Lithium Ion vs. Lithium Polymer Batteries – Which Is Better?

Lithium-ion lithium-polymer superhero battery blog cover image

Lithium-ion or lithium-polymer?
The (what seems like) endless debate on batteries in modern consumer electronics. Today, we’re going to talk about the differences between these battery types. While we may not be able to settle the score once and for all on which is better. we hope to give you the information you need to make the best possible choice!


What’s the Difference?

A lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery format that first grew in popularity thanks to their adoption by major electronics companies in the early 1990s. They are essentially a group of very rigid electricity generating compartments, which consists of three pieces: a positive electrode; a negative electrode; and an electrolyte, or liquid chemical compound between them. Most lithium-ion batteries, unlike more traditional ones, also include an electronic controller, which regulates power and discharge flows so your battery doesn’t overheat or explode.

The most significant difference between lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries is the chemical electrolyte between their positive and negative electrodes. In Li-Po batteries it isn’t a liquid. Instead, Li-Po technology uses one of three forms: a dry solid, which was largely phased out during the prototype years of lithium polymer batteries; a porous chemical compound; or, a gel-like electrolyte. The most popular among these is the last one, which is the type of battery you’ll find in newer laptop computers and electric cars. The catch is that plenty of companies are not actually selling you a true Li-Po battery, instead it’s a lithium-ion polymer battery, or a Li-ion in a more flexible casing.

battery pros and cons lithium-polymer

Is One Better than the Other?

Both lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries have their pros and cons. Typically, the advantages of a lithium-ion is their high power density, lack of what’s called the memory effect (when batteries become harder to charge over time), and their significantly lower cost than lithium-polymer. In the words of Wired, “Lithium-ion batteries are incredibly efficient. They stuff freakish amounts of energy in a tiny package.” But, as anyone might have seen with the recent saga of a certain cellphone brand being banned from flights, lithium-ion batteries are inherently unstable, suffer from aging, and are potentially dangerous. If the barrier that separates the positive and negative electrode is ever breached, the chemical reaction can cause combustion (fire). As Li-ion batteries have become more popular in consumer electronics, businesses have tried to lower costs by cutting corners. While quality batteries are perfectly safe, you should always be careful when buying no-name brands.

Lithium-polymer batteries, on the other hand, are generally robust and flexible, especially when it comes to the size and shape of their build. They are also lightweight, have an extremely low profile, and have a lower chance of suffering from leaking electrolyte. But lithium-polymer batteries aren’t perfect either: they are significantly more costly to manufacture, and they do not they have the same energy density (amount of power that can be stored) nor lifespan as a lithium-ion.

 ravpower battery lithium comparison 12000mAh lithium-polymer

We’ve got a Foot in Both Worlds!

True to form, we’ve gone ahead and future-proofed your external battery needs by offering both lithium-ion and lithium-polymer. Our Li-Po batteries, the 22000mAh Power Bank and the 12000mah Power Bank, maintain the same quality you know and love from RAVPower. Despite their thinner profiles, they boast a huge range of internal features. These include short circuit and overcharge/discharge protection, fire retardant shell, and electronic iSmart charging module. You’ll also find Li-Po batteries in our 18000mAh Car Jump Starter. One the other hand, most our other power banks house lithium-ion interiors. And as with our lithium-polymer lineup, your Li-ion external battery contains extra features to keep you safe.


For RAVPower’s selection of Li-Ion and LiPo power banks, please click here
To connect with us on social media, follow our FacebookTwitter, & Instagram pages

Get RAVPower’s 16750mAh Li-Ion Power Bank for 10% off until August 3 with code STABZIGR. Find it here.

If you prefer a lithium-polymer battery, RAVPower’s 12000mAh Li-Po Power Bank is 10% off until August 3 with code TZCKKCQT. Find it here.

We can’t wait to help you pick out your next external battery. Tell us in the comments below why you prefer lithium-ion or lithium-polymer!


140 Replies to “Lithium Ion vs. Lithium Polymer Batteries – Which Is Better?

      1. I bought a few polymer batteries especially as their cell rating was 1.5v, at first I did not believe this. After charging and checking the voltage it was at a stable 1.5v. This makes me think that these polymer batteries are not for all intents and purposes “the same as ion batteries”. I have NEVER seen an ion battery that is 1.5 volts. They are 1.2 volts or 3.7. and in the 3.7 volt option they DO NOT come in an AA cell size at all. There is obviously a bigger difference in polymer and ion tech than you make out.

        I would also like to know a bit about memories or not and max current delivery of these ion vs polymer batts?

        Many thanks.


          1. I did send an email to your email address as above. Nobody has made the effort to reply. I checked my spam and junk as well and nothing has come in.

            1. Hi there, our 16750mAh mobile power supply (ie: DC-DC DC source) will not have AC signals; however, there may be interference with the equipment (that is, the spectrum analyzer mentioned in the guest content); because the equipment, such as spectrum analyzer, and the requirements of the power supply end are very high, and no clutter, voltage fluctuations, etc. are allowed. However, we cannot modify our mobile power supply. After all, the application of mobile power supply is mainly to supply power to mobile phone equipment. The ring will not affect the mobile power supply. In fact, the purpose of the magnetic ring is to filter out the ripple on the power supply end. Even if the mobile power supply is replaced, the problem cannot be solved. This issue you’re describing is what happens in power banks, not just ours. If you’d like to return the power bank for a refund please email us and let us know.

        1. Pretty much everything you said is false
          1) There are 1.5V li-ion batteries (3.7 internally, using conversion at the output and special recessed charging contacts)
          2) The 1.2V batteries you mention are nimh
          3) There are 3.7V li-ion AA batteries. They’re called 14500 due to their physical size.

    1. Not until it combusts or catches fire because of the sheer nature of it.
      You are talking about hauling gas vs hauling water (LiPolymer)

  1. Thx for the info.. But as what I’ve experienced… The lithium ion batteries are more efficient and less power consumption than the lithium polymer batteries. The ion can last longer than the polymer..

    1. From what i seen, I agree with you. They seem to be using Energy density and Power density interchangeably here, where I learned that common LI-ion contains more Energy for the same “weight” as Li-po (flat packs) but the Li-Po just seem “better” because they can dispense their energy faster. But when comparing apples to apples common Li-Ion ie. 18650’s will out last the Li-Po in energy storage and Li-Po will out power the Li-Ion given the same weight. So usage will simply depend on the given application.

      1. Exactly, this is why you’ll find that small racing drones use LiPo packs as they need to be able to use large amounts of instantaneous power, sacrificing long flight times for performance and power (i.e. having a 14 Wh battery that can supply 100A / 1.1 kW peak). Meanwhile if flight time is the priority then people tend to make packs with Li-ion cells (albeit for fixed wing UAVs mainly) due to the better energy density.

  2. I have a question li-ion 4100 mah and li-polymer 3080 mah which is better for good battery backup.
    plz suggest me I am about to buy phone.

      1. lithium ion 3080 mah or lithium polymer 4000 please suggest… far as i have seen ppl r goining for li-po rather than li-ion so please suggest as to wich one is better
        thank you…

      1. not an expert in the issue, but doesn’t the voltage on the charging outlet affect also in the amper hours? (differs on li-ion and li-poly)

    1. your question is wrong, how can you ask if 1800 grams of gold is harder
      than 3290 grams of gold?
      Here probably nobody explained that li-po is unstable compared to li-ion. The number of loading cycles unloaded at li-ion is almost double that at li-po. Starting load is better supported by li-po compared to li-ion batteries. Certain Li-po models can withstand the X30 working amp current for 20 seconds.

  3. I have bought syska 200pro of 20000mah polymer powerbank today. I am in confusion wheteher it is smelling its new manufacturing or is damaged. Is polymer powerbank good in contrast to ion

  4. Given the large power capacity of Li-ion, you do not loose much if you can control the charge to 85 percent (3.8 Volts) instead of going for 100% charge (4.0 Volts). This extends the battery life significantly.

  5. I fly LiPo every day no one I know fly’s Li Ion. Metal cans around a round battery in RC heli do not exist. Even in the cheapest drone they are using LiPo. But this story states Li Ion can fly better than LiPo??? Never I have seen one guy stuff Li Ion on the outside of a drone Paper thin LiPo with foil like case so thin that it is almost see thru. Metal drums will never lift off on any of my birds. Now safety Li Ion is bullet proof compared to LiPo but Li Ion are heavy like a rock.

      1. Lithium Polymer can hold a better charge longer than lithium ion, I have a pocket juice 20000mah lithium ion and it charged up my LG Stylo 5 2 * and I have a pocket juice 12000 Lithium Polymer and it charged up my LG Stylo 5 / five times and it holds a way better charge. All said Lithium Polymer is a better power source!

    1. You have to match the battery to your application. Most people who are asking this question about LI-Po batts are probably are using them in RC applications (or anything with and electric motor). So assuming your are doing the same, Li-Po would probably be a preferred choice.

  6. My usage are 1 day battery backup,great performance and good camera.So,Which one would be better..?
    Li-ion 3300mah OR Li-poly 4000mah ?

  7. I want to buy a battery to power a dashcam whilst in parking mode (instead of hardwiring it). Which would be suitable? I live in a country with temperatures (40degrees) in the summer months.

    1. Can the dash cam be powered with a standard USB input or does it need USB-C? Just to be safe, this is your best bet in terms of a reliable power bank. LINK.
      Just note, its best to keep a power bank in a cool place so hopefully you don’t run into any issues using it in a hot car.

      1. Am I missing something? That link doesn’t even say if it is li-po or li-on and this is what the whole article has been about. Wouldn’t li-po be safer in a hot car? We don’t know because you haven’t said.

        How can we make a decision when so few details are given, just vague hints that li-on are possibly more dangerous but hold more power and suffer less memory effect? How much more in each case?

        For example, if you have two 20,000mah batteries, one of each type, how many charges will each take take? What is the weight and dimension of each? What is the danger of each in a normal environment and a hot environment please?

        1. Hi Paul,
          Your questions are really good, certainly far beyond the scope of our article which we’re stoked blew up in popularity. We’re actually in the process of writing a follow up with more information for those after a more nuanced perspective. We will definitely cover this sort of information. As for an immediate response to your questions, we are not able to answer them all right now so we’ll need to check with our engineering team.

          1. Two 20,000mah batteries, one of each type, how many charges will each take take? Depends on the phone you want to charge. Different phones have different sized batteries. We actually wrote a guide on “How Many Times A Power Bank Can Recharge a Phone?” which you can take a look at. While it specifically addresses li-ion power banks (which comprise the bulk of power banks we sell), the information is the same as the nominal voltage of a power bank is 3.7v regardless of whether its a li-ion or li-poly power bank.

          2. What is the weight and dimension of each? That is something we need to confirm with our engineers. Could you tell us if you mean weight or if you want to know the energy density? I did a quick search on google and found that a li-ion has an energy density of about 130 Wh/kg, whereas the li-poly has an energy density of 170 wh/kg. Of course it was a quick search so that info needs to be confirmed.

          3. What is the danger of each in a normal environment and a hot environment please? We cannot provide specifics right now but we did cover similar information in our latest blog post on Keeping Your Devices Safe for Summer. Take a read and let us know if it provides the info you need. If not, we’ll do our best to provide a more comprehensive answer.

          4. Regarding the link, it was posted in March. Our sales team constantly update the Amazon product page to get a better performance. Sadly it seems they deleted the info regarding the battery 🙁

          Please message us if you have more questions or contact to speak to our product support team.

          All the best.

  8. Hi, when you say “It depends on what you want from your device” can you give examples?

    In may case i want my cell phone to charge quickly using the turbo charge technology and I wouldn’t want the battery to lose capacity in a short space of time(memory effect) and for the device to stay on longer between charges.

    If the li-ion has higher power density then i assume this would be more suitable?


  9. Is it ok to use Li-ion power bank to charge Li-pol battery?? or
    Li-Pol power bank to charge Li-ion battery ??
    Can there be any adverse effect..?

  10. When my phone needs charge, RAVPower is with me! IDC about the battery lifespan but can you please mention me this, “when should I replace the battery?” Thanks!

  11. Hey, am just trying to replace my phone battery with 4000mAh ended up having 2 choices(Li-ion,Li-Pol) , i can’t decide whether to buy which one, am a heavy user, living up in high temperature country 35c on avg, my battery used to get heated alot up with li-pol before(Company’s battery) what do you this is best for me? should i go for Li-ion for this time. i would like to avoid high temperatures and explosions!

    1. Since you’ve had experience with the li-po, we suggest trying out a li-ion. There are actually more li-ion options out there for you. Regardless of which battery you use, don’t live it in a hot place (like a car). At the same time, by a battery from a reputable brand that’s purchased at a reputable store. This article provides a very succinct but needed summary of why and how to purchase a safe battery. Good luck. Ask us if you need anymore help.

  12. Which is better the 3340mah li-on battery
    Or the 3000mah li-po, when it come to bat life span?(for cellphone).ty

  13. I’m not sure which battery would be better. I play games on my phone alot. A 5000 mAh Li-Ion battery or a 5000 mAh Li-Ion polymer. I’m looking to see which is better and probably more safe. Currently I have a 3000 mAh Lithium Ion and my phone gets pretty not whike playing and even when it’s charging and I’m not feeling safe with it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Try our 10,000mAh Li-Ion Power Bank. It’s got more than 3 times the power as your current power bank, it’s thin for portability, and it has protective safeguards (as do all RAVPower products). Please note, that phones will heat up when charging. especially if doing CPU intense activities like games. This is normal. We are going to publish an article about using power banks during summer. Perhaps it will help.

  14. Hi, please could you help me to understand… If you have two 20,000mah batteries, one of each type mentioned in the article, how many charges will each take take before needing replacement?

    How much bigger would the polymer be, please?

    Which is heavier?

    What is the danger of each in a normal environment and a hot environment, please?
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Paul,

      We’ve done our best to answer as best as we can without further research. We do plan on writing a follow up post to address some of these points.

      If you have two 20,000mah batteries, one of each type mentioned in the article, how many charges will each take take before needing replacement? Li-Ion batteries get about 500 charge/discharge cycles before efficiency decreases whereas li-poly have about 250-300.

      How much bigger would the polymer be? Could you tell us if you mean weight or if you want to know the energy density? I did a quick search on google and found that a li-ion has an energy density of about 130 Wh/kg, whereas the li-poly has an energy density of 170 wh/kg. Of course it was a quick search so that info needs to be confirmed.

      Which is heavier? Depends on the battery size. To compare batteries, the standard appears to be Wh/kg.

      What is the danger of each in a normal environment and a hot environment, please? We cannot provide specifics right now but we did cover similar information in our latest blog post on Keeping Your Devices Safe for Summer. Take a read and let us know if it provides the info you need. If not, we’ll do our best to provide a more comprehensive answer.

      Please message us if you have more questions or contact to speak to our product support team.

      Best wishes.

  15. Hello,

    Please tell me what’s the difference between “Suffers From Aging” and “Shorter Lifespan”?

  16. Thanks for the honest report. I didn’t know that Li-ion were more prone to combusting. I have a laptop and I want a 9 cell battery because I mostly stream movies and I need a robust power source. Is there such a thing as a 12 cell or larger laptop battery? Hey why doesn’t your company make a laptop battery?
    Thanks for the info

    1. We don’t know much about laptop batteries so I am not sure I can help. That said, if you have a laptop with a Type-C connection, our power banks can keep your laptops charged.

  17. Thanks for the article. Can you clarify which among the two is good or instantaneous power delivery?
    In the days of phones with Xenon flash they used Li-po and now with smartphones invariably employing LED flash: does it got anything to do with the instantaneous spikes of current demanded by the Xenon flash?

    1. Only our 26800mAh has power delivery and it uses a li-ion battery. We think this is good for anyone wishing to use a device with power delivery. And I have no idea about your second question. Sorry about that.

  18. Hi Team RAVPower!

    I want you to ask, what battery should i get with my Samsung Galaxy S8?
    A Li-Pol 3000mAh
    or a Li-Ion 3000mAh

    Thank you!

      1. What do you mean Neither? The Galaxy S8 has a 3000mAh battery, and will easily last a day in most use cases. For a phone 3000mAh isn’t that bad, what can you say then about the Iphone 7 that comes with a 1,960mAh battery.
        I was asking you if i should get the Li-Pol or the Li-Ion Battery. Which one do you think is better? Most people say that the Li-Ion one is better

        1. Personal preference is to get a power bank that has a larger battery. It saves you from always needing to recharge the power bank after recharging your phone a single time. Sure, go for Li-Ion.

  19. Hey. I’m David. Thank you for sharing this blog. But my question is “Which one of these two is better to be used in electric cars, considering all aspects??

  20. Can you tell me which one is better for games, is there a big difference in that part?
    I think between J5 and LG Q6(li-po battery)

  21. Dear Everyone, before making a choice between two, everybody does the same mistake. The answer lies in “Requirement”. Lion takes more time to charge & can deliver power for longer periods. Thus has higher power profile than Lipo. On the other hand the Lipo has a higher discharge ratio (high amount of power delivered in less time) and about half the size of Lion at similar capacity. Lipo has significant usage in powering stuffs like motors, hand held light devices but life span is compromised. So, you will find LiPos in newer laptops & mobiles which claim “fast charging” but remember you have to compromise with lifespan of the battery.

  22. I understand, that Li-ion batteries can last longer than Li-po. Is that correct? (e.g. Li-ion on 100% will last longer than a Li-Po with 100% on a daily basis). Is my understanding correct. Well assuming the usage for both batteries are the same.

  23. I’ve a Kobo Touch N905 e-book reader which, I’m told, uses a Li-Po battery. I’d like to know if this battery has a memory effect. Should I always fully discharge the battery before recharging, or does it make no difference to long-term battery performance?

  24. i have a basic huawei phone with 1800mah in it. for everyday use it lasted 12hrs. when my phone left 5%, i connect my $4 1,200mah powerbank and it only charges until my phone 20%. so yeah, nowadays get a 10,000mah

  25. In my opinion and from long time experience with different phones.. Li poly batteries are way more better than li ion.. Long life spin from real tests and no that expensive.. Cost about 26$ but li ion cost 16$..10$ for huge difference? Why not!

  26. Li-ion have a nice steel casing, which li-po hasnt; they are encased in aluminium foil.
    The Li-Po cannot sustain any pressure buildup, which happens when you discharge them to 0% (3.0 V) and then recharge.
    The Li-Po can have a very short life cycle (25 cycles) if discharged at very high rate, 10C or so, as in model racing or vaping.
    In contrast, Li-Po can be made to last with proper circuitry, limiting charge windows and charge/discharge rate. The great advantage of Li-Po battery is they can be built in any shape or size. They are more delicate than Li-Ion, because of their cathode made of CoO2, while Li-Ion nowadays uses hybrid materials like Mn, Al, Ni in addition to cobalt, so they can take a trip to zero Volt, that Li-Po absolutely cannot.
    If you want style, shape, lightness, go for Li-Po. If you want durability and sheer capacity irrespective of style, shape and weight, go for Li-Ion. Just make sure you get properly designed devices from prime manufacturers, NEVER NEVER try to save money on portable power.

  27. Hi. thanks for sharing this article. I wanna buy a cellphone between 2 choices. the battery is so important for me.. which battery is more useful .. one of them has the Li ion 40000mAh and the other has Li po 3750mAh . could you please help me that I will be able to choose one? thank you

  28. I have read the post and it is really very helpful as I have got to know about the differences between the lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries.

  29. What is the difference for the maintenance of LiO vs LiPo batteries. I have LiPo battereis for my drone. For those I am told to store them at 65% charge. Is the same true for the LiO in my eBike?

  30. I have read the post and it is really very helpful as I have got to know about the differences between the lithium-ion and the lithium polymer batteries which everyone must know.

  31. All info are truly great and helpful to people. Thanks for sharing the differences between the lithium-ion and the lithium polymer batteries.

  32. Hi ravpower, i just wanna ask about the RP-PB172 20000mAh portable charger/powerbank, is it a Li-Ion or Li-polymer battery? When i read product information on Amazon, it says ‘1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (Included)’ but on the back side of the portable charger/powerbank, it written ‘Li-ion’
    So, which one is correct for the battery of the
    RP-PB172 portable charger/powerbank, is it Li-ion or Li-polymer battery?

  33. There are various arguments in favour and disfavour of Li-Ion and LiPo types of batteries; consider that Li-Ion is the wider class of battery chemistries, while Li-Po (lithium – polymer) is a subset of Li-Ion batteries, where the electrodes are made with a polymer film, and not of metal. Li-Po batteries are generally built with the older LiCoO2 chemistry, and usually have a lower cycle-life.
    But. In the world of cheap power banks, Li-Po batteries have very little corners to cut, they either works well, or fail almost immediately.
    So, in a world where price competition is king, Li-Po batteries offer an intrinsic advantage to customers, because you can’t get – as often is the case with some renowned brands – a power bank which lasts for one dozen of charge – discharge cycles.
    Power banks: Li-Po all the way!

    1. Hi, both lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries have their pros and cons. RAVPower makes power banks using both, it’s completely up to you which one you choose. Thanks!

  34. A mobile phone at a same capacity of both Li-Po & Li-Ion at 4000mAh, both are high usage and normally will use till 10% remaining to charge. How many times can they be charged? 1,800 times or more…

  35. Tecno phone’s with li-po battery
    And tecno phone’s with Lion battery Which one is better tell me because i want to buy phone

      1. I honestly don’t understand this “dependence” you’re referring to. If one type of battery last longer than the other doesn’t that mean it’s somehow superior?

        I’m thinking of buying a 300$ music player, but it has a poli battery. Now I don’t know if I should order it or just keep searching.
        Durability is a must on any purchase!

  36. One of my friend recommended RAVPower Fast Charger and Powerbank for my use and i must say, it was the best recommendation. Thanks for giving clarity on the Lithium Ion and Polymer as well. I will be going with the Polymer type.

      1. You answered Paul differently near the start of the comments:
        “Li-Ion batteries get about 500 charge/discharge cycles before efficiency decreases whereas li-poly have about 250-300”

  37. Now i understand why is my high end gaming phone has a lower battery storage because it is li-po, and my other phone about 3 years that is a li-ion is now harder to charge so im using nowits original charger that has a 1.55 ampere

  38. (Samsung Galaxy A51) and the (Samsung Galaxy S20 FE) based SOLELY on their battery types.. What would be the better choice? The A51 and S20 FE BOTH have exactly (4500 mAh capacity). The A51 is Li-Polymer, the S20 FE is Li-Ion. A51 can’t wirelessly charge, but has 25.0W which means it charges quick compared to I BELIEVE 15.0W for the S20 FE. Which holds a charge longer?

    1. I’m pretty sure the S20 FE supports Samsung’s 25w fast charger. Personally I don’t care about wireless charging as it produces extra heat and is almost always slower then plugging in, plus you can still pick your phone up with a cable attached. Just looked up the phones and the A51 comes with a 4000mah battery and only supports 15w fast charging unless you mean the 5G versions of these phones. The A51 5G has a 4500mah battery but still only 15w fast charging. The battery endurance rating on GSMARENA of the A51 5G is 90 hours and the S20 FE 5G is 110 hours. I always use websites like Nanoreview and GSMARENA when researching phones as you can compare the specs and benchmarks to other phones and your current phone

      1. I have a question on li vs po charge and discharge rates. Do they both charge from the same A/C (wall outlet) source at the same rate? {(after break in ~ out of box to full discharge) ~ (full discharge to full charge)} Then similarly, will they both charge the same device at the same rate?????? Or not? Thanks in advance!

  39. It helped when you shared that lithium battery doesn’t overheat or explode as it includes an electronic controller. My friend wants to reduce the manufacturing cost of their batteries. I think they should opt for a lithium battery production technology that is optimal for their processes.

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