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Pulsar Axion XM30F (NEW 2022) vs XM30 Key | Optics Trade Debates

In this article, we are going to explore the differences between the newly released Pulsar Axion XM30F thermal monocular and its predecessor, the Axion XM30 Key. Our first-time testing of Axion XM30 F was done alongside representatives from Pulsar at their facilities in Lithuania.

Pulsar Axion XM30 F
Pulsar Axion XM30 F

What are the main differences between the new Axion XM30F and the old Axion XM30 Key model?  

Watch Pulsar Axion XM30F (NEW 2022) vs XM30 Key video below


The first distinction is in the magnification. The old Axion Key model has a 2.5x magnification, while the new model has a three-times magnification.


Pulsar Axion XM30F and Axion Key XM30 both use the same APS3 interchangeable batteries.

The new hardware and software in the Axion XM30F give the battery a longer lifespan –  instead of four or five hours, it can now last up to seven hours.

Our video on real battery life can help give you a better idea of how long the battery on Axion XM30 F will last

Check out the real battery life of this device


The magnesium housing on the new Axion XM30F is identical to the one on its predecessor. The quality of construction and the materials used are still unmatched in this market. No competitor comes close to this level, especially not in this price class. In terms of size and everything else there, the devices are completely the same.

Stream Vision App

There’s one more distinction between Axion XM30 F and Axion Key. The power button on the Axion XM30 F is now blue, meaning that the device is compatible with the Stream Vision app. The Stream Vision software was not supported on the previous generation model Axion XM30 Key.

Photos and recording

The new Axion XM30 F has all the multimedia features of its more expensive brothers. So, there is nothing that the user will be missing by purchasing it. It can take pictures and record videos. The old one couldn’t – it only had key features. That means no video, no photos, and no extra features. However, with the new model, those extra capabilities are available to the user.


Pulsar Axion XM30 Key
Pulsar Axion XM30 Key

The new Axion XM30F sports an AMOLED display, while the older model – the Axion XM30 Key – had an LCOS display with 960 x 720 pixels.

The AMOLED display on the new device is a little bit smaller, with 640 x 400 pixels. However, it can now withstand temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius, which was not possible before.

Our video on start-up time can help give you a better idea of how long it takes for the Axion XM30 F to turn on

Check out the real start up time of this device


Another difference between Axion XM30F and Axion Key XM30 is in the price, which has been lowered from 1.290 € to 1.190 €. The new Axion XM30F thermal monocular is 100 € cheaper than the previous Axion Key model.

Pulsar comes out with a new device that is significantly better than the last one almost every year, and they always lower the prices. Consequently, their competitors are finding it difficult to keep up.

Where is the Pulsar Axion XM30F device made?

The Axion XM30F thermal monocular is produced in Lithuania, in the EU. That’s an important feature because there are no other competitors that produce similar devices below the 2000 euros range.

Pulsar Axion XM30 F
Pulsar Axion XM30 F

Final thoughts

Although I was hesitant about the Axion XM30F’s smaller display, I found that the image quality is noticeably better than on the previous Axion Key model.

Pulsar’s slogan is true: you get more for less. You pay less and receive more features. The term “key” was removed from the name of the Axion XM30F. It is simply known as the XM30F now.

I’d say that if you compare performance, build quality, design, and service provided in Europe, it has no real competition in this price range.

I hope that this comparison was helpful to you. Please use the comments area below or email us if you have any further queries.

Pulsar Axion XM30 Key
Pulsar Axion XM30 Key

Below, you’ll find the Start-Up time for the Axion XM30 Key device


Pulsar Axion XM30F (NEW 2022) vs XM30 Key | Optics Trade Debates
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Pulsar Axion XM30F (NEW 2022) vs XM30 Key | Optics Trade Debates
The Pulsar Axion XM30F thermal monocular is a significant step up from its predecessor, the Axion Key XM30. It has a new hardware and software that give it a longer battery life, and it's now compatible with the StreamVision app.
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Optics Trade Blog
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  • Is the XM30S the same as the XM30F ?
    They appear to be the same item , but obviously there must be a difference.

    • No, they are not the same item. XM30F is a successor to the XM30 Key (price class around 1250 €). XM30S is no longer in production. It was more expensive (around 1690 €) and was gradually replaced with Axion XQ38 and then XQ35. The resolution of the XM30F sensor is 320×240 pixels, while there is a resolution of 384×288 pixels on the sensor of XM30S. There are some other minor differences.

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