Outdoor surveillance camera Reolink Go 4G/LTE with battery in the test
Thanks to the rechargeable battery and optional solar panel, users can use the Reolink Go 4G almost self-sufficiently. The test shows how well the surveillance camera works in practice.
There are only a few surveillance cameras with a mobile connection and battery. Surveillance camera manufacturer Reolink is one of the few suppliers to offer such products.
The Reolink Go 4G/LTE is weatherproof according to the IP65 standard and, according to the manufacturer, can be used in temperatures between -10° and 55° Celsius. It is equipped with a 7600 mAh battery. This can also be charged independently of the camera housing via an integrated micro-USB socket with a maximum of 10 watts (5 volts, 2A). This is particularly useful when using a replacement battery, which costs just under £50. This can be charged separately and thus ensures the continuous operation of the camera. Alternatively, the camera’s battery life can be extended with a solar panel, which is optionally available for just under 30 pounds. A charger is not included in the scope of delivery. As usual, the battery performance depends on many variables such as temperature and alarm and recording frequency. Reolink indicates a runtime of 1 to 4 weeks. In continuous use with an activated live stream, the battery provides an operating time of about 8 hours.
The camera’s integrated CMOS sensor records videos with a resolution of up to 1920 x 1080 pixels at 15 fps and a field of view of 110 degrees and offers night vision of up to 10 metres and 6x digital zoom. Motion detection is achieved with the help of an integrated PIR sensor (Pyroelectric Sensor), which offers a detection angle of 120° and detects movements up to a distance of 9 metres.
With the integration of a microphone and speaker, Reolink realises a two-way audio function so that users can talk to people in front of the camera. If required, an alarm siren sounds when motion is detected, which can be activated via the app and is intended to deter uninvited guests. The camera can transmit alarm messages to the user via email or push notifications.
The mobile phone module of the version intended for the European market supports the LTE bands 1,3,5,7,8, and 20 and the WCDMA channels 2,4 and 5. The maximum transmission rate is 42 MBit/s (HSPA+) in download and 5.76 MBit/s in upload.
The Reolink Go 4G/LTE supports microSD cards up to 128 GB as storage media. In the test, however, it also worked without problems with a 400 GByte microSD card from Sandisk. If the storage space of the microSD card is exhausted, the oldest recording is deleted so that current recordings are always saved. Reolink only offers cloud storage in some regions – Europe is not one of them.
In addition to the camera and battery, the delivery includes a security mount for outdoor use, a protective cover, a power cable (micro USB to USB-A), a mounting template, screws and wall plugs. In addition, a pin for resetting the factory settings, a sticker with information on 24-hour monitoring, a fastening strap for mounting on trees, and a quick start guide containing detailed and relevant information on operating the camera.
Setting up the camera
Setting up the Reolink Go 4G/LTE is very simple. Insert a PIN-free nano-SIM and microSD card, create a user account in the Reolink app, scan the QR code on the camera and assign a device password. That’s it. The camera is then ready for use and can be controlled via the smartphone app. In addition, users can configure the camera with the Reolink desktop application, which is available for macOS and Windows. All that is required is to enter the camera’s UID (available in the app under Device Info) and the device password.
The mobile app and desktop application offer the same setting options. Both tools can operate similarly, guaranteeing a consistent user experience. This is not a matter of course. Often camera manufacturers do not offer a desktop app to control their devices or, as in the case of Eufy, only a web app with reduced functionality is available, which also differs from the mobile app in terms of operation.
Via the gear icon, users can adjust the Reolink Go 4G/LTE extensively with the app or the desktop application. In the Display section, for example, the position of the camera name and the date and time in the live image can be changed. The information can also be completely hidden, just like the watermark.
To operate the surveillance camera in compliance with data protection regulations when it is directed at another person’s property or a public area, users can define three zones under Privacy Mask in which no recording takes place.
Save data traffic
Livestreaming for one hour in clear mode (default setting: 1080P, 1.5 Mbps) requires about 1 GByte of data volume. Users can reduce resolution, frame rate and bit rate to save data traffic. In addition, it is possible to set the stream to “Liquid”, so that the transmission takes place with a resolution of 640 x 360.
In the Alarm Settings section, users can adjust the motion detection sensitivity. Since the camera cannot differentiate between people and other moving objects such as cars and pets, it is possible to adjust this to minimise false alarms. However, the manual contains incorrect information on this. There, the sensitivity levels are divided into 0-50, 51-80 and 81-100. In the app, the status display “Low” appears between the values 0 and 32, “Medium” is displayed between 33 and 66 and “High” between 67 and 100. In addition, Reolink has swapped the sensitivity levels in the manual in the German translation: “Low” was translated as “High”.
To fine-tune alarms, users can limit them to specific days of the week and hours. However, annual scheduling is not possible.
Notifications of alarms are sent via push in the app and optionally via email. For the latter transmission path, users can configure up to three email addresses, whereby the first must be configured with a specification of the SMTP server, port and. In the test, this did not work with a Gmail account with activated two-factor verification. Without two-factor authentication, the email notification runs without problems. In addition, a siren can be sounded in the camera in the event of an alert.
Recording quality & reliability
The Reolink Go 4G/LTE offers impeccable recording quality during the day and at night. Moving objects are easily detected, and alarm notifications are reliably delivered.
Overall, the Reolink Go 4G/LTE delivers exactly what it promises. Equipped with LTE, battery and microSD card, it can monitor objects independently of WLAN. In combination with the optionally available solar panel, it is even able to work almost self-sufficiently. However, there is also room for improvement: in terms of motion detection, differentiation between people, cars, and pets would be necessary to minimise false alarms considerably. Reolink addresses this shortcoming with its successor Reolink Go Plus, which can differentiate between people and cars during detection. A cloud connection and integration into a smart home system would also be desirable.