When I first got to know about Battizer Alkaline Battery Charger, I was actually not very convinced. The features of the charger is too good to be true. An hour charge for Alkaline, Rechargeable, Zinc Carbon, Zinc Chloride batteries. And you can charge for both sizes, AA or AAA.
As I am a heavy user of rechargeable batteries, I thought it might do justice to the price tag of S$97. So, I ordered online and within a few days, it came to my doorsteps. Honestly, I am quite surprised by the packaging. Although the paper box is quite filmsy, Battizer actually uses a clear plastic case to hold them. It looks nice too.
And here is the back view.
Now, take a look inside.
In the package, you get one Battizer Alkaline Charger with a 2-plug cable, 4 Battizer AA Alkaline Batteries and a CD Manual. I don’t think you need to use the manual to operate this Charger 🙂 .
Take a look at the back of the unit.
A close up of the information stated.
As you can see, the output current is not high. That may be the reason why the unit is not hot. However, I must say that to be able to charge a battery in one hour without the heat is a feat. I have tried many chargers. Most of them will cause the batteries to heat up. I checked on one of my chargers. It stated 1000mAh output current.
BTW, I think the cable provided is too short. You have to be very near to a socket to use the charger. Not a big issue as this is NOT a special cable. You can replace it with a longer one. I have also talked to Alvin from Battizer about it. He mentioned he will feedback to his company.
Anyway, I tested the unit in two scenarios:
- An average user who use it to charge normal alkaline batteries for remote controllers, torch light and etc.
- A demanding photographer will need the speed and juice of the batteries to the Flash unit to take pictures.
BTW, here are some of the batteries that I tested. On the left are alkaline and on the right are rechargeable batteries.
Charging all my controllers (TV, Starhub Cable, Aircon Units, Freshener, torchlights)
AA and AAA with mixture of brands.
At first try, only a few newer batteries can be charged completely (means LED light will stop blinking, see below picture)
I must say the first try is disappointing as some of them causes the LED to become RED. I thought they were hopeless. However, thanks to Alvin from Battizer, I realized that they can still be saved! According to Alvin, as long as the batteries do not turn RED immediately after you turn on the power, that means this battery can still be “saved”. You will need to let the battery “rest” and charge again. It is a reconditioning for the batteries. So I heeded his advice and recharge those with problem again.
True enough, some several tries, I managed to salvage most of the batteries. Some of them took them 7 to 8 times (almost 1/2 to 1 hour each) to complete the charging.
The results of the batteries are not bad. As mentioned, those controllers have very old batteries. After “reviving” them, it works perfectly. For torch light, initially, it totally cannot light up. After charging, it is able to work again.
So, the question is, “Will you spend so much time to recondition the old batteries so that you can use again?” I would for the sake of environment. Here is how Battizer calculate the cost.
4. What is the cost of recharging 4 pieces of AA batteries?
There are 4 channels in a Battizer charger and therefore you can charge 4 pieces of AA alkaline batteries at one time. Every channel has an output current of 250 mA with approximately 2 Volt. Working out to 250/1000 A * 2V * 4 channels = 2 Watt with efficiency approximately at 75% and so 2/0.75 = 2.66 Watt, and so in 1 hour = 2.66 Wh. Assuming that your electricity cost is 30 cents per kWh. It will cost you only: $0.30 * 2.66/1000 = $0.000798 to charge up 4 pieces of alkaline batteries comparing to $4 to buy a new set.
If you need to replace your discharged batteries, it will probably cost you $1 a piece for alkaline battery and $4 to have 4 pieces to be replaced.
However, do note that it can only be recharged for a certain cycle.
From their website,
5. How many times can I recharge an alkaline battery and how many times can I recharge a zinc-carbon battery?
With our record test, between 10 to 50 times for alkaline batteries and 5 to 10 times for zinc-carbon batteries. It all depends on how frequently you recharge immediately after use.
Not bad to recycle the batteries for 50 times. Here is my summary for Scenario 1
Summary for Scenario 1:
The Battizer does serve its purpose of charging Alkaline batteries in 1 hour (some a little bit longer) and based on normal usage, it looks good. In fact, I did a check on the multimeter for a 1.5V alkaline battery after recharging. It went up to 1.6++v for a battery that is supposed to be wasted.
However, do take note that old batteries are difficult to charge. Often, you may encounter the RED blinking LED. It is up to you to redo the process or just dispose off the batteries. I have better luck with Energizer batteries. They are easy to charge. However, do not charge those LITHIUM batteries. They are not supposed to be charge on this charger.
My suggestion for household with kids that need a lot of batteries for the toys, you may want to consider Battizer Alkaline Charger. I understand that some toys uses D type batteries. Battizer can only charge AA or AAA batteries. I think you can use a adapter to do the trick.
Overall, quite please with the charger for normal usage.
Scenario 2 (Partial Update):
Charging of rechargeable batteries for photographic equipments. It is a partial update as I have to run a few more tests and scenarios to really conclude.
I was toying around with the idea of charging the batteries for my camera flash unit with Battizer Alkaline Charger. My first try was a failure. I took 4 Powerex 2700 mAh batteries to charge on Battizer. After one hour, the indication is still blinking. However, based on the instruction, for rechargeable batteries, we can off the power after 1 hour. So, I did that and quickly put the batteries to the test.
I sense something is not right when I power on my Flash unit. It did not charge up immediately. Nevertheless, after it lighted up (the ready light), I fired one shot and the Flash went dead. Then I use my standard Konnoc Charger to check the battery condition, almost all of them were at low battery level.
Of course, to review Battizer, I did not give up easily. I tried on another set of Powerex 2700mAh batteries and this time, it is able to charge up properly. Knowing that I am taking a risk, I went for an event with these batteries. One set charged with Konnoc and another set charged with Battizer and also I used Battizer Alkaline batteries.
Battizer Alkaline Batteries: Charging up take a little longer but still useable. Don’t expect fantastic results for a high power flash.
Powerex charged with Battizer: Can perform but I have not tested enough to conclude. Seems a little bit lacking but it might be the environment and many factors.
Powerex charged with Konnoc: Performance is standard as compared to my previous shoots.
As you can see, my results is as vague as ever. I do not want to conclude anything yet. I will need some more shoot and time to really understand the impact. Baseline is I do not want to jeopardize someone having issues on the batteries on important shoots.
I tried not to use too much technical terms in my review so that anyone can understand the pros and cons of Battizer Alkaline Charger. I hope you enjoy this review. Part 2 will be coming for Scenario 2. In the meanwhile, shoot as many questions as possible, I will get Battizer to answer them if I could not.