Duracell and Energizer are top battery brands which consumers know for long-lasting performance.
The brands are known for their “longest lasting” and “best in high-power devices” products by many South Africans.
To see which batteries delivered the most battery life under a constant high-drain test, we bought dozens of batteries and put them to work.
Duracell Plus Power, Energizer Max, and Duracell Ultra alkaline AA batteries were selected for the test, due to their similar offerings.
The batteries’ packaging states they hold their power for several years, and all batteries were within their sell-by dates.
Based on the standard price of the respective battery packs on Takealot, the following per-battery pricing was calculated:
- Duracell Plus Power AA – R16.25
- Energizer Max AA – R17.25
- Duracell Ultra Power AA – R18.75
For the tests, we used a West Mountain Radio CBA IV – which is designed to test small cells and batteries.
The CBA IV is capable of testing batteries at load currents from 10mA to 40,000mA.
After consulting with battery testing experts, we were advised to purchase eight of each battery and test them at a draw of 800mA.
This simulates the lifespan of a battery in high-draw applications and minimises the effect of extraneous variables on the performance of the cells.
We took each battery – 24 in total – and tested how long it took for each to drop below their suggested cut-off voltage limit of 1.10V.
All tests used an initial test voltage of 1.5V.
|Battery Test||Lifespan at 800mAh|
Duracell Plus Power
|Duracell Plus Power 1||27:33 mins|
|Duracell Plus Power 2||23:05 mins|
|Duracell Plus Power 3||24:29 mins|
|Duracell Plus Power 4||26:19 mins|
|Duracell Plus Power 5||27:21 mins|
|Duracell Plus Power 6||22:08 mins|
|Duracell Plus Power 7||22:27 mins|
|Duracell Plus Power 8||23:08 mins|
|Energizer Max 1||30:15 mins|
|Energizer Max 2||23:05 mins|
|Energizer Max 3||24:27 mins|
|Energizer Max 4||29:30 mins|
|Energizer Max 5||27:17 mins|
|Energizer Max 6||28:33 mins|
|Energizer Max 7||23:02 mins|
|Energizer Max 8||23:05 mins|
Duracell Ultra Power
|Duracell Ultra Power 1||19:08 mins|
|Duracell Ultra Power 2||16:07 mins|
|Duracell Ultra Power 3||06:22 mins|
|Duracell Ultra Power 4||23:09 mins|
|Duracell Ultra Power 5||21:13 mins|
|Duracell Ultra Power 6||15:19 mins|
|Duracell Ultra Power 7||26:02 mins|
|Duracell Ultra Power 8||07:10 mins|
The image below details the first two test batches.
Based on the results, we calculated the average time until depletion for each batch of batteries.
We then used the price and lifespan of each battery to calculate the average minutes per rand each product provided at this level of drain.
The average lifespan and minutes per rand for each battery, calculated from the test results, are shown below.
|Battery||Average lifespan at 800mA||Price||Minutes per rand|
|Duracell Plus Power||24:34 mins||R16.25||1.51|
|Energizer Max||26:35 mins||R17.25||1.54|
|Duracell Ultra Power||16:49 mins||R18.75||0.90|
The results show the Energizer Max AA lasted just under 8% longer than its Duracell Plus Power counterpart – at an 800mA drain level – on average.
The Duracell Ultra Power’s lower lifespan is not necessarily indicative of its overall performance, as this test only measures lifespan at a single power drain level.
The data gained from the tests also showed that battery life can vary between different batteries of the same model.
While the Energizer Max had a longer lifespan under the test conditions, performance could vary under different drain levels and in real-world applications.