/>
X
Why you can trust ZDNet
Our recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product through our links. This helps support our work but does not influence what we write about or the price you pay. Our editors thoroughly review and fact check every article. Our process

'ZDNet Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNet's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

Reolink Argus 2, First Take: Good-value wireless security camera with improved power and imaging options

manek.jpg
Written by Manek Dubash on
reloink-argus-2-header.jpg

Reolink Argus 2

Reolink's second-generation Argus security camera moves the game on from the first in a couple of ways, adding colour night vision, a rechargeable battery, weatherproofing skins, and the promise of cloud storage.

Released less than a year after the initial version, the Argus 2 includes a single, clip-on Li-ion battery, a silicone skin to help weather-proof it, HD capture in standard H.264, and cloud storage - - real soon now, says the company -- colour night vision, and a range of mounts. Optional accessories include camouflage skins, and a solar panel for charging.

In the box you find the white, Humpty Dumpty-shaped device, with the 5,200mAh Li-ion battery packed separately. Just as well, as once plugged in and booted up, an annoying voice utters frequent demands for you to install and connect to it with the app. It's rechargeable via a Micro-USB port, is claimed to last up to 180 days, and includes a reassuring charging indicator. Mounting provisions are similar to before, and include a magnetic mount that holds the camera at any angle within a near-180-degree radius, a screw-in mount, and a strap that could, for example, allow you to secure the device to a tree or pole.

reolink-argus-2-main.jpg

The Argus 2 comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery; an optional solar panel is also available.

Images: Reolink

The motion and daylight sensors, the lens, IR lights, microphone and speaker feature on the front of the cleanly-designed device, with a MicroSD slot on the left (as the camera faces away from you), and both it and the charging port are protected from the elements by chunky covers.

As with the previous version, setting it up is simple via the QR codes provided and requires you only to disable any device prohibition you might have installed on your 2.4GHz wi-fi network. Other than that, you just follow either the voice prompts or the printed quick-start guide.

The 130-degree camera provides two bandwidth options, depending on storage and network capabilities. A static image consumed about 250kbps in the low-bandwidth mode, dubbed Fluent, while Clear consumed around 1,600kbps; moving images will of course use more bandwidth -- the amount depending on both the degree of motion and image composition. The effects of both can be seen using the live view option on the password-protected app, available for both Android and iOS.

Top ZDNet Reviews

Raspberry Pi 4
raspberry-pi-4-model-b-header.jpg

Top ZDNet Reviews

Raspberry Pi 4

9
Motorola Moto G100
motorola-moto-g100-header.jpg

Top ZDNet Reviews

Motorola Moto G100

8
Raspberry Pi 400
raspberry-pi-400-header.jpg

Top ZDNet Reviews

Raspberry Pi 400

8.5
OnePlus Watch
oneplus-watch-3.jpg

Top ZDNet Reviews

OnePlus Watch

5.7

See: Special report: Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (free PDF)

Video capture can be triggered manually using the software provided or the PIR motion sensor, whose sensitivity offers three settings; the furthest distance detection is a claimed 15m for large objects such as vehicles, and 9m for people, animals and the like. Lowering sensitivity reduces false alarms.

In use, the camera provides clear images, especially in high bandwidth mode, but the colour night vision isn't as successful: the colour feed works but monochrome delivers brighter images.

The app, which works both locally and outside a NAT-enabled router, hasn't fundamentally changed, allowing you to trigger emails and push events to your mobile, and extend battery life by switching off the PIR sensor, or scheduling it to only activate at certain times.

If you need a small, inconspicuous security camera that can be mounted anywhere and accessed from anywhere, the Argus 2 offers pretty good value at £121.99 ($129.99). The optional solar panel costs £26.99 ($29.99).

RECENT AND RELATED CONTENT

Researchers find security flaws in popular smart cameras
Researchers have discovered that cyber-attackers can remotely gain control of an IoT camera, allowing them to spy on users and more.

Netgear to separate Arlo security camera business, planning IPO
Netgear will offer less than 20 percent of Arlo's common stock in the IPO and retain the remaining interest.

Amazon boosts its home security portfolio with acquisition of Ring
It's the second such acquisition in a few short months for the online retailer.

CES: Ring has home security system, cameras, lighting products on tap for 2018
A company once known only for its video doorbell has moved on to an entire home security solution and has some interesting new products to go along with it.

Amazon Cloud Cam review: An affordable, fully capable security camera
The Amazon Cloud Cam isn't just for Amazon's new delivery service, Key. The Cloud Cam is more affordable than most high-end indoor security cameras and gets the job done just as well.

Read more reviews

Related

Netgear Orbi Quad-Band Mesh WiFi 6E System (RBKE963): Fast but expensive wireless mesh networking
netgear-orbi-wifi-6e-rbke963-header.jpg

Netgear Orbi Quad-Band Mesh WiFi 6E System (RBKE963): Fast but expensive wireless mesh networking

Networking
NexDock 360 Touch review: Transform your Samsung smartphone into a capable laptop
nexdock-360-5.jpg

NexDock 360 Touch review: Transform your Samsung smartphone into a capable laptop

Mobility
Dell XPS 17 9710 (2021) review: A highly configurable premium 17-inch laptop
dell-xps-17-9710-header.jpg

Dell XPS 17 9710 (2021) review: A highly configurable premium 17-inch laptop

Laptops