Smart charging cables & accessories for your phone


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Erin Lawrence

Phone batteries never last long enough, so making sure you’ve got a backup plan is important. I’ve been checking out some new charging devices and accessories that can help you stay powered up, while looking chic, and solving some annoying problems.

Charging Problem: cables too short

I can’t stand short charging cables. There’s nothing worse than having your nose to the wall, crouched on the floor by an outlet, waiting for your phone to recharge, while still trying to use it.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, I met the folks from Native Union, and they showed me some of my favourite new accessories, starting with longer cables that give you movement and flexibility.

For starters, the Belt Cable is a soft, braided cable with a leather tab to help you keep it rolled up and untangled. It comes in 4-foot, 8-foot and 10-foot lengths, giving you a lot of options when you need to be plugged in. I love that I can have the cable charging my iPad while reading in bed, even though the nearest outlet is across the room.

The cable is available for micro USB and Lightning and it’s Apple approved, so it won’t just cease being compatible with your phone after a month, like many other cheap cables will.

Charging Problem: ugly accessories

Let’s face it, most charging cables included with our devices are designed to be utilitarian, but isn’t it nice to have lovely things? Even the little things? I think this heavyweightis sculptural and sexy.  The simple design may look basic, but it holds my phone securely, and still lets me see the screen clearly, and access it easily.  The weighty soft rubberized metal base ensures your phone stays put, and the rose gold brushed metal backing plate give it a touch of style. If you need it to, the whole thing comes apart and folds flat for storage or travel. It can also be adjusted to allow for charging while the phone is in a case.

Charging Problem: cable always falling onto the floor

night-cable-native-unionNative Union has one more gadget that I think is brilliantly smart. I’m always hunting under tables and under the bed, looking for the business end of my charging cable, which is constantly falling on the floor.

Enter the Native Union Night Cable. This braided cable has a weighted ball on the end that lets you place it on a table, and it keeps the end of the cable where you can always find it. The ball can be slid up and down the length of the cable so you can adjust how much cable is sitting out.

These cables are super durable and stiff, which makes them largely tangle-free. This cable also has an optional marble block accessory which has a cup in it for you to drop the ball into to keep it extra secure.  While I think that looks nice, the ball will still stay put just fine on its own.

Charging Problem: someone sneaking a look at your phonebuzz

Ever wonder if your spouse if sneaking your phone while you’re asleep? Have you caught your kids sneaking into your room to recover their grounded technology? This new cable might be able to help.  The Skross Buzz cable will vibrate and sound an audible alarm if unplugged. It could also come in handy if you’re charging in an airport or cafe and need to turn your gaze from your phone. Click here to read more about this cable and see a video about how it works.

I’ve tested each of these accessories and think they’re definitely worthy.  They’re durable, attractive and infinitely useful. Plus, Native Union has both a US and a Canadian store, making it easy to get what you want, and know exactly what you’re paying, which I appreciate.

Do you have a gadget I should check out? A favourite charging accessory? Let me know in comments below. You can also add your comments to Twitter or Instagram @ErinLYYC.

long charging cable native union

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