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Not even my car tire could kill this tough phone cable

Crave's Michael Franco gets his hands on the MOS Spring charging cable and proceeds to torture the stuffing out of it.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
3 min read

The MOS Spring cable gets its name from the spring casings at either end of the cord that are meant to prevent fraying. MOS

As a guy who regularly picks up his phone by its cord despite common sense, when I was offered the chance to try out a cable billed as "indestructible" by the MOS folks, I couldn't resist saying yes.

The 6-foot Micro-USB cable arrived just before a trip, so it was the perfect time to try it out. It has a spring coil at both ends where the cord meets the plugs that is meant to guard against fraying (mostly from bozos like me that pick their phones up by their cables, I assume).

The cable is also coated in an exoskeleton that, a company spokesperson told me, is "made from a really tough synthetic polymer (think super-tough nylon) with properties that make it seem metallic; the light weave allows it to be more flexible."

All that's well and good, but how does the thing actually perform?

Well, for the week that I was on the road, I made a particular point of being hard on the cable. I scrunched it into impossibly small pockets in my laptop bag; carried it in my back pocket and sat on it; coiled it into a figure-eight and stomped on it with my foot; snagged it in my luggage wheels (that was actually a legitimate accident); and -- yes -- picked up my gigantic Galaxy Note 3 from the cable many, many times.

The cable soldiered on without a single sign of the abuse I heaped upon it.

The MOS cable under the tire of my 1996 Toyota RAV4. Michael Franco/CNET

So, once I got home, I put it to the ultimate test. I rolled it back up in that figure eight shape again, placed it under the front wheel of my car's tire and ran the sucker over. Finally! The Spring cable showed some signs of damage (see below).

The spring at the Micro-USB end had separated a bit from the cord and the plug was slightly bent. The USB end seemed to come through fine, but that's likely because it escaped the full weight of the tire.

But even after that extreme test, the darn thing still works. I had to bend the Micro-USB head a little, but I put it back into my Note and whammo -- the juice started flowing again.

Clever cables for charging your phone (pictures)

See all photos

There, are of course some other tough phone-charging cables out there. SoundLogic puts out one that is also covered in a tough nylon weave; Cellet makes one that is extra thick; and Tough Tested offers a series of cables that are coiled like old-fashioned wall-mounted phone cords that look like they'd hold up pretty well under stress. But none of the other cables I could find featured the unique spring protector that gives the MOS cable its name.

In the US, you can grab yourself a 3-foot-long Micro-USB MOS Spring Cable for $18.95 plus shipping (currently out of stock, but available for higher prices on Amazon) and a 6-foot version for $24.95. You can get a 3-foot Lightning version for Mac devices for $29.95. And you can even pick up a variety of super-tough 3.5mm Aux audio cables ranging from 3 feet to 15 feet for $11.95 to $23.95. In the UK, you can get the 6-foot MOS Spring Cable for £18.95 via Amazon.co.uk, but distributor Sewell Direct also ships internationally to countries including the UK and Australia. Converted, the 3- and 6-foot versions would cost about AU$22 and AU$30 without shipping.

The final results. Separation at the Micro-USB end, but it still works. Michael Franco/CNET