I like to peruse the blogs, ads, links, and Kickstarter for new products, and have come across a few over the years where I got in early and got a good deal. My Thermodo for instance. (if you are not sure what a Thermodo is check it out here.) I was hoping this little charge cable would be one of those things…. sadly, it fell short. No pun intended.
The HandyCharger is basically a really short lightning cable for charging my iPhone/iPad. It is meant to be kept on a keyring so you always have one handy in a jam, as long as you have your keys with you. Sound great in theory. But in practice, not quite ready for primetime as the saying goes.
I should have known something was off when I ordered back in april and got an email saying it could be 3 to 4 weeks to arrive due to “massive global demand” which turned into 6 weeks, with no explanation, or even a response from the manufacturer until after I had sent a few emails, and got told I would be informed when it shipped. Gee, thanks, not even an ETA.
Fast forward to beginning of august, now almost 4 months after ordering, and I get notified it had shipped. Apparently via rowboat from china it would seem since it took over 2 weeks after that notification for it to finally show up, and when it did, it was not as expected.
As in the email above, It should be noted, it didn’t come with a keyring, and the packaging as I noted was terrible, basically non-existent. I showed it on a keyring to give scale to the photo and to show its intended use. Another issue is the size of the connector that plugs into the iPhone/iPad. Its too wide for most cases, so you either have to charge your device caseless or cut the opening in the case to allow the oversized connecto. Yuck.
This photo shows the packaging for it, a bubble wrap bag, not even a plastic bag inside it, or a piece of cardboard for rigidity and a little protection. I emailed the manufacturer as you can see above, and did get a reply saying they were sorry, and to send photos of the damaged charge cable to them, but unfortunately I had already thrown out the faulty cable since it had to be held in place to actually work, and as luck would have it, the magnet on the ends of the cable that are supposed to keep it together are too weak and the darn thing fell off my keychain within a couple of days of receiving it.
Strangely, in searching around for info on the HandyCharger, I found a very similar looking product – like exactly the same looking product, by another manufacturer, InCharge. (http://incharge.rocks/) Not sure which came first, but it makes me think the one I got is the poor rip-off version. Or maybe it did come first, but if so, the other company took the idea and did it better it seems. At least it had packaging. They even made a thin connector option.
Another thing to note is the look of the advertised product versus the actual received item. The multi-colour cable, the actual name silkscreened onto it, etc. Bait and switch anyone? Or just another example of a US company allowing their product to be manufactured in China and shipped direct to customer, and hoping it is done right without taking the time to inspect.
As I said, great in theory, terrible in practice. That is my feeling on this one. Waiting 4 months for a charge cable is ridiculous to begin with, but getting a faulty one after all that, as well as one that in my opinion is poorly constructed with respect to how it is supposed to stay together via the all-too-weak magnet, is enough for me to say stay away from this product until at least version 2. If there is one.
PS: I haven’t ordered an inCharge one yet, but probably will. For one, it is cheaper, and says 2 day shipping with 6 to 10 days delivery. So at least I won’t be waiting months to be disappointed.