Flir FX Review

Flir FX

Hardware7.9
Software Criteria6.7
Video Storage9.6
IP Rating / Weatherproofing10
Hands-on Authority and User Reviews6.5
8.1
Reader Rating: (3 Rates)4.9

FLIR FX is a home security camera made by FLIR Systems, Inc. FLIR Systems makes all sorts of commercial surveillance products including thermal imaging products, airborne and ground-based surveillance products, transportation safety products, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) threat detection products, just to name a few. To see such a company take a stab at creating a security camera is a breath of fresh air as many new cameras are being made by "a guy with an idea", but with no relevant experience. You can see experience in the FLIR FX. It's easy to set up and backed by some pretty crazy intelligence. However, it isn't all good news.

The Good

  • Battery Power Option
  • Limited Free Cloud Storage
  • High resolution camera under $200

The Bad

  • Temperature Sensor is Flakey
  • No web interface
  • Many features do not perform as promised.

Hardware

FLIR FX is a cube-shaped camera that you can turn into an indoor, outdoor, sports, or dash cam by adding the right accessories.

To make FLIR FX an indoor camera, simply set it on top of its indoor stand. But the stand isn't just a stand, it also holds an extra battery that can extend the camera's two-hour battery life by up to an additional 2 hours. The indoor stand also holds a temperature and humidity sensor, so that the camera can record your home's temperature and humidity and alert you when either of the two goes beyond the normal range.

You can turn FLIR FX into an outdoor camera by placing it inside a sturdy, weatherproof housing. The housing doesn’t add extended battery life or a humidity sensor, but it does extend the camera's night vision ability by adding 4 additional commercial grade IR LEDs. The outdoor casing also adds a temperature sensor.

Cameras that can be used both indoors and outdoors are pretty rare. The camera is also unique in that you have the option to power it with a battery or the old fashion way.

FLIR FX Image and Video Quality

FLIR FX can be installed anywhere and it records up to 1080p with a frame rate of up to 30fps. This is enhanced by the camera's ability to capture a wide spatial area (160-degree field of view). The camera's software performs dewarping, which shrinks down the image to something that looks normal and less distorted.

Night vision performance on the FX is solid. When used as an indoor camera, the 6 IR LEDs can provide visibility up to 33 feet. With the 4 IR LEDs in FX's outdoor casing, the potential visibility is doubled to 66 feet.

FLIR FX to Enhance Home Security

Using a combination of indoor and outdoor cameras is an excellent way to enhance your home's security. Another thing that enhances your security is the technology your cameras provide. Though motion detection on cameras remains tricky, FLIR has added a few enhancements to their motion alerts so that the cameras can work together to create a more secure environment sans distracting and potentially false push notifications.

FLIR-FX
First, FLIR FX uses Smart Zones. Smart Zones work similarly to Nest Cam's Activity Zones. Essentially, you draw a virtual square around areas you want to monitor and the camera will ignore everything else. For example, if you're monitoring your front porch, you may want motion detection around your front door, while ignoring the sidewalk. This is where Smart Zones come in handy. The feature allows you to monitor what you want and ignore what you want.

Second, FLIR FX uses RapidRecap® powered by BriefCam® award-winning Video Synopsis® technology. With FLIR's free plan, you get 3 RapidRecap® emails per month, but 3 per month can be very useful if you have an event in your home. Instead of sifting through 24 hours of footage, RapidRecap® displays multiple stamped motion events in one view. This is the same technology historically used by law enforcement for quick suspect identification. Let's say you are monitoring your living room and you walked through the living room 20 times. But what you really want to see is if your old roommate used his old key to take a nap during the day. Using RapidRecap®, you would see one video with multiple images of yourself time-stamped throughout the day, and then perhaps you would also see an image of your roommate on the couch. Though you weren't in the room with your old roommate, nor were multiple yous in the room at the same time, the video overlaps the images to speed up the process of viewing footage. You can view 24 hour's of footage in about 90 seconds.

Even with the enhancements to motion detection, the FLIR FX is reportedly overly sensitive. Many say that this fact renders enhancements like RapidRecap® useless as the emails are jammed with events that are really just false alarms.

There is one final feature to enhance your home security - minimal protection from smoke and fires. Although FLIR FX can't connect with smart smoke alarms, it can help notify you of a home fire. It has a built in loud-sound detector, potentially able to detect the sound made by a smoke alarm. It also has a temperature sensor (when used with the indoor or outdoor stand) to pick up on sudden temperature changes.

Specifications

Camera Specs

  • Image sensor: 1/3” four-megapixel CMOS
  • Resolution, frame rate: 1080p, up to 30fps
  • Compression: H.264
  • Recording file format: video (MP4), image (jpeg)
  • Wide-angle lens: 2.45mm F2.5 with 160-
    degree diagonal view and dewarping
  • Night vision: six IR LEDs

Wireless Specs

  • Wi-Fi: 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n
  • Personal Wi-Fi hotspot up to 150 meters (no
    router required)

Hardware Specs

  • Buttons: Power, WiFi, Manual Recording
  • LED indicators: cloud mode, direct mode, recording, charging
  • 8GB to 64GB microSD or microSDXC supported, class 10 or higher
  • Includes microphone, speaker (two-way communication)
  • Sensors: motion, temperature and humidity
  • Battery: 1130mAh, up to two hours of continuous use
  • Dimensions: 51mm x 31mm x 59mm (2.0” x1.2” x 2.3”)
  • Operating temperature 0 ~104F / 0 ~ 40C
  • Weight: 0.2lb/0.08kg
  • USB: microUSD for power / USB storage mode
  • Power adapter: 5V / 2.0A

FLIR FX Software Behavior

FLIR FX only supports iOS (which should be downloaded from the iTunes App Store) and Android (which should only be downloaded from the Google Play Store). Using the app, you can use the two-way audio feature, watch live-streaming videos, view recorded footage, and setup motion, sound, temperature, and humidity alerts. You can also use the app to monitor multiple cameras from various locations. This includes being able to see all of your indoor and outdoor FLIR FX cameras from a single app interface. And finally, the app is used to setup both SmartZones and RapidRecap®. Though many of these added features are getting better, their performance will depend upon your internet connection. Most reviewers agree that two-way audio is laggy no matter what.

When at home and connected to your home Wi-Fi, you can use FLIR FX's Direct Wi-Fi feature to access videos that are stored on your microSD card.

Currently, there are no other supported apps nor does the camera offer a web interface for those interested in logging in from a computer.

FLIR FX Cloud and Local Storage

FLIR FX gives you the option to store your videos locally onto a microSD card or to their secure cloud. Cloud plans range from free to fee. The free basic plan gives you 3 RapidRecap® videos per month and 48 hours of event storage. FLIR Cloud Plus, which costs $9.99 per month, offers unlimited RapidRecap® videos and 7 days of events stored to the cloud. And last, FLIR Cloud Premium, which costs $19.99 per month, gives you unlimited RapidRecap® videos and 30 days of stored event history. If you're a new customer, you will get a 30-day free trial of their FLIR Cloud Plus plan.

Now, if you're particularly picky and don't trust their 'secure' cloud, you have the option to store your videos onto a microSD card. It can support an 8GB to 64GB microSD or microSDXC class 10. You can get a 64GB microSDXC card from Amazon for around $20. 64GB can store around 13 hours of videos.

A Short Summary

  • FLIR FX can work inside or outside.
  • It can work plugged in or as a battery-powered device.
  • The software is packed with awesome features like SmartZones and RapidRecap®.
  • It has an Android and iOS app, which delivers push notifications.
  • Footage of events are stored in the cloud or to your microSD card.
  • FLIR FX has kinks and some of the features do not work as promissed.

If you want battery backup and free cloud storage, the FX is for you. If you want these features and want to use the camera indoors you may want to explore the Piper NV, which is currently our top-rated indoor camera.

Compatible Devices and Pricing Comparison

The FLIR FX does not work with other devices at this time, though you can view multiple FX cameras on the same account.

FLIR FX on Amazon $181.99

On Flir.com $199.99.

On Tiger Direct $199.99