Getting broad surveillance protection sometimes means buying and selling some picture high quality for a wider subject of view. Tremendous wide-angle lenses are likely to sacrifice element and undergo from barrel distortion. The Reolink Duo makes an attempt to skirt that drawback by placing two lenses into one digital camera physique after which stitching the 2 video feeds collectively. It’s not excellent—connection points with one of many cameras continuously hindered the Duo’s marquee function in my testing—however when it really works, it really works effectively.

The Duo is available in 4 totally different fashions: Energy over ethernet (a PoE mannequin, reviewed right here), wire-powered Wi-Fi, battery-powered Wi-Fi, and battery-powered 4G. All 4 function 2K decision per lens and provide roughly the identical options, with some minor variations in frames per second captured and local-storage capability. Your selection will rely largely on how you intend to put in the digital camera. The wired Wi-fi mannequin is finest for individuals who have entry to an out of doors outlet, whereas the PoE and battery-powered fashions will cut back or remove the quantity of wiring you want thread indoors.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best home security cameras, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.

If you’re not familiar with PoE tech, it uses a single ethernet cable to carry both data and enough electrical current to power the device at the end of the connection. But you’ll need a special type of ethernet switch for this to work—you can’t just plug a cable into your router. We used a TP-Link JetStream 8-Port Gigabit Smart PoE+ switch, but any PoE switch should work. You plug the camera into the switch and then plug the switch into your router.

reolink duo poe 2 Reolink

The Reolink Duo’s motion-activated spotlight enables color night vision.

Once the camera is plugged in, you’ll download the Reolink app to do the setup. Alternatively, you can use Reolink’s desktop client, but the app process is much more straightforward. I needed only to scan the QR code on the camera body with my phone and set a security password to complete the process. From there, you’ll mount and position the camera using the supplied bracket and hardware; the user manual provides easy-to-follow instructions for this.

The camera’s dual 2K video streams provide crystal-clear image quality and an aggregate 150-degree field of view. In addition to standard daytime mode, the camera also offers black-and-white and color night vision, enabled by infrared LEDs and a motion-activated 560-lumens spotlight. You can configure each of these  features separately using the app.

The Reolink app allows you to view each live feed individually or simultaneously. For the latter, it displays the two feeds stacked on top of each other by default, but stitches them into a panorama when you rotate your phone horizontally. This requires that you get a consistently solid connection for both streams, which I rarely did during my testing. One channel had intermittent connection issues, more often than not displaying a “loading stream” message where the live video should be. In the instances it did connect, the wide-angle effect worked perfectly—but those instances were frustratingly rare.

Suspecting the issue might be signal strength, I unmounted the camera and brought it indoors, closer to the router, but the issue persisted. This was the only real problem I had with the camera, but it’s a significant one because you don’t want to be waiting for a video stream to load when you get a notification that there might be an intruder on your property.

reolink duo poe 3 Reolink

The Duo is rated IP66 weatherproof for outdoor use.

The Duo can recognize both humans and vehicles, and it allows you to set both a minimum and maximum size for objects that will trigger an alert. Best of all, these motion events are processed with onboard AI, meaning you don’t need to pay for a cloud subscription to enable this feature. The camera also supports activity zones, so you can mask out areas you don’t want to receive alerts about.

Because motion-detection settings are applied to both lenses, video from both feeds is recorded whenever activity is detected, regardless of which lens was triggered. Captured video is also saved as two separate files—one from each feed—so you’ll need to manually stitch them together before you share them with anyone.

The Duo supports 24/7 continuous and scheduled recordings as well as motion events, and it offers three storage options: microSD card (up to 256GB), FTP upload, and Reolink NVR, a DVR-like device that’s sold separately. Reolink does offer its own cloud storage but it appears the Duo PoE is not supported (although the wired Wi-Fi and 4G models are, according to the Reolink app).

5fbfe05a bba7 4c3e 9889 b4f2fa132bf6 Michael Ansaldo/IDG

One of the Duo’s two channels had frequent connectivity issues, displaying only half a panoramic image.

The app has a clean, intuitive interface that puts any setting you need to operate the camera within a couple of taps. Each live feed has a toolbar with controls for playback, audio, video recording, and taking screenshots. You can also activate the Duo’s onboard siren and floodlight, as well as access saved video clips from either feed. Clips are easy to find and playback regardless of where the files are stored. A timeline shows you where activity was captured, so you can quickly scrub through to the important parts.


On balance, the Reolink Duo is an innovative camera that can give you comprehensive surveillance coverage of your property and reliably alert you to any activity. But the intermittent connectivity issues I experienced can’t be ignored, and they dampen what would otherwise be a hearty recommendation.

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