Reolink C2 Pro: Better Than Arlo or Nest?
The Reolink C2 Pro ($99.99) is an underrated wireless smart indoor security camera that contains a super HD 5MP lens to capture amazing detail even in low light settings.
The cam can pan 355° and tilt 105°, which is ideal for full scale room coverage. At $99, it's a bargain compared to an Arlo Pro or other premium cameras.
Worried about network stability?
Well worry no longer because this model has 2T2R MIMO antennas that are compatible with dual 2.4 & 5 GHz networks. This will ensure max connectivity and plenty of range.
Other features include:
- Instant Push Alerts/Notifications (email/app)
- 24/7 Monitoring or Motion Recording (FTP Server, Micro SD Card, NVR)
- 3x Optical Zoom & Auto Focus
- Reolink App for Mobile & Client for PCs
- Live Streaming
- Two-Way Audio & Speaker
Additionally, you'll receive a camera bracket, mounting hole template, and a pack of screws for DIY cam placement that'll best suit your home.
Not convinced yet?
Well then let's explore further to find out how the Reolink C2 Pro managed to stand out from comparable smart security cameras like Nest and Arlo.
Dual Band: 2.4/5 GHz
355 Degrees, 105 Degrees, 3x Optical Zoom
5MP Super HD - 2560 x 1920 (Max)
8 pcs Infrared LED - 40ft (12m)
Reolink App - Reolink Client
Windows, Mac OS - iOS, Android
Yes - Push Notifications (email/app)
Micro SD (64 GB Max) - FTP Server - NVR (optional) for 24/7 Recording
103 x 95 x 117mm
10M/100Mbps RJ45 Power, Micro SD Card Slot, Reset Button (reset pin included) - Built-in Mic/Speaker - Ethernet/Network Port
Reolink C2 Pro - USB Power Adapter - Micro USB Charging Cable - 1m (3ft) Network Cable - Camera Bracket - Reset Needle - Mounting Hole Template - Surveillance Sign - Quick Start Guide - Pack of Screws
Reolink C2 Pro's 5 Best Features
Even though the C2 is not a battery powered camera like the Argus Pro, it makes up for it by giving us quality features that truly distinguishes itself.
Top 5 Pros
- Dual Band WiFi
- 3x Optical Zoom & Auto Focus
- Super HD 5MP Lens
- Pan & Tilt for Room Scale Viewing
- Live Monitoring & Recording
Dual Band WiFi
5 GHz smart cameras are still hard to come by, but not with the C2.
The C2 Pro has dedicated 2T2R MIMO antennas on the back that can pick up 2.4 & 5 GHz WiFi networks, and it fixes one of Reolink's biggest flaws—Wi-Fi connectivity.
My C2 is close to the dual band router so I use the 5 GHz connection, but occasionally I'll switch to 2.4 GHz if the camera is placed further away to get better range; it'll vary based on your router/Wi-Fi speed, and home size.
You can also choose to connect via mobile if you don't mind the data drain.
3x Optical Zoom & Auto Focus
The 3x optical zoom gets you a close look at small objects and it shows details that would've been missed otherwise, and the auto focus makes the live feed sharper and easier to see.
Both are essential attributes that pair well with the 5MP camera and both can be controlled via the Reolink app or client for PCs.
Super HD 5MP Lens
With a max resolution of 2560 x 1920, the camera is 1.3x sharper than a 4MP and 2.4x clearer than a 1080P cam.
It's a stark difference and one that will benefit camera lens enthusiasts.
You do have the option to adjust the resolution, which is handy if the C2 freezes up or is severely delayed. The max frame rate is 25fps, so there's going to be a slight delay regardless but it could worsen under heavy res loads.
5MP is ideal for capturing images, and when combined with the optical zoom & auto focus, there's nothing it can't spot.
Pan & Tilt for Room Scale Viewing
My favorite feature is the pan/tilting of the camera. I love how it's able to rotate 355° and see everything in a room, and the 105° vertical tilt is just as good.
You can even manually turn the camera, though I'd recommend using the auto option due to how buggy the PTZ controls can get.
Still, with PTZ you can also zoom in & out manually, increase/decrease focus, mark locations, or have the camera auto rotate (pan/tilt) for room scale security.
You can control the camera however you choose, or if you'd like, share your cam by having others scan your cam's QR code (located under the "share" option w/in C2 Pro cam settings).
They'll have to install/launch the Reolink app and click the + button to scan.
Live Monitoring & Recording
There's a micro SD card slot on the back of the C2 Pro that supports Class 10 micro SD cards of up to 64GB.
You can record everything you see and play it back, and if the card gets full, you can enable "overwrite" in settings so that it'll record over old footage (loop recording).
Want 24/7 monitoring?
Then you can either use the FTP cloud server or an NVR (optional). Both will cost you extra, but it might be worth it if you're heavily invested into home security.
Reolink C2 Pro vs. Top 5 Wireless Security Cameras
The smart security camera/doorbell market is growing rapidly with powerful tech companies going all-in.
The top smart cam brands and products are as follows:
- Nest Cam (Indoor/Outdoor)
- Arlo Pro 2
- Canary All-in-One
Reolink's own Argus 2 also made the cut due to its easy, wire free setup and affordable price.
But how does the C2 Pro compare and is it as good as the options listed above?
The simple answer is yes, though it's more complex than that. The devil lies in the specs, specifically things like two-way audio, camera resolution, app integration, push notifications, field of view, night visions range, etc.
Most new cameras have all those features but a few extras will immediately jack up the price. Additionally if certain cam abilities aren't perfected, then they'll turn off consumers.
Below is a short list of complaints I have about the Reolink C2 Pro and how it performs vs. the pack.
5 Worst Things About Reolink C2 Pro
- Motion Detection Lags
- Wi-Fi Connectivity Concerns
- Doesn't Support Micro SD Cards Above 64GB
- Very Buggy PTZ Controls
- Cloud Service/NVR Is Expensive
Motion Detection Lags
I hate lag and that's one of Reolink's biggest problems, particularly the motion detection.
It takes way too long to detect something and send out the notifications, which is not good for a home security camera.
Wi-Fi Connectivity Concerns
I've tested Reolink cams in the past and found Wi-Fi connectivity to be the biggest hindrance.
Wi-Fi disruptions occur less often with other brands but with Reolink there's constant network interruptions and disconnects. This issue made setup a lot more challenging than it should've been.
Doesn't Support Micro SD Cards Above 64GB & Very Buggy PTZ Controls
The micro SD capacity is a minor inconvenience, though I do wish it supported up to 128GB.
The PTZ controls on the other hand are a major problem. They're very slow, buggy, and I've rarely used them; definitely stick with the auto-monitoring if you can.
Cloud Service/NVR Is Expensive
If you have the money, then opt into Reolink's cloud services or invest in an NVR. Personally they're both very pricey, and I'd rather just use a micro SD card with loop recording but that's subjective.
So those were my main concerns though there's plenty of other things I could mention like the lack of voice assistant integration, the design, and missing bonus features however those things don't bother me as much.
But if they bother you, then please feel free to check out the other cameras I've listed to see which one works for you.
Reolink C2 Pro: Final Review
I've had the Reolink C2 Pro for over a month and I'm shocked how handy it's become. It's never been easier to view what's going on in your home while away.
I give the Reolink C2 Pro Indoor Security Camera 3.75 out of 5 stars.
The dual band connectivity was a positive addition, the 5MP lens captures a lot of detail vs. other cameras, the pan/tilt is excellent for home monitoring and your budget, and the extras like optical zoom, auto focus, and two-way audio round out the product in a practical way.
I deducted a star because it was missing a few premium features, the 24/7 monitoring is expensive, it doesn't support high capacity SD cards, and the motion detection & PTZ controls lag significantly.
Overall I did like this security camera and it's a good product for smart cam newbies. I think most customers just want a good quality camera for home monitoring and that's exactly what you'll get.
The Reolink C2 Pro isn't at the top of the smart security camera wish list but it should be.
Varun Sharma from Chandigarh on July 15, 2019:
Thank you for sharing the reviews on CCTV Camera.
Check out the product reviews & buying guide for CCTV Camera at https://radiobox.net/electronics/best-cctv-camera-...
FlourishAnyway from USA on July 13, 2019:
This was a good review and I particularly appreciated your attention to the drawbacks.
Liz Westwood from UK on July 09, 2019:
You have given this security camera a thorough work out and produced a balanced and helpful review.