Review: Intl-outdoor NCR18650 3100mAh (Blue)

Intl-outdoor NCR18650 3100mAh (Blue)
This battery has been replaced by Intl-outdoor NCR18650 3100mAh (Black)

Official specifications:

  • Panasonic 18650
  • Capacity: 3100mAh
  • Nominal voltage: 3.6V
  • Full charge: 4.2V

The batteries arrived in an envelope without any other protection (intl-outdoor has informed me that they have changed to a better packing, see below).

The batteries shows nice discharge curves up to 2 ampere, but 3 and 5 ampere is stopped by the over current protection.

On this curve it can be seen that the protection on the two cells activates at different currents.

I uses 3 ampere as the minimum test current, but one of the batteries had a protection that activated at a lower current.


These batteries uses a very good Panasonic cell and as can be seen on the discharge curves the two batteries matches perfectly, but they only works up to 2 ampere, the protection stops the 3 ampere test.
It is a bit difficult to rate these cell, up to two ampere they are good cells, i.e. they will work perfectly in lights with a single XR-E, XP-E or XP-G led, but the batteries are useless in a XM-L light, due to the low protection threshold.

From intl-outdoor I have received this comment:
Limit will be changed in the next batch. Currently working with a different company for a new protected battery.

Notes and links

The batteries was supplied by intl-outdoor for review.

How is the test done and how to read the charts
How is a protected LiIon battery constructed
More about button top and flat top batteries

New packing use by intl-outdoor:

I honestly don't know how you find the time to do all this testing! But I greatly appreciate that you do. :)

Hopefully, as with the 16650 cells, I can make time to do some testing on a couple of these that I have received, though I doubt that I'll find much different. Hopefully the next batch will indeed be better.

Excellent technical review HKJ, thanks very much for all your hard work!

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

X2 with the thanks for all you do here and there for all of us! You confirmed through science what we all knew by finding out through trial and error, that the battery is a good cell with a bad PCB. Hopefully Hank will make good on replacements or credit toward the cell with newer/better PCB. I bought these cells for use specifically with XM-L drop ins. I was sad to find out that they tripped off on high. I was using the Manafont 3 mode XM-L drop in. They work OK on medium and lower settings with long run times.


Thanks .

Looks like a pretty good battery once the protection current is raised.

thanks, I think the new protected version will be the next cells I purchase. intl-outdoor doesn't have a huge selection but he's obviously put some thought into what is offered...

Any updates?

Hm, strange :| I'm almost sure, that if you remove the protection, it will work @ 3-5A for sure. Why it being tripped at such a "low" current?

Thanks for review and test.

So this battery is NOT suitable even for one 18650 X-ML flashlight model?

What a shame indeed.

I think even if we say it's suitable for XP-G XP-E and not for XM-L is somehow not acurate. It's not about XM-L or not. It's about the current that passes through MOSFET that is the shut down problem.

It doesn't matter what LED is, it only matters what current is being drawn by the driver. From what I see 2A current is OK.

Look at it like this, use one battery with a flashlight that says max 650 lumen or a mode that has 650 lumen.

Excellent. Thanks Hikelite, well explained.

Very good explanation, I also ordered this one and I am having the same problem with them, mines cut off at about 2.5A, I am using them with XR-E and 2*18650 flashlights.

I hope they will update the product with new protection boards able to reach at least 5A out of the 6A given by Panasonic data sheet.

Before I ordered them, I asked about it to Intl-outdoor, and they told me the protection was made to kick at 6A, it made me so happy to have a great battery with the best runtime and also a high drain, but unfortunately it was not true.

That is correct and because a XP-G is about 1.5 ampere it works fine with a single XP-G led. A XM-L needs about 2.8 ampere to be driven at full power, it is just at the limit and if the light has a boost driver it will be above the limit.

On my website there are curves that shows the exact current draw for some flashlights at different voltage (Just measuring the tail cap current with a fresh battery does not tell the full story about current draw), this gives a much more detailed picture than just saying XP-G and XP-E leds.

In a different thread about these cells, Hank from intl-outdoor stated that when the protected cells were ordered form the person/s who assemble the protection circuit and cell, he requested that PCBs with a high dicharge current value were used. It seems that during the actual assembly, his specification was ignored and PCBs with a lower discharge value were used instead.

As such, when you contacted him, it is entirely possible that he did believe these cells were capable of a 6A discharge rate, as that is what his specification called for. It appears that it was only after people started purchasing these and testing them that is became apparent that the wrong PCBs had been used.

So we're to assume they don't have the updated cells yet? I'm not sure if he hasn't updated his website or if they're just not in yet.

If you look at the intl-outdoor website, only unprotected batteries are sold. The checkbox for ordering protected batteries are missing.

Yes, I understand they were told by the supplier they were made to give 6A, and they realized about it later on.

I did not ask for a refund or anything else, but it is true I asked about it before purchasing them and they were not as described.

If they get a new model with a better protection board I will probably get them for one reason, they are much cheaper than their competitors using the same Panasonic battery ( Kallies and Redilast) at lest shipped to Spain.

For these reasons stated herein, is why something should be done by Hank and Intl-outdoors. Either send us the cells that we thought we were getting as a direct replacement, or give us a very discounted rate on the "new" cells when they are done. I thought I was buying a premium cell, and did not get what I thought I was getting. It needs to be corrected for all who purchased them. I realize that it may not be Hank's fault, but it surely is not our fault!