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This Wireless Outdoor Security Camera Offers Multiple Backup Alternatives

Reolink introduces a strong camera without the necessity for batteries or a membership plan.

This Wireless Outdoor Security Camera Has the Most Backup Options
This Wireless Outdoor Security Camera Has the Most Backup Options

This Wireless Outdoor Security Camera Offers Multiple Backup Alternatives

When selecting a wireless outdoor security camera, it's not just about the camera's functionality – the solar generator should perform well too, even under less than ideal circumstances. I've found this to be a tough standard to meet.

Reolink's latest product, the Argus 4 Pro ($219.99), is a wireless outdoor camera and solar generator combo, and my experience testing it was largely positive. It's compatible with Wifi 6, offers great color night vision, and doesn't require any subscriptions. The user interface is a bit unfriendly when accessing the camera, and it lacks pan and tilt capabilities, but its wide field of view compensates for its shortcomings. Additionally, the solar generator is able to do its job.

An Eye in the Sky

The Argus 4 Pro consists of two parts: the camera and the detachable solar panel. The camera resembles a pair of white plastic eyes mounted outside your home. The solar panel comes equipped with a separate mount and an ample amount of USB cord to connect it to the camera. This allows you to place the panel in a sunny location for optimal efficiency.

This Wireless Outdoor Security Camera Has the Most Backup Options

Both the camera and the panel are ready to be installed right out of the box. Once you insert a microSD card (optional and not included), charge the camera indoors, and mount them, you're good to go! This is one of the simplest installations I've experienced for outdoor cameras, with no complicated connections and only a few plastic brackets involved.

Standout Features of Outdoor Cameras

The Reolink app is straightforward to set up as well. My camera paired quickly after connecting via Bluetooth and then Wi-Fi. It also integrates with Google Home and Alexa, so I connected it to my multi-hub in under a minute.

This Wireless Outdoor Security Camera Has the Most Backup Options

$219.99at Amazon

The Reolink app provides the standard options found in other outdoor security cameras, such as setting a schedule, enabling alerts, and adjusting camera and audio quality. Besides the usual features, it offers three unique capabilities. First, you can set up an FTP address for backing up videos. This feature is intriguing, as FTP protocol is not encrypted and represents a potential vulnerability for hackers. (The app even cautions against using FTP outside a home network.) Second, the Argus doesn't create motion zones; instead, it provides "privacy zones" in which you can prevent areas from being recorded by displaying black boxes in your footage instead of images. Third, you can use an AI feature to define the size of objects the camera should focus on, and it will overlook anything smaller or larger. Since my cameras typically capture a lot of wildlife, I was able to tell the app to disregard anything smaller than a cat, which significantly reduced unnecessary notifications. You could also instruct the camera to disregard anything larger than a human figure.

Efficient Backup Options

The majority of your experience with your security camera consists of being alerted to activities that are unlikely to pose a threat (like a mail carrier or a squirrel) and then accessing the recorded footage or live view. I usually judge a camera's performance based on how quickly and reliably these interactions occur. On most days, I was able to access a clip by clicking on the alert and it took only a moment to switch to the live view, provided I did so regularly. However, if I left the camera alone for a few days, connecting to the live view would take around five minutes.

The camera in Argus 4 Pro is a little slower to respond than other models in the same category, hence fewer pesky alerts from mundane incidents, like trees swaying in the wind or pedestrians wandering outside the primary line of vision. The camera is programmed to capture clips only when motion is detected, and these clips are stored on the microSD card, an FTP server, a Reolink hub ($99.99), or network-attached storage (NAS). Additionally, you have the option to sign up for a cloud storage subscription from Reolink, starting at $6 a month for 30GB.

Outstanding Video Quality and Power

The camera's 4k ultra high definition video quality is enhanced by its exceptional color night vision. This feature allows the camera to record your yard in what seems like early dawn, even during the darkest hours of the night, and provides a significant depth of field.

The solar generator holds up well, even in inclement weather, to maintain the camera's functionality. The panel is larger than those accompanying any other camera I've tested, but this is a fair trade-off for its functionality.

An Unpolished App Interface

However, the Argus 4 Pro's biggest drawback is the app experience. As mentioned earlier, the camera can't pan or tilt, but its field of vision spans 180 degrees horizontally with nearly 50 degrees of vertical range. This creates a vast, landscaped view that the app hasn't quite mastered displaying on your phone effectively.

$199.99at Amazon

Every time you launch the software, you'll witness a tiny sample if you're keeping your smartphone upright, and enhancing the video using your digits doesn't exactly optimize the presentation. You'll need to orient the phone sideways to completely exploit the resolution - however, this will leave you with an array of buttons on top of the video screen, allowing you to activate the intercom through the camera, turn the illumination on and off, or capture a photo or video clip. Not too practical, in truth.

The lowdown: A reputable investment

The Argus 4 Pro is an outstanding piece of engineering, having similar characteristics as other high-end models, such as impressive video resolution and deep focus, remarkable battery life, and a competent solar panel. It shines through by offering various alternatives for saving your film without a paid membership. Despite a couple flaws in the application, it's a trustworthy investment if you're after a stationary camera and are disregarding rotational and angular movement capabilities. (It's worth mentioning that around the same price range, you could also purchase my preferred outdoor wireless camera, the Eufy Solocam ($199.99), which delivers an even larger field of view thanks to its pan and tilt capabilities.)

Eufy SoloCam S340$199.99at Amazon$199.99at Amazon [put hyperlink to the product]

This Wireless Outdoor Security Camera Has the Most Backup Options
This Wireless Outdoor Security Camera Has the Most Backup Options

Read also:

The Argus 4 Pro, priced at $219.99, is a tech product that boasts impressive features. Among these, it supports Wi-Fi 6 and offers great color night vision, making it an attractive option for security camera users who prefer not to subscribe to additional services. (Argus 4 Pro tech review)

During my testing, I found that the solar generator included with the Argus 4 Pro Pro security camera performed admirably, ensuring the camera's functionality even in less than ideal conditions. (Argus 4 Pro security camera review)

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