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CR123 vs CR123a: What is the Difference Between These Batteries?

Cr123 vs cr123a

There is nothing worse than buying a battery for your child’s favorite toy, or your camera only to get home and realize it doesn’t fit. You know it’s a big fat round one but that’s all you recall.

Not a truer word can be said for the CR123 and the CR123a battery. Rather than feeling stupid the next time you are in an electrical shop trying to decide which one is right for you, keep reading and we will clear up the confusion.

The CR123 and CR123a are logically named. The C stands for Lithium, R for round and 123 is one two-thirds. So any 123 battery is 1 2/3 of an A cell battery. Some brands will choose to put an a/A on the end to represent the A cell.

CR123 vs CR123a

Name variations

The CR123 and the CR123a can also be called 123, 123a, SF123 DL123, and DL123a. They are all 16.5mm in diameter and 34mm in length. They are lithium batteries and have 3 volts.

So what’s the difference between CR123 and CR123a battery?

In actual fact, in the case of these batteries, there is no difference. If you such for 123 lithium batteries, you will often find a selection of CR123s or DL 123As. For this particular sized battery, the ‘a’ makes no difference. For this reason, each of the batteries, and more specifically the CR123 and the CR123a are 100% interchangeable.

So, why all the names?

Basically, it’s down to the preference of the brand. Sometimes instead of the CR, a brand will use letters that are associated with their name, like DL is the Duracell brand.

Which should you buy?

There are probably three things you want to consider when looking at CR123 and CR123a batteries. First, look at the mAh. The higher the mAh the longer your battery should last. Then you might want to take a look at the shelf life. Sometimes you buy a pack of batteries and those not used will sit in a cupboard for a few years. Finally, it may come down to the price.

The Chart below has some of the popular brands of CR123 and CR123a batteries. We have placed them in order of price from highest to lowest.

Table could not be displayed.

While Duracell might be the leading brand, it would appear that its product might not be the best option. There are many others with a higher mAh, and cheaper. The shelf life could be longer than the warranty, but Duracell doesn’t appear to be all that confident.

As you can tell, there is no correlation between the CR123a and the CR123 with the price or function. They can all be used in the same appliances or devices. If you are struggling to make a decision, choose one that has a higher mAh first.


Read next: CR2025 vs. CR2032: What is the Difference Between These Batteries?

Last update on 2022-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API