Xbox Series X rechargeable battery is a huge step back

TheKLF99

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Feb 7, 2014
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I actually find the fact that the Xbox controllers use AA batteries and a replaceable battery pack more of an advantage than a disadvantage. I hate the PS4 controllers that have internal batteries as they are such a pain in the backside. I know you mention that AA batteries aren't exactly environmentally friendly as you use them then throw them - but have you heard of rechargeable AA batteries. In fact using AA batteries over internal batteries is far more environmentally friendly.

Think about this - years ago some motorola phones used to have an option to either run off AA batteries or it's own lithium ion cell. When the lithium ion cell died - what did you do? You just went down the local high street, bought a pack of AA rechargeable batteries, plugged them in and off you go - phone fixed. Now with modern phones (and most other electronic devices) with internal batteries - battery fails and stops accepting charging, what do you do? You could go to some guy in the market and see if they'll swap the battery over for you, although as I discovered with one of my phones the NFC antenna is stuck to the battery - so replacing the battery kills the NFC in the phone if the guy changing the battery does it wrong, or you go buy another phone and chuck the entire phone (and in some cases the entire phone is superglued together in a way that changing the battery means the phone will never be the same again.

This example obviously is about phones - but this is one annoyance of many people with phones now, since Apple decided it was a good idea to seal the battery into the device and prevent replacing the battery when the battery does refuse to accept charge that leaves you with an entirely useless device. Batteries have a lifetime that is far shorter than the lifetime of the actual electronic device and will need replacing at some point. Having AA batteries in a games controller is a far more better idea than having internal batteries that are sealed in the controller as when the AA batteries fail if they are rechargeable you just stick them in the charger - we have a rapid 1,000mAh charger so in about 2.5 hours a 2,500mA battery is ready to go again (and if you can't wait that long most rechargeable AAs come in packs of 4 and the controller only takes two so you can just rotate them). When the battery finally reaches its end of rechargeable life then you just replace the batteries rather than the entire controller. I know you mention that the rechargeable batteries in your other Xbox controllers have lasted long enough, but not all batteries last that long, plus the Xbox rechargeable batteries tend to be NiMH because they're based on AA batteries, and NiMH can have a lot longer charge time than LiOn batteries (like the ones that are used in PS4 controllers). For a controller there is absolutely no need to use a LiOn battery as they don't really pull enough power to warrant it.

The other advantage that using AAs has is it allows many alternative options for charging. You could go for the standard Microsoft charging set, but as it's just using AA batteries it does give many other manufacturers the change to produce their own versions. I have bought a charging kit for my Series X controller, it's not the official Microsoft version but it's a really good charging kit. It has two small metal contacts on the back and a docking station so when I'm done with the controller I can just drop it on the docking station and leave it charging. The docking station itself has a red light on it which changes to green when it's charge and even has a pass through USB port on the back - it has to be one of the best charging stations I've ever found - it was a Venom Twin Charging Dock for Series X - they do a single version but I got the double version for when I invest in an extra controller. On the PS4 I've got a similar docking station for the PS4 controller, but the annoying thing is because the PS4 controller has to be charged by it's stupid USB port and the battery is internal to make it dockable I had to add this tiny plastic connector to the USB port which now sticks out of the top of the controller, because the batteries on the Xbox controller are replaceable it's replaced the entire back of the controller and the controller is still flat with no extra bits sticking out of USB ports (plus the USB port on the controller can still be used without having to remove the adapter.

There are far more advantages for having removable batteries and I much prefer that Microsoft went down this route and not the Sony route of making them internal.
 
Jan 17, 2021
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Suggesting a built in battery is short sighted period. I bought 4 Duracell Rechargeable batteries for $10 in my country, don't know what they cost in yours. With that I have one pair charged and ready and the other in use. And my last set lasted 5 years! How is that wasteful, and why would I want either a $25 product to replace it, or a built in (and then disposable!!) $100 controller, which is around what they cost in my country)?

AA for the world please!
(I also replaced my Sony alpha nex camera with a Canon, why? The Sony battery is expensive and thus, a financial waste - pardon the pun)
 
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Jan 17, 2021
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I agree with TheKLF99.

I have a pack of Eneloop rechargeable batteries. When my batteries die, the Xbox complains, I pull the batteries, put them in the charger, take some charged batteries, put them in the controller, and I'm back gaming in about a minute.

I consider this an advantage of the Xbox controller over the PSx controllers.
 
Jan 17, 2021
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There is a very easy solution to this. Buy usb micro to usbc adapter. I paid about $4 for three of them. Then you can use your old xbox one charger cable with the light on it.
 
Reactions: SirStephenH

d0x360

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I love that they use AA's. I have 2 different batteries I use, both rechargable.

I have regular rechargeable AA's that can charge to 90% in 30 min and 100% in an hour. They last for like 30 hours in the controller. Any NIMH battery will work.

Then about 3 weeks ago I bought some rechargable lithium batteries. Still testing to see how long they last but one thing I like better is vibration is always strong because lithium batteries always provide full voltage until they are dead. Charge time for them is an hour. They fast charge for 45min and trickle for 15 for the last 10%.

I absolutely hate not being able to change batteries. When my playstation controller dies after a massive 3 hours it drives me nutts.

So just get a good charger and some amazon brand rechargeable batteries and you're good to go. If you don't mind sacrificing some charge cycles I also recommend getting a 15 or 30 min charger. They remove about 10% from the total number of times you can recharge the batteries but it's kinda worth it.
 
Jan 17, 2021
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You wrote an entire article... about not having a light to tell you your controller is fully charged. Wow. Also, alkaline AA batteries are actually very efficient, they are just wasteful. I also have to say, I have grown very tired if the sensationalist taglines used to entice people to your articles on this site. It's always "This is BAD!" or something like that, when the issue is usually minor
 

SirStephenH

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The ability to use AAs or the rechargable battery pack of your choice is actually one of the controller's best features. The planned obsolescence of other controllers having built-in rechargable batteries means many people just throw away their controller when the battery completely dies. In the meantime they have to deal with an ever shortening battery life and being tethered to a charger or their console. The Xbox controller on the other hand can use AA alkalines (NOT less efficient, they're still and likely always will be more efficient than rechargeables, but are more wasteful), AA rechargeables (something the author apparently doesn't know exists), or any compatible rechargable battery pack of your choice (you don't have to go through Microsoft, you can find whatever works for you) and when you get a low battery warning you can swap them out in seconds instead of stopping to charge or tethering yourself to the wall or console.
 
Reactions: Rookie_B and kmbear
Jan 18, 2021
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I also agree that the fact that the controllers use AAs is a GOOD thing.

A good example would be last gen when my DS4 needed a replacement battery. Now, to fix this, I have to open up the controller and swap the battery pack after ordering one. It's technically not really meant to be user serviceable despite how easy it is.

The Xbox gives you a good bit of warning before your batteries completely die and just about everyone who owns an Xbox either has rechargable AA batteries, a ton of regular AA batteries, or battery packs on hand. When my controller died, all I needed to do was swap out the rechargeable AA batteries that I've had forever. I've since swapped to a rechargeable battery pack that has a charging station.

Which brings me to my next point. You have a bunch of battery packs already and the old packs work on the new controllers, so why not use one of those? This whole article seemed less like a review and more like a reason to tout "AA BATTERIES BAD"
 
Reactions: Rookie_B and kmbear

bradbodily

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Feb 22, 2010
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I'm using the same Eneloops in my Series X controller today as I did 15 years ago in my Xbox 360 controllers, and then again in my Xbox One controllers. Using replaceable batteries is hardly wasteful, it's much less wasteful.

And that's besides the fact that I can pick up an Xbox controller that hasn't been used in years and it'll be usable in however long it takes me to take AAs out of my Series X controller and move them to the other one (or, just use another pair of AAs, if I want). If I grab an old PS controller, I have to tether to the machine or wait for them to charge. I much prefer replaceable batteries to fixed-batteries.

And I'd much rather not have a battery ecosystem that's limited to one particular controller when I can have an ecosystem that can be used across many, many devices.
 
Reactions: AuraBlaize
Jan 19, 2021
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While the Xbox Series X controller has an optional rechargeable battery pack available, it's not as user-friendly as it should be.

Xbox Series X rechargeable battery is a huge step back : Read more
Most of the other replys have said it all except one thing. You seem to have a problem with the length of the cable. Now I'm no expert, however I have been researching viewing distance vs. screen size.
Assuming your console is the same distance from your tv, a 9ft charge cable - which is the length of the Xbox play and charge kit cable - would equate to a screen size of 65 inches. I think most people would not be playing their Xbox on a screen bigger than this. You also seem to have a problem playing with the cable plugged in.
I can't speak for Sony controllers. I know nothing about them. Well, other than when the battery dies you either play wired or get a new controller. Which sucks. All of my 360, Xbox one and Xbox Elite controllers have out lasted their batteries. I am extremely happy that I can shove in a couple of rechargeables until my new play and charge kit arrives. As for the light? Grow up. You make it sound like you only charge your controller when the console is off. Not having a light to tell you when it is charged, I mean who cares? If it is a step backwards, it is not a huge one.
But the point I'm making is the cable length and the fact you seem to have either not done your research on its length, or your playing on a 70+ inch screen. Most gamers do not play on a 70+ inch screen.
Another bonus about the xbox one controllers is that you don't even need to plug it into the xbox to charge. You can charge it off a normal socket USB charger and still connect to the xbox wirelessly for play. Does the Sony controller do that? Again I don't know, but its definitely handy. Most people have them and a socket extension. No need to buy extra gubbins.
FYI, it takes a Xbox battery 4 hours to charge from flat. So set a timer and you don't need the light. Sorted.
Glad I could help!
 
Jan 28, 2021
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There is a very easy solution to this. Buy usb micro to usbc adapter. I paid about $4 for three of them. Then you can use your old xbox one charger cable with the light on it.
I did the same, but the light don't want to lit. If I plug in to the One controller, it works properly. But with the adapter on the SX controller somehow not working the light. (the controller works fine if I plug in) But the question is it still charge it?
 
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