In the world of wireless security cameras, the Reolink Argus PT Ultra has been generating some buzz. With its promise of enhanced features and capabilities, it's hard not to be curious about what this "Ultra" version brings to the table. In this review, we'll delve into the details and see if it lives up to the hype.
Reolink Argus PT Ultra Review: Is “Ultra” Really Worth It?
Argus PT Ultra vs. Argus PT standard
At first glance, the Argus PT Ultra shares many similarities with its predecessor, the Argus PT. Both cameras offer pan-and-tilt functionality, smart notifications, and local video storage. However, as we explored the Ultra, we found some key differentiators.
Reolink has upped the ante with the Argus PT Ultra. It boasts double the video resolution and megapixels, making it an 8MP camera capable of recording in up to 4K quality. This increased clarity is especially valuable if you have a large area to cover. Plus, you can adjust the streaming and recording quality independently to conserve battery life and storage space when needed.
Preset points and monitoring points
One unique feature of the Argus PT Ultra is the ability to set preset points for monitoring. Monitoring Points create a home base position for recording, while Preset Points allow you to assign multiple spots within the camera's view. This flexibility can be handy for keeping an eye on specific areas. However, we found room for improvement in this feature—there's no option to cycle through preset points, which could enhance the camera's usability.
Motion detection and sensitivity
The PT Ultra shines in the motion detection department. You can fine-tune sensitivity settings, reduce false alarms, and link motion detection to the camera's spotlight, onboard siren, and even custom messages. While these features are promising, some aspects need to be more developed. For instance, the siren's warning beeps are louder than the siren itself, reminiscent of a car alarm. Though a neat concept, custom messages repeat too quickly, diminishing their effectiveness.
The Argus PT Ultra offers traditional black-and-white infrared and color night vision, which requires some ambient light. In well-lit areas, the color night vision can be impressive, but in darker settings, we found the infrared vision to be clearer and more detailed.
Two-way audio is a standard feature in security cameras today. While the PT Ultra's microphone performs admirably, its speaker falls short. Despite adjustable volume settings in the app, the speaker remains relatively quiet.
One standout feature of Reolink cameras, including the PT Ultra, is the inclusion of local storage options. With a microSD card, you can store motion-triggered clips—but remember to format the card first! This local storage option sets Reolink apart from brands that rely solely on cloud storage and subscription fees.
The Reolink app
Navigating the Reolink app is a breeze, offering numerous customization options without feeling overwhelming. You can play back clips, adjust display settings, and access feeds from other Reolink cameras. The app's granular camera settings set it apart from many competitors.
Final word on the Reolink Argus PT Ultra
While the Reolink Argus PT Ultra boasts improved specifications and some intriguing features, it falls short of justifying the "Ultra" label. There's a $30 price gap between the Ultra and the Standard version, and we didn't find much that truly differentiates the two. While the extra features are clever, they leave room for improvement, particularly the speaker volume and PTZ feature enhancements.
The Argus PT Ultra is a capable camera, but it may only be worth the extra cost if you require its specific features. To see how it stacks up against the competition, check out our video and lineup of the Best Wireless Cameras of 2023, available at the end of this video or in the description.
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