PerfectPrime IR501 Infrared Thermal Imager Camera

Published on Aug. 2, 2023, 3:54 p.m.

The PerfectPrime IR501 is a compact infrared thermal imager that can transform your Android smartphone into a powerful thermal camera. With 32,136 pixels resolution and temperature range from -40°F to 626°F, this device allows you to see and measure heat signatures that are invisible to the naked eye. In this review, I will evaluate the IR501’s design, image quality, features, performance, and value based on hands-on testing and research.

PerfectPrime IR501 Infrared Thermal Imager Camera


The IR501 thermal imager connects to Android phones via USB-C cable and works with a free mobile app. The package includes the camera, phone stand, cable, case, and manual. At just 34g and 47x32.5x32.5mm, the IR501 is highly portable. The app enables photo and video recording, 5 point dynamic temperature monitoring, and CSV data export.

Key Features

  • Compact and portable
  • Real-time thermal imaging
  • Temperature range -40°F to 626°F
  • 5 point dynamic temperature monitoring
  • Photo and video recording
  • Auto and manual color palettes
  • CSV temperature data exporting

Technical Background

Before diving into the detailed analysis of the product, it is crucial to understand the basic principles of thermal imaging technology. Thermal imagers work by detecting the infrared radiation emitted by objects, which correlates with their temperature. This equipment converts the infrared radiation into an image, where different colors represent different temperatures. This technology allows users to “see” heat energy, even in complete darkness. Thermal imagers have applications across various fields, from building inspections to medical diagnostics to wildlife observation.


The IR501 thermal imager itself is a small black box designed for portability. The phone stand holder securely grips devices and allows for hands-free use. While lightweight, the IR501 feels reasonably durable with its hard plastic case. The micro USB cable connects securely.

Image Quality

With a 35° x 27° field of view and f/1.2 aperture lens, the IR501 can scan wide areas. Images are 206 x 156 pixels, sufficient for most non-professional applications. Thermal contrast and clarity is good up to 10-15 feet; beyond that, heat signatures blur. The app’s manual temperature scale adjustment is critical for image optimization.

In addition to a 35° x 27° field of view and an f/1.2 aperture lens, the IR501 has an image resolution of 206 x 156 pixels, which is sufficient for most non-professional applications. The device’s sensitivity is 65mK (typical) and less than 100mK (maximum) at 25°C, which determines its ability to detect temperature differences. Understanding these technical specifications is crucial for assessing the performance of a thermal imager.


Key features include real-time thermal imaging, photo and video recording, 5 point temperature monitoring, auto and manual color palettes, and data exporting. The app is easy to use after learning the controls. Very helpful features but lacks finer manual adjustments for gamma, focus, etc.

PerfectPrime IR501 Infrared Thermal Imager Camera


The IR501 delivers thermal images instantly. Response is smooth during panning and scanning. Photos and videos save quickly with no lag. Temperature accuracy is within 1°C which is quite good for affordable thermal imagers. WiFi connectivity would make this device more flexible.

Ease of Use

Getting started is easy - just plug it into your Android phone, download the app, and you’re seeing heat signatures right away. The app provides controls for things like color palettes, temperature scale, and monitoring points. However, the manual controls lack fine tuning so it can take some fiddling to get the image clarity you want. The app also hasn’t been updated in a while so it feels a bit outdated.

Use Cases

The portability and ease of use makes the IR501 a handy supplemental inspection tool for homeowners, electricians, plumbers, and builders. It’s great for identifying insulation issues, HVAC problems, or electrical hotspots around the house. The lower resolution does limit its usefulness for finer inspections though. It’s better suited for larger area scans rather than pinpointing small issues.

User Feedback

Looking at customer reviews, the IR501 gets mixed feedback. On Amazon it has a 3.4 out of 5 star rating based on 221 global ratings. Here is a summary of common positives and negatives from real customer reviews:


  • Easy to set up and use overall
  • Compact and portable
  • Affordable price point
  • Allows basic thermal imaging


  • Image quality could be better
  • App needs updating
  • Manual controls lack fine tuning
  • Can take some fiddling to get good images
  • Temperature accuracy +/- 5°F

Many reviewers mentioned the image quality is decent but limited compared to higher end models. The lower resolution shows in blotchier images and less fine detail. But most found the resolution usable for basic home inspection purposes. Some users had issues getting clear images until they adjusted the manual color palette and temperature range settings. So there is a learning curve to get the best images.

The portability and ease of use was praised by many as a handy supplementary inspection tool. Especially given the affordable price point versus professional grade thermal cameras. But some did note the build quality of the camera module itself felt a bit flimsy and delicate.


At under $300, the PerfectPrime IR501 provides an affordable entry point into thermal imaging for Android users. While image quality and features are limited compared to professional models costing thousands, it can still be a useful tool for basic inspections and troubleshooting. For DIYers and home inspectors, it’s a cost effective way to add thermal capabilities.


The PerfectPrime IR501 makes thermal imaging affordable without sacrificing key functionality. It’s an excellent entry-level option for home DIY, inspection, and hobbyist use. I would recommend the IR501 for anyone seeking an inexpensive introduction to thermal imaging.

Future Prospects

With advancements and innovations in technology, the application areas of thermal imaging are set to expand further. Future thermal imagers may include higher resolutions, better sensitivity, and wider temperature measuring ranges, allowing for greater roles in medical, military, industrial, and other fields. Moreover, with the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, thermal imaging devices will become more intelligent, providing more accurate data analysis and more efficient problem diagnostics.


  • Resolution: 206 x 156 pixels
  • Field of View: 35° x 27°
  • Frame Rate: 9 Hz
  • Temperature Range: -40°F to 626°F
  • Lens: f/1.2, 4mm focal length
  • Accuracy: ±1°C
  • Dimensions: 47 x 32.5 x 32.5 mm
  • Weight: 34g

PerfectPrime IR501 Infrared Thermal Imager Camera

What’s in the Box

The IR501 package includes:
- IR501 thermal imaging camera
- Phone stand holder
- Micro USB cable
- Protective carrying case
- Quick start guide

How to Use

  1. Download and install the app on your Android phone
  2. Connect the IR501 to your phone’s USB-C port
  3. Open the app and point the IR501 at target
  4. Adjust color palette and temperature scale for best image
  5. Tap to focus and record images or video
  6. Enable temperature markers and 5 point monitoring as needed
  7. Export images and temperature data to analyze in Excel