In the last 10 years there has been a quiet revolution. Smart phones and tablets have joined every part of our life and with them they’ve brought cables, chargers and batteries. With the exception of Apple there has very thankfully been a standard – microUSB – which has been well adhered to, but it’s got its issues.
These problems are being remedied in the new version of USB – USB-C unfortunately that’s still in a minority. The MicFlip aims to fix the biggest problem with microUSB -the fact that it’s not reversible. It’s not just not reversible it’s hard to tell which way around it should be plugged and if you’re plugging in in the dark it’s actually possible to jam it in backwards and damage the socket.
The MicFlip takes the microUSB head and makes some changes – curving the ends slightly and adding a double set of contacts inside as well as a couple of tiny grips. This means it can be plugged in either way without having to think it through. I was a little sceptical of how well this works but in practice it turned out to be seamless. You need to put a very small amount of extra force on it to insert it and the tiny grips need a little extra force to remove the cable. I’d see this as a benefit rather than a negative as it means far less chance of cables falling out unexpectedly but if you’ve very weak grip it might be a problem.
The rest of the cable’s specs hold up as well. It’s got a braided covering that makes it somewhat stiffer than most plastic covered USB cables and has the very beneficial side effect that it tangles far less. The metal end caps feel solid and unmoving and the metal contacts on both ends get a decent connection although I’m not sure how much the corrosion resistance they tout adds.
I tested it with a wide variety of devices – phones, tablet, kindle and batteries and had good experiences both transferring data and charging. In particular it was compatible with the two fast charge devices I own which is an increasingly important extra.
It’s available in three lengths – 20cm, 100cm and 200cm and in three different colors, silver, gold, and red/black.
Included in the box: One cable zip tied to a cardboard hanger.
Retailer: Amazon +:
About Winner Gear
Winner Gear is a company based out of New York and also makes car mounts, car chargers and ear buds. They funded the MicFlip via a Indiegogo that ended last August and raised over $150,000. There were a few complaints on the forums but on the whole it seems to have kept reasonably to it’s promises.
- Target gender: Unisex
- Optimized for ambidextrous use
It’s obvious that the MicFlip isn’t the cheapest way to get your phone charged or connected to your pc. The MicFlip is priced above a simple replacement cable but isn’t overpriced for what it is and compares favourably to high spec USB cables without even considering its reversibility.
Product dimensions: 20cm, 1m or 2m.
Item Weight: 46g (for the 2m version)
Colour: Silver, gold and red/black
Materials: Aluminum heads, braided nylon cover with plastic coating
The MicFlip isn’t for everyone. A good proportion of people will just not be able to see what the point of paying ten pounds for a cable that works identically to the one you’ve already got. If you’ve ever plugged a cable in backwards and had great difficulty trying to get it out without damaging your phone the utility becomes much more obvious.
Add to that the fact that it’s a solidly constructed and tangle free cable and that ten pounds looks a lot more sensible. I’ve been using the 2m cable for the last week and I’ve gotten used to it enough I’ve been seriously thinking about buying a couple more for my desk and bag. The MicFlip won’t change your life but it’ll certainly make it more convenient and maybe save your phone’s socket. Recommended.
The review is based on the 2m silver MicFlip kindly provided by WinnerGear. Click to read more about our eco icons and access icons used in this review. This article was first published on 11 April 2016.