Reolink Argus 3 Pro Review

We tested the Reolink Argus 3 Pro and found pleasant surprises that make it a security camera contender.
Solar camera pick
Reolink Argus 3 Pro
Reolink Argus 3 Pro
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • Pros
    Excellent video quality
  • Pros
    Affordable solar add-on
  • Pros
    Multiple mounting options
John Carlsen
Staff Writer, Security & Smart Home
Read More
Published on July 28, 2021

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

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

Pros and cons

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

Compare Reolink Cloud plans

PlanBasic Plan Standard Plan Premier Plan Business PlanBusiness Plan
Monthly priceFree$4.99/mo.$9.99/mo.$14.99/mo.$24.99/mo.
Annual priceFree$49.99/yr.$99.99/yr.$149.99/yr.$249.99/yr.
Number of cameras15102030
Video history7 days 30 days 30 days60 days60 days
Storage capacity1 GB 30 GB80 GB150 GB250 GB

Info current as of 07/28/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

What’s in the box

  • 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 in the box

Video

Video quality

Reolink Argus 3 Pro daytime video

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 top 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—it even costs about $80 less.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro color spotlight night vision video

We like the clear daytime and nighttime video this outdoor camera produces. We didn't notice any big distortions in recordings and live views 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.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro infrared night vision video

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.

Bell
Spotlight

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro's integrated spotlight is a nice way to bring color 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.

Recording options

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

Motion recording

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.

Notepad
Audio quality

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro can also record audio. The audio sounded clear during livestreaming and two-way audio in our tests but cut out whenever we tried listening to the livestream on a Nest Hub smart display when the rechargeable battery was too low. You can also turn off audio-recording for more privacy or if you live in a state that doesn't allow audio recording on security cameras.

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 synchronizing recording with regular times when you leave the house for work or soccer practice. We also like that you can schedule when the 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.

Notepad
Livestreaming and two-way audio

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro allows you to livestream video 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.

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 $24) 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 compared to most other free cloud storage from brands like Wyze and YI, which place restrictions on how long clips can be.

The company also sells cloud subscriptions that boost the storage capacity, video history, and the number of cameras. Reolink's cloud pricing is competitive on plans costing $10 a month or less but only when you have multiple cameras. The plans over $10 a month compare favorably against brands like Arlo and YI but don't match the added features and unlimited camera capacity of Ring and Google Nest.

Notepad
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.

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 haven't charged our Reolink Argus 3 Pro in almost three months, and it still holds 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.

Solar panel

Reolink is the gold standard among solar security cameras because it doesn't treat solar accessories as pricey upgrades costing $50 or more. Instead, the company sells its solar panel add-ons for $25, 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.

Notepad
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 $145. There's no discount for bundling the products together, so buying the Reolink Solar Panel (about $25) separately is just as affordable.

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.

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 center, but this user-driven content is harder to digest than the support articles. If you can't find an answer in the support center 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.

Setup and installation

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.

Bell
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 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.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro vs. the best wireless security cameras

Product
Price*
Cloud storage
Local storage
Smart homeIcon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
Solar pick
Reolink Argus 3 ProReolink Argus 3 Pro
Starts at $0.00/mo.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Amazon, Google
Top pick
Arlo Pro 4Argus Pro 4
Starts at $2.99/mo.
Icon Yes  LightAdd-on
Amazon, Apple, Google
Budget pick
Wyze Cam v3Wyze Cam v3
Starts at $1.99/mo.†
Icon Yes  LightYes
Amazon, Google
Outdoor pick
Ring Stick Up Cam product imageRing Stick Up Cam
Starts at $3.00/mo.
Icon No  LightNo
Amazon
High-tech pick
Google Nest Cam IQ IndoorNest Cam IQ Indoor
Starts at $6.00/mo.
Icon No  LightNo
Amazon, Google

*Amazon.com price as of 07/28/2021 at 12:45 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.
†Limited-feature cloud storage is available for free.

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 solar-powered 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 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.

How we reviewed

We tested the Reolink Argus 3 Pro alongside three other models in a home office for our Reolink cameras review. 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.

FAQ

What is the difference between Reolink Argus 3 Pro and other Argus models?

The Reolink Argus 3 Pro is the latest in a line of cameras stretching back to the original Reolink Argus in 2017. Although the original Reolink Argus security camera is no longer available, it spawned a whole collection of options you can still buy:

2018 models

  • Argus 2: The Reolink Argus 2 improved on the original Argus by adding a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and it was the company's first foray into solar security cameras. Unlike the Argus 3 Pro, Argus 2's battery is removable, and the camera has a 130º field of view. It doesn't have the 1440p video or a bright spotlight. Overall, it's a solid alternative to the Argus 3 Pro. Read our Reolink Argus 2 review to learn more.
  • Argus Pro: The Reolink Argus Pro is virtually indistinguishable from the Argus 2. We found only a single difference: Argus Pro doesn't come with a magnetic wall mount.

2019 models

  • Argus PT: The Reolink Argus PT is an outdoor pan-tilt camera that allows you to move the camera's lens remotely without climbing a ladder. It (and all future Argus models) ditched the removable battery in favor of one that you recharge using a solar panel.
  • Argus Eco: The Reolink Argus Eco is Reolink's budget wire-free camera. It has a narrower 100º field of view and lacks the starlight night vision sensor of other Reolink Argus models.

2020 models

  • Argus 2E: The Reolink Argus 2E is a budget version of the Argus 2. It subs in a 120º field of view for Argus 2's 130º view—it also lacks starlight night vision and a removable battery. Still, Argus 2E was the first Argus to implement time-lapse recording and has a larger microSD card capacity of 128 GB compared to most Argus models.
  • Argus 3: The Reolink Argus 3 is the first Argus model with a built-in motion spotlight to record full color images at night.

2021 models

  • Argus 3 Pro: The Reolink Argus 3 Pro is the star of the Argus line because it makes substantial improvements over its predecessors. It's the first Argus camera with 1440p video quality, person detection, vehicle detection, a built-in siren, 5 GHz Wi-Fi support, and 16X digital zoom (previous models topped out at 6X).

Disclaimers

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over eight years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

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