In its never ending quest to enhance the mobile user's experience with products that are as elegant and functional as they are convenient, Just Mobile has created a full line dedicated to gadget charging. More specifically, Apple gadgets. The company's new Lightning connector accessories consist of the AluCable, AluCable Mini and AluCable Twist - three slightly different Lightning cables designed to answer specific needs while also boasting a stylish design that is a first in Lightning cable history- tapered anodized aluminum connector ends worthy of Apple's iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S.
But that's not all we have our hands on because Just Mobile recently introduced two more stylish, aluminum-clad car chargers to its lineup including the Highway Duo and Highway Max, both featuring USB charging ports with configurations that set them apart from one another - the latter being Android, iOS and Windows Phone friendly. More accessory selection, just for you. Head past the break as we dissect 5 of Just Mobile's latest charging accessories after the cut!
The Highway Duo ($40) and Highway Max ($25) are essentially identical USB car chargers to Just Mobile's original single-USB Highway and dual USB Highway Pro chargers, only slightly altered to provide simultaneous dual device charging as well as two different ways you can go about doing so. What hasn't changed is the original Highway car charger design.
Like with many of Just Mobile's products, both of its Highway Duo and Max are well put together and have a great build quality and finish we have yet to find on other car chargers. With a knurled aluminum USB charging head, Just Mobile's Highway chargers may be the fanciest USB car chargers you've even seen. Both the Highway Duo and Max aren't anything out of the ordinary.They're not fitted with any new concepts nor do they work in mysterious ways. In other words, they're exactly what you'd expect a car charger to be. However, these are the most refined car chargers I've ever used by far.
Just like every Highway car charger Just Mobile makes, the Highway Duo and Highway Max have a compact, low-profile design compared to others like them. And because the Highway's USB head is built using aluminum, it feels superb and well built. Something you won't mind using inside an uber expensive automobile. As soon as you plug the Highway into your car's power jack, a bright green LED indicator lights up and remains lit indefinitely. It doesn't change color even while charging, and that's a bit of a letdown. Considering you would like to know once your device is fully charged and ready to go by only looking at the charging LED indicator, this might upset you in a way. Other car chargers do change colors to signify various charging statuses
Just Mobile's Highway Duo is an in-car charger capable of charging two devices at once featuring a built-in, 1m coiled Lightning connector cable with 2.1A output power and an aluminum finish, as well as a less powerful 1A USB charging port that can universally charge any device, but isn't ideal for tablet charging as it will take a very long time to charge. Useful though, nonetheless. The Highway Duo has a built-in fuse designed to protect your device against a power surge that may occur in your car, but it isn't user replaceable once it has been tripped by a surge.
As a side note, the Highway Duo's Lightning connector cable and all AluCables are fully compatible with Apple's iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5, iPad mini and the 4th generation iPad.
Although Just Mobile is generally known for making accessories for Apple devices, its Highway Max car charger includes a coiled USB to micro-USB charging cable compatible with Android, Windows Phone and practically any device that has a micro-USB charging port. And unlike the AluCable Duo, its cable features rubbery standard connectors. The Highway Max features dual, 2.1A USB charging ports powerful enough to charge even larger battery capacity devices such as tablets. It too features a built-in and non-replaceable fuse protection against a surge in power.
Just Mobile's line of Lightning connector cables all feature a standard USB plug at one end and a certified Apple Lightning connector at the other, studded with robust silver aluminum connector housings that look and feel great. The cables match Apple's aluminum Macs and iOS devices so it makes sense that some people may want to extend that look over to their charge and sync cables. They're also every bit as good as the cable you get in the box with every iOS device and function reliably as they should when it comes to charging and iTunes syncing. It's no surprise though, Just Mobile isn't cutting any corners is using Apple certifies parts to ensure its AluCables offer the highest quality you'd expect out of a Lightning cable.
The shortest of all three is the AluCable Mini, a $20 10cm long USB to Lightning connector cable that's perfect for ultra-portable situations and clutter-free hookup with a portable Mac. We use this one to charge up an iPhone 5 using Just Mobile's Gum++ backup battery charger. The whole kit fits into your pocket as it charges your device without unnecessary use of the stock Apple 1m long Lightning cable you'd be thankful for leaving at home.
The $25 AluCable is Just Mobile's 1.5m long USB to Lightning connector cable that sits in between Apple's original 1m and the newer $29 2m Lightning cables offering a more convenient way to charge your device when plugging it into a wall outlet adapter and other faraway circumstances that call for extra cable leeway.
Last and certainly not least, we have Just Mobile's $25 AluCable Twist. What makes this one different from the rest is that it's a coiled cable that is essential for people on the go which has been designed to reduce its cable footprint and eliminate tangling whilst having the ability to extend with stretching from 10cm up to 1.8m.
Coiled cables are fun there's no hiding the fact, however, they're not very convenient when it comes to charging a lightweight device such as the iPhone while needing to stretch the cable to reach farther away. Unless you hold your device when stretching the cable, there's no way that you'll ever be able to actually stretch the cable to charge your device without it retracting back with force. So in a way it makes more sense to use a standard cable instead. Then again, if you're mounting your device then using a coiled cable actually makes perfect sense as it can stretch to reach your firmly mounted device without retracting back on its own. This way when your cable isn't in use, it keeps a more tidy form factor when coiled back to its original, more compact length thus making it more travel and in-car friendly.
Trouble is, these aluminum Lightning connector jacks are really wide and bulky compared to Apple's ultra-slim Lightning connectors found on its stock 1m cable. This means that many cases will not accept the AluCable connectors as they are too wide and don't fit into tight Lightning connector cutouts. You also won't be able to use any of Just Mobile's AluCable Lightning connector cables with charging docks that call for Apple's original Lightning connector cable.
We've made sure to check if the AluCable fits when using Apple's new official iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S cases and surprisingly they fit thanks to the generous connector cutouts Apple has made to its cases. This is also true when using Speck's popular CandyShell case and Urban Armor Gear's UAG Composite case. But when using cases with individual bottom openings for the speaker, mid and Lightning connector such as the Magpul Field Case, the AluCable would not come close to fitting into the small opening.
Although your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch came with an Apple Lightning cable, there comes a time when you need an alternative. We have nothing against Apple's Lightning cable, in fact we thinks it's the most versatile cable of all third party options. But not necessarily due to its white color and unquestionable quality, but for its ultra-thin Lightning connector which is unmatched by competitors at this point. Maybe there's a reason why third party manufacturers like Just Mobile design more robust cables for the sake of durability. Because if you look around you, there are plenty of Apple Lightning cables breaking and tearing apart at the hands of aggravated, hardcore users. If you haven't noticed the thick gauge on these Lightning cables, you will note their aluminum USB and Lightning connector points that offer a premium look over all other plastic Lightning cables including Apple's shiny white connectors.
What makes Just Mobile's Highway Duo and Highway Max the best car chargers on the market is simple, they're the most unobtrusive and elegantly designed in-car chargers you'll come across. While you'll be paying more for the Highway Duo compared to few others like it, we think of it as a more high-end option we can recommend. If you're looking for the best dual-charging USB car charger, you should look no further than Just Mobile's Highway series.
We honestly don't see anything wrong with Apple's own Lightning connector cables except for their questionable thickness and durability when in the hands of those who tend to go through more than one cable a year. But if you're out on the hunt for a more robust Lightning cable, Just Mobile's line of extremely short, generously long and springy Lightning connector cables make for great high quality alternatives that should outlast any cable Apple makes. But they're best used with iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod that don't have a protective case on, although there are cases that fit the aluminum AluCable's connectors just fine.
While we like and appreciate the robust qualities of both the cable itself and the aluminum connectors - we're not fans of the AluCable's bulky Lightning and USB connectors which can result in compatibility issues with cases and other accessories; and thus we cannot give it our recommendation.
Highway Duo + MaxAluCable, AluCable Mini, AluCable Twist