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) certified, our tests found it nonetheless, to be a highly reliable, reasonably fast charge, high-current handling cable. We paid $3.99 for ours at Gabriel Brothers, which is so much less expensive than similar Apple-manufactured lightning cords. It’s the most affordable USB 2.0 to lightning cable we’ve found to this point.

The extra couple feet of length here makes this cable lots cheaper per foot than the Apple stock sync cables. Its build, including the thicker wires, supplies this iEdge® lightning charger cable with a rugged and durable yet portable and shiny attractive interface between your mobile devices, computers, and wall and car chargers. Though not exactly a “Genuine Apple Cable,” these Apple-like cords function nearly as well, and may even outperform Apple in terms of durability, ease of use, and lower cost per copy.

Of the USB to lightning cables we’ve examined, this iEdge® sync charge cable is among the best USB lightning cables for the money; so far, the cheapest in “the best” class. Though it’s two feet longer than standard four foot lightning sync & charge cables, charging occurs roughly as quickly as with those shorter cables, and faster in some cases. All connections remain cool to barely warm to the touch, and we observed no heating in the cable itself during charging our higher current lighting devices including the iPad Air tablet. Plus, the thicker wire, while notably stiff, is still flexible enough to wrap up into a compact shape when not in use or when traveling. Our iPad Air consistently and fully charges via this cable, and we never see the dreaded, “not charging” message; unlike what happens with the cheaper, sometimes counterfit charge cables.

Picture of the iEdge Lightning USB Cable Glitter Series E-380.
iEdge Lightning USB Cable Glitter Series E-380.


Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features

Plenty of length. Extra cord in this 6-foot version. Almost 2m. We’re able to use the iPad Air in the easy chair while charging it with this longer cord.

Fast charging preserved. The shiny, multi-color ribbon cable here works well in high-current USB Apple devices (those requiring more than one amp for charging). Some moderate increase in required times to achieve a full charge in iPads was observed. This longer cable does indeed impede faster charging somewhat. We charged our iPad Air from eighty two percent charge to ninety-one percent just over one hour, while the lightning connector remained pretty cool.  Some cables (much more expensive ones) charge at about twice this rate.  But if you do not mind slower charges, the cheaper price for this reliable accessory makes the longer charge times justifiable.  Though slower, you can still charge iPhones and iPads overnight, feeding them with this cable.

Heavy cable. The cord is noticeably thicker than the one that comes with the stock iPad Air USB lightning charge cable. So we forecast longer durability. The wire here is notably stiffer, and getting kinks out of it is more difficult.  But it is still  flexible enough to move around the room with.  Avoid sharply bending it however, as repeated flexing can sever the internal wires.

Works with non stock USB charger adapters. Since it features a USB-D port connector, this iEdge® cable works well with most universal USB chargers to charge lightning-accepting devices.

Gold-plated contact pins on both the lightning connector and USB D connector.  Nice that gold seems to be the standard these days, even on connectors of these cheaper cables.

Larger connector design. 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 due to how much easier it was to attach and detach that connector from mobile devices. However, iEdge® has devised in this product, an easier-to-access version of the lightning connector. It’s longer and wider, and so, easier to grasp.  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. While the lightning connector body is shorter than in some other cables, it’s still sufficiently long for easy grasping, even on iPads inside an OtterBox case.

USB 2.0 standards supported. You can charge your lightning device from any current technology or legacy USB AC adapter.

Functions at least as well as Apple stock accessories. Meets or exceeds Apple’s rigorous performance standards.

Greatly affordable. Less costly a data cable, even an iPhone charger cord. It appears that iEdge® has  overcome Apple’s proprietary hold on the licensing fees that third party manufactures like iEdge® must pay, in order to build compatible cables to the Apple mobile device line.

Concerns, Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Limitations

Not MFi certified. While not specifically certified as such so as to keep costs down, this 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 iPad Air, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPhone 5, iPhone 5 and 6, iPad Mini, iPod Touch 5th Generation, and iPod Nano 7th Generation.

Made in China.

Contains possibly delicate electronics. All lightning to USB cables include internal electronics that chargers, cell phones, and tablets use to “authenticate” the cable before allowing data or charging to occur. This built-in chip could increase cable susceptibility to premature failures. Cables like this are often deemed “fragile,” and that they can stop working too quickly or due to only small to moderate abuse. As such, they should be treated as you would any other piece of delicate electronics. Avoid static electricity, bright sunlight, wet environments, Etc.

No flexible strain relief. The inflexible strain relief at the lightening connector end of this cable is completely inflexible, and appears to be built from the same rigid plastic as the connector body itself. So, it’s unclear how effectively this feature will protect the cord from breakage due to frequent or hyper bending at the connector ends. 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 nice improvement.

Not full USB charging support. Will not charge micro-USB devices without a lightning to micro USB adapter. However, you could simply purchase a USB-D to micro USB cable for that purpose, as those cords can be bought for far less than lightning connector cables.

Only certain stores sell this. iEdge® USB to lightning cables are sold at Amazon and at various Gabriel Brothers outlets.

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

This iEdge® USB Cable for Apple mobile players appears to equal or slightly surpass the stock Apple cables in terms of quality construction, as well as overall ease of use. It’s very much cheaper than Apple stock accessory cords, at approximately one fifth the cost. Indeed, this product is in no way excessively priced. We were thrilled to find it for under four dollars. Now that the lightening interface has grown sufficiently in popularity since its 2012 release, decent functioning cables like this one are becoming easier and easier to locate.  We rate this cable at 96 out of 100.

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Revision History

  • 2015-10-26: Originally published.