The versatile charging cable gets an upgrade.
I’ve been working with charging devices now for several years and I’m always intrigued when I find a unique one. This Battery Cable from Nomad definitely fits in the unusual cable category. I was introduced to this cable almost two years ago and I’m excited to share the announcement from Nomad that Battery Cable has received some impressive updates while still providing the same charging versatility that the original design did.
The Battery Cable is exactly what the name describes — a cable with an integrated battery. Just like other Nomad products the cable is designed for adventure. The cable is one of their ultra-rugged nylon cables that stretches 1.5M (5FT) long. The cable meets MIL-SPEC 10K and is made with a robust aluminum housing plus it comes with a vulcanized LSR silicone cable tie. The Lightning cable plug is MFi certified by Apple and has a 5V/1.5A power output. It’s designed to work with iPhone models 5-X but not with iPads.
The battery has a capacity of 2800 mAh and supports pass-through charging, which means that it will charge your phone before the battery when it’s connected to a power source. The battery has an LED indicator light on its side that not only activates the charging function but it also shows the amount of charge the battery has. When you are done with the Battery Cable, it will automatically go to sleep.
- Solid White: Charged 30-100%
- Solid Orange: Low charge
- Flashing Orange: Very Low Charge
A couple of years ago, I actually reviewed the first generation model of the Battery Cable. I was intrigued by it the same way I am now. It is two devices in one — a charging cable and a portable battery. The combination of these two items makes it possible for you to carry both individually. Even though the Battery Cable is a bit heavier than standard Lightning cables, it’s not so much that it weighs you down. Since I had the privilege of reviewing the first version of the cable, I was excited to see the differences between the two models.
The first update that the cable received was the all-new aluminum housing for the battery. The original cable had a plastic exterior on the battery. The second major upgrade is the battery capacity. The original only had a capacity of 2350 mAh and this newer model has a 2800 mAh battery. I for one am glad that Nomad has made these upgrades to the Battery Cable. I always thought it was an impressive charging option but haven’t used it much because of a previous heating issue. I believe that has been rectified because, after two separate charging sessions with the cable and battery, I haven’t noticed the battery heating up at all.
When the cable arrived, it did not have any charge — it was flashing orange. So, I plugged it into a charging tower and let it charge up. After about two hours, it was registering between 30-100% (white steady LED indicator). The first thing I did was to charge an iPhone 7 using only the battery. To do this, you plug the Lightning end into the charging port on the iPhone and you press the button on the side of the battery to start charging. When I started charging the phone, I had 68% battery. After 30 minutes, I had gained 8% battery.
Next, I ran a standard power test (using a USB Digital Tester) to see what kind of current the iPhone was getting when the cable is plugged into a power source. I found that the phone was receiving 5.12V/1.05A from the cable. This is consistent with what I see with other charging cables. After 19 minutes of charging with the cable plugged into power, the phone had gained 9% power. The charging rate is almost twice as fast as when you charge directly from the battery.
The updated Battery Cable is definitely a diamond in the rough. It’s a unique charging device that can easily take the place of two devices. It retails for around $50, which is the same price that Nomad has been offering the first generation Battery Cable but it is a little higher than a 2800mAh portable battery and a charging cable (if you bought them separately). In my opinion, you are getting a superior product here with the ballistic nylon cable with an integrated battery.