Reolink Argus 3 with Solar Panel Review

There are many low maintenance security cameras available on the market, one of them is the Reolink Argus 3. The Reolink Argus 3 has excellent video quality combined with internal and external video storage and backups. Included solar panel recharges the internal battery within 4 hours of direct sunlight making Argus 3 completely self-sufficient in terms of power supply.

Overview and Specs

🔹 Solar panel power: 10 watts of solar power recharges the internal battery during the day (4 hour charging time under direct sunlight )
🔹 Field of View: 120° diagonal
🔹 Connectivity: 2.4GHz Wi-Fi only
🔹 Night Vision: Yes
🔹 Resolution: 1080p
🔹 Motion detection: Yes (adjustable up to 10 metres)
🔹 Notifications: Yes
🔹 Live view: Yes
🔹 External Storage: Yes, recordings from the internal card are backed up into the cloud.
🔹 Internal Storage: microSD card up to 128GB
🔹 Water resistance: IP65 weatherproof

Why does the Reolink Argus 3 stand out in the pack?

The camera produces clear daytime and nighttime video in different lighting levels. The Reolink Argus 3 has a built-in spotlight that lets you add colour night vision to your videos. It also does a great job of startling intruders with its alarm system.

Reolink started in 2009 as a company that specializes in creating security products for consumers and business owners. The first product was launched in July 2009, which attracted numerous positive reviews from customers.

Like any product out there, Reolink has its pros and cons. Let us highlight some of them.

PROS

✅ Motion detection settings may be adjusted or turned off for a specific date and time throughout a week. For example, if you do not want to record yourself going out to work each day at 7:30-7:50 AM – the camera may be set not to record during this time by turning off motion detection for this time period each day. Moreover, Reolink Argus 3 may be adjusted to start recording if a car gets into the field of view but ignore a human or vice versa.
✅ Two-year warranty.
✅ The Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant smart displays, such as the Echo Show and Google Nest Hub, are compatible with the Reolink Argus 3. You can ask your voice assistant for a live view of the camera feed, but the camera has no other interaction with your smart home. This is a great way to keep an eye on the kids in the backyard or get a hands-free view after receiving a push notification in the Reolink app.
✅ 1440p video resolution is higher than other cameras in Reolink Argus 3’s price range.
✅ A wire-free operation that makes it less clunky.

CONS

❌ Motion detection can not be split into different zones. Motion zones are essential to avoid unnecessary notifications if there is a road or sidewalk in the camera’s field of view. Being able to set up a camera not to react to motion in a specific area is a convenient way to remove unnecessary notifications and recordings of cars passing by.

Things to consider before buying a Reolink Argus 3 with Solar Panel

While you can never be too paranoid about the security of your home or business, there are factors to consider before buying a Reolink Argus 3. These factors may determine whether this security camera will add value or just be a useless fly on the wall.

1. Camera Field of View (FOV)

Field of View is the paramount factor to consider before making a Reolink Argus 3 purchase. Covering a bigger area with a single camera is better than doing the same job with 2 cameras, right?

Argus 3 has a 120° diagonal FOV which is on a smaller side compared to the competition with 130° to 160° degrees. Most competitors do not state the diagonal FOV and state horizontal and vertical degrees instead. Depending on your application this factor may be more or less important.

For the outdoor application in the garden or neighbourhood, I prefer the wider horizontal view since it is more practical and captures a greater area. A larger vertical FOV may be practical for indoor application near the stairs or in the corridors.

Argus 3 has a balanced FOV which is not ideal for outdoor applications when compared to the competition but still does its job decently.

2. Storage

Storage is frequently overlooked and only becomes a problem when you realize that the crucial footage you require has vanished and may not be recovered! So think about it before you spend all of your money on expensive cameras!

Reolink Argus 3 has decent internal storage supporting a microSD card with up to 128 GB of memory when most competitors top out at 32 GB or 64 GB. Secondly, recordings are backed up into the cloud storage, which is an additional fail-safe if your camera gets stolen.

If you plan to install multiple cameras to cover a bigger area around your house, internal storage does become less tempting since you have to recheck internal SD cards from time to time adding to your monthly routine. In this case, having one cloud storage for recordings from all your cameras is a lot more convenient.

3. Power Requirements

Reolink Argus 3 comes equipped with an internal rechargeable battery and an optional solar panel making it self sufficient in terms of power supply. Users report that solar panels do top up battery during the day efficiently eliminating the necessity to recharge it yourself.

Make sure that a solar panel is installed in a place that gets at least 2 hours of direct sunlight daily. If the camera is installed on the Northern side of your house with constant shade – you may need to move the solar panel far from the camera mounting place so it gets enough sunlight. This means that the original cable that connects the camera to the solar panel that comes in the package may be too short.

4. Alerts and Motion Detection

Almost all surveillance cameras come equipped with a motion detection sensor that triggers the camera to start recording and sends an alert to your phone whenever there is a movement detected in front of the camera.

This helps to greatly save storage space since 1 hour of recording at 1080p at 60 fps (frames per second) will take around 8 GBs of space. Imagine a camera recording 24/7 taking 200 GBs of storage per day. Instead, you will get 5-20 one-minute recordings per day when someone comes to your doorstep. That is a lot more clever way of keeping things organized and clean.

The weak point of Reolink Argus 3 is that the Motion sensor does not have adjustable motion zones. Imagine that there is a sidewalk or road in the Camera’s field of view. You probably don’t need the footage of a car driving past your house, right?

Some competitors do have adjustable motion zones allowing to set up motion sensors not to trigger recording if there is a movement in a specific part in the camera’s field of view. With Argus 3 you will have to adjust the camera position manually so that such areas do not fall into the Filed of View to prevent unnecessary recording and notifications.

Features & Benefits

Reolink App

Reolink App is available both in the AppStore (IOS) and Play Store (Android). Live view and recordings are accessible through the App at any time. Also, the App allows you to adjust Camera settings.

If you have multiple Reolink cameras installed you can view all of them from a single App. Secondly, Reolink allows up to 20 users to access the same camera’s live view and footage. This means that you can add your family members, friends or employees to access the certain camera.

Another useful feature is that Reolink App allows organizing camera views on your screen. You can view up to 16 cameras’ live views simultaneously.

App also has the playback events feature so you can check recent recordings of whenever the motion sensor detected a movement and saved the recording. If you want to download a certain recording from the camera’s SD card or cloud to your device – it can be easily done with the app by pressing the Download button next to the recording you are viewing in the App.

Push Notifications

Argus 3 will send push notifications to your phone if you have installed the Reolink App and turned on push notifications in the settings. As soon as you receive a notification you can turn on Live View from the camera that has detected motion.

Since Argus 3 comes equipped with 2-way audio – you can actually talk through the camera to the person who triggered the camera using the Reolink App.

argus 3 push notifications

Another useful feature is a push notification schedule. This feature allows you to cancel notifications for a certain time each day throughout the week. For example, ifArgus 3 camera is installed next to your house front door and your family members are leaving to work each day from 7:15 to 7:45 – you can cancel the notification for this time frame.

Motion Sensitivity

Motion Sensitivity may be adjusted using the Reolink app. Motion sensitivity has 3 main settings and the higher the motion sensitivity is set – the smaller objects will trigger push notifications and recording. Reolink Argus 3 comes with a Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR) motion sensor. It is a cheap solution that has a limited sensitivity adjustment and unfortunately, does not allow motion zone adjustment.

Siren

Reolink Argus 3 comes equipped with a siren. The alarm sound and schedule are adjustable and can be set to work only during the night when you do not expect any guests. It is better to scare off unwanted guests than to handle the consequences.

Day and Night Light Conditions Modes

Argus 3 has adjustable day and night settings. By default, the camera is set to auto mode so you don’t have to bother with adjustments if you don’t want to. However, it is possible to adjust day and night settings manually. Night vision may be set to the back and white or into the colour mode.

Final Thoughts

In today’s world, there’s no better way to keep tabs on your home or business’s premises than having reliable “eyes“ on the lookout. A camera with a live view, wireless connection, cloud backups, and low maintenance (no battery recharging, can be managed and adjusted remotely through the app on your phone) comes in handy.

The Reolink App is another huge benefit that comes with any Reolink camera including the Argus 3. It is a really convenient and powerful way to keep an eye on your property. Any Reolink camera may be accessed any time from anywhere as long as you have your phone with you.

The weak side of the Argus 3 is its PIR (Passive Infrared Sensor). While it does a decent job at movement detection, it lacks motion zone adjustability. If there is a busy road or sidewalk next to your house that may fall into the camera’s field of view, you should consider another surveillance camera. Otherwise, Reolink Argus 3 has you covered.


Nathan Robinson

Porch pirates stole my package and now I’m on a mission to stop them from doing the same thing to you. I’m always researching, inspecting and informing myself on the newest porch lockers and other technology that can help stop package theft. My library of free content is growing bigger by the day – dive in and together we can defeat porch pirates.