Price (RRP): $150
Reolink Argus is a wireless, battery operated, indoor/outdoor, high definition, motion detecting, night vision, two-way speaker equipped, highly portable security camera.
It offers complete flexibility as it has a micro-SD slot to record to (card not supplied) and 4 x CR123A batteries (non-rechargeable supplied) provide six months standby and around 14 hours daylight and 7 hours night vision record time.
Reolink Argus is unique in that it includes so much in a small package and does not rely on often expensive cloud-based recording storage.
It comes with a magnetic mount that enables it to be a desktop camera, placed in unusual locations or stalk style ¼” mount for more permanent fixing.
While both mounts are useful neither is vandal proof – it is all too easy to separate the camera from the mounts. Although the thief would be filmed in the act the microSD card would be gone as well.
It runs Wi-Fi N, 2.4GHz and I tried it successfully at 60 metres from the router so it could be at the front gate.
Prise off the back with the special tool, insert four CR 123A batteries, install the Reolink App (iOS or Android), and scan the barcode on the camera. The app then generates a QR code on the phone to complete the Wi-Fi link, and the camera scans this. There is voice guidance as well. One of the simplest setups ever!
Batteries – strength and weakness
Four Lithium CR123A single-use batteries are provided (retail value $20). It makes sense to buy rechargeable batteries (retail value about $55) and a charger (retail value $55-60), so you will need to get one. Make sure it fits four batteries at a time, and many can charge a wide range of rechargeable batteries including Li-ion, LiFePO4, Ni-MH and Ni-Cd.
Battery life is good for standby – claimed up to six months. In my testing placed in a low traffic location where the motion detection is infrequently triggered expect around four months before recharging.
Reolink claim 840 minutes or 14 hours daylight recording or live view and seven hours night recording. In the test period it was not possible to verify this, but over a week when placed at the front door it used about 1.5 hours of battery.
You can also reduce the recording definition to 720p at 5 fps instead if 1080p at 15 fps if you want to extend battery life. It also reduces bitrate from 1536 to 160 kbps if Wi-Fi signals are weak or you have a limited data allowance.
Reolink’s claims appear reasonable, and the app has a battery meter to let you know when to recharge.
Frankly, the convenience of battery operation far outweighs the recharge requirements.
The default setting for motion detection is up to 6 metres. The app allows you to select 4 or 9 metres as well – the latter will drain more battery and lead to more “false alarms.”