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Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Battery Powered Security Camera Review

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Price: $129.99

Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Battery-Powered Security Camera Introduction:

The Argus 2 is the next logical step in the evolution of the original Argus cameras. Debuting in early 2017, the Argus camera brought a new dimension to security cameras, which was being wireless and battery powered. This was a first. The Argus certainly filled a niche for a camera that could conveniently be placed in locations that would otherwise be difficult - and it didn't require a base station. As long as you are in range of your WiFi signal, then the Argus will work for you. No running Ethernet or power cables. Of course being battery powered has limitations, so for the best performance, the Argus needs to be placed in a location that does not get constant traffic. Constant triggering will eat batteries.

Then comes the Argus 2. With its dedicated rechargeable lithium battery pack and an optional solar panel, you now have the freedom to mount the Argus 2 in a location that might see some more traffic, but you don't have the worries of battery replacement. This certainly makes the Argus 2 stand out in the growing crowd of security cameras. The fit and finish of the Argus 2 is on par with the high quality that I have seen with other Reolink products. The Argus 2 is slightly larger than the original Argus, but you almost have to have them side by side to notice.

If you like the optional accessory skin for the first Argus, well, you will have to hold off for a while since the current skin only fits the first generation Argus. I tried stuffing the Argus 2 into the skin, and it looks like me after the holidays (not good!), so just wait until a skin for the Argus 2 comes out.

Setup and performance are pretty much the same as with the first Argus. Download the app to your smartphone. Scan the 2D matrix. Then the camera gives you some voice commands to assist with the setup. In only a few minutes you are connected to your wireless network. You can keep an eye on the battery condition through the app. For now, you can only view the Argus cameras from the phone app and not the PC app. After you get the camera set up and running, you will get a push notice (when enabled) if there is a motion event. The event can be recorded on an optional SD card. You can also get an email sent to you when there is a motion event. The PIR (passive infrared) sensor does a good job at filtering out false alarms. Both generations of Argus cameras have the ability to record sound with video and there are two-way communications so you can speak through the camera.

Daytime images are in 1080P, so the image quality is quite satisfying. The night vision sensor has been upgraded and the new Starlight CMOS sensor offers clearer night vision, up to 33 feet. I compared the original Argus to the new Argus 2, and there is definitely a difference in the night vision.

Probably my favorite part of the new Argus 2 is that now there is the optional (sold separately) solar panel. When I first saw the original Argus last year, I thought to myself, "this wireless battery powered camera is a great idea, but you know, a solar panel would really open the door to even more flexibility." And Reolink must have been listening, because the Argus 2 now has that ability. Mount the solar panel in a sunny location and you can be sure that your Argus 2 will always have a battery that is topped off. Of course, you can always charge the battery pack (on or off the camera) with a wall-style charger.

Finally, I want to say that I have several Reolink cameras now and what I believe really makes Reolink a great company is that it listens to feedback and keeps the app and firmware up to date. More companies need to do that. I can't wait for the next Argus - maybe the Argus 3? How about an Argus dashcam! Well, for now, let's take a closer look at the new Argus 2.

 

 

 

Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Battery-Powered Security Camera Closer Look:

Since this camera and solar panel are prototypes, the packaging is not in the full retail form, and that is just fine. No doubt we will see the familiar blue and white Reolink colors when the camera and solar panel go live. After I get the boxes opened up and place everything on the table, you get a feel for the size of the solar panel. I have everything shown together, but the solar panel will be sold separately.

 

 

The camera looks very similar in size to the original Argus, but it is actually slightly larger. The layout of the camera's physical features is pretty much the same as the first Argus. The front face of the camera houses the camera lens at the top, the PIR (motion) sensor, and the microphone and speaker. The access for the optional SD card is on the side, along with the reset button, and both are protected by a weatherproof cover. The other difference is that the Argus 2 comes with a SAMSUNG/18650/5200mAh/3.63V rechargeable Lithium Battery. This is a great feature and there are a couple of ways to recharge it. Keep in mind that the rechargeable battery and the solar panel are designed for Reolink Argus 2 ONLY.

    

 

The first way to recharge the battery, and keep it topped off, of course, is the optional solar panel. The second way is to use the included micro USB cable to charge the battery. The battery detaches, but you can charge it on the camera, too. There is a small LED below the charging port. It is hard to see in the daylight, but in dim light, you can see a yellow glow when the battery is being charged, and the LED turns green when the battery is fully charged.

    

 

The magnetic base has some weight to it, so when the camera is attached it does not feel like it will tip over. In addition, the curved surface of the base allows for almost infinite adjustment. Then there is the fixed base that keeps the camera in one position after you adjust it and lock it down.

 

 

On the left is the hardware kit for the camera, and on the right is the kit for the solar panel. Since I have prototype products, the contents of the hardware kits may change for the actual retail products.

  

 

 

Finally, we have the solar panel. I have seen some pictures of the retail version and it does look a bit different than my prototype unit. The main difference is that the retail unit appears to have a black plastic frame rather than the aluminum one shown here. The solar panel adds a new dimension to the capability of this camera. Combined with the new rechargeable battery, you have a practically maintenance-free system. Just place the solar panel where it will get some decent sunlight and you are set. I left my camera unplugged (from the solar panel) starting with a 100% charge and checked it (watched live video feed) three or four times a day over two weeks. The charge dropped to about 61%, then I plugged the solar panel in, and within a day the charge increased to 77%. This is in the winter, too, when the sun is not so strong. I have no doubts that the panel can keep the battery charged.

 

 

 

Here is a quick video review of the Reolink Argus 2 wireless battery-powered camera with the optional solar panel - check it out and don't forget to come back for the rest of the review!



  1. Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Battery-Powered Security Camera: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Battery-Powered Security Camera: Closer Look (Setup & Software)
  3. Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Battery-Powered Security Camera: Specifications & Features
  4. Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Battery-Powered Security Camera: Conclusion
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