There are a few systems that are as powerful or flexible as the Arrow Pro II. The Arlo Ultra system produces better quality video, but the Pro 2 is a better quality system.
- Easy to set up and install
- Excellent control over recording
- Cameras work with new Ultra Base Station
- No activity zones unless powered
The Bottom Line:
Arlo Pro 2 security cameras provide prompt live alerts packed into reliable live streaming and durable weatherproof housing.
- Review Price: £279.99
- Indoor/outdoor battery-powered cameras
- 59 x 175 x 127mm
- 1080p resolution
- 130-degree filed of view
- Cloud (7-days free), USB recording
- Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa support
What is the Arlo Pro 2?
The 4K Arlo Ultra can grab headlines for its best-in-class image quality, but the wireless indoor / outdoor Arlo Pro 2 offers many of the same benefits for less money for 1080p resolution.
If this is your flexible security solution, one of the best apps in the business will make Free Cloud Storage Arlo Pro 2 a winner.
Arlo Pro 2 – What you need to know
- Installation – Full wireless installation and indoor / outdoor compatibility make these cameras really easy to install anywhere
- Detection performance –A peer motion sensor captures all the activity, but if you want to permanently power the camera or reduce the number of alerts you receive, upgrade to Arlo Smart
- Image quality –A Full HD sensor captures a considerable amount of detail during the day, but the image is a touch soft at night
Arlo Pro 2 – It’s super-easy to install and you can place it indoors or out
Arlo Pro 2 is a complete wireless security camera system just like the previous cameras. It has one or more wireless battery-powered cameras that talk through a dedicated Wi-Fi link for a hub. This hub is connected to a base station connected to your home network.
You can buy the Arlo Pro 2 with a hub in packs of one, two, three or four cameras. You can also buy different cameras. Opt for the Arlo Pro 2 with a base station and you’ll get seven days of free cloud storage and a loud siren built into the hub.
However, if you already have an Arlo Ultra system, you can simply buy plain Arlo Pro 2 cameras and attach these to the new base station (the Ultra camera is not compatible with the Pro 2 base station). This means you can extend your Arlo Ultra system with cheaper cameras where you don’t need the same level of detail, but you can lose two features.
First of all, you won’t get free cloud storage with Ultra Base Station, instead getting a free one-year subscription to the new Arlo Smart system. Second, you lose the inner siren.
Whether you use the Arlo Pro 2 base station or the Ultra unit, installation is easy. Each Arlo Pro 2 camera needs to be charged via your rear micro-USB port. Once done, you use the app to sync the camera.
Then you can use the Signal Power Tool to work where your cameras can go in or out. Wireless signal strength is quite good; I can get coverage with any camera attached to the outside walls around my Victorian terrace. I need to move the base station to the kitchen to have a camera in the garden.
In the box you will find a magnetic mount that requires a screw for it. The Arlo Pro 2 then captures it, giving you the stability and flexibility to point the camera where you want it. Magnetic mounts make it easy for someone to steal the camera or pull it aside, so you may want to use the screw thread on the camera to install a more secure mount.
Arlo Pro 2 – To reduce false alarms the Arlo Pro 2 needs permanent power, or you have to upgrade to Arlo Smart
When running on battery power alone, the Arlo Pro 2 uses its peer motion sensor to operate. As soon as it gets some, the camera wakes up and starts recording, sending a video clip to the cloud storage.
Although you can adjust the speed sensitivity, PIR motion sensors generate a large number of alerts, because they don’t like what they classify as movement. There are two options to better control motion detection.
First, you can permanently power the camera, allowing you to draw an activity area around the area in which you are most interested in the image. You can use the USB cable provided for indoor use, but for the exterior you need to buy an outdoor power cable (£ 26.99), which gives you a waterproof seal. This makes the installation stronger and you will have to drill a hole in an external wall. These types of regions have been dramatically cut on the number of alerts you receive.
Second, you can upgrade to an Arlo Smart subscription (£ 1.99 per month for one camera or cloud 6.49 for 10 cameras, 30 days of cloud storage), which introduces cloud activity zones. With these, the camera uses its PIR motion sensor to wake up and start recording, but this time cloud processing checks that the movement was out of a region and the data is discarded.
With Arlo Smart, you can use Smart Alerts to get notifications for just the people, animals, vehicles or other movements of your choice. Connected, smart notifications and cloud activity zones reduce the number of alerts received.
However, when using cloud activity zones, you need to consider setting up a camera. Mark it in a high-performance place like a road and the camera’s PIR sensor will wake it up, letting the battery run faster. Be more thoughtful about the location and you can get a better battery life: I guess I got about three months on a single charge.
As well as video recognition, you can turn on voice recognition with Arlo Pro 2 recording and an alert transmit if loud sounds are heard. How well it works depends on where you are and where the camera is placed. While installing outside, I could see that the road was very noisy and I received various warnings saying nothing; Inside produces good results.
Arlo Pro 2 – Brilliant controls for when to record
When it comes to recording your camera, the Arlo Pro 2 (and all Arlo cameras) handles the competition. Control your camera via mode. The two basic ones are Armed (set to record) and Disarmament (not set to do anything) but you can add your own – say, there are home options that turn on the outside camera but turn off the interiors. Modes can also be set, so you can automate when something happens.
Geofencing is also built in by using your phone’s location (or multiple family members) to turn on your camera when you exit. When you return home, you can either select a mode or tell the system to switch to the specified mode. The latter is especially powerful, as your camera can be turned on when you go out, but when you’re at home, the camera drives the time you want – say, the camera should be turned on at night for extra protection.
No other camera system provides this level of control by default, especially by reinforcing the Arlo.
Arlo Pro 2 – Excellent daytime vision, although nighttime recording can be a bit fuzzy
All footage of Arlo Pro 2 is stored in the cloud. If you are using Pro 2’s base station, you can plug in a USB drive and record it offline. The app gives you a library of all the footage recorded, each one can easily find the clip with its own thumbnail.
You can also filter by date, camera and alert type (person, animal, vehicle or other vehicle) by Arlo Smart. All clips can be saved to your phone for offline viewing, giving you the opportunity to store important evidence.
I could see that the Arlo Pro 2 was good at setting the full image value, even though it reduced battery life. If you go for a low-quality video setting, but battery life improves, you leave out the details. By day, Arlo Pro 2 produces sharp and detailed video for its full HD sensor and 130-degree wide angle lens. Going with a video clip, it’s easy enough to find a fixed frame that captures a person in sufficient detail for positive identification.
At night, the camera uses its IR LED to wake up at night. Unlike its older brother, the Arlo Ultra, the Pro 2 can’t shoot in full color at night, so you get the standard black and white image. I could see that the clips were a bit soft and it was hard to get a sharp frame where I could see a person in full detail. There’s enough information to see what people are doing, but you can’t always see who’s doing it all the time.
If you get a notification when an event takes place, you can use the camera’s two-way discussion to try to intimidate someone. The speaker is loud enough to hear the camera. You can also turn the siren off. If you’re using the base station of Arlo Pro 2, you’ll get a really loud, punchy sound that competes with any alarm system; If you have a new base station, the siren is out of the pro 2’s speakers, which is a bit weak.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have capabilities that allow you to stream footage of a camera to a smart display such as the Amazon Echo Show or Google Nest Hub.
Should I buy the Arlo Pro 2?
With a range of cameras offered, including the 720p Arlo Pro, 1080p Arlo Pro 2 and 4K Arlo Ultra, the Arlo system of cameras is truly powerful, allowing you to capture the quality of every field inside and outside your home. The level of control is also really impressive, allowing you to set your cameras exactly when you want to record them.
If you buy Pro 2 with a base station, you also get free cloud storage, though you may want to permanently power your cameras to use cloud activity zones to cut down the alerts.
If you want Cloud Activation Zone, you need to upgrade to Arlo Smart, it gives you smarter notifications. Note that if you buy Arlo Ultra base station, your Pro 2 cameras will lose their free cloud storage. The main problem with cloud activity zones is that your camera can drain its battery quickly if it is pointing to a busy location.
Competition at this level is tough. The Arlo Ultra produces a better overall image but is far more expensive. Nest cameras with Nest Cam and Nest Cam Outdoors have the same resolution as the Arlo Pro 2 but give you continuous recording through a more expensive Nest Hour system and give a slightly better quality image than night time.
All that said, the combination of battery power and great app makes the Arlo Pro 2 the most flexible security camera system overall. If you already have an Arlo Ultra, the Pro 2 camera gives you an inexpensive but high-quality way to monitor different parts of your home.
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