Flir One vs Seek Compact

Best Cell Phone Thermal Camera

seek thermal camera for iphone
Fair one attachment thermal camera

As technology has continued to improve and bring with it many more efficiencies thermal cameras for your iPhone and Android device have become a viable option for many applications. The two main players in this space are FLIR and Seek with each manufacturer having multiple models to choose from. Below are some of the main differences between each of the thermal cameras and which one might be best for your needs and budget. You can also view our homepage for other thermal imaging cameras and reviews.

You can use the Table of Contents below to quickly get the information you need on FLIR ONE and Seek Compact Thermal Cameras. We have placed the comparison table first so that you can quickly see the differences between the cameras and models.

FLIR ONE vs Seek Compact Comparison Chart

FLIR ONE

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    Thermal Sensor -Pixel size 17μm, 8 – 14microns spectral range
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    Thermal Resolution - 80x60
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    Camera Resolution - 640x480
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    Focus - Auto
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    FOV - 38 Degrees
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    Frame Rate - 8.7Hz
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    Detection Distance - No Data Given 
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    Operating Temperature - 32F - 95F
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    Detection Temperature - (-4F - 248F)
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    Waterproof Case Included - No
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    Powered By Phone/Tablet - No
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    Battery Life - 1 Hr
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    Battery Charge Time - 40 Min
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    Auto Emissivity - No
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    App Included - Yes 
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    Pair with Apple/Android Watch - Yes

FLIR ONE PRO

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    Thermal Sensor - Pixel size 12μm, 8 – 14microns spectral range
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    Thermal Resolution - 160x120
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    Camera Resolution - 640x480
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    Focus - Auto
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    FOV - 43 Degrees
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    Frame Rate - 8.7Hz
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    Detection Distance - No Data Given 
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    Operating Temperature - 32F - 95F
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    Detection Temperature - (-4F - 752F)
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    Waterproof Case Included - No
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    Powered By Phone/Tablet - No
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    Battery Life - 1 Hr
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    Battery Charge Time - 40 Min
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    Auto Emissivity - No
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    App Included - Yes 
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    Pair with Apple/Android Watch - Yes

Seek Compact

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    Thermal Sensor - 206 x 156
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    Thermal Resolution - Not Provided
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    Camera Resolution - N/A
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    Focus - Manual
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    FOV - 36 Degrees
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    Frame Rate - 9Hz
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    Detection Distance - 1,000ft 
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    Operating Temperature - Not Given
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    Detection Temperature - (-40F - 626F)
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    Waterproof Case Included - Yes
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    Powered By Phone/Tablet - Yes
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    Battery Life - N/A
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    Battery Charge Time - N/A
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    Auto Emissivity - Yes
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    App Included - Yes
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    Pair with Apple/Android Watch - No

Seek Compact PRO

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    Thermal Sensor - 320x240
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    Thermal Resolution - Not Provided
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    Camera Resolution - N/A
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    Focus - Manual
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    FOV - 32 Degrees
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    Frame Rate - 15Hz
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    Detection Distance - 1,800ft 
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    Operating Temperature - Not Given
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    Detection Temperature - (-40F - 626F)
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    Waterproof Case Included - Yes
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    Powered By Phone/Tablet - Yes
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    Battery Life - N/A
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    Battery Charge Time - N/A
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    Auto Emissivity - Yes
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    App Included - Yes
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    Pair with Apple/Android Watch - No

The FLIR ONE Vs The Seek Compact – Which One Should I Buy?

Now that you have seen the specs for each camera which one is right for you? While everyone’s situation is different depending upon what is the most important factor in your buying decision we have put togather some simple guidelines to help you below.

If you are still unsure going through our quick list then all the detailed information about each model is below.


About FLIR & Seek:

FLIR and Seek are companies that specialize in thermal imaging hardware and software for commercial and residential use. FLIR is older having been established in 1978 and has continued to innovate within the space now having a thermal imaging solution for virtually every industry and use case. One of FLIR’s most revolutionary innovates is their MSX technology which overlays thermal imaging into standard images resulting in high resolution and detail. FLIR’s warranty (2-5-10) is also industry leading; buyers know FLIR stands behind its products and builds them to exacting specifications.

Seek while a much newer company, founded in 2012, has industry veterans leading it and approaches the space from a much more narrow but focused view than FLIR. Also of interest, is that the founder of Seek (who is a serial entrepreneur) has sold prior companies he has built to FLIR. Seek focuses exclusively on the consumer market which has allowed it to devote all time and capital to making their products the best they can be; although they do not have the resources that FLIR does. Recently, Seek has started developing thermal imaging cameras for security and law enforcement use.

What Are The Different Models?

1. FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Camera For Phone & Tablet:

The FLIR ONE now in its 3rd generation from FLIR is their entry level thermal imaging camera for iPhone and Android devices. As this is their entry level is it the least expensive however still contains many powerful features. As with all FLIR thermal imagers for phones they include not only the thermal imaging camera but also a visible light camera (1440x1080) which allows you to impose your thermal images over HD visible light images. FLIR’s phone thermal cameras are also different in the fact that they have their own battery which must be charged while this does help you save your phones battery,  you also have to make sure you carry two chargers with you.


2. FLIR ONE PRO Thermal Imaging Camera:

FLIR ONE PRO Thermal Imaging Camera

The FLIR ONE PRO is the premium level thermal imaging camera for your phone or tablet from FLIR. There are many enhancements over the FLIR ONE such as:

  •  more sensitive thermal sensor 
  • double the thermal resolution
  • a much larger operating temperature range.

Again, remember that the FLIR ONE cameras have their own separate battery that must be charged and do not run off your phones battery. THE FLIR ONE PRO also has much clearer images and it is much easier to see small details in pictures versus the FLIR ONE. For those of you looking to buy a thermal imaging camera for professional use The FLIR ONE PRO is a much better choice than the FLIR ONE.


3. Seek Compact Thermal Imaging Camera:

The Seek Compact thermal imaging camera is Seeks entry level camera for your phone and/or tablet. The main differences between the Seek Compact and its FLIR ONE competitor are that the Seek Compact only has a thermal imaging camera and no visible light camera. The Seek camera also have a manual focus which allows you to fine tune to focus on the specific areas you want to however it is not a quick as the FLIR ONE’s auto focus. Additionally, the Seek Compact (and PRO) are powered by your phones battery and do not have a separate battery to charge. This is both good and bad as you do not have to worry about carrying two chargers but depending upon how much you use your phone you may deplete the battery quicker. The Seek Compact has a higher temperature detection rage (-40F to 626F) which is significantly higher than the FLIR ONE.

Ultimately, the edge for entry level thermal camera (not for commercial use) goes to the Seek as it is cheaper with a higher temperature detection range, and smaller form factor.


4. Seek Compact PRO Thermal Imaging Camera:

Seek Compact PRO Thermal Imaging Camera

The Seek Compact PRO is the premium level thermal imager for phones and tablets and competes directly with the FLIR ONE PRO. Just as with the Seek Compact the PRO only has a thermal imaging camera however it has much higher thermal resolution, temperature detection range and detection distance. The frame rate is also much higher enabling smoother pictures and videos.
The price is higher than the Seek Compact however the enhanced resolution, higher frame rate and increased detection distance justify the higher cost. If you are looking for a thermal camera to do professional work with the we would recommend the Seek Compact PRO over the Seek Compact because of these features.


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Things to Keep In Mind About the FLIR ONE Models:

Will My Phone/Tablet Work With The FLIR ONE?

One of the most imporant things to condiser when looing to purchase a thermal imager for your phone is if it is compatible with your modle of phone tablet. You can find the complete compatiblity list for FLIR ONE camera's on their website.

What Is The FLIR ONE Range And Resolution?

Two of the most common questions are what is the range of the FLIR ONE as well as what is the resolution? On a clear day with good weather you should be able to detect a person over 400 feet away provided you have a clear line of sight to them. If you are trying to spot large animals or large mechanical components you might be able to detect them further out. The minimum distance is 12 inches. While this detection range is not as long as the Seek Compact the reality is almost all of the time you will not be trying to detect people or animals outside of this distance with this type of thermal camera.

The resolution of the FLIR ONE is a combination of the thermal imaging camera which is only 80x60 in the FLIR ONE and 160x120 in the FLIR ONE PRO combined with the visible camera resolution of 640x480 in both models. FLIR’s MSX technology allows the lower resolution thermal image to be overlaid on the higher resolution visible image resulting in a surprisingly clear image.

FLIR ONE VS FLIR ONE PRO - What Are the Differences?

If you have decided to go with a FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera you now need to decide which model, you are going to go with. The main differences between the FLIR ONE and FLIR ONE PRO are the PRO’s increased thermal resolution, higher temperature range detection, increased FOV and more sensitive thermal sensor. The higher thermal resolution of the PRO is 2x the resolution of the standard model and produces even clearer images. The pluses justify the extra cost and if you are looking to use the camera in commercial use then the FLIR ONE PRO is the way to go.

For home owners and hobbyists who are looking for the most cost effective thermal camera the FLIR ONE is an excellent choice at a great price point.


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Things to Keep In Mind About the Seek Thermal Camera Models

Will My Phone/Tablet Work With The Seek Compact?

You can check Seeks website to ensure that your phone or tablet is compatiable with the Seek Thermal camera you are looking to purchase. This is a very important step as not all phones or tablets will work with the Seek Thermal Cameras.

Seek Compact VS Seek Compact PRO - What Are the Differences In Models?

The main difference between the Seek Compact and Compact PRO is the PRO’s higher resolution, greater detection difference and more sensitive thermal sensor. While these upgrades increase the price, they do make the Compact PRO more suited to commercial and business use; while the Seek Compact is aimed more at the do it yourself crowd and the occasional hobbyist. The Seek Compact and Seek PRO are both the sames size.

What is the Seek XR?

The Seek XR has the same specifications and LOOKS THE SAME as the Seek Compact except the XR has a narrower field of view (20 degrees) so that you can get almost double the viewing distance 1,800 feet versus the Seek Compacts 1,000 feet range.

SEEK XR 

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    20 Degree Field of View
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    1,800 Ft. Det​​​​ection Range
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    All Other Features Are the Same

SEEK COMPACT

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    36 Degree Field Of View
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    1,000 Ft. Detection Range
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    All Other Features Are the Same

What Can I Use My Thermal Camera For?

So, what exactly can I use my thermal imaging camera for? There are literally thousands of uses some of which are:

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    HVAC System Inspection – Easily Detect Leaks
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    Equipment Inspections – Identify Loose Connections That Are Not Visible
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    Homes Inspections – Ensure your Floor Heating Is Heating Evenly
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    Home Inspections -Detect Energy Loss Via Loose Duct Work or Window Leaks
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    Electrical Inspections – Locate Unbalanced Loads in Wall Switches/Outlets.
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    Home Security – Keep Watch On Your Home Without The Need Of Spotlights
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    Animal Watching – Spot Or Track Nocturnal Animals Without Spooking Them
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    Hunting Safety – Identify Large Or Dangerous Animals At Night Without Alerting Them

FLIR ONE Pros:

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    Great image quality
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    Much faster processing time
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    Well made
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    More image capture options
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    Automatic focus

Seek Compact Pros:

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    Small size
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    Uses phone power to operate
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    More rugged and comes with waterproof case
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    Manual focus for close up work

FLIR ONE Cons:

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    Must be charged separately from your phone​​​​​​​​
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    No way to manually focus on close up objects

Seek Compact Cons:

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    Image quality is not as good as FLIR ONE
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    Always have to manually focus
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    Not as many image capture options

FLIR ONE

FLIR ONE PRO

SEEK COMPACT

SEEK COMPACT PRO