Every Lightning cable starts with the same three parts: a Lightning plug, a USB plug, and a wire to connect them together. The thickness and materials differ, and there may be questions about the reliability of the parts, but the general rule is: if you’ve seen one Lightning cable, you’ve seen them all. Yet Moshi’s USB Cable with Lightning Connector ($25 retail, $22 Amazon Black and White) doesn’t look like any other cable you’ve seen. Although it’s functionally nearly identical to Apple’s standard Lightning to USB Cable, it’s also unique in three ways…

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Unlike Apple’s all-plastic version, the USB and Apple-licensed Lightning plug housings are made from really solid-feeling, attractive metal, tapered to nearly the same ultra-case-compatible thinness as Apple’s.

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Second, you can choose from handsome gold metal with white cabling, silver metal with white cabling, or a black-cabled gray metal that’s somewhere between Apple’s slate and original space gray in color. 

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And finally, a Velcro tab is permanently attached between the connectors, wrapping around itself to manage the resilient-feeling cable’s length. This feature is quite rare for a Lightning cable, and preferable to the coiled cables we’ve tested.

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From our standpoint, the choice between a Moshi or Apple Lightning cable is a no-brainer: they work exactly the same way, but Moshi’s cable looks and feels considerably better for a small premium; Amazon’s price is nearly the same as buying an Apple cable. Are there cheaper options? Yes, but you’re getting what you pay for. Moshi’s USB Cable with Lightning Connector is a very good choice.

MSRP: $25 (via Moshi) Street Price: $22 (via Amazon) Compatibility: All Lightning iPads, iPhones + iPods

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