Is the convenience of a smart thermometer worth the price?
Smart thermometers may seem like something you don't need to spend the extra money on, but they can be pretty handy when done right. Unlike traditional thermometers, the Flo is quite versatile which makes it even more useful. From the ability to quickly measure someone's temperature without shoving something in their mouth to being able to tell the temperature of water or other objects all with the same device, you'll likely find multiple uses for it.
Sure, you can pick up a regular thermometer for like $10 at the drug store, so spending $50 on a "smart" one may seem a bit ridiculous to some, but it can be worth it for a variety of reasons.
When it comes to the hardware, the Flo is pretty simple. It looks like a keychain and doesn't have a long thin tip coming out of it. Instead, the end features a sensor that is covered by glass and looks similar to a laser pointer. On the top of it, the Z is the button you press to take a measurement, and near the tip there is an LED that blinks in different colors. Flip it over and you'll find the battery compartment. It is powered by a replaceable CR2032 battery, which should last for quite a while depending how often you use it.
The software used here is quite basic, but it gets the job done. The app is easy to understand from the first time that you launch it. You can open it and take a quick, single measurement or you can create profiles for different family members so you can track their temperatures over time.
Setting up profiles is definitely ideal if you will be using it for multiple people — it will store all their previous readings in one place and you don't have to try and remember what their temperature was at any given time. You can also add notes, pictures and more to each reading so you can always go back and remember what was going on at that given time.
Given you don't need to worry about putting the Flo in the mouth in order to use it and get the reading, it also means you won't have to worry about sanitizing it each time you want to use it. You can take the temperature of multiple people in a row without stopping, resetting, and cleaning before each use. You can also switch it from taking human temperatures to those of objects by pressing and holding the Z for three seconds. The LED will turn purple and then you can see how hot water is, and more.
For all the things that the Flo does great, there are a few things that could be improved upon as well. For instance, pairing it to a phone and realizing when it was paired was not particularly easy. The packaging is very minimalistic and doesn't come with any instructions in the box. There is a QR code to get additional information, but it would have been nice to have some basic directions in the box as well. It wasn't immediately clear that all you had to do was point the sensor at your skin and press the button to get the temperature, but once you realize that it becomes extremely easy to use in all situations.
Overall, the Flo is worth the $50 price tag it carries. Sure, you could grab that $10 one from your local store and carry it around, but that won't be as easy to use to get the temperature of your fussy kid, or allow you to check in while they are resting without disturbing them. It is more sanitary to use, easy to carry and the battery will last for quite some time.
If you have kids or frequently need to take your own temperature on the go, this is a great addition to any bag you are carrying around.