ARLO Pro 2
Photo & Video Cameras / Device
ALTHOUGH IT’S NOT as pricey as its 4K stablemate, the Arlo Ultra, the Pro 2 will set you back a pretty penny. For the base station (which includes a built-in siren) and a single camera, expect to pay 390$, and additional cameras come at a premium, too. The two-camera kit is 615$, the three-camera kit 770$ and the largest four-camera kit 1010$.
Thankfully, it’s not lacking in features. The Pro 2 can stream 1080p video live to your smartphone, and to save you staring at your screen all day long, it has sound and motion sensors and will send alerts if either is triggered. Click on a notification and you’ll get a short video showing exactly what triggered it and the option to switch to a live view to find out what’s going on.
To minimise on false positives – which can come thick and fast if you have a pet, for example – you can set the camera to work only between certain hours, or to disengage when you’re at home by detecting your location. You can also set an alarm to go off from the base station when motion is detected. The alarm goes up to 100 decibels, more than loud enough to startle any would-be burglars.
The Pro 2 is a therefore a compelling security product, and a surprisingly versatile one at that. You can keep it in the house or outdoors (the cameras are weather-resistant to the IP65 standard), it can capture footage in night vision, and it lets you mark specific parts of the image for motion detection, just in case there are parts of its line-of-sight you’d rather not monitor, such as swaying trees that could unwantedly set off motion detection.
By default, the footage is only recorded when motion is detected or sharp noises are picked up. This footage is stored in the cloud for seven days, with 1GB of cloud storage included, and the free service supports up to five Arlo cameras before you have to start paying.
If you want to save more footage, you’ll have to stump for either the Premier (10$ per month) or Elite (15$ per month) subscriptions, which bump up the cloud storage to 10GB or 30GB for 30 or 60 days respectively. You can also plug in a USB pen drive to the hub for local recording if that feels too expensive. This is a slightly better solution than plugging external storage into the camera itself, as if thieves steal the camera, they won’t also be making off with the video evidence.
You can upgrade to non-stop 24/7 recording (CVR) as well, for yet another cost: 11.99$ per camera for 14 days, or 23.99$ for 30 days. It will need to be plugged into the mains for this to work, however.
On that note, there are a number of ways to power the Pro 2. You can connect it to the mains if you want, but it’s designed to work wirelessly and does so brilliantly. The Pro 2 has a battery inside that can be charged via a Micro USB cable in the camera housing. To ensure this isn’t too much of a problem, the Pro 2 ships with a round, half-ball mount that you can either screw to the wall or stick to a surface with an adhesive pad. The Pro 2 attaches to this magnetically and can be easily pulled down whenever it needs charging.
In our experience, this won’t be very often. We checked after 14 days and the camera was still on 65% charge, so a top-up should only be required every six weeks or so. If that still sounds like a drag but you don’t want to attach it to the mains, Arlo also makes a solar-panel kit for outdoor cameras. That will cost you another ?80, however.
There’s no escaping the fact that a relatively high-end smart camera system such as this will prove expensive, although in fairness to the Pro 2 it’s slightly cheaper than the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor. It’s also betterfeatured than the likes of the Ring Stick Up Cam and the BT Smart Home Cam, the latter of which only records in 720p.
That said, if it’s a combination of specs and value that you’re after, the D-Link DCS-2802KT offers a set of two cameras for 380$ – slightly less than the Pro 2’s singlecamera kit. This also has the flexibility of battery power, at the cost of some higherlevel features and a shorter free cloud storage period of 24 hours.
The Arlo Pro 2 is an expensive piece of kit, but it’s hard to think of any missteps it makes along the way. The footage it captures is excellent, the motion and audio detection works well, and it’s pleasingly flexible.
For some, the sheer number of features on offer will be overkill, but for anyone who wants the extra bells and whistles – literally, given the standard Arlo kit doesn’t come with a siren – there’s scant else that matches the Arlo 2 Pro for all-round flexibility and quality.
You can connect it to the mains if you want, but it’s designed to work wirelessly and does so brilliantly.
If you’ve got the cash for it, the Arlo Pro 2 is temptingly stacked with features.