Flir FX review: Flir FX can go anywhere you go

The ease-of-use didn't change much once I connected the camera and started exploring the app in-depth.

I frequently received this error message in the app. Screenshot by Megan Wollerton/CNET

Not only does it have some general clunkiness that makes the navigation learning curve steeper than I'd like, but it was glitchy, too.

Nearly every time that I enabled motion alerts, I received the following error: "Update camera 'Front Door' -- There was an error updating the camera."

Confusingly, the error message was completely erroneous since the app always completed the "enable motion" command successfully.

Performance was also hit-or-miss. You have the option to select between HD and SD quality for live streaming (to ease any bandwidth concerns), but the HD quality was regularly grainier and more pixelated than expected in both day- and night-vision modes.

I also received numerous phantom motion alerts during testing, many of which popped up in oddly consistent two- or three-second intervals for hours, rendering the highest sensitivity setting on the motion sensor setting all but useless. Switching the setting to medium or low sensitivity did help, but inaccurate alerts still snuck in occasionally.

There was an annoying lag time between receiving a sound or motion alert and being able to actually find the clip for review in the activity log. Sometimes a clip would appear right away and others it would take 15 or more minutes for it to populate.

Inside the Flir FX app. Screenshots by Megan Wollerton/CNET

That often meant that selecting "Open screen" on the in-app alert (as seen in the center screenshot above) didn't work, since that specific video hadn't yet been saved in the log.

Another wallflower

Like many security cameras, the black Flir FX blends in easily with its surroundings. It features an adjustable stand that that can fold and extend with minimal effort, although it isn't optimized for rotation. I also wish it had a magnetic base, like Nest Cam and Netgear Arlo.

I like that you can remove the camera from its stand, but it doesn't feel as sturdy as models like Nest Cam or ArcSoft's Simplicam . Generally, though, Flir FX camera looks pretty good and seems durable enough for indoor use (the optional accessories for outdoor use would add a much-needed layer of protection).

Is Flir FX for you?

There's a lot happening in the DIY security camera market today. While Flir FX definitely offers an impressive array of features, it needs to perform better to stay competitive in the smart-home industry. Specifically, its app is glitchy, its alerts are unreliable, and its streaming quality is surprisingly grainy for HD.

Flir FX is also missing third-party partnerships, and those will become increasingly important as Apple's Siri-based HomeKit platform , Google's Brillo operating system and other Internet of Things powerhouses, like Works with Nest, continue to develop. Skip Flir FX unless you really need a security-and-action-cam-in-one.

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