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REVIEW: Inkbird IRF-2SA 500ft Range

webs05

Newbie
28
14
Joined Apr 15, 2019
Inkbird Review:
Thanks again to the friendly folks at Inkbird for the contest. Very generous.

I received the product, Inkbird IRF-2SA, yesterday which was great timing because today, Sunday, I'm going to smoke some ribs. Now I don't probe ribs so this review wont get into the ins and outs of probing a meat and those features. I also ended up with some comparisons to the Maverick MAV222 and I'll try to just judge the Inkbird on its own. But there's still a lot to write about so grab a cup of something and let's dive in!

My immediate thoughts:
Love this product.
  • Awesome length on probes
  • Easy to get started with basics
  • Small learning curve to use advanced features without reading the manual
  • Accuracy seems great
  • The screen is amazing
  • Buttons are wonderful
  • Range was nuts, in a good way
  • Excellent manual
  • Plenty of features I probably won't use

The experience:
I opened up the product and pulled things out. I setup the new probe in the Weber Smoker Mountain. Love the cable length of the probe. It's fantastic and what I want for a probe. My Maverick probes don't have great length and it makes it challenging to put the base in a nice spot.

IMG_20190825_085109.jpg

Getting started was easy. Plugged in cables turned on base and remote. The odd thing was my Maverick probe didn't work in the Inkbird. Plugging it back into the Maverick base did. Later in the morning I checked the manual and saw the section on probe errors. I'll try again later in my cook.

Once I started using the remote I quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing. It seems like the confluence of many features and a few buttons makes the user experience hard to pull off. This creates a bit of a learning curve. I felt like the learning curve was a bit higher on the Inkbird then my Maverick, but not by much. And then I realized after reading about these features in the manual that I'll probably never use them. Maybe I'm a basic cooker. Once I got the probe temps set all was good and these more basic features were intuitive and simple to use.

The Screen, Buttons, and Range:
Let's talk about what Inkbird knocks out of the park!

The screen is amazing. I love it. Instantly after turning it on you are welcomed to a large screen that is beautiful and easy to read. This seems like a little thing and it is. But it's makes a huge difference. You immediately know what you are looking at and don't have to squint to read what you want. The contrast is perfect. I get the feeling that Inkbird went out of their way to design this and cared about what the customer wanted. Side by side with the Maverick there is no comparison to screen quality, Inkbird crushed it.

I do wish the temp section had larger font size and they shrinked the top portion, but the top portion has features I may not use very often. So perhaps someone wanting to use those features with greater frequency would disagree with me.

IMG_20190825_085215.jpg

The buttons are great. I love the size and shape. They are easy to push and I don't feel like I have to mash them like I do with the Maverick. They have a wonderful feel on your fingers too and this soft feel is what tells your brain don't mash. The Maverick buttons are small, hard, and round. While this gives a bit more mechanical feel its not as pleasant as an experience as the Inkbird buttons with the large soft feel. Great job on the design.

Range:
I walked out of my house barefoot and didn't bother wearing sandals because I figured the range would give out before reaching the end of my neighborhood. Nope. Solid connection all the way. I walked back to my house and hoped in the car and drove. Now I decided to grab my Maverick at the same time. I had to drive out of my neighborhood and down to the corner gas station. Google Maps says this is half a mile away, wow! Well it didn't quite make it all that distance, it ended before getting there and the Maverick kept it. But as soon as I left the gas station and headed back Maverick dropped. So I'm going to say they both have about the same distance.

IMG_20190825_142722.jpg

The interesting thing was Inkbird came back about 1/6th of a mile away from my house. That’s really good. Whereas the Maverick needed to be just about right back at my house to reconnect. So distance wise they were similar but Inkbird reconnected faster. Any I appreciated how the beeps of the lost connection were spread out far apart with Inkbird, maybe like 1 beep every 30-60 seconds. Where Maverick was a constant annoying beep.

MVIMG_20190825_142744.jpg

The Manual:
The manual is easy to read and follow along. They used a basic font and large type which was a smart decision. It makes reading easy and quick. The Table of Contents uses section numbers and page numbers. I love this simple idea because it makes sure you know you are reading what you want. Hmm Countdown Mode is on page 13 and it's section 12. As soon as I get to page 13 I know I have the right item because of those section numbers.

The only suggestion I can think of is a section that explains how to best use some of the features. Or a user guide. This might help people get started with the features and get them adopted to your product faster. Instead the manual is written strictly in a format how to do x or y. But overall this is minor. Great job on the manual.

Final thoughts:
It's worth the money and I wouldn't turn this one down if I was shopping knowing what I know now. It's going to be my daily driver. It's worth it for the screen, buttons, and range.

If you already have a probe setup do you need to buy this one as a 2nd one? I don’t know, only you can answer that as there are so many scenarios out there to consider. Would I buy this Inkbird knowing what I know now if I already had the Maverick? Probably not because I'm a simple cooker and only have 1 smoker. If I needed better range and those extra features then I would definitely buy this.

I know I know, its sounds like a contradiction there. The easiest way I can sum this up, if you are in the market for a probe setup, this one is a fantastic purchase.

Suggestions:
An old manager of mine always said don't supply complaints without solutions. Again these are minor suggestions for a great product.
  • Make the temp section of the screen larger
  • Tweak the UX
    • It's confusing
    • Naturally I want to push the oven button to set things like temp for probes
    • Instinctively the oven button feels like an enter button to me
 

Inkbirdbbq

Master of the Pit
Sponsor
1,271
703
Joined Oct 26, 2018
Hello Jon, Hope you are doing well.
Thanks for your awesome feedback!!
We are keep improving all the time and your suggestion will be helpful for us.

Pls enjoy it!
Have a good night
Miya
 

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