Donate |
Preview: To see full article and/or Ratings, Subscribe Now!

Best AA batteries

Find out which products can go the distance

Consumer Reports magazine: December 2012

Find Ratings blob logo

In happy times (taking holiday photos) and sad (enduring winter storms), you want a battery you can trust. We hired a lab to run new, improved tests that mimic the main uses of AA batteries: to power digital cameras and flashlights. We tested 10 alkaline and two lithium batteries. Neither type is rechargeable. (In past tests, we’ve found that rechargeables of 2,350 milliamp-hours or more are best for often-used toys like game controllers.)

In cameras. This test mimics everyday use, zooming, flashing, shooting, and resting until batteries die. The top battery, a lithkum, took 682 shots in our tough test, while one alkaline managed just 52. See our Ratings for full test results.

In flashlights. This test involves the equivalent of turning on a flashlight for 4 minutes every hour for 8 hours, letting it sit for 16 hours, and repeating the cycle until batteries die. Battery life ranged from about 7.5 hours for a lithium battery down to about 5.2. The best alkaline lasted about 6.7 hours.

Bottom line. Lithiums are good in high-drain devices like cameras. Alkalines have shorter lives but cost less, and some perform almost as well in low-drain devices like flashlights and remotes. Most alkalines have a shelf life of about seven years, but some claim up to 10 years. For information about tossing or recycling batteries, go to www.call2recycle.org or earth911.com.

Sign In or Subscribe to see full article and/or Ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters!
Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Electronics & Computers News

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more