XTAR 18700 Li-ion battery peformance test/review
2200mAh - 2400 mAh - 2600 mAh (Sanyo based)
all with protection PCB
This is a review and performance assessment for the most popular XTAR 18700 form factor Li-ion batteries with protection PCB. Test is done using all three battery capacities x2 since szwholesale.com were kind enough to send pairs.
Charging is done on double channel XTAR WP2 charger for all samples and all batteries were tested a hour later off the charger. All 6 did charge to 4,18V exactlly if i can trust my multimeter enough.
Discharge test was performed with a custom built XM-L based flashlight (which will be reviewed in future as a DIY - guide) with KD linear driver which pulls up to 2,8A if the cells can provide such discharge. All 6 did without any problems according to my multimater which is pretty reliable even to 3.7A which is the max discharge i have witnessed so far.
Since XM-L are all the raage now a good battery must sustain high currents nowadays. This is by far the most interesting and unforgiving stress test to my book. The flashlight was cooled during continuous runtime by the aid of a 120x120mm high speed computer fan. Opted against multiple re-runs because of the excessive noise it makes and my not very great enthusiasm toward runtime tests.
Each battery was discharged only once. The test consisted in how long they provided current untill protection PCB kicks in and if it does that properly (they all did).
So how did those beauties perform at such elevate stress? At 2,8A constant draw untill a little above the XM-L Vf i expected them to last under 1 hour or near that. Pretty amazed how wrong i was assuming that.
Worth to mention tough that brightness dropped during the test after time. To mantain the test runtime in one long session i did not measure current at intervals. I tought it would affect the results to have the battery "recover" a little during intervals.
This was by far the most time consuming review i ever did. You cannot speed/rush the process in any way. I had to do it sistematically and eliminating as much variables as i could. It was however enjoyable if not for the noisy fan.
Set XTAR 18700 2200mAh
A - 60min
B - 63min
Set XTAR 18700 2400mAh
A - 69min
B - 70min
Set XTAR 18700 2600mAh (Sanyo based)
A - 70min
B - 72min
These results are accurate to up to +-1min max. The resting voltage after the protection PCB started to kick in (blinking) was 3.01-3,05V as soon i was able to measure it. This confirms the protection kicks around 2.75V which is okay for a safety feature.
I really wanted the sanyo based to last a few min more but did not. Would however pay just a little more for knowing that it has a high quality cell inside. It is unknown what internals other XTAR batteries have althrough they perform nicely to say the least.
From left to right: 2200mAh, 2600mAh and the 2400mAh batteries
These are all great protected batteries to get whichever you may choose or find a better deal. The 2600mAh samples are made by Sanyo which is a major quality battery manufacturer. You can't go wrong with if quality is what you seek.
All exceptionally well made and nicely wrapped with tough bottom which could sustain some abuse (but i strongly advise against. Li-ion batteries shoul be treated with respect. Always.). Actually i've been told that these can be used on weapon flashlights and are designed to sustain heavy recoil. Neat, if you need such feature.
Need something to power your XM-L's? Those are really worth considering.
- Great capacity
- No problem sustaining high discharge rates
- PCB that works reliably
- Inexpensive for the quality provided
- Nicely finished and very good wrapping and overall build quality
- May not fit flashlights that require 65mm long batteries at max. these are 67,5-69mm long with the 2600mAh one being the longer one.
- Not yet widely available
I would like to thank szwholesale.com for providing test samples for review.
I had pleasure to use 2400mAh before and the other certainly does provide great experiance. I suspected these are great performers and Old review proved that. Since he managed an awesome review i opted for hard discharge rate test to give another evaluation on these. Now that XM-L based flashlights are common and in heavy demand this test just complemets the great work Old did on those.
They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.