The main difference between CR123 and 16340 batteries is that one is rechargeable and another is not.
In this CR123 vs 16340 comparison article, I will tell you all about them so that you can pick the best category for your intended uses.
I have explained the technical details as easily as possible to give you a better understanding even if you are a non-technical person. Let’s get started.
CR123 or most commonly known as CR123A is a compact battery with non-rechargeable properties.
The main purpose of its invention was to run digital cameras. Later, it became widely popular to use in flashlights because of its high voltage capacity and lightweight construction.
For 3V and low current applications, CR123 is an ideal choice. With a slightly modified version, manufacturers make RCR123 which can be charged and used multiple times.
I have already mentioned RCR123A in the previous part while explaining what CR123 is.
It is also known as 16340 batteries which are cylindrical lithium-ion 3.7V cells with almost identical dimensions of a 123 battery.
With button-top terminals, 16340 comes with Lithium Carbon Dioxide cell chemistry which has less battery capacity.
Some of the models are required to be recharged using a special device. And, some come with a built-in USB port so that you can recharge them using a standard mobile charger on the go.
CR123 vs 16340 Battery: Which One to Go For?
The table below will give you an overview of their differences. In the end, you will get to know which models are interchangeable and why.
|Dimension||34.5mm (Height) x 17mm (Diameter)||34mm (Height) x 16mm (Diameter)|
|Weight||Approx. 16 grams||Approx. 20 grams|
|Nominal Voltage||3 V||3.7 V|
|Capacity||1500mAh or less||400 – 900mAh|
|Operating Temperature||-40°C to 60°C||-40°C to 60°C|
|Cell Chemistry||Lithium Manganese Dioxide (LiMnO2)||Lithium Carbon Dioxide (LiCoO2)|
Size and Weight
From the chart, you can know that the size of a CR123 or CR123A is 34.5mm in height and 17mm in diameter. And, these batteries weigh approximately 16 grams.
On the other hand, 16340 batteries are slightly smaller having 34mm in height and 16mm in diameter. Still, they weigh more; approximately 20 grams.
Both categories of batteries can operate under harsh conditions.
From the specification sheet provided by some manufacturers, I have known that their operating temperature range is -40°C to 60°C.
It is possible because of the advanced lithium-ion technology. It is true that the cell chemistry is not the same in 123 and 16340.
However, you don’t have to worry. These cells come with multiple protective layers so that no accidents can happen due to overheating or broken bodies.
There is a huge difference in their capacity. From other battery comparisons, you can tell that a larger dimension results in higher capacity.
And, CR123 vs 16340 comparison shows no exception. Nonetheless, I didn’t expect such a huge difference considering only a 1mm difference in diameter and a 0.5mm difference in height.
Most of the popular and known CR123 battery models come with more than 1400mAh. Some even have 1550mAh.
But most of the 16430 batteries are ranged from a battery capacity of 600 to 800mAh. In some models, you may see ratings as high as 900mAh.
Finally, Which One is More Suitable for You
From the voltage rating, you can tell that CR123 and 16340 are not interchangeable.
That is why it is hard to tell the best option among the two. Both models are suitable for their designated purposes.
For example, the best application of CR123 or 123A batteries is in digital cameras and flashlights.
When it comes to 16340 batteries, the applicable device example is the same but needs to support higher voltage.
So, read the owner manual of the electronic device you have, see the supported battery models, and buy one accordingly.
If you see that it is compatible with both models, I think that going for rechargeable 16320 batteries will be a wiser and more economical choice in the long run.
What Is the Difference Between A CR123 And A CR123A Battery?
Except for different brands using various designations, there is no difference among them. In fact, 123, 123A, CR123, CR123A are all the same.
Generally, these are not rechargeable batteries. But there are some exceptions. Look at the description of the 123 you are going to order, see whether it says rechargeable or not, and you would know for sure.
One can always interchange a rechargeable and non-rechargeable 123 battery. Here, you should keep in mind that there are some slight differences in voltage and capacity which can affect the runtime.
Are CR123 and 16340 Interchangeable?
Though they have almost the same physical dimensions, you can’t simply use one instead of the other.
It is because they have different cell compositions and voltages. Moreover, CR123 is not rechargeable.
So, if you have a device that requires a higher voltage (3.6V/3.7V), you will have no other choice but to go for a 16340 battery.
To summarize, CR123 and 16340 are not interchangeable.
Some Best CR123 Batteries
These are high-capacity Energizer CR123 batteries and come in a package of 12. The long-lasting and reliable Energizer cells have a battery capacity of 1200mAh. It is compatible with devices that support 5018LC, CR123, CR123A, CR17345, and EL123 models.
Spending slightly more than Energizer, you can get more powerful CR123 batteries from Duracell. These cells have a capacity of 1470mAh. Also, you can store them for up to 10 years without losing voltage. So, the extra price is worth the features.
The previous 2 are non-rechargeable CR123 batteries. But this one from Panasonic is rechargeable and has a higher capacity. You can buy the pack of 6 with 1550mAh at 3V spending even less than Duracell or Energizer. However, the shelf life is 8 or 9 years.
Some Best 16340 Batteries
Here, I have got a rechargeable 650mAh battery that can replace a CR123. You can recharge the batteries using a standard Micro-USB cable. Because of having 3 different over-heating protection, you can safely use it for its intended application. The ready-to-go design makes you get rid of an additional charger.
Spending less than half of what the previous one costs, you can get a pair of 16340 batteries with a charger. Also, the battery capacity is double; 1300mAh at 3.7V. As it doesn’t have any memory effect, you can charge anytime.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Battery Is Equivalent To 16340?
From the specs and features, it seems that 17340, RCR123A, and CR123A rechargeable lithium batteries are equivalent to 16340 models. One thing you should know is that 17340 has a 1mm larger diameter than a 16340.
Are CR123 And C Batteries The Same?
No, they are not the same. Where a standard C battery can provide 1.5 volts, a CR123 cell is capable of providing 3 volts. Also, a CR123 is almost as half as an AA battery in dimensions.
Can I Use CR123 Instead Of 16340?
Due to different battery chemistry and nominal voltage, you can not use CR123 instead of 16340 although their physical dimensions are identical.
Also, CR123 batteries are not rechargeable making them not suitable for the specific application of a 16340 battery.
What Is The Highest Capacity 16340 Battery?
At a nominal voltage of 3.7V, you can expect the highest of 800mAh.
What Is The Longest-Lasting CR123 Battery?
According to my research, Energizer CR123 Lithium Batteries have the latest lithium-ion technology making them longer-lasting than its competitors. You can reliably use them in digital cameras and home surveillance electronics.
The manufacturer claims that you can store their batteries for up to 10 years without dropping the voltage.
So, that is all about CR123 vs 16340 comparisons. I hope that you have understood the differences between them.
Now, find out the requirements of your electronic device, and choose the right one.
Also, you can order one from the product recommendation list to save time finding the best products on the market.