Compared to the positive reviews we saw on Amazon, the Smart Sensor AS530 was a letdown. The unit we received failed one of the two most critical accuracy tests. We recommend looking elsewhere if you expect an accurate infrared thermometer that can help you in the kitchen or any other measuring application.
The only thing going for the Smart Sensor AS530 is that it comes with a separate meat thermometer, and its design isn’t so bad. If not for its bad performance, the AS530 could’ve easily been one of the front runners!
Things We Like
- Well-built and rugged design
- Textured handgrip for easier handling when hands are wet
- Tactile trigger
- Very bright laser emitter
Things We Don’t Like
- Bad measurement accuracy
- Doesn’t come with extra measuring modes
Sold under the Sovarcate brand umbrella and bundled with a meat thermometer, the Smart Sensor AS530 may seem good on the surface. However, our tests have shown that — for the price — this IR sensor isn’t all that good, after all. Its accuracy is among the lowest of all infrared thermometers we’ve tested. The total performance score of the AS530 amounted to a failing score.
We’re also not quite happy about the usability of the thermometer. It notably lacks extra measurement modes, such as averaging, which could make it useful outside of the kitchen, like in the garage.
See our full test report here for more details.
Where to Buy? Price at publication $20.07
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Our benchmark gives the Smart Sensor AS530 a failing mark in the performance section. Although it got a passable total score on the hot test with cooking oil (6.17 out of 10), the thermometer got a failing total score on the cold test with ice, with a total score of 2.65 due to its high inaccuracy.
Combining the two tests' total scores, the Smart Sensor has a performance score of 4.8 — lower than our passing threshold of 5.0 out of 10.
You can see the detailed breakdowns below.
2.6Cold Test with Ice
Unfortunately, the Smart Sensor AS530 has the worst performance out of all the infrared thermometers we have in our database in this test. From a distance of 12 inches, the thermometer records a reading of 37.9°F. And from 16 inches, the reading was 39.2°F.
These readings are very far off from the temperature of the ice bath, which was only 32°F (verified by a temperature probe.)
The average score for the thermometer in the cold test was just 3.45. And with a temperature difference of 1.3°F between the two readings, we also accounted for a stability variable of 1.3 points.
This results in a total score of just 2.65 out of 10.
Virtually all thermometers, save for one (the Lasergrip GM400, which scored 2.9 out of 10) in our database, have a higher score.
6.2Hot Test with Cooking Oil
The Smart Sensor AS530 scored slightly better in the hot oil test, with temperature readings of 372°F at 12 inches and 366.6°F at 16 inches.
Our benchmark rates the AS530 at an average score of 6.85, but when stability is factored in, the total score for the hot test is 6.17 out of 10.
While this score is fairly average, plenty of other infrared thermometers in our database fall within the same range, such as the ThermoPro TP-30, with a score of 6.96.
The Smart Sensor AS530’s compactness and light weight make it easy to store and use one-handed. The build is solid, with a textured handle for a secure grip and well-constructed parts. Its laser emitter is exceptionally bright and provides a single-dot pattern, allowing easy tracking even in well-lit environments. The backlit LCD display panel is decent, with a bright backlight for reading in dark conditions, although the viewing angle is limited.
Overall, the build quality is great for the price. Besides the LCD panel's bad viewing angle, we have a few complaints.
In the Box
The Smart Sensor AS530 comes in a plastic bag alongside a meat thermometer. You'll get complimentary batteries and the user manual by opening up the hard plastic packaging, other than the thermometer itself.
In terms of dimensions and weight, the Smart Sensor AS530 is just about average. It won’t be difficult to store, and most people will have no issue holding and using the thermal gun one-handed.
The Smart Sensor AS530 is nicely-built. It’s constructed entirely from plastic, but, fortunately, it doesn’t feel cheap. The handle is textured to make it easier for the user to grasp the thermometer, even with wet hands. All parts — including the battery compartment’s door — are well-built.
Overall, we have no complaints about the thermometer’s build quality.
The laser emitter of the Smart Sensor AS530 is among the brightest we’ve tested, hands down. The laser dot is clearly against a white background and can be tracked easily, even under harsh studio lighting.
The backlit LCD display panel of the Smart Sensor AS530 is decent. The bright backlight lets the user read the data points even in dark environments. However, we noticed that the screen's viewing angle is very bad. The screen becomes blurry at 45° or greater, becoming more difficult to read until it’s completely illegible at 10° to 20° relative to the screen.
The Smart Sensor AS530 uses triple-A batteries. Free batteries are provided in the box. You only need to pop out the front handle, put in th batteries, then press the trigger to start using it.
The Smart Sensor AS530 has received positive feedback from our reviewer with regard to handling. It has an easy-to-grip handle featuring textured indents and a satisfying click trigger. The textured handle allows the thermometer to be easily used, even with wet hands.
However, the device lacks additional measurement modes such as emissivity, average mode, min mode, max mode, calibration, and alarm mode. However, it does come with a speaker that emits a loud beep when transitioning to HOLD mode after completing a scan session.
Our reviewer rates the Smart Sensor AS530 as “a joy to use.” The handle has indents on the handle, and the front section is textured. All this makes the AS530 easy to grip, even with wet hands. The trigger makes a satisfying click when you press down on the trigger. It makes the experience more tactile.
The Smart Sensor AS530 doesn’t come with any extra measurement mode.
The Smart Sensor AS530 has a speaker. When the thermometer has finished a scan session and switches to HOLD mode, it will let out a loud beep.
About your guide
Matthew Lee is a writer and editor for HealthyKitchen101. With over 8 years working for various outlets and agencies, specializing in tech review and other subjects of note, such as current affairs.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.