Reolink Argus 3 Review 2020

If you want a super solar camera that’s easy to mount, the Reolink Argus 3 could be your jam.
Argus 3 Side View
Solar capability
Clear night vision
Cord not included

Want an outdoor security camera but don’t want to hardwire it or screw it into your siding? The Reolink Argus 3 is a good fit for you.

Read on to learn more about the Reolink Argus 3. We tested this camera at a property that recently had an attempted break-in, so you know we aren’t messing around.

Reolink Argus 3 price and details
ProductPriceNight visionCompatibilityLearn more
Reolink Argus 3$139.9933 ft.Amazon Alexa and Google AssistantView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 10/12/2020 4:15 MST) Full disclaimer

Argus 3 features

The Reolink Argus 3 has some awesome features.

One of our favorite things about this IP camera is its night vision. The starlight tech makes it so much easier to see what goes on in the dark.

Argus 3 straight on

Source: Reolink

We’re also big fans of the motion-activated light and siren. With those two features, this camera is almost like a mini security system rolled up in one.

Also, with this camera, you can use a rechargeable battery or add a solar panel. You can even alternate between the two power methods if you want.

Other Argus 3 features:

  • Motion detection
  • Push notifications
  • Email notifications
  • Two-way audio
  • MicroSD card storage
  • Multiple mounting options
  • IP65 waterproofing
  • Arlo-like appearance
Megaphone icon
Argus 3 two-way audio
When you talk to the person on camera, your voice is actually louder than the siren (which isn’t quiet by any means).

What’s included

This camera comes with the following:

  • A magnet mount
  • A screw mount
  • Screws
  • A strap for mounting to a tree or pole
  • A window sticker

We love, love the mounting strap. It makes installation so much easier and doesn’t require any holes.

Heads Up icon
What doesn’t the Argus 3 include?
To use this camera, you need to buy either a USB cable and plug or a Reolink Solar Panel. And unless you want to use Reolink’s subscription plans, you need a microSD card too.

Argus 3 pricing

The camera itself doesn’t cost much, but you do need accessories.

This camera is $129.99, which is a superb deal for an outdoor camera. Of course, you also need to spend around $15 to $30 to get a power cord or solar panel. And if you want to utilize the SD storage, you’ll need to get a microSD as well.

Still, that should come to less than $200 all together.

Light Bulb icon
Reolink Solar Panel 2
We got a solar panel to try with our Argus 3. On a sunny day in Utah, it charged about 10% battery life per hour. That’s a lot slower than the cord, but since the battery is relatively long-lasting, the camera should still charge more than enough each day to last through the night. If you get a panel, though, we recommend trying it out to see how fast it charges, just to be safe. Your results could be different than ours.

Subscription plan

If you choose not to do the microSD storage option, you’ll need to get a subscription plan.

For just one camera, you don’t have to pay any fees for rolling seven-day storage.

For just the Argus 3, you don’t have to pay any fees for rolling seven-day storage. But if you want more than one camera or more than seven days of footage, you’ll need an upgraded plan.

Reolink subscription plans
Reolink app planDaysCamerasPrice monthlyPrice annually
Basic Plan71$0.00$0.00
Standard Plan30Up to 5$4.99$49.99
Premier Plan30Up to 10$9.99$99.00
Business Plan60Up to 20$14.99$149.00

Data effective 10/12/2020. Offers subject to change.

Argus 3 home automation

Your Argus 3 will work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

If you stick with either Echo or Google Home, this camera connects with either.

If you swear by Apple HomeKit, this Argus 3 isn’t for you.

However, the only thing you can really do with the voice control is bring up the camera feed. So if your smart speaker doesn’t have a screen, there’s not much of a point.

Argus 3 installation

Installation is no problem with this Reolink camera.

We’ve tested several of the leading outdoor cameras. The Argus 3 was, by far, the easiest to install—at least with the physical components.

The app setup wasn’t difficult, but it was anti-intuitive at times. We had to pay close attention to the steps the app gave us to get it right.

Info Box icon
microSD card
If you choose to use an SD card for playback power, pop it into its slot before powering on the camera.

Reolink Argus 3 installation steps:

  1. Charge the camera. Even if you plan to use the Reolink Solar Panel, we suggest charging the Argus 3 with a cord the first time around.
  2. Turn the camera on.
  3. Download the Reolink app.
  4. Create a Reolink account.
  5. Click the plus sign button to add a new device.
  6. Follow the in-app given steps to connect the camera to Wi-Fi and the app.
  7. Attach the camera to a mount.
  8. Secure the mount to the desired location with the screws (or the strap if you’re attaching the camera to a tree or pole).
Argus 3 during the day

Source: Reolink

Location

This camera is meant to be used outside. You can use it inside if you really want to, but it would be a waste since you can get an indoor camera at a lower price.

And if you’re thinking of placing the camera indoors but aiming it to look outside through a window, we don’t recommend that. The reflective surface of the glass makes it difficult for the tech to work right.

Speaking of tech interference, Reolink cautions users not to install the camera in the following locations:

  • In a place with strong winds
  • Pointed at bright lights
  • Pointed at a mirror (or other highly reflective surfaces)
  • Near other wireless devices
  • Near air conditioning, heat, or humidifier vents
  • Near frequently moving objects

Solar panel location

If you want to use the solar panel, you have to screw it into place as there’s no strap option. That limits where you can put it.

The panel also has to be close enough to the camera to connect by a cord.

Recap: Is the Argus 3 good?

We think the Argus 3 is very good, even though you have to buy stuff to make it work.

At this price, a solar-powered camera with clear night vision, a light, a siren, and easy mounting is like a dream. We highly recommend this camera for all your security needs. Just remember that you need to buy a power source and a storage option separately.

Like this camera but want to save a few bucks? In that case, there’s also the cheaper Argus 2. (The main difference we see between the 2 and 3: the batteries are removable in the 2, which is actually a plus. You don’t have to take the whole camera down when you’re recharging.)

Or, if you’d like a full security suite, check out our best security systems review. We cover all the best brands, including Vivint and SimpliSafe.

Is your house ready for the Argus 3?

Smart cameras need smart connectivity. You’ll want solid internet and phone plans before diving into Reolink cameras.

Recommended internet plans

In terms of Wi-Fi for cameras, we recommend almost anything with a fast speed. If your internet is too slow, you won’t be able to respond to notifications quickly.

ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Verizon Internet - Fios GigInternet 400/400$59.99/mo.*400 MbpsView Plans
AT&T FiberInternet 1000$60/mo.940 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip charges
for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. $10/mo equip. fee applies

Recommended mobile plans

For complete connectivity with an Argus camera, you need enough data to access from your phone anytime, anywhere.

Argus 3 FAQ

If you still have questions about the Reolink Argus 3, we’ve answered some common inquiries.

How sensitive is the Argus 3 motion detection?

The default setting for the Argus 3 motion detector isn’t too sensitive. It didn’t pick up on waving tree branches or flashing shadows. The notifications we received were generally for passing people and cars.

Still, some people only want notifications for people who get quite close. In that case, you can try the two motion settings that are less sensitive than the default.

How is the battery life on the Argus 3?

The Argus 3 we tested used about 6% of its battery life every 24 hours. That’s not horrible, but it does mean charging the battery twice a month or so. For that reason, the Reolink Solar Panel could be worth looking into.

What other cameras does Reolink sell?

Reolink sells a lot of cameras for video surveillance purposes. The company offers both CCTV and IP devices to meet different customer needs, and it even sells NVR systems.

The bullet and dome cameras are some of Reolink’s most recommended items.

Does Reolink have a video doorbell?

Many users are eschewing regular security cameras for a doorbell camera. We understand why: the multifunction of a doorbell with a camera attached can be too good to pass up.

Reolink doesn’t have a video doorbell as such. However, during our tests, we kept the Argus 3 trained on the front porch area. It caught the comings and goings of everyone who came to the front door.

In short, a regular Argus video camera can video your doorstep just as well as a doorbell camera. It just can’t be rung.

To learn more, check out our smart video doorbell buyers guide.

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