Even though the Axion series has only been around for 2 years, there have been major changes within it. At first, 3 models were introduced. 2 of them (XM30, XM38) were discontinued half a year later because certain parts for them were difficult to supply. The introduction of XM30S and Key XM22 followed shortly after. Now, two new models have joined the scene – XQ38 and XQ38 LRF.
Both models are incredibly interesting – as is always the case with Pulsar products, the performance of both devices is amazing for the price. The LRF-model is currently the most affordable thermal imaging monocular with a laser rangefinding compartment on the civilian market, whereas the standard model combines great optical performance with photo/video recording capability.
An Improved Sensor
The XQ models are equipped with an upgraded sensor. The old ones have a 320×240 sensor with an NETD of 60 millikelvins, whereas the new ones boast a 384×288 sensor with an NETD of 40 millikelvins. The NETD tells us to what extent the sensor can distinguish between small temperature differences, meaning that the new models provide better detail recognition, especially in poor weather conditions such as rain, fog, and low temperatures. The pixel pitch is 17 µm.
Is it Stream Vision compatible?
Yes. Same as XM30S, XQ38 comes with an integrated WI-Fi module, allowing the user to connect the device to a smartphone (Android or iOS). Capturing photos and recording videos is also possible, as well as direct image streaming via Stream Vision app. Once the app is installed on a smartphone, the user can also manipulate with some of the device’s functions, update firmware, etc.
Is anything else new?
All the Axions that existed before the XQ models are powered by the Li-Ion Battery Pack APS3. Even though the APS3 batteries are simple to install and replace, Pulsar decided to go for a new battery compartment on the XQ models. The new devices require the B-pack mini APS5 battery to run, the installation of which is slightly different. The battery has to be inserted and rotated clockwise to fix it in position (on the old models, one simply has to push the battery in at a correct angle and eject it with the help of a button).
What are the differences between XQ38 and XQ38 LRF?
- In contrast to XQ38 LRF, XQ38 has a Wi-Fi module and can be connected to a smartphone
- XQ38 has a photo/video recorder with 16 Gb of storage, XQ38 LRF does not have it
- XQ38 LRF has a laser rangefinding compartment on the left side, XQ38 does not have it
- XQ38 LRF is 50 grams heavier and bulkier than XQ38
Just like all the other models from the Axion series, XQ38 is made of a lightweight magnesium alloy that makes the device durable and robust. The device is IPX7-certified, meaning that you can submerge it up to a meter of depth for 30 minutes without it sustaining any damage. The full-colour AMOLED display with a resolution of 1024×768 provides a high-resolution image combined with a low power consumption. XQ38 has 16 Gb of internal storage, which is enough for tons of photos and hours of recording. The device can withstand temperatures as low as -25 and as high as +40 °С without its performance compromised.
The detection range of the device is up to 1300 m, and you can expect to identify an animal up to 400 m away, depending on its size and weather conditions. Users can choose among 8 colour modes, including the three most popular – Black Hot, White Hot, and Red Hot. The 384×288 sensor provides an incredibly crisp image per se, but the quality of the image is lifted to a whole new level when you turn on the ‘Image Detail Boost’ option in the menu. The technology, based on complex software algorithms, significantly improves the sharpness of the image and detail recognition. Axion XQ38 has a magnification of 3.5x; the image can be zoomed in with a 2x digital zoom (all the way up to 14x). The Picture-in-Picture mode can be activated when you only wish to have a certain part of the image zoomed in, without losing the wide field of view.
Pulsar Axion XQ38 comes with a 3-year warranty.
Axion XQ38 is a promising thermal imaging monocular available at an excellent price of around 2000 EUR. The performance of the new sensor is astonishing, but you will be surprised even more once you turn on the ‘Image Detail Boost’ option. On top of that, the device features Wi-Fi connectivity, can capture photos and record videos. It is compact, lightweight, and made of quality material. If you want a laser rangefinding system on your thermal device, go for the XQ38 LRF model which is 300 EUR more expensive. Keep in mind, however, that the LRF model does not have Wi-Fi module & photo/video recorder.