Best Buy rechargeable batteries revealedHigh-capacity and hybrid batteries tested

29 April 2011

rechargeble batteries test lab

We charge eight batteries and test how long they last under high-drain conditions

The latest Which? rechargeable battery test results are in - and reveal the best and worst batteries out of 15 popular brands. Our latest rechargeable battery review reveals which batteries last the longest, which keep their charge the best and which have been awarded coveted Which? Best Buy status.

When we asked Which? members what they wanted to know when choosing rechargeable batteries, they told us that how long the batteries last per charge, how well they keep their charge and how long they take to charge are all important factors.

So, our test scores now take all these factors into account and we can reveal that our latest tests have found three high-capacity rechargeable batteries and two hybrid batteries that are good enough to become Best Buy rechargeable batteries.

Which? deputy home editor Natalie Hitchins says: ‘Rechargeable batteries aren’t just better for the environment, they will also save you money. We’ve calculated that a pack of Best Buy rechargeables can save you over £500 over their lifetime, compared to using Best Buy disposable alkalines.’

Hybrid rechargeable batteries

In our latest tests, we sent eight different models of hybrid rechargeable batteries to our test lab – including Duracell Stay Charged, Jessops Ready-2-Go, Maplin Hybrid, GP Recycko+ and Uniross Multi Usage Ultra batteries.

Hybrid batteries come pre-charged and ready to use straight from the packet, but the amount of pre-charge you’ll get depends on how long the batteries have been sitting on the shelf.

Those we tested ranged from 22-89% charged when we took them out of the packet – but even the least charged lasted for more than an hour in high-drain conditions.

Rechargeables vs disposables

While the lifetimes (per charge) of rechargeable batteries have improved significantly over the years, they still can’t beat disposable lithiums in high-drain situations (such as in an electric razor or child's toy).

However, on average, our lab results show that 2450-2700 mAh high-capacity rechargeables will last longer than alkaline batteries under high-drain conditions, and hybrid rechargeables (2000-2100 mAh) will last almost as long as the average alkaline.

See our rechargeable batteries review for more information and to see the average lifetimes for each type of battery. Do you use disposables, rechargeables – or a mixture of both? And will our test results influence you to make changes? Join the debate at Which? Conversation.

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