The Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE camera and Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera are two devices that can rival. The PoE model is an upgrade to the Wi-Fi model, and deciding on which of them is the best fit for you can be puzzling. Also, with the addition of the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE camera, the brand has continued to wow users. From tremendous image and video quality, privacy protection, no mandatory cloud storage subscription, reliable local storage, and more, Reolink very well sits comfortably with a lot of users.
With the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE camera being a game changer as compared to the Reolink E1 Wi-Fi camera, many wonder which of the lineups is most suitable. This review succinctly compares both devices and provides an answer to this. In the end, you will be able to comfortably make an informed decision.
Let’s get started.
Overview, Build Quality, and Design of the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE and Wi-Fi Cameras
Firstly, looking at the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE camera and the Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera, they are both identical in appearance. With their build quality and design, the difference is perhaps inexistent. Both cameras are built very strong and feel very solid when you hold them. This speaks to the weatherproof capability of both devices.
Even though both cameras look identical, in terms of their camera lenses and network connectivity medium, there are some differences. Beginning with the Reolink E1 outdoor PoE camera, (with the camera’s base facing upwards) at the very top is a daylight sensor. Followed by 4 pieces of spotlights shared both on the right-hand side and left-hand side. Then you have the camera’s 8 Megapixel resolution lens, and 12 pieces of infrared LEDs below and to the sides of the lens. Below the lens, you will find the camera’s microphone. Then, when you slide the lens downwards, you will observe a rubber flap and this houses the camera’s micro SD card slot (up to 256GB supported) and reset button.
At the back of the camera, you have the loudspeaker and a cord that carries a LAN port and a D.C power jack. On the base of the camera is a quarter 20-threaded hole to enable mounting of the camera.
Moving to the Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera, every physical attribute we’ve mentioned above is present in it except for the camera’s lens which is a 5 Megapixels resolution lens. Now, even though this camera’s cord has a LAN port, it is not a PoE-capable camera. What this means is that you can decide to use an Ethernet cable to connect the camera and your router or switch to provide network connectivity. However, you would still have to use the camera’s D.C power adapter to power ON the camera, even if your router or switch is PoE-Enabled. If you are new to the concept of PoE (Power over Ethernet), you can learn all you should in our review of the Reolink RLC-1212A as it is taught extensively. This Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera is capable of connecting to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi frequencies.
In concluding this section, the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE camera and the Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera both weigh 395g and 380g respectively. Their dimensions are also 85x118mm respectively.
How to Set up the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE and Wi-Fi Cameras
Firstly, when you receive either camera, you will find everything you need to mount and get the cameras up and running. These include a quick start guide, an installation guide, surveillance sticker, a security bracket, a pack of screws and anchors, an Ethernet cable, mounting template, a strap, D.C power adapter, and a power extension cable.
To get the cameras up and running, begin by inserting an SD Card into either camera, then power up the cameras. With the PoE model, you can simply plug one end of the Ethernet cable provided to the camera, and the other end into your PoE Enabled router, switch, NVR, or PoE Injector, and the camera will come ON and also receive network connectivity.
The next step is to integrate either camera on the Reolink app and this is a very straightforward process. On the app’s home screen, simply click on Add, then scan the QR code that’s under the camera, and then choose if you want to set up with Wi-Fi Connection, Network Cable Connection, or ”Have Wi-Fi Configured or Network Cable Connected”. Follow the proceeding steps and the camera will be fully integrated.
You can then proceed to mount the camera in your desired location. However, do consider the distance between your power socket and this location. If you are using the PoE camera with a PoE-Enabled networking device, the Ethernet cable included in the box may not be long enough.
Comparison between the functionalities of the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE and Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi Cameras
The unique selling point of the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE and Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera is their excellent image and video resolution. The latter is a 5-megapixel resolution camera while the former is an 8-megapixel resolution camera. The PoE model has a 1/2.8″ CMOS Sensor, 3X Zoom, a default video resolution of 3840X2160 at 25 frames/sec, a horizontal field of view of 94° – 50°, and 53° – 30° vertically. Evidently, it is a Pan and Tilt camera, and Pans 355°, Tilts 0° – 50°.
The Wi-Fi model has a 1/2.7″ CMOS Sensor, 3X Zoom, a default video resolution of 2560X1920 at 20 frames/sec, a horizontal field of view of 48° – 90°, and 37° – 68° vertically. It is also a Pan and Tilt camera, and Pans 355°, Tilts 0° – 50°.
These cameras produce very high-quality feeds from their lenses. With these, you will be able to capture the finest details of events. Every object that’s captured is in crystal clear imagery, and you can zoom in for a more detailed assessment. The zoom functionality is very helpful in identifying unknown faces that are far away, or even license plates.
Both cameras also deliver well-toned, colored night vision imagery. This is made possible by their inbuilt spotlights. You can even further enhance the quality of the colored night vision by adding the Reolink Floodlight (sold separately) to your Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE or Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera. This Floodlight also comes in the PoE model and Wi-Fi model. To have a full understanding of this device, see our review of the Reolink Duo Floodlight Cameras.
Moving further, the Pan and Tilt functions of these two cameras come with Motion Tracking. Now, both cameras are designed with an onboard AI. This means that you have near-instant response from either camera. They are capable of smart motion detection for Persons, Vehicles, Pets (beta), and All Motion. When motion is detected, either camera focuses on the object, and with Motion Tracking, begins to follow the movement of this object from left to right till the object is completely out of view.
With regards to alert notifications, you will receive push notifications on your mobile phone from the Reolink app as well as email notifications. Do note that the push notifications from the app do not give you a snapshot, you have to tap on the notification to get to the live view. However, the email notifications come with a snapshot.
The Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE and Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera support Motion Zones. With this, you are able to mark areas that you do not want to receive notifications for.
Both cameras support 24/7 recording, motion-activated recording, and scheduled recording. These recordings are stored locally on your micro SD Card, Reolink NVR, FTP, or the cloud (not mandatory). If you do decide to use the Reolink cloud storage, you actually get a basic plan that is free and doesn’t require you to input your card details. You get 7 days of cloud video history, support for 1 camera, and 1GB of cloud storage. Above this basic plan is the standard plan that starts at $3.49 monthly, or $34.99 yearly.
Another beautiful feature you have with the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE and Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera is Time-Lapse. This provides a convenient way to capture slow actions and deliver accelerated video clips.
As you should expect from high-end security cameras, both models feature two-way communication and this is Full-Duplex. This can be very helpful in different scenarios like communicating with your acquaintances when you are away from home. If you have a delivery agent at the door, you can give instructions on what should be done. Also, if you observe an intruder on your property, you can immediately speak and let the individual know you are aware of his or her presence. The audio quality from the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE and Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera is satisfactory; it is loud and clear enough for the receiver to comprehend what is being said.
Then you have a siren on both cameras that work together with the spotlights. You do have the option to use only the siren. This obviously provides you with a way to scare intruders. However, you do have to play with this feature to find out what works best for you. Again, depending on your neighborhood, you may want to spare your neighbors the alarm coming out of your camera.
Full Specifications of the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE Camera
Below are the entire specifications of the PoE Model.
Full Specifications of the Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera
Below are the entire specifications of the Wi-Fi Model.
What we do not like
In terms of smart controls, the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE and the Reolink E1 Outdoor Wi-Fi camera only support Google Assistant.
Looking at the Reolink E1 Outdoor PoE and Wi-Fi cameras, either of them is suitable. They are both feature-rich and powerful IP cameras that deliver contemporary cutting-edge security features.
The PoE model edges the Wi-Fi model slightly with its image sensor and 8 Megapixel resolution. Aside from this, both cameras can rival. Both will provide you with a very simple and seamless setup, with a fantastic array of features to benefit from.
From a price perspective, both of them are very cost-effective considering the features they are built with. You will get more with less with any of the camera models.
You may want to see the Reolink RLC-523WA and Reolink RLC-823A as they are similar to these but are more rugged.