UPDATE 1: A few examples of both images and video taken with the Argus can be found by clicking on the link HERE.
UPDATE 2: I have also posted a Teardown of the Reolink Argus. You can get to it by clicking HERE.
UPDATE 3: You can read a guest post comparing the Reolink Argus against the Netgear Arlo by clicking HERE
UPDATE 4: If you are interested in the Reolink Argus 2 review, you can find it HERE
What do you get when you take the best of the Reolink Keen indoor-only 100% battery operated camera with an included external PIR sensor and blend it with one of the company’s core outdoor bullet cameras? The answer to that question is the Reolink Argus! What is the Reolink Argus you ask? Well, continue reading to answer this question and many others about the latest innovation from a company making a name for itself in a crowed security camera space. Reolink is already known for their high-quality and dependability products but they are always continuing to revolutionize the security camera market with new solutions to fill those niches. Reolink has had a very successful Indiegogo campaign running for their Argus camera which has broken multiple funding records. You still have a few days remaining to support this product for the reduced price; at the time of this review. Read on for more details about this compact and powerful security camera.
As stated earlier, the Reolink Argus is the company’s first entry into the indoor/outdoor 100% battery operated camera market permitting you the ability to place it nearly anywhere desired. It takes all the various innovations the company has made with its other products and condenses them into a single device that is no larger than 3.5” High x 2.25” Wide x 2” Deep. Although it is a very small and compact unit, it packs a punch when it comes to functionality and usability. The ideas and uses are nearly endless where one can place the Argus security camera.
What do you get in the box? First, let me say that I have never been disappointed with the packaging or shipping of any of Reolink’s products, and this is exactly what I received with the Argus. Tight and well secured packaging that fully protects my purchase. As with the company’s other cameras, you always get more than what other manufactures provide; or are often sold separately. Reolink provides you with everything you need to get started with the camera out of the box. You not only get the camera and its magnetic base, you also get a tripod mount, the mounting screws (if required), a tool to assist in opening the camera for installation of batteries, four included lithium batteries, and the mounting templates. The only thing missing (which is optional for this camera) is a basic (Micro) SD card for storing any captured recordings.
What are some of the features a camera like this can provide? Well, this little unit can run 100% on battery power for months at a time. It is fully weather proof, so it can be used both inside and outside. The video is 1080p full HD unlike others offering at or below 720p resolutions. The camera comes with night vision capable of a 33 foot range; not bad for such a small device running only on batteries. The camera has the smart PIR sensor built in, so unlike the Keen model where you needed to additionally place the sensor somewhere near the camera, the Argus has it all built in to its small form. The camera also allows you remote access as with other Reolink devices and is managed by a mobile application supporting both iOS and Android systems. Setup is a breeze. If you have previously setup a Reolink Keen device, this one will not be an issue. Setup walks you through the device via voice instructions with steps needed to get the unit on wireless and connected to the client application. It could not be easier. This device does not have an Ethernet connection, so a wireless connection is required.
What makes this camera even more versatile is the magnetic base that ships with the camera. This weighted base permits one to mount or angle the camera in almost any position. The magnetic base is very heavy and solid so there is no concern that the camera will tip over; even during windy days. The base comes with two mounting holes for screws if you do want to mount it permanently to something such as the side of a house, door post, or anything else that will accept screws. If you do not want to use the magnetic base, the camera also ships with a tripod adaptor that can be screw mounted also. For more severe environment, I would suggest using the tripod mount over the magnetic one to ensure stability.
If you have already made an investment in Reolink’s products and you are looking for a small form-factor indoor/outdoor battery only camera, the Argus is a no brainer. If you simply want a stand-along versatile security camera, I do not think you can go wrong by picking up the Reolink Argus.
- Has many features and functions only found in higher end cameras
- All the required items are provided in the box; the (Micro) SD card is optional and not included
- Mobile full HD 1080P camera permitting capture anything nearly anywhere
- Very heavy and balanced magnetic base or tripod arm option
- All-in-one sensor integration, no need for a separate PIR sensor
- Loud warning siren able to scare away potential thieves
- Two-way audio communication when needed
- Uses voice commands telling you how to initially setup the unit
- No required cloud-based subscriptions
- Would have liked the unit to be a bit easier to open without the tool
- Would have preferred the reset button and (Micro) SD card slot be located in the battery compartment for better protection from the outdoor elements
- The unit does not support any PTZ (Pan / Tilt / Zoom) features like the indoor units
- No real instructions or quick start guide provided in my packaging; may have been an oversight as the website says one should be included
- For a few extra dollars, it would have been nice to have an included (Micro) SD card option
- The unit does not integrate with any Reolink NVR units for long term storage or management
- An option to have a solid black unit would have been a nice selection
Figure 6 Opening the Shiny Box
Figure 7 Under the Protective Covering
Figure 8 How is the Device Packaged?
Figure 9 What Comes in the Box?
Figure 10 Magnetic Base and Mount Holes
Figure 11 Camera Bottom Base Connector
Figure 12 Magnetic base and Camera
Figure 13 Cover Protecting Reset and Micro SD Card Slot
Figure 14 Protective Cover Removed Revealing Micro SD Slot/Button
Figure 15 Close-up Base Connected to Camera
Figure 16 Open to Reveal Battery Compartment
Figure 17 High-Level Application Features
Figure 18 The Top Two Images Show Device Configuration
Figure 19 Battery Overview and Details