18650 vs cr123 Battery

18650 vs cr123 Battery: How To Choose The Right One?

18650 batteries are recommended for small electrical devices such as laptops, flashlights, digital cameras, and many other electronic applications, while the cr123 battery is also recommended for such purposes.

Some people assume them as interchangeable, while others oppose that; what is the fact? You will get in-depth information about 18650 vs cr123 battery comparison guide.

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18650 Battery

difference types of 18650 batteries are stand in line

18650 batteries are one of the famous rechargeable batteries that come with Lithium-ion chemistry. They are also named as 18650 cells with voltage capacity up to 3.7 Volts and a capacity range between 1800mAh to 3500mAh. Its voltage range is between 2.5-4.2 volts, but the nominal voltage for the 18650 battery is 3.7 Volts.

18650 battery has protected and unprotected battery in type. Protected batteries are safe to use and offer you better and peaceful services as compared to unprotected batteries because of the safety circuit. But unprotected batteries are also effective if used with care, provide more capacity than protected batteries.

Many brands manufacture 18650 batteries in both types, but experts recommend the protected batteries due to their safe use. 18650 battery has recharge time up to 4 hours, but it could vary depending on several factors such as brand, battery type, and voltage or amperage.

The shelf life of the 18650 battery is up to 10 years, with minimal loss in its capacity.  It works fine at room temperature, but it could also perform efficiently between -20 to 75 degrees C. The battery is recommended for many high-drain applications such as laptops, security cameras, digital cameras, and flashlights.

Cr123 Battery

18650 vs cr123 Battery

Cr123 batteries are sometimes also known as cr123a batteries because both offer similar functions except their brands and names. But in comparison to 18650 batteries, we found cr123 batteries offer lithium manganese dioxide chemistry with a nominal voltage of up to 3 Volts. Their range is between 3 to 3.4 volts, but the nominal voltage is 3V.

Batteries are high power, but their capacity range is between 1450 to 1550mAh, which is less than 18650 battery capacity. The charging time of the cr123 battery is up to 6 hours, but you may see variations. When we compare their average lifespan, we find a considerable difference. Cr123 batteries have an average lifespan of 5 years, but it ranges between 3 to 5 years, which is short compared to 18650.

Like the 18650 battery, it also performs fine at room temperature and is effective to perform between -20 to 75 degrees C, but room temperature is fine for storage. Cr123 battery is recommended for home automation, smoke detectors, wireless security, tactical equipment, and many other high drain applications.

Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Features

The most important safety feature of lithium-ion batteries is their built-in protection circuit. This circuit prevents overheating, overcharging, and short-circuiting. It also provides protection against over-discharge and reverse polarity. The protection circuit is designed to shut down the battery if any of these conditions occur, thus preventing damage to the battery or even a potential fire.

Another safety feature of lithium-ion batteries is their casing. Lithium-ion batteries typically have a hard outer shell that provides protection from external damage. This casing also helps prevent any accidental contact with the internal components.


In our discussion, we found some similarities and differences between them. They have a similar temperature range for operation and storage. But capacity, voltage, battery types, and lifespan make the 18650 battery separate from the cr123 battery. Both batteries have differences but they are interchangeable for many devices.

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