Everyone’s been there. You want to buy a replacement micro USB lead/cable to charge your phone, or you simply need a longer one because your bed is too far from the charging point. So you bought the cheapest micro USB lead/cables online, after 6 hours of charging, your phone went from 6% to 15%.
Yeah mate, you’ve been ripped off. But chances are, even the seller doesn’t know that.
To charge phones, there are only 3 types of cables/leads:
1. Lightning cables/leads: for iPhones
2. USB-C cables/leads (oval-shaped, non-iPhones): for phones made by Google and Xiaomi in the past year or so (like the Nexus 6P or Pixel)
3. Micro USB cables/leads (non-oval): Chances are, yours use this. Because aside from the ones above, ALL other phones use micro USB for charging. This includes Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, and many many many others.
Still not sure? Here’s our quick infographic on what each charging port looks like:
The briefly boring tech details (scroll down to skip this part)
You should be looking for USB leads/cables with proper shielding and insulation to minimize voltage drop and a 28/24AWG data/charging rate (instead of the slower 28/28AWG) to ensure maximum speed and power.
Want more? Read more here and here.
TLDR: Here’s what you should buy instead
We’ve done the research for you, and here are choices. Scroll down for the details!
Best lightning cables/leads (for iPhones and iPads)
1st PLACE: CHEAP & TRUSTED
AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable (£3.30-£5.29 per meter)
Want more colour options Made by Amazon, certified by Apple, yet 75% cheaper than Apple’s £20 lightning cable! Comes in various lengths too, from 10cm to 2 meters, in either black or white.
And with over 3,000 reviews, you can’t go wrong with these.
Click here to buy: AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable (£5.29, Amazon)
Is Amazon Basics too generic for your liking? Look at the next one.
2nd PLACE: STRONG & DURABLE
Anker Lightning Connector charging cable, 1m – 2m, Nylon Braided (£3.50 per meter)
This one of made by Anker, a really established brand of portable chargers and charging cables. This one is also very popular and very well-viewed (over 6,000 reviews!). Also, they’re certified by Apple, and the grey nylon braid makes it more stronger and protects from fraying from the daily pulls and tugs.
Though they might seem a teeny bit more expensive than Amazon’s, pound-for-pound, they about the same price for the 6ft cable: £6.99 for Anker, £6.59 for Amazon Basics.
Click here to buy: Anker Lightning Connector charging cable, 1m – 2m, Nylon Braided (£3.50 per meter)
Best USB-C Cable (for Google Pixel, Nexus 6P and Xiaomi phones, and Macbooks)
1st PLACE – CHEAPEST AND STRONGEST:
AUKEY USB C Cable, 2m/6.6ft, Nylon Braided (£3.14 per meter)
This one from AUKEY, a new Singapore-based company which has so far gained many people’s trust. It’s products are pretty good and well-reviewed. Here, they’ve got the USB C cable at 2 meters long, and it’s nylon-braided for durability. It’s affordable too compared to Anker.
If you want more lengths, check the next one.
Buy here: AUKEY USB C Cable, 2m/6.6ft, Nylon Braided (£3.14 per meter, Amazon)
2nd PLACE – FUTURE-PROOF:
Anker USB-C to USB 3.0 Cable, 1m/3.3ft, plastic (£6.99 per meter)
Amazon doesn’t have one, so we’ll choose the reliable Anker for this. This works with USB 3.0. Not sure what it means? Get this is you want to be future-proof.
Click here to buy: Anker USB-C to USB 3.0 Cable, 1m/3.3ft, plastic (£6.99 per meter)
However this one is a bit short at 1 meter, and future-proofing makes it expensive. If you want something cheaper that just works, look at the next one.
3rd PLACE – BEST NEWCOMER:
Choetech USB C Cable, 0.5m to 3m, plastic (£3.99 per meter)
This is the cheapest of all. I’ve personally used Choetech products and got no complaints whatsoever. If you need a cheap, basic one that just works, don’t care about durable nylon braids or future-proofing, this is your choice.
Buy here: Choetech USB C Cable, 0.5m to 3m, plastic (£3.99 per meter)
Lengths range from 0.5m all the way to 3m. Color is black only. But at this price, you can’t be wrong.
Best Micro-USB Cable (for the vast majority of phones)
1st PLACE – FIDDLE-FREE CHARGING
BlitzWolf Micro USB Cable, 1m, Nylon Braided. Also reversible, comes in 5 colours (£6.99)
Ever fiddled around at night trying to figure out the right side up for your tiny micro USB cable? I know I have. That’s why I got myself a reversible type, so that I can just plug it in without having to worry. Especially useful to avoid that one time you force the charger into the port, only to break a few pins and facing hefty repair bills.
Also, it comes in tangle-free nylon braid. Unlike the plastic ones, this one should for ages. Get it here: BlitzWolf Micro USB Cable, 1m, Nylon Braided. Also reversible, comes in 5 colours (£6.99)
2nd PLACE – CHEAPEST AND RELIABLE
AmazonBasics Micro USB Cable, 0.9m-3m, plastic (£3.99)
Don’t care about durability and convenience? Just want a cheap one? Well AmazonsBasics is a safe choice, and comes in various lengths, in black. Although it’s plastic, I have to say the molded ends looks quite strong. Get it here: AmazonBasics Micro USB Cable, 0.9m-3m, plastic (£3.99)
3rd PLACE – DURABLE CHOICE
Anker Micro USB Cable, 1m-3m, Nylon Braided (£5.99)
If you just want a strong, durable micro USB cable, and don’t care about reversible connectors, this is our recommendation. Anker brand is a safe household choice. It comes in strong and durable tangle-free nylon braid, though unlike Blitzwolf, it’s not reversible so you have to be careful knowing which side is up. Get them here: Anker Micro USB Cable, 1m-3m, Nylon Braided (£5.99)
And what about those colourful cables, that looks so stylishly flat? Nope, don’t go for them. They might look attractive, but don’t provide sufficiant charging power.
So there you go. Hope we helped you somehow. Happy buying!