A few months back we reviewed Bluelounge’s solution to the Lightning cable which came to us in a form of Kii. This product was made for those who need to have the Lightning cable by their side at all times, so Kii provided very small cable in a form of a key. Even though this product seemed useful enough, it came with a price of $40 which is very high for this product category.
Today we are going to take a look at Kii’s direct competitor, which is a product named ChargeKey. This one is made by a company named Nomad. This unusual Lightning cable is built with the same idea on mind like Kii, but it brings much better price so I very interested in taking it for a test. ChargeKey is priced at $25.
The main idea behind ChargeKey is to provide you a full featured Lightning cable in a form on a key, which can be attached to any key ring. It measures a little bit over 2.5” long and it’s thick approximately as a USB plug. What’s interesting to say is that ChargeKey is made of rubber (at least its exterior) so you can bend it any way you like. This also means that it’s durable and resistant to any damage. However, what I really didn’t like is that there are no caps for any of those two ends, which means that they are susceptible to damage. Even though it’s clear that this is one quality made product, I believe it can be damaged in some way in case you’ve got a lot of differently sized keys placed together on a key ring, which may cause some friction. A simple plastic or rubber cap could solve this problem, so I am not sure why Nomad decided not to include these.
When it comes to functionality, this Lightning cable is able of charging and syncing as well. It’s important to say that the Lightning plug included with ChargeKey isn’t licensed by Apple. What this means is that even though it works without any problems at the moment, Apple may decide to block unlicensed accessories with a simple iOS update. Even today you’ll normally receive a warning when you plug-in unlicensed Lightning cable, but that’s not the case with ChargeKey. On the other hand, I am pretty sure that you can’t find a licensed cable at this price range, so this is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.
It’s clear that there is a real practical use for this cable, especially if you carry around a battery pack. This way you can quickly recharge your iPhone, without having to deal with long and usually tangled cables. You can also use ChargeKey with laptops and even some desktop computers, so there’s a real practical use in everyday life.
The main concern about this product is that it brings unlicensed Lightning plug, and it doesn’t provide caps for those two sensitive ends. On the other hand, it’s very affordable and can be of real practical use, so it’s earns my general recommendation.