New Best Buy rechargeable battery uncovered by Which? testsThis long-lasting AA battery tops our latest test

29 September 2015

Rechargeable batteries

The best rechargeable batteries power devices for the longest before recharging and charge quickly too

Our latest tests revealed a new top-scoring AA rechargeable battery. We’ve tested 18 AA rechargeable batteries from popular brands, including Duracell, Energizer and Panasonic. Three did so well we’ve named them Best Buys.

You’ll be able to buy this top-performing battery in the shops from October. It manages to lasts almost eight hours in power-hungry devices, such as wireless games controllers.

By contrast, the worst-performing battery in our test only lasts around half this time.

To find out which Best Buy battery we’re talking about, head straight to our best and worst AA rechargeable batteries.

The best AA rechargeable batteries

A Best Buy rechargeable battery, whether AA or AAA, combines long battery-life on one recharge with reasonably fast charging. It’ll also hold its charge well between uses. 

The best batteries we’ve found will retain over 90% of their charge after 50 days unused. But the worst can leak away up to 40% of their charge in the same time – which is very frustrating if you like to plan ahead and charge all your batteries in advance.

We’ve also tested AAA rechargeable batteries to separate the best from the worst. We look at whether batteries reach their stated capacity (the number printed on the side of the battery; 800mAh, for example) when fully charged. Buying a battery with the highest capacity won’t help if it never achieves this.

Buy the best batteries

There are two types of rechargeable battery: rechargeable and pre-charged rechargeable. 

Pre-charged batteries are designed to be used straight out of the packet – which is very convenient if you’ve forgotten to charge your batteries but don’t fancy buying disposables. Don’t expect them to work to peak performance on this first ‘out-of-packet’ use though, as they may have leaked away some of their charge before you bought them.

It’s also worth considering which is more important to you: fast charging or lifetime per recharge. Rechargeable batteries with higher stated capacities often take longer to charge, but will power your device for longer once charged. These are a smart choice if you’re planning to be out and about all day with your device. 

Smaller capacity batteries can be super-speedy to charge – but you might need to charge them twice as often. Although if you’ll be using them in something you can recharge often, like a wireless games controller, they could be a cost-effective choice.

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