The Reolink RLC-423WS outdoor camera comes in a compact turquoise box. The weight quickly becomes clear: there is a lot of technology involved here. After all, it is designed for constant outdoor use in wind and weather as well as day and night.
|1/2.9″ CMOS sensor
|Horizontal: 98° ~ 33°, Vertical: 54° ~ 22°
|f=2.7-12 mm autofocus, F=1.6
|Mainstream: 3072×1728, 2592×1944, 2560×1440, 2048×1536, 2304×1296; Substream: 640 x 360
|Infrared Night View:
|Pan: 360°, Tilt: 0° ~ 90°
|0 Lux (With IR Illuminator)
|IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK
|Integrated 32GB Micro SD card
|PC: Windows, Mac-OS
Smartphone: iOS, Android
Browser: IE, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari
Scope of Delivery of Reolink RLC-423WS
- Camera with two antennas
- Mains adapter
- extension cable for the mains adapter
- Network cable
- Screws with matching dowels
- Short instructions
- “Video surveillance” sticker
- hole template
The camera is completely assembled on delivery except for the two antennas.
For the first use the Reolink RLC-423WS is installed directly at the router. The enclosed short manual supports the commissioning with pictures and English language. However, this step is easy to understand even without instructions. To do this, connect the camera to the power supply using the AC adapter and then to the router using the network cable.
As soon as the camera receives power, it needs a few seconds to start. Meanwhile, it moves in all directions of movement. This gives the user a first impression of their swivel and tilt width. For the configuration, Reolink offers its users the possibility via mobile, computer or web app. Thus Reolink supports a wide variety of platforms. Which one the user ultimately chooses is up to him. The only important thing is that the camera must be in the same network.
In the test, the setup was carried out using an iPhone app, which is available free of charge in the Apple Appstore. Already after starting the app, it had automatically detected the outdoor camera. For wireless setup via WLAN, without a connected LAN cable, there is a QR code on the back of the stand, which can easily be scanned in the app.
Before the camera can begin its work, there are two important steps to take. First, set the date with the appropriate time zone. Then the camera is named and a password is assigned. The latter is necessary to prohibit access from other users in the same network and from outside.
On the other hand, WLAN configuration takes place if the camera is to be accessed via WLAN. The app and its settings menu contain the point of the same name for this purpose. Select your own WLAN from the networks found and enter the WLAN key. With a click on the button “Test WLAN” the app performs a connection test. According to a successful test, save WLAN settings by clicking on the disk icon in the upper right corner. The camera can then be disconnected from the network cable and mounted at its destination.
Assembly of the RLC-423WS
The Reolink RLC-423WS is designed for mounting on a house wall. Thankfully, Reolink has included a hole template for the exact attachment of this. This allows the holes to be drilled at the right distance and in the right size. Suitable screws as well as dowels are also included in the scope of delivery.
The Outdoor Camera Under Test: Day Recording
If the camera is mounted at its destination, further control takes place via WLAN. With just a few clicks, the live image is visible on the iPhone. If the focus or the alignment is not yet correct, it swivels and tilts as desired with strokes and wiping gestures. The slight delay is also noticeable here. Consequently, photos or live videos can also be taken with touch gestures. These are stored directly in the smartphone’s photo gallery. At the same time, the images and videos are saved in the integrated memory.
The quality and brightness is very good in relation to the gloomy winter sky. The promised 5 megapixels pay off. Especially with regard to moving objects, the camera cuts a good figure. If you watch the live action and the live broadcast image on your smartphone, you will notice a slight delay of about 1-1.5 seconds.
Set Time Intervals
With all the gimmicks, you almost forget to set the most important one. A camera like that only makes sense when it’s recording. The user should not stand directly behind the smartphone. To set up this function, switch from the live image to the settings within the app. Under Schedule you will find the possibility to activate time windows for recording. For example, during absence from work or at night. This can be set individually or identically for each day of the week. The camera automatically detects whether it is shooting in day or night mode.
It is important to note that the camera shoots as soon as motion is detected. The Reolink RLC423-WS stores the recordings in the integrated memory.
The Outdoor Camera Under Test: Night Scene
After the first test runs during the day, the night run followed. The Reolink RLC423-WS comes with infrared and promises a visibility of up to 58m. In the test run was an estimated width of 35 m. The contours of the façade, the different depositions of the existing light sources and the fact that it was raining could not cause the test to fail. Instead, the camera convinced with its technology.
In contrast to the day, movements are more noisy and the delay increases slightly. Nevertheless, the quality is impressive.
Before Purchase Consider
The camera was tested for the test inside a rental apartment. This had several backgrounds, which should be considered at this point by anyone planning to purchase a suitable outdoor camera.
On the one hand, it is not clear whether the enclosed power cable is weatherproof or only the camera. At the camera there is a notch for a cable to lead it out at the side. The prerequisite for this would be an external socket. If the cable is not weather resistant, there must be a breakthrough to the living area.
On the other hand it is very praiseworthy that suitable screws and dowels are enclosed. However, the user should know the properties for his house wall in advance. If not, a specialist, for example at the nearest DIY store, is available for advice.
Anyone who wants to use this camera as an apartment or house tenant must obtain a building permit from the landlord in order to make a breakthrough into the living space and to attach it to the façade itself.
An alternative, also from Reolink, is the Reolink Argus. This is battery-operated and saves the user a breakthrough to the living room. We have already tested the Reolink Argus for you:
The Reolink RLC423-WS convinces with its technology and its range of functions. The image quality is very good both during the day and at night. She recognizes movements just as carefully. Your initial setup directly on the router is a minor effort, the fixed installation requires a little manual skill. After all, the 1.7 kg technology should not fall off the wall or damage the house wall at the first breeze.
The connection can be made via WLAN or LAN and it comes with a fairly large integrated memory of 32 GB. Due to the many platforms offered, there is a suitable one for every end user.
For friends of greater security, the platform can be used for more than one camera, e.g. via iOS app. As a result, these facilities can be shared directly from iPhone to iPhone without having to start from scratch.
Reolink as a manufacturer offers interested parties the possibility to save recordings via FTP. Alternatively, they themselves have a so-called network video recorder (NVR), which makes it possible to extend the storage of a 24-hour monitoring system. This makes the Reolink RLC423-WS not only for domestic use.
However, as with any product, there is a downside. Although the camera should be able to handle interference-free operation and signal loss via WLAN, it was sometimes very difficult to establish a connection at all. And this at distances of less than 5m as the crow flies to the router and the smartphone with common sources of interference, which caused no problems for other devices. In some cases the parcel lot was 20% and despite a positive ping it was not always possible to establish a connection. The use of another device (smartphone, tablet or web app via WLAN) did not bring better success. Even after a successful marriage, she often lost contact.
In this respect, it was almost impossible to receive notifications of movements via push notification or e-mail far from home. However, the setup for this is easily adjustable within the app. Remote access is also not possible without further technical knowledge.
Desirable, however my personal opinion, is a continuous recording operation. Currently, the camera records only when motion is detected. Furthermore, remote access while on the move, preferably via mobile app, is not possible without further basic technical knowledge (FTP, VPN, fixed IP). Sometimes, even just for fun, you want to see for yourself on the road and not wait for a notification. This would make the product more attractive. A connection to an existing home network, such as HomeKit, would be the perfect complement.