Reolink's battery-powered Argus Security Camera keeps an eye on your yard -- for 100 bucks.
Reolink's Argus won't be right for everyone, but this $100 DIY security camera does fill a niche: it's affordable, battery-powered and weatherproof. The versatility of a cord-free camera means the Argus can go anywhere within range of your Wi-Fi network -- either inside or out.
It has a serious lack of features, though. You won't find cloud recording, smart home integrations, activity zones, geofencing or a web app. It also requires four pricey and hard-to-find CR123A batteries, the same as Netgear's original $180 Arlo camera (Netgear upgraded to rechargeable batteries with its premium $250 Netgear Arlo Pro).
But, the Argus is much less expensive than Netgear's Arlo lineup, as well as other battery-powered outdoor cameras like the $199 Canary Flex. If you already have a microSD card, don't care about extra features and are fine swapping out CR123A's every 6 months, Reolink's Argus might be right for you.
Note: The Reolink Argus is currently only available in the US. At the current exchange rate, $100 converts to roughly £75 and AU$125.
|Reolink Argus||Canary Flex||Netgear Arlo Pro|
|Color finish||White||Black, white||White|
|Power source||Four CR123A batteries||Rechargeable battery, power adapter||Rechargeable battery, power adapter|
|Resolution||1080p HD||720p HD||720p HD|
|Expected battery life||Six month||Two months||Six months|
|Field of view||130-degree viewing angle||116-degree viewing angle||130-degree viewing angle|
|Cloud storage||No||Free 24-hour event-based video history (Optional 30-day event-based video history for $10 per month)||Free 7-day event-based video history (Optional 30- or 60-day event-based video history for $10 or $15 per month)|
|Local storage||Yes (microSD card not included)||No||No|
|Mobile app||Yes, Android and iPhone||Yes, Android and iPhone||Yes, Android and iPhone|
|Alerts||Motion and audio||Motion||Motion and audio|
|Two-way audio||Yes||Yes, with $10 monthly subscription||Yes|
|Operating temperature range||14 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit||-4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit||-4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Third-party integrations||No||No||IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings|
The Argus mostly holds its own alongside Netgear's Arlo Pro and Canary's Flex in the chart above. It has a higher 1080p HD resolution, a competitive six months of expected battery life, a wide viewing angle and more.
But its lack of cloud storage means you must use a microSD card to save footage locally. The Argus supports up to a 64GB microSD card, but one isn't included with your purchase.
Its 1080p HD resolution comes by way of a 2-megapixel sensor and a frame rate of 15 frames per second. The 1080p HD Nest Cam Outdoor, in contrast, has a 3-megapixel sensor and 30 frames per second.
While a higher frame rate requires more storage space/processing power, it also contributes to a smoother video feed. So, even though the Argus has 1080p resolution, it doesn't have the same video quality as many other 1080p cameras -- and even some 720p cameras such as the Canary Flex.
Still, the Argus is a decent, less expensive way to keep an eye on your yard. And if you happen to prefer local storage, the Argus could be just the outdoor camera you're looking for. Most folks should strongly consider Netgear's Arlo, Arlo Pro and the Canary Flex first, though. All three cameras offer free cloud storage and more features than Reolink's simple $100 Argus.