It’s hard to get good cables, and it’s almost unheard of to get good, good cables. This is why I like this ICZI range of USB-A to USB-C cables.
I crossed over to using the USB-C standard over a year ago now, when the Nexus 6P came out. Unfortunately, this piece of future proofing meant I was introduced to living the #donglelife way sooner than I’d wanted to. Charge in the car? Need a new cable and charger. Charge my phone in someone else’s car? Seriously, forget it. Need a top-up in the office? New everything. The same goes for the cable in my bag that I take to work, because, data and travelling and charging, and pretty much anywhere else for any significant amount of time.
Now add to that, the problem of not knowing whether the cables were up to spec, and not prone to helping send my phone to the great Nexus Graveyard in the sky prematurely because it didn’t follow the USB standard, and you have… an unhealthy fascination with cables.
So, ICZI. I’ll be honest. I hadn’t heard of them before. But it was worth a try. I’m glad I did so.
Packaging and presentation
First of all, ICZI USBC-C cables, and more specifically, the cable pack I got, are available through Amazon. They’re currently retailing at a penny under £18. I know that sounds kind of expensive, but give it a moment and let me explain. As have most of us, we have gone through life with our phones seemingly taking longer and longer to charge from the charger. Sure, there may be wear and tear from the battery degrading in your device after how many thousand cycles. There is also the small fact that cables can also degrade over time. Especially if you tangle them up, fold them, stuff them into small pockets, wrap them up into as small a space as possible. You know, using them like a normal person. If you have Mr Cheap Knockoff’s bargain cable from the pound store, you’ll have probably found that charging and/or data speeds are slightly slower than normal. Maybe you have to nudge the cable in the right way half the time.
The point is, cheap cables aren’t always worth the trade-off. With the ICZI USB-C cable pack containing four cables, it makes it a lot easier to understand paying about £4.50 for each one. Especially when you can get a little bit of reassurance from the sturdy but not ostentatious cardboard packaging. It doesn’t bring the same level of luxury you’d get when you unpack, say, a single cable from other manufacturers we won’t name. It’s at this point that you open the well-sealed box carefully, and realise that there are mini-compartments. The feeling of engineering continues when you reach in and lift out cables that could easily be 3.5mm across the diameter.
In one fell swoop, I went from being quietly reassured that I was getting my money’s worth to being wowed by these USC-A to C cables.
As mentioned before, there are four cables inside the pack. ICZI has put two USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 cables.
The ICZI USB-C cables aren’t measly sized either. Although they’re measured in feet, a quick conversion soon tells you that they’ll stretch easily more or less anywhere.
The larger USB 2.0 cable is 10 foot long, which loosely translates to just over three metres. While I had no reason to have one permanently yet, it’s really nice to have the option. It will come in useful when you want to charge your handset or laptop on the couch, but the charging socket is just that little bit too far away. Seeing as USB 2.0 doesn’t impact your ability to charge the phone, it allows you to fast charge if your phone is using the USB-PD spec.
The longer ICZI USB-C 3.0 cable is 6.6 feet, which is equivalent to 2 metres. Both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 cables have a 3.3-foot option, again, translates to about two metres. I’d rather have a couple of 2-metre cables than longer or shorter variants, because it’s easy enough to keep extra length wrapped up. It’s a royal pain to have a cable that just isn’t long enough.
As I said, the ICZI USB-C cables look like they’ve had some attention to detail put into them. The wire is braided, which will help stop tangling. Also nice is the main connector part being a mid- grey to contrast against the black cabling and base, and the actual USB-A socket. It doesn’t look cheap.
I haven’t played with these cables on a long-term basis, so can’t speak to their endurance. Having said that, I’d be surprised if they wore out anytime soon. I’d have no hesitation in recommending this to other people who are starting to live the donglelife.