Anker PowerLine II USBC to Lightning Cable Review

BACKGROUND

Since the 2014 release of Motorola’s DROID Turbo fast charging has been a mainstream feature on almost every major smartphone. Whether it’s Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, Huawei’s SuperCharge, or USB Power Delivery the ability to quickly top off a phone’s battery is a key feature for modern devices.

The one major exception was Apple’s iPhone line. That changed with the 2017 iPhone line which included support for USB Power Delivery 2.0. In typical Apple fashion, however, no high speed charger was included in the box. To unlock the quick charging potential of their devices, iPhone owners would have to invest in an expensive combo of a USB PD charger and an Apple-branded USBC to Lightning charging cable.

It’s 2019 now and USB PD chargers can be had for under $20 and, for the first time, 3rd party MFi certified USB PD cables are available. Today we are looking at the first such cable, the Anker PowerLine II. The PowerLine II is available in black or white in both three and six foot lengths.

PERFORMANCE

For this comparison we tested the standard Apple 5W charger and USBA to Lightning cable against Google’s Pixel 18W USB PD charger with the PowerLine II. Both were used on an iPhone XS Max with a starting battery level at 15%.

Anker PowerLine II Performance

TIMESTANDARD CHARGERUSB PD w/ POWERLINE II
0 minutes15%15%
+30 minutes31%65%
+60 minutes48%89%
+90 minutes64%98%

The pack-in Apple charger is notoriously slow and that’s reflected in the results of our testing. In 90 minutes, an iPhone XS Max charged from 15% to only 64%. By contrast, using the PowerLine II cable with an 18W PD charger took the phone to 98% charge in the same timeframe.

Physically, the PowerLine II feels like a quality cable. The main cable covering has a soft-touch feel and the connectors are solid. There’s little to no give or wiggle when the cable is connected to the charger or the phone. It is thick and has a solid-feeling heft to it. It’s also slightly more rigid than the standard iPhone Lightning cable. It will not disappoint.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In short, the Anker PowerLine II delivers on its promised quick charge capabilities for iPhone users. It’s almost shameful that Apple doesn’t include a USB PD charger in the iPhone box but it is good to know that inexpensive 3rd party options are finally available. My recommendation? Go with the 6 foot PowerLine II cable and any 18W USB PD charger to get the most out of your iPhone’s charger time. It’s a no brainer.

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Robert Daniels

I'm a long-time tech and gadget enthusiast that currently uses Android, Windows 10 Mobile, and iOS devices. I'm always interested in ways to improve my family's life with new devices and services, though my beautiful wife might just say I'm addicted to playing with gadgets.