The Bottom Line
This wind meter is simple, and easy to use. Just download the smart phone app (available for iOS and Android), plug it into your phone's headphone jack, and expose the meter to the wind. Done! You can save wind data - and share it with others, if you want. The meter itself is compact, light, and doesn't need batteries. It's also compatible with other weather-related apps, too. Not bad for a simple little anemometer that costs much less than a Kestrel. Let's read this Weatherflow Wind Meter review to know more about this wind meter.
- Standalone wind meter (anemometer) that plugs into the headphone jack of your smart device.
- Companion Wind Meter app is available free for iOS and Android.
- Compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android devices.
- Plug it in, open the Weatherflow Wind Meter app, select "tale a reading," hold the phone into the wind, and begin.
- Does not swivel - you must turn your phone into the wind.
- App uses your phone's orientation to record the wind direction.
- Also stores the location using your device's GPS.
- When you "take a reading," the app records the wind speed (average and highest gust), direction, and location.
- Wind data can be shared instantly via WeatherFlow, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, SMS, Facebook and email.
- WeatherFlow device is also compatible with the following apps: iWindsurf, FishWeather, SailFlow, WindAlert, and iKitesurf.
- Claims to be accurate in 2 to 125 MPH winds.
- The WeatherFlow wind meter doesn't read anything below 2 MPH - in other words, any wind speed below 2 is recorded as zero. Kind of odd.
- Dimensions: 3-3/8" long, 1-5/8" wide, 3/4" thick.
- Weight: 0.55 ounces or 17 grams according to my electronic scale.
Weatherflow Wind Meter Review
If you care about wind speed, a wind meter (properly called an anemometer) can be handy. Weatherflow Wind Meter for Smart Phone is a small, light, compact wind meter that plugs right into your phone - or tablet, or iPod Touch - and allows you to record wind speeds in real time. You can even share the info with others, if you want.
This WeatherFlow wind meter is small - including the part that sticks into your phone jack, it's less than 3.5 inches long, and weighs just a fuzz more than an ounce.
And yes, it plugs into the headphone jack of your smart device. I was concerned about that because I use a camouflage Lifeproof phone case on my iPhone 4S. This case uses a screw-in plug to seal up the headphone jack, and when the plug is removed the actual headphone jack is way down in there. For that reason, most headphones won't work without using an adapter.
The Lifeproof adapter is, shall we say, flaccid - so it wouldn't work well for this, as the WeatherFlow meter is supposed to be plugged right into the phone, as shown in the photo.
Happily, the WeatherFlow plugs into my phone perfectly well even with the Lifeproof case, and even has a little room to spare. Kudos to WeatherFlow for that.
Weather Meters Are Cool
I remember when I first heard about personal handheld weather meters, back when Kestrel started making it big. Having that measuring capacity right in my hand seemed like a great thing. But they're anything but cheap, and I could never justify the expense of a Kestrel.
For many folks, measuring the wind falls somewhere between "nifty" and "vital," and the WeatherFlow meter is most likely for those people. If I needed precision, I'd look elsewhere - but for those who simply want or need to check the wind speed from time to time, I think WeatherFlow will do just fine, for much less dough.
And if you're interested in sharing wind data with others, the accompanying (free) Weatherflow wind meter app can handle that. I don't think you'll get that capability with standalone units - especially the cheap ones - plus, separate add to the list of stuff you need to carry and supply with battery power. We usually take our phones with us most places, anyhow.
If you're a long-range shooter, you know the wind is important. And although it's tough to get a completely accurate reading with a handheld device due to your body blocking the wind, your phone can be held aloft to get a pretty good idea of what's happening wherever you are that day. And when you're trying to make a long-range shot (See Air soft Sniper Rifle for long-range rifle) while hunting, a weather report is no substitute for data taken right here, right now.
It Doesn't Swivel
Many folks seem to think the WeatherFlow should swivel to determine wind direction - and that would be pretty handy. But I don't think that would work very well when using your phone to determine the wind direction, and adding that capability would certainly increase the cost while decreasing the durability. So no, it doesn't swivel. You hold up your phone with the WeatherFlow inserted, and turn it to face the wind according to your best guess.
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I'm not really into sharing all that much, and that's not just because I never liked to let others use my toys when I was a kid. I just don't get into telling people everything about me, and if someone needs to know wind speed where I am, they can ask me. But I realize that not everyone shares these antisocial tendencies, and I think the sharing features of the Wind Meter app - you can share your wind data via WeatherFlow, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, SMS, Facebook and email - will satisfy them.
Claims vs. Reality
I have seen claims that WeatherFlow can measure everything from a whisper of wind to hurricane-force winds - but that ain't necessarily so. I guess it depends on your definition of "whisper," but my WeatherFlow won't read any wind below 2 miles per hour - even though the vanes are spinning. As for hurricane-force winds, I haven't tried it in those conditions - and hope I never again have the opportunity to do so.
What it Needs
I wish this thing included a thermometer, because temperature is just as important to me as wind data - sometimes moreso - and my silly iPhone 4S doesn't have a thermometer feature.
I think the WeatherFlow is a good idea and a good product, and it can be plenty useful for folks who need to dope the wind. Hunters, long-range shooters, fishermen, RC airplane pilots, wind surfers, sailors, and others can benefit from good wind data.