ONE of the biggest headaches of gaming on the go has been solved by a crowdfunding campaign.
The Uno cable from Aussie start-up asap Technologies can work as a charging lead for your Nintendo Switch, your iPhone, your headset or your Android phone, even though they might all have different connectors.
3 The changeable tips mean this should be the last charging cable you ever needCredit: UNO
Unlike many other crowd-funded campaigns that promise miracles, this one actually exists and will be shipping very soon.
It manages this with magnetic heads that attach to the end of the lead, letting you switch power pretty much any gaming gadget you have to any other, without having to root around for a new cable, or fumble for that power socket or battery back.
It’s the first cable of its kind that works properly with USB-C, the sort of charging socket you’ll find on the Nintendo Switch and many of the latest most power-hungry Android phones like the Galaxy S10.
You can also use it to charge older or smaller gadgets, though, thanks to the mini-USB plug.
This was the defacto standard phone charger socket until USB-C came along, and is still widely used in a lot of Android phones.
It’s also very common for wireless headsets and rechargeable controllers like the PlayStation’s DualShock 4.
3 You can plug the cable straight into a USB-C outlet, or use the included USB plug-in adaptorCredit: The Sun
Finally it’s got a Lightning-compatible head as well, so you can plug straight into your iPhone or older iPad (the new ones have switched to USB-C, so you’re already covered there).
It’s rumoured that Apple is going to ditch Lightning for iPhones in favour of USB-C soon anyway – so another benefit of Uno for Apple fans is that you’ll be covered for your next phone whether that rumour is true or not.
If you’re switching from device to device, you can actually leave the magnetic heads in whatever you’re going to be charging too.
This means all you need to do is move the cable from one device to the other as the need arises without any fiddling at all.
The magnets are strong enough to hold it in place when it’s charging, even if it’s dangling in the air, but like Apple’s old magsafe chargers will pop out when jerked – so no more jarred necks when you stand up forgetting your wireless headset is actually plugged in and charging and the cable tries to yank you back down again.
3 The little tips feel really sturdy, and attach with really powerful magnetsCredit: The Sun
The campaign is still running on Kickstarter, but has blown through its £4,000 goal, with over £150,000 pledged so far.
Having got hands on with one of them, we can reveal that it really does all work flawlessly and exactly as promised.
Our testing showed that the data transfer and charging speeds are exactly what you’d expect from any good-quality USB-C or Lightning cable – it supports both Apple’s Fast Charge tech and the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and 4.0 standards Samsung and others use.
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The fact that some are already being made and that its blown through its funding goal also happens to remove the usual worries about crowdfunding horror stories.
The campaign is only running for another week, and the cables themselves will start shipping to backers after that.
The lead’s tough braided coating stands up to some battering – even the attentions of a cable-loving cat couldn’t start to fray the one we tested.
It comes with a 10-year guarantee too, so with any luck it should keep your phones charged for the next decade.
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