CROWDFUNDING REVIEW – I’m sure you have a drawer full of USB cables or if you’re an iPhone person, you might have a drawer full of Lightning cables. But do you have a USB cable that you can customize with animations or text? I didn’t think so. So today, we’re going to look at the mobfree PixelCable which is a new project on Kickstarter. Let’s check it out!
What is it?
The PixelCable is a USB cable that is available in USB-C or Lightning cable versions. It works like all the other cables in your drawers, but one end of the cable has a tiny app-controlled smart OLED display that can show custom scrolling text, photos, and animations for fun and also real-time charging info.
Design and features
I was sent the Lightning version of the PixelCable which has a USB-C connector on the opposite end of the black and grey braided 6ft/1.8m cable. It’s also available in white.
The PixelCable is also available in a USB-C to USB-C version. The USB-C to USB-C PixelCable can deliver up to 100W Power Delivery and USB-C to Lightning version can support 20W PD. The PixelCabel also supports 480mbps data transfer.
So far the description of the PixelCable hasn’t been that exciting right? That’s because I haven’t talked about the built-in OLED display. that’s right, there’s a 88 × 48px display built into one end of this cable.
The display will play an animation, scrolling text, or a photo when you put it into your phone. You can choose the behavior through the app.
The QCharger app
You’ll need to enable Bluetooth on your phone and install the QCharger app which is needed to customize the various settings of the cable that include the type of animation that is played when plugged in as well as playing a tone when charging is complete. My prototype of the PixelCable only came with 3 animations to choose from, but through the app, I could change the scrolling text and/or upload an image to have it turned into a picture that would display on the cable’s screen. Here’s a quick video showing some of the options.
See it in action
After the animation finishes playing, it will then show the live percentage charged.
I like this feature much more than the animations which are, let’s face it, just a fun novelty. But the ability to see the charging status is nice, especially for iPhone users who have no visual indicator of how much the phone is charged without tapping the screen or pressing the power button to wake up the phone.
If the QCharger app isn’t running or installed on your phone, the cable’s display will play the start-up animation and then will just show if the phone is fast charging and the live power output.
Note that if the app isn’t running or is uninstalled, the animation will be the only thing that will be displayed on the PixelCable’s built-in display for a few seconds, and then it will show the info in the image above. bit it will not show the live charge %.
What I like
- Shows the percentage charged without waking the phone
- Animations and text customizations
- Braided cable
What I’d change
- Add the ability to stop charging at a certain % level
- Allow % of charge to show even if the app is deleted
The PixelCable may look like a regular USB cable but the built-in display makes it more interesting than most other cables. As long as you don’t mind having to enable Bluetooth and keep the app installed and running in order to view the live charging %, the PixelCable is a fun and slightly more useful alternative to all the other USB cables scattered around your home.
The PixelCable campaign ends on 05/12/22 and they are working towards their funding goal of $3,829. You can pre-order a PixelCable starting at $26. After the PixelCable campaign ends, rewards are estimated to start shipping in August 2022. Visit their Kickstarter page for all the details.
As a special offer, mobfree will provide a free customizable protective case when you purchase a PixelCable through this review. You can send an email to [email protected] or message them via their Kickstarter campaign page. This gift will be shipped together with the PixelCable.
Where to buy: Kickstarter
Source: The sample for this review was provided by mobfree.