Customer Reviews: Energizer Smart Rechargeable Charger for AA/AAA Batteries, with 4 AA Batteries Included - 1400mAh
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[Important note on June 30, 2014]
I just noticed that Amazon combined my old review for the CHP41US charger with the new Energizer CHRPROWB4 Pro Charger. I hate it when that happens! Anyway, when the price comes down I may give this charger a try (the present price of ~40USD is ridiculous for a basic charger with low-capacity batteries). In the mean time, use caution when you shop.

==== Original Review follows ====

This package (Energizer Smart Rechargeable Charger for AA/AAA Batteries, with 4 AA Batteries Included) contains a very impressive-looking charger. The charger (CHP41US) features a countdown timer, a battery 'Fuel Gauge', and four bad-battery indicators. It looks like a very smart charger - until I examined closer.

The first warning sign is that: Would You Believe this charger can only charge in pairs? That is, it cannot handle 1 or 3 cells. A real smart charger has to monitor and charge cells individually, because this is the only way to ensure that each cell is not over-charged or under-charged.

The next thing I found out is that: the so-called 'countdown timer' is mostly for show. It's The Old "2-bit counter in a 7-segment display" Trick. The display always start from '8' (eight hours) when a pair of depleted cells is inserted, regardless of the actual remaining charge time. As the batteries are being charged up, the counter simply decrements through '6', '4', '2' and finally '0', even though the actual charge time may turn out to be just five hours.

The 'Fuel Gauge' on this charger is marginally useful. It shows 1-4 bars, based on the combined voltage of one battery pair. If two pairs of batteries were inserted, the fuel gauge is for the pair with the lower voltage. It soon dawned upon me that both 'countdown timer' and 'fuel gauge' are based on the same information. For examples:
2.2V = 1 bar = 8 hours,
2.4V = 2 bars = 6 hours, and so on.
By the time the combined voltage of two cells reaches 3.0V approximately, the charging is terminated. If the two cells have different capacities, then the lesser one is inevitably over-charged.

One problem with this single 'fuel gauge' is that: it does not tell you which cell is at what status. In comparison, other chargers in this price range may contain four individual status indicators. For examples: Targus Digital TG-LCD2700 Charger with LCD Display and Sony BCG-34HRMF4 Battery Charger with LCD Display.

The same problem applies to the four bad-battery indicators. If you insert one good cell with a bad one to the left two slots, for example, both indicators light up in red. But you still can't tell which cell is bad.

The four rechargeable AA cells included in this package are the "New" Energizer 2300mAh NiMH batteries. Note that their capacity is lower than that of previous generation (2500mAh), but they are not advertised as 'Pre Charged' or 'Low Self Discharge'. My own testing, using the La Crosse BC-900 charger/analyzer, indicated that those are indeed traditional NiMH cells. That makes me suspect that Energizer simply rolled back its rechargeable battery technology to circa 2004, instead of moving forward like other battery companies.

To be positive, I should thank Energizer for NOT making yet another timer-based dumb charger, or another '15-minute' battery roaster. But in calling the CHP41US a 'Smart' charger, Mr. Energizer Bunny just Missed It By THAT Much!

[Update on Nov 10, 2012]
Energizer now bundle this charger with four lower-capacity rechargeable AA batteries. The new light-green batteries have a capacity of just 1400mAh. That makes this package an even worse value than before.
3838 comments| 774 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 10, 2010
I had the same problem as a previous reviewer. This charger indicates all batteries are bad, including the batteries that came with it. I bought it new and locally for $9.99, which is what the batteries alone would have cost me, so it wasn't worth returing. Hopefully it actually charges the batteries and it's just a screwed up indicator. Still, it should do what it's ADVERTISED to do.
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on July 10, 2011
every single battery that goes in this charger says it's bad. Brand new energizer rechargables that came with.. brand new energizer rechargables bought afterward... duracel rechargables that were bought about a year ago... none are tested to be "good". I've put these so-called bad batteries in other chargers and it charges up with no problem and holds a charge for an expected life.

at this point, i want a refund (but will be more heck than it's worth to get my $15 back).
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on February 10, 2014
So I bought this charger because it is advertised as "smart" when it is ANYTHING BUT.

I do a lot of photography, some stills, some time lapse, so when I get home after a shoot I have two pairs of batteries with different remaining charge (lapse camera uses way more battery).

So you plug all 4 batteries into this charger, one pair on one side, the other pair on the other side... this is what happens:

They charge for 15-30 minutes, then the indicator starts flashing (error) and you go to pull the batteries out and the less-discharged batteries are HOT, VERY HOT!!

The more-discharged batteries have barely been charged!!!!


A real "smart" charger can distinguish AT LEAST between pairs of batteries, if you want to get technical, a REAL "smart" charger will monitor each battery individually to INSURE that they are charged completely and more importantly, NOT OVERCHARGED.

This "smart" charger will only charge effectively, and without DAMAGING YOUR BATTERIES, if you make sure ALL 4 BATTERIES have the EXACT SAME charge remaining when you put them in.


Do yourself a favor and STAY AWAY from this charger. You will ruin some of your rechargeables and also find yourself with quarter or half-charged batteries when you need them.

THANKS FOR THE RIPOFF ENERGIZER. I will be buying Duracell products from now on.
0Comment| 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 7, 2011
I was skeptical of buying rechargeable batteries because some are duds. However, I bought my oldest boy an Xbox 360 and I did not want to continuously pay money for batteries. Therefore, I decided to buy this charger. It works great. The game is played a ton. Still, the batteries last about three weeks, prior to needing re-charging. Initially, you will have to charge the batteries for eight hours for a full charge. The countdown timer indicates how much time is left for a full charge. Once the counter reaches 0, the batteries are fully charged. Since the charging duration is long, I would suggest keeping two batteries charged, at all times. Therefore, when the other two batteries run out, they can be switched with two charged batteries. I don't know what the issue is with other reviewers of this product. All I can say is I got my money's worth. Not to mention, I am saving money by not continuously paying money for batteries. That can be very expensive.
44 comments| 104 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 12, 2013
I purchased a smart charger and many sets of "AA" and "AAA" batteries a little over a year ago. Performance was okay for my uses. The so-called smart charger suddenly stopped working recently. When I contacted Energizer I expected minimum hassle but thats not what I got. They were going to send me a preaddresssed label to ship the charger and batteries back for testing. It would take up to 30 days to get my charger repaired or replaced. Really? WTF am I supposed to do in the mean time? Like most households we've got a dozen of each size batteries that are used regularly in various remote controls. Here's my solution, the smart charger went in the trash and I purchased a Lacrosse charger. That was the last Energizer product I will ever buy. Spend the extra money and buy a better charger.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 6, 2011
I read a lot of bad reviews for this charger but I'm one to not really care how long it takes to charge a battery, and even if the battery charger isn't as accurate as it says it is, I still find it highly useful because I just let the batteries charge. I'm not really concerned with the "useful-ness" of the display, in fact, I use it as a night-lite for my grandson. The best part is, it does what it's supposed to, and that's recharge batteries. It took about 4 hours to fully charge all 4 of my AA batteries that had been completely expelled their use. Now I'm not saying that's a good thing (it's not 2 hours) but it's not a bad thing either. I recommended this to everyone I know and they too have had no issues. If you're an old man like me, just buy one. I don't have all day to sit around and watch the batteries charge, just leave them on overnight and they're charged by morning. Great product.
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on March 31, 2016
The charger and batteries are good quality and the charger will last forever.
The Charger is a good solid plastic. It’s not too heavy; just heavy enough to know it’s a good product. The digital display on the charger lights up good and is easy to read. This charger will last years and you can use other rechargeable batteries on this charger in the future. The safety aspects on the charger were great. I always look for chargers that have some sort of protections on them. This one does in fact shut off if the wrong battery type is used. FYI I bought this item in 2012 and am still using it now 2016.

The batteries that come with this charger will last a good long while. I personally always recommend that rechargeable batteries are replaced every year, or even sooner if there is any damage to the battery itself. Energizer batteries are good batteries. I’ve never had an issue with them lasting less than a year. When disposing of your batteries, tape both ends (as to not make a connection with anything metal to close the circuit) then take your batteries to your nearest battery recycling center, do not throw them away.

Unlike some of the previous reviewers I have not had issues with the charger reading good batteries as bad.
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on October 14, 2012
I had this charger for a year. No complains about it.
You should know that the "timer" that is has, is just a timer that detects batteries and put the quantity of hours depending on that. Not really "intelligent" nor related to the battery capacity. It's helpful but not really "clever".
I used this charger for a year, and then it stopped working. Now, when you plug it, you see for a few seconds the display and it goes off and it doesn't work anymore. That happens every single time you plug it.
66 comments| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 23, 2013
I ordered these batteries and charger in the hopes that we could save money. Unfortunately, these batteries (being used only in my wireless mouse and keyboard) only last for 24 hours per charge. So, if you don't mind taking batteries out, charging them and putting them back into device every day, maybe these are for you. I don't have the time to trade out batteries every day.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse