Review: Native Union JUMP Cable

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Native Union JUMP Cable Review & Giveaway

If you rely on your smartphone everyday, battery life shouldn’t stop you from getting the most out of your phone. There are several ways to keep your phone charged, but not without their flaws. Most power banks are too bulky to EDC, wall chargers are very limiting when out and about, and cables can tangle or fray when tossed in a bag. Native Union puts forth their JUMP Cable as a 2-in-1 solution for mobile charging on the go. Read more for my review of the JUMP Cable and for a chance to win one for your EDC, courtesy of Native Union.

Despite what its name may suggest, the JUMP Cable is more than just a cable — it’s an 800mAh external battery too, providing over 30% of charge to an iPhone 5, or somewhere between 24-28% for a 5S, depending on usage during charging and age of the battery. The JUMP can also be used as pass through cable for high-speed (2.4A), prioritized charging using what Native Union calls AutoCharge technology. The USB to Lightning version of the JUMP is MFI certified by Apple, allowing you to confidently sync and transfer data using the cable. Physically, the cable is braided and slightly stiffened, making it less prone to tangling and fraying when carried. The ends of the cables are also very slim, resembling 1st party Lightning cables, ensuring compatibility with most phone cases. The ends of the cable snap flushly into recesses in the center of the battery when not in use, while the stiffened cable wraps perfectly around the perimeter of the battery portion. Best of all, unlike most external battery bricks, this thing is impressively compact at just 1.96in x 1.96in and 1.4 oz. Native Union has received several accolades for their product design — after seeing how they’ve managed to eliminate the hassle of carrying a brick of a battery and the tangly, fragile mess of an overly long charging cable, I’d say their praise is very much deserved.

Charging your phone with the JUMP is easy enough — pull the Lightning end of the cable out of its center slot and unravel the cable a bit, plug into the phone and press a small button on the JUMP to begin. Three small LEDs indicate the charging state and capacity of the JUMP. According to specs, a full discharge in battery mode should take about 35 minutes at 1A, providing around 24%-28% of charge to my iPhone 5S. In my testings, I didn’t quite get as much of a charge. For me, it took about 20 minutes to completely discharge, giving me a consistent extra 20% of battery. That was without actively using the phone, just as if it were in my pocket or on my desk. As a disclaimer, I use my phone a lot. So much so that I’ve jailbroken it to use it in even more ways. I use my phone so much for music, photos, texting, and most importantly, keeping tabs on the blog when I’m away from my desk. I feel a distinct anxiety when I see a single pixel sliver of red and a 1% in the top right of my screen. So although the JUMP Cable delivered less than its promised 24%, I figure for the average, non-jailbroken iPhone user, the JUMP should charge adequately. With that said, I think even 20% under high stress is a welcome boost at the end of the day. It’s enough to get my phone out of the red and to get me to a power source.

I can forgive the marginal discrepancy in performance because the product, by design, foregoes huge capacities for something that’s truly pocketable. I respect that decision and admire the execution of it. I effortlessly carried it in my coin pocket, zip wallet, and bag. It doesn’t scratch anything, discharge on accident, tangle or fray. But the plastic housing can get scratched a bit, and the white plastic parts of the cable can get dirty — neither of which affect performance. My other complaint would be that when actually charging your phone on the go, it does kind of dangle awkwardly from the bottom of the phone. It’s just a mild inconvenience to deal with for half an hour or so.

Reviewer Score: 4.5/5

Pros:

  • Very compact and lightweight, easy to carry
  • 2-in-1 function as battery and passthrough cable
  • Quality construction, fit and finish of a well-designed product

Cons:

  • No elegant solution for how to carry the JUMP on the go during charging period
  • 800mAh capacity might not suffice for power users

Considering the JUMP Cable’s massively successful $372,000 Kickstarter campaign and the fact that I begrudgingly carry a 0.8lb external battery and a 10ft long cable to charge my phone on the go, I had high hopes for the JUMP. While it can’t charge my phone 8 times over, it’s still a wonderful for what it is — an elegant, well-executed way to provide a small but significant charge to your phone at the end of the day. You can pick one up for yourself at Native Union at the link below, or enter our giveaway to win one of three JUMP Cables (Lightning or Micro USB), graciously furnished by Native Union. 

BUY ($50)

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DONT BUY THIS! I BOUGHT THE JUMP CABLE AND IT CAME DEFECTED!
Been waiting for over 2 months for a replacement. Emails are not being answered! Beware!!!!

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