Earlier this year I reviewed the ECHO Connect EchoKey, which is a pocket sized Lightning connector connector that can be put in your pocket, your purse, or even on your key ring, and be readily available when you find yourself in need of a quick charge, but don’t have a Lightning cable handy. I liked the EchoKey, and still keep it on my key ring to this day, and it has saved my butt more than once.
Although we don’t like to admit it in our iOS-centric world, there are some mobile device users that sometimes take another path. These folk use Android or Windows mobile devices as well as iOS, and until now they have been left out in the cold when it comes to convenient accessories such as the EchoKey.
Luckily, Echo has heard their pleas, and has released the Echo Connect Key, a pocket-sized accessory much like the original EchoKey, but which also includes a Micro USB connector for those who live on the wild side. The Connect Key is a small, flexible Y-shaped connector with a USB connector on one end, and a Lighting connector and Micro USB connectors on the other, along with a handy hole for putting the connector on your keyring.
The Connect Key’s design makes it clear that it isn’t designed for everyday charging and syncing use. It’s about 2-inch long, so it doesn’t give you much slack when it comes to distance allowed from a charging source, This thing is designed to get your device connected to a handy USB port to grab a quick charge, that’s it.
While the Connect Key is flexible, and could probably be used with any standard USB charger, the ideal situation is to be able to plug it into a laptop’s USB port to charge your device. If you use it with a wall charger, your device will be hanging precariously in mid-air, possibly disconnecting at any time. I did find that the Connect Key worked just fine with portable charging batteries, especially the slimline models that can lie on their side while charging a device.
I found the Connect Key to work as advertised with both my iPhone, and a handy Android handset I had in my desk drawer. (Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone!) The Connect Key is not out of place on a key ring, and it doesn’t add too much bulk to a collection of keys, due to the flexible and compact design.
One welcome change from the original Echo Connect Key I first reviewed is the addition of a standard USB connector to the Connect Key. The Echo Connect Key sported a slim-line USB connector, and it could slip easily out of the USB port if the laptop or device were bumped. The connection for the Echo Connect Key is much more solid.
While I tested the Connect Key with a few cases I had available, I wasn’t able to try it with any heavy-duty protective cases, so I can’t guarantee it can make a connection to your device’s charging/sync port if you use such a case.
The Connect Key is a great solution for anyone who wants to have a handy charging or sync option close at hand, but doesn’t want to deal with carrying extra cables. The accessory is especially attractive to users who use both iOS and Android devices, as it gives added flexibility.
Price: The Connect Key is £12.99 (around $20 USD), and is available at the Echo website. It is available in Black, Blue, Purple, and White.
- A compact, easy to use solution for use when you need a quick charge for your iPhone or Android device, and don’t have a regular cable handy.
- Always handy, hangs from your key chain or it can be slipped in a side pocket of a purse or backpack.
- The Connect Key, at $20 is a little more expensive than a stock cable. You are definitely paying for the convenience of having a small connector that is compatible with two type of devices.
Disclaimer: I received the Echo Connect Key at no cost for review. I have not received compensation for the review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.