Xinfrared One XH09: 30 second review
Thermal imaging cameras were either low quality or affordable only to those with business requirements or military budgets.
However, this feature is standard on rugged phones, which often use FLIR Lepton sensors.
What makes the Xinfrared One XH09 fit into this situation is that it is a hardware add-on that works with Android or iOS smartphones using a proprietary sensor for increased fidelity.
At first glance, this camera looks very similar to the previous Xinfrared P2 Pro, but this design features a variable focus lens, better resolution sensor, and easier image and video capture. Comes with a handle designed to hold it.
You can use it by just plugging it into your phone and running Thermal Eye X software, but the included short USB-C extension cable and handle greatly improve the experience.
In addition to the handle, Xinfrared also manufactures a housing that allows the One XH09 to be attached to a rifle scope for hunting purposes. Although this seems to give hunters an unfair advantage and may only be relevant to those living in countries with limited firearms regulations, it is an option.
This application suggests that the One XH09 is very different from many thermal sensor phones and add-ons in that it has a much narrower field of view. This makes it more convenient for outdoor applications, but it can also be used to check which heating pipes are warm and whether there are cracks in the engine block.
Overall, the One XH09 is a huge step up for Xinfrared over the P2 Pro and justifies being an expensive accessory with some great features.
Xinfrared One XH09: Pricing and Availability
- How much does it cost? $340/370 pounds
- When will it come out? currently available
- Where can I get it? In most regions, it is available from online resellers such as Amazon.
The Xinfrared One XH09 costs about $40 more than the InfiRay Xinfrared P2 Pro when it goes on sale directly from the manufacturer's website. You can also purchase it on Amazon for next day delivery for an additional $30.
However, due to an exclusive agreement that TechRadar has with Xinfrared, the One XH09 is currently being offered at 10% off for users who use the discount code “techradar10” through the Xinfrared site or Amazon. This brings the price from the manufacturer closer to $300.
You could argue that for this amount of money you could buy a phone with thermal imaging capabilities, and it is. However, this comparison is not a true equivalence, as the phone's sensor quality does not match that of the One XH09.
With this solution's sophisticated hardware and software, the One XH09 is probably worth the asking price, even without the discount.
Xinfrared One XH09: Specifications
|Xinfrared One XH09 (for Android)
|Camera, USB cable, phone bracket
|Android smartphone 9.0 or later
Focal length 9mm, FOV 19.63°×14.71°
3C (plus or minus)
Xinfrared One XH09: Design
- flexible solution
- metal structure
- High resolution for thermal cameras
The One XH09 camera comes in a small soft pouch with a short extension cable. Our review hardware was made for Android phones and used a USB-C output and cable, but an Apple iOS-compatible version with a Lightning connector also exists.
It is also possible to connect the camera directly to your phone or tablet and point it or move it away, but using it that way is not the best solution.
Our camera came with a smartphone bracket mount that provides a handle to hold both your phone and camera in the best position. There is a 1/4 inch screw at the bottom of the bracket for easy connection to a photography tripod.
The only concern I have with this high-quality bracket is the lack of obvious features. It's a Bluetooth-enabled button. The ideal workflow would be to be able to take still images or videos by clicking a button on the handle.
This camera is extremely small at only 23mm x 23mm x 23.8mm and has an IP65 rated metal construction. A rubber lens cover is included, and manual focusing is possible by twisting the front of the lens. You'll need to tweak the focus ring for best results, but it's relatively easy when attached to the phone bracket. It can be much more difficult if it's attached to a rifle, but I've never seen this attachment to access it.
Since the camera can be at different angles depending on whether it's attached directly to the phone or to a bracket, you can define that angle in the Thermal Eye there is no. under.
The One XH09 sensor has a resolution of 256 x 192, which may seem like a low resolution until you realize that the FLIR Lepton 3.5 sensor is only 160 x 120. That's 49,152 pixels versus 19,200 pixels, more than double the density of the One XH09 sensor.
Design score: 4/5
Xinfrared One XH09: Software
- simple but powerful
- still needs some work
Thermal Eye X software is the latest development of a tool used in many Xinfrared products, but modified for this camera. It has the ability to capture still images and videos of thermal objects, and offers various enhancements to track hot spots and display peak temperatures.
One drawback is that requesting a numeric temperature overlay tends to slow down the display somewhat, even on high-end smartphones. This suggests that the software is not using hardware acceleration for the text overlay, resulting in less fluidity of the capture.
Although some improvements could be made, this software has improved significantly since the P2 Pro's launch and performs most of the functions that anyone working with thermal imaging would naturally want. You can apply pseudocolor to your images in different ways using many accessible palettes.
You can also define what the surfaces in the shot are (wet, brick, skin, etc.) and have more control over where in the image temperature readings are taken.
However, one feature that is absolutely necessary is timed capture.
If you use the camera bracket in one hand and the focus control in the other, you won't be able to take a shot without a third hand. I tried using voice activation, but it didn't work. Instead, it was switched to a traditional camera.
A possible workaround is a 10 second countdown. This allows the user to start the capture and get the framing and focus they want. If Xinfrared added something like that or a button to the handle, it would be even easier to take accurate shots.
Xinfrared One XH09: Camera
- Improved resolution
- super sampling
- narrow field of view
This sensor is similar to the one previously used in the Xinfrared T2S Plus, with one major difference. This camera's sensor operates at his 25Hz, while the One XH09's sensor operates at twice that his 50Hz.
Again, this and the smaller FOV of the lens make the One XH09 better able to detect any movement, making it better suited for outdoor use than the T2S Plus.
A note about power consumption: When you insert the camera into your phone, it starts drawing power even when no apps are running. Therefore, we do not recommend leaving the camera connected after use.
One downside to this camera arrangement and the ones that come pre-built into phones is that the capture can often be enhanced by mixing it with the normal exposure from a traditional camera sensor. This is not possible because the phone does not know how the One XH09 is oriented relative to the phone. However, you may see a PIP (picture-in-picture) so you can better understand what you're seeing.
Even though this is a good resolution for a thermal sensor, it may look a little spotty. To alleviate this, Xinfrared added her X3 functionality to the camera software. This seems to use his increased 50Hz cycle to create multiple captures and extract higher quality images from the extra data.
This effectively increases resolution through oversampling and works very well.
What makes or breaks this solution for most users is its narrow perspective. This can result in an overly tight frame if you are relatively close to your subject. For those located far from the quarry, it works well and gives good results with a little practice.
Regarding temperature accuracy, the manufacturer claims it is accurate to within 3°C. This is not a level that can be used for medical evaluation and should not be assumed to be the case.
Xinfrared One XH09 camera sample
image 1 of Ten
Xinfrared One XH09: Verdict
Depending on your requirements, the One XH09 is definitely the best thermal imaging solution available in its price range. Made specifically for outdoor use, it's perfect for hunting and tracking in low-light conditions.
It's not ideal for macro work identifying broken chips on a motherboard, but the P2 Pro or T2S Plus may be much better suited for that task.
The included camera bracket is much better than simply plugging the camera in, freeing up one hand for easy focus adjustment.
Importantly, this is a higher quality sensor than the FLIR 3.5 Lepton found in some smartphones, and the solution works with most modern Android smartphones and tablets (or iOS devices) once the software application is installed. It can work.
If you need outdoor thermal imaging and already have a premium phone, the One XH09 is better.
Should I buy Xinfrared One XH09?
|High quality sensors and useful accessories
|Smart phone integrations and accessories
|Could be better, but full of features
|Good sensitivity but narrow field of view
|For outdoor work this is the best solution