Reolink Argus Pro WLAN camera in review for video surveillance as a security camera. When the dark season comes, the concern for one’s own four walls, the detached family home or even the vacation apartment has increased significantly again. But many burglaries do not happen at all in the winter time or in the evening hours, but also during the day. Therefore, more and more people are asking themselves: How can I protect my house with video surveillance, what simple solutions are there for home surveillance and which camera can I use if I do not have access to electricity? Reolink offers a solution – with the Reolink Argus Pro.
Features, quality, connection of the Reolink Argus
The selection of WLAN video cameras for home surveillance has increased significantly in recent months and there are a few solutions or at least alternatives for almost every case and every house. Especially if you first want to monitor a second home or install the camera in the children’s room / baby’s room for control, it should be above all simple and if possible inexpensive.
One manufacturer that we noticed for the first time at the IFA trade show 2017 in Berlin is the company Reolink. It offers various home security and home surveillance products and has created two main focuses. On the one hand, the company offers cameras with PoE (Power over Ethernet) that can be professionally integrated into the infrastructure and thus monitor even large companies and, for some time, video cameras with batteries, such as the Reolink Argus Pro for home surveillance.
Surely one is cautious at first sight, a camera only with battery should take over the home surveillance and yet Reolink has developed in recent months to a provider that is installed in more and more households, precisely because it is so easy to install and also requires no power connection to the house wall for long-term use.
With the Reolink Argus Pro and the accompanying solar panel, Reolink offers a solution that can be easily attached to the house wall and always provides the camera with sufficient power. At the same time, the camera still provides enough battery capacity for several days with the internal battery. Those who want to use the camera indoors for baby monitoring, for example, can simply place the camera on a shelf and monitor the activities in the room (including sound) via the smartphone app.
Reolink promotes the Reolink Argus Pro with the following features:
Wireless over the wifi network
No wiring possible – works independently
Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
130° wide angle lens
High battery capacity
Solar panel power possible
Full HD (1080p) recording
10 meters night vision
Intelligent motion sensor
Push notifications to smartphone
Low battery warning
When you take the Reolink Argus Pro WLAN camera out of the box for the first time, you are initially very pleasantly surprised by the size of the device. With a size of just 96 x 58 x 59 mm and a weight of only 230 grams (including battery), the camera is really handy.
The camera looks unobtrusive at first glance and is made of white plastic. The camera lens, as well as the IR sensors and IR LEDs are only located on the front. It is possible to use the Reolink Argus indoor without a stand or to use this stand as a tripod. When mounting on a wall (indoor/outdoor), the stand can be conveniently attached and screwed to the wall.
For mounting on the outside walls of the house, it is also recommended to use the waterproof cover. Likewise, the camera can be additionally secured with a strap. When we used the camera on the wall of the house, we did not need to do this because the tripod was firmly mounted and the camera was protected from the wind.
Before the first use, it is recommended to charge the camera via the included USB cable. Alternatively, a standard smartphone charging cable can also be used. We fully charged the camera before the first use (about 5 hours) and have now been using the camera regularly for a month. The battery power is still sufficient for the next few days.
The big advantage of Reolink when dealing with the battery capacity is that the energy is only consumed when a movement is registered by the camera. Especially when there is no activity for hours or days in warehouses, for example, no unnecessary recordings are stored. In addition to the transmission, Reolink stores the data on a microSD card in the camera.
The installation of the Reolink Argus Pro is very simple and a clear advantage compared to many competitors. After downloading and installing the Reolink app for iOS or Android from the app store, the user is guided through all the essential setup steps.
It is especially convenient that you only have to scan the QR code on the back of the camera with your smartphone or tablet, and the camera transfers all necessary data directly to the app. Quickly select the necessary Wi-Fi network and the camera is installed. Afterwards, you will once again receive a QR code with all the necessary information about your data displayed on the screen and then scan it in reverse with the Reolink Argus Pro camera.
Great advantage, if you want to install the camera on another smartphone or tablet, the camera is immediately recognized and also linked.
In the app, you will then see directly the image of the camera set and can enlarge it me click, trigger photos, etc..
Photo and recording quality
The good image quality of the camera is already noticeable when looking at the pictures for the first time. Preset is 15 frames per second and you can set this to 5 frames per second without hesitation and thus reduce the data volume. It is quite sufficient for checking buildings, driveways, and even interiors.
What is immediately noticeable is the wide viewing angle of the camera. Where some manufacturers offer an angle of 80-90°, the angle on the Reolink Argus Pro is 130° and can capture motion at angles of up to 120°. This of course makes installing the camera much easier as many areas are directly covered.
The results for night shots join the overall impression and you still get very good results even for larger areas. When the camera is installed in the entrance area, people are very well illuminated and clearly visible due to the IR LEDs. Here we know from some higher-priced suppliers worse results.
Of course, if you want to monitor large warehouses of 200 or more square meters with a camera without additional lighting, you will have to use more IR LEDs, but for entrances up to 10 meters long, the results of the camera are quite remarkable.
In addition to good image quality, it is of course important in a surveillance camera how good the camera is at registering people in the detection area and how quickly an alarm is triggered.
Reolink offers the following options for the Reolink Argus via the app control:
The camera records a video of the event
The camera sends an email with the event
The camera notifies via push notification
The camera triggers an alarm signal
The big advantage about the app is that you don’t have to choose one activity, but you can also combine different things. It is practical especially when you are not available to combine push notification, email and video. Depending on the application, an alarm signal can of course also be very helpful and act as a deterrent.
As mentioned above, the video recordings can be stored internally on the camera and are not transferred to third-party servers or cloud storage. Reolink offers a storage package directly with the purchase of the camera if you want to store this data decentrally. This means that there are no additional costs for the camera drivers.
From your own experience, especially when installing the camera in the entrance area, you should take some time and try out different detection profiles. The detection of the situations is very reliable and as expected. One should only note that there can often be reflections in the background, which then suddenly trigger a false alarm. It is recommended to check the settings once during day/night and also during rainy weather and to optimize them a bit more if necessary.
CONCLUSION – Overall impression of the Reolink Argus Pro
The Reolink Argus Pro in combination with the additionally available solar panel surprises very positively and can easily take on many higher-priced cameras in the surveillance sector.
Especially in the dark months, surveillance cameras at the house give once again an additional security and equally it is advantageous to be able to monitor the baby with a camera without any problems. Due to the 2-way audio channel, communication via the camera with the other party is possible without any problems.
What we noticed very positively about the Reolink Argus Pro is the easy integration into the WLAN network, especially for beginners. You don’t have to be a computer or network expert to install the camera. The well-designed Reolink app explains all the necessary steps in an exemplary manner and makes installation and integration possible in a few minutes.
Likewise, the long battery life (even without a solar panel) is very good and recharging the battery via a smartphone charger or the included USB cable is exemplary. During our use, the Reolink Argus Pro camera easily managed over four weeks with one battery charge.
The image quality of the Reolink Argus Pro is very good, the integration is very easy and the reaction to different alarm situations is very reliable – therefore, the Reolink Argus Pro camera is a recommendation for us at the current price and a good protection during the next vacation trip.
If you are looking for a higher priced camera with a battery life of up to 6 months, you can currently find different and higher priced offers from Arlo by Netgear – such as the set of 3 with 4K resolution – “Arlo Ultra Pro with alarm monitoring”.