In a sea of me-too accessories, the crowd-funded Une Bobine stands alone as a charging, syncing cable which also happens to be a stand and dock. The flexible neck of the unit is unlike any cable you have seen… It has virtually infinite positions in which you can bend it and twist it as you make your iPhone an even more intimate part of your life. The dock I tested was specifically designed to work with the iPhone 5 series including the 5s and 5c. Android devices are also supported. I used the 5s model in my testing.
You can also use it with the iPad and iPad Mini but it really isn’t designed to support such a heavy load. Still, in the picture above you can see it can also function as a tablet kickstand.
In the real-world the Bobine allows the user to keep the iPhone at eye-level while also charging. Eye-level is the key to the device in-fact… You can take it on a trip and ensure your iPhone is always visible on your nightstand by your bed if you use it as alarm clock. You can then take it to the desk by the laptop and watch a movie while you work. Or you could FaceTime or Skype with others without having to hold the phone. You could use it as a tripod while simultaneously charging and syncing the device.
If there is a downside it is that the charger is USB at the non-Lightning/MicroUSB end and the entire length of the UneBobine is 27 inches long. In other words, in the real world, you need to have a USB plug somewhere nearby to connect this charger.
If you think the three foot length of Apple chargers is limiting, this one is 2 feet and three-inches long meaning nine-inches shorter than what Cupertino provides. It will work with your laptop but it might not work elsewhere, depending on where the USB plug is.
Jon Fawcett from the parent company Fuse Chicken had this to say about the length of the device:
We have tested longer, but to still have the holding strength, it would have to get thicker. We felt this tradeoff wasn’t worth it for the portability. We used to make a shorter version also (Petite Bobine), but this longer version was preferred 10 to 1 over the shorter. We do still have a few of these remaining in stock for microusb and available on our website.
To solve this problem, you would need some sort of USB adapter which provides a female socket for you to plug into. This isn‘t necessarily a drawback inherent in the Bobine but it does mean it would be more functional with such an attachment. I suggest they offer one as an add-on to the device.
Otherwise, I love it… What’s not to love? You can use your iPhone 5x, Samsung Galaxy, etc. without neck-strain, in a relaxed and comfortable manner. You no longer have to search for the smartphone on your nightstand as you will be able to easily see its bright face when it wakes you in the morning. Or when you answer a video-call.
Other important points worth noting are the name means “A coil” in French. Also, it may look waterproof you shouldn’t plug in the cable when it is wet – it will dry out in the same amount of time as a typical cable. The company tells me strong Nickel plating should keep it from rusting. We know salt water is corrosive to just about everything (except sea-creatures of course) but the company says spray and mist from this variety of H2O shouldn’t affect the durability or functionality of the charger but they go on to say, “We may not be able to offer warranty coverage if it is severe.”