Don’t want to dish out the money for an expensive thermal imaging camera? Take advantage of new iPhone accessories that instantly turn your phone into a thermal imaging camera. These lightweight attachments hook onto the bottom of your phone and connect to an application to turn make your iPhone a thermal camera.
We’ll cover a few different models – some are high-end and some are perfect for beginners.
Thermal cameras for iPhones are an excellent and inexpensive substitute for handheld thermal imaging cameras, particularly for the home user.
- Our Winner’s Podium – The Best Thermal Camera for iPhone
- The Best Overall Thermal Camera for iPhone – FLIR ONE Gen 3 – iOS
- The Best iPhone Thermal Camera for Professionals – FLIR ONE Pro – iOS
- The Best iPhone Thermal Camera for Beginners – Seek Thermal Compact
- The Most Affordable iPhone Thermal Camera – PerfectPrime IR203
- The Wrap-Up
Our Winner’s Podium – The Best Thermal Camera for iPhone
Transform your iPhone into a thermal camera with a 206 x 156 thermal sensor.
Lightweight accessory that transforms your iPhone into a thermal imaging device.
A powerful infrared camera mobile accessary that records crisp 19,200 pixel IR images
The Best Overall Thermal Camera for iPhone – FLIR ONE Gen 3 – iOS
The FLIR One Gen 3 is our best overall choice for a thermal camera iPhone attachment this year. The FLIR One Gen 3 is a thermal camera for iPhone that is less expensive than the Flir One Pro.
The Flir One Pro camera is very similar to the standard Flir One camera. Both cameras attach to your iPhone via the Lightning port and can be used with the same Flir One app from the App store. However, the Pro version has limited functionality. For example, the biggest feature that is missing is the ability to switch between image modes.
With the Pro version, you can only view images in MSX mode. You also cannot access just the image coming from the visible light camera.
There is no issue since MSX is the preferred way to view for most users; that is one of the main reasons that people choose Flir cameras for their iPhone instead of the Seek Thermal camera.
However, it does have certain limitations. For example, the resolution of its thermal vision sensor is much lower at 80×60, totaling just 4800 thermal pixels. Additionally, its heat detection and temperature screening capabilities are poorer than other models, as it can only measure hot spots within a temperature range of -4 to 248°F (-20 to 120°C) with a thermal sensitivity of 0.15.
It features the same small battery and 2-10 warranty plan offered by Flir Systems for all of their infrared cameras. The 2-10 plan is activated once you complete product registration within 60 days of purchase.
The Best iPhone Thermal Camera for Professionals – FLIR ONE Pro – iOS
The FLIR One Pro is one of the bestselling iPhone thermal cameras in the world.
The FLIR ONE infrared camera is available in three versions, but we will focus on the iOS version that has a lightning port. Connecting it to your iPhone is a breeze–simply download the FLIR ONE App from the App Store. The app is compatible with most iPhone models, including the iPhone 8, X, XR, and XS.
The FLIR One Pro thermal camera only has the essential components of an infrared camera. These components include an infrared sensor with a 160 x 120 IR resolution, a small visual camera for MSX image enhancement, and a 350mah battery.
For the remaining features, such as the color display screen or the internal memory and SD Card, the camera uses the phone’s display and storage. As a result, all images and videos are stored directly on your iPhone.
This iPhone camera is particularly adept at measuring a wide range of temperatures, from -4 to 752° Fahrenheit (-20 to 400 Celsius). It is also very sensitive to changes in temperature, reacting to a 0.07° Celsius difference.
The FLIR MSX technology does an excellent job of creating high-quality images, and the Flir One Pro iPhone app is also very good. If you’re deciding between the Flir One Pro and the Seek Thermal Compact Pro, the MSX technology and the app are the deciding factors.
Now the only thing we are dissatisfied with is the decision to put a battery in it when they could have easily made it use the phone’s battery just like the Seek Thermal. The problem is that it only has a 45-minute battery life and it has been an inconvenience for its users.
The Best iPhone Thermal Camera for Beginners – Seek Thermal Compact
The Seek Thermal Compact is a cutting-edge thermal camera attachment for iPhone.
The Seek Thermal app is only available for iOS devices and is compatible with the iPhone 10, 11, 8, and iPhone SE. It uses a USB cable extension to connect to the phone and allows you to start capturing thermal images.
The iPhone app allows you to capture images and record video, as well as adjust emissivity and reflected temperature. Its user-friendly interface means that you don’t need a manual to get started.
It differs in that it only possesses an infrared sensor, lacking a battery or visual camera as it relies on the resources of a smartphone.
The array of features this camera offers makes it an invaluable tool for a range of purposes, from HVAC inspection to reducing energy loss to night vision. By contributing to our campaign, you help us make this technology available to as many people as possible.
The Seek Thermal Compact’s temperature measurement range is -40F° to 626°F (-40°C to 330°C).
The Most Affordable iPhone Thermal Camera – PerfectPrime IR203
Conveniently turn your iPhone into a thermal camera for less than $150
The PerfectPrime IR203 is an affordable alternative to some of the higher end models mentioned in this article. It is the cheapest thermal camera for an iPhone that we could find, but the downside is that the reviews are not the best.
It has most all the features you may want in a thermal camera app, but it is probably not the best for professional users. If you are looking for a hobby thermal camera application, this one should work. If you a started a business doing home inspections, you might want to upgrade to a better model.
There you have it! There’s not many options on the market today, but we hope this gives you a better idea of what you need.