Reolink RLC-523WA versus Reolink RLC-823A Review

This Reolink RLC-523WA and Reolink RLC-823A cameras review is designed to deliver a succinct comparison between the two devices.

In today’s world, without surveillance cameras, you can never be too vigilant about home security, no matter how hard you try.

Home security cameras are useful not only for monitoring your property but also for keeping an eye on your children while you are away. For example, a facial recognition security camera positioned near your front door can send you a push notification stating, “Bryan is at the front door,” letting you know your child has arrived home safely. Fantastic right?

These cameras can enhance your home security by letting you monitor your property from anywhere; view a live feed of your home on your smartphone or computer, and receive immediate alerts for any suspicious activity. The core purpose of this article is to review two of Reolink’s popular surveillance cameras, the Reolink RLC-523WA and the Reolink RLC-823A.

These are part of a new generation of security cameras that are made with artificial intelligence in mind. They have better human and vehicle detection capabilities because of their upgraded resolution.

Having known all these, the big question is, “How do the Reolink RLC-523WA and the Reolink RLC-823A work to provide the needed security?” Do they live up to the hype? Most importantly, why should you consider or not consider the Reolink RLC-523WA or the Reolink RLC-823A? This review will address these and other concerns to help you in making the right choice.

Let’s get started.

Reolink RLC-523WA vs Reolink RLC-823A
Image credit: Reolink

Reolink RLC-523WA Review Summary:

The Reolink RLC-523WA is a security camera that can be used indoors or outdoors. It has pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) and a high-resolution image sensor. Similar to the Reolink RLC-823A, this camera can capture high-definition video and has colored night vision. The RLC-523WA camera has a resolution of 5 Megapixels, this equates to 2560 x 1920 pixels.

Although the Reolink RLC-523WA is primarily a Wi-Fi camera, an Ethernet cable is fused to it. This means it can be connected via its Ethernet port, with the Ethernet cable that comes in the box to your router. However, the camera comes with a D.C power supply unit to power it up.

No matter how you cut it, the video looks good. Even minor details, like parcel labels on your entryway, can be clearly seen. If you monitor a large region, you will be able to spot people from a considerable distance. The color and image clarity is also quite impressive.

The Reolink RLC-523WA Wi-Fi camera can identify people and cars based on their shapes, which helps eliminate false alerts caused by moving shadows or animals. When motions are detected, it reacts by following preset motion detection criteria.

Night vision of up to 190 feet is provided by the infrared LEDs on the Reolink RLC-523WA and the spotlights enable colored night vision. When this home security camera system detects an unwanted visitor, its spotlights and siren will automatically scare off the intruder, removing any possible danger. I guess you are craving more updates on this high-quality security camera. Take a look at the full specifications of the Reolink RLC-523WA below.

RLC 523WA Specifications
Image credit: Reolink

Reolink RLC-823A Review Summary:

The Reolink RLC-823A is a smart security camera with four infrared LEDs similar to the Reolink RLC-523WA. It has an amazing 5X optical zoom, and colored night vision. Considering its robust construction and waterproof casing, it is very ideal for outdoor use. It can cover large regions because of its 360° pan and 90° tilt rotation capabilities. The RLC-823A camera has a resolution of 8 Megapixels, which equates to 3840 x 2160 pixels.

The camera’s lens lies exactly in the middle on the front side of the camera just like in the RLC-523WA. Three dazzling spotlights are located below the lens which aid the colored night vision and on both sides of the camera’s lens are the infrared LEDs.

The Reolink RLC-823A is a 4K UHD camera. With this, the camera is able to show you tiny details and you can zoom in on these tiny details without distorting the image quality. At night, the images are crystal clear, and when you zoom in for detailed close-ups, the images are not distorted. The Reolink RLC-823A can also distinguish between people and cars with its smart detection capability. It is designed with two-way audio functionality, SD card storage (256GB maximum), and more importantly, it is a PoE camera. This means this camera cannot function via Wi-Fi. The camera’s network connectivity is via an Ethernet cable connected to it and to your router.

It is worthy of note that your router should be Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled. This will enable power to be transmitted through the Ethernet cable to power up your Reolink RLC-823A. However, if your router is not PoE enabled, you can power up your camera with a D.C adapter rated with a 12 volts output. Also, note that power ratings are different in several countries with respect to input and output. So, be sure to check this properly before placing an order.

The table below shows a summary of the features of the Reolink RLC-823A.

Reolink RLC-823A Specifications
Image credit: Reolink

The First Impression: Set up and how the Reolink RLC-523WA and Reolink RLC-823A cameras work

The Reolink RLC-523WA and Reolink RLC-823A are amazingly built cameras. They are very rugged, have a domineering appearance, and are designed to withstand any weather condition (IP66 Certified).

Both cameras are built with a motorized lens capable of 5x optical zoom. They both have pan-tilt-zoom capabilities and can be mounted in a variety of positions. Mounting both of them is pretty straightforward as they come with a mounting template, anchors, and screws. Depending on the type of wall where you want to place either of them, you may need to drill holes, insert the anchors into the holes and then screw your camera to the wall.  

When your camera is fully mounted, you can then connect it to your router, NVR, or insert an SD card, depending on the type of set up you want to have. To configure your camera and view the camera’s feed, you must have the Reolink mobile app or the desktop application to complete the setup process.

The setup process is pretty straightforward and once completed, you can start experimenting with your camera’s settings. To begin with, the live feed from your camera is accessible to you no matter where you are in the world. You have the ability to pan and tilt your camera to achieve the precise coverage you desire. You also have the option of configuring it to send you a push notification whenever motion is detected.

You have the option of configuring the Reolink RLC-523WA and Reolink RLC-823A cameras to sound an alarm and turn ON their powerful spotlights whenever they identify a moving vehicle or person. This can be used to terrify potential burglars before they even attempt to break in. Both the spotlight and the siren can be operated independently if necessary. For example, in a residential area, you can turn OFF the siren in order to spare the sanity of your neighbors.

In terms of being outdoors, the Reolink RLC-523WA and Reolink RLC-823A have very high water resistance. With this, the cameras can even withstand a water jet, allowing you to clean them with a hose if they get dirty.

With regards to night performance, the infrared LED’s on the Reolink RLC-523WA are able to deliver relatively clear images. With a range of 190 ft., in black and white, they retain the ability to see fine details just as clearly as one should see them. Also, the spotlights do a great job of illuminating the environment and producing colored images. On the Reolink RLC-823A, the difference is very clear; being an 8MP camera it definitely performs better than the RLC-523WA in this regard.

Why should you consider the Reolink RLC-523WA?

The Reolink RLC-523WA is a Wi-Fi camera even though it is built with an Ethernet cable attached to it. You can simply connect the camera to your router via Wi-Fi. With this, you do not have to use an Ethernet cable and run it all the way to where your router is located.

The Reolink RLC-523WA camera does not include cloud storage, but it does offer three video and image storage options. It is possible to use a microSD card, an FTP server, or a Reolink NVR. Fantastic, right?

The spotlights are extremely powerful, acting as a deterrent as well as a source of color at night. Considering the amount of technology built into the camera, it is reasonably affordable.

Again, it has excellent image quality and is compatible with Google Assistant. The camera’s built-in mic and speaker allow you to listen and respond in real-time.

Why should you not consider the Reolink RLC-523WA?

There are some factors that might shift your mind away from making the Reolink RLC-523WA your buying choice. Some of them are;

Firstly, the camera is quite heavy. Depending on the type of wall, you may need to use screws with a heavy-duty rating when mounting the Reolink RLC-523WA. Also, you want to prevent it from instability when positioned.

Secondly, because of its enormous size, it is possible that it will be too dominant for some people’s taste.

Thirdly, you cannot currently connect the Reolink RLC-523WA to Alexa.

Fourthly, with this camera, you can’t save photos or videos to the cloud.

Why should you consider the Reolink RLC-823A?

The Reolink RLC-823A is a PoE camera only. This means you must use an Ethernet cable to connect the camera to your router for network connectivity. If your router is PoE enabled, then it can power up your camera along with providing network connectivity. If your router is not a PoE-enabled router, you then have to use a D.C power supply (12 volts output) to power up your camera.

Some users prefer network connectivity via an Ethernet cable because they believe this is stronger than Wi-Fi connectivity. If you buy this idea, then the Reolink RLC-823A can be your choice.

Similar to the RLC-523WA, the RLC-823A camera does not include cloud storage, but it does offer three video and image storage options. It is possible to use a microSD card, an FTP server, or a Reolink NVR.

To see the complete list of Reolink cameras that support cloud storage, visit this page.

The Reolink RLC-823A is an 8 Megapixels camera. When it comes to image quality, it is top-notch. It produces very beautiful and clear images of the smallest details. In addition to this, it performs excellently at night. Its spotlights, two-way audio, and compatibility with Google Assistant make it a device for consideration.

Why should you not consider the Reolink RLC-823A?

As with the Reolink RLC-523WA, the RLC-823A is quite heavy also. You may require more rugged screws for installation. With its enormous size, it is possible that it will be too dominant for some intending buyers.

This camera cannot function with Alexa, and can’t save photos or videos to the cloud.


Indeed, surveillance cameras have advanced significantly in terms of design, functionality, and reliability. The Reolink RLC-523WA and Reolink RLC-823A cameras show up in this regard. They are modern security cameras and are relatively affordable.

Regardless of your choice between the two models, you are sure to get a good pick. Both cameras are excellent choices for clear images. Even at night, the images are sharp, and you can clearly see faces and other small details.

In terms of network connectivity, as both cameras are Wi-Fi and PoE based respectively, you can choose which one suits your overall satisfaction. We found both cameras being able to function effectively in a Wi-Fi setup and PoE setup.

Click here to get the Reolink RLC-523WA on the Reolink official website.

Click here to get the Reolink RLC-823A on the Reolink official website.

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