This morning I had a look at battery-powered IP cameras since they avoid the hassle of wiring power and/or Ethernet around the house. I could remember I covered Immedia Blink IP camera with up to 2-year battery life back in 2014, and the company did very well since it got acquired by Amazon, and Blink IP security camera is now sold on Amazon US for $99.99 and up. It’s probably one of the best, if not the best options, for low-cost battery-powered cameras but the problem is that they only ship to a limited number of countries.
Last year, there was a new entrant with Eufy Evercam outdoor IP camera with up to one year of battery life, but again it’s not easy to purchase from overseas, and the price starts at $279.99 for a single camera system. I also covered a solar and battery powered IP camera made by Wanscam a few years ago, and it could do the trick, but it includes many features that people would not necessarily need like 3G/4G connectivity which brings the price close to $400.
Finally, I had an Aliexpress express search reveals Reolink Argus 2, a fairly popular battery powered all-weather IP camera that is sold for just above $100, or $119.99 shipped with a solar panel, or you’ll also find the IP cam on Amazon US.
- Video & Audio
- Image Sensor – “Starlight” CMOS Image Sensor providing improved night vision in low light conditions.
- Video Resolution – 1080p HD at 15 frames/sec
- Video Format – H.264
- Field of View – Fixed lens, 130° diagonal
- Night Vision – Up to 10 m
- Digital Zoom – 6x digital zoom
- Audio – Speaker and microphone; 2-way audio support
- Storage – Micro SD card slot up to 64GB, Reolink cloud storage
- PIR Detection & Alerts
- Detection Distance – Adjustable up to 9 m
- Detecting Angle – 120° horizontal
- Audio Alert – Customized voice-recordable alerts
- Other Alerts – Instant email alerts and push notifications
- WiFi – 802.11b/g/n WiFI @ 2.4 GHz with WEP(ASCII)/WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK security
- Misc – Reset pinhole, status LED
- Battery – 5,200mAh rechargeable battery good for 840 minutes (14 hours) of continuous use, 180 days in standby.
- Power Supply
- 5V/2A via micro USB port
- Optional Reolink Solar Panel
- Dimensions – 96 x 58 x 59 mm
- Weight – 260 grams
- Temperature Range – -10° to 55°C
- IP Rating – IP65 (weatherproof)
The user can control the camera using Reolink app for Android, iOS, Windows PC or Mac. The app/program allows to remotely access live view of up to 16 cameras, playback recorded events, and get emails alerts or push notifications when the PIR is triggered. The PC/Mac program also offers customizable functions, including flexible recording, motion detection (set zone & schedule), motion trigger & alert, PTZ, FTP setup, flexible compression and more. Reading user feedback for the Android reveals mixed reviews including some people very satisfied with their setup, but other complain about lack of landscape support, lack of support for TV boxes, and more worryingly WiFi connection issues.
The battery is only shown to last 14 hours, but that’s likely not considering the PIR function which should allow the IP camera to last several weeks. Still, you should probably consider getting the solar panel for less than $20 extra not to worry about charging the camera anymore.
Reolink Argus 2 was launched last year, and there are several reviews on the Internet including the video review above. If you’d like to use a streaming standard like RTSP, the bad news is that Reolink battery-powered cameras do not support it maybe because it would drain the battery too fast, and I have not seen any custom firmware or reverse-enginneering efforts redirected towards Argus 2 camera just yet.