In A Nutshell
- The best pre-charged rechargeable AA batteries of 2016 are Panasonic’s Eneloop Pro AA Batteries. They are made with Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) chemistry and have low standard discharge, meaning they can hold a charge for years.
- AmazonBasics AA High-Capacity Rechargeable Batteries are a reliable low-cost alternative. They are about 30% cheaper than Panasonic cells, but last only 75% as long per charge.
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.
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.