What’s the difference between a CR2 and a CR123 battery?

Cr2 Vs Cr123 represent the differences between the most commonly used batteries. In most electrical devices, one has to use primary batteries like CR2 and CR123. Since both of the battery shares the same voltage level people often get confused between these two.

They think they can interchange those batteries for their electrical devices. However, similarities in voltage are not the only reason for interchange. One has to consider some other similarities and differences. Moreover, the biggest difference they have is in the size which is the main obstacle in interchanging. One can have a look below for more information.

Cr2 Vs Cr123

In this time the world becomes extremely technology-based. Every human is using technology in their regular life at a high rate. Everyone owns more than 5 electrical devices sometimes the count is too high. Even they use portable device that is not directly connected to the electricity but needs portable electric connection.

For example, one has a camera to take pictures. It is something that people take the time of travelling. While travelling, it is not possible to be connected with the main supply of electricity. However, the camera will not work without electricity. So the solution is an electric battery.

Batteries are some kind of cell that store chemicals and produce electricity by a chemical reaction inside them. The working principle of a battery is simple. It produces electricity by transferring electrons in the chemical one metal to another.

One may have the idea of cell chemistry. The construction of the battery is a real-life example of cell chemistry. In basic knowledge, the cell contains three main components.

Firstly, it has two types electrodes and electrolytes. Secondly, it has terminals, a separator, and a container. As for the electrodes which are the crucial part of the system, one is an anode the other is a cathode.

Specifically, an anode is a negative electrode and a cathode is a positive electrode. So, in the cell the positive energy. An anode is responsible for reducing electrodes in the reaction to the external circuit. On the contrary, the cathode which is the positive electrode accepts electrons from the external circuit.

After the anode and cathode, the most important component is the electrolyte. It acts as a medium for transferring the charge in the form of ions. It transfers electricity in the forms of ions in between anode and cathode.

As for the battery, it can have one or more cells like the description above and be connected with a special arrangement.

Now it’s time to talk about the batteries cr2 and cr123. These two are the most common battery type’s people use. Because of their size and power, they gained popularity. However, while choosing the battery people often get confused in between.

Resulting they have the query of which one of them will be better. It’s not something hard to discuss and tell. Because the differences in these two batteries are pretty clear. To know the differences we have to discuss the specifications of the battery, those are,


Both cr2 and cr123 are of 3 volts. So, it is one of the many similarities both the battery shares. For changing the battery for any specific device one has to pick the exact volt. A higher volt can damage the circuit of the device.


In the main construction of cr2 and cr123, the manufacturer used lithium. Being one of the lightweight yet full of energy density, lithium is one of the wisest decisions for a high-quality battery.

Charging Option

Most people prefer rechargeable batteries for their electronic devices. Sadly, both cr2 and cr123 are non-rechargeable batteries. One cannot recharge the battery if they are fully discharged. However, both the battery have a long run time because they have lower discharge rates.

For example, on regular use, they lose 5% of their charge each month. That makes it a good choice for a longer period.


The eye-catchy difference between cr2 and cr123 is their dimension. Both the battery have different dimensions. If one is going to replace one battery with another they have to consider the physical dimension of the battery closely.

As for the CR123 battery, it is 34.5 mm long and has a 17 mm diameter. Meanwhile, the CR2 battery is 27 mm long which means it is shortened by 6.5 mm than the CR123 battery. As for the diameter, CR2 is 15.6 mm which means 2.6mm shorten than the other one.

By the dimension, one can realize that replacing one with another one is not possible since the size does not match. Because in a device, the holder size of the battery is fixed. One cannot extend or minimize it.

mAh Rating

One of the biggest differences between cr2 and cr123 is their mAh ratings. While the CR2 battery has a 400 to 800 mAh rating, the Cr123 has a mAh rating of 1500 to 2500. The difference is huge. This difference makes these batteries suitable for completely different scenarios.

Run Time

From the mAh rating, one can already say that the run time of these batteries will be extremely different. Since the mAh rating of the CR2 battery is lesser, it will run for lessen time. This battery will run for around 5.5 to 8 hours.

On the other hand, the CR123 battery will run for at least 6 hours to 50 hours. The runtime is higher because of the high mAh rating.

Cr2 Vs Cr123, Which one is the best fit?

The option of choosing between CR2 and CR123 will depend on the need of the user. If their device requires any specific type then they have to go for that type. Also, the battery holder space of the device is a big factor in choosing the battery type.

Moreover, if the device has a requirement of a 3V battery, one cannot go for a 5V battery. Because high volt can cause damage to the main circuit of the device. That’s why one has to be specific while selecting the battery or their devices.

However, if one is looking for a long-term battery that will run for a long time, CR123 is the option. Since they have a high mAh rating and run time, one can use them for a long time.

On the contrary, the CR2 battery will be perfect for small devices like small flashlights. It will provide a lightweight and short-time working experience. Now, it is up to the user and what they need.

Can one use a CR2 battery instead of CR123?

The answer to using a CR2 battery instead of CR123 is simply no. one of the biggest reasons behind this no is the size of the battery. One battery is larger than the other one. People cannot extend the size of the battery holder of their device. They cannot attach a small battery to a smallholder and vice versa.

Users often say that both of the batteries have the same voltage level, why they cannot replace one with the other. Well, matching voltage is not a big cause of replacement. Some other crucial facts about the battery will affect the decision.

What are the different types of batteries?

Generally, batteries are categorized into two sections. One is rechargeable and another one is non-rechargeable. In scientific language one will find two types of battery, those are,

1. Primary or non-rechargeable batteries

2. Secondary or rechargeable batteries.

So the primary batteries are non-rechargeable which means one cannot reuse those batteries. They have to replace them with a new one if they are dead. On the other hand, the secondary batteries are rechargeable. One can re-use the batteries by recharging them again and again for quite a long time.

Specifically, there are a lot more types inside these two types of batteries. As for the primary type, one use those batteries in portable devices like camera, watch, radio, and so on. These are inexpensive, and reliable. Lightweight, and many more.

As for the secondary batteries, they are rechargeable. One can reuse the battery even after they are dead. People have to simply recharge the battery for their use.

What battery type is CR2 and CR123 battery?

Normally, batteries are of two types. One is primary and another one is secondary. To know the type of CR2 and CR123 one have to drive deep into their specification of them. In two types of batteries, the primary one is a non-rechargeable battery and the other one is rechargeable.

Validating the second point, CR2 and CR123 are non-rechargeable batteries. One cannot recharge or reuse the battery if they run out of charge. That means they are the primary battery.

What is the application of the primary battery type?

Battery TypeCharacteristicsApplications
Zinc – CarbonCommon, low cost, variety of sizesRadios, toys, instruments
Magnesium (Mg/MnO2)High capacity, long shelf lifeMilitary and aircraft Radios
Mercury (Zn/HgO)Very high capacity, long shelf lifeMedical, photography
Alkaline (Zn/Alkaline/MnO2)Very popular, moderate cost, high performanceMost popular primary batteries
Silver or Zinc (Zn/Ag2O)Highest capacity, costly, flat dischargeHearing aids and pagers
Lithium or Soluble CathodeHigh energy density, good performance, wide temp rangeWide range of applications with a capacity between 1 – 10,000 Ah
Lithium or Solid CathodeHigh energy density, low temp performance, long shelf lifeReplacement for button and cylindrical cells
Lithium or Solid ElectrolyteLow power, extremely long shelf lifeMemory circuits and medical electronics.

What batteries can replace CR2 batteries?

The first fact that has to match for a replacement of CR123 batteries is the size. CR123 battery is 27 mm long and has a 15.6 mm diameter. So, the replacement has to be of the same size. Also, they have to be of 3V.

As a direct replacement one can use DLCR2, KCR2, ECR2 1CR2, and 5046LC batteries. They are of the same size and same volts.


When the time comes that people need to change their non-rechargeable batteries in their electric devices, they often think about CR2 and CR123 batteries. Often they think both are the same since they share the same voltage.

However, they forget about one of the most important facts for replacing the battery, the size of the battery holder of their device. Both of the batteries share different sizes and power. Mainly, for the differences in dimension, one cannot interchange those batteries.

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