CR123A Batteries: What’s the Difference Between CR123 & CR123A?

Published on: May 11, 2022
Written by Liam Jaxon / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Swing by contradicting opinions about CR123 vs. CR123A? It is a confusing matter. There is no major comparison between CR123 and CR123A batteries. Both are similar except for the letter ‘A’. CR123A is the main level from the CR123, 123, 123A, DL123A, or other. 

However, if you want to learn about in-depth explanations of the CR123A batteries, you arrive at the right place.

cr123a batteries difference

Perhaps, you have any questions in mind about CR123 vs CR123A. Our article is written by including all informed answers along with a lot of information about CR123A batteries. 

Definition of CR123 Vs. CR123A Batteries 

CR123 and [amazon link=”B001OI3720″ title=”CR123A” /] batteries have no difference and they are the same size. Their features and specifications are also equal. But, the main difference between CR123 and CR123A is the names just including A.  

[amazon link=”B07WTQHK27″ title=”CR123A or CR123″ /] batteries are very prominent & the high-performance 3V cylindrical lithium batteries arrive in two leading versions like rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. These batteries are acceptable for cameras, photos, flashlights, military equipment, security devices, and more.

CR123 Is CR123A And CR123A Is CR123

Yes, CR123, CR123A, 123, 123A, DL123A, and ELD123A are the same thing and have similar features. Just known as different levels or names used by multiple manufacturers. For example, Energizer 123, Rayovac 123A, Duracell CR123, Panasonic CR123A, etc. So, the main difference between CR123 and CR123A is the letter “A”.

But remember, the main label is ‘CR123A batteries’ that indicate the non-rechargeable type, or ‘RCR123A batteries’ which indicate the rechargeable type. Other common labels are 

CR17345, K123A, SF123A, RCR 16340, 16340, VL123A, DL123A, 5018LC, EL123AP, 17345, 17340, etc. Don’t forget that they all are also labeled as ‘CR123A’.

CR123A Batteries: Features and Specifications

The basic dimensions of the CR123A batteries are 0.67-inch x 1.36 inch, 17 mm diameter, and 34.5 mm in height of these kinds of batteries. 

According to the CR123A battery models & chemistry, they have several voltages, nominal capacity, and drain current. The following specifications can provide you with an exact idea. 


Length 34.5 Millimeters 
Voltage 3 Volts or 3.6-3.7 Volts 
Diameter 17 Millimeters 
Terminal Nub end (positive) and flat end (negative)
Capacity 1,500 (non-rechargeable) and 700 (rechargeable) mAh 

So, the non-rechargeable battery nominal voltage is 3.0 volts and has a typical capacity of 1500 mAh. From 7 to 10 years is the shelf life range. Due to its high drain current, it is an excellent choice for high-power devices and standby mechanisms like security devices. 

Rechargeable CR123A batteries mean RCR123A batteries usually contain voltage from 3.6 to 3.7. Remember, 3.0 and 3.3 volts rechargeable batteries are also accessible in the market. The nominal capacity is in the 500 to 800 mAh range. 

CR123A Vs. RCR123A Batteries

There are many differences between CR123A and RCR123A batteries. The major differences are their output voltage, capacity, charging or discharging cycles, and more. Here is a comparison table to focus on details.

Definition CR123A BatteriesRCR123A Batteries 
Nominal Voltage The output voltage is around 3.0 volts, lower than RCR123A batteries.These batteries have an output voltage of usually 3.6 to 3.7 volts so higher than non-rechargeable.
Capacity CR123A batteries have a capacity of ~1500 mAh.RCR123A batteries have a nominal capacity of 500-800 mAh and some models feature around 700-750 mAh capacity. 
Shelf life & storage The shelf life of CR123A batteries is up to 10 years. They are only half-charged when manufactured. So, you have to charge them fully before using them fast. These RCR123A batteries come with less than 10 years of shelf life. But, they are transported fully charged. 
Charging/discharging cyclesA best CR123A battery is discharged only once when it needs to be replaced and includes a new one. RCR123A batteries have 1000-1200 charging or discharging cycles. When you use the proper charger, you can utilize these batteries until they die.
Safety FeatureA good CR123A battery feature protect high temperature or fire, over-voltage,short circuit, and similar.RCR123A batteries are also safe from short circuits, overheating, surge currents, over-voltage, and more. 

CR123A vs 18650

There is no brightness difference between the CR123A rechargeable battery and the lithium 3.6 volts 18650 rechargeable battery. But, the basic difference between CR123A and [amazon link=”B06ZZ8Y89F” title=”18650 Batteries” /] is the size. The CR123A battery’s diameter is 17 mm, whereas 18650 batteries are 18.6 mm in diameter. A good CR123A battery’s height is half of the lithium 3.6 volts 18650 battery’s height, 65.2 mm.

Another thing, you know, the running time depends on the milliamp-hour (mAh)ratings of any individual battery. Maximum CR123A batteries are measured for probably 1000 mAh. On the other hand, 18650 rechargeable rates vary whether 2600 mAh or 3400 mAh. 

The large mAh indicates the more energy of the battery and longer run times. The 18650 battery features 3.7 volts that are higher than the CR123A rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. 

So, we can say, two CR123A batteries’ energy is equal to one 18650 battery. There is no doubt that the rechargeable 18650 batteries last longer than the CR123A batteries. 

Luckily, some renowned devices are formed using either one 18650 battery or two CR123A batteries. So, the calculation is very simple.

2x CR123A = 1x 18650 battery

Although there is a 3 to 4 mm difference

Another difference is CR123 batteries are typically more reasonable than rechargeable 18650 batteries. But, don’t skip, the two CR123A equals one 18650 rechargeable.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a CR-P2 Battery? 

CR-P2 battery indicates two batteries that correspond to the CR123A battery. The physical dimensions of the CR-P2 battery are 36 mm ×35 mm ×19.5 mm. Here, the height is 36mm, the length is 35 mm, and the width is 19.5 mm.  The nominal voltage and nominal capacities are 6 volts and 1500 mAh. They are suitable for use in multiple high-drain devices. 

Can I Use CR123 Instead of CR123A?

Yes, you can use CR123 instead of CR123A. But before buying, you should check the features and specifications. 

Why are CR123 Batteries Expensive?

CR123 or CR123A batteries are a little expensive because of their more power and long-lasting life of 7 to 10 years.

What are CR123 Batteries Used for?

The CR123 batteries are widely used in Cameras,  Wireless Security, Tactical Equipment, Home Automation, Smoke Detectors, Illumination Equipment,  and similar.

What is the Capacity of a CR123 Battery Compared to a CR123A Battery?

CR123 batteries typically have a capacity of 1500mAh while CR123A batteries typically have a capacity of 1600mAh.

Are CR123 and CR123A Batteries Available in Rechargeable Versions?

Yes, rechargeable versions of CR123 and CR123A batteries are available.

Final Words

Ultimately, CR123 & CR123A batteries are similar to each other. No major discrepancy between the two batteries. But, the maximum number of brands use the CR123A label instead of the 123 or CR123. Hopefully, you understand this and have received tons of knowledge about the CR123A battery.

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About This Writer

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Hi, I am responsible for the 'Homeowners Power Solutions' category. My name is Liam Jaxon and a licensed technician with 7 years of experience in vehicle batteries, electrical gadgets, and home appliances. My working experience in different residential & light commercial electrical sectors and the automobile industry helped to acquire vast knowledge in this industry.

Hi, I am responsible for the 'Homeowners Power Solutions' category. My name is Liam Jaxon and a licensed technician with 7 years of experience in vehicle batteries, electrical gadgets, and home appliances. My working experience in different residential & light commercial electrical sectors and the automobile industry helped to acquire vast knowledge in this industry.

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