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Flir FX review: This security camera needs work to compete in a crowded category

Michael Ansaldo | Nov. 10, 2015
Flir's first home security camera boasts an impressive array of features, but bugs hold it back from greatness.

As far as I could see, there was no progress monitor other than a percentage above the RapidRecap icon, which is visible only when the actions menu is open. I did, however, get an alert when the recap was ready.

The resulting videos—plural, because RapidRecap breaks the activity up into smaller videos to keep the scene from becoming too busy—combined several events triggered by the family cat’s nocturnal wanderings into a collage of ghostly images of him stalking and leaping over himself. It was an eerie effect heightened by the night vision and floating timestamps. Though it made for curious viewing, the superimposing of asynchronous images over each other made it tough to follow the chronology the footage. While it may be OK for a log of the day’s events, it’s probably not something you want to contend with if you’re trying to provide forensic evidence of a crime to the police.

I never did get the mic to work, though. Each time I used it, not only did no sound come from the camera, but the app—including the live feed—froze. Sometimes I’d get an error message, and other times the feed would refresh and the app would start working again.

Bottom line

If you’re considering purchasing your first DIY security camera, Flir FX has a lot to like. Its 160-degree viewing angle, double battery, and combination of local and cloud storage outdoes many of its competitors. Its app is well designed and extremely easy to use, and it offers the flexibility to configure sound and motion detection so that it’s accurate without being intrusive.

But while it’s a good idea, the daily video recap is implemented better in the Logi Circle’s Day Brief feature than it is here. The mic issue and the hardware problems I experienced with the first two units I was provided also raise some concerns.

If you’re willing to weather a new product’s growing pains, you’ll likely love what the Flir FX has to offer. If not, you’re better off exploring the many other cameras on the market until Flir gets some of these issues ironed out.

 

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