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We at Helotex make a high quality line of flashlights, but without a great battery, they simply can’t operate to their full potential. Until recently, we did not offer batteries along with our flashlights. Since we are not a battery company, I left it up to the end user to select their battery of choice.
MISTAKE! After extensive research, it turns out the Internet is not helpful for the consumer to pick a proper high capacity battery.
I can’t believe what I find when searching for 18650 battery capacities on Google. As of November 2015, when I do a quick Google search of “High Capacity 18650”, I was astounded at the results that it returned. The top entry was for an UltraFire 18650 5000mAh and that alone is a red flag. $1.44 for a 5000mAh UltraFire 18650 rechargeable battery? What a bargain!
Not really! I’ll tell you more, but first, let me tell you about the third entry in my Google search. I see four UltraFire 6000 mAh rechargeable batteries for $9.99. Wow, that is $2.50 per battery for 6000 mAh batteries. Why would I not want to get those instead?
Interestingly enough, there is a 3400 mAh 18650 battery that is sitting right between the 5000 mAh and 6000 mAh battery offering on Google Shopping. This one is for sale at $24.90 for ONE battery! Why would anyone buy this one? Well, I’ll tell you why. First of all consider this fact: The highest capacity mainstream 18650 battery available as of December 2015 is around 3500 mAh. Full disclosure - I have not tested any of the 3500 mAh ones, but I am very familiar with the more popular 3400 mAh batteries.
Now, with that knowledge of the highest available capacity 18650 battery being in the 3400-3500 mAh range, what is the deal with the other batteries we just found? Unfortunately, they are flat out lying about their product specifications. These manufactures are deceiving consumers with their product labeling and marketing.
In part 2 of this article I tested four different 18650 batteries, XTAR 2200mAh, Orbtronic 3400mAh, UniqueFire 3600mAh, and UltraFire 3000mAh. You will be surprised by what the actual capacities turn out to be.