Best CR123A Battery Equivalents and Replacements
CR123A batteries are lithium 3.0 volts non-rechargeable batteries, characterized by long shelf life, high capacity, low internal resistance, and are commonly used in devices that require bursts of energy and for standby/backup devices.
CR123A batteries are manufactured by many battery brands, that often use different labels for these batteries. Also, while CR123A batteries are Lithium Manganese Dioxide (LiMnO2) 3.0 volts battery, there are several batteries of the same or very similar dimensions, but with different chemistries, having different features and specifications.
Published: January 21, 2021.
CR123A Battery Features and Specifications
CR123A battery is a non-rechargeable Lithium Manganese Dioxide (LiMnO2) 3.0 volts battery with a nominal capacity of around 1500 mAh.
Physical dimensions of the CR123A battery are (H x D) 34.5 x 17.0 mm (~1.3583 x 0.6693 inches) and average weight ~16-17 grams (~0.60 ounces).
CR123A batteries also feature a very low self-discharge rate, sometimes ~1% per year, ensuring a very long shelf-life.
CR123A batteries are very popular batteries and are commonly used in cameras, flashlights, toys, security systems, dog collars, and similar.
When labeling lithium non-rechargeable (H x D) 34.5 x 17.0 mm batteries, most manufacturers use 'standard' label 'CR123A' although other labels are used as well, including CR17345, 5018LC, 17345, CR16340, 16340, CR-123A, RCR123A, BR17335, BR-2/3A, 2/3A, K123LA, 123, CR-123, EL123AP, DL123A, etc.
However, using similar labels to label different battery chemistries can lead to confusion and even issues with devices powered by such batteries.
Non-Rechargeable 34.5 x 17.0 mm Batteries
Non-rechargeable 34.5 x 17.0 mm batteries are most common and they are 'standard' lithium 3.0V CR123A batteries.
Other labels that 'must' be non-rechargeable lithium 3.0V batteries are CR-123A, CR17345, CR-123, DL123A, and similar.
Fortunately, although many manufacturers use customized labels, they also use standard 'CR123A' label in order to avoid confusion as much as possible.
Rechargeable 34.5 x 17.0 mm Batteries
Rechargeable 34.5 x 17.0 mm batteries are commonly labeled as RCR123A, 17345, 17340, 17335, 16340, depending on the exact battery dimensions that may be different by just a fraction of a millimeter and still be able to fit into the standard CR123A battery compartment.
RCR123A batteries feature a nominal capacity of 650-700 mAh and nominal voltage of 3.2 - 3.7 volts (chemistry dependent), but can be recharged hundreds of times.
Unlike CR123A batteries, their self-discharge rate is 2-5% per month, requiring the users to recharge them periodically, even if they are not in use.
Due to the slightly different voltage, RCR123A and CR123A are not compatible by default - most devices accept both CR123A and RCR123A batteries, but just to be sure, before replacing CR123A batteries with RCR123A batteries, be sure to check the Owner's Guide of the device You are using.
Protected RCR123A batteries feature a small Battery Management System (BMS) electronic board that monitors the battery parameters and protects the battery from unwanted events like over-discharge, over-charge, over-current, short-circuit, and similar.
If possible, always choose protected RCR123A over unprotected RCR123A batteries and charge them only with batteries chargers intended for charging of such batteries.
LiR17335 Battery vs RCR123A Battery
LiR17335 battery and RCR123A battery are very similar batteries, with the only difference being in size:
- LiR17335: 33.5 x 17.0 mm,
- RCR123A: 34.5 x 17.0 mm.
Physical difference is minimal, just 1 mm in height and many manufacturers don't even bother of using different labels - they simply stamp RCR123A on such batteries.
But, if You happen to stumble on the LiR17335 battery, that is a typical RCR123A battery, just perhaps somewhat shorter.
17340 Battery vs RCR123A Battery
17340 battery and RCR123A battery are two very similar batteries, practically the same. The only difference is their 'official' dimensions:
- 17340: 34.0 x 17.0 mm,
- RCR123A: 34.5 x 17.0 mm.
Practically, physical difference is sometimes lesser than the accuracy of the manufacturing process of certain brands.
Again, if You happen to stumble on a 17340 battery, that is a typical RCR123A battery, just pay attention to the exact chemistry type (output voltage).
BR17335 Battery vs BR-2/3A Battery vs CR123A Battery
CR123A battery and A size battery share the same width, but the CR123A features height which is ~2/3 of the A size battery height:
- CR123A battery: 34.5 x 17.0 mm,
- A size battery: 50.0 x 17.0 mm.
(two-thirds of 50 mm is ~33.333 mm)
As such, CR123A and other 34.5 x 17.0 mm batteries are sometimes labeled as '2/3 A' batteries.
Batteries labeled as 'BR' are non-rechargeable carbon-monofluoride lithium batteries, featuring nominal voltage of 2.8-3.0 volts, cutoff voltage of 2.0-2.25 volts, nominal capacity of ~1200 mAh, and lower typical drain current.
However, carbon-monofluoride lithium batteries feature a wider operating temperature range and have exceptionally low self-discharge rates, often well below 1% annually.
Thus, carbon-monofluoride lithium batteries are often labeled as BR-2/3A or BR17335 batteries, describing their chemistry and actual size.
Lithium Cylindrical 34.5 x 17.0 mm Batteries Comparison Chart
As one can see lithium cylindrical 34.5 x 17.0 mm batteries come in various chemistries and offer different performances. The following comparison chart lists features and specifications of some of the most popular lithium cylindrical 34.5 x 17.0 mm batteries:
|Battery||Nominal Voltage||Cut-Off Voltage||Nominal Capacity||Operating Temperature||Self-Discharge Rate||Standard Discharge Current||Other||Datasheet|
|Energizer CR123A||3.0 volts||2.0 volts||1500 mAh, 100 Ω, 21°C, down to 2.0 volts||-40°C to +60°C||-||1500 mA maximum continuous, 3500 mA pulse||~430 pulses, 1.8 A, 3s On, 7s off, at 21°C||Energizer CR123A|
|GP Batteries CR123A||3.0 volts||2.0 volts||1500 mAh, 10 mA, down to 2.0 volts, 23°C||-40°C to +60°C||~1 %||-||~1850 pulses, 0.9A, 23°C||GP Batteries CR123A|
|Panasonic BR-2/3A||3.0 volts||2.0 volts||1200 mAh||-40°C to +85°C||-||2.5 mA||-||Panasonic BR-2/3A|
|Panasonic CR123A||3.0 volts||2.0 volts||1550 mAh||-40°C to +70°C||-||20 mA||~1800 pulses, 0.9A, 3s On, 27s Off, down to 2.0 volts, at 20°C||Panasonic CR123A|
|Varta CR123A||3.0 volts||2.0 volts||1550 mAh, 100 Ω, 20°C, down to 2.0 volts||-40°C to +70°C||<1% annually at room temperature||-||~1600 pulses, 0.9A, 3s On, 27s Off, down to 2.0 volts, at 20°C||Varta CR123A|
Of course, there are other good CR123A battery brands on the market, these examples are just as a reference.
Long Story Short: If You are looking for a non-rechargeable lithium 3.0 volt 34.5 x 17.0 mm battery, go for a CR123A battery from reputable brands - they feature good capacity regardless if they are intended for high-drain applications (cameras for example) or for some EDC (Every Day Carry) device (flashlight for example), or for some low-drain security device (smoke detectors for example).
BR-2/3A (BR17335) batteries are very specific batteries, and they should not be used in high drain devices.
RCR123A (17345, 17340, 17335, 16340) batteries are rechargeable batteries with nominal voltages higher than 3.0 volts (except for very rare ML123A batteries - Manganese Dioxide Lithium rechargeable batteries) and should be used instead of CR123A batteries ONLY if explicitly permitted by the device manufacturer.