Until now, my basic cameras at home were Xiaomi products, but there is one quite significant problem with them. When we want to preview a live image, the smartphone connects to the Chinese server that sends the image, because of this there is a long delay. It is the same as going from Warsaw to Poznań via Gdańsk, but it is unprofitable ...
Long loading is still bearable, but sometimes even it does not work and you can not preview the live image. This particularly irritated me in the case external camera Xiaomian, the problem has been partially solved, but not in 100%. Once in ten attempts it happens that the preview does not work, and in the case of monitoring I want to have reliable equipment, that's why I started looking for an alternative. One of you recommended the Reolink brand to me, I decided to check it out. I was convinced by the choice of Reolink computer application that I missed in the case of Xiaomi cameras.
Reolink E1 Pro - what's in the box?
I ordered a Reolink E1 Pro indoor camera, why this model? I liked the look, there are no protruding antennas and there is good resolution, 4 MP. I ordered the camera at the official Reolink store at AliExpress. On Saturday and Friday she was at my place.
Together with the camera we get: a universal power supply for the EU + UK socket with a replaceable tip, plastic for screwing the camera, wall plugs and paper. Reolink E1 Pro can be placed on a dresser, screwed to a flat surface and even to the ceiling and rotated the image "upside down" using the application.
On the front of the camera is the manufacturer's logo and 4 MP lens. When we raise the black part in which the lens is up, we will see a place for a microSD card and a reset button. On the back there is a speaker (in terms of volume also pierces Xiaomi cameras), and at the bottom there is a power socket. The built-in speaker and microphone enable mutual communication.
Honestly? It looks like nothing, nothing special, the real power of Reolink shows only when we connect it to our network. To do this, simply download the Reolink application from the Play Store or App Store, configuration is very easy, so everyone can handle it.
Reolink E1 Pro is a completely different league than Xiaomi cameras
I will go straight to the most important, that is image quality. 4MP resolution really "does the job". I was satisfied with the image offered by Xiaomi cameras, but in Reolink it is much better.
Both day and night, the image is sensational. 8 is responsible for lighting in the dark infrared LEDs that are strong and reveal the position of the camera, you can see the reflection on the TV screen.
The Reolink E1 Pro camera is rotatable, so you can set the desired frame using the application. One of the useful features is the ability to monitor only a designated part of the recorded frame, for example, we mark the door and we will receive a notification on the phone only if the "door moves". You can also program the times when the camera is to "watch the door". In addition to phone / computer alerts, the application allows you to automatically send e-mails with information about threat detection.
The application for Windows and macOS also works very well
I don't like reaching for a smartphone when I'm working at a computer. Grabbing the phone I will often start an unnecessary additional application and the next minutes of my life will escape. That's why running the Reolink application, in my case on macOS with one shortcut that's it!
In the application you can set several types of start screen, image from one camera or several. As you can see I have free fields, I need to buy more cameras. Another nice option in the E1 Pro camera is the ability to manually adjust the image quality, e.g. brightness, exposure or white balance.
I would like to add that the smartphone application is in Polish and its laptop equivalent is in English.
When a microSD card is inserted in the camera, you can view the recording history. How many days back you can check depends on the card's capacity. In the absence of space, the old recordings will be replaced with new ones. In the screenshot above you can see red lines, the moments in which the camera detected motion. After selecting the desired moment, you can immediately see what happened then.
These are my "hot" impressions, after a few hours with a Reolink camera, one thing is certain, I do not return to Xiaomi cameras. As I wrote in the title, Reolink is a different league, definitely higher. I bought a Reolink product because I wanted to check what the software looks like, and after the first day I think it is very good. There is no connection with Chinese servers, only directly with the camera, in the end ... I can check the external cameras now, unless I decide on the 5MP model. 4K is also on offer, but only a wired version. Here check the full Reolink range.
A small comparison at the end, the last Xiaomi camera I tested and the Reolink product. Unfortunately I can not compare in exactly the same lighting conditions, because Xiaomi external cameras have already sold. I set up the Reolimk camera in the same place as the Xiaomi product and you can clearly see the difference.