External security cameras can be a useful tool but are often a pain to install. The Arlo Pro 3 aims to solve the installation problems with a wires free solution, but is it any good?
The Arlo Pro 3 2 camera pack arrived in a compact box containing 2 weather-resistant cameras, a smart hub, installation fixtures and documentation.
There are 2 mounts included, one screws into the Arlo camera, the other holds it via a very strong magnet. If you want to use the same type of mount for both cameras you’ll need to purchase it separately.
The cameras look very smart, I’ve been sent the white version but I note they’re also available in black. There isn’t much to the cameras, they have a magnetic charging point and case release button on the bottom and a mounting thread on the back (the same type you find on cameras).
The base station is required to control the system, as well as power and an Ethernet port it has a USB port allowing you to connect external storage.
The aim of Arlo Pro 3 is to be as easy to set up as possible and the companion app does a great job of guiding you through the process.
You’ll first need to install the base station. It has a wired connection to your network so it will likely live next to your router. Via the app you will then setup an account and add the Arlo cameras to the base station.
Although I’m not a fan of having base stations (there is only so much room next to my router!) the SmartHub offers two key benefits 1) the option to add external storage 2) connect cameras to the base station, no need to connect them to WiFi.
Once connected the app shows you a real time image from the camera as well as a signal strength indicator, ensure you don’t go to all the trouble of installing the camera and then find out it’s too far from the base station.
The included magnetic mount does a great job of holding the camera and it can also double up as a stand (which is how I used it).
Once installed the app gives you access to all Arlo products. On activating your new system you will be granted a generous 3 months free trial of Arlo Smart, which unlocks additional features for a monthly price:
After the 3 month trial, you’ll be paying either £2.49 (US$2.99) a month for a single camera or £7.99 (US$9.99) a month for up to 5 cameras. If you require 24/7 cloud recording you’ll need to stump up an additional $9.99 per month, per camera.
The app gives you live video streaming for remote viewing, 2-way audio, control over the inbuilt light and siren and the settings for the cameras and base station.
It’s a clean, easy to use, app that is also used as an authenticator if you want to log into the web version (which gives the same functionality in a browser).
The Arlo app also allows you to review any recordings made when the camera has been triggered. With an Arlo Smart plan, you get person, vehicle and animal detection and the app allows you to filter recordings by type making it easy to find the more interesting recordings.
In use, I found objection recognition generally worked very well, with Arlo correctly identifying people and cats (the cameras weren’t in an area that would spot vehicles).
If the camera is set up to view an area that has high traffic you would like to ignore you can specify motion zones, outside the zone will be ignored, inside will create a notification.
In base station settings you can see the connected devices and manage the external storage settings.
The system can be set to turn on/off based on a schedule, out of the box it has modes to arm, disarm, set a schedule, and activate geofencing (auto arm/disarm based on your phone location).
If those modes are exactly what you need you can add a custom mode, for example you might want a camera at the front of the house armed 24/7, but not want a back yard camera armed due to alerts being triggered by the family.
When notified about an existing event you’ll want to see what’s going on. Footage quality is very good, the camera has 2K resolution and a 160-degree field-of-view.
In daylight, it captured a lot of detail allowing you to zoom in for close-ups (up to 12x zoom). At night you have two options, you can either have a flashlight activate or you can leave the visible light off and use night vision. Both work well, providing a clear view of what the camera sees even in the dark, of course having the light turn on could act as a deterrent to any unwanted guests.
Footage can be downloaded to your mobile (or PC if using the web interface), or even donated for research purposes.
With all the motion detecting, footage capturing and WiFi usage you might be thinking the cameras will need charging every couple of hours. Fortunately, that isn’t the case, after 14 days use the camera had dropped from 100% battery to 37%, which would give me, at my current use, about 2 – 4 weeks before a recharge. Keep in mind it depends on how often you’re accessing the features, during testing I was making use of the system more than I would expect to in normal conditions.
The Alro Pro 3 wireless system is an easy to set up security system, it offers a good range of features…if you’re will to pay a monthly subscription price.
While it’s still a good system without the Arlo Smart feature it’s also very expensive and there are much lower costs options if all you are willing to sacrifice 2k video and all the bells and whistle the Arlo offers.
Arlo do offer a 4K version but not only does the starter pack cost more, so too does the monthly subscription plans. For me, 2K is the perfect resolution, it provides better clarity over lower cost 1080p cameras without the price tag of 4K cameras.
A smart, wires free, security camera system
- Easy to set up
- Good battery life
- Full feature set free for 3 months
- Additional costs to unlock all features
Arlo Pro3 Smart Home Security CCTV Camera System | Wireless Wi-Fi, Alarm, Rechargeable, Colour Night Vision, Indoor or Outdoor, 2K QHD, 2-Way Audio, Spotlight, 2 Camera Kit, VMS4240P
- 2K video with HDR: Zoom in on objects and see clearer details and colours in 2K HDR
- Integrated spotlight and colour night vision: Light up the night and ward off unwelcome guests
- Fast and easy wire-free set up magnetic mount makes it easy to install and adjust
- 160 degree view: Keep an eye on more of what matters with a wider field of view
- Magnetic charging fast charging cable easily snaps into place
Arlo Ultra Smart Home Security CCTV Camera System | Wireless Wi-Fi, Alarm, Rechargeable, Colour Night Vision, Indoor or Outdoor, 4K UHD, 2-Way Audio, Spotlight, 180° View, 2 Camera Kit, VMS5240
£559.00 in stock
1 used from £519.87
- Wire-free and weather-resistant design, works with Alexa and includes 1-year of Arlo smart premier service with rolling 30 day cloud recordings (up to 10 cameras)
- 4K and HDR zoom in to see sharp details with Arlo ultra’s 4K and HDR advanced image quality technology
- Enhanced night vision: See what’s lurking with colour night vision allowing you to see video in colour rather than traditional black and white
- Integrated spotlight: Light up the night and ward off unwelcome guests using Arlo ultra’s integrated spotlight
- 180 Degree diagonal field of view: See more with a wider angle lens that has auto image correction reducing the fish eye effect