The Reolink Argus 2 camera and the add-on solar panel are easy enough to install that anyone can do it—even me. (I said I'd seen my fair share of security cameras, not installed any of them.)
Both the printed and in-app instructions were easy to follow and included troubleshooting tips for when the camera didn't play nice. The only installation problems we encountered were connecting the camera to our Wi-Fi network and getting the camera to recognize the QR code on my phone. Fortunately, we were able to sort out both issues with a little trial and error and it only took about an hour to set up the camera from start to finish.
With a maximum video speed of only 15 fps (frames per second) we noticed that the Reolink Argus 2 video feed is much choppier than our other security cameras. There's also about a 2.5-second delay before the camera triggers a motion alert. This might not seem like much, but since the camera starts recording only when triggered by motion detection, we found that even someone walking across the farthest point of the field of vision doesn't show up in a recording until they're almost out of frame.
We tested the motion detection range of the Argus 2 by walking across our backyard at various distances from the camera. The motion sensor started to detect motion at about 15 feet away, and when you combine that relatively short distance with the delay on recording, it's a major flaw for a surveillance camera. We easily covered the 15 feet in just over 2.5 seconds and the Reolink recording only captured the last few feet.
The camera's two-way audio lets you listen and talk through the wireless security camera. Like the motion detection delay, the audio also has about a 2.5-second delay between when you speak and when your voice comes from the camera's speaker. This makes it difficult to carry on a conversation with someone on the other side of the camera. Through the app you can also set the speaker on the camera to sound an alarm when it detects motion. It's a good deterrent, and it doesn't have the same delay as the other features, but the alarm isn't very loud. You also have the option to change the alarm to your own voice recording instead—useful if you want to give the appearance that you’re watching the feed.
We liked that we could change the picture quality settings for different benefits, like increasing the resolution for more clarity, or lowering it for better battery life and better performance with slower connection speeds. Using the app you can also take videos and photos from the live feed and save them to your phone, even without a micro SD card, and you can give other family members access to the live video feed using the QR code.