Products > Thermal Imaging

Uni-T UTi690A Review ( UTi690A UTi120S UTi712S )

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This is my first review of a thermal imager, I will try my best and update the main post with more information as time goes to keep findings up to date.

The Uni-T UTi690A is a thermal camera with a resolution of 120x90 pixels in the budget range of ~180-190 USD.
You can find it both at AliExpress, and at Banggood here:

Resolution: 120x90 Pixels
Thermal range: -20°C to 400°C
Field of View: 38°(H)*50°(V)
Depth of Field: 10cm to infinity
Display: 320x240 2.4" TFT
Storage: Micro SD
Charging/Data: USB-C
Other features: Flashlight, Laserpointer, Tripod mount thread.

What you get with the thermal imager is an USB-C cable, a lanyard, a 16GB noname Micro SD card, a manual in mandarin and english, and a warranty/check card in mandarin.

The build quality seem very decent for the price.
It has a hard plastic shell with what appears to be TPE moulded on it to protect against impact.
It is rated as IP54 and says to be drop-protected to up to 2 meters.
At the top is a rubber cover that protects the USB-C port and SD-card slot.

The UTi690A does not have a normal camera so you're completely dependent on the thermal image shown on the display.
It does however have both a tiny flashlight and a laser pointer that help in low light situations and if you're completely unsure where you're pointing it at.
The flashlight is not very bright but OK for use at night time, and the laser pointer does not point exactly to the center of the image, but better than nothing.

Startup time is approximately 6 seconds from a cold boot.
The refresh-rate is not super smooth but works fine, the sensor may be ~25Hz as claimed but not the update rate of the display, unsure what refresh rate it actually have.

The menu system feels very responsive and even if the unit have less buttons than most thermal imagers, it's very easy and quick to nagive through the settings.
It have 6 different palettes to choose between. I do not know how they are on other Uni-T units, but they are not as good/clear as FLIR palettes, sometimes details is not easy to see with some palettes but easy with others.
Unfortunately there is no way to define the min/max temperature value of the palette yourself, so if something hot suddenly appear in the image, it'll adjust for that and leave small temperature difference difficult to spot.
When the temperature delta is below 10C degree of the recorded image, the palette will no longer be accurate: The min value will be correct but the max palette color will be 10C above that, no matter what it actually says on the display, leading to low contrast on the final image.
The temperature data do still seem to be correct thought, and one can try the different palettes as some will give better contrast performing under these circumstances.

When it comes to what information can be displayed on the screen, the following options are available: Center Point measurement, Hi/Lo Point measurement, Palette, Date&Time.
This is quite limited for some use, but for the price point it seem common with these options, and have the feeling that more advanced options may be too much for the processor to handle.

The image appear quite noisy but I only have a hacked FLIR E30bx to compare to, so not a fair comparison, when looking online at thermal imagers in the $200-300 range they seem to have similar performance when it comes to noise.
When it comes to sensitivity I dont know how to compare it to others, but holding a hand against the wall for 2 seconds, then it's very easy to see the full thermal mark of the hand.

For the use I purchased it for, to troubleshoot 3D-Printers it seem to work great.
You can easilly see single wires when they heat up as current pass through them, and the measurement at the center point gives the same readings as my FLIR E30bx does.
The work range does seem to be quite accurate, you seem to gain additional detail in the images down to a distance of ~10cm from the sensor.
I checked if possible to identify PCB-components and did so quite easily down to a size of ~3mm, smaller components than that and you would need an additional ZnSe lens or similar.

My conclusion:
Overall, happy with the thermal imager for the price paid, it seems to read measurements accurately and it's a unit I'm not afraid to handle or to let others borrow unlike the expensive E30bx unit.
For checking on 3D-printers and other objects of similar size it seems to work great.

The laser pointer is not on continusly when enabled, instead it's on when you hold the trigger. In this mode a picture is only taken if you do a quick pull on the trigger.
The unit came with Mandarin language by default, but quite easy to find where to change it to English.
Pressing the down button during normal use forces the sensor to calibrate.

Here are a few pictures taken with the UTi690A.
Some images were taken when trying out different palettes, those images do not have any measurements.

Picture 1: Wire to heated bed on a 3Dprinter.
Picture 2: Image of a thermal mark from touching a wall for 2 seconds.
Picture 3: Closeup of my daughter
Picture 4: Radiator (Distance 1 meter)
Picture 5: Radiator (Distance 0.5 meter)
Picture 6: Radiator (Distance 0.25 meter)
Picture 7: Radiator (Distance 0.1 meter)
Picture 8: Tubes/Wires at a car engine a few hours after use
Picture 9: Hand mirrored in stainless steel coffee machine.
Picture 10: Tool hanging grid, a few seconds after holding thumb against it to heat up. (Distance ~0.1 meter)

I was not sure how to show the size of the device, but here is a comparison to the FLIR Exx for reference.


Thanks!  Great review.

Are you going to open it and take photos as well?


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