519 of 528 people found the following review helpful
The 2nd-gen eneloop cells are here!,
This review is from: Sanyo Eneloop Ni-MH Charger and 8 Rechargeable AA and 4 Rechargeable AAA Batteries (Electronics)
This new eneloop package (Sanyo Eneloop Ni-MH Charger and 8 Rechargeable AA and 4 Rechargeable AAA Batteries) contains 12 of the 2nd-gen eneloop cells, and the MQN06 4-cell charger. Note that unlike the previous eneloop Power Pack Kit, there are no C- and D-shell adapters in this package.
The rated capacities of those new eneloop cells are the same as that of original eneloop: 2000mAh for AA, 800 for AAA. All batteries are made in Japan. The charger is made in China.
I have tested 4 new eneloop AA cells, using my La Crosse BC-900 Battery Charger:
- Right out of the package, the average remaining charge is 1557mAh (min=1551, max=1564)
- After just one charge/discharge cycle, the average capacity rises to 2100mAh (min=2070, max=2130). This is 5% higher than the rated value!
Date code embossed on the AA cells is "10-04 0Y". I assume that means April 2010. Note that just like the old eneloop, the new ones are only charged to 75-80% when leaving factory.
According to the package and also Sanyo web site, the new eneloop is supposed to offer the following advantages over the original:
- "Holds charge up to 3 years" (85% after 1 year, 80% after 2, 75% after 3)
- "Recharge 1500x" (vs. "1000x" for original)
- "Suitable for temperature as low as -20 degree C" (vs. -10)
In real life, it is nearly impossible for the user to experience those benefits. If you recharge the new eneloop twice every week, it will take 15 years to reach 1500 cycles! Also the new self-discharge rate is not much different from that for the old eneloop (which claims 85% after 1 year, 80% after 2). So it is probably not worth paying an extra premium over the old eneloop, just for those perceived benefits.
However, there is one visible benefit for the new eneloop: it comes in different colors!
- The 8 AA cells consist of 4 light-blue and 4 dark-blue
- The 4 AAA cells consist of 2 light-green and 2 dark-green
This makes it easier for the new eneloop to be arranged in groups. For example, you may use one color group in your camera and another group as spare. Plus the new colors looked very nice, too.
The charger included in this package, on the other hand, is a big let-down. It is the same old Sanyo MQN06 which is slow and only charges in pairs. It is simply inexcusable that Sanyo continue to package their best rechargeable batteries with their worst charger. In my case, the price I paid (at a local warehouse Club) is cheaper than buying 12 new eneloop cells separately, so I just tell myself that the charger is thrown in for free. Otherwise I would subtract one star from the rating.
[Update July 29, 2010]
I have tested 4 new eneloop AAA cells, date code "10-05 0B":
- Average remaining charge out of package is 619mAh
- After two more charge/discharge cycles, the average capacity reached 830mAh.
That's what I like most about those eneloop cells (both new and old). They are highly consistent, and their measured capacities are usually higher than rated values.
[Upadte Nov 21, 2010]
Long term self-discharge data: I have tested a pair of new eneloop AA cell, after nearly 4 months (115 days) of storage. The average remaining charge is 89% of full capacity. This result is slightly better than that of the original eneloop, which usually retains about 87% after three months. But the difference is within margin of error of my experiments.
[Update on Dec 22, 2015]
- Added picture showing how to identify different generations of eneloop cells.
- For additional information on eneloop batteries in general, please refer to my newly updated "Panasonic/Sanyo eneloop FAQ":
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Showing 1-10 of 56 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 25, 2010 4:02:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2010 5:40:35 PM PDT
What chemistry makes a battery hold a charge at 85 per cent for three years instead of two? Also, with the LaCrosse 700 would I use the test/charge cycle to determine initial capacity? I imagine the charger is like the toy in a box of "Cracker Jack." You can throw it away and still enjoy the candy.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2010 7:03:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2010 7:04:37 PM PDT
The NEW eneloop claims to keep 75% charge after 3 years, not 85%.
I'm not a battery chemistrist, so I cannot say for sure what is the secret of eneloop's lower self-discarge rate. But according to Sanyo press release, the advancement is due to a "super-lattice alloy" coating to the negative electrode.
To measure the remaining charge in a cell, you should use the 'Discharge/Refresh' function of the BC-700. Select 350mA discharge current for AA (250mA for AAA) to save time. You need to record the capacity number after the first discharge cycle, but before the second Charge/Discharge cycle is completed (you have a few hours to do so). If you wait too long, this capacity number will be replaced by the new one after the 2nd cycle.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2010 12:41:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2010 12:42:09 AM PDT
Captain Latte says:
Have you heard any information about Apple's new battery charger (with included batteries) yet? I believe they are eneloops but not sure. Be curious to get your take on it - Apple.com/battery-charger.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2010 7:55:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2010 8:43:44 AM PDT
Those 'Apple' rechargeable AA cells are supposed to be pre-charged and have low-self-discharge rate like Sanyo eneloop. However, I don't think they are actually Sanyo eneloop. For one thing, they don't come with the eneloop's signature 'white top'. The self-discharge rate is also not as good. Apple claims those cells can "retain 80 percent of their original charge" after 1 year of storage, while Sanyo eneloop can retain 85%.
It is funny to hear Apple spins its charger as "10 times better than the industry average", just because it consumes 0.03W at standby verses 0.3W for other chargers. The saving in energy cost comes to a whooping $0.30 after one year! (assuming $0.12 per KWh)
Instead of this Apple battery kit, you can get the Sanyo MDR02 charger (comes with 2 AA) plus 4 more eneloop AA. Better charger and better batteries for less cost.
Sanyo eneloop GES-MDR02TG-3U - Battery charger 2xAA - included batteries: 2 x AA / AAA NiMH 2000 mAh
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2010 10:16:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2010 10:35:00 PM PDT
Captain Latte says:
Thanks NLee. I saw your review on 2nd-gen "colored" Eneloop. Can you buy just these batteries yet, or just via this package with included charger?
OK, I see that Sanyo just recently released new Eneloop Tones, which is a limited edition color pack. They look really nice and I'd love to get some! Also, Sanyo has 2 new chargers out (MQN09 & MQR06).
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2010 11:28:28 AM PDT
As far as I know, the NEW eneloop cells are only available as this 'Costco package' in the US. The 'Rainbow color' 8-pack is only available in Japan and some European countries.
The new MQR06 is very nice. It a 'rapid' charger, in that it can charge 1-2 cells at much higher current than when charging 3-4 cells.
Posted on Aug 3, 2010 8:33:33 PM PDT
Thanks for the good review NLee. I decided to visit my local Costco to see if they had these in stock, sure enough...$25.99. You can't beat the price. I've been waiting for a couple months to see if the price on these Eneloops would drop, but no such luck until I saw your post and one other. I'll give my review in due time.
For anyone looking to buy a separate charger, I would recommend the LaCrosse BC-9009. That is what I am sporting and the Sanyo that came with the pack will probably forever sit in a drawer full of other unused electronic junk.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2010 8:31:24 AM PDT
D. Money says:
Hey NLee, this recent article points to a study that suggests the Apple batteries are indeed eneloops. Does the conclusion ring true? If so, are the Apple batteries a decent buy? I guess you'd probably have to pick up a set and test the charger, too.
Posted on Aug 12, 2010 12:21:29 PM PDT
I would merely like to commend Mr. Lee for his efforts. I dare say no one has reviewed more batteries or flashlights than he here at Amazon!
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2010 6:56:32 PM PDT
Thank you for the link. But note that the article from SuperApple.cz did not say conclusively that those Apple rechargeable AA cells are indeed eneloop cells. They just suspected it based on the spec of "1900mAh minimum capacity". It is unfortunate that they did not open up an eneloop cell and do a side-by-side comparison of the two.
On the other hand, I saw on a photo posted on SuperApple that says 'Made in Japan' on the cell. Since I don't know of any other battery companies that still manufacture NiMH cells in Japan, it is quite possible that those Apple cell are indeed Sanyo eneloop.
Anyway, there's nothing to stop Apple from switching between several vendors to supply those LSD cells. Just like the cases with Rayovac Hybrid (supplied by Yuasa and GP), and Duracell Pre Charged (supplied by Sanyo and Yuasa)