We first glimpsed the Highline way back in 2012, when we reviewed the 30-pin-dock-connector version of the leash for iDevices. Now, back in the future, the Lightning Highline has just launched, helping to save the butterfingered and terminally distracted from losing or smashing their iPhone.
The Highline is a curly cable which attaches to your belt to a belt loop at one end, and to your iPhone 5/S at the other. The leash is combined with a clear polycarbonate case which does two things: it protects you device even if it manages to dangle violently into a brick wall or other malevolent, iPhone-hating surface, and it has a notch which locks onto the leash itself.
It works like this: imagine sliding your iPhone between your index finger and your thumb, only instead of that bit of webbed skin at their joint, there’s a plastic protrusion that fits into the lightning port. And at the first knuckle of your finger theres a little callous that clips perfectly into the notch on the back of the Highline case.
And now imagine that instead of your hand, it’s a little plastic clip.
It’s a very neat system, using the Lightning port for stability but using the actual case and some clever design to actually take the force of any drop. This is better than the original, which put all the stress on the 30-pin connector of your iPhone or iPad touch. The downside is that it needs a case to function, and the only case available is for the current iPhone 5/S. Then again, if you have an iPhone 5C you probably don’t care about dropping it anyway.
Shipping is set to start at the end of April 2014, and you can pre-order the new Highline for $35. We should (hopefully – I haven’t actually asked yet) be getting one for review.