Reolink Argus 3 Pro Review

We tested the Reolink Argus 3 Pro to discover it's a top security camera contender.
Best wireless security camera
Reolink Argus 3 Pro
Reolink Argus 3 Pro
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • pro
    Multiple mounting options
  • pro
    Excellent video quality
  • pro
    Affordable solar add-on
John Carlsen
Senior Staff Writer, Security & Smart Home
September 06, 2022

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro is one of the best security cameras you can buy. Reolink Argus 3 Pro easily matches our previous pick's (Arlo Pro 4) video quality and beats its battery life. Plus, it really shines as the best solar security camera, thanks to an affordable solar panel add-on.

It lacks a couple of standard features among the competition, like motion zones and a removable battery, but it's a solid alternative to big-name brands like Arlo and Ring. Learn how our hands-on testing revealed Reolink as a true contender, even though it's a lesser-known brand.

pro
Pros
pro Excellent video quality
pro Affordable solar add-on
pro Works indoors and outdoors
pro Easy installation with multiple mounting options
con
Cons
con Relatively narrow field of view
con No removable battery
con No motion zones

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Prices are accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

What’s in the box

Reolink Argus 3 Pro in the box

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

  • Reolink Argus 3 Pro
  • Three mounting options:
    • Security bracket
    • Magnetic bracket
    • Stand bracket
  • Mounting loop strap
  • Mounting templates and screws
  • Micro USB cable
  • Security stickers
  • Quick start guide

Reolink Argus 3 Pro's video quality and features

Video quality

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro blew us away during testing by producing some of the best video quality we've seen in a security camera. Argus 3 Pro easily matches the Arlo Pro 4 (our previous security camera pick) in terms of overall video quality thanks to sharing many of the same features like a luminous LED spotlight, 1440p video resolution, and wire-free operation—all for a substantially cheaper price.

We like the clear daytime and nighttime video this outdoor camera produces. We didn't notice any big distortions in recordings and live footage when we tested it in different lighting levels. There was some lag when watching the live camera feed, but we're confident it was our Wi-Fi connection and not the camera's fault.

As nice as Argus 3 Pro's video looks, the camera's field of view is just 122º—narrower than the 130º average we see on cameras from Arlo and Ring. Compared to Arlo Pro 4's 160º field of view, this camera may require a more intentional placement to capture the best view. Field of view is essentially the only place it falls behind Arlo in terms of video quality.

Light Bulb
Spotlight

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro's integrated spotlight is a nice way to bring colour night vision into your nighttime recordings. It also does a great job of startling unsuspecting reviewers who forget to turn off motion triggering—a perk that should translate equally well to uninvited guests.

Reolink recording options

A few recording options are available on the Reolink Argus 3 Pro: motion, schedule, and time lapse.

Motion recording, but no motion zones

One of the first things you'll notice about the Argus 3 Pro's design is a dome-shaped infrared motion sensor just below the camera's lens. This allows the camera to detect motion in complete darkness without relying on video-based motion triggers and infrared LEDs, which would drain the rechargeable battery quickly.

Although we like that you can adjust the motion sensitivity, the camera lacks one of the more helpful motion detection features of competitors: motion zones. We suspect that Reolink nixed motion zones in order to improve battery life—since they rely on video—but it's still disappointing.

We love motion zones because you can set a camera to record only when there's motion within a certain part of the video frame, like a door, window, or sidewalk. This is great for ignoring passing cars or overactive pets patrolling the house.

Despite lacking motion zones, the Reolink Argus 3 Pro's motion recording can differentiate between people, vehicles, and other motion. This is helpful because you can choose to ignore categories to cut down on extra videos and notifications.

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Audio quality

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro can also record audio. The audio sounded clear during live viewing and two-way audio in our tests. You can also turn off audio recording for more privacy.

Scheduled recording

You can schedule when your motion recording option activates based on specific times of day throughout the week. This is a great option for synchronising recording with regular times when you leave the house for work or after-school activities. We also like that you can schedule when the Reolink camera records using person or vehicle detection for more control.

Time lapse

Time-lapse photography isn't a huge security help since it can make identifying different people difficult. But we like how Reolink recognizes that many folks will use security cameras for more creative pursuits by including this feature with the Argus 3 Pro.

Time lapse can be a fun way to track long-term progress like plants growing, clouds moving through the sky, or the construction of your backyard shed.

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Live viewing and two-way audio

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro allows you to watch a live view on your phone using the Reolink app. You can even talk to folks near the camera using its two-way audio. These are standard features on any Wi-Fi security camera—but we wanted you to know Reolink didn't forget them.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro video storage

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro has two video storage options: local storage and cloud storage.

Local storage

We love that the Argus 3 Pro supports microSD cards up to 128 GB (about $30) when most competitors top out at 32 GB or 64 GB. This is good news considering the camera's 1440p video chews through memory card space a bit faster than typical 1080p models.

Local storage is great because you need only buy a microSD card to use it instead of paying a monthly fee. It also doesn't require an internet connection—the camera's battery lasts longer because it's not always uploading videos to the cloud.

Cloud storage

Reolink offers free cloud storage on a single camera and up to 1 GB of video clips for up to a week. This is fairly generous considering most brands don't offer more than a few hours of free cloud storage at most.

The company also sells cloud subscriptions that boost the storage capacity, video history, and the number of cameras. Reolink Cloud's pricing is reasonably competitive compared to the likes of Ring and Arlo, but there's no local Australian pricing. Costs range between US$4.99 for up to five cameras and US$9.99 for 10 cameras, with cheaper options available for annual payments. There's also a Business Plan which starts from US$14.99 and supports 20 cameras.

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Built-in siren

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro includes a built-in siren you can activate to scare off intruders. The camera's built-in speaker controls this, but it won't work correctly (the same goes for the two-way audio) if the battery gets too low.

Argus 3 Pro's power sources

How long does the Reolink Argus 3 Pro's battery last?

Reolink says you can expect one to four weeks of battery life without a solar panel on the camera during normal usage. Normal usage means recording videos multiple times daily and watching live feeds from the Reolink app.

Our testing reveals that this camera's battery can last much longer in standby mode. We didn't charge our Reolink Argus 3 Pro for almost three months, and it still held over 50% of its charge.

That's an impressive figure considering the Arlo Pro 4 needed charging after sitting on standby for less than two months. This means that setting a schedule that balances standby time and recording time could yield some impressive results, especially if you supplement the battery with a solar panel.

Reolink solar panel

Reolink Argus 3 Pro

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Reolink is the gold standard among solar security cameras because it doesn't treat solar accessories as pricey upgrades costing $80 or more. Instead, the company sells its solar panel add-ons for less than $50, making it more affordable than solar options from Arlo and Ring.

Hooking up a solar panel cuts down the number of times you need to unmount the Reolink camera each year. This is especially helpful since you can't swap out the battery.

Checklist
Solar panel sold separately

The base Reolink Argus 3 Pro doesn't come with a solar panel, though you can buy both in a bundle for around $220. It is slightly cheaper to bundle the products together, but you can always purchase the Reolink Solar Panel separately for about $50.

Smart home compatibility

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant smart displays like the Echo Show and Google Nest Hub. This allows you to ask your voice assistant for a live view of the camera feed, but the camera doesn't interact with your smart home any other way. Still, this is very useful for checking on the kids in the backyard or getting a hands-free view after getting a push notification in the Reolink app.

Reolink customer service

We found a treasure trove of articles and videos in the Reolink Support Center. The articles offer helpful diagrams and explain plenty of technical details beyond simply showing you how to fix common problems. The Support Center is easy to navigate, and the search bar returns accurate results based on the model (or the issue you're having).

The Reolink Forum is a nice alternative to the support centre, but this user-driven content is harder to digest than the support articles. If you can't find an answer in the support centre or forum, you can contact Reolink by submitting a request via an email form.

Lastly, it's impressive that the Reolink Argus 3 Pro carries a two-year warranty. While two years doesn't seem very long, it's twice the length of a typical security camera warranty.

Setting up and installing the Argus 3 Pro

Setting up the Reolink Argus 3 Pro is easy thanks to clear instructions in the Reolink app. It took us less than five minutes to connect the camera to Wi-Fi. We recommend charging the battery overnight before setup, but it's not mandatory unless the app tells you to.

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5 GHz Wi-Fi support

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro is one of few home security cameras that supports 5 GHz Wi-Fi in addition to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. The additional frequency can help cut down on home network congestion because it spreads out devices that might otherwise crowd 2.4 GHz networks.

Installation was also an easy lift because the Reolink camera comes with three mounting brackets for maximum flexibility:

  • The security bracket screws to the back of the camera and attaches to the wall via screws or a hanging mount but also fits on a tree or pole if you use the included loop strap. This is the most stable mounting option and is your best choice for mounting the camera outdoors.
  • The magnetic bracket attaches a strong magnet to the back of the camera, making it easy to mount and reposition on the accompanying bracket. While it attaches to surfaces the same way as the security bracket, the magnetic mount might be a better option indoors or in places beyond the reach of curious hands that might remove it from the bracket.
  • The stand bracket is nothing more than a plastic cradle that keeps the camera upright when resting on a surface. We found it convenient for our indoor tests, but it's not as adjustable as the other brackets. Still, it might work for you on a table or bookshelf for use as a simple baby monitor or indoor camera.

Final word

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro doesn't have the name recognition of its peers, but it more than measures up to the title of the best wireless security camera. We're big fans of its excellent video quality, affordably priced solar panel, and numerous mounting options.

Notably, it doesn't have the motion zones or interchangeable batteries of competitors like Arlo Pro 4 and the Ring Stick Up Cam (Battery). But as helpful as these features are, Argus 3 Pro's benefits make up for them in spades. Check out our solar cameras review to see how this unit compares with its photovoltaic rivals—or head over to our wireless cameras review to see how it stacks up against the best.

Video review: Reolink Argus 3 Pro

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Reolink Argus FAQ

After spending a few months with its cameras, we think that Reolink is one of the best options on the market for security camera tech, prices, and customer service.

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro is IP65 rated for outdoor use in a various weather conditions. Its case has few openings and channels rain away from sensitive components. Reolink protects vulnerable openings (like the microSD slot ) with rubber sealing rings and silicone covers for extra protection against water.

No. Reolink cameras have local storage via a microSD slot and there's also a free cloud storage option. Still, you can pay a monthly fee if you want more cloud storage capacity.

How we reviewed the Reolink Argus 3 Pro

We tested the Reolink Argus 3 Pro camera over several weeks in a home office. We looked at the video quality (in various lighting conditions), recording options, installation, and mobile user experience during our tests.

We didn't test the Reolink Argus 3 Pro outdoors because an apartment complex presents too many issues with privacy and installation. Instead, we placed it in a plant terrarium for a week to test the time-lapse recording feature and see how it handled frequent water mistings.

After concluding our initial tests, we put the Argus 3 Pro into standby mode to see how the battery life holds up with the more infrequent uses of a typical homeowner. Take a look at our testing methodology to learn more about how we review products.


Disclaimer
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen

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