Everyone uses a smartphone these days and despite all the leaps and bounds in terms of processor speed, camera sensors and the quality of display, every smartphone user has one gripe regarding their expensive device and its battery life.
An iPhone or a typical Android phone can hardly get you through a moderate single day of use and in order to prevent the battery from running out, we carry an adapter with us all the time. Well, it’s not the end of the world but the charging cable can get tangled and messy quite easily. This is where the Nomad Chargekey comes in handy.
The Nomad Chargekey is your standard USB charging cable used to charge almost all modern mobile devices ranging from Apple products such as iPhone 5/5S/iPad 4 to every Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry devices. But calling it ‘standard’ would be an understatement as its small size, strength and flexibility is what sets the Chargekey apart from the crowd.
Design and build quality
Chargekey has a full sized USB connector on one end and a lightening connector or a micro USB connector at the other end, depending on the type of cable you choose. A small hole is placed on the edge of the body for inserting it in a keychain.
The entire cable measures a little under three inches and is built using high quality polycarbonate and polyurethane elastomer that ensures maximum durability and flexibility. It can be bent at almost any degree, which makes it suitable for any kind of usage condition. However, it doesn’t look premium for a cable that costs a hefty US$29.
Real Life Usage
Due to its small size, the cable can fit easily in your keychain and eliminates the tangles caused by your conventional cables. With recent Haswell powered Ultrabooks lasting more than 10 hours on battery, charging the smartphone from a laptop won’t be a problem.
However, in order to enhance portability, the manufacturer has overlooked the issues that its design choices bring. Its short length makes Chargekey feasible to charge the device only when lying on a flat surface like a desk. Otherwise the device just hangs itself. Though Nomad claims that the Chargekey can easily hold the weight of an iPhone, it’s still not recommended to leave your expensive device hanging.
Its small length has also been a bottleneck during phone calls. I had to unplug the cable first then only pick up the phone which is not very practical. Of course it’s not wise to make or receive calls when the phone is in charging state but I still wish there was a way to extend the cable length if needed. Moreover, Nomad doesn’t provide any way to cover the connector tips. A small plastic cap would have been great because you wouldn’t want to damage a cable this expensive.
The rate of charging is the same as the conventional charging cables. Obviously, the charging power is half of what a dedicated wall adapter provides but the rate of charging actually depends upon the type of USB port that the Chargekey is connected to. A 3.1 amp USB port provides more power than that of a 1.0 amp port thus the difference in the charging speed.
It also supports charging from external battery packs enhancing portability. Besides charging, the Chargekey can also be used for syncing and data transfer.
Chargekey is a unique device in itself. There isn’t anything on the market that is as durable and flexible as the Chargekey. Though it won’t appeal to every smartphone owner out there but still is a great alternative for on-the-move people. All you need is to plug one end of the Chargekey to your mobile device and another to a USB port.
The high quality bendable rubber allows the cable to be flexible and hold an iPhone pretty easily and does its job very commendably. But, the asking price of US$29 + shipping is quite steep considering the fact that a normal charging cable does almost everything that the Chargekey does. Nevertheless, if portability is your top priority then you can’t go wrong with this small wonder from Nomad.