Reolink Argus 2 Review – Wire-Free Rechargeable Battery Security Camera

People often say, “Never trust the weatherman.” In our opinion, meteorologists have earned an unnecessarily bad reputation. Sure, sometimes it snows when they predict rain, but they do the best they can. No, weathermen are not the people we should be cautious of. Our motto is “Never trust the mailman.” Yes, the mailman, and let us tell you why. If there is one thing in this world we trust, it is our dog’s instincts. Our dog has a miraculous knack for judging the color of a person’s character. And our dog absolutely hates the mailman. Have you ever seen a weatherman with mace on his belt? We sure haven’t.

We trust our dog’s judgement. That’s why the mailman needs to go. Since hiring a hitman is expensive, and technically considered “illegal”, giving our postal worker his due is going to require some strategic action on our part. So, what to do? Do we purchase a PO box? No, too much effort. Do we move to a different neighborhood? Nah, too drastic. No, no, no. The only way to do this safely and relatively blood-free is by catching that psycho in the act. In what act, you might ask? Trust me, he’s doing something he shouldn’t be doing. I know it, he knows it and my dog knows it.

Home security used to be a huge ado. First, you’d need a security expert to come give you a consultation (which was not free). Then, you had to have a team of installers come drill holes in your beautiful walls just so you could run wires for a cheap, low resolution security camera; a camera barely capable of producing footage clear enough to see your front porch. We’ve come a long way, baby. Reolink’s new Argus 2 security camera is the wireless, solar rechargeable security option of the future. Except the future is now. Wait, now… no, now… I mean now!

Reolink Argus 2

First Impressions

The Reolink Argus 2 prides itself on being 100% wire-free. There’s no hole drilling or stapling necessary because there’s nothing to drill or staple. The new Argus 2 connects to the internet via 2.4 GHz WiFi and works completely independently of any other device. Old security systems either had to be hardwired to a video source or loaded with a clumsy cassette tape. Notably missing is connectivity to 5 GHz WiFi. We didn’t find this much of an issue. Any dual-band router will be just fine keeping this security camera running smoothly.

What’s in the Box?

The best part of any review is the unboxing. Inside of the Argus 2 box you’ll find the camera itself, which is a shiny, metal piece of gadgety happiness (we kind of want to give it a hug. Is that weird?), a rechargeable battery, an outdoor security mount, which comes with a hook and loop strap, a skin with a small rope, a reset needle, for penetrating that special, tiny, emergency hole, a surveillance sign, which serves as a deterrent all on its own, a mounting hole template, a pack of screws and a micro USB cable.

Reolink Argus 2 in box

Usage

The Reolink Argus 2’s wire-free technology makes it one of the most adaptable security options on the market. Since there is no hardwiring necessary, the options are pretty much unlimited as far as placement and usage. Of course, it serves as a great traditional security camera; just hang it from your front or back door and enjoy the peace of mind that only home security can provide. In addition to traditional home security, you can use the camera for keeping an eye on your kids, the elderly, your pets and yes, even the mailman. We’ve even hear of businesses using their Argus to protect their property. The camera has a 130 degree angle of view, so it offers some serious flexibility.

Argus 2 with Battery

Battery

The Argus 2 ships with a long-lasting rechargeable battery which is chargeable either by a direct wall charge or via solar power with Reolink’s Solar Panel. The Solar Panel is sold separately, but provides non-stop power all day and all night, without you having to worry about any sort of unexpected power loss. The separate Solar Panel is super easy to position, which allows you to maximize the sunlight exposure. Reolink takes their battery life seriously. Since there is no wired external power source, they’ve made sure to put extra focus on the battery power’s reliability. The solar power charging is a helpful addition.

Reolink Argus 2 solar panel

Video Quality

We were concerned about how the Argus 2 would perform at night, or in poor lightening conditions in general. We were happy to discover that the camera’s sensor is a Sony 1.2/8” starlight CMOS sensor, which allows the camera to record quality video, even at night time. The starlight night vision feature will provide clear night vision up to 33 feet, which is perfect for protecting your home. Eleven yards might not sound like a tremendous visibility length, but you must figure that most porches are only about 10 feet wide. 33 feet is plenty. We didn’t have any issues with the night view, and in fact, we were impressed with the clarity that Sony was able to pull out of their relatively tiny sensor.

argus 2 night vision

The Argus 2 records in 1080p Full HD, with an exact resolution of 1920 x 1080. The 2 Megapixel fixed lens features an IR cut-off filter, which helps block mid-infrared wavelengths. The result is better color accuracy and improved clarity. For such a discreet device, this thing produces some impressively crisp video. Remember the days of blurry convenience stores security footage? Those ancient bricks were, if anything, more hazardous for investigations with their blurry, muffled resolutions. There is no longer any excuse for businesses to use such antiquated equipment. The Argus 2 is just such a simple and affordable device. We understand that some people are just stubborn; there are always going to be holdovers from previous technological generations—but come on. Your wasting your electric!

Reolink-Argus-2-compact-camera

Dimensions

As far as its actual size, the Argus 2 doesn’t take up much room at all. The little amount of room that it does take up you won’t be using for anything important anyway, since you can pretty much stick the camera anywhere. The Argus 2 measures 119 mm x 65 mm x 59 mm and weighs 350 grams. That’s including the battery. Even if there is an earthquake and the camera somehow falls off the wall and bonks you in the head, it’s not going to do any damage. You’d have to shoot this thing out of a cannon to inflict any physical harm… and now I can’t stop thinking about shooting the Argus 2 out of a cannon. Thanks, readers.

Argus-2

Alert Features

What does the Reolink Argus 2 offer in the way of security besides being a camera? More than you might expect. Each camera contains a highly sensitive and super smart PIR (passive infrared) motion sensor. Reolink says that the sensor practically eliminates false alarms. If there is one thing we can’t stand about security camera systems, it’s faulty alert technology. One minute, we’re minding our own business, watching some Netflix and eating some popcorn, the next minute we’re panicking over a static movement-free video, completely convinced that our house is haunted by the Paranormal Activity entity. Does that sound like a fun Friday night to you?

Argus-2

When the Argus 2 detects unauthorized human movement, there are several ways that the device can let you know that something is wrong. First, the device immediately emails you snapshots of the motion event. Simultaneously, a built-in alarm siren goes off—temporarily paralyzing the unauthorized individual and, likely, making them wet their pants. Next, a push notification is sent to your mobile device, immediately alerting you of the intrusion. In other words, it doesn’t matter where you are; if someone is lurking around your house, you’re going to know about it, and you’re going to know about it quick. You also have the option of installing an SD card (up to 64 GB), which will record and save any motion events. This is a great way to tell which of the adults on your block are taking all the Halloween candy you leave on your porch every year, specifically so you can go steal candy from everyone else’s bowls.

Communication

Are you, in general, not fond of interacting with other human beings? The Argus 2 features a two-way audio and talk back system which you can use to communicate with unwelcome guests on your smartphone. This way, when your mailman trips the booby trap you had prepared earlier, you can shout “sayonara, sucker” into your iPhone before the postal worker collapses in a heap. You can communicate with uninvited guests even when you are thousands of miles away. Nobody needs to know that you’re not home except for you. And sometimes you don’t even need to know.

Argus-2-remote-access

Smartphone Integration

All the remote communication is handled through the free Reolink smartphone app. Available for both iOS and Android, the Reolink app allows you to remotely access your security footage while you’re on the go. As we mentioned earlier in this review, we really love our dog. It is so comforting to be able to whip out our phone and take a little peek at our pinch whenever we feel the need. Have you ever watched your dog destroy your brand new couch from thousands of miles away? It’s a truly breathtaking experience. You know what? If that couch isn’t good enough for our dog, then it’s not good enough for us. In fact, Fido might have even done us a favor, says us as we gently sob into our hands.

Argus-2

Final Thoughts

The Reolink Argus 2 is great at doing what it is designed to do. While we were fortunate enough not to have experienced an emergency during the review process, we are completely confident that any real-life emergency would have been caught and successfully handled. We were surprised by the amazing peace of mind we felt knowing that the Argus 2 was our new guardian. Whether you want to admit it or not, there is almost always the lingering fear of burglary and violence in the back of our minds, even if it’s subconscious. Simply knowing that the visual key to our home is just hanging out in our pocket is enough to make our day a little brighter. What more could you ask for from a home security system?

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  1. Peter Neumer

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