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Published on May 9th, 2023 📆 | 4929 Views ⚑

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Reolink security camera review: Is the outdoor Argus 3 Pro any good?


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Pros

  • Good value

  • Offers solar power

  • Easy-to-use app

  • Colors: White or Black
  • Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n @2.4GHz or 5GHz
  • Power source: Battery powered, solar powered, or hard wired
  • Resolution: 2K, HD
  • Field of view: 122 degrees diagonal
  • Audio: Two-way talk
  • Lighting brightness: 230 lumens
  • Smart assistant support: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Operational temperatures: -14°F to 131°F
  • Weight: 11.6 ounces

Installing the camera is relatively easy, and it supports standard ¼-inch camera mounts, so if you already have a mount installed, you can use it with the camera. Though of course, the camera comes with everything you need to get started. It screws into the wall via three screws.

The camera connects directly to your Wi-Fi network, so you don’t need a hub or bridge to use it. That also means that if your home network is bad, you should expect poor connectivity with the camera.

What we like

The outdoor Reolink security camera can be used with a solar panel

A Reolink solar panel outside in the sun.

Credit:
Reviewed / Christian de Looper

The Reolink Solar Panel is an easy way to charge the outdoor camera.

Perhaps one of the coolest things about this camera is that it’s available with a solar panel, which means you’ll never have to worry about charging it. To be clear, there are other security cameras that work with solar panels for continuous power, so it’s not necessarily unique.

But, most of the time, if you buy both a camera and a solar panel together, you’ll expect to pay more than $140, which is the price of this Reolink security camera and solar panel together.

The solar panel charges the camera quickly, too. When I set up the camera, it had 44% battery. However, by the end of the day it was fully charged. Even if you have a run of bad weather and cloudy days, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about battery life.

Mounting the solar panel is as easy as mounting the camera, with a few simple screws. It can be angled towards the sun using the mount, too. It’s not the prettiest look, but it doesn’t look worse than any of the other options, and the advantages of being a little more eco-friendly and not having to worry about charging are worth the big panel sticking out to me.

The video quality on the Reolink security camera is great for the price

Close up of the Reolink outdoor security camera.

Credit:
Reviewed / Christian de Looper

The Reolink security camera offers good video quality for the money.

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro may be inexpensive, but it still offers a generally high video quality. The camera offers a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, at 15 frames per second, and it has a 122-degree field of view.

On top of that, you’ll get 16x digital zoom which can be viewed in the app, and there’s a 230-lumen LED spotlight that can be used to capture color night vision, or if you need longer distance night video, the camera has six infrared LEDs for black-and-white night vision at up to 33 feet.

Generally speaking, I found the video quality to be clear and detailed, with solid color reproduction. That included at night, though ultimately I opted for the black-and-white video due to needing better video at longer distances.

Video can be saved to a microSD card slot, too, which is found behind a rubber, weather-proof door.

The Reolink app is relatively simple

Three screenshots of the Reolink smartphone app.

Credit:
Reviewed / Christian de Looper

The Reolink app offers a user-friendly experience.

The Reolink app is mostly easy to use, or if you prefer, you can access your camera’s settings through a web portal instead.

Through the app, you’ll be able to see and manage recorded clips, manage the sensitivity of motion detection, and so on. And, if you need to, you can use the two-way audio in the app too.

You’ll get most of the advanced features you would expect in 2023 in the app too. For example, you can set up motion zones, and set up cloud storage, which is free for the single-device, 7-day basic plan.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to a 30-day plan starting at $6.99 per month. Of course, you don’t have to use the cloud storage given the built-in microSD card slot.

What we don’t like

There is no support for Apple HomeKit

The side of the camera, revealing the Reolink logo.

Credit:
Reviewed / Christian de Looper

This Reolink camera does not integrate with Apple HomeKit.

Unfortunately, the Reolink Argus 3 Pro doesn’t support HomeKit, Secure Video or otherwise. It’s relatively hit-and-miss as to what cameras support HomeKit, which isn’t a good thing. It means that I’m still using Eufy cameras, despite Eufy’s security violations, around my home (though I won’t use them inside anymore).

Even the Google Assistant and Alexa support is relatively limited. You’ll be able to use Google and Alexa to view video feeds on supported screens, but that’s about it.





There’s also no IFTTT, which is another loss for the camera’s integration with your smart home.

The wireless connectivity isn’t the best

The back of the outdoor Reolink security camera.

Credit:
Reviewed / Christian de Looper

Install the Reolink security camera in a spot that's not too far from your modem or router.

I had some issues with the wireless connectivity on offer by this camera, and ultimately, it did influence where I installed it during the setup process.

On the outside of my home, I use Eufy security cameras, which of course, work with Eufy’s Home Base. Clearly, this impacts connectivity quite a lot—as I’ve never experienced an issue with the location of those Eufy cameras.

Upon mounting the Relink Argus 3 Pro to the exact same mount that one of the Eufy cameras is usually connected to, I found that it wouldn’t connect to my network at all, and I was unable to view a video feed in the app.

To be clear, the location of that particular mount isn’t close to the router, but it’s also not that far. I would have expected the camera to connect. I also use strong routers (a two-node TP-Link XE200 mesh system).

To fix this, moving one of the nodes closer to where the camera is may have helped, but that wasn’t an option in my setup.

Moving the camera to a different location, closer to the router, did help.

Yes, if you want a solid camera on a budget

The best way I can describe the Reolink Argus 3 Pro’s shortcomings is that it’s not quite as well-rounded as some of the competition. But it still gets the important things right. It’s well-designed, works with a solar panel, and offers a great video quality for the price.

But those shortcomings still exist, and they’re important to keep in mind if you’re interested in buying the camera. If you want a camera that integrates deeply with your smart home, this isn't it. Likewise, if you want a camera that offers a highly reliable, long-distance connection, this also isn’t it. An outdoor camera like the [Ring Stick Up Cam](

https://www.amazon.com/All-new-Ring-Stick-Up-Cam-Battery-HD-security-camera-with-two-way-talk-Works-with-Alexa-/dp/B07Q6ZZFLS/?tag=rvwreview-20), which also comes in a solar-powered option, offers a wider spread of features for the money.

But if all you want is a self-powered camera with a decent image quality at a low price, then the Reolink Argus 3 Pro is probably the way to go.

Product image of Reolink Argus 3 Pro

Reolink Argus 3 Pro

A good quality smart security camera for a low price.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Christian de Looper

Christian de Looper

Contributor


@cdelooper

Originally from Australia, Christian has long had a passion for gadgets and consumer electronics. Christian has experience reviewing products in all areas of the consumer tech world, and is dedicated to helping people find the best products for their lifestyle.


See all of Christian de Looper's reviews

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