Most small but high-performance electronic devices are powered by lithium batteries. CR123 and CR123A are the two most common batteries used in most devices.
From their names, you can easily assume that these two lithium batteries are one. But in reality, they are quite different. So, which one should you buy and for which application?
Read on as we break down the differences between CR123 and CR123A.
What are CR123 batteries?
CR123 batteries are lithium batteries that have 3.0 Volts and are used for high-performance devices. They are used in devices such as flashlights, cameras, etc. CR stands for cylindrical rechargeable battery and 123 is the diameter of the battery in mm (in this case 18 mm).
What are CR123A batteries?
CR123A batteries are most commonly used in many small electronic devices because of their ability to provide power to the device efficiently. They have the same voltage output as the CR123 but they differ in diameter and length.
The A stands for anode which refers to its positive end. Also, it has a shorter length than a CR123 Battery. An advantage of these is that they can be used in devices that cannot accept larger CR123 batteries.
CR123 vs CR123A: Voltage
The voltage of the two batteries is almost the same. The voltage of a CR123 battery is 3 Volts while that of a CR123A battery is 3.6 Volts. This means that if you are using a device that requires a CR123 battery, then it will work with a CR123A battery as well but not the other way around.
CR123 vs CR123A: Size and dimensions
CR123A batteries have a diameter of 16.5mm and a length of 51mm, while CR123 has a diameter of 17mm and a length of 65mm.
The difference in length is quite significant because it means that you cannot use CR123 batteries in devices that have been designed to use the smaller CR123A batteries. The difference in diameter is minimal, so you can easily replace one with another if need be.
CR123 vs CR123A: Price
The price of these two lithium batteries is very much influenced by their sizes. While the price for an individual CR123 battery is significantly lower than that of the CR123A, the price difference is not as much when you buy these in bulk. The cost will depend on where you are buying them from.
CR123 vs CR123A: Uses
The use of these two batteries is almost the same because they have almost the same power output. The only difference is that they cannot be used interchangeably in devices where one battery size has been specified.
For example, if you want to use a CR123A is a device that has been designed for use with a CR123 battery, it will not fit into the device and it will probably get stuck inside the device.
CR123 vs CR123A: Weight
The difference in weight between the two batteries is minimal. A CR123 battery weighs 15 grams while a CR123A weighs just 12 grams. The difference in weight between the two is 3 grams.
CR123 vs CR123A: Effect of Temperature
The two batteries have a similar effect on the temperature of the device they are used in. The main difference here is that the CR123A can tolerate temperatures of up to 60 degrees Celsius while the CR123 cannot tolerate temperatures greater than 55 degrees Celsius.
CR123 vs CR123A: Safety Issues
The two batteries have different safety measures and features. For example, a lithium battery that is used in a device like a camera has to be able to withstand extreme temperatures and high voltage spikes when it is recharging. A lithium battery with these features will cost more than one without them.
CR123 vs CR123A: Lifespan
Both the batteries have the same lifespan if used properly under ideal conditions. The lifespan of the two batteries is about 10 years. It is important to remember that the lifespan of a battery can be affected by storage conditions and how the battery is being used.
CR123 vs CR123A: Battery Capacity
The main difference between the two types of batteries in terms of capacity is that a CR123 can hold up to 3,000 mAh while a CR1234 holds 2,600 mAh. The difference in capacity between the two is only 300 mAh. This can be compared to the difference between a 1.3-volt and 3.0-volt lithium battery. The 1.3-volt battery is about 3/4 of the capacity of a 3.0-volt battery, but it has a much longer lifespan than the CR123A.
CR123 vs CR123A: Chemistry
Both CR123 and CR123A are lithium-based batteries. This simply means that they have the same chemical properties. The only difference is that CR123A has a lower energy density and a slightly higher internal resistance. This means that the CR123A can be charged at a much faster rate than the CR123.
CR123 vs CR123A: In The Field
The two batteries are very similar in terms of performance. They both have a shelf life of about 10 years, and they both have a capacity of 3,000 mAh. They both have a voltage of 1.5 volts and an energy density of about 2 amp-hours per gram. This means that they are very similar in terms of performance, but the CR123A is slightly more durable than the CR123 due to its higher energy density.
CR123 vs CR123A: Storage Conditions
You should always store the CR123 and CR123A batteries in their original packaging to prevent damage from occurring to the battery itself and to prevent any leakage or corrosion from occurring if you store them in a humid environment. If you store the CR123A in its original packaging, you should store it in a dry area away from any water or liquids.
CR123 vs CR123A: Disposal
The best way to dispose of the two batteries is by recycling them. You can do this by taking the battery to a local recycling center or by calling your local recycling center directly to get information on what they accept. Otherwise, you can safely dispose of the battery through proper household hazardous waste disposal methods.
Frequently asked questions about CR123 vs CR123A
Here are the most common questions that people tend to ask about CR123 and CR123A.
What does CR stand for?
CR is a prefix that is used by the IEC to indicate that the battery uses lithium chemistry. C stands for lithium and R stands for rechargeable.
Can I use CR123 and CR123A interchangeably?
No, CR123A and CR123 batteries are not interchangeable. The CR123A battery is designed for use in digital cameras and flashlights. These devices require a higher voltage than the CR123 battery. The CR123A has a voltage of 1.5 volts, which is higher than the 1.2 to 1.5 volts that the CR123 uses.
Is there an actual difference between the two?
Yes, there is an actual difference between the two batteries, especially in terms of size and weight. The CR123A has a slightly larger diameter than the standard size of a single AA battery as well as being slightly heavier when compared to other single AA batteries of similar size and weight.
How long do I need to charge the batteries?
The amount of time needed to charge the battery depends on how many times it has been used, how much energy was needed, and the current level of the battery. If you are using a CR123A in a digital camera or flashlight that requires a higher voltage than 1.2 volts, then you will need to recharge it more often than if you were using a CR123 battery.
How long can I store my batteries before they lose their charge?
This is completely dependent on how often you use your batteries. If they are stored in a cool place, such as in your glove box or trunk, then their life can be extended quite a bit. However, if they are stored in a hot place, such as the trunk of your car, then you will have to recharge them more often.
Can I use the same batteries on multiple devices?
Yes, you can use the same battery on multiple devices. However, this will shorten its life since it is being repeatedly used and recharged. Also, if the battery is not fully drained before recharging, then it will not be charged to its full capacity.
How do I know if my batteries need to be replaced?
When you are using a CR123A or CR123 battery operation, then you will notice that after about three years, the battery will begin to wear out. The first sign that your battery is nearing the end of its life is that it will no longer hold a charge.
Is there a difference between regular alkaline batteries and lithium batteries?
There are two types of alkaline batteries: zinc-carbon and zinc-manganese. Both of these are safe to use, but they have different characteristics. When using zinc-carbon, the shelf life is significantly shorter than when using zinc manganese.
Zinc manganese does not contain any water and has a higher energy density than zinc-carbon. Zinc manganese also has an extremely low self-discharge rate and can be recharged hundreds of times before losing its capacity.
I hope you now know the difference between CR123 vs CR123A batteries. Using this information, you can now decide which type of battery is best for your application.
And in case you want to buy one of these batteries or both in China, consider contacting ICRFQ. We are a reliable supplier of high-quality batteries at affordable prices. We are able to provide you with the products you need in a fast and efficient manner.
If you want to find more Electronic Components Distributors, please check out the following articles: