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This Cable Charges Your Phone Faster - Sort Of

Illustration for article titled This Cable Charges Your Phone Faster - Sort Of

You might think that plugging a USB cable into a USB socket would mean your phone always juices up at the same speed — but you would be sorely mistaken. Charging your phone is a surprisingly complicated thing to get right, a problem that this particular crowdfunding campaign is on a mission to solve.

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Let's get one thing clear from the outset: the SONICable, an Indiegogo campaign that has so far made $268,203 selling people a dream of faster charging, will not magically cut the time required to charge something in half, as its ad campaign claims. Well, not always. Let me explain.

Not all USB ports are created equal. The amount of power you can get from a USB port varies: a standard charge-and-sync-capable port — the kind you'd find on a computer — generally provides 0.5A, whereas wall chargers, especially those for big modern phones or tablets, can go all the way up to 2.1A.

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Most phones, on the other hand, will draw 1-1.5A of power (and some can take even more). If you plug a 1.5A-powered phone into a standard 0.5A PC port, therefore, it will still charge — just a lot slower.

This is where the cable comes in. You see, a 0.5A PC port can be 'tricked' into providing more power if the sync capabilities are disabled. Mac laptops have been doing this with iDevices automatically for a while, which is why your iPhone charges at an optimal rate off a Macbook, but not a PC. This 'trickery' can be done in a few ways — using a piece of software on compatible PCs, or by using the SONICable, which has a button that disables syncing (and consequently speeds up charging off PC ports).

Other than that, the SONICable looks like a pretty decent, if expensive ($27) phone cable. It comes in microUSB and Lightning varieties, with a 1.2M cable and dual-sided USB port, with shipping still expected in March despite high demand.

Just remember: if you charge your phone off a recent Macbook, or you use a wall charger, this cable won't do shit for you. But if you're tied to a locked-down office PC as your only option, this could be ideal. [Indiegogo]

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DISCUSSION

willconltd
willconltd

They have had charge only cables forever for Android devices. They are anywhere from 3-10 bucks. Why is this one 10x the price? Because Apple I guess.

These cables work by simply shorting the two center pins of the USB port. That's all this cable does. If you cut open your iApple cable and solder the two center usb pins together, you have made this cable. That's all there is to it.

That's what this dongle does:

http://www.amazon.com/PortaPow-Fast-…

Here is a really nice charging only cable for every NON iApple phone on the planet:

http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-Mi…

Do you want to know why your iCrapple device isn't compatible with the USB port in your PC? Because Apple doesn't adhere to the USB design set forth in the industry standards. I can't tell you why, but the only reason is so you will have to pay more for iApple products. There is absolutely no benefit in NOT adhering to an industry standard.

Also, this is why all those non-brand phone chargers work like crap on most non-apple devices. They are designed to work with iApple and not everything else. Always make sure you get the proper charger for your device.

Your iCrapple device is intentionally NOT compatible with all the standard USB ports on the planet so you have to buy $30 cables.