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Panasonic NCR18650PF vs LG MG1: 2900mAh/10A cells' discharge capacity test

People usually buy these cells for their capacity/price ratio and 10A max discharge current. Queen Battery sells NCR18650PF for $2.35 and MG1 for $2.20 (shipping not included).
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test
As always, and the tests were done using ZKETECH EBC-A20, which supports up to 20A discharge, 4-wire measurement and is PC-connected.
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test

I'm using the v2.5 of my battery holder with 0.3mm thick pure copper pads.

I've followed all the prescriptions of the IEC61960-2003 standard concerning battery's capacity measurement. Before each discharging cycle each battery was charged at standard current mentioned in its datasheet to charge end voltage (4.2V) (cut-off at 0.1A, which is the lowest supported by EBC-A20). Before each discharging or charging i've held a 1-1.5hrs pause. The environment temperature was about 25°C. To be sure in results i've done each test minimum twice.

Panasonic NCR18650PF

This cell was marked C AV 7522 where C is the rank and 7522 is the production date code (7-2017 5-May 22)
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test

I've found a plenty of official datasheets for this cell across the web with different Std charge current ratings (1925mA, 1,35A, 1375mA). 1.375A was mentioned in two of 4 datasheets so i chose that current.

The main specs from the most complete Panasonic NCR18650PF datasheet (pdf):
Rated capacity: 2700mAh at 20°C
Minimum capacity: 2750mAh at 25°C
Typical capacity: 2900mAh at 25°C
Nominal voltage: 3.6V
Standard charge current: 1.375A
Charge end voltage: 4.2V
Charge cut-off current: 100mA
Max. discharge current: 10A
Discharge cut-off voltage: 2.5V
AC impedance at 1KHz: ≤35mΩ
Maximum weight: 47g

My sample's measured weight is 46.23g
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test

DC internal resistance at full charge is 26-29mOhm

Capacity test results:
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test
More than 2950mAh at 0.2C discharge and almost 2800mAh even at 10A - great performance. Nothing to add.

LG 18650 MG1

This guy's marking is LGGBMG11865 P265I214N2 where P265 is the manufacturing date (P-2016, 265th day of the year - Sep 22)
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test

The main specifications from LG MG1 datasheet (pdf):
Minimum capacity: 2750mAh
Nominal capacity: 2850mAh
Nominal voltage: 3.62V
Standard charge current: 1.425A
Max. charge current: 2.85A
Charge end voltage: 4.2V
Charge cut-off current: 50mA
Max. discharge current: 10A
Discharge cut-off voltage: 2.5V
AC impedance at 1KHz: ≤35mΩ
Weight (approx.): 46g

My cell weighs 44.78g
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test

DC internal resistance at full charge is 30-33mOhm

Capacity test results:
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test
Just look at these curves! How beautiful they are! At 0.2C MG1 showed almost 2850mAh and at 10A - almost 2700mAh.

COMPARISON

At 2A:
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test
Both cells go equal up to the middle then MG1 starts slowing down. At the finish NCR18650PF has 324mWh more than MG1

At 5A:
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test
The same thing goes here - NCR18650PF outruns MG1 by 436mWh

At 8A:
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test
The difference is 421mWh in favor of NCR18650PF. Look at the curves in the beginning - MG1's curve is more linear.

At 10A:
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test
The picture doesn't change much - NCR18650PF gives out 363mWh more than MG1.

CONCLUSION

Obviously Panasonic NCR18650PF is the winner but
1. it was manufactured later than MG1
2. Despite the lower capacity MG1 curves i liked more
3. MG1 is a bit cheaper which will result in a good economy when buying 100 or more cells.

Here is the video version of this review:
Li-ion 18650 Panasonic NCR18650PF LG MG1 2900mAh 10A capacity test
Check out my YouTube channel for batteries, chargers and other stuff reviews.

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