Reolink Duo Review – A dual-lens multi-directional security camera with a 150-degree field of view, spotlight and human detection

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Reolink Duo Review Rating

Summary

 The Reolink Duo is an excellent and relatively innovative solution to implementing surveillance across a wide viewing angle without the need for multiple cameras. The dual-lens multi-directional system is then complimented by spotlights and AI object detection.

I adjusted the score of this now I know the price. 95% may be a little over-generous but there is nothing on the market that is directly competing with it and I think it is priced very attractively. 

Overall
95%
95%
  • Overall - 95%
    95%

Pros

  • One physical camera that covers 150 degrees field of view
  • A unique solution at the consumer price point level
  • Considerably simplifies installation if you already have wires in place but want a wider angle/second camera
  • Priced attractively – cheaper than running two separate cameras

Cons

  • No panoramic stream
  • Not a huge benefit vs running two cameras side by side (apart from price)

If you see this review anywhere other than mightygadget.co.uk it has been scraped/stolen

Reolink has released a lot of new cameras in the past year, and I have reviewed many of them. This has led to some of the reviews becoming a bit samey with recent launches offering incremental specification and feature differences from the cameras before them.

The Reolink Duo is something quite different and shows how Reolink is willing to experiment a little with their products to see what works.

They briefly had a product page up for the Reolink Duo as part of their #ReolinkTrial program but all references from it have since disappeared.

The idea of the camera is quite simple, it uses two separate lenses to cover a much wider field of view without relying on a fisheye lens. Each camera is 4MP which then provides a 2560X1440  resolution image. It doesn't have quite the same vertical resolution as some of their other lower-resolution cameras, such as the RLC-510A, which is 5MP at 2560×1920.

The Reolink Duo then integrates all the other fancy features Reolink has been shoving into their cameras recently. This includes human&car detection, a spotlight for colour night vision and also a speaker/microphone allowing you two-way audio or to set off a siren.

Reolink has now put the pre-launch page live and the camera will officially launch on the 22nd of September. There will be four variants with a PoE, WiFi, battery WiFi and battery 4G model.

Reolink Duo Pre-Launch

Reolink Duo Specification

  • Image Sensor: 1/2.7″ CMOS  Dual Sensors
  • Video Resolution: 2 x 2560X1440  (4.0 Megapixels)  at 25 frames/sec
  • Lens:  f = 4.0 mm fixed, F = 1.6
  • Video Format:
  • Field of View:
    • Horizontal: 150° (total from two lenses)
    • Vertical: 44°
  • Day & Night: With IR Cut, Auto-switching
  • Infrared Night Vision: 30 Meters (LED: 6pcs/20mil/850nm)
  • Color Night Vision: Spotlight: 8pcs/4.4W/6500K/440 Lumens
  • Audio: two-way audio
  • Power:
    • IEEE 802.3af, 48V Active
    • DC 12.0V⎓1A,  <12W
  • Ethernet: One  10M/100Mbps  RJ45
  • Storage: MicroSD card slot (Max. 256GB)
  • Audio: Built-in Microphone and Speaker
  • Smart Alarm: Motion detection/Human Detection/Vehicle Detection
  • Record Mode: Motion Record/Schedule Record (Default: Motion Record)
  • Protocols & Standards: HTTPS, SSL, TCP/IP, UDP, HTTP, IPv4, UPnP, RTSP, RTMP, ONVIF, SMTP, NTP, DHCP, DNS, DDNS, FTP, P2P
  • Dimension: 195x 103x 56 mm
  • Weight: 590g

Reolink Duo PoE, WiFi, Battery WiFi and Battery 4G Comparison & Prices

Prices are estimated for now.

Two separate images rather than image stitching for one ultra-wide panoramic stream

When I was informed of this camera, I had assumed that the two cameras would use seamless image stitching to create one ultra-wide image. Some high-end commercial cameras offer this, with Hikvision having a panoramic stream for some of the multi-directional cameras.

However, Reolink doesn't do this, and in hindsight, it was perhaps a little over-optimistic to think it would. The Reolink Duo is essentially two separate cameras working in one unit, with each camera supplying a different feed. For the Reolink app and NVR, it will auto add both channels. For ONVIF, you need add two cameras defining the correct channel each.

In the Reolink mobile app, you can have it display the feed with the images joined together, and with both the NVR and Blue Iris I have both channels next to each other, so the end result still appears to be stitched together. However, my sample footage is two separate videos for each camera.

Photos

This is quite a different design than your normal Reolink camera or many other brands. It is physically quite large, though smaller than running two cameras side by side.

Installation

I don't normally bother covering the physical installation, but the design is a little different here. Installation is easy, though. The mount includes a metal backplate that screws into the wall first, the mount then has a single screw point securing it in place. The camera then screws on top.

It feels quite secure, but the main mount is plastic, so it wouldn't take a great deal of force to damage it, either something falling on it, or malicious.

Set-Up – Reolink Mobile & Windows App

Setting the camera up within the Reolink app is identical to every other Reolink camera I reviewed. You power up the camera, scan the QR code then provide an admin user and password. I did have some issues with the connection at first, and assigning the admin password. I suspect this was me being impatient waiting for the camera to connect to the network properly or possibly networking issues on my LAN.

Within the app, the two channels show under the single-camera name, and you can then have it display stitched together or separated as two channels.

When you load the feed in portrait mode in the stiched mode, the two images will display above and below each other. Switching to landscape will place them side by side, giving you an ultra-wide view of your property. The alignment of the cameras isn't 100% perfect, but it is close.

I previously stated the Reolink windows app can't stitch the images together. While this is technically true, you can display multiple channels at once. Using 4 channels and displaying them side by side has the same stitching effect I wanted to achieve.

Reolink Windows app

Reolink NVR

With the Reolink NVR, I had to update the firmware to a version that my press contact supplied. Without this, the NVR would only add the left channel rather than both. You also need to have two channels free to be able to add it.

Blue Iris

Blue Iris took me a little while to work out. Similar to the NVR, by default, it just added the left camera. I assume that what you use the auto-detection, Blue Iris finds the first URL then gives up.

So you need to manually define the second channel, which is the right image. This would be:

Channel two on the right: /h264Preview_02_main

Channel one on the left should get auto-detected: /h264Preview_01_main

Whist your at it, you can also define the substream settings to reduce CPU load. This would be:

  • Left side / Channel 1 is : /h264Preview_01_sub
  • Right side / Channel 2 is : /h264Preview_02_sub

Performance

Like most of my other reviews, the camera is placed on my windowsill, avoiding me having to climb up ladders and drill more holes in the wall. This causes a few small issues, with it using two cameras with a spotlight and IR, it was quite difficult to get a good placement where there wouldn't be glare from the lights hitting the nearby wall or window column. I did end up relocating this camera using the mount in my back garden, and these issues were no longer a problem.

I also left the image settings as default, you can tweak things like the spotlight brightness or if the IR lights should come on or not. Under the display settings, you have various image control settings such as brightness and contrast.

The camera performs exactly as expected from two separate 4MP Reolink cameras.  Image quality is good, but you obviously lose a bit of the detail you get from their high-resolution cameras.

With the nighttime recording, the spotlight will switch on when it detects motion. In my sample footage, I haven't set up motion zones so it triggers passing cars quite frequently. This highlights a small issue with the Reolink colour night vision system, a car passing by can almost leave the field of view by the time the spotlight is on, and the video is in colour. Not a massive issue unless you have a particular desire to record fast-moving traffic.

Page 2 has the sample footage, motion detection, price/availability and my overall opinion.

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