Nobody gives much thought to the batteries one buys, despite the numerous places they need to be popped in to make life function. Well, you should. A big part of completely avoidable household trash is use-and-throw batteries. What’s more, eliminating that wastage is easier than continuing to buy use-and-throw batteries, plus it saves you some sweet cash over the year. With rechargeable AA batteries, you don’t need to run to the store either when you run out of power. Just plug in your charger and your batteries are good as new in no time. You can even store the charged batteries for later!
There is a whole lot of variety available to choose your AA batteries from, covering all sorts of brands, builds and power capacities. We’ve chosen the 5 best rechargeable batteries you can buy online, and arranged them in increasing order of awesomeness. Take a look…
|Product||Capacity||Pre-charged||No. of Batteries||Buy|
|AmazonBasics||2400 mAh||Yes||Pack of 8||Buy Now|
|Energiser||2300 mAh||Yes||Pack of 4||Buy Now|
|Tenergy||2500 mAh||-||Pack of 4||Buy Now|
|Duracell Long Life||2400 mAh||Yes||Pack of 4||Buy Now|
|EBL||2800 mAh||Yes||Pack of 8||Buy Now|
|Panasonic Eneloop||2000 mAh||Yes||Pack of 8||Buy Now|
Top Rechargeable Batteries Reviews of 2018
1. AmazonBasics AA High Capacity – Best AA Rechargeable Batteries
AmazonBasics AA batteries are pretty much the standard we measured other batteries against, simply because they were the ones which matched our expectations from a $20 pack the most. You probably don’t want to spend too much on batteries, so buying a 16 pack was sort of an overreach. But we’re glad we did because these fared the best in our evaluation, be it about which ones would last the longest (of a full charge, these kept a pocket radio on for a full day) or which ones were the most durable. The battery charger also has a USB port you can use to charge your smartphone as well, which is nice to have.
Amazon also claims that these are slow to discharge and retain as much as 80% of their charge after being left unattended. They come with overcharge protection, provide a minimum of 1900 mAh and are really cost-efficient. There is some controversy regarding the origin of the black colored cells, many advocating the purchase of the white colored ones instead said to be made in Japan. The batteries we tested were white, so those are the ones we recommend you purchase.
The Energiser Ultimate batteries retain charges for upto 12 months, claims Energiser. We didn’t really have a year to test it out (do leave us a comment if these batteries didn’t last that long for you), but we did find around 86% battery charge retention 3 months from the date of the last charge, give or take.
The battery receives good reviews from around the internet regarding their performance, but their longevity has been called into question a few times. The charger is also not the best the market has to offer. Thankfully, the batteries last well enough for using a different charger to be an option.
Tenergy comes with a 12 month extended warranty and some pretty extensive testing and certification, which is what drew us to this battery in the first place. The batteries tolerate a range of temperature, and though the performance wavers, it is still decent enough to be useful. Recharging to full capacity for the first few cycles is advisable; afterward, you may treat them as your usual AA batteries. The warranty might be useful because the average amount our 12 batteries lasted was around 20 cycles. For the power they can contain, though, they become good options for using in TV remote controls and toys. If it is something you’re likely to use more frequently, using the AmazonBasics AA might serve you better, or for that matter, the next option in the list, Duracell 2400 mAh.
Duracell has the most bang for your buck at the least buck. The price isn’t as low as many a competitor Duracell has, but you get a superior 2400 mAh battery that lasts quite a few cycles more. And the price isn’t exactly ungodly for all you get for less than $20. The charger is better than most others as well, coming with an overcharge prevention mechanism that is almost state of the art.
Duracell also have a 3 year guarantee on the charger against defects due to workmanship and material used, and also replaces the batteries in case they get damaged due to the charger. The performance lasts longer than most other batteries in the price range, and the superior charge makes them good candidates for powering long-use gadgets with, such as electric shavers and video game controllers. Using them for wall-clocks and TV remotes is okay too, but it can be a little bit of an overkill.
EBL claims the batteries will last for a good 1200 cycles. We didn’t have the time to go so many cycles, but going by the kind of performance we got from these bad boys, we don’t have much reason to be skeptical of that claim. The 2800 mAh AA batteries from EBL are pretty strong as you can imagine, but they were also the most impressive in the power retention aspect, retaining as much as 90% of the charge 3 months after initial charge. They turned out to be pretty durable too. Getting into the specifics of performance, a fully charged battery took around 11 hours to stop lighting up our LEDs, which makes them pretty impressive. They’re probably going to save you from worrying about batteries in all your gadgets for a good year. Going by the price, it’s not a bad idea to replace old batteries in all household electronic items with these.
The company also claims the batteries to be free from mercury, lead, and cadmium, some pretty dangerous pollutants present in most other batteries, though we still recommend you dispose of spent ones with the same care.
Last minute bonus entry: Panasonic Eneloop
We were done compiling this list when we chanced upon this gem which we had initially dismissed owing to negative reviews. We were glad we tried it out. Check out why…
These batteries go a step further from EBL rechargeable batteries and offer you a whopping 2100 cycles of recharge. They’re pre-charged using solar power, for the green buffs here. Eneloop is undisputably the best performing batteries in the market, outdoing all others on virtually every parameter of comparison. The batteries maintain 70% charge even after 10 years! I mean I forget I bought something as small as a battery, but finding a working battery that’s been sitting on my shelf for a decade is a pretty interesting prospect. The power capacity is 2100 mAh, perfect for most electronic gadgets in the house.
The longevity is the only problem with these batteries, but not any more than any units in competition. Between charges though, you can expect a good length of performance in an average flashlight or a TV remote. Under continuous use with our trusted LED panel, these beauties lasted about 8 hours which isn’t bad, honestly, considering the ELB 2800 mAh scores just 3 hours higher.
What to look for when choosing the best rechargeable AA batteries
1. More mAh doesn’t mean more utility. You don’t want to overpower your devices since it can cause them to generate heat. It might be unnoticeable in most cases, but it can dent their performance many a time. Plus, you don’t want all that power to go waste either.
2. The budget is a good factor to go by if you cycle through your batteries quickly. But if you only replace batteries once in a blue moon, don’t let a couple of dollars keep you from buying the best the market has to offer.
3. The charger matters. Check what all the charger brings to the deal, like how many batteries it can charge, or if it can double up as a smartphone charger.
How to dispose of dead AA or AAA batteries
While we’re discussing green ways to power our gadgetry, it is also important to make note of how to dispose off these power sources once they are spent. Here is how you should dispose of your AA or AAA batteries. To know more about disposing of other types of batteries, there is a nice WikiHow page you can use.
1. In most states, AA and AAA batteries can be thrown into the trash. Following 1996, most batteries made don’t have as much harmful material in them as they used to. However…
2. If your state doesn’t treat batteries as harmless waste, you will need to dispose of them in the hazardous waste bin. Your waste disposal plant or local trash yard will probably have a pile or bin to sort trash into if you don’t have one elsewhere.
3. It might be inconvenient to visit the junkyard every time you run out of power in your batteries, or when a rechargeable one becomes useless. You don’t need to. Get a cardboard box and put your spent batteries in it, remembering to drop them off whenever you pass by the junkyard next. It is important to make sure that the box is not metal or otherwise conducts electricity, or it can sometimes result in fires or cause chemicals to leak and mark the surface underneath. Also, keep the box away from children. Those shiny metal bodies can be pretty attractive to kids.