The Reolink Argus 2E is a security camera that falls somewhere between the Argus 2, Argus Pro, and the Argus 3. You can find all the specs and details here. Let’s get started.
Budget Wireless Indoor / Outdoor Camera
Reolink Argus 2E CameraThe Argus E2 is an indoor / outdoor camera that is wireless and offers 1080p video resolution. It comes with a built-in siren and 2-way audio. In our tests it had good video quality during the day and pretty good at night.Check Price
- Local SD card storage and/or Cloud-based storage
- Free cloud-based storage for up to 7 days of video history
- Wireless power for indoor or outdoor installation
- Relatively short battery life (only 1-4 weeks with normal use)
- Video quality wasn’t as good in live feed
Video: Day vs. Night
When comparing daytime and nighttime video footage, the daytime is definitely better.
Night footage tends to be a little dark and grainy, with not enough clarify to pick up on details like license plates, facial descriptions, or notable clothing that could help identify people on camera.
Daytime video quality was pretty good. There’s a good amount of clarity and contrast within the image. It did struggle with a bit of overexposure in the left corner (see below), but not terrible anywhere else.
Depending on where they’re located on-screen, further figures may be a little darker or be hard to distinguish.
The night time video quality was a bit dark, but when figures walked into areas that had supplemental lighting (ex: the floodlight mounted to the house) the clarity definitely improved.
For comparison, here is a similar shot that has less exterior lighting. As you can see, there is less contrast in the image and it may be difficult to see the finer details of figures as they pass.
The audio quality on the Reolink was pretty good. Similar to other Reolinks, the app allows you to access the following audio features:
- Listen in on live audio
- Record video clips with or without audio
- Two-way live talk
- Customizable voice siren
- Audible tonal siren
The sirens are definitely nice features with the E2.
Similar to the Argus 2, the tonal siren is a loud beep, and the voice siren is a customizable way to play pre-recorded messages like “hey, kid! step off the grass” or whatever else you want to repeatedly play out loud.
The Reolink App
The Reolink app with the Argus 2E works the same as it would with any of the other Reolink camera.
It’s easy to pair the camera to the app and allows instant connection to the camera from anywhere that has an internet connection.
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With the app you can:
- View a live feed
- Playback recorded footage
- Take a snapshot
- Emit audible siren
- Digital zoom
- 2-way audio
WARNING: One thing to keep in mind is the connection between viewing and recording footage on the app and the battery life of the camera.
But these two factors are definitely connected.
- With regular, intermittent use, the battery will last between 1-4 weeks.
- In live feed, continuous mode, the battery will only last between 9 hours (in night mode) and 15 hours (in day mode).
The Reolink Argue 2E closely resembles the look of the Argus 2 or the Argus Pro. It has a white matte body with rounded corners.
The front of the camera has a black face for the lens and sensors, which detect motion or activity within the viewing range.
What’s on the back of the camera?
The back of the camera on the Argus 2E closely resembles the back of the standard Argus 2. It has a threaded hardware connection where the camera can screw into the hardware mount.
There is a micro-USB for charging as well and a little silicone cover that protects the port when it’s not charging.
On the side, there is a reset pinhole for rebooting the system as well as an SD card slot for storing local video footage.
Cloud-based footage can be viewed via the app directly from your tablet or smartphone.
What does it do?
The Reolink Argus 2E is an indoor / outdoor camera that offers DIY wireless security at a fairly low price.
When activity as detected, the Argus 2E will follow the steps below:
- The camera starts recording.
- A push alert is sent directly to your smartphone via the app. You may also opt for the camera to send email alerts.
- You can view a live feed of the activity or see the recorded activity (if it’s in the past).
- If you set up an audio siren, the siren may go off and deter suspicious activity.
Some of the top features of the Reolink Argus 2E include:
- Motion Notifications: sends a push notification to your smartphone when the camera detects motion in the camera’s view
- 120° Field of View: 10° less than the 130° field of view on the Reolink Argus 2
- 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
- Flexible Use: supports indoor or outdoor installation with two different mounts available
- 2-Way Audio: lets you hear what’s going on in the video as well as the ability to talk back
- Live Video: can record footage for live video playback (but beware, this may quickly drain the battery)
- 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
How long can the camera record?
Reolink allows the camera to record in preset intervals depending on how long the activity lasts. You can record for:
- 8 seconds
- 15 seconds
- 30 seconds
The longer the clip, the more reference activity will be available, but bear in mind, long clips take up more storage room on the drive as well.
Does Reolink offer emergency calling or 911 dispatch?
Unfortunately, no. Push alerts sent to your smartphone and audible sirens are the two best lines of defense in the event of an emergency while you’re away.
How it is powered?
The Argus 2E can be powered by:
- Rechargeable battery pack
- Solar-powered panel
The Rechargeable Battery
The rechargeable battery relies on the micro-USB connection to juice up when the battery is low.
With normal use, you can expect the camera to last about 1-4 weeks before needing to be charged. If the camera stays in standby mode and there is no motion-activity detected, the camera battery will last about 8 weeks.
With continuous use, the battery only lasts between 9-15 hours. Night mode would be closer to 9 hours, while daytime mode could stretch that number to 15 hours.
Either way, the Argus 2E has a pretty short battery life, which is arguabley one of the biggest disadvantages to going with this model.
The Solar Panel
The Solar Panel is another great option if you don’t want the hassle of a fading battery. The solar panel is powered by the sun and does not require recharging (beyond 3 hours a day of sun exposure).
What’s in the Box?
The Reolink Argus 2E camera system comes with the following parts and accessories.
In the box, you’ll get:
- Argus 2E
- USB Cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Bracket with Strap
- Stand Bracket
- Mounting Template
- Surveillance Sign (x2)
- Pack of Screws
- Reset Needle
Setup & Usability
The Argus 2E just takes a few minutes to setup and is pretty simple.
You can flip through the user manual or follow a series of in-app QR codes to help walk you through the setup process.
How easy is it to setup?
Here are the steps you’ll want to follow:
- Unbox the Argus 2E camera and remove all packaging.
- Use the USB cord provided to charge up the camera.
- Install the Reolink app to your phone.
- Follow the prompts to pair the camera and the app.
Where are videos stored?
Cloud-based videos are stored in the cloud. You can access these clips anytime from your smartphone wherever you have a WiFi connection.
Videos may also be stored on a local drive when paired with an SD card. The Argus 2E supports cards up to 64GB. You can also access these videos remotely or by downloading them from the card.
How easy is it to install?
This camera offers three different mounts for installation:
- Hardware Mount: mount installs directly into the substrate; twist the outer ring to adjust camera position; twist to tighten once at the desired angle
- Magnetic Mount: mount installs directly into the substrate; camera magnetically attaches to mount; pull the camera to remove for recharging or to adjust the angle position
- Stand bracket: this bracket makes it easy for the camera to stand up on its own (when used indoors)
NOTE: I will add that the manufacturer’s website shows photos of the magnetic mount working with the Argus 2E, but the system did not include this mount in the box when we tested.
How easy is it to use?
The Argus 2E is easy to use after installation. The app lets you know when there is activity and when it may be time to recharge.
While it lacks emergency calling or 911-dispatch, for a DIY surveillance system, it certainly has a number of attractive features.
Does Reolink require a subscription?
Reolink does not require an active subscription to use their camera system, but a subscription does provide additional features that may not otherwise be available with the free plan.
Here’s a breakdown of the three-tiered subscription system they offer:
- Price: Free
- Video History: 7 days
- Supported Cameras: 5
- Cloud Storage: 1 GB
- Price: $3.50 / month
- Video History: 30 days
- Supported Cameras: 5
- Cloud Storage: 30 GB
- Price: $7 / month
- Video History: 30 days
- Supported Cameras: 10
- Cloud Storage: 80 GB
- Price: $10.50 / month
- Video History: 60 days
- Supported Cameras: 20
- Cloud Storage: 150 GB
Argus 2E Camera Specifications
|Type||Indoor / Outdoor|
|Size||4" x 2.3"|
|Field of View||120°|
|Power||USB (rechargable) or solar panel|
|Local Storage||Yes; SD card compatible|
|Cloud Storage||Yes; 7 days free|
|Returns||Varies by retailer|
Argus 2 vs 2E
What’s the difference between the Argus 2 and Argus 2E? The list is short so it won’t take long to review.
Reolink Argus 2
Reolink Argus 2E
- The E: The 2E adds an “E” to the name, which stands for eco-friendly. What this boils down to is a slightly more high-efficiency battery, but not necessarily more battery life.
- Field of View. The Argus 2 has a 130° field of view, while the Argue 2E only supports a 120° range.
- The Mount. The 2 and 2E come with slightly different mounts. The Argus 2 has a traditional magnetic mount for indoor use and the 2E provides a “stand bracket”.
Should you buy the Reolink Argus 2E?
I would recommend the Reolink Argus 2E you’re looking for the following in a security camera.
- No subscription fee: It’s nice that the Argus 2E offers cloud or SD card video storage without the hassle of a costly subscription. If you don’t need a lot of storage, the free Reolink plan may be more than sufficient.
- Power options: This camera works with a USB-rechargeable battery pack or with a solar panel (when used outdoors).
- Good Value: The low price may be a big selling feature for the Argue 2E camera. It may lack advanced security like professional monitoring with average nighttime video quality, but for good daytime footage and no monthly fee, the Argus 2E can still be a solid option.
Value-Oriented Indoor / Outdoor Camera
The Reolink Argus 2E feels similar in design and performance to the Reolink Argus 2. It’s an indoor / outdoor camera with dual options for cloud-based video storage or local SD card storage. It performed well during daytime surveillance and a little less impressive for nighttime security. Still overall, the Argus 2E is a good value and nice balance of price, performance, and features.