Modern Castle is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Reolink Argus 2 Review

The Reolink Argus 2 is a wireless camera that can be used indoors or outdoors. It comes with a wide range of nice features and at a lower price than many, which could be better on the budget.

Can this budget pick compete with the big-name brands? Let’s dive in and check it out.

Budget Wireless Indoor / Outdoor Camera

moderncastle-fs-table__image

Reolink Argus 2 Camera

The Reolink Argus 2 is a wireless outdoor security camera for indoor or outdoor use. It offers Cloud-based storage as well as local storage (micro SD card) with 1080p resolution. Full audio control, an audible siren, color night more, and more. The Argus 2 checks a lot of boxes and was a solid performer overall. During our tests, we found video quality to be good, but not incredible. Marginal over exposure issues around windows during the day and not the best black white contrast at night. Even so, considering the price, it’s hard to complain too much. Still a solid value, in our view.Check Price

Pros

  • Local SD card storage and/or Cloud-based storage
  • Free cloud-based storage for up to 7 days of video history
  • Comes with wide range of accessories

Cons

  • Relatively short battery life (only 1-4 weeks with normal use)
  • Video quality wasn’t as good in live feed

Performance

Video Quality

Good

Audio Quality

Good

App Quality

Good

10 SECOND SUMMARY: Overall, the performance of the Argus 2 is good. The 1080 resolution provides good enough clarity for most users. While live streaming did have some graininess and blurred figures, overall it was easy to decipher activity and see detail on up close figures.

Video: Day vs. Night

Between day and night time, the video footage was a little darker than other cameras we’ve tested. Not exactly sure if this was an environmental factor or just something with Reolink, but the shots felt a little dimmer than expected. In addition, the contrast on the night shots just didn’t seem to be great.

Day

Daytime video quality was pretty good. The series of images below shows the video quality changing from figures at close range, mid-range, and far range.

CLOSE RANGE: Overall, the 1080p video resolution was clear and colors were pretty balanced. Because of the darkness of the foreground, it did cause a little overexposure at the window areas, but not terrible.

Reolink Argus 2 daytime video quality  - close range
Reolink Argus 2 daytime video quality – close range

MID-RANGE: As you can see, when figures get a little further, it becomes a little harder to see details, but overall decent quality.

Reolink Argus 2 daytime video quality
Reolink Argus 2 daytime video quality

FAR RANGE: With figures at the furthest distance, you can’t really see many facial features, but you can clearly see that it’s a person and it should be easy to detect overall movements.

Reolink Argus 2 daytime video quality  - far range
Reolink Argus 2 daytime video quality – far range

Further figures may also be darker, as you can see below. This could be due to the window directly behind me or the relative lack of foreground lighting. If you have additional lighting this may not be an issue for you, but certainly, something to point out.

Night

For night time shots, the video switched to grayscale. Overall, the Argus 2 has good picture quality and decent contrast between surfaces.

The Argus 2 does boast a full color night mode, but there must be some light present in order to allow this feature.

In complete darkness, it will default to grayscale mode.

Reolink Argus 2 nighttime video quality
Reolink Argus 2 nighttime video quality

Regarding figure clarity on the Argus 2, the darkness of the daytime shots carried over into night time shots as well.

This made it a little more difficult to see figures further away since there wasn’t a ton of contrast between people and surfaces.

Reolink Argus 2 nighttime video quality
Reolink Argus 2 nighttime video quality

For more Reolink tests see our full review series here:

Audio

The Argus 2 has two-way audio and it is pretty comprehensive. This Argus cam allows you to:

  • Listen in on live audio
  • Record video clips with or without audio
  • Two-way live talk
  • Customizable voice siren
  • Audible tonal siren

The customizable voice siren is a bit of a unique feature and not something we see on all other cameras.

Using this feature, you can customize a voice memo that plays on command.

For example, the camera can say “Hey, get off my porch” when anyone comes within 5 feet of your front door.

The Reolink app is the same for this camera or any other Reolink camera. It’s easy to setup and lets you quickly see what is going on.

With the app you can:

  • View a live feed
  • Playback recorded footage
  • Take a snapshot
  • Emit audible siren
  • Digital zoom
  • 2-way audio
Reolink Argus 2 camera app
Reolink Argus 2 camera app

Bear in mind, the more you view and record footage, the faster the battery will die. This battery lasts between 1-4 weeks with regular use.

If you left the live feed on continuously, the battery could only be expected to last about 15 hours during the day or as few as 9 hours at night.

RELATED Best Home Security Cameras & Reviews

The Reolink Argus 2 has a white matte body with exaggerated rounded edges and a glossy black face where the lens and sensors are located.

design of the Reolink Argus 2 camera
design of the Reolink Argus 2 camera

It has a strong magnetic mount that can attach to a wall or sit free-standing.

The mount also has two holes for screws to be wall-mounted.

What’s on the back of the camera?

The back of the camera mainly just has the hardware to snap the removable battery into place. On the battery itself, there is the micro-USB port and a little silicone cover that protects the port when it’s not charging.

Back of the Reolink Argus 2 camera

When it’s time to recharge, the battery pack just slides up and out. Use the provided charger cable and power adapter to charge the battery.

On the side, there is a reset pinhole for rebooting the system as well as an SD card slot for storing local video footage.

What does it do?

This camera can be used indoors or outdoors and provides video surveillance and motion-activated alerts directly to your smartphone.

When activity is detected, here’s what happens.

  1. The camera starts recording.
  2. A push alert is sent directly to your smartphone via the app. You may also opt for the camera to send email alerts.
  3. You can view a live feed of the activity or see the recorded activity (if it’s in the past).
  4. If you set up an audio siren, the siren may go off and deter suspicious activity.
Reolink Argus 2 camera
Reolink Argus 2 camera

How long does the camera record for?

You can choose to record activity in three different intervals.

  • 8 seconds
  • 15 seconds
  • 30 seconds

The longer clips will, of course, tell more about the activity that is happening, but the shorter clips will preserve battery life.

Emergency calling?

Right now, no. There is currently no option to alert authorities or emergency personnel directly from the camera or the smartphone app.

How it is powered?

The Argus 2 can be powered with two different methods.

  1. Rechargeable battery pack
  2. Solar-powered panel

With battery power, you can expect the camera to last about 1-4 weeks before needing to be charged. If the camera stays in stand-by mode and there is no motion-activity detected, the camera battery will last about 8 weeks.

Charging port for the Reolink Argus 2
Charging port for the Reolink Argus 2

With continuous viewing, the battery would only last about 15 hours in day mode or 9 hours with IR lights in night mode.

Overall, it’s a relatively short battery life. With a choice between the battery and solar power, I would probably opt for solar.

With solar power, the camera will have continuous power as long as the solar panel receives some sunlight.

The manufacturer recommends a minimum of 3 hours of sunlight per day for full power.

NOTE: If you opt for the solar panel, you’ll need to purchase that separately or make sure you buy the listing where the panel is included.

Features

Some of the top features of the Reolink Argus 2 include:

  • Motion Notifications: sends a push notification to your smartphone when the camera detects motion in the camera’s view
  • Local or Cloud video storage: use an SD card for up to 64 GB local video storage or get up to 7 days of rolling footage for free
  • Color night mode: color night mode is available as long as there is at least a small amount of light available, otherwise it will default to grayscale
  • Flexible Use: designed to be used indoor or outdoor freestanding or wall-mounted, and hardware mount or magnetic mount
  • 2-Way Audio: lets you hear what’s going on in the video as well as the ability to talk back, using the audio output on the camera itself
  • 24/7 Live Video: can record footage for 24/7 live video playback (but only stores footage when motion is detected)
  • App Control: view the camera footage from your smartphone or other device using wifi pairing and cloud video storage
  • Multiple Pairing: pair multiple cameras together (indoor or outdoor) for whole-home security

What’s in the Box?

The Reolink Argus 2 camera system comes with the following parts and accessories.

Parts and accessories with the Reolink Argus 2
Parts and accessories with the Reolink Argus 2

In the box, you’ll get:

  • Reolink Argus 2 (with Rechargeable Battery)
  • Hardware mount
  • Magnetic mount
  • Security strap + loop
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Mounting Hole Template
  • Reset Needle
  • Pack of Screws
  • Silicon camera cover
  • Surveillance Sign
  • User Guide

What is the USB cord for?

The USB cord has standard USB on one side and micro-USB on the other side. The micro-USB inserts into the back of the camera and is used to charge it up when the battery gets low.

If you want to skip the charging, you can opt for the camera system that includes the solar panel.

Solar panel with the Reolink Argus camera
Solar panel for the Argus PT

Setup & Usability

The Argus 2 comes with an exhaustive user manuel, but the setup is actually pretty easy.

For the most part, a series of QR codes are used to expedite setup.

Install is also fairly quick. You can use in one of the following ways:

  • Freestanding: takes virtually no time at all, just set upright and you’re done
  • Magnetic mount: magnetically attached the camera to a base that you can use free-standing or mount to a wall within a few minutes
  • Hardware mount: takes approx 5-10 minutes to install into a vertical wall, but comes with a mounting template so it’s easy to know where to drill the holes
Hardware mount with the Reolink Argus 2
Hardware mount with the Reolink Argus 2

How easy is it to setup?

As I mentioned above, the setup is pretty easy ad takes between 5-10 minutes.

Here are the steps you’ll want to follow:

  1. Unbox the Argus camera and remove all packaging.
  2. Use the USB cord provided to charge up the camera.
  3. Install the Reolink app to your phone.
  4. Follow the prompts to pair the camera and the app.

Where are videos stored?

For Cloud-based storage, you just need to install the app on your smartphone and maintain an active WiFi connection.

For local storage, you can use an SD card (sold separately) and remove the card when you’re ready to review the footage.

How easy is it to install?

The camera can be installed using two different methods.

  1. Free-standing
  2. Wall-mounted

With a freestanding install, you just set the camera up wherever you want it, no wires needed, done.

To mount the camera onto the wall, you can use the hardware mount or the magnetic mount.

The magnetic mount allows you to easily take the camera body off of the mount when it’s time to charge the battery.

What about bad weather?

If you install the camera outside, you can use the silicone camera cover provided which helps protect the camera from inclement weather as well as protecting the lens for a clear view.

Weather cover for Reolink Argus 2 camera
Weather cover for Reolink Argus 2 camera

How easy is it to use?

Being wireless, this camera is easy to use and intuitive. It’s easy to recharge the camera when you need to (or opt for the solar panel for less maintenance.)

Push alerts are delivered right to your smartphone and from there, you can respond directly via 2-way audio or rely on a pre-recorded alarm for customized security.

Reolink does not require a subscription plan, but you decide to get one, the subscription offers more video storage or support for additional cameras.

Reolink subscription plans
Reolink subscription plans

Here’s exactly what you’ll get with each plan in the Reolink tiered subscription.

Free Plan

  • 7-day cloud video history
  • 5 cameras supported
  • 1GB of cloud storage
  • Up to 64GB local storage (with sd card, sold separately)

Standard Plan: $3.50/mo

  • 30-day cloud video history
  • 5 camera supported
  • 30GB of cloud storage
  • Up to 64GB local storage (with sd card, sold separately)

Premier Plan: $7/mo

  • 30-day cloud video history
  • 10 camera supported
  • 80GB of cloud storage
  • Up to 64GB local storage (with sd card, sold separately)

Business Plan: $10.50/mo

  • 60-day cloud video history
  • 20 camera supported
  • 150GB of cloud storage
  • Up to 64GB local storage (with sd card, sold separately)

Argus 2 Camera Specifications

 Reolink
ModelArgus 2
TypeIndoor Only
Size2.32 x 3.78"
Weight1.6 lbs
Video Quality1080p
Night VisionYes
Field of View130° / up to 33' range
PowerUSB (rechargable)
Motion DetectionYes
2-Way AudioYes
Local StorageYes; SD card compatible
Cloud StorageYes; 7 days free
SirenYes
Live StreamingYes
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty2 Years
PriceCheck Price

I would recommend the Reolink Argus 2 you’re looking for the following in a security camera.

  • No subscription fee: With a rolling 7-day video storage capacity (up to 1 GB), the Argus 2 is a great option for DIY surveillance without a monthly subscription. It also has the option for SD card local storage, up to 64 GB.
  • Variety of accessories: If you like cameras with bells and whistles, the Argus 2 is a solid option. It comes with 2 different mounts for a variety of installation options, as well as mounting plate templates, security straps, a silicone camera cover, and more.
  • Power options: This camera works with a USB-rechargeable battery pack or with a solar panel (when used outdoors).
  • Good Value: While not the absolute best video quality we’ve seen to date, it was more than sufficient. But more than that, the price point is definitely on the money.

Click here to learn more or to check the price for the Reolink Argus 2.

Good Performance, Great Value
  • 95%
    Design - 95%
  • 93%
    Performance - 93%
  • 94%
    Quality - 94%
  • 96%
    Usability - 96%
  • 95%
    Value - 95%
95%

Summary

The Reolink Argus 2 wireless camera is approved for indoor or outdoor use. It is a flexible camera with 2 different mounts, Cloud-based or SD card local video storage, and 1080p video resolution. This camera has up to a 130° field of view with up to 33′ depth of range. I did notice the shots were a little darker than expected and I didn’t love the short battery life, but all in all, the Argus 2 was a solid camera and pretty good value. Granted, the value is better if you can opt for the solar power option.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

Leave a Comment