So far, thermal camera modules for your smartphone have been geared towards home and light-professional use. Those days are now gone with the introduction of Xinfrared’s T2 Pro. Let’s see what this tiny module can do and how it rivals monoculars of double (and sometimes triple) the price.
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The T2 Pro is manufactured by Xinfared which is a subsidiary of InfiRay, primarily focused on consumer cameras for mobile phones, as opposed to InfiRay Outdoor, which manufactures standalone devices for outdoor use.
Specifications and Features
Let’s see what we’re dealing with here first by looking at some of the basic parameters of this device.
- Resolution: 256 x 192 pixels (12 µm/microns)
- Framerate: 25Hz
- 50mK NETD
- Objective lens: 13mm (manual focus)
- Field of View: 13.6 x 10.2 degrees
- Base magnification: 2X
- Dimensions: 26mm x 26mm x 26.6mm (!)
- Weight: 20 grams (!)
- Compatible with Android and iPhones
To see all specs please visit T2 Pro's official website.
Just by looking at the specs alone there are a few things which caught our attention. On the plus side we have the framerate, base magnification, manual focusing and (tiny) size. The resolution and NETD values seem somewhat limited. But that’s all theoretical, let’s read on to find out more.
Due to the T2 Pro being connected to your phone, it can utilize your phones` sensors as well, which allows for many features, sometimes surpassing dedicated monoculars, such as:
- Hot spot tracking
- Digital Compass
- Show inclination angle, GPS coordinates, ambient temperature and speed
- Multi-point temperature measurement
- PiP (Picture in Picture) mode
- Dual mode view (thermal and visible light)
- Reticle mode
- Unlimited video recording (only limited by your phones` storage)
Right of the bat you see some advantages as compared to a dedicated monocular. For instance, the dual-mode view and multi-point temperature measurement.
Often you’ll find that a dedicated camera either serves as an observation device OR a temperature measurement device. The T2 Pro packs both, which is a huge plus and opens it up to a broader audience.
Another, often overlooked advantage of a smartphone connected device is that the processing power of your phone can be used, which allows for better image processing algorithms and post-processing.
What’s in the box
The T2 Pro is available in two versions: Android and iOS. With the only difference between them being the native connection (USB-C and Lightning connector respectively).
Optionally you can get a metal casing which allows you to mount it to a standard picatinny rail. Both versions come standard with a phone mount and laser pointer (packed separately), which adds extra stability while viewing.
Let’s see what’s inside the official packaging:
- T2 Pro Thermal Camera Module
- Carrying pouch
- User manual
- Warranty card
- Smartphone bracket
- Laser pointer (red)
- 3 USB cables (USB-C, Micro-USB and lightning port)
- And last but not least…two Xinfrared stickers
There’s no learning curve here. Download and install the Xinfrared app via Google’s Play Store (or App Store for iOS users), plugin the T2 Pro in you’re done with the initial steps.
To start using the T2 Pro. remove the lens cap, launch the App and point it at an object of choice. If you’re getting a blurry image you can adjust the focus by rotating the focus adjustment ring.
If you plan to use the included phone-bracket/grip your initial setup process will take a bit longer, subsequent use only involves clamping your phone in the bracket and connecting the USB cable.
The Xinfrared App (InfiRaySearch) from Google’s Play Store seems like a well-polished app which is easy to navigate. It also seamlessly transitions between landscape and portrait mode.
Let’s break down the app in sections and list all features:
- Thermography settings
- Celsius / Fahrenheid
- Temperature correction
- Shutter (on/off)
- Rotate 180 degrees (on/off)
- Mirror (yes/no)
- Show Xinfrared logo (yes/no)
- System camera (on/off)
- Temperature measurement (on/off)
- Autoshutter (on/off)
- Position (on/off)
- Weather (on/off)
- Time (on/off)
- Compass (on/off)
- Speed (on/off)
- Picture in Picture (on/off)
- Screen recording mode
- Language setting
- Start/stop recording
- Take picture
- Change color palette
- Enable/disable reticle
- Observation color palettes
- Hotspot tracking
- Manual shutter control
The only two functions which didn’t work on my phone (Samsung Flip 4) were the ‘Screen recording mode’ as well as the weather updates. I will have to contact the team at Xinfrared to see how this can be solved. Maybe it’s a software issue, a permission issue or something related to my phone.
In case you were wondering, videos are recorded with sound, using your phones’ microphone.
I can’t deny I was a bit worried by the somewhat limited resolution (256 x 192 pixels) of the sensor in the T2 Pro, but these doubts quickly faded when I started using it. Xinfrared has done a remarkable job in getting the most out of this sensor and lens combo.
Images and videos look detailed and generally spot plenty of contrast. Due to the optimized image algorithms, 25Hz refresh rate and the available screen estate on my phone, it was very easy to spot (and track) moving objects/animals.
It can even (visually) match dedicated monoculars in the 384 x 288 resolution range with a micro-OLED screen, costing twice as much.
I think the native 2X zoom lens is the perfect fit for this resolution sensor. The focus range is also wide enough, from about 30 centimeters to infinity.
Dedicated monoculars vs Attachments
We often get asked “Why are you guys reviewing thermal attachments?”. But at the same time another group of people ask “What’s the cheapest (useable) thermal camera for beginners?”.
We used to point people towards entry level monoculars, but like the T2 Pro reviewed here, we believe that for many people this (attachments) is the way to enter the thermal market these days.
Of course, you’ll lose out on some things like ruggedness, battery life and the feeling of having a separate all-in-one device for your thermal needs, however, it makes up for that with the ease of us, versability and price.
Life has become expensive for everyone and before you splash a thousand dollars or more on a dedicated entry-level monocular, we strongly suggest taking an attachment into consideration.
Where to buy
The T2 Pro is now available on Amazon starting at $399!
Exclusive deal for ThermalBase readers:
Use coupon 'thermalbase' to get an extra $20 off on your order!
- Small and lightweight
- Great value for money
- Cheap in comparison with dedicated cameras
- New features can be added through software updates
- Not as rugged as dedicated cameras
- Battery life (depending on your phone)
- Not as covertly due to phone screen
Until now, most thermal attachments were either gimmicky, accompanied by subpar software or suffered from framerate issues, rendering them practically unusable for outdoor use.
With the release of the T2 Pro Xinfrared proved that it’s entirely possible to create a thermal attachment for outdoor use, by maximizing the hardware and launching it with good software.
With an MSRP of $399 you’ll get a great deal for the money, and it won’t leave you disappointed stepping into the field of thermal imaging.