Eneloop XX and PRO batteries
Eneloop PRO are one of the most powerful NiMH batteries currently on the market. Read about their strengths and weak spots. Check out where you can buy Eneloop PRO batteries, and Eneloop vs Eneloop PRO.
Sanyo announced the high capacity eneloop XX batteries back in 2011. This was a welcome announcement because eneloop has been on the market for nearly 6 years, and only included the standard capacity eneloops. (with the white wrappers).
These Eneloop XX batteries were first available to the North American and European market, and when they became available to the Japanese market, they were called Eneloop PRO instead of Eneloop XX.
Some facts for 2018:
- Eneloop PRO batteries have always been made in Japan! There are No eneloop PRO batteries MADE in CHINA, not now, and not 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 were only available in AA size as of 2011. There were 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 to be able to have a max of 500 cycles and a minimum of 2400mAh. You can find the product specifications here.
2012: 2nd generation eneloop PRO
Eneloop XX batteries that were being sold in China in 2012 had a different product code as can be seen in this Chinese Announcement. These new batteries received the product code HR-3UWXA. Although the additional letter could have indicated a new design or product (as this was the common way Sanyo indicated a new generation), the specifications stayed the same. The interesting note to these batteries is that these had never been available in Japan with that product code. It looks like they were only available in China with tha product code.
2012: 3rd generation Eneloop PRO
The same year Sanyo announced the first high capacity AAA batteries, with a minimum of 900mAh and still rated for 500 cycles and 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.
The AA version also received an update and now powered a minimum of 2450mAh, with still 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 Sanyo Eneloop branding to be replaced with the main Panasonic branding. The word Eneloop was being replaced with Panasonic and in smaller font underneath that, eneloop. The product codes changed completely, and are now 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 the way 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, but Panasonic also has a few smart Eneloop chargers, and a few that are 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 the Charge section.
Eneloop vs Eneloop PRO
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 juice
- How far will I discharge them
- What charger do I have
Eneloop PRO AA Pros and Cons
By answering those questions you can decide which batteries are good for you. It really depends. Generally speaking the Eneloop PRO batteries are more fragile. This means that they are easier to break because they are High Capacity cells. This means that the internal resistance increases quicker than on the regular eneloops.
Good and bad:
- The Eneloop PRO are great for Camera flashes, Flashlights etc, where you want to have maximum power or maximum battery life with a high drain application. In camera flashes eneloop PRO also recycle the flash faster and can therefore pop more flashes in shorter period of time!
- Eneloop PRO are great for longer battery life in Flashlights for example. The capacity of 4 eneloop Pro AA's is about 25% more than 4 regular AA eneloops, and therefore make them intersting for applications that you need often.
- 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 much and can be damaged.
- Eneloop PRO are NEVER good for applications where the batteries are continually charged, like in DECT phones that stand on a charger continously. (this is sometimes called a "trickle charge" but in reality it is nothing more than a continuous charge).
- Eneloop PRO are not recommended for applications that use multiple cells and drain the batteries completely. With the focus on draining completely. Doing this makes it much more likely to have 1 of the batteries being damaged because of it being too deeply discharged. Eneloop PRO are more fragile and die faster than regular eneloops.
- Eneloop PRO batteries are not recommended in very low drain devices like clocks etc.. Mainly because of their higher self discharge rate. It is much more economical to use Eneloop Lite or standard Eneloops. Of course you can use them, but it doesn't help extend the usage of the device.
- Pro batteries are a little bit wider than regular eneloops and therefore can be a very tight fit in certain scenarios. So if your standard white eneloops are a tight fit in something, 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 deep charge.
- Standards are actually always good to have. They are just great batteries overall with a great 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 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 (company which now owns the factory) sells/sold batteries to other brands as well. Kind of like a "white label" service. A few of them are Sony, Canon, Duracell, etc.. Just take a look at the page. 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 a few years.
So the IKEA batteries that are currently being sold come from the same factory and have almost the same specs. Unfortunately they don't show all detailed specifications.
The problem though is that the White and Tan Ikea batteries are equal to the Eneloop PRO and the Eneloop LITE, and 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.
Eneloop PRO are one of the High Capacity LSD batteries on the market. I referred to other tests on the eneloop tests page, but here I focus mainly on the eneloop Pro test.
The first test is a Digital Camer 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 betwen 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.
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.