AA vs AAA Batteries – Which One to Use and Where?

AA vs AAA Batteries – Which One to Use and Where?

Auth Abhay Pratap Singh | Feb 26,2020


Out of the many differences between AA and AAA batteries, the size is the most tangible. Even though both cells feature the same output voltage, the amount of charge stored in them varies, and so varies the energy that each can deliver. Depending upon power requirements manufacturers make their devices to run with either AA or AAA variant of cells.

Size – The most notable difference, as mentioned, is the size, with AA being the big brother out of the two. Slot designated for AAA cannot fit AA cells and vice versa, although you can find adapters that feature an additional slot to accommodate one additional battery of the other type. AAA is more slender than AA, which is also taller height-wise.

Voltage – Typically the same, each cell will have 1.2 – 1.5 Volt range. You will note little difference in the power between the two initially. However as time passes by both cells lose some of their voltage capacities. The internal resistance goes up and the open-circuit voltage goes down chiefly because the battery does not hold the same amount of active charge. People often say the double As are more powerful, though it is not so. Double As have a bigger charge compartment and deteriorate little when compared to the smaller AAAs. When used for the same amount of time, the bigger AA Batteries will still have higher open circuit voltage and lesser internal resistance and thus impart more power to the circuit.

Long-Lasting Batteries

AA Batteries are better and last longer than AAA batteries and are thus used in big toys, mp3 player,s and other equipment that dissipate too much power.

With dormant devices, like remote controllers and flashlights, that usually sit idle and are only rarely used, it makes more sense to use the compact AAA, although some older RCs still use bigger cells.

Bateries Capacity – mAh

mAh (milli-ampere hour) is a more perceivable way of calculating battery life. A battery rated 2500 mAh can deliver 2500 milliampere of current straight for 1 hour until it dies out eventually. Depending upon how much current is the circuit operating in, the battery may last even longer; normal lifespan varies from 2 to 5 years under normal usage.

Battery Cost

Typically the AAA should be less expensive because it is less resilient, but the demand for AAA in the global market is increasing. As with every other commodity, higher the demand, higher the price, and so the cost of these batteries may also see a surge.

For AA and AAA Batteries Comprehensive Overview, Refer Table Below.

Characteristics AA Batteries AAA Batteries
Size Bigger. Smaller.
Cost High Equal or higher
Capacity < 600 mAh and upto 2800 mAh, depending upon chemical composition. < 400 mAh and upto 1200 mAh, depending upon chemical composition.
Output Voltage 1.2 – 1.5 Volt 1.2 – 1.5 Volt
Useful for Digital camera, Clock, Remote Control, Toy, Torch, Radio, Audio Players. Clock, Remote Control, Torch.  
Use Type Heavy Duty, or as per need Light duty, or as per need
Shelf Life Conventional Battery – up to 2 years Alkaline Battery – more than 5 years Conventional Battery – up to 2 years Alkaline Battery – more than 5 years
Energy-density High Low
Power-density High Low
Rechargeable Variant Available Not-available

AA Vs AAA Batteries FAQs

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