Arlo Pro 2 full review
Smart home security cameras are booming right now and the Arlo Pro 2 is one of the top options on the market in 2019. Find out why in our full review.
Whether you’re wanting to keep an eye on your pets while you’re away, or catch burglars red handed, a security camera is a solid choice. Arlo devices are a trustworthy choice
There are various prices for the Arlo Pro 2, depending on how many cameras you want. This system can handle multiple cameras.
So you can buy the most basic kit, including one camera and a base station, for around £300 or $300 RRP. You’ll have everything you need to monitor one area such as your garden.
If you want more cameras you can buy bundles that include two, three or four cameras. They cost around £569/$479, £660/$679 and £799/$799 respectively. Pricing varies wildly between retailers but one of the best deals we’ve found is the two camera kit at Amazon for £459 or $323.
Pick your kit carefully because buying a single add-on camera will set you back over £200/$200 so it’s much better to buy more from the off. The other cost you might need to factor in is a subscription, although it’s optional depending on what features you need. We’ll talk about that later on.
Check out our chart of the best security cameras to see other options.
Design & Build
Like a lot of smart home kit, but not all, the Arlo Pro 2 system is pretty easy and straightforward to set up. You’ll start by plugging the base station, which looks like a router, into your actual router.
If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need one but that’s kept simple too and then adding a camera to the system is also a sitch.
The base station is predictably lightweight and plastiky and it’s not the smallest around but it doesn’t particularly matter if it does the job it’s designed to do, which it does.
The camera is far more premium and robust with thick, solid plastic making up the construction. The back opens up so you can insert the battery and there’s a MicroUSB port under a rubber stopper to keep water out alongside a mounting thread.
In our single camera kit, there is just a simple wall-mount which uses a strong magnet to attach the camera. It’s nice and easy, with a strong hold, but does mean the camera is easily detached so you’ll want to put it out of reach if mounting outside, or get the outdoor security mount which uses a thread.
You can use the camera indoors or outdoors without worry, since the Arlo Pro 2 has an IP65 rating.
Specs & Features
We have no quibbles with the quality on offer here. The Arlo Pro 2 is able to provide an excellent 1080p HD image and not just in good daylight. The firm also has the Arlo Ultra if you want 4K but this will be overkill for most people.
The camera can also work pretty well when there isn’t any light thanks to night vision. It has infrared LEDs that can illuminate up to 8.3m away.As well as a crisp image, the camera benefits from a wide 130 degree viewing angle and 8x digital zoom.
Like some other modern security cameras, Arlo Pro 2 comes with a bunch of additional features you can make use of. There’s 2-way audio if you want to talk to someone and also a siren that blasts at over 100dB if you need to ward off an intruder.
Although the camera can be used wirelessly thanks to a rechargeable battery, you’ll need to have it wired in if basic detection (passive infrared) isn’t enough. Once plugged in, the Pro 2 has three detection zones, a 3 second preview and sound detection too.
The three zones can be customised so you can select a particular part of the short, perhaps a doorway, so you only get notified about that. You can also set a time schedule so that you don’t get notifications while you’re normally at home.
While some camera system require you to sign up to a subscription to use even basic features, Arlo offers 7-day cloud storage and support for up to five cameras so this should be sufficient for most users.
You can pay £6.99 per month for Arlo Smart Premier which takes things to 30 days rolling storage and adds things like enhanced notifications and person detection. Arlo Smart Elite is £9.99 per month and doubles storage to 60 days and supports up to 20 cameras so this is more likely an option for business usage.
Anyone wanting round the clock cloud recording will have to pay £6.99 per camera for 14 days or £12.99 for 30 days. Again, this is probably a business requirement or perhaps something to consider if you’re on holiday and detection alerts aren’t enough to satisfy you.
Alternatively, you can pay £1.99 per month per camera for the enhanced notifications and person detection which works out cheaper if you just a couple of cameras and aren’t too fussed about longer storage periods.
All the above is all very well but if the software doesn’t work on systems like this then you have an amazing quality image that you can’t access.
Gladly this isn’t the case and Arlo has one of the most easy to use and polished apps in the security camera market. It looks nice and is very intuitive to use. Even connecting to the camera from Los Angeles didn’t take long.
We have no doubt that the Arlo Pro 2 is one of the best smart security cameras on the market, but it is an expensive kit regardless of how many cameras you want. The value is better if you want multiple so if you just want one then you might want to look elsewhere if budget is an issue.
Luckily you don't need to pay for any subscriptions if 7-day cloud storage is enough.
If the price is ok, then the Arlo Pro 2 system is slick, well-built and easy to use. It provides an excellent image and some neat features via an intuitive app.
Arlo Pro 2: Specs
- Up to 5 cameras, base station and mounting kit
- 1080p resolution
- 130-degree wide-angle
- Night Vision
- Live Streaming and real-time notifications
- Wireless or wired (some features require wired connection)
- Custom detection zones
- Person detection
- Audio detection
- Supports Alexa/IFTTT
- Two-way audio
- 100dB siren
- 7-day free cloud storage (paid options available)
- 256bit data security
- 12-month warranty
- 79 x 48 x 70mm