Customer Review

103 of 108 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't confuse those with Duracell 'Pre Charged' batteries, March 5, 2010
This review is from: Duracell Rechargeable AAA Batteries, 4 Count (Pack of 2) (Packaging May Vary) (Health and Beauty)
I can't believe it! Just when we thought we've got the Duracell battery color scheme figured out, those folks at Duracell pulled another cheap trick out of their collective... hat!

To recall, here is the color scheme for Duracell AA/AAA batteries:
- Duracell alkaline cell has the famous 'copper top' and a black bottom
- Traditional Duracell Rechargeable NiMH (DC2400) cell is green and black in color
- Newer Duracell Pre Charged NiMH cell has a 'copper top' and a green/black bottom

The latest batch of rechargeable AA/AAA NiMH cells from Duracell all have the 'copper top' and green/black bottom, similar to that for 'Pre Charged' version. However, those cells don't say 'Pre Charged' on them. Instead, they have their capacity printed (2650mAh for Duracell DC1500 AA, 1000mAh for Duracell DC2400B4N AAA). It is important to know that: those are NOT the low-self-discharge type like Sanyo Eneloop. They are traditional NiMH cells, which have higher capacity but suffer from rapid self-discharge problem. So even though their prices may look attractive, those are no bargains.

Remember: "If it doesn't say 'Pre Charged', put it back!"

[Update on Nov 9, 2012]
I noticed that this Duracell package now says "DuraLock" and "Recharge up to 300x" on it. But the term "DuraLock" is applied to all Duracell batteries, including alkaline, Pre-Charges and ordinary NiMH batteries. So it sounds like just a marketing gimmick. Also note that most Pre-Charged NiMH batteries claim to be able to recharge up to 1000x, or even 1500x in the case of Sanyo eneloop.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 13, 2010 6:10:54 PM PDT
Netizen says:
Ordered the AAA's based on their being advertised on DealMac dot com's listing. The web page at the top says "Duracell Pre-Charged AAA 8 pk," but this is not correct as noted here. These are not pre-charged batteries and have a 16-hour charge cycle. Caveat emptor. Still, not totally displeased with them at the price...

Thanks for this review, which explained why the batteries had no charge when they arrived. I'd figured they were just old. They do charge up fine overnight.

:o)

Posted on Feb 19, 2011 6:04:56 PM PST
Jon says:
Thanks for providing such technical information. I really find this kind of review VERY helpful ... But I am still on a bit on the slow learning curve. I like the easy to remember rule to always buy Pre-Charged ... But I don't think I understand why the "pre-charged" means they are preferable (I always charge any battery (including those labeled 'precharged') before the first use. Is that a mistake?

I am clueless and still am working on remembering which device I put them into and then keeping my recharging batteries organized ... But why does "pre-chraged" mean that it's better .... ?

Thanks so much. The changes in the manufacturers choice of colors to differentiate the type of battery it is, has made my pre-existing confusing even worse. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2011 9:39:33 PM PST
Jon,
If you only have one appliance that takes rechargeable NiMH cells, and you always remember to recharge your cells right before use, than you can use ordinary 2500mAh NiMH cells instead of 2000mAh Pre-Charged cells.

However, if you have several appliances that take rechargeable NiMH cells, then you have to routinely recharge those cells just to keep them alive. The task can soon become unmanageable. Using pre-charged cells is the only sane way to go.

Ordinary NiMH cells go flat in a few months (some in mere days) due to self-discharge. When cells are stored in discharged state for too long, the capacity is reduced the next time you try to charge them. That's the problem with newly bought NiMH cells, becuse they could easily be manufactured 1 year ago. So they are coompletely dead out of the package. Now it will take several deep-Discharge/Recharge cycles for the capacity to recover. With Pre-Charged cells you don't have this problem.

Although Pre-Charged cells are advertised as "Ready to use right out of the package", that's not the main advantage. The real benefit is that they self-discharge very slowly, so you don't need to recharge them regularly while not in use. You can charge up some cells in advance and keep them as standby. When the batteries in one appliance are exhausted, just swap in the standby cells while the exhausted cells go into charger - no down time at all.

Another benefit is that pre-charged cells will last many more years (compared to ordinary NiMH cells), because they don't need to be recharged so frequently.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2011 10:18:54 PM PST
Jon says:
BIG Thank You. That makes sense even to me .... And hopefully others will benefit from your answering my question. The biggest point in the whole battery decision buying ... Is, in my life (and I think most people are in the same situation) is the never ending adding/replacing new battery operated devices.

Since there is no way to know what I will need next, the simple rule of only buying "Pre-Charged" works for me, and I think most people.

THANK YOU!! :)

Posted on Aug 26, 2011 7:56:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2011 7:59:52 PM PDT
joanne yi says:
Is "StayCharged" the same as "Pre Charged?" In other words, are the "StayCharged" batteries LSD also?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 27, 2011 12:06:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 27, 2011 7:32:22 AM PDT
joanne yi,
I have seen manufacturer describing their 'low-self-discharge' batteries by many names, such as:
- 'Pre-Charged'
- 'Hybrid'
- 'Ready to Use' (R2U)
- 'Ready to Go' (R2G)
- 'Ready where you are'
... and so on.

So I suppose 'StayCharged' is the latest term used by Duracell to describe the LSD feature.

Posted on Dec 7, 2011 12:45:24 AM PST
YSC says:
NLee: Whew that was close. Thanks for the heads-up. It's almost deliberately confusing with the color scheme. I was just about to go for the one-click purchase for the "bargain" low discharge AAAs, but thankfully I read your review first. Duracell is quite suspect of being a little dishonest here. Thanks again for all your great battery reviews. They have been tremendously helpful in sorting out prevalent confusions such as this.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 7:16:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2012 7:35:21 PM PST
Chewy says:
Thank you for your review. We have Panasonic cordless telephone's that use AAA rechargeable batteries & the Panasonic batteries that came with the phone's are in need of replacement. Since the batteries will be charged in the phone on the phone holster, (I assume it is a not a smart charger) would we be better off going with pre-charged Duracell's or the normal non pre-charged Duracell rechargeable batteries? Does anyone know?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 12:51:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012 3:36:26 PM PST
Chewy,
You can use either regular NiMH or PreCharged NiMH (eneloop) in your Panasonic cordless phones. Personally I prefer eneloop cells because they are more cosistent and reliable than any regular NiMH cells. Also they are rated for much longer lifespan (1500 cycles instead of just 500 cycles).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2012 5:40:38 PM PST
Chewy says:
Thank you NLee. I just wasn't sure if I'd be better off going with non pre-charged batteries since the Panasonic charger most likely isn't a smart charger. I'm going to just get eneloops.
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