Xtar LC4, LC8 and 1.5 v lithium rechargeable battery

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Xtar 1.5V lithium rechargeable battery review

Xtar charger specifications

Brand/modelXtar LC4Xtar LC8
InputUSB-C USB-C
Input Voltage5V 2A5V 3A
Max charging current4.9V (0.5A x4 avg.)5V (Max 0.5A x 8) (Max 13.5W)
Number of slots48
Features:
– Powerbank featureNoNo
– Capacity testingNoNo
– Battery storageNoNo
Battery chemistriesOnly Xtar 1.5V Li-ion with LED indicator (can’t use other batteries)Only Xtar 1.5V Li-ion with LED indicator (can’t use other batteries)
Cell compatibilityOnly Xtar 1.5V Li-ion with LED indicator AA and AAA (can’t use it with other batteries)Only Xtar 1.5V Li-ion with LED indicator AA and AAA (can’t use it with other batteries)
Review dateJanuary 2023January 2023

Introduction:

When you look at AA and AAA batteries, you normally choose between primaries 1.5V (Alkaline, Zinc Carbon) and rechargeable batteries 1.2V (NiMH, NiCad). But you also have non-rechargeable lithium batteries like the Energizer Lithium L91, that are rated at 1.5V.

From all the NiMH batteries, Eneloop have been the most impressive and probably most popular. They are LSD batteries (low self discharge) and don’t lose much capacity over time. The ‘problem’ with NiMH batteries is that they have an average voltage of 1.2V while discharging. This means that the output of flashlights (and other devices) might be reduced. And if you use multiple Eneloop batteries simultaneously, you don’t get the same voltage as Alkaline batteries. That might mean that there is not enough voltage for the device to work the same, compared to Alkaline batteries.

Of course, Alkaline batteries are still a lot weaker than Eneloops for example, so they don’t have the ‘power’, but they do have the higher voltage.

And only in the last couple of years have we heard about rechargeable Lithium batteries at 1.5V.

No, they aren’t really 1.5V lithium batteries, but Lithium-Ion batteries at 3.7V, but with a converter built-in, so it steps down to 1.5V. And that has some great benefits. You can’t charge them in a normal 18650 charger, nor in a normal AA battery charger!

Package quality.

Both chargers are sent in a similar package. It includes a picture of the charger at the front, and specifications at the back.

Inside the box you get:

  • Xtar LC4 / LC8 charger
  • USB-C cable
  • Manual in 11 languages

That’s all you need, and that’s all you get. The LC4 came with 4 AA Xtar batteries, and there were 4AAA added to the LC8 package.

Quality & Warranty

Both chargers are missing any buttons or switches. You pop the batteries in, connect the USB cable to a USB power supply (with enough Amps) and you can start charging.

The charger has a large hold in the middle which makes it easy to pop the batteries out. With some chargers that it rather difficult to do, especially with AAA batteries, which are thin and short.

The charger are black, and very light weight. I don’t think you should worry about it. For the price, they are adequate.

Warranty:

Nor the packaging, nor the manual mentions anything about the warranty. So I went to their website and found the following information:

1. within the seller warranty period of 15 days, we offer free replacement and pay the two-way return shipping costs for you.
2. after 15 days of receiving your order, meanwhile within the warranty period, we offer free repairment and pay the shipping cost of sending the product back to you. And you will need pay the shipping cost of sending the product to us. Usually it takes about 1-3 months including the delivery time sending back to customer.

For the products out of warranty:
We offer lifetime repairment, and only charge the replacing part costs. The two-way shipping fee is paid by yourself.

Keep in mind that Batteries have no warranty, seems like.

Basic Charger usage:

Both chargers are very simple and easy to use. They don’t have any buttons or switches, so you just connect the charger to a USB power supply and you are good to go. The charger has a green LED to show that you get enough power to start charging. This green LED does NOT show whether the batteries are charging or fully charged.
The only way that you see whether the batteries are charging is via the built-in LED indicator. There is a green indicator LED that blinks while charging, and is solid when finished.

BTW. You do need to make sure that the power supply can at least provide the required Amperage. If you charge 4AA batteries in the LC4, you need at least 2Amps.

The LC8 shows that you need at least 3Amps for 8 batteries, and that the maximum charger current is 0.5A. That means, that the more batteries you charge at the same time, the slower the charging is.

I measured the Voltage and Charging current on the LC4:

  • Charging voltage: 3.5V
  • Charge current 1 AA: 0.5A (500mA~530mA)
  • Charge current 1 AAA: 0.26A (260mA)

As you can see, this is too high Voltage to charge normal NiMH or NiCad batteries. Therefore it is NOT allowed to charge any other batteries than the ones included. There is also a warning on the packaging that says: Apply to Xtar AA / AAA 1.5V Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries with LED indicator LED.

You can not, and should not try to charge any other batteries! Not even ones that are made by Xatar.

Battery compatibility

Xtar gives a very, very short list of batteries that work with the LC4 and LC8 charger

  • Xtar 1.5V AAA, AA, lithium-ion batteries with LED indicator.

That means that you can’t use the other Xtar 1.5 Lithium Ion batteries they have. I don’t have any, so I can’t try them.

Charging currents and times

LC4

CellCharging currentCharge timeEnd voltage
1 AAA260~278mA1h 26min1.51~1.52V
1 AA500~530mA1h 39min1.51~1.52V

Charging of AA was done after running a flashlight till it turned down till it dropped output…

LC8 with 8 batteries

CellsCharge time
4 AAA + 4AA1h 58min

The AAA batteries finished earlier, but the last battery changed to solid green after 1h and 58 minutes.

AA Xtar 1.5V Capacity test

I used the Opus SKYRC MC3000 and set it to NiMH discharge test.. Lithium-Ion doesn’t work because of the voltage.

I set the discharge current at 500mA for both the AA and AAA battery. Both times, the SkyRC MC3000 would just flip and pretend the battery connection failed.. and start blinking. All the data is lost when this happens. I took a screenshot of the AA capacity less than 1 minute before it tripped. That was kind of a coincidence.

The AAA discharging was also done at 500mA, and after 1h29min I noticed a capacity of 730mAh, but soon after that it also tripped, but it could be like 10 minutes later. So I’m pretty confident about the AA, but the AAA could have been around 750mAh. I just wrote the number down without a screen shot.

CellSpecDischarge currentDischarge timeCapacity measuredMeasured energy*
1 AAA1200 mWh500 mA1h 29min730 mAh+1,109 mWh+
1 AA2700 mWh500 mA3h 20min1670 mAh2,538 mWh

*The batteries are not labeled with mAh, but with mWh instead. So I multiplied the capacity with 1.52V. 730*1.52 and 1670*1.52.

Battery Performance with Flashlights

First I tested Lumens…

AA Xtar 1.5V flashlight test

Xtar AA 1.5V batteries with single cell flashlights

FlashlightXtar turn onXtar 30secEneloop Turn onEneloop 30sec
Convoy T2210215201207
Lumintop EDC AA214170189151
Reylight Pineapple AA247203310212
Manker E05140140142142
Olight i5R EOS167158230230
Lumintop Tool AA 2.0345248179133
Lumintop EDC05332280361355
Fenix E12152151151149

It’s not so interesting to just know these numbers… It’s a bit more important to actually look at how they behave. Here are the runtime tests… of all these AA flashlights

Conclusion: sometimes the Xtar AA performed better, but sometimes the flashlight drew too much and turned the light off. It’s possible that the Xtars don’t really use high amp batteries. Or it just trips.

I then also tested it with 2 double AA flashlights

FlashlightXtar turn onXtar 30secEneloops Turn onEneloops 30 sec
Acebeam Pokelit 2AA239240223233
Olight i5T Plus WW505501489482

Although I tested only 2 2*AA flashlights, it’s possible that the Xtar fits these better.

AAA Xtar 1.5V flashlight test

Most of the tests I’ve done is with single AA flashlights.

FlashlightXtar turn onXtar 30secEneloop turn onEneloop 30sec
Reylight Pineapple Mini Ti73658194
Lumintop EDC01111111109107

I stopped the Reylight test early with the Xtar because I thought that it already tripped.. But as you can see the output is just ridiculously low. With the Lumintop EDC01, you see the strange Turn on/off behavior.

Conclusion: with AAA flashlights it might be performing a bit better, but it could also be worse. So it depends on the flashlight.

I then also tested it with 2*AAA flashlights

FlashlightXtar turn onXtar 30sec2*Eneloop turn on2*Eneloop 30sec
Olight i3T plus263261253251
Wuben E19189185180175

And the runtime graphs again

Conclusion: The Xtar might work better in 2AAA flashlights, but these tests can’t say they are a clear winner either.

Charger and Battery Dimensions and Weight

XTAR LC4 charger

Dimensions: 

Xtar LC4MillimetersInches
Length76 mm3 in
Height77 mm3 in
Width27 mm1.1 in

Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.

Weight

Xtar LC4Weight in gramsWeight in oz.
Empty charger50 grams1.76 oz

Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.

XTAR LC8 charger

Dimensions: 

Xtart LC8MillimetersInches
Length153 mm6 in
Height77 mm3 in
Width27 mm1.1 in

Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.

Weight

Xtart LC8Weight in gramsWeight in oz.
Empty charger100 grams3.53 oz

Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.

XTAR 1.5V batteries

Xtar 1.5 battery dimensions: 

Xtar AAMillimetersInches
Length50.5 mm1.98 in
Diameter14.2 mm0.56 in
Xtar AAAMillimetersInches
Length44.72 mm1.76 in
Diameter10.3 mm0.40 in

Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.

Xtar 1.5 V battery weight

Xtar AAWeight in gramsWeight in oz.
Weight18.9 grams0.67 oz
Xtar AAWeight in gramsWeight in oz.
Weight8.8 grams0.31 oz

Charger comparison

Size compared to other chargers.

Image 1, from left to right: Yonii Y2, Nitecore UMS2, Nitecore Digicharger D4, SkyRC MC3000, Xtar LC8, Xtar LC4

Image 2, Yonii Y2, Nitecore UMS2, Nitecore Digicharger D4, SkyRC MC3000, Xtar LC8

Image 3, Yonii Y2, Nitecore UMS2, Nitecore Digicharger D4, SkyRC MC3000, Xtar LC4

Disclaimer: This charger was sent to me for review at no cost by Xtar. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Stable 1.5V
  2. Works well in low-medium current devices, and maintains the same high voltage.
  3. Drops from 1.5V to about 1.1V when the battery is running low.. or when the battery trips.. so an AA flashlight can still be usable after the output drop.

Cons

  1. Batteries need a special charger (LC4 or LC8)
  2. Can’t use LC4 or LC8 for any other type of batteries
  3. Battery sometimes trips after several seconds/minutes and starts running at lower Voltage. Only low current applications.
  4. You shouldn’t buy the batteries without the charger, because they are meant to be used together.
  5. Can’t really measure to see whether the battery is full or almost empty…

Explanation on star ratings:

1: Avoid – 2: Poor choice: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended

Reviewer Marco
Author: Marco

A 1.5V rechargeable lithium-ion battery is a very interesting concept. You basically get a very stable 1.5V Voltage until it drops to just above 1V suddenly.

My main focus of this review is the battery itself, combined with an AA flashlight. And, unfortunately, the batteries trip too fast and are not ready for the current generation flashlights.

I hope Xtar will improve these batteries so they can produce more energy throughout the runtime, without tripping. The concept is really cool, but there is still a bit of work.

BTW. these batteries are still great to use in other devices like digital clocks etc. Sometimes NiMH batteries just don’t cut it, and make the display seem weak. These Xtar batteries are a better choice for those, low-current, applications.

I can give it 5 stars for the idea, but only 2 stars when using them with some AA flashlights. The tests show that they don’t fit with every flashlight, so beware of this. They work okay with lower current flashlights, and dual cell flashlights though. So, I can’t really give them an overall star rating.

Xtar LC4 / LC8 For Sale

You can buy them with and without batteries. At the time of writing this review, the LC4 was not available yet at Amazon, and the LC8 not available yet at Xtar store.

Xtar 1.5V rechargeable lithium batteries for sale

1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.

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