Lithium-ion batteries are used in smartphones, digital cameras and other small consumer electronics. These batteries are commonly sold in flat block shapes, although cylindrical AA, AAA, and C li-ion batteries are also available and increasing in popularity. Li-ion AA batteries in particular can be used in any device that accepts AA batteries.
When to Choose Li-ion AA Batteries
Li-ion AA batteries are advantageous to have when it comes to charging because they cannot be overcharged. Users can charge them as often as they prefer without worrying about damaging the battery. It is not recommended to fully discharge a li-ion battery. A full discharge occurs when an electronic device powers off because the li-ion AA battery can no longer supply it with power. Full discharges are potentially harmful to the battery's longevity, but a full discharge does not ruin the battery altogether. Choose li-ion AA batteries when overcharging might be a concern, not undercharging.
Look at Capacity Ratings
A battery's capacity is rated in milliamp hours (mAh). Essentially, bigger numbers mean the battery has a larger fuel tank and will probably last longer than a battery with a significantly lower mAh. Unfortunately, as the mAH goes up, the cycle life goes down. This generally means the battery delivers great performance, but its total life is shorter than average. As an example, shoppers might decide between a battery that keeps a camera going for days but dies completely soon after, or a battery that must be recharged frequently but lasts for months.
Choose a Li-Ion Charger
Lithium-ion batteries are potentially capable of charging faster than other battery types. For example, while the recommended charging rate for NiMH batteries is medium to fast, lithium-ion batteries can charge as quickly as the battery charger allows. Choose a well-rated battery charger to get the quickest charge.
Be Environmentally Friendly
Thanks to being rechargable, all li-ion batteries are more environmentally friendly than single use batteries. One lithium-ion AA battery can be recharged at least 300 times, although some are rechargeable more than 1500 times. When replacing old batteries, remember to recycle or properly dispose of them. Not only is recycling healthier for the planet, but it may be illegal to improperly dispose of old batteries, depending on where you live.
Availability of Li-ion AA Batteries
Although lithium-ion AA batteries are gaining popularity, they are not widely available. Experts believe this kind of battery will eventually be much more common and affordable due to their advantages over other batteries. Until then, many devices use slab li-ion batteries, which are larger but still lightweight and have all the advantages of lithium-ion AA batteries.