Reolink Argus Review - Wireless Surveillance Camera
Sensor: 1 / 2.9 "CMOS
Resolution: max. 1080p (1920x1080)
Field of view: 130 °
Night Vision: IR LEDs (850nm)
* Low: 2-4 meters
* Medium: 4-6 meters
* High: 6-9 meters
Detection angle: 120 °
* Motion alarm
* Alarm Notification
* Live stream with remote access
* Video playback
* Night vision mode
* Two-way audio
SD memory card slot: Yes
WiFi: 2.4G (IEEE 802.11b / g / n)
App: Android and iOS
Client: Windows and Mac OSX
Power supply: battery or rechargeable battery (CR123A)
* Standby time: up to 180 days
* Runtime recording: up to 800 minutes
Protection class: IP65
Size: 113 x 65 x 54 mm mm
1x Reolink Argus
1x bracket with magnetic ball head
1x bracket with mounting thread
2x screw set
2x drilling template
4x CR123A battery
1x reset needle
1x housing tool
1x user manual
First impression of the Reolink Argus
What's in the box
The Scope of delivery of the Reolink Argus Includes almost everything needed for startup and "out-of-the-box" use. Included are in addition to the Argus a total of two brackets, one with magnetic ball head and one with universal mounting thread. Matching screws and dowels for each bracket are included. The package also includes 4 CR123A (3V) batteries, a camera body opening tool, a camera reset needle, two drill guides, a label with a watchdog, and an installation and user guide. What is missing the delivery is a MicroSD memory card, which is needed to save the recordings!
Design and workmanship
With Dimensions of 113 x 65 x 54 mm and a Weight of 260g (with batteries), the Reolink Argus is among the more compact surveillance solutions. The discreet white plastic housing with black front allows the capsule-shaped surveillance camera to be discreetly placed. After Degree of protection IP65 is the camera body Dustproof and protected against water jetswhich allows the camera to be easily placed in the open without any extra precautions. The quality of workmanship is not to complain about.
Features the Argus are the magnetic underside including a ¼ inch thread, one side MicroSD memory card slot with underneath Reset button and an Two-way audio system with microphone and speaker. USB or Ethernet connection options are not available.
The front is the 1 / 2.9 inch CMOS camera module with a wide Field of view of 130 ° (horizontal 105 °, vertical 55 °) and a F2.2 aperture, Surrounded is the camera sensor of 850nm IR sensorsthat allow night vision. Videos are recorded or transmitted at a maximum resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080). The wireless transmission is done by a 2.4 GHz WiFi Module (IEEE 802.11b / g / n) with WEP / WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK security protocol support.
The establishment of Reolink Argus does not require a comprehensive technical understanding and is generally user-friendly. The necessary steps for commissioning are in the Installation and operating instructions shown in detail.
Im first step the batteries must be inserted in the camera. To do this, the back of the camera must be removed. A tool to open the shutter, which is hard to reach with your bare hands, makes it easier to remove the back. The surveillance camera can not only be operated with CR123A Batteries (3V)but also with CR123A Batteries (3.6 - 4.2V).
Im second stepAfter the batteries are inserted, the camera automatically enters the Setup mode added. Prerequisite for the establishment of the Argus is the Reolink app, These are available for both iOS, as well as for Android Mobile devices in the respective app stores free to download. The access rights required by the app are limited to the respective functions. A user account is not required to use the app and to manage the camera.
As soon as you add a new device within the app, it starts Setup Wizard, This first requires that you are on the battery QR-Code scans. The QR code contains the WLAN access data of the camera. The scan automatically connects the mobile device to the camera's Wi-Fi network. Afterwards the own WLAN data are demanded, because for the use the Argus must be integrated into the domestic net. From the transmitted WLAN data, the Reolink app creates another QR code, which is displayed on the mobile device's display, just in front of the camera lens. In the test, the camera immediately recognized the QR code and automatically connected to its own WLAN.
The Attachment can be either via the supplied Magnetic ball head holder or the universal holder with screw thread respectively. Of advantage are the also included Drilling templates, which facilitate the assembly.
In combination with the ball-head mount, the camera can be precisely aligned in a few simple steps. The bracket is suitable for indoor as well as outdoor use. In addition, the bracket can be used without screw mounting as a mere stand holder. The disadvantage of this simple mounting option, however, is that there is no additional (theft) backup and the camera just as easy to remove again. Strong wind keeps the magnetic connection still standing.
The Argus is fastened to the universal bracket using a conventional ¼ inch screw thread. The camera can be precisely aligned via the ball joint of the holder. This holder is especially suitable for outdoor use.
Functions and control of Reolink Argus
The Administration and operation of the Argus is done either via the Reolink app or Reolink client, which can be downloaded for free in a Windows or Mac OSX version via the manufacturer's website. There is no web interface! Functionally, both the app and the client provide identical configuration, streaming and playback capabilities. Below I refer to the app, since this was mainly used for camera operation.
The app is clearly structured. After the start you will be greeted by the already set up surveillance cameras, which are displayed in tile look with name and thumbnail. If you want to protect the app from unauthorized access, you can use the general app settings password protection establish.
Live view mode
To enter the Live view mode just click on the thumbnail of the camera. The stream is started after a short loading time. The measured transmission delay depends on the connection strength between 2 and 6 seconds, Can be retrieved the Stream also on the way from the mobile network, Unfortunately it is not possible to disable the remote access!
Below the live image are Control options to the camera, Among other things, it is possible to pause the stream, a picture or video recording can be started by pressing a button, the color mode can be switched between color and black and white, as well as the transmission quality between "Clear" (high-resolution) and "liquid" (low-resolution) be changed manually.
Above the live image are data on the transmission speed. As soon as a bad reception to the camera exists you will be informed by an appropriate notice. If you have integrated several Reolink monitoring solutions in the app, a swipe is enough to switch to the next connected device. Alternatively, all integrated cameras can also be displayed in a practical live overview.
The Argus is not a security camera that takes up continuously. Shooting is triggered manually or via the movement alarm of the camera. Movements in the image area are not by the software, but by a PIR sensor detected. One triggered by the motion alert Recording lasts at least 6 seconds and lasts over the period of motion detection. The Recognition range of the sensor depends on the set sensitivity (Low, Medium and High) between 2 and 9 meters.
In addition to the sensitivity can be set within the app settings, how the camera behaves in a motion alarm. In addition to automatic recording can also be signal alarm are triggered, as well as there is the possibility itself notify by e-mail or push allow. To protect the battery Reolink has a Alarm Schedule implemented, which can be configured for individual weekdays and hourly sections.
In the test, the motion detection functioned largely reliable, although the range with a maximum of 9 meters a little disappointed. Vehicles are easily detected up to 9 meters. For humans and animals is even on the highest sensitivity attitude at just under 6 meters. Another disadvantage of motion detection using PIR sensor is that no detection area can set. This captures movements throughout the image area. An exclusion is only possible by an appropriate positioning of the camera.
Saved recordings can be made via the Playback mode be retrieved. Unlike many other smart surveillance solutions, Reolink offers Argus (so far) no cloud connection, Only the recordings stored on the MicroSD memory card can be recalled. A Reolink Cloud was under development at the time of testing and will be released later this year (2018).
The pictures are sorted after the respective recording day. View the recording snippets in one time beam or in a tile overview. The stored recordings can be played in the stream as well as it is possible to download recordings directly to the mobile device.
The Argus is with a Two-way audio system fitted. It is possible by one Voice transmission in both directions, With the help of the microphone of the camera can be done in addition to the image transmission and a sound transmission. In addition, it is possible to send voice messages to the camera via the mobile device, which are played back via the camera's loudspeaker. The transmission quality is acceptable, so that the spoken word will be reproduced in a clear, if slightly tinny, way. The sound recorded by the camera is transmitted in a comprehensible manner up to a range of 5 meters.
The settings are initially divided into System and basic informationon which, among other things, the device name, date & time and the push notification receipt can be adjusted. In addition, various system information is available.
There are separately Network Settings to the WLAN, Video & Audio Settings, such as the recording quality, the display overlay and the sound encryption, as well alarm settings to the PIR sensor. The status LED and the IR night vision LEDs can be disabled if desired. Firmware updates can be received automatically by the Argus.
Recording quality of Reolink Argus
Videos will be at maximum 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution and 15 pictures-per-second added. Other supported resolutions are 720p and 360p. Bilderwiederholrate is in the Stages 2, 5, 10 and 15 FPS customizable. That's the same way Bit rate between 256 and 2048 kbps choose.
The recording quality convinces by a pleasant picture sharpness, a neat degree of detail and a low noise component. The output format for video recording is MP4. An 6-second clip (FHD - 15FPS) reaches a file size of approximately 4 MB.
With increasing darkness, the surveillance camera switches by default in the Night vision mode, The visibility is about 8 meters at night. The detection range of the PIR sensor is not affected.
Battery and battery
As mentioned at the beginning, the Reolink Argus can not only be operated with CR123A batteries (3V), but also with CR123A batteries (3.6 - 4.2V). A power supply via power supply or via USB is not provided.
One set of standard batteries included in the package is enough for one, according to Reolink Standby runtime of 180 days and Recording time of 800 minutes, The actual runtime depends on many factors. False alarms and a weak WLAN signal lead to a correspondingly shorter runtime.
However, the experiences made in the past few months showed that the information provided by Reolink at runtime is quite plausible. A set of batteries, Argus commissioned 2017 in mid-November held 2018 until mid-April. However, you should not rely on the battery consumption data shown in the app. These consumption indicator is a sheer estimate, which results among other things from the daily recording time. Already in December, the fuel gauge showed a low battery level, which changed weekly until mid-April, changing the respective conditions repeatedly.