Sanyo announced their highest capacity batteries, also know as the Eneloop XX, back in 2011. This was a welcome announcement because Eneloop has been on the market for nearly six years, and only included the standard capacity Eneloops. (With the white wrappers).
The Eneloop XX batteries were first available to the North American and European markets. When they became available to the Japanese market, they weren't called Eneloop XX but Eneloop PRO instead.
- Eneloop PRO batteries have always been made in Japan! There are no Eneloop PRO batteries made in CHINA, not now, nor in the past!
- There are no C or D sized Eneloop PRO batteries
- There are eBay sellers selling fake Eneloop PRO batteries
Sanyo Eneloop XX / Pro 1st - 5th generation.
2011: 1st generation Eneloop XX
The first generation Eneloop XX was only available in AA size as of 2011. There was no AAA sized Eneloop PRO batteries during their initial launch. (At least not under the Eneloop branding.) The product code for the 1st Eneloop Pro was: HR-3UWX and claimed a maximum of 500 recharge cycles and a minimum of 2400mAh. You can find the product specifications here.
2012: 2nd generation Eneloop PRO
Eneloop XX batteries sold in China in 2012 had a different product code, as can be seen in this Chinese Announcement. These batteries received the product code HR-3UWXA. Although the additional letter could have indicated a new design or product (as this was the standard way Sanyo reported a new generation), the specifications stayed the same.
The interesting note to these batteries is that there had never been available in Japan with that product code. It looks like they were only available in China.
2012: 3rd generation Eneloop PRO
The same year Sanyo announced their first high capacity AAA Eneloop batteries, with a minimum of 900mAh and still rated for 500 cycles and an 85% charge left after one year.
Explanation of 85% charge left after 1 year
This means that when the battery is fully charged, you can keep the battery untouched and the self-discharge rate would only be about 15% in 1 year. More info on charging can be found in our Ultimate Eneloop Charge Guide.
The AA version also received an update and now powered a minimum of 2450mAh, with the same cycle life of 500. Take a look at the Specification of the Eneloop AAA PRO, called HR-4UWXB. And the product specifications of the AA PRO HR-3UWXB.
Below you can see the different packaging for Eneloop XX... The Japanese market already called them Eneloop PRO from the beginning.
2013: 4th generation Eneloop PRO
In 2013 Panasonic announced the makeover of the Sanyo branded Eneloops. In Japan, this resulted in a removal of the Eneloop branding to be replaced with Panasonic branding. The word Eneloop got replaced with Panasonic and in smaller font underneath that, Eneloop. The product codes changed completely, and are called BK-3HCC for the AA batteries and BK-4HCC for the AAA batteries. In Europe, they are called BK-3HCCE and BK-4HCCE, respectively.
2015: 5th generation Eneloop PRO
Finally, the 5th generation Eneloops were being produced and now have a minimum capacity of 930mAh for the Eneloop PRO AAA and 2500mAh for the Eneloop PRO AA.
As can be seen in the above picture the different markets use different ways of showing the capacity. Japan already removed the Rated capacity many years ago, and only show the Minimum capacity. If you want to know more about how these kinds of capacity tests are done, check out the Advanced Charge section on this website.
The newest product codes are now BK-3HCD (E) for the AA Eneloop PRO, and BK-4HCD(E) for the AAA Eneloop PRO.
How to charge Eneloop PRO batteries?
The best way to charge an Eneloop Pro battery is with a smart battery charger. The battery charger will charge till it notices a small drop in voltage, which means the battery is full. These chargers can be seen in the Advanced Chargers overview. Still, Panasonic also has a few smart Eneloop chargers and a few sold specifically with Eneloop PRO batteries, like the Panasonic BQ-CC55.
- If you can set the charge rate (in mA), you should set them between 1000 and 2500mA for AA PRO and about 450-900mA for AAA PRO. This is the recommended charge rate of .5C - 1C. Read more about that in our Eneloop charge guide.
c.Regular Eneloop vs. Eneloop PRO
The short answer: the Eneloop Pro battery has a higher capacity than the regular Eneloop with 2500mAh vs. 1900mAh. The Pro can be charged up to 500 times while the regular Eneloop up to 2100 times. The PRO batteries can provide more current than the regular Eneloops.
The long answer is this:
There are a few questions you need to answer for this:
- What am I going to use the batteries for?
- How often will I recharge them
- Do I need maximum capacity
- How far will I discharge them
- What charger do I use
Eneloop PRO AA Pros and Cons
By answering those questions, you can decide which batteries are right for you. Generally speaking, the Eneloop PRO batteries are more fragile in that they are easier to break because they are High Capacity cells. This means that the internal resistance increases quicker than the regular Eneloops.
Good and bad:
- The Eneloop PRO is excellent for Camera flashes, flashlights, etc. Whenever you need maximum power or maximum battery life with a high drain application, this is the battery to get. Inside camera flashes, Eneloop PROs also recycle the flash faster and can, therefore, pop more bursts in a shorter time!
- Eneloop PRO is excellent for longer battery life in flashlights as well. The capacity of 4 Eneloop Pro AA's is about 25% more than 4 regular AA Eneloops.
- If you only have a time-based charger, you shouldn't get Eneloop PRO batteries. First of all, because the timer duration will likely be set too short, the batteries won't be fully charged. Secondly, if the batteries are still half full, the charger won't stop until the timer has cut the charge. This means that the batteries are charged too long, which can cause damage.
- The Eneloop PRO is NEVER suitable for applications where batteries are continually charged, like in DECT phones. DECT phones usually stand on a charging dock continuously. (These types of charge docks use something called a "trickle charge," but in reality, it is nothing more than a continuous charge of the batteries).
- I don't recommend Eneloop PROs for applications with multiple cell that drain the batteries completely. With the focus on draining completely. If you drain all batteries completely, the weakest battery gets hurt the most. Every time this happens, the weakest battery of the 4 gets weaker and weaker. Eneloop PROs are more fragile and die faster than regular Eneloops.
- Eneloop PRO batteries are not recommended in very low drain devices such as clocks. The main reason being their higher self-discharge rate. It is much more economical to use Eneloop Lite or standard Eneloops in that case.
- The diameter of Pro batteries are larger than regular Eneloops and, therefore, can be a very tight fit in certain devices. So if your standard white Eneloops are a tight fit, don't get the Eneloop Pro.
Standard Eneloop AA ,AAA
- Standard Eneloops have a longer cycle life, 2100 cycles vs. 500 cycles for the Eneloop PRO.
- Standard Eneloops have a longer shelf life. They only lose 30% of their charge in 10 years, while the PRO batteries lose 15% in 1 year.
- Standard AA and AAA's are a good fit for many applications, powerful enough for high drain devices and strong enough to handle some trickle charge and a deep-discharge.
- Standards are always good to have. They are just great batteries overall with a high life expectancy.
- Con for a standard Eneloop is less mAh compared to the Pro and less powerful, meaning that the PRO can give more juice in a shorter amount of time compared to the standards.
Are IKEA batteries eneloop?
That is an interesting question. Please take a look at the Rewrapped Eneloops page. You can see that Sanyo and FDK (a company which now owns the factory) sells/sold batteries to other brands. Kind of like a "white label" service. A few of them are Sony, Nikon, Canon, Duracell, etc.. The IKEA ones were known to be made in Japan since 2016! Although most people only know about them since the end of 2017/ beginning of 2018. Eneloop freaks like myself know that the factory sells to other brands and have known that already for many years.
So the white IKEA batteries currently being sold come from the same factory and have almost the same specs. Unfortunately, they don't show all the detailed specifications.
The problem is that the White and Tan Ikea batteries are equal to the Eneloop PRO and the Eneloop LITE, not the regular white Eneloops. And those are the ones that would have been the most interesting, in my opinion, because they are the all-round best rechargeable batteries in the world.
Left the Eneloop PRO equivalent, and right, the Eneloop Lite equivalent. Also important to note is that IKEA is now selling Tan/Brown batteries made in China, not in Japan. So only the White ones still seem to be sourced from Japan.
How many years do Eneloops last?
Regular Eneloops can last for 10+ years. See all the tests we provided here. Eneloop PRO can last a couple of years as well but are more sensitive. The longest-lasting Eneloops are therefore the regular Eneloops.
Camera Flash Pop Test
Eneloop PROs are one of the Highest Capacity LSD batteries on the market. I referred to other tests on the Eneloop tests page, but here I focus mainly on the Eneloop Pros test.
The first test is a Digital Camera Flash pop test. Done by member Sys at photographyonthenet website.
The following results are interesting none the less. The Powerex 2700Pro is also made in Japan, and is to my understanding the equivalent to the all famous Sanyo 2700 and now called Panasonic 2700 (Evolta).
This is the total amount of pops the flash could make on a set of batteries. This is the average between 2 flash units.. according to Sys.
- Powerex 2700 Pro:Average: 400.5
- Eneloop 2450 Pro: Average: 386.5
- Powerex 2600: Average: 380.5
- Powerex 2700: Average: 371.5
- Amazon Basics 2400Average: 359.5
- EBL 2800: Average: 331.5 7
- Duracell 2450: Average: 297.5
- Eneloop White 1900:Average: 294.5
The next test was related to the time the Flash needed to recover and flash again.. also called the recycle time. The first shows the recycle time after the first 5 pops.
- Powerex 2700 mAh Pro @ 1.48 sec
- Amazon Basics 2400 mAh @ 1.58 sec
- Eneloop 2450 mAh Pro @ 1.64 sec
- Eneloop White 1900 mAh @ 1.68 sec
- Powerex 2700 mAh @ 1.70 sec
- Duracell 2450 mAh @ 1.78 sec
- EBL 2800 mAh @ 1.81 sec
- Powerex 2600 mah @ 1.84 sec
Then the list at the 300th pop.
- Eneloop 2450 mAh Pro @ 2.5 sec
- Powerex 2700 mAh Pro @ 2.7 sec
- Powerex 2600 mAh @ 2.9 sec
- Amazon Basics 2400 mAh @ 3.5 sec
- Eneloop White 1900 mAh @ 3.6 sec
- EBL 2800 mAh @ 4.2 sec
- Powerex 2700 mAh @ 5.8 sec
- Duracell 2450 mAh @ 10.2 sec
And at last, the recycle time at the 400th pop (only the ones that made it that far).
- Eneloop 2450 mAh Pro @ 3.2 sec
- Powerex 2700 mAh Pro @ 3.6 sec
- Powerex 2600 mAh @ 4.7 sec
- Powerex 2700 mAh @ 6.2 sec
Eneloop Pro 4th generation capacity results, tested by HKJ:
0.5A = 2430mAh
1A = 2401mAh
This means that even at 5 Amps the batteries can still deliver 2286mAh.. which is pretty good!
For the complete test by HKJ see here.
Where to buy Eneloop PRO?
Check out the Eneloop seller's page for the best deals. Please beware that you shouldn't buy them from eBay... unless you know enough about Eneloops in order to know what to look out for. Check out the counterfeit Eneloops page to check out the differences between real vs fake Eneloops.