ChargeKey Review: Carry a charging cable on your keyring

BY Rita El Khoury

Published 31 May 2014


Despite how much smartphones have evolved in the past couple of years, one aspect seems to be stuck only incrementally increasing at a snail pace — battery life. With our phones serving so many new uses, their battery drains even faster, and the hindrance of charging them frequently follows us everywhere. That’s where an accessory like the ChargeKey can come in handy.

Made by Nomad, the same company that first brought us the ChargeCard, the ChargeKey is a key-sized charging cable for smartphones, tablets, and any gadgets that use a microUSB port to fill up their battery. It first started as an Indiegogo project, where I discovered it and decided to pledge for a unit, and has since materialized into a real product.

Key Characteristics

The ChargeKey distinguishes itself from many similar small charging cables by a few characteristics:

  • It’s tiny. At 6.6cm, it’s only slightly taller than regular keys, and it is the same thickness as well. Nomad claims it’s the world’s smallest charging cable, and I haven’t found anything to refute that claim.
  • It comes with a small loop to attach it to your regular keyring so you can always carry it with you. My friend, to whom I gifted one ChargeKey, really loves this feature. Personally, I carry it in a small gadget pouch that also houses a few microSD cards and adapters.
  • It’s bendable and tough, made to withstand the wear and tear of being thrown around with your keys, and to flip and twist to accommodate any configuration you want to use it in with your phone and USB charging port.

ChargeKey, car keys, small flashlight, and StickR TrackR.

Does it live up to the promise?

I have been using the ChargeKey for a few months now. It has stood the test of time, and the pictures you see here were taken just now, to give you an idea of the state the charger is in — ie, still excellent. I haven’t noticed any slow downs in charging times between using the ChargeKey and my regular microUSB cables.

I also really love the convenience of having a cable with me, anywhere I go. As I mentioned above, the ChargeKey goes into a small gadget pouch that I carry everywhere, and the thought that I only need a USB port, no matter where I am, to charge my phone is quite comforting.


The ChargeKey is as thin as its USB connector

Is it worth the price?

How much does this small wonder cost? $29. That is steep. Very, very steep. It’s even more expensive if you consider that you can get a short microUSB cable for a few dollars on eBay (though they are longer, don’t have the keyring loop, and aren’t as efficient or as tough). You’re actually paying for convenience and quality with the ChargeKey, and whether the price becomes justifiable with that in mind is up to you. I’m personally sold on the idea, I’ve been gifting the ChargeKey to friends who love it, and I even got the Lightning version for my iPad Mini.


ChargeKey MicroUSB and ChargeKey Lightning