Lithium vs Alkaline – MyBroadband battery test

Lithium AA batteries can provide longer lifespans than their alkaline counterparts, but they are considerably more expensive.

To see which one gives you more minutes of power per rand, we tested the lifespan lithium and alkaline AA cells.

The test comprised depleting Energizer Ultimate lithium and Energizer Max alkaline AA batteries at a fixed power drain until they reached a cut-off voltage.

The price of the batteries was then used to calculate a minutes-per-rand value.


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.

We tested eight of the Energizer Max AA batteries – to ensure an average lifespan time was accurate – against six of the Energizer Ultimate lithium batteries at a draw of 800mA.

This simulates high-draw applications and minimises the effect of extraneous variables on the performance of the cells.

Each battery was tested until it dropped below the suggested cut-off voltage limit of 1.10V.

All tests used an initial test voltage of 1.5V.


Battery Test Lifespan at 800mAh
Energizer Max (Alkaline)
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
Energizer Ultimate (Lithium)
Energizer Ultimate 1 221:16 mins
Energizer Ultimate 2 215:46 mins
Energizer Ultimate 3 212:33 mins
Energizer Ultimate 4 216:11 mins
Energizer Ultimate 5 211:03 mins
Energizer Ultimate 6 220:10 mins

The results show that the lithium batteries have a much longer lifespan.

Based on the tests, we then calculated the average depletion time for the lithium and alkaline AA batteries.

The pricing, average depletion time, and minutes-per-rand measurements for each battery type is listed in the table below.

A graph showing the distribution of the Energizer Ultimate lithium battery lifespans is also posted below.

Energizer Lithium tests

Battery Average lifespan at 800mA Price Minutes per rand
Energizer Max – Alkaline 26:35 mins R19.50 1.36
Energizer Ultimate – Lithium 216:10 mins R42.50 5.09

While the Energizer Max AA cells are considerably cheaper than the Energizer Ultimate, they come nowhere near in terms of longevity.

According to the depletion tests conducted at 800mA, Energizer Ultimate AA batteries feature triple the minutes-per-rand value of the Energizer Max cells.

Now read: Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown

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Lithium vs Alkaline – MyBroadband battery test