With the “Argus Pro”, Reolink introduced a completely wireless surveillance camera for indoor and outdoor use. The device can be used with both rechargeable batteries and solar power, which significantly expands the overall range of applications. Our test will show whether the expectations raised by Reolink can actually be fulfilled. We intensively tested the wireless surveillance camera in several categories and wanted to find out whether it was well processed and practical. Also the offered extras were tested intensively. Below are the results of this practical test.
Design and Workmanship: Lightweight, Modern Camera
The Pro version also has the typical Argus design. It can hardly be distinguished optically from the normal Argus surveillance camera (for test) of the manufacturer. Reolink focuses on a modern, simple design with rounded edges. The surveillance camera thus appears very discreet and blends inconspicuously into a wide variety of environments. The rounded housing of the camera is largely white. Only the front side is colored black in the middle – the lens of the camera is also in this black area.
It fits into one hand and hardly weighs it down. The camera doesn’t just look light – it actually is. However, the workmanship of the device can be described as high quality. Reolink’s new surveillance camera is stable and weatherproof in the test. It is even certified as waterproof according to IP65 standard, which allows it to be used outdoors.
Assembly and Usability: Easy Thanks to Enclosed Mounting
The camera was mounted without any problems during the test. The “Argus Pro” is equipped with a bracket for outdoor installation. The camera is equipped with a thread on the underside. This is used to connect it to a holder, which can be screwed to the appropriate surface or fastened with the enclosed retaining strap. The location where the surveillance camera is hung is particularly important here. Ideally, this should be high enough so that a thief cannot easily remove the camera. In any case, the included mounting bracket offers all possibilities to mount the camera securely.
According to Reolink, the model is suitable for outdoor and indoor use. Thanks to the already mentioned water resistance of the camera, even heavy rain is no problem for it. So if you want to protect your garden house, the driveway to your house or your caravan, you can go to Reolink’s “Argus Pro”.
Since the new model is equipped with a rechargeable battery, the annoying battery change is no longer necessary. It is therefore not absolutely necessary to remove and open the camera at regular intervals. Instead, charging is simply done via a micro-USB connection to which an optional solar panel can also be connected.
Equipment: Convenient by App
The Argus Pro surveillance camera is set up in the Reolink app, which can be used both under iOS and Android. First of all, it must be pointed out that a WLAN connection is required in order to set up the camera. This connection is also essential for the continued operation of the monitoring device. Only 2.4 GHz networks are supported.
The camera comes with a QR code that can be scanned with the app to establish a connection. The camera can then be configured in the app. The WLAN password must first be entered. All steps necessary to configure the camera are described in the user manual. Even without these instructions, however, configuration should be possible in no time at all – after all, the app always prompts the user to perform certain actions to advance the setup of the camera. For example, it is necessary to convert the WLAN password in the app into a QR code, which is then read by the camera. You can then specify the user name and password. Email and push notifications for registered movements can also be activated in the app.
In the test, the camera is configured in a short time. Even users without technical knowledge should have no difficulties with the procedure. A microSD card can be used to store recordings, which is advisable in any case. This succeeds quickly and unproblematically.
The Reolink App: Numerous Options
However, the app cannot only be used to set up the surveillance camera. It offers many possibilities to adjust the functions of the camera. For example, it is possible to lower the recording quality, which is 1080p maximum, to 720p. The refresh rate and the bit rate can also be set. This is particularly useful if frequent charging of the battery is to be avoided.
It is also possible to regulate the sensitivity of the motion sensor. The “Argus Pro” works with a sensor integrated in the camera that registers movements. If this sensor is triggered, the camera starts recording the event. A notification is sent at the same time. A siren alarm will also sound. The user now has the option of individually controlling the radius to which the sensor responds. It is a maximum of nine metres for living beings. At night it is extended to ten metres. Moving vehicles are still detected even at a greater distance.
If, for example, there is a busy street with a busy pedestrian walkway at a distance of eight meters from the camera location, the maximum setting is absurd – it would lead to the camera filming almost permanently. The possibility of adapting the monitoring radius to the individual circumstances is therefore a clear advantage.
Both the motion sensor, notifications and night vision can be disabled in the settings.
Recordings can be viewed live. Each time the app is activated, the camera sends a notification to the mail address specified in the app and to the smartphone on which the app is installed. The moving images recorded by the camera are streamed via the home WLAN network, but access via the mobile network is also possible with the app. In principle, this works well in the test. From time to time, however, the image jolts more or less strongly. This jerking is especially noticeable when the highest resolution of 1080p is set. At lower resolutions it seems to occur less often.
However, the user should be aware that even in today’s world, a surveillance camera cannot be expected to take absolutely impeccable pictures. The videos are recorded with sufficient quality and enable the recognition of all necessary details.
The “Argus Pro” records at an angle of up to 130 degrees. This large shooting angle was actually noticeable in the practical test – there are hardly any dead spots. The camera sees almost everything that happens near it.
The recordings are stored in the inserted microSD card. However, they cannot be downloaded from here. If the data is to be stored on a PC, the memory card must be removed from the camera and inserted into the PC. This procedure is cumbersome and therefore slightly negative.
You can also start recording from your smartphone or PC. These manually triggered recordings are stored locally on the respective devices.
Live View and Intercom
The surveillance camera enables the user to take a look at the guarded location at any time. In our test this succeeds problem-free with the help of the app. A still image of the camera can be displayed at any time. This inspection is also possible from a PC. The camera can also be used as an intercom system. The 2-way audio function makes it possible to communicate with children, pets, employees or parcel carriers. This, too, is possible regardless of one’s place of residence.
In the test this also works without difficulties. The camera conveys every sound that is spoken in front of it and transmits everything that is said by the user the other way round. We cannot assess whether this function is actually useful in everyday life – in any case, it works perfectly.
Battery Charging via Solar Panel
Reolink offers a solar panel as an optional accessory. Depending on the use of the camera and the amount of solar radiation, the solar panel is sufficient to operate the camera completely without additional electricity. The solar panel should, however, be placed in such a way that it receives as much sun as possible. Otherwise you have to help with an additional charge from time to time.
Results of the Reolink Argus Pro Review
The “Argus Pro” from Reolink does not have any major weaknesses. It is easy to install and configure via the app. The image quality is also acceptable. All functions were usable in our test without difficulties.
Only the missing possibility to download stored recordings directly disturbed a little. It would also be nice if you could integrate them into Google Home, for example.
Altogether the camera is the money to be paid for it in each case value. It convinces with a wide range of adjustment options and offers safety. The extras extend the range of applications even further.