Lorex vs. Reolink Home Security Cameras
Lorex and Reolink battled it out for outdoor security camera supremacy when we compared the 4K Ultra HD vs. Argus PT
Lorex Camera System
- Exceptional video quality up to 4K
- Commercial-grade quality and construction
- Several custom recording options
Reolink Argus PT
- Works in temperatures from 14 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit
- Records directly onto 64 GB micro-SD card
- Detection for people makes for smarter notifications
Lorex and Reolink don’t have a lot in common, but one thing they are both good at is monitoring large spaces. Lorex’s approach involves multiple 4K security cameras all hooked up to a network video recorder (NVR), while Reolink’s approach is more innovative: a wire-free camera that can pan and tilt. Which can cover more bases? We put the Lorex 4K Ultra HD and the Reolink Argus PT to the test to find out.
Security cameras often have similar features, so we kicked off our tests by looking at the similarities between the Lorex and Argus cameras.
Both cameras record videos locally, which is important to us because we know that the internet-reliant cloud recording isn’t always reliable. The Lorex cameras record videos onto the 1 TB NVR that comes with the system. That sounds like a lot of storage, but with the four cameras all recording in 4K HD, it only saved about a couple weeks of videos for us. Luckily, the NVR is expandable up to 8 TB, and we had extra hard drives lying around.
Meanwhile, the Reolink Argus PT’s local storage takes the form of a micro-SD card, which wasn’t included, unfortunately. We had to use a spare 64 GB micro-SD card from our previous tests. However, since the Argus PT only stores motion-triggered recordings, the 64 GB card was more than sufficient for about a month’s worth of recordings.
Free Cloud Storage
While we’re not keen on using the cloud as our primary storage, we like having cloud storage as a backup in case the intruders find our security cameras or NVRs and smash them to pieces. Both the Lorex 4K cameras and the Argus PT gave us free cloud storage.
Lorex gave us 10 GB of free storage, which, again, isn’t a lot for four 4K HD cameras. However, for backup purposes, it could store a week’s worth of important video clips.
Reolink’s free cloud storage was even more limited. Firstly, it was only good for one camera. If we had two or more, we would have had to upgrade to a paid cloud subscription.
Secondly, it only stored 1 GB of motion-triggered videos. Lastly, the videos disappeared after seven days, so we had to download the ones we wanted to keep regularly, which got a bit tedious.
Infrared Night Vision
Night vision is important, given that 34 percent of residential burglaries happen at night.1 The Lorex 4K Ultra HD cameras and the Argus PT both use infrared LED night vision to see at night. Lorex’s night vision range is impressive — which wasn’t surprising, given that the best infrared camera in our book also comes from Lorex. The 4K Ultra HD cameras could see up to 120 feet away in total darkness.
The Argus PT doesn’t have as much night vision range. It could only see up to about 30 feet away, but it sufficiently covered the stoop of our Brooklyn brownstone.
FYI: The Lorex 4K Ultra HD cameras also have color night vision that uses bright light to illuminate their surroundings. However, because bright lights are indiscreet, we prefer infrared over color night vision.
The Lorex and Reolink cameras are outdoor cameras, which means that they are weatherproof (although you can use them both indoors and outdoors). The Lorex cameras have an IP rating of 67, while the Reolink camera has an IP 64 rating. Here’s what those ratings mean.
|Camera||Solid resistance||Liquid resistance|
|Lorex||No ingress of dust||Safe to immerse up to 1 meter deep|
|Reolink||No ingress of dust||Safe from water splashes coming from any direction|
So, while both cameras are waterproof, the Lorex is better for extreme conditions, like heavy rain or flooding.
Smart Platform Integrations
Lorex and Reolink both integrate with smart home platforms. Both worked with our Alexa and Google Assistant smart speakers and displays. We controlled them with our voices, asking them to livestream to our Echo Show 8 and Nest Hub Max, display stored videos, and even record on demand.
Lorex also worked with our friend’s Apple TV. By simply downloading the Lorex app on the TV, we got to watch live and recorded footage.
Their Key Differences
While the Lorex and Reolink cameras can both monitor large areas, they take very different approaches.
Given that renters are more likely to experience burglaries than homeowners,2 which is why we recommend that renters get security systems, we loved that the Argus PT is completely wire-free, which made installation a breeze and drill-free. It uses rechargeable batteries for power and connects to the internet over Wi-Fi.
The Lorex system, though, was the complete opposite of wireless. It included five wires in total: four 60-feet BNC cables for connecting the cameras to the NVR and one Ethernet cable for connecting the NVR to our router. It took us no less than 10 minutes to install each camera, and not to toot our own horns, but we’re already good at managing wires.
Good video quality is crucial for outdoor cameras. In fact, it’s among the first features we looked at when comparing the best outdoor cameras. They should be able to capture license plates, faces, and every tiny detail about anyone who walks onto our properties.
Well, that’s exactly what the Lorex and Reolink cameras did for us. However, Lorex had a slight edge when it came to image quality, given its cameras’ 4K HD resolution and the Argus PT’s 1080p HD resolution. More pixels equals better picture quality, even when zoomed in.
The Lorex 4K camera’s video quality was so clear that we could read the pizza delivery guy’s name embroidered onto his shirt before he even got to our stoop. Brad, if you’re reading this, thanks for the extra hot sauce!
We also want our cameras to have good audio, and not only because we want to hear what our guests say about our cooking as they walk down our stoop. Two-way audio allows us to hear what’s going on around our apartment and speak to anyone who’s at our door when we’re not home. Unfortunately, only the Argus PT delivered two-way audio. The Lorex 4K Ultra HD cameras had neither microphones nor speakers.
Field of View
There’s a huge difference between the Lorex cameras and the Argus PT in their fields of view. The Argus PT’s viewing angle is 105 degrees, while the Lorex cameras monitored an area of about 87 degrees.
To put that in perspective, when we placed both cameras dead center above our front door, the Argus PT’s frame included our entire stoop plus about 90 percent of our doorstep. That left only two very narrow blind spots on both sides of the door. With the Lorex camera, we had to angle the camera really low just to capture our doorstep. Even then, the blind spots on both sides were large enough to fit a person.
The Argus PT has another advantage here: It can pan and tilt. Using the Reolink smartphone app, we made the camera turn horizontally up to 355 degrees, and vertically up to 140 degrees. Even if intruders managed to hide in the camera’s blind spots, we could make the camera turn and play peekaboo with them.
The price difference between the Lorex system and the Argus PT is big. The Lorex system cost us $387.99, while the Argus PT cost us only $146.99.
However, the Lorex system included four cameras plus a 1 TB recorder. If we wanted to monitor our entire apartment, the $387.99 system would have been enough. While the Argus PT can monitor large open spaces thanks to its ability to pan and tilt, we would need at least three cameras to cover our apartment.
The bottom line is that if you want to monitor multiple areas and need a security system for a large home, the Lorex system is more practical. However, if you want to cover just one big space and install your security camera outside, covering your front lawn, the Argus PT makes more sense.
FROM OUR EXPERTS: Knowing where to place security cameras will help you maximize their coverage, and maybe even reduce the number of cameras you’ll need to buy.
Neither Lorex nor Reolink required us to pay monthly fees, thanks to their local and free cloud video storage. However, both offered optional cloud subscriptions that allowed us to expand the capacity of our video recordings.
Lorex’s cloud subscription is the Lorex Cloud Premium, and it’s a huge improvement over the free cloud storage.
|Costs||Lorex Cloud Basic||Lorex Cloud Premium|
|Storage (in GB)||10||Unlimited|
|Video expiration in days||2||30|
Reolink’s cloud subscriptions come in four tiers: Basic (which is free), Standard, Premier, and Business.
|Max number of cameras||1||5||10||20|
|Storage (in GB)||1||30||80||150|
|Video expiration (in days)||7||30||30||60|
Lorex vs. Reolink in a Nutshell
If all that was a lot to take in, here’s a chart summarizing our Lorex and Reolink test results.
|Feature||Lorex 4K Ultra HD||Reolink Argus PT|
|Video resolution||4K HD||1080p HD|
|Field of view (in degrees)||87||105|
|Pan and tilt||N/A||355 degrees horizontal, 140 degrees vertical|
|Night vision||Infrared and color||Infrared|
|Operating temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit)||-40 to 131||14 to 131|
|Power||Plugged in||Battery (optional solar panel)|
|Cloud storage||Free 10 GB storage + paid subscriptions for unlimited storage||Free 7-day cloud storage for 1 camera + paid subscriptions for multiple cameras|
|Local storage||1 TB NVR (included)||Up to 64 GB micro-SD card (not included)|
|Smart platform integrations||Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple TV||Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Our review||Lorex 4K Ultra HD Review||Reolink Argus PT Review|
The Verdict: Which One’s for You?
Overall, we’d recommend Lorex over Reolink thanks to its better prices, video quality, and smart platform integrations. However, if you want a wireless camera or two-way audio, go with the Argus PT.
Go with Lorex if you want
- Cameras with a great night vision range
- Multiple cameras to cover multiple areas
- Cameras with industry-best 4K HD resolution
Go with Reolink if you want
- A completely wire-free security camera
- A camera that can pan and tilt to cover wide open spaces
- A camera that can record audio and project audio through its speakers
All in all, if you’re looking for security cameras to monitor your front lawn or backyard, you can’t go wrong with either Lorex or Reolink. Beyond the two cameras we tested, both brands offer a wide array of camera options. Reolink has the Reolink Go, for example, a camera that doesn’t require Wi-Fi (read more in our Reolink Go camera review). Lorex has a video doorbell, as you can see in our Lorex Video Doorbell review.
We’ve also compared Lorex to Night Owl, Lorex to Ring, Lorex to Arlo, and Lorex to Swann if you’re still unsure. And if you buy either, you can save with Lorex deals, Lorex Black Friday deals, or Reolink Black Friday deals.
FBI. (2019). 2019 Crime in the United States.
U.S. Department of Justice. (2013). Household Burglary, 1994-2011.