The Best Portable or Handheld Digital Oscilloscopes Review in 2021

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Portable digital oscilloscopes have changed the way we deal with electronics. Troubleshooting electronic devices are now seamless even when you’re out on the field.

They may not have a ton of features like the bench-top oscilloscopes, but they can complete the work they are made for. Some offer more than just tracking and analyzing voltage.

Their portability makes them preferred over their bulkier countertops. Note that there are many handheld oscilloscope types with different capabilities; your choice depends on your kind of work and preferences. 

Let’s check a run-through of the best sellers down below :

Here’s the full reviewed of  “the 5 Portable or Handheld Digital Oscilloscopes” :

# 5. STARTO Handheld Digital Oscilloscope

STARTO Handheld Digital Oscilloscope
Amazon.com

STARTO SQ15001 is a handheld digital oscilloscope. It does not require assembling as it is already assembled, which saves time and avoids assembly problems. The oscilloscope has a 2.4″ TFT and comes with a power supply and a BNC-clip Cable probe.

While others have a sensitivity of 10mV / div – 5v / div, this one boasts of 5mV/div — 20V/div sensitivity. Furthermore, its sensitivity is extended in both width and height, which are also wider and higher than in other oscilloscopes. The updated digital oscilloscope comes with a 9V power adapter. You can plug it in immediately after your package arrives, saving you money instead of buying the adapter separately.

Additionally, the oscilloscope comes with a rotary encoder, making it easier and quicker to adjust the parameters. It has one channel. Troubleshooting guide, operation instructions, and schematics are provided. The package consists of a STARTO oscilloscope, 1 BNC-clip cable, and a user manual.

What we like

  • 2.4” TFT
  • 10mV / div – 5v / div sensitivity
  • Rotary encoder
  • BNC-clip cable
  • 9V power adapter

# 4. Hantek 2C42 Digital Oscilloscope

Hantek 2C42 Digital Oscilloscope
Amazon.com

If you are looking for an oscilloscope with two channels, consider the Hantek 2C42.  It has a colored LCD screen. The smooth and exquisite lines make the waveforms remain clear and not distorted even when magnified.  It runs on a 18650 replaceable lithium-ion power system. The batteries are rechargeable using the ordinary USB or a high current-5V/2A.

If you ever misplace its charger, you don’t have to worry about recharging as it can share your phone’s type C data transfer cable and charger.  For beginners, there’s an auto one-key test to allow you to learn how the oscilloscope works. You can test for the essential functions. However, the batteries and user manual are not included. You’ll have to look for a user manual online and download it.

What we like

  • Auto one-test key
  • Two channels
  • Lithium-ion power system
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
  • Color LCD screen

# 3. YEAPOOK ADS5012h Handheld Digital Portable Oscilloscope

YEAPOOK ADS5012h Handheld Digital Portable Oscilloscope
Amazon.com

The YEAPOOK ADS5012h has a 2.4″ TFT LCD screen with 340 x 240 resolution. It has a real-time sampling rate of 500MSa/s and 100MHz analog bandwidth. The oscilloscope is cost-effective, considering the features it offers.

It’s portable as it’s small enough to fit in your hands. You can carry it wherever you go, and it’s also light and will be there whenever you need it. One of the best features of this oscilloscope is the built-in 64MB storage. You can store up to 2000 waveforms images, and the storage process is seamless and fast with one key saving feature.

Additionally, to make it easy to capture waveforms, the oscilloscope has 3 trigger modes, i.e., normal, auto, and single. Additionally, it uses a 3000mAh lithium battery and has one channel. The rechargeable battery has a long standby time and can function for eight continuous hours when fully charged.

Its horizontal sensitivity is 50S / div~6nS / div while the vertical sensitivity is 50 mV / div~100 V / div.  The waveform file manager supports thumbnail browsing and allows you to flip, delete, view, and perform other functions.

comes with a silicone protective cover that’s also anti-slip, anti-shaking, lead-free, non-toxic, and soft. You don’t have to worry about the oscilloscope won’t slipping and falling off. The package includes one oscilloscope, one micro-USB data cable, one matching 100MHz probe, and a user manual. 

What we like

  • 64MB storage space
  • 2.4″ TFT screen
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • 100MHz analog bandwidth
  • Auto one-key
  • One channel
  • LCD display

# 2. SainSmart DSO212 Portable digital oscilloscopes

SainSmart DSO212 Oscilloscope
Amazon.com

SainSmart is a powerful but easy-to-use handheld digital oscilloscope. It comes with a built-in generator, modes of horizontal precise, vertical precise measurement, and triggering threshold. It’s easy to operate using swipes and taps, just like you operate a smartphone.

The screen is a TFT color display that displays any measured AC current, including sawtooth, square, sine, and triangle waveforms. The built-in 8MB storage space allows you to save and transfer waveform images and data easily. It comes with a built-in 500mAh lithium battery.

The oscilloscope offers a Maximum Sample Rate of 10MSa/s and has two digital channels. If you are a hobbyist or handling electronics, maintenance, academic experiments, or electronic engineering, DS212 offers incredible features to enable you to come up with reliable waveform results. It comes in a small handheld size that can fit in an ordinary pocket. You can carry it wherever you go without hassle. Its outer shell has an aluminum alloy finish for durability and sleekness.

What we like

  • Two channels
  • 10MHz MSa/s
  • 2.8″ TFT display
  • Built-in signal generator
  • 8MB storage space
  • Built-in 500mAh battery

# 1. YEAPOOK ADS1013D Portable digital oscilloscopes

YEAPOOK ADS1013D
Amazon.com

This handheld portable oscilloscope has a professional design with two channels, 240kbit memory depth, and 100MHz analog bandwidth. Its 7″ TFT color display is touchscreen and has a resolution of 800 x 480.  Instantaneous waveforms are easy to capture with the three trigger modes, auto/normal/single. Unlike other oscilloscopes that burn when exposed to continuous voltage, it can tolerate a continuous high voltage of 400V thanks to its protection module.

Additionally, it features a Lissajous figures display that you can use to determine the frequency, phase contrast, and amplitude of two different signals.  The FFT analysis function analyzes harmonic components of signals. If you are working for continuous long hours, this oscilloscope can go for up to four continuous hours as it comes with a 6000mAh lithium battery.

It also has an excellent waveform manager with a screenshot and saving feature and 1GB storage that can store up to 1000 waveform data sets and 1000 screenshots. It also supports USB transfer. ADS1013D boasts of versatility as it’s widely applied in electronic engineering, maintenance and debugging, academic experiments, and designing electronic products. The package includes one ADS1013D Plus oscilloscope, one type-C Micro USB data line, two 100MHz probes, one charger, and a user manual.

What we like

  • 7″ TFT colored touchscreen display
  • Lissajous figures display
  • FFT analysis function
  • 100MHz analog bandwidth
  • Two channels
  • Screenshot saving feature
  • Built-in 6000mAh lithium battery
  • Supports USB transfer
The Buyers' Guides & Tips to

The Best Handheld Digital Oscilloscopes

Bandwidth

This is the maximum frequency the scope can capture. That means your analog bandwidth should be higher than the highest frequency you want to measure.

Go for a scope with a bandwidth you can comfortably work with and leave more room if you need extra. Oscilloscopes with high bandwidths are often expensive, but there’s no need for spending on a performance you don’t need.

Sample Rate

Digital oscilloscopes use sampling rates to reconstruct signals. Most of them have two different sampling rates; Real-time sampling (RTS) Equivalent time sampling (ETS)
The kind of signal you’re measuring will determine the activated mode. While real-time sampling works for all signals, ETS is used for repetitive signals.

Make sure you check the sampling rate on the scope you’re considering, as some manufacturers quote high figures without quoting which sampling they are referring to. Ensure the one you’re buying can handle the signals you’re dealing with.

Memory Depth

Captured sample points in digital oscilloscopes are stored in memory. The size of the memory determines how long the scope will store the data. Insufficient memory can limit the sampling rate of an oscilloscope. You should buy one with enough memory that can handle your work. 

Accuracy and Resolution

Digital oscilloscopes are for digital signals, thus offer an 8-bit resolution. At best, they can detect a signal change of 0.4%.

However, if you are working with audio electronics and need vibration, noise, and monitoring sensors, an 8-bit resolution will not be suitable. You’ll need to look for either 12-bit or 16-bit resolution.

Probes

The probes should either excess or match the oscilloscope’s bandwidth. Make sure the probe you get is right for the application. 

If you are working with fast signals (>200MHz), go for an active FRT amplifier probe as passive probes encounter problems from the cable’s capacitance leading back to the scope. If you’re dealing with high voltages, go for a differential isolated cable.

Channels

With a 2-channel or a 4-channel oscilloscope, you might not be able to view all the signals. It might be enough for hobbyists.

However, if you need to view and measure all signals, an MSO (Mixed Signal Oscilloscope) will provide 2-4 analog channels plus 16 digital channels. You will not need a combined oscilloscope solution and logic analyzer or software to isolate activities.

Conclusion

Without oscilloscopes, it would be challenging to troubleshoot problems in electrical devices. Bench-top scopes are bulkier to carry around when working on the field. On the other hand, their handheld digital counterparts are portable, and you can take them anywhere you go. Just make sure you consider all the important factors before buying one.

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