WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars Review

WildGuarder 3-10 x 31 NB1 Night Vision Binoculars
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Price Range: (3/6) Mid Price Night Vision Binoculars       

Ideal Uses:

General Use Rating for General Use Binoculars
Safari & Travel Rating as Safari Binoculars
General Wildlife Rating as Wildlife Observation Binoculars
Hunting Rating as Hunting Binoculars
Astronomy Rating as Binoculars for Astronomy
Night Vision Rating as a Night Vision Device

So about a year ago now, I was contacted by a company to review their relatively inexpensive digital night vision binoculars, but only sells their products on the Amazon/Alibaba types of websites.

There is nothing new and I guess intrinsically wrong in that, and I now get these types of requests almost weekly, but I turn the majority of these review requests down as I feel that whilst there are a few of these companies that can offer a good product at a low price, they are unfortunately almost completely swamped out by the many "here today, gone tomorrow companies" that offer a poor quality product at a cheap price and thus it can be hard to differentiate between the two. on top of this I am worried about the customer experience and especially the fact that there really will not be any meaningful after sales service.

However on that occasion I relented as after a little research, I was intrigued with the device because at that time I was on the lookout for a low cost night vision device that would actually work.

Anyway to cut a long story short, I did test and review them and you can read my full Wildgameplus WG500B Digital Night Vision binoculars review here, but to sum it up, whilst not perfect, I have to say that for the most part I was pretty impressed and felt that for the asking price of around $240 / €180 / £160, they were certainly a viable option for those looking for night vision on a tight budget.

WildGuarder NB1 Night Vision Binoculars

So what has all this to do with the WildGuarder NB1 digital night vision binoculars I hear you ask? Well, once again and to try and cut a long story short, when WildGuarder contacted me asking if I would like to test the NB1, I immediately noticed that it looked exactly like the WG500B for Wildgameplus!

I asked them about this and they told me that they are actually the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) of this NV device and thus I thought would offer us the customers a better experience being that they are more likely to be a more permanent company and hopefully a better or at least some after sales service.

They also told me that they are constantly developing and improving their products and so whilst they look the same there have been a few improvements since I last tested. So because of all this and because I feel the last version I tested was good value for money, I once again agreed to test it.

So, to be completely open and in the interests of full disclosure and transparency, the review below is almost a carbon copy of my last one, and indeed I used the last one as the base template to save time as much of it remains the same. However, I have highlighted any differences where relevant and have also included a few other points of interest that came to light whilst I was testing this device:

WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binocular Review

Main Features & Specifications:

  • Mid Level NV Binoculars: Approx: $270 / £200 / € 200
  • High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor
  • Record in 1080p HD Resolution
  • Screen Resolution: 640x360
  • Day & Night Use
  • Variable Magnification: 3.6x-10.8x (3x Digital Zoom)
  • 31mm Objective Lens
  • Field Of View: 7°
  • Built-in 5w Infrared Illuminator (850 nm) with 7 levels.
  • Tripod Mountable
  • Max Viewable Distance (Dark): 300m
  • Storage: Included Micro SD Card (64 GB)
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 17cmx15cmx6cm
  • Power: 8 AA battery or External power DC 5V/2A
  • Comparisons
  • Conclusions
WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Digital Night Vision

From being more easily usable in both daylight and at night, to allowing you to more easily record what you are looking at, digital night vision has a number of inherent advantages but also disadvantages versus the analog ones using image intensifier tubes and phosphor screens to produce the green-tinted images that we are all used to seeing. But I think the most important difference in the context of this device is that digital NV is quite a lot less expensive to make and thus at this lower level price range you can generally expect a better performance from a digital device.

The Body

Shape & Design
These NV binoculars have a very angular, rather box-like shape to it, which does give them a somewhat retro look which may not appeal to all tastes, but in the hands, I found them to be very comfortable to hold and easy to use.

I especially like the positioning of the four main function buttons on the top, which along with the fact that each of them sits within a channel not only makes them all very easy to use, but also very easy to find without looking, which in the dark is obviously an important feature.

These function buttons are also relatively large and click with a positive and reassuring sound, so there is no doubt in your mind when they have been pressed. What is more, I found them easy to locate and use even whilst wearing gloves, which on a cold night is another important feature as too often in the past I have used night vision devices with small, less obvious buttons that are placed too close together and thus are more difficult to use, especially with gloves.

WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Night Vision Binocular?

The NB1 is marketed by WildGamePlus as being a night vision binocular. This is not technically correct as whilst you do look into them using both of your eyes, the light is actually collected via a single objective lens like a monocular and not two as you get on a binocular (The other lens is actually the infrared illuminator).

So this device should probably be described as Bi-Oculars, but even this is incorrect as they don't actually have two ocular lenses, rather you observe the image on a single large screen!

Whatever the case, the important point here is you view the image with both eyes, making it a far more immersive experience than if you were to use a monocular:

WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Binocular vs Monocular
So whilst outwardly they may look like an NV binocular, I think technically they are actually closer to a monocular, but with the added advantage that you can use two eyes to view the image.

This last bit is important as in my experience it feels more natural to use both eyes and you get a far more immersive experience overall.

Only needing one lens also results in a device that is simpler and cheaper to make, but on the downside, the amount of light it is able to collect is halved when compared to a binocular with two lenses of the same size and thus if all else remains equal, a binocular should perform better.

Lens Cover for daylight use and the 31mm Objective Lens on the Steiner Wildlife 10x26 vs WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

31mm Objective Lens

Speaking of the single lens at the front, firstly it is important to point out that it is only 31mm in diameter. For a night vision device where you need to collect as much light as possible this is relatively small. This in combination with the fact that unlike a true NV binocular that has two lenses, is a double whammy. So why the small lens? I am not 100% sure, but one explanation would be that larger lenses are more expensive and so to keep the price down, a smaller lens is often used. Smaller lenses also make for a smaller device, but as the body is quite large anyway, they could have easily used a large lens if they had wanted to.

You will also notice the cover (image above) this is there to actually reduce the amount of light that enters the device for use in the day. The sensors inside NV devices are so sensitive to light that you actually have to reduce the amount when using them in daylight. Usually these come in the form of a cap that you either screw in place or clip on, but in this case Wildgameplus has used a hinge system that I really do like as it eliminates the risk of misplacing it.

Underside of the WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision BinocularsUnderside

Tripod Adaptable
On the underside, you find a brass thread insert which I think is largely there to help you attach a power bank to the device using the included Velcro strap that screws into this threaded insert.

However, should you wish, it can also be used to mount the device on to a tripod which is great as not only does this enable you to train the view onto a single spot, but will also ensure that it is as stable as possible, which is important for any photo or video footage that you take.

Battery Compartments & Batter Life
Battery compartment on the WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision BinocularsStill on the underside, and each side of the WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars, positioned roughly where the palms of your hands are placed when holding it, are the two battery compartments. These are accessed via a cover held in place via a clip. Here it is important to note that these covers do not contain rubber seals and thus will not be watertight.

Each of these compartments takes 4 AA batteries (for a total of 8). Not the most lightweight solution and battery life will vary widely depending on the quality and capacity of the battery you purchase (none are included).

When I tested the Wildgameplus WG500B I used standard Duracell batteries and I have to say battery life was very short - about half an hour!

Thus unless you get some much more longer lasting, High-Capacity Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries, i would suggest either powering it using a battery bank, or a USB cable plugged into a socket as I did.

Focus Adjustment & IR Illuminator Adjustment
On the left side, there is a dial which when turned adjusts the focus for the objective lens, whilst on the right is a lever which is used to change the spread of light emitted from the infrared illuminator (more on this later in the review).

IR Adjustment Lever on the WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Ports on the WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision BinocularsSides

On both sides of the device, there are metal loops for attaching the neck strap. Note that some users may prefer a Bino Harness and these will work just fine as an attachment point for most systems.

Then on the right side, there is a plastic cover, under which you find the USB port, TF card slot (a 64 GB card is included), and the TV-out port.

One point I would like to raise about the USB port and something that I really like is that it can also be used as a power source, and when connected, it overrides the batteries.

Focus Wheel & Focussing

Unlike a standard pair of optical only binoculars where you are looking through the instrument, with a night vision binocular like these, you are viewing a screen, and thus focussing is a little different.

To adjust the focus you turn the dial located under the instrument on the left side near the objective lens.

I found the easiest and most natural way for me to do this was to use my thumb. The dial turns easily and whilst it has deep grooves on it for grip, I just wish that it was a little more prominent to make it easier to feel when wearing gloves.

Otherwise, focusing on this NV device is straightforward and relatively easy to do.

Focus Wheel on the WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Waterproofing

These WildGuarder NB1 Night Vision binoculars are not waterproof or even advertised as being water protected, which is something I would most certainly keep in mind if you often go out in bad conditions.

Weight
The WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binocular tip the scales at about 700g / 24.7oz, and with batteries, this increases to 890g,/31.4oz, which once again is exactly the same as the WG500B and which as you can also see below is substantially heavier than your average most NV monocular, but in my experience is lightweight for a night vision binocular:

NV Monoculars

NV Binoculars & Bi-Oculars

WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars on a tripod

Optical Stats

Magnification
The WildGuarder NB1 has a 3.6x optical magnification and a 3x with the digital zoom, giving you a maximum magnification of 10.8x.

Field Of View
The advertised Angle of View is 9.2° which is very wide even for a 3x device as it equates to a field of view of around 480 feet wide at 1000 yards or 160 meters wide at 1000 meters.

A wide field of view can be an important factor to pay attention to, especially at night and at closer ranges as it makes it much easier for you to locate your subject and then follow it if it happens to be moving.

Minimum Focal Distance
In the specifications chart, WildGuarder indicates that the minimum focus distance is about 5 meters (16.4ft), which is fine but not extremely near and thus this maybe a consideration, especially if you you want to study things like frogs or insects at night from very close range.

Max Effective Viewing Distance
The stipulated Maximum viewing distance is 300 meters in darkness (monochrome). This does obviously also depend on the viewing conditions and just how dark it is, but on an average night with a half-moon and no mist, etc, I found this to be about right.

Compared to other Night Vision devices this is about average and I have had some devices that you can view more than double than this, but having said that those devices cost more than double the price of these.

WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

IR illuminator

On the right-hand side of the WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars is what looks like another objective lens, but this is actually the IR illuminator.

For those who don't know, when switched on via the button on top of the instrument, it emits a beam of infrared light and basically acts like a torch for the binoculars as it lights up the scene, but to our eyes, this light is invisible. You only notice it when looking through the viewfinder.

Thus, this IR illuminator enables you to use these Night Vision binoculars in very dark and even completely black conditions.

The 5W Infrared 850nm LED IR illuminator has 7 different level settings that you cycle through when pressing the IR button on the top of the instrument.

You can also adjust the spread of the beam (focus it) by moving the lever on the underside.

Whilst not the most powerful IR illuminator that I have ever used, I found it worked well enough, especially considering the price level. You can see this in some of the example photos and video below.

LCD screen on the Steiner Wildlife 10x26 vs WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Image & Video Quality

LCD Screen and the Viewable Image
Measuring approximately 8.5cm x 3.5cm, the LCD screen has a resolution of 640x360 and I found it to be large and easy to view.

Should you wish and depending on your preferences or if you need to save battery life, you can adjust its brightness.

The device has a large rubber face cup which helps with comfort when placing your eyes up to it. It also prevents some light from reflecting off the screen but is not as effective as I had initially thought it would be.

This is mainly because of the shape of the cup which for me left a large gap on the side of my face and thus if there was any light source from the side, it would not block it out.

This is just a small point as the only time this becomes an issue is if you have a distracting light from the side and found the screen clear and easy to view most of the time, be that during the day or at night, but thought it was worth mentioning nonetheless.

Still Images

You can take still images of the view you see in the LCD screen at any time by pressing the "Snap" button on the top when in the photo made.

The WildGuarder NB1 saves the image as a JPEG file with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels with a horizontal and vertical resolution of 180dpi.

Like almost all digital night vision devices I've used in the past, the quality is not comparable to a good quality stand-alone camera, and I wouldn't suggest buying it if photography is your primary focus, rather I look at it as a way of simply capturing a memory or evidence of what you saw.

Samples - Coming Soon!

Video

Once you have pressed the mode button to change to the video setting, to start and stop video the recording you simply press the "Snap" button.

Video is recorded in a 1920x1080 resolution and stored in the AVI file format which was annoying to me as I could not easily import it into the video editing software that I use and had to convert it first before editing was possible. Note whilst this was a pain I was able to get around it by downloading completely free software. I used a program called Prism Free Video File Converter from NCH Software, which I found on the download.com website.

I will be including video footage taking with this device soon, but for now you can check out what i managed to capture on the Wildgameplus version:

WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars with neck strap, carry case and other accessories

Included Accessories:

The WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars are shipped with an included carry case, neck/carry strap, cleaning cloth, USB Cable, AV Cable, 64G TF card, and a user manual:

Carry Case
Whilst stylistically it does not hit the high notes for me, in terms of the build quality and level of protection that it offers the night vision binoculars inside, the carry case was a real surprise and far exceeds what I would expect to receive at this price level.

The case has a semi-rigid construction and an insert, that is designed to fit the exact shape of the both the WG500B and NB1 NV binoculars which offers an excellent level of protection and prevents it from moving or flopping about inside.

WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars Carry Case

Neck Strap
The neck strap is quite generic and unbranded but at the same time, the one that Wildgameplus has chosen is of a reasonably high standard.

During testing, I mostly had the device attached to my tripod, so did not test the strap as much as I would have liked, but it is thickly padded and very wide, helping to distribute the weight over a larger area and thus should be comfortable to use.

Neck Strap for the WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Cleaning Cloth
Wildgameplus also includes a cleaning cloth and the microfiber material is of good quality and thus more than fine for cleaning the body and the occasional light dusting of the lens when out in the field.

As always, for deep cleaning of the lens, I recommend you purchase a lens cleaning kit to ensure you do not mark or damage the lenses.

Tripod Adapter
Whilst the WildGuarder NB1 NV Binocular can easily be attached directly to your tripod head, they have also included an adapter. It has a Velcro strap and thus will allow you to attach the device to a wide range of other objects that don't use a standard thread.

Instruction Booklet
The included user manual is basic, but covers all the main topics including naming all the parts of the WG500B 1080p, battery instillation, inserting the memory card, the menus and all the main functions.

WildGuarder NB1 Comparisons

Below is a sample of other Night Vision binoculars and monoculars that I have hands-on tested and fully reviewed here on BBR

  WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars Luna Optics LN-DB60-HD Luna Optics LN-DM60-HD Luna Optics LN-DM50-HRSD Night Owl Optics NOB5X Night Owl Optics iGen 20/20 Night Vision Viewer
  WildGuarder NB1 Luna Optics LN-DB60-HD Luna Optics LN-DM60-HD Luna Optics LN-DM50-HRSD Night Owl Optics NOB5X Night Owl iGen Digital NV
Price (approx): $270 / £200 / € 200 $580 / £600 $450 / £500 $450 / £500 $550 / £760 $430 / £700
Device Type: Digital NV Binocular Digital NV Biocular Digital NV Monocular Digital NV Monocular Photocathode NV Binocular Digital NV Monocular
Record Images & Video Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Video Resolution 1080p Full-HD 1080p, 60fps, AVI Full-HD 1080p, 60fps, AVI      
Image Resolution 1920x1080 2.1MP, JPEG (1440x1080) 2.1MP, JPEG (1440x1080) 1.3MP, JPEG (1024x768)    
LCD 8.5cm x 3.5cm 640x360 0.26" 800x640 (dual) 0.26" 800x640 0.24" TFT 320x240    
WiFi No Yes Yes No No No
IR Illuminator Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Magnification: 3.6x-10.8x 6-30x 6-30x 5-20x 5x 2.6x
Objective Lens: 31mm 50mm 50mm 40mm 50mm 39mm
Weight: 24.7oz (700g) 25.6oz (725g) 18oz (510g) 14oz (397g) 38.8oz (1100g) 21 oz (595g)
Length: 6.7in 17cm) 7.2in (18cm) 7.6in (19.5cm) 6.7in (17cm) 7.8in (19.8cm) 8.8in (22.4cm)
Width: 5.9in (15cm) 4.7in (12cm) 3.3in (8.4cm) 3.1in (7.9cm) 5.6in (14.2cm) 3.9in (9.9cm)
Height 2.3in (6cm) 2.3in (6cm) 2.3in (6cm) 2.5in (6.4cm) 2.9in (7.4cm) 2.6in (6.6cm)
Field of View (degrees) 9.2° 6° - 4° 15° 12°
Max Viewing Distance: 300m 200m (656ft) - 600m (1968yft) 200m (656ft) - 600m (1968yft) 250m (820ft)   ?
Close Focusing Distance: 16.4ft 2.6ft 2.6ft 1.6ft 6.6ft 16ft
Tripod Adaptable Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Review Conclusions:

Much like my previous review of this device, my main feeling is that whilst yes, these are not perfect and certainly don't match a high-end NV binocular, for the amount you have to spend on them, the level of performance you get is impressive.

One thing I would like to add is that whilst WildGuarder told me that they had made changes, I was unable to find or notice any. This is not necessarily bad as I still think for the money you are getting a well performing NV device and with the added benefit of buying from the original manufacturer.

So to sum up, if you plan on using your NV binoculars a lot an/or for professional use, I would still recommend moving up to a higher tier, but if you occasionally go outside at night and see what is out there, or have something to take along on your next camping trip and don't want to spend too much then you could definitely do far worse than these WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars.

Strengths

  • Relatively low cost night vision that actually works and indeed works pretty well. I think this makes good vale for money and a viable choice for those wanting NV on a tight budget
  • Simple to setup and use
  • Large easy to find controls in the dark
  • Powerful 10.8 magnification (3x Digital Zoom) if needed
  • Excellent quality carry case
  • Wide field of view
  • Good minimum focus distance

Weaknesses

  • Short Battery Life - Don't buy standard AA batteries, my Duracell Ones only lasted about 30 minutes, rather get some High-Capacity Ni-MH Rechargeable batteries.
  • Records video on AVI - for me this was not convenient as I had to convert it first before editing was possible. Note whilst this was a pain I was able to get around it by downloading completely free software. I used a program called Prism Free Video File Converter from NCH Software, which I found on the download.com website.

WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Compare Prices & Where to Buy the WildGuarder Night Vision Binoculars

Main Specifications & Features:

  • Size: Full Size Binoculars
  • Magnification: 3-10x
  • [explain objective lens]Objective Lens Diameter: 31mm
  • [explain waterproofing]Waterproof: No
  • [about fogproofing]Fogproof: No


  • Weight: 24.7ozs (700g)
  • Length: 6.7in (17cm)
  • Height: 2.3in (5.8cm)
  • Width: 5.9in (15cm)

  • [explain real field of view]Real field of view: 9.2°

  • Image Stabilization: No
  • [about ED Glass]Extra Low Dispersion Glass: No
  • [about tripod adapters]Tripod Adaptable: Yes
  • Auto Focus: No

More Information:



About WildGuarder | View all WildGuarder products I have written reviews on

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Full Size Binoculars | Night Vision Devices | Mid Price Binoculars


Similar Night Vision Binoculars:

Below are similar pairs of Night Vision Binoculars that you may also want to have a look at:

Luna Optics LN-DB60-HD Digital Night Vision Binoculars

High powered 6x-30x digital night vision binocular with full HD recording capabilities...


Binocular Price Comparison
Where to buy the WildGuarder NB1 Digital Night Vision Binoculars

General Price Range: (3/6) Mid Price Night Vision Binoculars

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