Author Topic: Best thermal imagers for smartphones  (Read 2589 times)

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Offline jancelot

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Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« on: March 10, 2018, 04:53:46 am »
Here's a little list of the best thermal imagers I've found that work with android:


Post below additional ones.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 09:08:43 am by jancelot »
 
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Offline Vipitis

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2018, 05:17:00 am »
ThermExpert  and seek
 
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Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2018, 06:13:29 am »
ThermExpert  and seek
Can you post links to actual products? The Seek thermal camera is low grade specifications so I didn't include it in the first place.
 

Offline Vipitis

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2018, 07:06:10 am »
The Seek pro is high resolution and manual focus on the cheap side. You may include it as well and you got a list of all smartphone dongles.

Xinfrared might join the game soon.
 
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Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2018, 07:31:14 am »
The Seek pro is high resolution and manual focus on the cheap side. You may include it as well and you got a list of all smartphone dongles.

Xinfrared might join the game soon.
Thanks both added.

I think the best one on low-medium price is the Flir ONE Pro, about €450 what do you think?
 

Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2018, 07:33:38 am »
Also, I couldn't find any japanese smartphone thermal imager, is there any one? Is there any one with high framerate which doesn't require US export regulations?
 

Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2018, 07:54:47 am »
I think the best one on low-medium price is the Flir ONE Pro, about €450 what do you think?

No, nononono, no.
The FLIR One Pro is an awful device, with the 160x120 Lepton 3 being sold for over $500, low frame rates, low sensitivity, tons of noise, extremely buggy software, and poor design, as well as the inability to focus. The Seek Compact PRO at the exact same price provides a 320x240 image with the ability to focus to nearly macro and beyond infinity, and some versions output >9Hz if you try hard enough.

As for high frame rate smartphone thermal imagers, the Therm-App, Thermal Expert, and Xinfrared do high frame rates outside the US. Out of the three, I believe Xinfrared is the only one that doesn't require any export paperwork whatsoever due to them being in China. The second easiest to get is the Therm-App, with just one or two waivers signed, stating the end use. The Thermal Expert 25Hz licensing process is a huge and expensive pain(from what I've been told) because they're in South Korea.

Fortic devices are just poorly made(Or marketed? I have never seen a single unit sold anywhere) ULIS reference designs in "point&shoot" packaging. Overpriced to hell, too. I wouldn't bother.

Japan only manufactures full thermal cameras, with the main player being NEC. They're one of the highest-end manufacturers out there, competing with and often surpassing FLIR's internal designs in performance. Prices are equally high-end.
Back in the day Nikon also made midwave cooled cameras, the LARID series, but not anymore. That's about it.
 

Offline Vipitis

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2018, 08:17:27 am »
There are many topics on seek vs flir on this forum already. You can read up on them, as they are quite common here.
 

Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2018, 10:05:31 am »
I think the best one on low-medium price is the Flir ONE Pro, about €450 what do you think?

No, nononono, no.
The FLIR One Pro is an awful device, with the 160x120 Lepton 3 being sold for over $500, low frame rates, low sensitivity, tons of noise, extremely buggy software, and poor design, as well as the inability to focus. The Seek Compact PRO at the exact same price provides a 320x240 image with the ability to focus to nearly macro and beyond infinity, and some versions output >9Hz if you try hard enough.

As for high frame rate smartphone thermal imagers, the Therm-App, Thermal Expert, and Xinfrared do high frame rates outside the US. Out of the three, I believe Xinfrared is the only one that doesn't require any export paperwork whatsoever due to them being in China. The second easiest to get is the Therm-App, with just one or two waivers signed, stating the end use. The Thermal Expert 25Hz licensing process is a huge and expensive pain(from what I've been told) because they're in South Korea.

Fortic devices are just poorly made(Or marketed? I have never seen a single unit sold anywhere) ULIS reference designs in "point&shoot" packaging. Overpriced to hell, too. I wouldn't bother.

Japan only manufactures full thermal cameras, with the main player being NEC. They're one of the highest-end manufacturers out there, competing with and often surpassing FLIR's internal designs in performance. Prices are equally high-end.
Back in the day Nikon also made midwave cooled cameras, the LARID series, but not anymore. That's about it.
The Seek and Thermal Expert are still on microUSB while all my devices are already USB-C. Flir here at least is on top of its game. I've sold a few months ago the Flir ONE first generation and was happy about it, I even didn't use the official app because registration is required, there are other 2 apps on the Play Store that work perfectly.

The Flir One Pro costs €480 shipped while the TE-Q1 is €640. The Seek, I've seen several complains about the software on the forums. Also, comparing the first generation of both Flir One and Seek Compact back in the day, the Flir was way better so now I tend to think that Seek copies Flir, like it happens on the chinese industry with smartphones.  Also, the TE-Q1 has much lower measuring range.

About japanese brands, I've found Nippon Avionics but no smartphone thermal camera yet: http://www.avio.co.jp/english/products/infrared/

Still, do you recommend me the Seek CompactPro or the TE-Q1?
 

Offline nidlaX

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2018, 10:21:01 am »
Xinfrared told me that their smartphone imager uses USB-C. On paper, it is currently unbeatable in terms of price / specifications. Need hands on testing to determine noise, frame rate, and software performance.

Wuhan Guide will probably release a very overpriced smartphone imager within a few months. I can imagine it costing easily 5 - 8X more than their competitors, although the design looks good.
 

Offline Vipitis

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2018, 10:23:33 am »
It really depends on your use case; but the flir one, even the pro version isn't a real tool. It's more like a gadget. I see the seek as the cheap sensor that enables a lot of projects with it's software options on Windows; and the TE as proper tool. ThermApp is really expensive but exceeds in visuals, it just looks really awesome.

If you are looking for a new smartphone dongle, read through the discussions we already had I this forum. Ask yourself if you really want a smartphone based device again and what specific features you are looking for.
 

Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2018, 10:32:51 am »
The Seek and Thermal Expert are still on microUSB while all my devices are already USB-C. Flir here at least is on top of its game. I've sold a few months ago the Flir ONE first generation and was happy about it, I even didn't use the official app because registration is required, there are other 2 apps on the Play Store that work perfectly.

Choosing a thermal camera based on its interface connector is like choosing a car by the shape of its key.

The Flir One Pro costs €480 shipped while the TE-Q1 is €640. The Seek, I've seen several complains about the software on the forums. Also, comparing the first generation of both Flir One and Seek Compact back in the day, the Flir was way better so now I tend to think that Seek copies Flir, like it happens on the chinese industry with smartphones.  Also, the TE-Q1 has much lower measuring range.

FLIR is not better anymore. They went backwards, hard.
Seek isn't copying them.
The Q1's range is just calibration - it can measure much higher and lower, just needs user calibration.

About japanese brands, I've found Nippon Avionics but no smartphone thermal camera yet: http://www.avio.co.jp/english/products/infrared/

I just mentioned NEC. That's them.

Still, do you recommend me the Seek CompactPro or the TE-Q1?

If you have the budget, the TE-Q1 with the Plus lens(the slightly longer focal length one) is a no-brainer. It crushes the Seek in performance and wipes its shoes with Lepton-based FLIR offerings.

Here's a comprehensive list of ballpark prices and qualities of all mobile devices, listed in the order of performance:
I've excluded Fortic because I don't know anyone or have seen anyone use them, and their prices are just too high for what they offer.
Highlighted are the best value for money options and notable characteristics in various price ranges.

Therm-App Pro(640x480 @ 25Hz, $4000) >
Therm-App Hz(384x288 @ 25Hz, $1300-1700, depending on whether you get it legitimately or hack) >
Therm-App Standard w/ 35mm lens(384x288 @ 9Hz, $1600-1900, lens is a $750 upgrade that also applies to the Hz) >
Therm-App Standard(384x288 @ 9Hz, $1000-1100) >
TE-Q1 Plus full-rate(384x288, better lens, 25-30Hz, $600-900) >
TE-Q1 Plus(384x288, better lens, 9Hz, $600-$700) >
TE-Q1(384x288 @ 9Hz, slightly worse lens, $500-600) >
Xinfrared Xtherm(384x288 @ 25Hz, $500) No testimonials or feedback so far. Buy at your own risk.
Seek Compact PRO full-rate(320x240 @ 15-30Hz, unstable high frame rates, model number ending with X, eg. UQ-AAAX, $500) >
Seek Compact PRO(320x240 @ 9Hz, $500) >
Seek Compact XR(206x156 @ 9hz on phone, @ 30Hz hacked, better lens and more narrow, $200-300) >
Seek Compact(206x156 @ 9Hz, @ 30Hz hacked, standard lens, $200) >
FLIR ONE Gen2(160x120 @ 3-9Hz, obsolete, $230-250) >
FLIR ONE PRO Gen3(160x120 @ 5-9Hz, same sensor with degraded overall performance, $500, terrible value for money) >
FLIR ONE Gen3(80x60 @ 3-9Hz, Lepton2 sensor, $200, terrible value for money)

The Gen2 FLIR One can sometimes jump above the Seek Compact in terms of performance, but connecting it to a PC easily makes up for the performance loss.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 10:39:08 am by Spirit532 »
 
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Offline Vipitis

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2018, 12:00:34 pm »
That is a really great overview. You could expand it by adding further standalone options. Maybe we should make a spreadsheet that includes all the thermal cameras available to the free market up to 5000$ and include all information such as, resolution, sensor size, pixel pitch, framerate, output, radiometric?, lenses, type(handheld, smartphone, automation camera...), Price, used price, hacks and mods, teardown links, links to resources like manufacturers and reviews, sample footage;
 
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Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2018, 12:04:34 pm »
That would be handy. I'll start a thread.
 

Offline ThermoDude

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2018, 08:02:12 pm »
Does anyone know the price of Xinfrared Xtherm? Its not advertised anywhere. How come they only have 25Hz?
 I am not sure I would order 25Hz from China and deal with local customs without any paperwork....Usually each country checks for permits when high frame rate cameras are brought in.
 

Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2018, 08:04:44 am »
1) I just listed the price in my previous post, right there.
2) ...Import restrictions? No country in the world restricts importing high frame rate thermal imagers.
 

Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2018, 09:07:46 am »
1) I just listed the price in my previous post, right there.
2) ...Import restrictions? No country in the world restricts importing high frame rate thermal imagers.
Yes, I guess it's the United States who limits exports.

What do you think about the european model SATIR PK160, which is based on android 4.0?

https://satir.com/product/pk160
 

Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2018, 09:13:31 am »
For the price they probably want(likely over $1000), it's down at the very bottom of the price to performance table. 160x120 with 80mK of noise(likely more), fixed focus. Not much versatility.
 

Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2018, 09:25:14 am »
For the price they probably want(likely over $1000), it's down at the very bottom of the price to performance table. 160x120 with 80mK of noise(likely more), fixed focus. Not much versatility.
Here in europe the SATIR PK160 it's €700 everything included:
https://www.ebay.de/itm/SATIR-PK160-The-World-s-First-Entry-Level-Thermal-Imaging-Tablet-IR-Infrared/122633182137

To the United States it's 2045 USD:
https://www.amazon.com/PK-160-160X120-Android-Integrated-Thermal/dp/B01M1O5DCV
 

Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2018, 10:01:08 am »
Exactly. Not worth it.
Also, for that much money, it's likely using a Lepton 3. Puts it in the same category as the $200 FLIR One Gen2.
 

Offline Vipitis

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2018, 10:44:28 am »
The SatIR products are strange. The MiniR80 is using a ULI microbolometer for example. But called to 80x60. The PK160 has 160x120 resolution at the 28°21° fov. But then states up to 50fps o the Chinese website, which also stated 800megapixel display - so might not be true. The UK webiste and datasheet tell nothing about framerate. And the stepped down PK80 has an 80X80 resolution which is really uncommon.
 
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Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2018, 09:04:14 pm »
How does compare the Fluke TiR110/TiR125/TiS40 with the mentioned products?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 09:17:50 pm by jancelot »
 

Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2018, 04:51:00 am »
Performance varies.
They definitely outperform lower-end units on this list.
 

Offline joe-c

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2018, 09:28:19 am »
For me, the best low-end Camera is a (working  8)) Flir One Gen 2. low price, the image is ok and usable.

And for higher Level a Thermal Expert. High resolution and low noise... the noise is so low that they can have a design without a shutter.
(if you don't fear hardware modifications, bought an old analog camera and use the shutter from there  :-/O)

and the Seek Products are not bad... but I never see one of there devices, which generates analyzable images.
They just store colors, not temperatures. A big fail for a thermal Camera I think... well, ok for night vision.
Additional, the fast frame is nice, but the frequent shutter rises not.

just my opinion >:D
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Freeware Remote Software for some FLIR Cameras: Ex Tools
 
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Offline Majoren

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2018, 10:35:51 am »
any documentation anywhere on how to get the 30fps for the seek thermal compact xr? i tried to google for something but i cant seem to find it..
 

Offline IwuzBornanerd

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2018, 07:41:06 pm »
any documentation anywhere on how to get the 30fps for the seek thermal compact xr? i tried to google for something but i cant seem to find it..

There is a separate line in the export controls identifying software that defeats a camera's 9Hz limitation as being a controlled item.  Therefore, most people who are aware of that restriction refrain from publicly publishing such information in order to reduce the risk of losing both their assets and their freedom.   :scared:
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Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2018, 09:25:01 pm »
any documentation anywhere on how to get the 30fps for the seek thermal compact xr? i tried to google for something but i cant seem to find it..

There is a separate line in the export controls identifying software that defeats a camera's 9Hz limitation as being a controlled item.  Therefore, most people who are aware of that restriction refrain from publicly publishing such information in order to reduce the risk of losing both their assets and their freedom.   :scared:
But is it a software or hardware modification?
 

Offline IwuzBornanerd

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2018, 08:50:32 am »

I suspect publishing such a hardware mod would be frowned upon as well.

Or if you change the firmware, I believe that qualifies as software.

I think there was mention of trying to get data directly from the sensor but I have not seen anyone pursuing that.  With options like the Therma Expert available nobody finds it worth the effort.
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Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2018, 09:22:58 am »

I suspect publishing such a hardware mod would be frowned upon as well.

Or if you change the firmware, I believe that qualifies as software.

I think there was mention of trying to get data directly from the sensor but I have not seen anyone pursuing that.  With options like the Therma Expert available nobody finds it worth the effort.
According to this website, only the TE-V1 is available in 30Hz option, while the <9Hz version is already 4499 Euro (VAT included). For that price I would get the Therm-App. The TE-Q1 PRO is not available in high framerate.

https://www.thermalexpert.eu/english-1/product-overview/
 

Offline Majoren

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2018, 07:20:34 am »
well the seek thermal is almost half the price of that thermal expert so... its not really that would be within my budget, i would rather just get something "home made" as in a FLIR if i wanted to spit out above 250 bucks...
 

Offline SmartInfrared

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2018, 02:49:40 pm »
Among these models, FOTRIC 220 series (several models) are professional grade with, Wide temperature range -20C~650C (-4F~1,202F), Emissivity set for each ROI, Radiometric video recording, Various lens including 20um Macro lens, Longest battery time (10+ hours), Handheld/test bench/fixed mount, 2 years warranty, etc.

Here's a little list of the best thermal imagers I've found that work with android:


Post below additional ones.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 01:54:46 am by SmartInfrared »
Welcome to join in the Infrared Camera group in Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/InfraredCamera/
 

Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2018, 07:41:39 pm »
That sounds a lot like an advertisement.
I wouldn't trust a product that has barely any online presence and no established brand with extreme prices.
 

Offline Ben321

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2018, 09:51:03 pm »
The Seek and Thermal Expert are still on microUSB while all my devices are already USB-C. Flir here at least is on top of its game. I've sold a few months ago the Flir ONE first generation and was happy about it, I even didn't use the official app because registration is required, there are other 2 apps on the Play Store that work perfectly.

Choosing a thermal camera based on its interface connector is like choosing a car by the shape of its key.

The Flir One Pro costs €480 shipped while the TE-Q1 is €640. The Seek, I've seen several complains about the software on the forums. Also, comparing the first generation of both Flir One and Seek Compact back in the day, the Flir was way better so now I tend to think that Seek copies Flir, like it happens on the chinese industry with smartphones.  Also, the TE-Q1 has much lower measuring range.

FLIR is not better anymore. They went backwards, hard.
Seek isn't copying them.
The Q1's range is just calibration - it can measure much higher and lower, just needs user calibration.

About japanese brands, I've found Nippon Avionics but no smartphone thermal camera yet: http://www.avio.co.jp/english/products/infrared/

I just mentioned NEC. That's them.

Still, do you recommend me the Seek CompactPro or the TE-Q1?

If you have the budget, the TE-Q1 with the Plus lens(the slightly longer focal length one) is a no-brainer. It crushes the Seek in performance and wipes its shoes with Lepton-based FLIR offerings.

Here's a comprehensive list of ballpark prices and qualities of all mobile devices, listed in the order of performance:
I've excluded Fortic because I don't know anyone or have seen anyone use them, and their prices are just too high for what they offer.
Highlighted are the best value for money options and notable characteristics in various price ranges.

Therm-App Pro(640x480 @ 25Hz, $4000) >
Therm-App Hz(384x288 @ 25Hz, $1300-1700, depending on whether you get it legitimately or hack) >
Therm-App Standard w/ 35mm lens(384x288 @ 9Hz, $1600-1900, lens is a $750 upgrade that also applies to the Hz) >
Therm-App Standard(384x288 @ 9Hz, $1000-1100) >
TE-Q1 Plus full-rate(384x288, better lens, 25-30Hz, $600-900) >
TE-Q1 Plus(384x288, better lens, 9Hz, $600-$700) >
TE-Q1(384x288 @ 9Hz, slightly worse lens, $500-600) >
Xinfrared Xtherm(384x288 @ 25Hz, $500) No testimonials or feedback so far. Buy at your own risk.
Seek Compact PRO full-rate(320x240 @ 15-30Hz, unstable high frame rates, model number ending with X, eg. UQ-AAAX, $500) >
Seek Compact PRO(320x240 @ 9Hz, $500) >
Seek Compact XR(206x156 @ 9hz on phone, @ 30Hz hacked, better lens and more narrow, $200-300) >
Seek Compact(206x156 @ 9Hz, @ 30Hz hacked, standard lens, $200) >
FLIR ONE Gen2(160x120 @ 3-9Hz, obsolete, $230-250) >
FLIR ONE PRO Gen3(160x120 @ 5-9Hz, same sensor with degraded overall performance, $500, terrible value for money) >
FLIR ONE Gen3(80x60 @ 3-9Hz, Lepton2 sensor, $200, terrible value for money)

The Gen2 FLIR One can sometimes jump above the Seek Compact in terms of performance, but connecting it to a PC easily makes up for the performance loss.

There's no such thing as Seek Compact Pro with full frame rate. One of the features of the Compact Pro (as opposed to the plain Compact) is its high frame rate. It's part of what makes it the pro version, instead of the normal version. All Seek Compact Pro units have frame rates over 15hz. It says so in the specs on their website. If it gets a slower frame rate, that is because you are using a slow phone or tablet that can't keep up with the device's output.
 

Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2018, 11:18:36 pm »
There's no such thing as Seek Compact Pro with full frame rate. One of the features of the Compact Pro (as opposed to the plain Compact) is its high frame rate. It's part of what makes it the pro version, instead of the normal version. All Seek Compact Pro units have frame rates over 15hz. It says so in the specs on their website. If it gets a slower frame rate, that is because you are using a slow phone or tablet that can't keep up with the device's output.

Incorrect. There are two versions of the Compact PRO, one marked with an X at the end of the model number(UQ-AAAX or UQ-EAAAX) - that one has >9Hz output, and the other not marked with an X, for export(for example, to China, where I got mine from).
The non-X version is firmware-limited to 9Hz and has no USB modes that allow it to go above 9, unlike the Compact and XR.
 

Offline jcsistemas2001

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2018, 07:03:58 pm »
Hi Spirit532,
Please, may I know what you mean "hacked" in the Seek Compact(206x156 @ 9Hz, @ 30Hz hacked, standard lens, $200) >
Any reference?
Thanks!
 

Online Spirit532

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2018, 07:44:57 pm »
Discussing means of bypassing international export restrictions on a public forum is a very, very unwise idea, so I'm afraid not.
 

Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2018, 09:43:35 pm »
Discussing means of bypassing international export restrictions on a public forum is a very, very unwise idea, so I'm afraid not.
I'm not getting it at all.... who's imposing export restrictions, the United States or some sort of international consortium or how does exactly it work?
 

Offline jancelot

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Re: Best thermal imagers for smartphones
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2018, 10:25:54 pm »
Finally got my Therm-App Standard (384x288 @ 9Hz), and has great quality. I must say that the optics are outstanding. Comes with 19mm lenses, which have quite a lot of zoom. If you try to see things inside a room on your house you must stick to the opposite wall as away as possible because the field of view is noticeable narrow for interior. That should be great for exteriors, did not test yet.
Also, it has manual focus, rotating the knurled lens housing with your hand. Really nice.

There's an annoyance though, the official android app doesn't allow to set custom temperature range, only auto-range all the time.

There a third-party one, which allows to lock the range, but you can't just enter the maximum and minimum values there, only you click a lock icon and locks the current values, so you have kind of move around until the current maximum and minimum values fit you. The third-party app doesn't have several coloring options, only two different grey scales.

These are the microUSB to USB-C adapters recommended by the brand:
Therm-App USB Type-C phones

However I recommend buying directly a cable with both connectors, for USB-C phones:
- flickr adapter discussion


4" Right Angle Micro USB to Type C OTG Cable for Portable Digital DAC Amplifier
« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 08:02:09 pm by jancelot »
 
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