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The Best Rechargeable AA Batteries of 2016

by Patrick Hyde •

In A Nutshell

The Details

panasoniceneloop2

Panasonic eneloop pro batteries are high-capacity lower-cycle AA battery popular with electronics reviewers and photography enthusiasts. First launched back in 2006, Sanyo eneloop batteries (since acquired by Panasonic) use eco-friendly NiMH cells designed for use with a wide-variety of products, ranging from flashlights to cameras. Up until the eneloop’s debut, rechargeable batteries were prohibitively expensive and couldn’t hold a charge for anywhere near the length of their alkaline competitors.

Eneloop changed that, but still lacked a little when compared to alkaline batteries or newer competitors. Panasonic’s upgraded option, eneloop pro, can maintain a charge for an extended period of time, with a capacity of 2,550 mAh and Low Self Discharge (LSD) technology. LSD tech is thanks to a highly-durable super lattice alloy that prolongs battery life with increased hydrogen stability that leads a stable voltage output and reduced self-discharge. Expect an eneloop pro to still have 85% of its charge after a year and 70% of its charge for ten years.

What really sets eneloop pro apart is the increased performance in high drain devices, such as DSLR cameras and ultra-bright flashlights. Eneloop pro lasts longer and omits more power in these high power consumption devices when compared to similar NiMH rechargeable batteries on the market. Simply put, these are the best choice for photographers and survivalists.

The added power comes at a payoff, however. Eneloop Pro batteries are among the most expensive NiMH batteries on the market, and last for fewer lifetime charges. Panasonic estimates that an eneloop pro can be recharged 500 times, but number is even lower in reality. Compare that to Powerex’s Imedion AA, which boast 1000 recharges.

Another Option

amazonbasicsaa

AmazonBasics offers pre-charged high-capacity NiMH batteries for an affordable price. They are rated at 2400mAh, giving them a longer run-time than similarly priced competitors. They are ideal for everyday uses in low drain devices, like TV remotes and electronic alarm clocks.

Wirecutter found that AmazonBasics did not perform as well in high power devices, such as flashlights and digital cameras.

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