Reolink Argus wireless security camera: full, in-depth review
- Completely wireless
- No subscription fees
- No cloud storage
- Requires fine-tuning to manage battery life
Cutting the power cable makes the Reolink Argus the perfect solution for some situations, but reliance on batteries could be troublesome in busy living areas.
Easy to install anywhere, Reolink's Argus wireless streaming security cameras let you keep an eye on things without over-taxing your broadband connection.
The trouble with most Wi-Fi-enabled home security cameras is they require AC power, which means you need to install them near a power point and run unsightly cables. Reolink's Argus relies on four CR123A 3V Lithium batteries (which are more expensive than AA batteries) and comes with both an adjustable stand and a magnetic mount. This all makes it easy to install the camera anywhere, as long as it's within range of your home WiFi network.
It's simple to connect the camera to your network using the Reolink iOS/Android app to scan the QR code on the back. The camera is small enough to tuck discreetly out of the way, either sitting on a shelf or installed up high in the corner – with the ability to flip the image if you install the camera upside down.
The Argus is IP65 weatherproof, so it can live outside, plus it's infrared so it can send you alerts day or night when it sees something move – offering pop-up notifications and email alerts. Along with watching video replays you can use the smartphone app to view a live feed, listen in and even chat with your unexpected guest.
A scheduler lets you cut down on unwanted alerts by disabling the camera at specific times during the week, which is handy if you're a creature of habit. You can also disable notifications manually but, unlike rivals such as the Nest Cam, you can't use geofencing to automatically disable alerts when your phone is nearby.
You'll need to use the notification scheduler if you want the camera's batteries to last, as they're only good for 180 days in standby mode or 840 minutes of recording video and live viewing.
Back of the envelope calculations suggest the batteries should last around five months if the camera only records or streams six minutes of video per week. They won't last long with notifications enabled 24/7 in a busy living area. Even using the scheduler strategically, the batteries will die quickly if you're regularly using the camera to check on things at home or it's constantly triggered by pets.
To reduce false alarms you can adjust the camera's "sensitivity", although this actually refers to range. It's set to six metres by default but can be bumped up to nine or down to four. You can't adjust the actual sensitivity, nor can you configure the camera to only watch for motion in certain areas.
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