It’s OK my friend, we know your secret shame. You should relax though as now you’re among friends - there is no judgement in here. We know what it’s like, you always need just one more, right? One more cable to sate that unquenchable appetite to have the slickest, most connected tech experience available. Oh we know, we know - why would you settle for vanilla cabling when aftermarket options offer so much more?
Well, discerning clientele like you should feel free to come back here anytime, as we’ve always got something a little recherché in. Just remember to whisper the secret codeword - “ELBAC” - and you’ll be free to follow me into the back, where the real action begins…
ZUS Kevlar Charging Cable review
Following on from our earlier ZUS Kevlar Charging Cable coverage (see below), we decided to take a closer look at "the last cable you'll ever need" in an official T3 review.
The time seems right as well for this, as the cable has just become 2773 per cent funded on its Indiegogo campaign, which is really quite ludicrous when you think about it, especially considering it still has 13 days left before it finishes. People are clearly turned on by the promise of the ZUS Kevlar, however the question is, will the cable live up to the hype?
Let's find out.
What is the ZUS Kevlar?
The ZUS Kevlar by nonda is a smartphone charging cable that is available in three different varieties, USB to Micro USB, USB to Lightning and USB-A to USB-C. Each cable is 1.2 metres long (4 feet) and, crucially, is structurally reinforced with strands of Kevlar. In addition, these Kevlar-covered wires are also surrounded by layers of PVC and nylon. A single cable currently costs $17 (£11.68) if pre-ordered through Indiegogo.
What’s in the box?
The ZUS Kevlar comes in a small, slim, slipcase-style cardboard box. Remove the outer sleeve and you are presented with a nonda-branded cardboard flap which, when opened, reveals the ZUS Kevlar nestled securely in a rubberised styrofoam. Remove the cable from its indentation and you are left with the charging cable, which comes with a small nonda-branded cable tie. The only other content in the box is a small slip of glossy paper - this is the lifetime warranty sheet and it details what users need to do if they wish to make a claim.
T3's hands-on report
The first thing you notice when handling the ZUS Kevlar is the refined nylon braiding that covers the rest of the cable's internal layers. Its two-tone colour patternation looks class and definitely exudes a premium look.
In terms of feel, the ZUS Kevlar feels smooth and, if we're being honest, a little waxy, with the nylon feeling soft in the hand. Despite being toughened by Kevlar, the ZUS bends and wraps with ease, and recovers from tight knots and ties super fast.
Both connectors at the ends of the cable are black, fused plastic, with a nonda logo engraved into the smartphone end and a standard USB logo positioned on the USB end. The 90-degree plug is also a really nice addition and - despite being such a simple thing - not only makes plugging it into devices in tight spaces easier, but it also just looks a lot cleaner when inserted. Plug it into a ultrabook for example, where there are no USB ports on the rear, and instead of having the USB plastic connector bulbously sticking out the side with a big loop of cable always on show, with the 90-degree connector you just have a low profile black rectangle on the side with the braided cable running parallel to the machine down the side and then out of sight.
Is it as ‘ard as they say?
Yes, as videos such as this show, the ZUS Kevlar is super tough and durable. You are not going to accidently pull too hard on the cable one day and have it snap; neither is your pet going to be able to chew it to bits.
The ZUS Kevlar is a really tidy new entry in the premium charging cable market. The build quality is top notch, the price attractive (it's about twice as expensive as standard, third party cables) and - as shown in products such as the ZUS Car Charger - the whole approach to charging has been well thought through by nonda, with everyday usage in a number of environments and with a wide number of devices at the fore.
ZUS Kevlar Charging Cable
Fresh off the back of the [Fuse]Chicken Titan cable (see below), we have another entry in the pantheon of world's toughest charging cables, with the ZUS Kevlar joining the fray.
The cable, which has already racked up $118,469 on its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, advertises itself as "the last cable you'll ever need" and boasts a lifetime guarantee.
Now while that lifetime gurantee has clearly attracted backers, it is evidently the ZUS' "Kevlar" tag that is really opening people's wallets. Kevlar, if you are unaware, is the material that is used to create bullet proof vests.
Now the ZUS obviously hasn't been designed to stop bullets, however it has been designed to be super tough and durable. This has been achieved by wrapping the various charge and data-carrying wires within the cable in super fine strands of Kevlar. These Kevlar-covered wires are then surounded by layers of PVC and Nylon to ensure a premium, tangle-free and super strong end product.
How strong is the ZUS Kevlar? Well check out this video and see for yourself:
Asides from being strong enough to pull a car, the ZUS also has a few other tricks up its sleeve. The USB end of the cable comes with a 90-degree plug, making it easy to plug in when confined in narrow spaces, while the multi-layered build means that it can be bent and warped over 15,000 times without issue (this has been TÜV certified), allowing users to manipulate it as necessary to make any connection.
In terms of connections, the cable also comes in three variants, USB to Micro USB, USB to Lightning and USB-A to USB-C.
[Fuse]Chicken Titan cable review
In case you missed it, a week or so back we ran a story here on T3.com introducing [Fuse]Chicken’s Titan, a cable that the manufacturer claimed was the “toughest cable on Earth”. And, after watching its launch video, we inclined to agree with them. However, there was only ever going to be one way we could find out for sure, and that was to give the Titan an official T3 review.
What is the Titan?
The Titan is a charging and data transfer cable that is not only constructed out of industrial grade materials, but is also wrapped in two layers of flexible, high-strength steel. The cable comes in two varieties, one for iPhone and one for Android, with the cable’s connectors (Lightning to USB for iPhone, MicroUSB to USB for Android) permanently sealed with a one-piece housing fused directly over the electronics and metal cabling. The cable is one metre long and costs £24.99.
What’s in the box?
As can be seen in the nearby image, the Titan comes with minimalist packaging, with a plastic blister package simply holding the cable against a piece of card. Accessing the cable requires a pair of scissors or sharp cutting tool.
T3's hands-on report
The first thing you notice when handling the Titan is its cool to the touch, premium feel. That’s nice, as you’ve just dropped £25 notes on a charging cable and, after performing a cursory internet search, that’s about £22 more than a bog-standard 3rd party unit.
The Titan is also stiff, holding any position it is bent into. It’s so stiff in fact that we could position our connected smartphone vertically in the air and the cable could take its weight without collapsing. What’s cool though is that when we disconnected the phone, we could then wrap the ridged steel cable around our hand like a piece of rope, bending it smoothly into a coil with zero effort.
The connector covers at the end of the cable are made from white plastic, with [Fuse]Chicken’s logo engraved on the USB end, and the company’s name is engraved on the MicroUSB end. These connectors are rock solid and look slick, however the white plastic soon picked up small discolourations through our repeated plug-ins and storage while on test (you can see this a bit in the lead image).
Is it as ‘ard as they say?
Look, while we had a good laugh watching the bods at [Fuse]Chicken take a chainsaw and sledgehammer to the Titan - and it was impressive - in reality your Titan is not suddenly going to be attacked by a deranged, chainsaw wielding cable killer. As such, the biggest piece of hardware we brought out while testing the cable’s strength was a standard, as found in your tool box, hammer (the above image showing the cable supporting a 10lb weight comes from [Fuse]Chicken).
And we can confirm: repeated, modest-strength hammering, did not affect the Titan’s operability or aesthetics, with the cable walking (can a cable walk?) away from the battering unharmed. For obvious reasons, we did not repeatedly smash the exposed connector ends. If you, or that deranged cable killer were to do this, then we can only presume that naturally the Titan would stop working. That is to miss the point though of the Titan, which is not to offer an indestructible product, but rather one that can withstand large degrees of punishment within the confines of a normal lifestyle.
For example, you cannot snap the Titan. Pull on each end as long as you want and it ain't going to break. You can’t accidently shear, cut or fray it either. No toddler is going to cut the Titan in two while you’ve got your back turned. Equally, as [Fuse]Chicken highlight in their marketing material, no pet is going to play with the cable and chew it to pieces. My cat can’t mistake it for a plaything and shred it with its claws.
Basically, you’d have to go way beyond the actions of normal lifestyle usage to render the Titan inoperable, and that is a success in our eyes.
It’s interesting how [Fuse]Chicken have pitched the Titan, saying it is the “toughest cable on Earth”. And look, they are not wrong, it probably is the toughest. However the real reason you buy the Titan is not because it is nearly indestructable, but rather because it is a well engineered, premium product. It looks great, feels great and offers an enhanced user experience over a standard competitor.
Whether or not you prize its enhanced aesthetics, ergonomics and hardiness high enough to pick one up is something that only you can decide. As a product though, sitting in isolation, it’s pretty much flawless.
Now why not watch the Titan’s ridiculous launch video again?