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Reolink Argus review: Cute security cam braves the outdoors at a fair price

Reolink's battery-powered Argus Security Camera keeps an eye on your yard -- for 100 bucks.

Megan Wollerton Former Senior Writer/Editor
2 min read

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. 


Reolink Argus

The Good

The indoor/outdoor Reolink Argus Security Camera is powered by four CR123A batteries, costs just $100, sends prompt motion alerts and has a microSD card slot for local storage.

The Bad

It doesn't currently support cloud storage, smart home integrations, motion detection zones or any other advanced features. CR123A's are expensive and difficult to find.

The Bottom Line

Reolink's Argus may have a funny name, but this simple, affordable outdoor cam does a pretty good job protecting your yard.

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.

An outdoor security camera for just 100 bucks

See all photos

Is the Argus actually worth it?

Comparing security cameras

Reolink ArgusCanary FlexNetgear Arlo Pro
Price $100$199$250
Color finish WhiteBlack, whiteWhite
Type Indoor/outdoorIndoor/outdoorIndoor/outdoor
Power source Four CR123A batteriesRechargeable battery, power adapterRechargeable battery, power adapter
Resolution 1080p HD720p HD720p HD
Expected battery life Six monthTwo monthsSix months
Field of view 130-degree viewing angle116-degree viewing angle130-degree viewing angle
Live streaming YesYesYes
Continuous recording NoNoNo
Cloud storage NoFree 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)NoNo
Mobile app Yes, Android and iPhoneYes, Android and iPhoneYes, Android and iPhone
Web app NoNoYes
Night vision YesYesYes
Alerts Motion and audioMotionMotion and audio
Activity zones NoNoNo
Two-way audio YesYes, with $10 monthly subscriptionYes
Operating temperature range 14 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit-4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit-4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit
Third-party integrations NoNoIFTTT, Samsung SmartThings
Enlarge Image

The Argus cam inside -- and out.

Screenshots by CNET

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. 


Reolink Argus

Score Breakdown

Features 5.5Usability 7.5Design 7Performance 7
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