Review: CDR-King Lightning-to-MicroUSB Adapter for iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 5c, iPad, iPad mini and 5th gen iPod touch*
cheap budget-constrained tack on buying accessories, I’ve come across an inexpensive, tiny little adaptor that makes your Apple Lightning devices become more flexible, at least in terms of charging them up with the more ubiquitous microUSB power chargers everyone has.
But first, a quick history.
Apple’s been a dick about it, insisting on their own proprietary “Lightning” plugs for their new gear, superseding their equally proprietary 30-pin plug, just when we all got used to them. This new Lightning plug, made for the iPhone 5/5s and the 5c, the new iPad and iPad mini and the 5th gen iPod touch, is much smaller, and can be inserted into your device either way. It still had the common, full-sized USB plug on one end of the cable, and the new Lightning plug on the other end.
The ruckus that erupted after Apple came up with this new plug last year broke out far and wide, and forced many accessory-makers to either shift to the new one or go out of business. Users had to get new docks, adaptors and devices. A wide swath of third-party accessories was rendered obsolete in one fell swoop.
But Apple had the final say, and remained firm on their choice. And here we are.
These cables aren’t cheap. When I got my iPhone 5 last year, I was forced down the Lightning path like everyone else. I set out to buy extra cables from Apple and were shocked at their price: over a thousand pesos each. For a friggin’ cable? Apparently they had special circuitry in them that made the cables Apple-certified and reliable for syncing and charging. Cheaper knockoffs that cost a tenth of the price often didn’t work, or if they did, you were greeted with a warning that “this cable or accessory is not certified and might not work reliably” when you hooked it up.
When I got my iPhone 5s last month, I didn’t want to use the Lightning cable that came with it, preferring instead to keep it pristine in its box along with the other accessories (yeah, sue me, why dontcha). I just wanted to use a cheaper alternative that I didn’t have to worry about. So I went to get a cheap third-party Lightning cable from one of the many tiangges around, but when I got home, the cable didn’t work. As usual.
I was looking through stuff online, and I came across something called a ChargeKey. It was a short rubber Lightning “cable” in the shape of a key that you could keep on your keychain. It would be perfect to carry everywhere, and I could use it for charging my iPhone with my power banks (God knows I need to towards the end of the day; that phone has a notoriously iffy battery life.) Unfortunately the ChargeKey was back-ordered online until March. So that was out.
But I had a new idea. I saw this little thing in Greenhills, a tiny Lightning-microUSB adapter. I didn’t pay much attention to it then, but in retrospect it would have been perfect. It was a simple thing that converted something with a microUSB plug to Lightning. Moreover, I could use it with a lot of my stuff: microUSB cables and power adapters, to name a few. So I went back to Virra Mall and got one of them for P100. Apple sells the adapter for US$19 (plus shipping), so I was getting it really cheap!
Alas, it didn’t work either. Should’ve tested it at the store, dammit.
The next day, I went to the bargain-basement store that people cultivated a love-hate relationship with: CDR-King. I asked them and they had it, although it was a bit more expensive than Greenhills, if that was possible—it cost P150 with them. This time I was ready: I tested the hell out of it. I brought a microUSB cable, a power adapter and a power bank and put it through its paces. And I got an adapter that finally worked!
It was great; it worked just fine and didn’t give that error message when you use “fake”things. I paired it with a sturdy, short microUSB cable and my 4000mAh MiLi Power Bank that puts out 2.1A and 1A through two separate USB outs. I was all ready for a busy day. And all for P150!
Sure, the adapter’s case slipped off when I pulled it out from my phone that first day (a dab of Mighty Bond on the rim took care of that), but otherwise it works great with my power bank or a power adaptor, and I now I don’t have to worry about finding a Lightning cable to charge my iPhone. And there is also a Lightning to 30-pin adapter available if you have the older cable.
shameless cheapness economically-conscious things were paying off, and I was getting good deals all around.
It was great not having to spend a lot to be on the ball.
*Reprinted from Technoodling