EDIT: I have recently been informed by Panasonic, that these batteries that I reviewed are very likely to be counterfeit. Panasonic does not package CR123A batteries in “pillow packs”. The statement from Panasonic is as follows:
The Panasonic CR-123A batteries you purchased on e-bay were clearly counterfeit. Panasonic does not package our batteries in “pillow packs”. Our continuing monitoring of e-bay tells us that roughly 80-90% of all Panasonic CR-123A batteries sold on e-bay are counterfeit.
The purchase of these was necessitated by shortage of funds and dead batteries in my NexTORCH tactical light. I needed a cheap replacement that would work with it, but give decent performance. I understand that often performance comes at a price, but we must weigh the difference in performance versus the difference in price.
I hunted around on Ebay hoping to find a good deal on some CR123A batteries. Surefire batteries go for about $24 for 12 of them, and two name brand batteries at a local department / electronics store go for about $7-8. I found a 10 pack of Panasonic batteries for $12 shipped on ebay. Now that seemed like a good deal. I’ve used Panasonic equipment before, and had good luck with it (TV, Camcorder, etc..). After ordering them (and having the seller tell me they were in the US), I waited over 4 weeks to get them. Turns out they were actually shipped from Hong Kong (no surprise there really). But that’s neither here nor there.
Let us do a price comparison.
- Panasonic Batteries
- $1.20 each
- Name Brand @ Local Department Store
- ~$3.75 each
- Surefire batteries ordered online
- ~$2.10 each
There you go… for price it’s the Panasonic batteries hands down. Now let us take a look at the performance.
I really wish I had a way of testing the actual number of lumens that my light puts out. If anyone reading this knows please put a comment or contact me. All these test were subjective for a few reasons.
- Funds not available to just run the batteries till they died (as I need a working light 🙂 )
- Did not want to prematurely kill the bulb in my light
- Had better things to do than to wait for a light to burn out.
The comparisons I will draw here are from my experience with the stock batteries that came with my NexTORCH light, and their performance. They are believed to be not quite as good as Surefire batteries, but almost equal. In the area of runtime, I can say I definitely saw a reduction in the amount of time that the Panasonic batteries ran for, in comparison to the run time the stock NexTORCH lights were able to sustain. I am very disappointed at the run time actually. I estimated approximately 60 minutes of runtime on the NexTORCH batteries, and they worked well till they were at about 50 minutes, where at that point the output seemed to start to decrease. The Panasonics start to decrease in light output at about 20 minutes! In addition the total run time appears to be in the 30-35 minute range. I see this as horrible. The light output on a fresh set of Panasonic batteries does not seem to be quite as intense (although close) as the NexTORCH batteries.
While the Panasonic batteries seem to be priced well, they are not a great value. To get the same runtime as you would with a Surefire battery, you’ll have to use twice the number of Panasonic batteries. For 60 minutes of run time, Surefire batteries will cost $4.10 in batteries, whereas the Panasonic batteries will cost you $4.80 (as you need 4 batteries to make it to 60 minutes). I know these tests were subjective, and not very scientific, but the results were very obvious to a casual observer, therefore I feel they are conclusive.
tags: airsoft accessories light batteries cr123a review