Published in Reviews

FLIR One PRO turns up the heat

by on26 December 2017

Quick review: Check out your central heating dot com

Thermal imaging was beyond the pockets of most people not so long ago, but it's becoming more affordable and here we review a device which plugs into the USB Type C socket or a Micro USB socket on your smartphone or tablet and is driven by a downloadable Android or iPhone app.

While not everyone will have £400 to spend on the device, it does bring a number of features that will appeal to people. FLIR says it's suitable for electricians, plumbers and others trying to track down problems not visible to the eye, but which show up under the stern gaze of the infrared cameras on this 36.5 grams, 68x34x14mm device. The earlier device, the FLIR One, now costs £200 but we've noticed you can get deals on the world wide web.

Thermal resolution is 160x20 pixels while the visual resolution is 1440x1080, the manufacturer says. The temperature range is between -20C to 400C.

And to contrast prices, infrared thermal cameras such as the entry level Teslo 875-1 starts at well over £1,710 and also has a resolution of 160x20 pixels.

The battery takes around 40 minutes to charge and lasts for an hour or so. That's not long but you can always keep it charged using the socket provided on the underside of the gadget if you're not out and about.

While the hardware is interesting, it's the software that's at the heart of the gizmo.

The app connects to the FLIR site, giving automatic guarantee registration and also connects to a cloud to back up your images and provides upgrades to both hardware and to the app.  

If you can get a GPS signal, the location is added to the images you take.

As well as the app to drive the One PRO, there are a number of external apps available including a baby monitor which gives an alert if a child moves away from a predetermined frame.

In practice, it takes a little while getting to grips with using the unit.  This is because you need a steady hand – the image takes a while to focus on the target because of its somewhat slow refresh rate.

I hope you don't mind, but I'm just about to show you a shot of my legs that have kept me on my toes for the last 65 years or so. The reason? I had a motorbike accident decades ago, and that means I've got a titanium alloy plate in my right leg.  

flirone legpic 1

The image shows that the temperature is different between the two.  Please forgive my socks and my house shoes – maybe I should have smartened myself up first. The reason I took the shot is because I have a friend who is a doctor and he said such a device could be useful for diagnostic purposes.  He didn't use the FLIR so I'm unsure if the resolution/range would be enough for diagnosis, but if you're a medic, no doubt you can check out the specs. I'm unsure whether this shot shows a marked difference between the two legs, but my right leg is aching just thinking about it.

In conclusion, I'm no plumber, electrician or doctor, as my plumber, electrician and doctor friends can confirm, but if you do have a trade or profession where a thermal imaging device would help, this unit is well worth considering, especially at the price.


Last modified on 27 December 2017
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