Une Bobine review: the smartphone charger that thinks it’s a tripod

une-bobine

Fuse Chicken’s Une Bobine is rather unique among smartphone charging cables. Its design serves several purposes at once, offering durable construction alongside the ability for the cable to double as a tripod and phone dock all at the same time. It sounds like a potentially zany idea, but is the end result just another forgettable gadget?

The Une Bobine is a charging cable

une-bobine-charger

The Une Bobine is, at it’s core (literally), a charging cable. In that respect it works exactly as expected. Available for Android (MicroUSB) and iPhone (Lightning connector), it does the job of charging a device just fine. Connect one end to your phone and the other to a USB power supply and watch as your battery level goes up, up, up.

What sets the Une Bobine apart is its design. This is perhaps the sturdiest cable you will come across. The internal charging cable is wrapped in a seemingly impenetrable flexible metal exterior. You can rest assured that dogs, cats, scissors, and any other manner of destruction will not easily befall this cable.

The downside, of course, is that this metal wrap makes for a bulky result. The Une Bobine is most definitely one of the heaviest charging cables you will encounter. It packs down to a fairly portable size, but it’s a far cry from tossing a traditional charging cable in your bag.

The Une Bobine is a tripod, too

une-bobine-tripod

The Une Bobine’s construction makes for an intriguing possibility. It can be bent into and retain shape, allowing for the cable to double as both a “dock” and a “tripod.” This is an intentional feature, and perhaps the most enticing aspect of the Une Bobine.

For the most part, it works as advertised, but as device’s continue to increase in size the added weight isn’t always friendly to the Une Bobine. As long as you establish a pretty firm base and create a center of balance, this is usually fine, but for larger device’s like the Galaxy S5 things can become a bit precarious. Another thing to consider is the various locations that Android manufacturers place their device’s USB ports. The Une Bobine works best with a device that features a charging point located at a central point below the display.

The Bottom Line

The Une Bobine is an intriguing concept, and at about $20 ($10 for the “petite” version) isn’t breaking the bank. For those looking for a simple solution for a tripod in combination with a durable charging cable, it might be worth a purchase. Folks may wish to hold off though. Fuse Chicken informs us that a new version of their charging cable is on the works, one that is designed to better fit the large variety of Android devices available on the market today.

The Good

  • Durable construction
  • Versatile design doubles as a dock/tripod

The Bad

  • Heavy and a bit bulky
  • Not perfect for all Android devices

Overall: 3.5/5

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  • supremekizzle

    I don’t know if I’d endanger the micro USB port on my phone like that…

  • Phaz0n

    I’m worried that this might screw up the charging port if used often. It doesn’t seem to have any support except for the plug itself.

  • Haggie

    I would prefer some type of swappable screw-on attachment end so I can use one that supported the phone too or had USB 3.0 support for my S5.

  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    Sounds great in theory, but with Androids finicky micro USB ports, you’re just asking for trouble if you use this frequently. I’ve always heard reports of people breaking their USB ports only to experience it first hand on my Nexus 7 (2014) a few months ago.

    • Sean Royce

      2014? What are you hiding?

  • h4rr4r

    That is going to destroy some charging ports.

  • Jay Kresge

    All the concerns below are legit. The MicroUSB port of an Android phone should not be used the support the entire device. That’s just asking for trouble.

    If the iPhone version is only $20, that’s a seal. Normal lighting cables are $30 from Apple.

  • No_Nickname90

    YES!! But how much does it weigh? I mean, this sounds cool, but I don’t want something that’s as heavy as a text book. I don’t want my backpack to wear out super fast. But I would love something like this. It’ll make editing videos super easy.

    I want to make a movie using FX Guru.

  • Carl Rood

    Having experience nearly a year with a flaky USB port that had trouble holding the connector securely, I can’t see it being a good idea to purposely support the whole weght of the phone by it. Add in that there seems to be an aversion to putting the port in the same spot on every device (e.g. off center on the HTC One M8).

  • https://plus.google.com/102862831744598656090/about Wesley

    This looks useful but like others have said, I would hate to have it break my USB port. I really need something like this for my Nexus 5 though. It would be great to wrap part of it around the arm of my wheelchair and have it hold the phone at a nice viewing angle. It would be great for positioning the phone to take pictures too. The ability to charge with it wouldn’t be necessary.

  • BronzeLincolns

    excellent idea! depending on whether it would be compatible with my device i would totally buy one.

  • dhinged

    Great, my charging port is at the top of the phone.

    • NinoBr0wn

      What phone is that?