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Reolink Go PT review: This security cam can operate almost anywhere

Reolink Go PT review: This security cam can operate almost anywhere


Installing a security camera outdoors presents three challenges. The first is related to power, the second has to do with connectivity, and the third is coverage—monitoring outdoor space is much more challenging than keeping an eye on an interior room.

The Reolink Go PT addresses the first problem in an increasingly common way: with a battery, plus a solar panel to keep the battery topped off. It handles the second challenge by relying on 4G LTE instead of connecting to your Wi-Fi network. Finally, there’s a pan/tilt motor to move its lens around, so you can see your entire outdoor space.

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.

Using a 4G LTE connection instead of Wi-Fi frees you from that network infrastructure’s limitations. You can deploy the Reolink Go PT virtually anywhere—provided it’s within range of a T-Mobile cell tower, that is. That makes this camera particularly useful for both large residential properties and locations where you might not otherwise have permanent broadband service, such as a vacation cabin.

reolink go pt with solar panel Michael Brown / IDG

The camera comes with a solar panel that will keep its battery topped off.

The tradeoff is that you’ll need to pay for an LTE connection, but that will cost much less than traditional internet service. To evaluate the camera, I signed up for a T-Mobile prepaid mobile internet plan that provided 2GB of data for $10 per month (you’ll also need to buy a SIM card). I found that 2GB was more than enough data for my purposes—I limited my data consumption to about 350MB per week by taking steps to eliminate unnecessary motion-triggered recordings and alerts.

Weatherization features

Reolink rates the Go PT’s ingress protection as IP65, meaning it’s entirely protected from dust and can withstand being sprayed by a tightly focused nozzle on a garden hose. (You can learn all about IP codes in this article.) The rest of the product’s specifications are relatively typical for an outdoor security camera: It captures 1080p video at a rate of 15 frames per second, which it stores either in the cloud (more on this in a bit) or on a local microSD card (cards up to 64GB are supported, but you’ll need to provide your own).

reolink go pt card slots Michael Brown / IDG

The Reolink PT has one slot for a nano SIM card and another for a microSD card. The first empowers it to join T-Mobile’s LTE network, and the second provides the option of local storage.

From a fixed position, the camera’s lens has a 105-degree field of view (measured diagonally), but its pan and tilt motor expands that to 350 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically. Passive infrared motion sensors can detect movement up to 33 feet away, and the camera’s night vision range is the same distance.

The camera hangs from an L-shaped bracket that you’ll mount to a wall, a fence, or something similar. There is no way to mount the camera to a ceiling, which means when it pans to the limit of its range left or right, you’ll see nothing but the surface it’s mounted to. I mounted the Reolink Go PT to a post near the end of my 300-foot driveway to monitor a gate at the entrance (I live on a 5-acre parcel in a rural area of northern California). Having previously had a surveillance camera stolen from that location (though later recovered), I extended said post by bolting an 8-foot 2×4 to the 8-foot 4×4 cemented in the ground, putting the new camera far out of the average person’s reach. I did overcompensate on that point, however; the camera is now 10 feet off the ground.

reolink go pt qr code2 Michael Brown / IDG

The Reolink Go PT is very easy to set up. Install the app and scan the QR code on the bottom of the camera to register it.

Reolink Go pan/tilt performance

The Go PT’s pan/tilt motor is quick and smooth, needing just 16.4 seconds to pan a full 350 degrees and 10.3 seconds to tilt 90 degrees up or down. These movements are triggered manually when you hold your finger down on the directional pad in the app. There are four arrows indicating the points on a compass, but you can drag your finger over the entire pad to move the camera up or down and left or right at the same time.

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