Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown

Duracell and Energizer are top battery brands which consumers know for long-lasting performance. The brands are known for their “longest lasting” and “best in high-power devices” products by many South Africans. To see which batteries delivered the most battery life under a constant high-drain test, we bought dozens of batteries and put them to work.

Duracell Plus Power, Energizer Max, and Duracell Ultra alkaline AA batteries were selected for the test, due to their similar offerings. The batteries’ packaging states they hold their power for several years, and all batteries where within their sell-by dates. Based on the standard price of the respective battery packs on Takealot, the following per-battery pricing was calculated:

  • Duracell Plus Power AA – R16.25
  • Energizer Max AA – R17.25
  • Duracell Ultra Power AA – R18.75

Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown

The tests

For the tests, we used a West Mountain Radio CBA IV – which is designed to test small cells and batteries.

The CBA IV is capable of testing batteries at load currents from 10mA to 40,000mA. After consulting with battery testing experts, we were advised to purchase eight of each battery and test them at a draw of 800mA. This simulates the lifespan of a battery in high-draw applications and minimises the effect of extraneous variables on the performance of the cells.

We took each battery – 24 in total – and tested how long it took for each to drop below their suggested cut-off voltage limit of 1.10V. All tests used an initial test voltage of 1.5V.


Battery Test

Lifespan at 800mAh

Duracell Plus Power
Duracell Plus Power 1 27:33 mins
Duracell Plus Power 2 23:05 mins
Duracell Plus Power 3 24:29 mins
Duracell Plus Power 4 26:19 mins
Duracell Plus Power 5 27:21 mins
Duracell Plus Power 6 22:08 mins
Duracell Plus Power 7 22:27 mins
Duracell Plus Power 8 23:08 mins
Energizer Max
Energizer Max 1 30:15 mins
Energizer Max 2 23:05 mins
Energizer Max 3 24:27 mins
Energizer Max 4 29:30 mins
Energizer Max 5 27:17 mins
Energizer Max 6 28:33 mins
Energizer Max 7 23:02 mins
Energizer Max 8 23:05 mins
Duracell Ultra Power
Duracell Ultra Power 1 19:08 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 2 16:07 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 3 06:22 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 4 23:09 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 5 21:13 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 6 15:19 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 7 26:02 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 8 07:10 mins

The image below details the first two test batches. Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown

Based on the results, we calculated the average time until depletion for each batch of batteries. We then used the price and lifespan of each battery to calculate the average minutes per rand each product provided at this level of drain. The average lifespan and minutes per rand for each battery, calculated from the test results, are shown below.


Average lifespan at 800mA


Minutes per rand

Duracell Plus Power 24:34 mins R16.25 1.51
Energizer Max 26:35 mins R17.25 1.54
Duracell Ultra Power 16:49 mins R18.75 0.90

The results show the Energizer Max AA lasted just under 8% longer than its Duracell Plus Power counterpart – at an 800mA drain level – on average.

The Duracell Ultra Power’s lower lifespan is not necessarily indicative of its overall performance, as this test only measures lifespan at a single power drain level.

The data gained from the tests also showed that battery life can vary between different batteries of the same model.

While the Energizer Max had a longer lifespan under the test conditions, performance could vary under different drain levels and in real-world applications.

Now read: Duracell can’t say its batteries last “10-times longer” in South Africa[1]


  1. ^ Duracell can’t say its batteries last “10-times longer” in South Africa (

Drive – don’t talk or text

The AA has warned drivers that talking on a cellphone, or texting, puts lives at risk. It said that distracted driving remains a problem in South Africa, and will continue to remain one unless drastic action is taken. “While stricter law enforcement is needed, it’s the attitude of motorists which needs the biggest change,” said the AA.

Studies have shown that when drivers are distracted, their ability to operate a vehicle is impaired. “Motorists who use mobile devices while behind the wheel need to change their attitudes and take responsibility for their actions.” “By talking on a cellphone, or texting while driving, these irresponsible drivers can cause a crash that injures or kills other people.”

No one is immune to the dangers of being distracted, it said. “Although there are no current local statistics on how distracted driving causes crashes, there is sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest this number is large enough to warrant urgent attention.” The following distractions are among the most prevalent:

  • Talking on cellphones, or texting while driving.
  • Eating while driving.
  • Putting on ties or clothing while driving.
  • Applying makeup while driving.
  • Looking to the back seat to engage passengers.
  • Setting GPS devices while moving.
  • Searching for items in the car while driving.

“Put your cellphone in the boot of your car before driving off, and put on your tie or makeup before you get going,” said the AA.

“If you use a GPS device, set the destination before embarking on your journey.”

“Remember: if you don’t focus on the road, there is a 100% likelihood you will not avoid a crash while distracted.”

Now read: Using a smartphone while driving is dangerous – even when you’re hands-free[1]


  1. ^ Using a smartphone while driving is dangerous – even when you’re hands-free (