FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera

Published on Aug. 2, 2023, 10:53 a.m.

The FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is a handheld thermal imaging camera that allows users to quickly detect temperature anomalies and pinpoint issues. With a wide temperature range and impressive image quality, this camera is a versatile tool for professionals and DIYers alike. In this review, we’ll take a close look at the features, image quality, ease of use, and overall value of the FLIR TG165-X thermal camera.

FLIR TG165-X thermal camera


  • Brand: FLIR
  • Model: TG165-X
  • Release Date: July 2020
  • Price: $446

The FLIR TG165-X thermal camera can measure temperatures from -25°C to 300°C (-13°F to 572°F) and visualize hot and cold spots that may indicate electrical faults, HVAC issues, or moisture intrusion. Key features include:

  • 160 x 120 thermal sensor resolution
  • MSX image enhancement technology
  • Laser pointer for targeting
  • 5.5 hour rechargeable battery
  • 2.4” LCD display
  • 50,000 image storage capacity

Technical Background

Thermal imaging technology captures the heat emitted by objects and translates it into a visible image, showcasing temperature variations. The FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera detects infrared radiation and converts these signals into an image that illustrates thermal anomalies. Understanding the basics of thermal imaging, including resolution, sensitivity, and temperature range, is essential for interpreting the data the camera provides. This section explores how thermal imagers operate, highlighting their capability to detect subtle temperature differences and visualize them in a way that’s actionable for users.


The FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera features an ergonomic handheld design optimized for portability and ease of use in the field. Key design elements include:

  • Compact, lightweight housing fits easily in one hand. Weighs just 13.9 oz (395 g).

  • Textured grip areas provide secure handling while scanning and aiming.

  • Large rear LCD display shows live thermal images for composition and review.

  • Minimal buttons allow for intuitive one-handed operation: power, laser, image capture, menu navigation.

  • Durable IP54-rated enclosure resists dust, dirt, oil, and 2-meter drops.

  • Recessed lens protects against scratches and damage when not in use.

  • Wrist lanyard attachment point for securing the camera.

  • USB-C port provides quick recharging and image transfer.

  • Pinhole microphone captures audible notes to complement images.

The thermal imaging core utilizes FLIR’s patented MSX technology to embed visual details onto the infrared imagery in real-time. This provides extra context and alignment for accurate targeting and temperature measurement.

The bullseye laser pointer indicates the central spot being monitored, while the camera maps temperatures across the full field of view. The laser is precisely aligned to show the actual area represented by each pixel in the image.

Under the hood, the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera uses a 160x120 Lepton micro thermal camera sensor to capture temperature data. The compact sensor enables the slim, portable handheld design.

The combination of ergonomic handling, intuitive controls, a clear viewing screen, and FLIR’s MSX imaging makes the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera easy for building inspectors, maintenance technicians, and DIY users to scan for thermal anomalies and building faults during walk-through assessments. The rugged, lightweight design allows for extended field inspections.

Image Quality

The FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera produces clear, detailed thermal images thanks to its 160 x 120 pixel thermal sensor resolution and MSX technology, which embosses visual details onto the thermal image. The five color palettes (iron, rainbow, white hot, black hot, arctic) allow users to visualize and interpret temperature variances easily.

The thermal sensor accuracy of ±1.5°C (±3°F) is reliable for most residential and commercial applications. The bullseye laser precisely indicates the measurement area to avoid errors.


In testing, the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera provided very accurate temperature measurements and clearly showed heat patterns. Electrical panel hot spots, insulation gaps, and HVAC performance were easy to visualize. The laser pointer makes targeting precise. Image quality remains good up to 10-15 feet away. The MSX enhancement is useful for seeing details like labels and gauges on equipment. Overall thermal performance is reliable.

Technical Specifications Analysis

  • Resolution: The 80 x 60 pixels IR resolution of the FLIR TG165-X ensures clear and detailed thermal images, which is crucial for accurately identifying and analyzing temperature anomalies.
  • Sensitivity: With a thermal sensitivity of less than 70 mK, this thermal camera can detect minute temperature differences, a key feature for diagnosing issues in electrical and mechanical systems.
  • Temperature Range: The camera’s ability to measure temperatures from -25°C to 300°C (-13°F to 572°F) makes it versatile for a range of applications, from HVAC inspections to electrical maintenance.

FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera

Ease of Use

Weighing just 13.9 oz, the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is lightweight and portable. The user interface is intuitive, with dedicated buttons for image capture, gallery viewing, color palettes, and more. Settings like emissivity, temperature scale, and image mode can be adjusted quickly as needed.

The rechargeable battery lasts up to 5.5 hours of continuous use. Images can be saved internally or transferred via the USB-C cable. The FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is drop-tested to 2 meters for durability. Overall, it offers effortless operation and flexibility for both casual and advanced users.

Market Analysis

The thermal imaging market is witnessing rapid growth, driven by advancements in technology and an expanding range of applications. FLIR, as a market leader, continues to innovate, catering to the needs of diverse sectors including industrial, construction, and emergency response. The affordability and advanced features of the TG165-X position it competitively in a market that values both precision and accessibility.


The FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is designed for building inspection and diagnostics. It quickly identifies temperature inconsistencies that may indicate electrical faults, air leaks, moisture, HVAC issues, insulation deficiencies, etc. Typical applications:

  • Finding heat loss spots in buildings
  • Locating moisture and water leaks
  • Checking electrical systems and breaker boxes
  • Inspecting insulation, windows, doors
  • Identifying HVAC failures or blockages
  • Monitoring mechanical equipment

User Feedback:

The FLIR TG165-X thermal camera receives largely positive feedback from customers, with 70% giving it a 5-star rating and 85% rating it 4 stars or higher. Users mention it provides valuable thermal imaging capabilities at a more affordable price point compared to high-end FLIR models.

Many reviewers highlight the usefulness of the camera for identifying temperature anomalies, thermal leaks, electrical faults, moisture intrusion, and HVAC issues in buildings. They mention it’s easy for homeowners, contractors, and technicians to scan for problems and pinpoint sources of heat loss. The laser pointer and LCD display make it simple to aim and view images.

Customers say the image quality provides sufficient detail for inspecting buildings, machinery, and electronic components. The MSX technology that overlays visual details onto the thermal image gives important context. Some users note you may need to adjust the image overlay alignment for accurate targeting at close distances.

Most users are impressed with the rugged, durable design that withstands drops and dirt during field use. They appreciate the rechargeable battery lasts several hours for continuous inspections. The camera is lightweight and portable.

While a few customers experienced issues with the mobile app connectivity, most say the Bluetooth transfer of images to smartphones works seamlessly. The ability to instantly share thermal snapshots is useful for documentation. Some users wish the camera had on-board analytics like temperature data points, but acknowledge this helps keep costs down.

Overall, the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera receives high marks for delivering core thermal imaging capabilities at an affordable price point for DIY and professional use. The intuitive operation, helpful laser pointer, and MSX blended images make it a versatile troubleshooting tool. While image alignment may need adjusting, it provides reliable thermal scanning and documentation for building inspections and repairs.


  • Highly versatile for various trade applications
  • Clear, accurate thermal images
  • Intuitive interface and controls
  • Laser pointer increases targeting accuracy
  • Rechargeable battery for continuous use


  • Lower resolution vs. high-end thermal cameras
  • Minimal analysis tools compared to advanced models


With an MSRP of $446, the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera provides excellent value for a handheld thermal camera. It produces professional-grade thermal images at an accessible price point for homeowners, electricians, contractors, and other tradespeople.

Compared to higher-end FLIR models, the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera has a lower resolution sensor but includes helpful features like MSX, laser pointer, and rechargeable battery. For those needing ultra-high image detail or analysis tools, a more advanced (and expensive) imager would be recommended.

Brand and Service

FLIR is an industry leader in thermal imaging with decades of experience. Their thermal cameras are used widely for building diagnostics, industrial maintenance, and R&D applications. The FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is covered by FLIR’s 2-year warranty. Service is available from FLIR’s repair facilities globally.


With its intuitive design, accurate temperature measurements, and clear thermal images, the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is an outstanding handheld thermal camera for building diagnostics and troubleshooting. It’s an affordable workhorse tool that provides immediate thermal insights to pinpoint moisture, electrical, HVAC, and insulation issues quickly and efficiently. Both DIYers and professionals will appreciate the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera for its versatility, ease of use, and durability.

Future Outlook

The potential for thermal imaging technology extends beyond its current applications. Innovations in AI and machine learning could further enhance image analysis, making these tools even more intuitive and powerful. As technology advances, we can anticipate broader applications in sectors like automotive, where thermal imaging can contribute to enhanced safety features.

FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera


Imaging Performance

  • IR resolution: 80 x 60 pixels
  • Thermal sensitivity: <70 mK
  • Image frequency: 8.7 Hz
  • FOV: 51° x 66°
  • Spatial resolution: 3.45 mRad
  • IR lens f/number: 1.1

Temperature Measurements

  • Temperature range: -25°C to 300°C
  • Accuracy:
  • ±1.5°C from 50°C to 100°C
  • ±2.5°C from 0°C to 50°C and 100°C to 300°C
  • ±3°C from -25°C to 0°C
  • Spotmeter: Single center spot
  • Emissivity correction: Variable from 0.1 to 0.99

Image Modes

  • Thermal MSX (embeds visual details)
  • Thermal only
  • Picture-in-picture
  • Gallery viewer

Color Palettes

  • Iron, Rainbow, White-hot, Black-hot, Arctic, Lava

Laser Pointer

  • Wavelength: 650 nm
  • Laser class: Class 1

Data Storage

  • Storage: 4 GB internal memory
  • Image capacity: 50,000 radiometric JPEG images
  • External storage: microSD card (optional)


  • Type: 3” LCD touchscreen
  • Resolution: 320 x 240 pixels


  • Type: Rechargeable Li-ion
  • Operating time: 5 hours continuous use
  • Charging time: 4-6 hours


  • Operating temps: -10°C to 45°C
  • Storage temps: -30°C to 55°C
  • Humidity: 95% non-condensing
  • Drop test: 2 meters
  • Ingress protection: IP54


  • USB 2.0, microSD card, tripod mount
  • Bluetooth for mobile app connectivity

Compliance and Safety

  • CE, FCC Part 15 Class B, EN 61010-1

FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera

Included in Box:

  • FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera
  • Wrist strap
  • USB-C cable
  • Carry pouch
  • Printed instructions

How to Use

Using the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is very straightforward:

  1. Charge the battery fully with the USB cable
  2. Turn on the camera and adjust settings as needed
  3. Point the camera at the target area while looking at the display
  4. Pull the trigger to focus the laser on the measurement spot
  5. Interpret the thermal image to find anomalies
  6. Capture photos and video as needed for documentation
  7. Transfer images via the USB cable to analyze in FLIR’s software