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LG F1L vs Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test - the 3400mAh Li-ion cells' battle

Panasonic NCR18650B is probably the most popular Li-ion battery of 18650 size. Though it's rated at 3350mAh it's usually listed as 3400mAh on suppliers' sites as well as LG F1L. They are both 3350mAh cells with 4.87A maximum discharge rating so they must be compared.
I've tested both cells at 0.65A (0.2C), 2A and 5A.
LG F1L vs Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test - the 3400mAh Li-ion cells' battle

As always the tests were done using ZKETECH EBC-A20, which supports up to 20A discharge, 4-wire measurement and is PC-connected.

Using version 3.0 of my battery holder based on 0.5mm thick pure copper terminals

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 23.5-24.5°C. To be sure in results i've done each test minimum twice.

LG INR18650 F1L
My cell has the following marking: LGABF1L1865 Q088C298AA. According to BatteryBro Q248 means that the production date is March 2017.
LG F1L capacity test

Specifications from LG F1L datasheet (pdf):
Nominal capacity: 3350mAh
Minimum capacity: 3250mAh
Nominal voltage: 3.63V
Standard charge current: 975mA (0.3C)
Max charge current: 1625mA (0.5C)
Charge end voltage: 4.2V
Charge cut-off current: 50mA
Max. discharge current: 4875mA (1.5C)
Discharge cut-off voltage: 2.5V
AC impedance at 1KHz: ≤70mΩ
Weight (max): 49g

The measured weight of my F1L cell is 45.31g
LG F1L capacity test

LG F1L capacity test results:
LG F1L capacity test
At 0.2C (0.65A) it showed about 3300mAh - more than 3250mAh mentioned as minimum capacity, but less than 3350mAh and, of course, 3400mAh. 12Wh is not a bad result. At 5A it showed about 3100mAh and 10Wh.

Panasonic NCR18650B
The cell which i've tested has the following marking: H CV 7131. 7131 means that the cell was manufactured in Jan 2017.
Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test

Specifications from Panasonic NCR18650B datasheet (pdf):
Typical capacity: 3350mAh at 25°C
Minimum capacity: 3250mAh at 25°C
Nominal voltage: 3.6V
Standard charge current: 1625mA (0.5C)
Charge end voltage: 4.2V
Charge cut-off current: 65mA
Max. dischg current: 4875mA (1.5C)
Discharge cut-off voltage: 2.5V
AC impedance at 1KHz: ≤100mΩ
Weight: 48.5g

The measured weight of my NCR18650B cell is 45.79g
Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test

Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test results:
Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test
At 0.2C (0.65A) NCR18650B's capacity is a bit higher than 3300mAh but still lower than 3350mAh. At 5A 3162mAh and 10.40Wh look not bad.

COMPARISON
Let's start with 0.65A (0.2C) discharge:
LG F1L vs Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test - the 3400mAh Li-ion cells' battle
Very close results. NCR18650B is a bit better, but the difference is not significant.

At 2A discharge:
LG F1L vs Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test - the 3400mAh Li-ion cells' battle
No difference at all! Just like twins!

At 5A discharge:
LG F1L vs Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test - the 3400mAh Li-ion cells' battle
NCR18650B at 5A leaves F1L behind with 55mAh / 0.44Wh difference. Not a huge advantage though.

CONCLUSION
Panasonic NCR18650B seems to be just a bit better than LG F1L but the difference becomes visible only at 5A. The price plays the first role here - my supplier Queen Battery sells NCR18650B for $3.9 and F1L for $2.6 so F1L is a smart choice i think.

Here is the video version of this review:
LG F1L vs Panasonic NCR18650B capacity test - the 3400mAh Li-ion cells' battle

Check out my YouTube channel for batteries, chargers and other stuff reviews.






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