Are these eneloop batteries fake?

Ever worried about getting counterfeit eneloops?

Many people know that eneloop batteries are the best in the world. And everybody knows that good products have counterfeits. But YOU don`t want to be fooled do you?

 

I composed this list to watch out for counterfeits, with details that I have come along on the internet since 2010. And better to be Safe than Sorry!
If you want my advice, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

By appearance

Sometimes you can see if something is a counterfeit or not in the blink of an eye.

There have been some very obvious fake batteries out there, that didn't even need a second consideration to see that they weren't real.
They were mostly sold on Chinese online stores like the old dealextreme and eBay.

 

Spelling mistakes:

(noticed in 2010)

What`s so difficult about copying text?
Well, for some folks it was probably very difficult to copy the text on the battery sleeves.
On the side of every eneloop there is some self explanatory text about the battery. Some people had a hard time getting the spelling right.
This way they made some easy discernible mistakes. Take a look at these 2 examples

  • The words WASH was misspelled with the word WAHS.
  • The word WATER was misspelled as WATHER.

Color

(noticed in 2010)

What about White eneloops?
Eneloop uses white sleeves with a blue print. On the positive terminal of a battery is a nipple. Sometimes referred to as the Plus side. Around this nipple there is a paper/plastic washer. This ring has always been white or grey-ish for the white eneloops.
Having any other color they are FAKE

  • White eneloop sleeves should be white, and not yellowish white.
  • In some instances the washer had a different color , like green or dark gray.
    Only limited editions have these different colored washers!

Shape:

(noticed in 2010)

Clear shapes and lines
Whenever you hold a genuine eneloop in your hand and you inspect the fit and finish of the sleeves, the bottom cap, the top cap and the text you can easily discriminate the fakes. Sanyo used and Panasonic uses distinct materials, with noticeable edges, curves and such. This following example is a clear indicator of a fake cell.

  • Near the positive side of the battery there should be no ridge for any batteries produced after 2007. Watch the picture and see for yourself.

Wrong stated capacity: 

(noticed in 2010)

Uhmmm.. 2500mAh for a white eneloop?
Until today I haven`t seen any fake Pro or Lite eneloops. So it looks like they focus mainly on Standar model knock offs. Keep in mind that since 2005 the capacity of both the AA  (1900 min) and AAA (750 min) white versions have been the same.

  • 2000mAh is the typical capacity of eneloop standard cells. But they usually show 1900mAh only. Any other capacity on white eneloop batteries are fake.

Production-code embossed: 

 

The boss is king

Besides all the above obvious fraudulent sleeves there is yet 1 more specific difference you should be aware of. Every authentic eneloop battery, be it standard AA or D size, Lite or Pro. Each and every of them has a DATE CODE embossed on its side. You can find it on or near the seam of the jacket.

  • While the above mentioned obvious fakes there should be a date code embossed on the side of EVERY eneloop battery, starting from the 1st generation. If your batteries have no Date Code embossed on its side, you have 99,99% chance yours are fake. 

 By measurement

Weight:

Weight is important... not too heavy, not too light

  • It is rather easy to put a new sleeve on any kind of battery and let it look like a loopy. But scary enough if you google a little bit you can find wrappers for almost ALL kind of lithium Ion batteries out there. Fortunately I havent seen any eneloop battery wrappers for sale yet.
    But the most difficult way is likely to match their weight.
    From their 1st generation up till the latest Std white AA`s are 27 grams. And AAA`s  13 grams.
    Please check the product sheets in my complete line-up.  All authentic eneloop batteries have the same weight with only a very minimal variance that most scales can`t even notice.

Voltage:

1.2V-1.5V

  • Japanese businesses care about details. The Voltage of every new eneloop battery sold in 1 package should be the same. If you can measure the Voltage and see more than 5% difference you should doubt you got real ones! I would even doubt if there was a 3% difference.

Capacity:

When capacity isn`t the same.

  • When you own a battery analyzer like the Maha Powerex MH C9000, Opus BC3100 or SkyRC MC3000, you have the best tool to test whether you have counterfeit batteries if all the above ways fail.
    Of course this will only help if you already bought them.
    Right out of the package they should have a very very close mAh discharge capacity.
    When you recharge them, and do another discharge test, you should again have very close numbers.

Self Discharge Test (the number 1 counterfeit test)

Consistency is the key

  • This test is the King of tests when it comes to identify your counterfeits.
    If you still doubt with the above information whether you have counterfeits or not, you have 1 more option, and this will clearly tell, by all means, that you have legitimate batteries.

    • Discharge and charge your batteries maybe 2-3 times and let them sit for 3 months. Then do again a discharge test and see if the capacity is still very close among all cells. They have a very Low Self Discharge, and are KING OF THE HILL.
      Eneloop batteries should always have very close numbers amongst cells from the same package. Weight, Voltage and Capacity.

Some misconceptions

I have come across a few misconceptions when it comes to distinguishing fake from authentic ones. Here are a few misunderstandings.

Packaging

Misconception: Triangular Punchouts are fake

  • Of course there can be said something about packaging when it comes to identifying fake eneloops. But there are some misconceptions about certain types of packaging. Some people say that packages with triangular punchouts are fake.
    That is not true!
    See Panasonic`s own store in Canada for example. They show 2 triangular punch-outs.

Venting holes

Misconception: Eneloops with venting holes are fake

  • Eneloops come with venting holes in the nipple at the positive terminal.
    The 4th generation AA std and 2nd gen lite do not have visible venting holes. PRO AA on the other hand do have visible venting holes.
    Probably all AAA batteries have visible venting holes.
    Panasonic says they always have venting holes, just not always visible. When they are not visible, they should be present under the washer near the positive terminal.

But why giving yourself a hard time?

Get your eneloop batteries from a reliable source!

Where?

Well, there used to be a guy living in Japan that used to sell all kinds of eneloop batteries..... 😉

Hopefully next month I will be adding a new page about Where to buy your eneloops. 

Stay tuned for more great info on eneloops.

Do you have any questions, have you found a mistake, or do you want to share your thoughts about the website, please contact me at chibim at eneloop101.com