Flir FX: When High-tech Meets Home Security

Published: Mar 30, 2016 at 08:00 UTC
Flir FX

Do you know what happens when high security meets home security? Flir FX is born and you won’t be able to wait until you get your hands on this bundle of joy. This do-it-yourself security camera seemed to scan what was lacking in the home security arena and went to work taking stock to bring this camera to the masses.

This is one camera that actually works with you to give you only what you need by removing all of the things you don’t care about. What do we mean by this? Instead of watching hour upon hour of footage where nothing is going on, this smart, little camera condenses only the action you care about into a short video. How is that for streamlining? This camera is definitely worth taking a second look at.

What are the Best Features?

When searching for an at-home security camera, you have to make sure that it’s a good fit for you, your family and your home.

Here are some features worth noting:

• 1080 Pixel Resolution
• 4 Megapixel Camera
• 160 Degree Field of View
• Indoor/Outdoor Camera
• Night Vision
• Smart Zone Motion Detection
• RapidRecap
• Cloud-based Storage featuring Video Playback
• Stores Video on an 8GB microSD card
• Built-in Battery
• Detachable Stand
• Live Streaming
• Two-way Communication
• Mobile Flir FX App Available for Both iOS and Android
• Humidity and Temperature Detection

We’ll touch on the main ones and we can’t help it — but the coolest ones — in order to give you a better assessment of this camera.

While a lot of competitors are offering 720p resolution, you will really appreciate Flir FX’s 1080 pixels. It gives a much more clear, crisp and resolute picture. This high of a resolution cuts out the fuzziness and distortion you can get with a lot of other home security cameras.

Flir FX security cameraA 160 degree field of view is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to your home security needs. This gives you an expansive view of the area you are looking to secure. You don’t have to worry about what you can’t see due to limitations of this camera.

Are you wondering whether you need to secure the inside of your home or outside or both? Well, this camera can do it all. It’s an efficient indoor/outdoor camera that is pretty good at withstanding the elements. The casing is efficient enough to withstand water and dust.

In addition, it can survive a temperature range of 0 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind if you plan to use this camera outdoors during the winter in Alaska or during a Texas summer, it may not hold up.

Of all of the cameras we have reviewed, we find this to be one of the better night vision cameras. Equipped with extra LED lights for extended night vision, you should be able to see clearly up to 65 feet. You can see what’s clearly going on, no matter what time of day or night.

With “Smart” in the name, how could you possibly go wrong? Smart Zone is Flir’s own special take on motion detection. This built-in technology guides the camera’s ability to only take notice of motion in a particular part of its frame. This is another way that this camera cuts out all of the extraneous, making your security needs more streamlined. Once you set it up using the app, you’ll be notified any time motion is detected in the prescribed area.

The hallmark of this camera is something called RapidRecap. On this screen, you have the ability to view all of the recordings your camera has captured for the day in about 90 seconds or less. Did we mention it comes with a timeline? Yes, it comes with a timeline to let you know when this person did a certain action at a certain time. Then, by dragging the slider along the timeline, you can choose a particular time and expand it.

From there, you set the length of your RapidRecap. There’s a “create” button next to the timeline that you press to get the real magic started. The Amazon cloud is accessed to retrieve your video and a compressed video is made so that you get only the relevant footage.

Depending on how much footage you are trying to compress, this could easily take upwards of 10 minutes so be patient. Once you see the finished results, you will realize it’s definitely worth the time.

Any security camera in this day and age without cloud storage isn’t worth its weight, so of course, the Flir provides cloud storage along with the ability to play back video. There are three plans available:

• The Basic Plan is free and provides 2 days of storage prior to the videos being removed. You also receive three RapidRecaps per month, using up to 6 hours of video for each one.
• The Cloud Plus Plan is $9.99 per month or $100 per year. You receive 7 days of storage, along with unlimited RapidRecaps, using up to 8 hours of video for each one.
• The Cloud Premium costs $20 per month or $200 per year. You receive 30 days of storage, along with unlimited RapidRecaps, using up to 12 hours of video for each one.

Do you need extra security for your security camera without signing up for a cloud storage plan? Well, you’re in luck because the Flir FX stores all video on a handy 8GB microSD card. You can feel secure that all of your video will be safe and secure.

This is just an extra layer of protection that this camera provides to its users. If you need more storage, you have options up to 64GB, so you don’t have to limit yourself. However, you can’t view video stored on the SD card through the app. Instead you have to remove the SD card and plug it into your computer to watch video.

Flir FX security cameraThe Flir FX is a versatile camera since it serves dual roles as an inside/outside camera. When it’s used indoors, you can plop it onto the tabletop base which plugs into the wall. When you want to use it outdoors, simply unhook it from the base, unplug and the camera is equipped with 4 hours of battery life.

Any time the Flir FX is connected to a Wi-Fi network, it can upload videos to its servers where you live stream them to your phone or tablet or view the clips on your computer. All clips are sent to Flir where the company will keep them for up to 30 days, depending on your storage plan.

Do you like audio with your video? Of course, you do. Well, the FX provides two-way communication as well. You can set up the camera so anytime sound is detected, it will record and you are able to listen to that. Conversely, turn on the intercom and speak to your dog when he passes in front of the camera, even when you’re not home. He’ll appreciate this extra bit of TLC; this provides all-around protection for you and your loved ones.

Flir has apps available for basically all of your phones and tablets. Through the app, you are able to set up the camera and access a whole host of other features, including RapidRecap, Smart Zone, setting up notifications, live streaming and customization options.

Another interesting feature is the fact that Flir is able to monitor your home’s temperature and humidity and can actually begin recording based on the temperature or humidity that you set. How cool is that? This is one of the many things to love about this particular security camera.

What are Some of the Not-So-Great Things?

Mainly the app could use some work. It doesn’t have the best interface and looks a little unpolished. The app isn’t always the most user-friendly, so you may have to get used to its layout and how everything works. It’s not the biggest issue in the world, but it could turn some people off. We just wanted to warn you in case you are an app snob.

While RapidRecap is one of the best things to happen to a security camera for as long as we can remember, it can fail in its execution sometimes. It can seem that it’s taking too long to compress the video but maybe we’re just being impatient.

Also, sometimes people and animals can seem to disappear if they move too near the frame’s edge. Also, things like arms and legs can get distorted which can look a little off-putting. No real biggie but something to be cognizant of.

Am I Able to Set Up the Flir FX on My Own?

Yes, you are because it’s actually a pretty simple process. All you really have to do is follow the instructions available in the app and it walks you through everything. The provided QR code lets you use your smartphone’s camera to get started and you should be done in a few, short minutes. You can sit back, kick up your feet and relax now that you have a superiorly monitored home.

Flir FX security cameraWill this Camera Fit into My Décor?

No matter your personal style, this Flir is sure to fit in. In fact, you could possibly forget that it’s even around due to its small size. The camera is portable and extremely small, palm-sized, if you want to be exact. Place it anywhere and feel confident that it will blend right on in. After all, that’s the whole point of a security camera — small, silent and strong.

Tell Me More About RapidRecap.

Even though that’s not a question, we’ll go ahead and oblige you anyway since you’ve stuck around for this long. We gave you the gist of it earlier but we want to make sure that you truly understand what it entails.

Let’s start with a couple of scenarios and break it down from there.

Scenario #1:

You’re in the living room dusting the coffee table. Your wife is sitting in the recliner working on a project for work. Your kids are playing their favorite game: chasing each other and then hitting each other. Your dog is jumping all over the couch.

While this may seem like chaos, the Flir FX doesn’t see it that way. Every time anybody moves, the camera is detecting motion and recording. Once you create a RapidRecap, you’ll receive a single shot of everybody that moved, along with timestamps traveling along with each individual.

Scenario #2

You’re out in the garden and your husband is “fixing” your car in the garage. If each of you moves at separate times in separate locations, yes, RapidRecap can compile that as well with timestamps over each of you.

Both images are overlaid in the video.

Some important things to note:

• Even though hours of videos are compressed, the video isn’t sped up.
• RapidRecap is based off of technology used by the FBI.
• RapidRecaps are broken into what could be described as chapters. They are each approximately one-hour long.
• To take it to an even more advanced level, you can watch individual motions.
• RapidRecaps can be viewed at anytime since they are stored on the app.
• You have the ability to click on an individual clip within any given timeframe.

What’s the Price on This?

The Flir FX retails for $199.99 which is an extremely great value when you consider all of the great features that you receive. We’ve reviewed cameras that don’t come near the Flir that cost twice as much. We believe that you are getting a great value in this camera just based on RapidRecap alone.

The Final Verdict

Yes, yes, yes. We’ll go out on a limb and give this a 4 out of 5 and suggest that anybody serious about their home security give this a try.

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