Skip to Content

CR123 vs CR123A

Most home appliances operate using Lithium powered batteries such as CR123 and CR123A. Occasionally, choosing the right battery for your device may be challenging. Therefore, you may easily assume that the two batteries are similar.

So, what is the difference between dual Lithium based batteries? For a clear mind on CR123 and CR123A, this article will give you vast information about each subtopic!

What Is CR123?

Among the small-capacity batteries is CR123. It is inexpensive and commonly used in small devices like alarm clocks, cameras, security devices, and other high-performance equipment, including high-tech electronic devices.

CR123 is a 3V long-lasting battery containing an energy volume between 1500mAh to 2500mAh with sustainable pulse energy of 3,000mAh at a continuous functional current of 2,000mAh.

CR123 can offer continuous power for high-performance devices that need 100mA for 30 hours without recharging.

What is CR123A?

CR123A is a famous battery with the ability to offer high voltage to its users. Consequently, it is widely used in high-energy devices such as high-tech LED torches and digital cameras.

CR123A – Lithium-ion battery can provide 3,000 mAH pulse power at a continuous current of 2,000 mAH, maintaining 100 mA appliances for 30 hours before boosting, just like CR123.

CR123 vs CR123A – A Glance Comparison Chart

  CR123 Battery CR123A Battery
Capacity  1500 mAH 1300-1400 mAH
Weight 16.5g 16g
Size 46mm x 26mm 34.5mm x 17mm
Operating Temperature -20 to 60 C -20 to 60 C
Voltage 3V 3V
Shelf Life Ten years Ten years
Applications Regular cell phones, security systems, Cameras, high-tech devices, etc. Security Systems, Cameras, Regular cell phones, high-tech devices, etc.
Battery Type Lithium Lithium

CR123 vs CR123A- Detailed Comparison

The two batteries operate under the lithium system and are ideal for small and medium-sized household electronic appliances like watches, digital cameras, and LED torches. Regardless of their many similarities, both batteries have specific differences.


Taking a first look at the two batteries, they’re fairly equal and smaller in size. However, CR123 tends to be longer and thinner than its rivals.

These products have a standard length of 44mm, regardless of the size, twice their battery voltage.


It is hard to establish the exact difference between CR123 and CR123A batteries. They can last up to 10 years before any quality deterioration when kept at a temperature below 60 degrees Celsius.

Both serve as power supplies and can last up to five years in alarm techniques. It is hard to determine the actual durability as it trickles down to user usage and external influences.


Both products display a discrepancy in their voltage rating, with CR123 having a nominal voltage of 3.6 volts, slightly above CR123A. Some sites say both have a nominal voltage of 3 volts. Their standard electric current range is between 2 and 2.5 volts.

In summary, both have a high capacity to push pulse current through the device despite their trivial size.


The inside chemical is hazardous- lithium chemical can be hazardous if it comes into contact with the skin. Nonetheless, functioning under extreme temperatures exposes the batteries to hostile effects and destruction to the devices they serve.

The good news is that they come with an in-built safety feature-PTC representing (pressure-temperature-current). Hence, the batteries immediately cut off when subjected to a very high current to guarantee your safety.


They both operate according to the system of developing high energy compact per volume (580 Wh/liter) and mass (280 Wh/kg)

Per the manufacturer’s reports, both products use electrolytes that are lithium-based salts, Manganese dioxide (LiMnO2), and Lithium. The batteries’ poles are also produced from manganese dioxide, verified via heat treatment.

Functioning Temperatures

The primary difference between CR123 vs. CR123A lies in their operating temperatures to which they function normally. The CR123 delivers battery energy in the temperature range between -20 to 70 degrees Celsius while CR123A consists of a higher functioning temperature ranging from -40 to 70 degrees Celsius.

CR123 vs CR123A: A Side to-Side Pros and Cons

  Pros Cons
CR123 Battery High nominal voltage Lower Operating Temperatures
CR123A Battery Suitable functioning temperature

Outstanding Voltage

Lower voltage


Is CR123 Different from CR123A?

From the technical view, both products are similar with a difference of “A” But is this true? The two may be identical in many ways and even have similar applications, but they are not the same.

First, there is a slight discrepancy in their size, capacity, and weight, yet other elements are similar.

Their capacity is often assumed to be similar because CR123A is less than CR123 battery. Its capacity is between 1300 mAh to 1400 mAh. Meaning 123 batteries provide a higher capacity than 123A, translating to more hours with one charge.

In terms of size, CR123 A is 34.5mm x 17mm, which is smaller compared to CR123, which reflects in its weight of 16 g. Nevertheless, these differences are very tiny, making them have similar applications. Please take note, though, that certain situations may not allow it.

The operating temperature range is the main difference between the two batteries, with CR123 at -20 to 70 degrees Celsius and its counterpart at -40 to 70 degrees Celsius. 

Can CR123 and CR123A be interchanged?

The answer to this question is No.

To begin with, CR123 is a little bit larger than CR123A. Therefore, alternating the two can be tricky, especially when inserting them into subtle devices.

Regarding design, CR123A is particularly for digital cameras and high-tech LED torches, whereas CR123 doesn’t.

Considering voltage, CR123 offers a bigger voltage than the competition, although it has a lower voltage than its counterpart, the CR123A battery. As a result, the intentional use will, from time to time, cause issues in the functioning of the devices it serves.

CR123 vs CR123A- Which Is Better?

CR123 and CR123A are relatively the same due to their features and applications. However, they consist of minor size, weight, and capacity differences. It is crucial to keep in mind that the variation of both products may be insignificant, and their impacts are not as they will showcase in the functioning quality of the electronic devices.

Therefore, it is of the essence to evaluate and make a wise decision regarding CR123 and CR123A rather than assuming and using them interchangeably.