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The Reolink Argus is the second camera in the completely wire-free range from Reolink. Following on from the Keen, the Argus introduces a second form factor and further enhancements to the feature set resulting in a high quality, simple to deploy product.
The primary change from the Keen to the Argus is the fact that Argus is smaller and is usable both indoors and outdoors. It employs flexible mounting options to allow simple positioning but loses the motorised pan and tilt function of the Keen.
Argus is supplied well packaged with a number of accessories to help you get up and running. In fact, the only thing you will need to add is a MicroSD card. In the box, you will find the device itself, four branded CR123A 3v Lithium Batteries an adjustable ball-ad-socket mount made from steel and a very neat magnetic mount. There’s a small plastic tool to help open the case and a pouch containing a quick start guide, reset needle, security warning sticker and some mounting templates. The review sample also contained a card offering a significant discount on other Reolink products when purchased through their website.
Battery and Micro SD card installation is very simple. A series of voice guides then walk you through the setup of the camera using a smartphone or tablet. Apps are available for both Android and Apple devices. I found that within 30 seconds, I had the camera connected to the Wi-Fi network and operating. A further 60 seconds of browsing settings in the app and it was all set up to record and play back. It really is that simple.
Battery life is always going to be a big question with these devices. It’s important to realise that totally wire-free cameras such as Argus are not designed to be placed in high traffic areas where they will be triggered constantly. Cameras such as Reolink’s PoE range are far better suited to this type of application. Argus and Keen are ideal for semi-remote locations such as garages and outbuildings where adding a PoE feed would be difficult or costly.
I have trialled Argus for around 8 weeks now and the camera has performed flawlessly. The image quality is generally very good both day and night, and offers a good wide field of view and excellent dynamic range. The built-in PIR triggers with good sensitivity and to-date I have not had a single false-positive. Recording and notifications are quick and playback fluent. The timeline based playback window is very intuitive and makes it easy and fast to find recordings.
Although the camera supports Wi-Fi only, the application offers connectivity to the camera over both Wi-Fi and cellular connections. This required no specific router configuration which is a huge bonus for users not of a technical disposition.
I am now trialling rechargeable LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries in both my Argus and Keen and to date have been impressed by battery longevity of both the rechargeable batteries and the original non-rechargeable Lithium cells provided with the camera.
Overall, like Keen, Argus represents a very good value-for-money, simple to install and use solution and is another strong product in Reolink’s impressive line-up.
-Ideal for non-technical users
-Fast installation and setup
-Flexible mounting options
-Good image and audio quality
-Support for rechargeable batteries
-Daytime image is arguably a little soft at the edges
-No support for saving recordings to a NAS or FTP server
-PIR window scratches very easily (although doesn’t seem to affect performance)
can I used more than one camera at the same location, one in the
front of the house and the back of the house?
Another good camera from Reolink. The build quality is good and feels sturdy, the packaging was very good with all the installation hardware. This is a truly wireless camera and the batteries are included. Though this camera can be installed in pretty any location (weather proof) however I would install this in the backyard or the porch. of the house. It has a built in PIR and siren. The motion sensing is very impressive. Works well with the app and the desktop application (on mac). Really appreciate that Reolink is taking the feedback from the end users, I am sure this will help identify what a user is looking for in a camera rather than pumping in features that might not always be used by the end users.
- I have reviewed the Netgear Arlo which is also a wire free camera,however the challenge is there is a descent delay between the actual action and when the video is actually displayed on the screen. This is definitely a few levels up.
- Very nicely packaged with and comes with all the hardware needed to install this camera, packaging can easily handle the rough journey.
- Solid construction feels strong and sturdy in the hand.
- Setup was a breeze with the setup assistant
- Two way Audio is decent
- Built in PIR sensor and alarm system.
- Both the desktop and the mobile clients are amazing they just work OOTB
- One of the most important feature of this camera which I am loving so far is the battery life. I have turned this camera on for a descent amount and still does not drain the battery so much.
- Wide angle lens
- Looks - this is a nice looking camera.
- So much is such a small form factor
- Support for SD card and expandable up to 64GB
- The alarm is not loud.
- Has some issues with the audio stopping/cutting out on the mobile app.
- Two way audio feature is good but the speaker is not loud enough, I tried to compare it to the Reoling Keen which I have and the Keen wins.
- Two way audio no noise cancellation - The two way audio although a very handy feature but didn’t work well for me. The noise cancellation would not work due to which after a couple of words the only thing you could hear was a loud echo making the two way audio useless feature. What I had to do was say something mute and then again say something and mute. I faced this issue both over wifi and 4G.
- No 5GHZ - Missing support for AC wireless.
- Not impressed with the night vision it does the work but could have been better.
- Video Clips would abruptly cut out or even finish
Where has this little camera been? As an installer of Video Surveillance and Security I have installed and worked with a lot of surveillance cameras and I can honestly say, for a home security camera the Reolink Argus is awesome.
From setup to ease of use I personally think anyone could easily get this camera up and running quickly.
The resolution is awesome, even at night this camera does a great job. It would be easy for me to go on and on about this but I am just reiterating what everyone else has said.
Waterproof, two way audio(I can talk to my kids when they get home from school while I am at work, and keep an eye on them), night clarity, motion sensor is awesome and the price is amazing.
Reolink is a quality company, with quality service and support. Their response has always been within 24 hours and they have always been helpful. I can't say enough good about this company. Thank you for providing a quality product, quality service, at a very reasonable price.
My chosen star rating reflects the cameras capabilities as a self contained monitoring system that can be remotely viewed and can record to a microSD card. It is designed for maximum battery life and a motion sensor that should minimize false triggering. Also note that the timeline required for the review did not afford me time to report my shortcomings I found to Reolink support to address or answer. Some of the “Cons” I had found may be a use or configuration setting. I used it with nearly all of its defaults out of the box. Also important to note that although the Pro list is shorter than the Con list, this is still an amazing little camera that does what it is designed for quite well overall.
An easy to setup niche camera whose greatest assets are its battery life and PIR sensor. It would be a solution for remote location localized monitoring such as unpowered cabins, boathouses/dock monitoring, backyard monitoring etc. Camera would need to be discretely placed since all footage is stored ONLY on the microSD card with no integration into NVRs (including Reolinks own NVR), Blue Iris (or similar recording software) or online storage. If the camera can connect to a wireless network, it is remotely viewable (live or recorded footage) through the Reolink app on a tablet or phone. This is not a camera meant to be integrated with an existing multi-vendor camera monitoring system or a network recording solution. It is designed to maximize battery life and to record intermittently over many months as a self-contained solution. Only supports wireless G access connections, but this does maximize the distance it can be from a wireless router!
-Magnetic mount and ease of adjustment
-2 Way Audio
-PIR sensor limits false triggers and allows for when to look for triggered events
-Videos recorded in universal MP4 format.
-Overall video quality
-Video clips abruptly end
-Cannot affectively digital zoom on a video clip (unsure if this is a limit of the camera or 1080p in general)
-Only connects to phone/tablet app. No web interface, no integration with Reolink computer application/software.
-No Complex password support
-Included batteries are not rechargeable (it does support rechargeable batteries from its specs though)
-Not ONVIF compatible
-Only local video recording/No cloud recording/ Unable to integrate with other network cameras
-The PIR scheduling is not as flexible as it could be with the day broken up into four 6 hour slots starting at midnight.
-When compared to other POE security camera (including the RLC-410 or RLC-411S that I use in my home setup) the configuration options are minimalist.
-Lag when trying to live view from the camera.
-Timezone did not match up correctly and did not allow for correction.
-Only three settings for PIR sensor sensitivity. No fine tuning.
Other things noticed that neither Pro or Con
-Only supports Wireless G standards and its speed and interference limitations. Dual band support would have been highly preferred. However, that would be impractical as battery life would decrease and Wireless G does provide the maximum signal range.
-Lower water proofing seals around battery compartment come unseated intermittently. Making sure it is in place though before closing cover and you are set for 3-6 months!
The camera was easy to setup out of the box with the included instructions and verbal English prompts on what to do next. Camera can ONLY record to a microSD card but does not come with one. You must install your own microSD in it. Inserting and removing the microSD card requires the use of the included tool or very long fingernails. I ran into a very significant “gotcha” when setting the password. While the RLC-41- and RLC-411 Reolink cameras I own allowed me to set a complex password including special characters, the Argus accepted the complex password, but then would not allow me to login to it forcing me to use the reset button on it. Instructions indicate only alpha and numeric characters and this is obviously the case, but then why even except the special characters when setting the password?
The camera is configured through the Reolink app on a tablet or smartphone. I used my iPhone to accomplish the configuration. Unfortunately, the app is the ONLY way to connect to this camera and see through it or make changes to it. No web interface at all. Does not integrate with the computer Reolink installed software either.
Connecting to my home wireless provided another unpleasant surprise. Only Wireless G is supported (no “N” or “AC” support). Operating only at the 2.6GHz frequency means lower bandwidth and poorer quality connections due to all of the competing devices at this frequency including the old microwave in your kitchen. The camera is designed bottom up to conserver battery usage and the lack of faster wireless speed support is another victim of that end goal it seems.
I synched the Argus time to my phone and enable DST, but the camera picks up an incorrect timezone this way (the default timezone of my cel providers network it seems) and does not allow this to be modified.
The camera records two simultaneous video streams. The “Fluent” video stream (lower resolution of 640x352) and the “Clear” or high quality video stream (1920x1072). Frames per second and bitrates can be adjusted through the app.
Configuration options are mostly adequate with options regarding video quality, audio recording, PIR schedule among others. However the options are a lot more limited when compared to other Reolink cameras or a POE camera in general which is reflected in its rating.
There is an option to configure email alerts but I was unable to successfully get my gmail account working for this purpose during my testing. I also never received any push notifications from my Reolink app when events were triggered. Not considering a negative, but can’t consider it a positive either since I couldn’t get it to work in the timeframe I tested it.
I tested the Argus camera over a span of three weeks with excessive triggered recording of camera as I had it in high traffic areas of my house. I found some things to love about the camera and some definite disappointments given my previous experiences with the capabilities of two different Reolink bullet cameras I have integrated into my overall Blue Iris controlled camera monitoring system.
It’s biggest selling points were battery life and the PIR motion sensor. Even after 3 weeks of use with a LOT of triggers, the built in battery monitor showed the battery levels at full (did not verify battery levels independently). Long battery life should be possible on the four Lithium CR123A batteries the camera uses.. The included batteries are non-rechargeable and a replacement set of four would run $5-10 on Amazon and purchasing a rechargeable set of Lithium batteries of this type is reasonable as well (found one set for $40 but better deals are our there).
As a side note for power... there is a hidden micro USB connector under the batteries that allows for external power source options in my testing (I plugged it into my computer). This would allow for a continuous power solution but this obviously would be an indoor “hack” only since the back cover would need to be off exposing camera to the environment. The connector does not seem to provide any additional interface options. Using this connector, may void your warranty!
I found the PIR sensor experience was satisfactory and seemed to work well overall. I had it set at the default setting of “Mid” and it had very few false triggers in the 3 weeks. My cats would trigger it sometimes, but not consistently, I concluded from reviewing the clips. I felt the PIR sensor did trigger appropriately though and was happy with the events causing it to trigger and feel its one of the bigger strengths of this camera. However with only three adjustment settings, the ability to fine tune one of the camera’s biggest strengths is missing.
The video clips that were recorded were very disappointing despite excellent video quality. My biggest disappointment with the recorded video clips is that they just abruptly stop. Occasionally I would get a complete clip of the action, but the majority of the videos that were recorded over the three week period would just suddenly end with people in mid frame. The quality of the 1080p video clips seems very clear at a glance by attempts to pinch and zoom on a section of the video quickly distorts it. In short, unsure if you would be able to capture a license plate as an example.
The infrared night vision of the cameras worked well from videos reviewed that the Argus had recorded.
The audio recorded with the videos is among the best I’ve experienced with a security camera and compares well to other indoor cameras with microphones I have used. I did not test it outdoors to determine if it has the same wind noise issues as my external POE cameras with microphones in them.
Camera is limited to ONLY use with the Reolink app creating a variety of limitations including inability to integrate with any other 3rd party camera software solutions like Blue Iris or even Reolink’s own NVRs. Their tech support explained the reason for lack of ONVIF support and integration into recording solutions like NVRs and Blue Iris is that it would severely impact batter life as the recorders require a near constant communication with the cameras they are recording. This is extremely unfortunate though as it limits the camera overall usefulness.
Disclaimer – I was fortunate to receive this camera in exchange for an honest review. Just hope my review was not too honest…
Suggested future improvements:
1)Fix the issue with video clips suddenly stopping. Ideally, an adjustable setting for seconds to record AFTER the PIR sensor no longer detects motion would be the simplest way.
2)Integration into the desktop Reolink application
3)Develop a web viewable interface for the camera. This would even allow indirect integration into Blue Iris similar to the Nest cameras dramatically increasing its usefulness and appeal.
4)If this camera had rechargeable batteries with a solar charger (similar to lawn lights) that would allow the “top off” of the batteries, this self contained camera would become a very unique solution with a lot more potential. In theory the camera could run for years at a time until the batteries simply get too old. It would become the ultimate cabin solution.
5)Allow for manual time zone choice and/or manually set cameras date/time.
Received the trial Reolink Argus and it has been running continually for 2 weeks.
Initial setup is very simple and voice-guided instructions walk you through. I was able to pair the Argus with the app and my 6 other Reolink cameras on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Windows both via wifi and cellular data.
Battery life was a concern but even after 2 weeks of frequent use the batteries are still nearly full. In many cases the portability of wireless is very useful but in my installation I’m close enough to an outlet that it would save me considerable expense and inconvenience in not changing batteries and using an AC adapter instead. Still, it is very convenient to be able to move the Argus around wherever you feel it is necessary. I have used it for security on my back patio, as a baby room monitor, and to watch the kids play in the yard. Very cool! Construction of the camera is very solid and it feels robust, and as they say ‘blends well into any decor’. The camera comes equipped with a choice of two mounts one a robust magnetic mount the other an adjustable swivel on a fixed base.
The motion detection works as expected and is easy to customize via software.
Picture quality is good by day and night as with my other Reolink cameras. The field of view is very wide.
Two-way conversation works well and, while the audio from the Argus is not exceptionally loud, probably due to the small speaker, it is heard easily in quiet surroundings.
As usual, the Argus software is easy to setup and use. I plugged in a micro SD card and checking previously recorded video is not difficult as with some other manufacturers. Both firmware and software are frequently updated. Tech support is excellent. I had to use it for another camera and the staff was very patient working through my issue.
As long as you are mindful of battery issues if monitored constantly, this is a great camera. If constant monitoring is required, you are better off with another Reolink model.
This looks like another winner for Reolink and there are no significant concerns to report.
- Easy to set-up in software;
- Choice of mount, magnetic or fixed (adjustable) base;
- Wireless features are useful in many applications;
- Good video quality;
- The motion sensor is sensitive enough to do the job, but adjustable to prevent false alarms from pets etc.;
- Pleasing and unobtrusive design (no visitors have even noticed it on a shelf);
- Good audio quality from the built-in microphone;
- Battery level can be monitored from the app;
- In my experience (with 5 Reolink cameras) the company has been very responsive to user questions and feedback;
- Reolink issues firmware and software updates frequently to keep these cameras working at their best and the user experience pleasurable.
- No option to run off an external power supply - battery only;
- To save the batteries, an on-off switch might be useful for occasions that monitoring is not required.
Hello J. Schouten,
Thanks very much for your support of our product and taking time to write such a detailed review for the Argus. And we are so glad to learn you like it, it’s our honor to offer our customer with satisfied products.
Regarding the cons you mentioned, that camera currently is only powered by battery since we design it as a completely wire-free camera, but we will come up with some other models which will have more options.
As to the on-off switch, we do not have one on the Argus, but if you mean to turn off the camera for power saving reason when you do not need monitoring, please disable the PIR via the App, in that case, the camera will stop detecting motion and not be woken up unless you manually enter the App to view it.
Have a nice day!
I got my 5 box argus few weeks back from indiegogo as promised. Camera build is good - Good magnetic base. It is light weight. Works perfectly as described. I am impressed with the picture quality - day/night time. Camera sensing is good. Smart phone app - Not even a single crash since i start using the 'ReoLink' app. iOS app on iPhone 6 Plus works perfectly fine.
Cons: Ways to improvement smart phone App. App must have an easy way to indicate the recorded video to indicate. App should have an indication of battery status - SOC.
I would say it is a must have security camera!
Thanks very much for your support of our product, and we are so glad to know you found it useful.
And we really appreciate your suggestion, will pass on to our engineer, we will make every effort to improve our product and user experience.
For any more advice or feedback on our products, you are welcomed to contact us.
Have a nice day!
After using the camera for 2 weeks. The camera has perform as I expected. The setup was very easy. The WiFi signal was strong even outside the house. The image quality is very good. The software app allows you to easily configure the camera, and it is fairly easy to review the recorded video.
Product improvement suggestion:
- Allow the Argus to work with the Windows Reolink Client. Or have a separate Windows software for the Argus to view live feeds and archive video. You can put in a 1 minute timer that has to be refresh if you are concern about battery life while in Live View.
- Instead of just sending a still image via email notification. Maybe provide the option to send a 10 second video clip as an email attachment.
- Reolink may want to consider a cloud service similar to Arlo. The Argus can post the capture video to the cloud. Then the video playback can be viewed from the cloud, not the actual Argus camera. That would save on battery life if you are viewing a lot of capture video.
- Maybe consider having a separate app for the Argus. I have 2 other Reolink cameras (not Argus), trying to view the playback from just the Argus and not the other Reolink cameras can get confusing. Consider laying out the captured videos from the Argus similar to the way Arlo does it. The Arlo interface is easier to use.
- Add the option for direct power plug or power by solar panel if the user decides to go with that option. The replacement batteries are not cheap.
Thanks very much for taking time to write this review for the camera and all your suggestions, we will forward to our engineer.
Regarding the client software, our engineer is making effort to support the Argus camera, the Argus camera will be supported in the future. And the cloud service will be available as well. Once there is any update, we will publish on our website and keep you informed.
The current App will be compatible with all the Reolink cameras, while playback, you can select the camera which you would like to view, it should not be that complicated. If you need any assistance, you are welcomed to contact our support team.
For any more advice or feedback on our products, please contact us, we will make our best effort to improve our products.
Have a nice day!
The Reolink Argus arrived well packaged and the box contained the camera, a magnetic mount, a ball type mount, two sets of batteries and a reset pin and simple instructions.
I have tested this camera fully and can honestly say that it fulfils all its claims to be a top class camera.
Setup was a breeze, even my wife could have managed this one and she is totally not good with any kind of tech, its so simple, scan its code, save it to your router, give it a new password and your up and running its that easy.
The app is very good offering simple one touch settings for turning on or off the built in PIR and also push notifications (setup is in the app), I have tried a few different cameras over the years but this one is by far the easiest to use in terms of apps and software including the MAC OS which not many manufacturers support.
Construction of the camera is very solid it feels robust, well made and if I dare say, quite a handsome looking piece of kit. The camera comes equipped with a choice of two mounts one being a very strong magnetic mount which if you bought a couple of spares and put them up at different points around your premises you could then move the camera from one mount to the other when you needed to, the camera would need to be high up out of reach of course, the other mount is of the ball head type and is ideal as a permanent mount if you so wished, although again it would need to be out of reach, one good thing is it's small and easy to hide, mine will live in a bird box high up.
Battery life is good as long as your not sat staring at the view on your phone and also close the app down after any viewing, the email notification was easy to set up and has a built in test facility to check that you set it correctly also emails and push notices were received very quickly after detection, the emails contain very clean vibrant photographs which would be acceptable in any court of law.
The night vision is excellent (mine is covering an area 35m-40m) and the sound quality is good probably 7m-10m, I have put in a 32gig card for recording purposes and that is more than enough for my uses.
This is fully battery operated and if used correctly the batteries should last for 4+ weeks, I have had it on constantly (waiting for events) for about three weeks and the batteries are not yet showing any signs of drain,.
These camera's are designed to warn you of a breach or an event at your premises and as such the Reolink Argus does it''s job perfectly, it is not meant for constant live monitoring so its worth remembering that when you are deciding if its right for your needs but when something does happen its ready and working.
The picture quality is very high producing sharp, clear and vibrant pictures.
As I have said before in another review the support is very good, questions are answered very quickly the support team work hard to resolve any issues and I for one feel the company are heading for a great future in this industry.
Reolink have come up with a great indoor/outdoor camera and I would happily recommend the Argus.
The only thing that would improve this would be an additional power pack or plug in charger for extended viewing for those who may want it.
We are so grateful for your feedback and feel honored to know you are satisfied with it. Your words of encouragement and your assessment of our services and products make us deeply proud of what we are doing, we will keep working and improve our product to match our customers need.
Any suggestion or further help, you are welcomed to contact us.
Have nice day!
I received the unit 2 weeks ago and I am impressed with the smart looks of this portable kit. The design is impressive. Setting it up is easy with succinct voice prompt for the step-by-step approach. However, it took many attempts to try to scan and connect the broadband code. After more than 30 mins later, I gave up trying to connect to the home broadband hub and instead connect it to a TP-Link Code for wireless connection. This went through only after a few attempts.
Once it is up and running, it seems fine. Connection to it is easy with occasional cases where one has to attempt a few times. It could well be my dodgy home broadband.
The ability to stick in a micro SD card for recording is a plus point. Pushing the card into the slot and making it stay is a challenge. However, this was resolved easily with the use of the iPhone pin to push it in. Recording to set time is very easy to set up. Though it comes with an email alert, I have not been able to get that to work yet unfortunately. I'm sure it is a good feature.
I particularly like the magnetic base which is very impressive as it just sticks solidly to any metal. Unfortunately, when I pulled the device out from the metal this evening, the black magnet at the base of Reolink Argus broke off from Argus.
Overall, I still like the Argus camera because of the compactness, looks and portability and suspect I may just be unlucky to get a unit that has not been as robust as it should have been.
Thanks much for your feedback.
It seems you have a hard time in using this product, if you will need any help, please feel free to contact support, they will be glad to help.
When configuring the camera, please make sure the WiFi network your connected to is a 2.4GHz network instead of 5GHz one, the Argus does not support 5GHz. When installing the SD card, usually you may need to use the finger nail to push it in, it’s smart of you to use the iPhone pin to do that, and we really appreciate this feedback. Even the black rubber on the magnet base is off, the camera should still be able to sit on the base, we will report this issue to our engineer, and will improve it in the future version.
Thanks again for sharing your experience, hope you will have a good time with it.
Have a nice day!