Reolink review, by Bryan Kollar

I never thought about getting a security cam until I saw Reolink’s advertising on Facebook. The $100 price tag was right, and the design looked awesome. 100% wireless was a huge plus, because where I needed to mount it had no electrical outlet. I asked a question on their Facebook page, and within a few minutes I already had a response. First sign of a good company - When customer service actually responds to messages. So - Now was the time to give it a try. I bought one.

The quality was quite impressive from just opening the box. The product ships with two different mounting brackets.

The screw-in type, or the strong magnetic mount.

The cam itself? This is not some toy. It’s heavy, quality construction. It just feels right in your hand, not like some plastic toy.

It also comes with four CR123A batteries. Although, if you are going to use this camera in a high traffic area, I would strongly recommend rechargable batteries, 2800mAh for best results. See below for more information.

Setup of the cam was extremely easy with the Reolink app. It walks you through the entire setup using your wi-fi or cellular network. Just scan the QR code on the back of the camera and let the fun begin!

Reolink Argus
Pictured Above

Using the app is just as simple. Just click the cam you want to view, if you have more than one. Or, view all at the same time.

The app can be set up to start recording to the Micro SD card inside the camera as soon as it detects movement and send you an alert either via notification from the app, or send you an email (or both). At that point, you can log into the app from anywhere in the world. You can interact with the camera by enabling voice so you can talk to the person/thing setting off the motion. The app has only two faults that I’ve found. 1) When you get a notification, if you have more than one camera, it doesn't tell you what camera the notification is from until you log into the app. Customer Service said they are going to make an update to the app in the near future. Although, if you have only one camera, this shouldn't be a problem for you. 2) Sometimes when the batteries are low, the app doesn't let you know. The solution is to log into your cams once in a while. If it doesn't connect, simply replace the batteries.

Or, so I thought. When I had the cam in my hand, it worked just great. But as soon as I moved it outdoors, the cam lost it’s connection. Right outside the door, with the door opened! As soon as I brought it back in the house, it re-connected. The router is not very far (probably about 50 feet) from where I wanted this cam, and there isn’t many obstacles in it’s path at all. I have a good quality router as well. Needless to say, I was very disappointed, and was going to return it. After a little research, the simple solution was to purchase a wireless range extender.  For $50, this solved the problem.

I have just a few complaints about the cam....

  1. The camera records when it detects movement. It records for six seconds, then stops and waits for more movement. If it doesn’t detect any, it shuts down until the next movement. But - if within six seconds it detects more movement, it starts recording again - starting another file. Between those six seconds could be crucial in my opinion. Again, customer service said they are going to be updating the firmware soon to correct this problem. This is a major concern for me, but I will update this article when the fix is in place.
  2. Battery life. Even with my battery saving tips, I get maybe 4 days of battery with each cam. I’m always swapping out batteries. It only takes seconds to do, so it’s not much of a problem for me. Is it a problem for you? Then you may be interested in the Reolink Argus 2, solar-powered cam! See my review here.
  3. Weak wi-fi connection. I have a good quality router, but yet needed a wi-fi extender to get one of them to work when the cam is just 50 feet away.
  4. Sometimes the app doesn’t let you know when the batteries are dead. I have to log in my cams every day just to ‘check up’ on them. This can easily be fixed with programming from Reolink.

Absolutely. This cam is well worth the price tag of $100. Two out of my four complaints above can easily be fixed, the others, not so much. It’s so nice to have piece of mind, knowing when someone comes up to my home, when packages are delivered, or even capturing wildlife (as long as those batteries are swapped out every few days.) The night vision is truly impressive as well, capturing anything, at any time.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars
4 star
Well done, Reolink!

Purchase yours here:

Enter code “The Box” for 15% off!

Now, about that battery life. The location I have chosen for all 3 of my cams are high activity. One at my front door, side door, and back yard. There are settings in the app that let you adjust the sensitivity as to how often the cameras are triggered. Since they are all high traffic, the camera triggers often, therefore, recording often. Therefore, draining the batteries. That’s why I strongly recommend rechargeable batteries. In fact, buy spares as well. I always have a set charging or ready to swap over to a cam when batteries die. The Reolink website states 180 hours of standby time, but I’ve never had standby time. People come and go all the time, tripping the camera to record all the time. Be prepared to replace/recharge your batteries at least once every 3-4 days in high traffic areas. Just recently, I’ve discovered how to stretch it into 7 days - even with high traffic. Here are battery saving tips.

January, 2018

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