The Argus 2 which I reviewed in April offers great value for people looking to get some security cameras at home or work. When the Argus Pro became available at a lower price, we had to check it out.
The Argus Pro is a security camera that can run stand-alone (attached to an app), or it can become a part of your security suite. Either way, you can increase the protection for your home or business. Argus Pro can run off battery, off power, or a solar panel.
Reolink’s Argus Pro contains everything the user would need in the retail packaging. You don’t have to pay extra for accessories like a wall mount, cover and cables. It’s all included.
How does Argus Pro work?
Once you’ve got the camera unboxed, setting it up is easy. Install the Reolink App, follow the bouncing ball once you’ve attached the battery, and off you go. The setup process is basically entry of your WiFi password, show the QR code to the camera, and let it log in. Then, simply add the camera to your app and repeat for any further cameras you want to add to the system.
The Argus Pro review device came with a charging solar panel included. Out of interest, I ran the camera from its first full charge to determine the battery runtime. It took over a week to go from 100% down to 63%, and that’s with higher than normal usage. The solar panel, which isn’t hugely expensive, keeps your battery topped up. This makes the cameras a “set and forget” option.
Users can set up push notifications when movement is detected by Reolink cameras, or simply record events to the SD card mounted in the camera. The Argus Pro cameras also support the Reolink Cloud which (in the short term at least) supports:
- 10GB Storage
- 15 days worth (older recordings are automatically deleted)
- Up to 5 cameras linked to the free account
Reolink has indicated that there may be further plans and upgrades available for Reolink Cloud users. This feature addresses one of my criticisms of the Argus 2. If someone steals your camera with the SD card installed, you lose your footage as well.
Is Argus Pro easy to use?
Once setup, the streaming video to your chosen devices couldn’t be simpler. Simply use the app to check a notification, or to view the camera. The stream will start a few moments later, easy and very effective.
The physical setup is also very easy to deal with as the camera has multiple mounting options.
There are several mounting options, thanks to Reolink including some secure options in the box. Like many of the cheaper options on the market, though, you need to use the full mount kits supplied. Otherwise, it’s not difficult for your cameras to be stolen.
The other issue with the Argus Pro is the battery life. As a notification/automated recording device it is excellent, but if you’re going to run a stream from the camera via wifi to a device all the time – you’re going to run the battery down very quickly. You’ll need to either have a decent power supply hooked up to the camera permanently or look at a different (PoE) model that can support a permanent streaming workflow.
Should I buy Argus Pro?
Reolink offers fantastic value in the short and medium term. If you’re looking at a longer term investment, then the Reolink wireless setup probably won’t figure in your planning. There’s so much to like about the Reolink cameras: the ease of setup, the quality of video, the battery life of the cameras (without the solar panel and only viewing on demand vs streaming constantly), local storage for remote cameras and the Reolink cloud all make this a really good option for home users.
The system is not without its faults, but in reality, any budget option is going to have compromises. At $124.99, the cost is really appealing and should be seriously considered for your home or small business security options.
What features do you look for when evaluating security devices for your home?
As the camera is permanently mounted to the house, Reolink have allowed Ausdroid to retain the camera for long term evaluation and testing of future product features.