The name Duracell conjures up an image of high-quality batteries, and the Duracell Plus AA certainly live up to that reputation. These batteries are comparatively expensive, but they put in the best overall result in my high-drain test, which makes them the best choice for those who need batteries for the most demanding applications.
- Very high performance
- Performs well for high-drain use
- Widely available
- Comparatively expensive
- Battery typeAA alkaline batteries (non-rechargeable)
Think of AA batteries, and Duracell is bound to be the manufacturer you think of first. That’s for good reason, since Duracell has proved itself as a manufacturer of some of the best batteries you can buy. The Duracell Plus AA batteries are no exception.
A little more expensive than the competition, it is possible to hunt around online and pick them up at a good price. However, the extra cost could be worth it: the high-drain performance results in my tests were a cut above the rest. If you’re after the best, then these are the units to buy.
- Highest result in our drain test
- High overall capacity
Duracell says that, as with other alkaline batteries, its units have a shelf life of 10 years. In other words, you can buy a load now and stick them in a cupboard ready for when you need them.
According to Duracell, these batteries can deliver up to 100% extra life in the 2015 IEC AA Digital Camera Test compared to the competition. I test capacity in mAh and the initial voltage, so I can compare performance across different manufacturers.
To do so, I use an Ansmann Energy XC3000 tester. I bought a set of Duracell Plus AA batteries, and then picked four batteries at random. Straight out of the pack, I tested them at 1.5V on average, which is exactly where regular batteries should be. Voltage drops as the batteries are used.
For the drainage test, the XC3000 uses a drain of 600mA (+/- 20%). On the first test, I saw a total capacity of 1442mAh, which is the highest I’ve seen in any set of batteries. This figure is an average across the four tested batteries, all of which showed similar results with only a small amount of variance – that’s quality control for you.
I leave alkaline batteries to rest for a few hours and cool down, before testing them again to discover the remaining capacity. On this second run, there was just 176mAh of additional charge, giving a high total of 1618mAh. That’s just a little behind the GP Ultra AA’s total capacity.
The small residual charge shows the quality of these batteries, since they’re drained efficiently on high loads, without a lot of residual power.
This high overall capacity indicates that these batteries will last a long time in lower-drain applications, such as remote controls.
Should you buy it?
If you don’t want to compromise and just want the best performance, these are the best batteries I’ve tested.
Comparatively expensive, you can get similar performance with batteries from cheaper brands.
For the most demanding of applications, the Duracell Plus AA have proved themselves to be the most powerful batteries in my tests. For demanding jobs, then, these are a great choice. They’re quite expensive, though, and the cheaper GP Ultra AA or Amazon Basics Alkaline AA may be a better choice for those on tighter budgets.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every alkaline battery we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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We use an Ansmann Energy XC 3000 to drain batteries, so that we can test capacity in mAh. After the first run, we allow the batteries to cool and then retest to give us a second reading.
We measure the initial voltage of the batteries, checking that the starting voltage is at least 1.5V.