Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Ultra vs. Arlo Essential

Can’t decide which Arlo Security camera to get? Let this comprehensive comparison guide help you make the right choice.
Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Ultra vs. Arlo Essential
veröffentlicht: 8. Jun 2021
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When it comes to security, nothing but the best is required to protect the things most precious to you. Fortunately, Arlo Security cameras are considered some of the finest on the market.

If you’re having trouble deciding which of Arlo’s latest models fit your needs, we’ve got you covered. We’ll show you a comprehensive comparison of the features of each model to help you make up your mind. So, what’s better, the Arlo Pro, the Arlo Ultra, or the Arlo Essential? Read on to find out.

Table of Content

A Brief Introduction to Arlo

Quick Comparison Table

Quick Verdict

Individual Device Overview

Arlo Pro 3

Arlo Pro 4

Arlo Ultra 2

Arlo Essential

Arlo Essential Indoor

Step by Step Feature Comparison

Final Score

Verdict: Overall Winner

Quick FAQ

A Security Camera to Fit Your Needs

A Brief Introduction to Arlo

The security camera manufacturer now known as Arlo began as a division of the computer networking company Netgear. Under their parent company, Arlo engineered developed security system technologies, releasing its first product in the last quarter of 2014. Security cameras would eventually form the company’s main business line.

In February 2018, Arlo formally separated from Netgear, becoming its own manufacturing company. Netgear still retained majority control of the corporation, but the division now known as Arlo Technologies Inc. essentially became independent.

Since then, Arlo has produced some of the best security cameras available on the market. It’s estimated that over 11.7 million Arlo Pro cameras are in operation today, producing over 88 million video streams daily. With over 3 million registered users, Arlo Technologies Inc. has become one of the top security systems manufacturers in the world. The brand has become widely popular with customers as they offer a great number of features that enhance the camera’s capabilities.

Arlo continued its top-of-the-line security camera development with the introduction of the Arlo Pro 4 and the Arlo Ultra 2 in October 2020. With all of their cutting-edge features, Arlo has once again lived up to the high standards that customers have come to expect from the company.

Quick Comparison Table

Features

Arlo Pro 3

Arlo Pro 4

Arlo Ultra 2

Arlo Essential

Arlo Essential Indoor

Max Camera Resolution

2K

2K

4K

1080p

1080p

Max Field of View

160 degrees

160 degrees

180 degrees

130 degrees

130 degrees

Sensor

4 megapixels

4 megapixels

8 megapixels

2 megapixels

2 megapixels

Power Source

Rechargeable Battery

Rechargeable Battery

Rechargeable Battery

Rechargeable Battery

Plug-in AC

Motion Range Detection

Single Motion Sensor

Single Motion Sensor

Dual Motion Sensors

Single Motion Sensor

Single Motion Sensor

Night Vision Type

Color

Color

Color

Color

Black and White

2 Way Noise Cancelling

Noise and Echo

Noise and Echo

Wind, Noise, and Echo

Noise and Echo

Noise and Echo

Weather Resistant

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Direct Wi-Fi Connection

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Connection Type

Wireless

Wireless

Wireless

Wireless

Wired Only

Siren

Built-in

Built-in

Built-in

Built-in

Built-in

Rated Usage

Indoor / Outdoor

Indoor / Outdoor

Indoor / Outdoor

Indoor / Outdoor

Indoor

Rated Battery Life

3 - 6 months

3 - 6 months

3 - 6 months

3 - 6 months

N/A

Price

$129.00 - $649.00

$199.99 - $549.99

$299.99 - $599.99

$129.00 - $349.99

$99.00

Quick Verdict

If you’re on a budget, the Arlo Pro 3 is the best choice as it has the best features relative to its price. For those looking for a quality camera without any cost considerations, then definitely go for the Arlo Ultra 2 as it has all the latest improvements. There is no question that it is the best of the bunch.

If you’re looking for an indoor camera on a tight budget, then consider the Arlo Essential Indoor, as it’s the least expensive on the list. The features are rather bare bones though, and it isn’t wireless. Therefore, you may consider the Arlo Pro 3 for about $40 more as an add on, or $90 more for the camera and smart hub.

Individual Device Overview

Below is a brief overview of the latest of Arlo’s security camera offerings. Look at the features that each has to offer to see whether they fit your needs.

Arlo Pro 3

Before the release of the Arlo Pro 4 and the Arlo Ultra 2 in October 2020, the Arlo Pro 3 was the best security camera that Arlo had to offer. Still considered one of the best security cameras on the market, it offers a lot of features while being relatively affordable.

With high definition 2K resolution paired with a field of view of 160 degrees along with a 4-megapixel camera, the Arlo Pro 3 can still hold its own. The clear recordings of the Arlo Pro 3 will ensure that you can clearly keep track of what’s happening in its location.

 Its single motion sensor along with its color night vision capability gives you a better view of what happens after dark. When the sun goes down, you can rest easy knowing that the Arlo Pro 3 is keeping a close watch over everything.

The Arlo Pro 3 is rated for both indoor and outdoor use as it’s weather resistant build helps it endure the elements. Along with its wireless capability, you can place it anywhere with a decent Wi-Fi signal.

This model has a great balance of price and features, with its single camera-only kit costing the same as the Arlo Essential. The kit doesn’t come with a smart hub though, and as the Arlo Pro 3 can’t connect directly to Wi-Fi, you’ll need a hub to operate it.

The lack of wind noise cancelling can also be problematic, especially in windy areas as it may disrupt audio recording. Still, overall, the Arlo Pro 3 is a very good security camera to get if you’re on a budget.

Pros:

  • Balance of price and features
  • Indoor and outdoor use capability
  • High resolution with 4-megapixel camera

Cons:

  • Can’t connect directly to Wi-Fi
  • Cheapest kit doesn’t come with a smart hub
  • Doesn’t have wind noise cancelling

Cost at time of review:

The add-on camera which normally costs $199.00 is currently available at only $129.00 each. Do note that this doesn’t come with a smart hub. The 1-piece camera kit costs $189.99, the 2-piece kit comes at $279.99, and the 3-piece kit costs $649.99.

What’s in the box

  • Arlo Pro 3 Camera (available in 1, 2, and 3 camera kits, add on cameras are available without the base)
  • Rechargeable batteries (one for each camera in kit)
  • Wall mount and screw kit (one for each camera in kit)
  • Magnetic charging cable
  • Arlo Smart Hub
  • Power adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Video monitoring sticker
  • Quick Start Guide

Average Rating Around the Web: 4.5/5

SMARTHOME.News Rating: 4.6/5

Arlo Pro 4

The latest of the Arlo Pro series, the Arlo Pro 4 brings an update to this great line of security cameras. If you’re looking for cutting edge security camera technology, the Arlo Pro 4 is a good bet.

It boasts a 2K high-definition camera resolution with 160 degrees field of vision. Its 4-megapixel camera is sure to record important details of any goings-on in the area that it’s installed in.

The Arlo Pro 4, like the Arlo Pro 3, relies on a single motion sensor to detect movement in areas that you designate as point of interest. It also has color night vision capability giving you a clearer view of dark areas than normal black and white night vision provides.

This model was designed to be used both indoors and outdoors, and is rated weatherproof. Placing it in areas exposed to the environment shouldn’t be a problem. It’s important to take note, however, that extreme heat or cold can drain energy from the battery.

An advantage that the Arlo Pro 4 has is that it can connect directly to your Wi-Fi network without having the need for a hub. That said, the Arlo Pro 4 kits don’t include hubs to begin with, unlike the Arlo Pro 3 which comes with a hub with its 1-camera kit. You can easily manage the cameras through your own Wi-Fi network. There also isn’t an add-on camera option like there is on the Arlo Pro 3.

For the price that it comes in at, there really isn’t any real big improvements to the Arlo Pro 4 in comparison to the Arlo Pro 3. With the current sale, it’s slightly more expensive than the Arlo Pro 3 for what it offers.

Pros:

  • Can connect directly to Wi-Fi
  • Made for both indoor and outdoor use
  • 4-megapixel camera captures video at max 2K resolution

Cons:

  • Not a big improvement from the Arlo Pro 3
  • No add-on camera option
  • Kits don’t come with the Smart Hub

Cost at time of review:

The 1 -piece camera kit sells for $199.99. The three-piece kit is sold at $549.99. Both options come with a smart hub, and there is no add-on camera option.

What’s in the box

  • Arlo Pro 4 Camera (Comes in 1 and 3 camera kits)
  • Rechargeable batteries (one for each camera in kit)
  • Wall mount and screw kit (one for each camera in kit)
  • Magnetic charging cable
  • Power adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Video monitoring sticker
  • Quick Start Guide

Average Rating Around the Web: 4.0/5

SMARTHOME.News Rating: 4.1/5

Arlo Ultra 2

The latest and the best that Arlo currently has to offer is embodied in the Arlo Ultra 2. With its top-of-the-line features, rest assured that you’re getting one of the best security cameras available on the market today.

The Arlo Ultra 2 boasts an impressive 4K video resolution, with a wide 180-degree field of view. This ultra-wide angle paired with its 8-megapixel camera means that Arlo Ultra 2 captures all the details of any event. You’ll be able to save your security videos locally via the MicroSD slot located in the smart hub.

The Arlo Ultra 2 comes with dual motion sensors to accurately detect movement in designated areas. With the Activity Zone option available in the mobile app, you can tell the Arlo Ultra 2 which areas to keep watch on and which areas to ignore. Along with these features comes a colored night vision camera that allows you to clearly see areas even in the darkest of nights.

The Arlo Ultra has been rated for both indoor and outdoor use, and can resist all but the most hostile environments. Do take note that extreme temperatures, hot or cold, can affect battery usage and drain the camera too quickly.

A big downside to the Arlo Ultra 2 is that it’s pricier than any other camera on this list. Cutting edge technology does come at a cost, and you get what you pay for. It’s also important to note that the Arlo Ultra 2 only comes in a 2-piece kit and an add-on option without the smart hub. With the Arlo Ultra 2 not being able to connect directly to your Wi-Fi, you’ll need the hub to use this camera.

Pros:

  • 8-megapixel camera records video at 4K resolution
  • Dual motion sensor technology
  • Wind, noise, and echo cancelling for better audio

Cons:

  • Relatively pricey
  • No direct Wi-Fi connection
  • Only comes in a 2-camera kit or add-on camera without a hub

Cost at time of review:

Available in a 2-piece kit at $599.99 with an add-on single camera option at $299.99. The add-on camera doesn’t come with a smart hub.

What’s in the box

  • Arlo Ultra 2 Camera (2-piece kit. Add-on has 1 camera)
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Wall mount and screw kit
  • Longe screw mount and screw kit
  • Magnetic wall mount
  • Power adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Video monitoring sticker
  • Quick Start Guide

Average Rating Around the Web: 4.2 /5

SMARTHOME.News Rating: 4.3 /5

Arlo Essential

Do you want a relatively inexpensive security camera that has all the important features without making operation too complicated? Then the Arlo Essential is the camera for you.

The Arlo Essential records video with its 2-megapixel camera at 1080p. It may seem lower, especially when compared to the other cameras on this list, but 1080p is still considered as high definition. Therefore, you still get quite a bit of detail. The lower 130-degree field of view, however, is a downside, limiting the area that you can cover at a time.

The Arlo Essential uses a single motion sensor to detect movement, with the option to delegate activity zones so you can ignore heavily trafficked areas. The Essential comes with colored night vision cameras which give much more detail when recording at night than regular black and white cameras.

This model has been rated as weather resistant, and can be installed indoors as well as outdoors. Be aware that extreme changes in temperature can affect any camera’s batteries and may cause the power to drain too quickly.

The price compared to other models in the line make it one of the least expensive of Arlo’s outdoor cameras, at least for the relatively new models. It has all the basic features that you’d expect Arlo to have, like mobile control, wireless connectivity, and two-way communications. It can even directly connect to your Wi-Fi network, eliminating the need for a smart hub. Speaking of which, the Arlo Essential camera kit doesn’t come with a smart hub included.

That said, the Arlo Pro 3 add-on camera, at its current price is equal to the Arlo Essential. For an additional $60, you can get the Arlo Pro 3 with a smart hub included, giving you more features. If you like the basic options however, the Arlo Essential is still quite a good camera to have.

Pros:

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Has all the basic Arlo features
  • Connect directly to your Wi-Fi network

Cons:

  • Limited to 1080p resolution
  • Limited to 130 degrees field of view
  • Doesn’t come with a smart hub

Cost at time of review:

The single camera kit costs $129.99, while the three camera kit costs $349.99. There is also an XL version with longer battery life that is sold for $149.99. None of the kits come with a smart hub.

What’s in the box

  • Arlo Essential Camera (Comes in kits or 1 or 3)
  • Wall mount and screw kit
  • Charging cable
  • Quick Start guide

Average Rating Around the Web: 4/5

SMARTHOME.News Rating: 4/5

Arlo Essential Indoor

The quintessential tabletop security camera, the Arlo Essential Indoor can easily be placed anywhere in a room to keep constant watch of your property. Whether wall-mounted, or placed on a shelf, the Arlo Essential Indoor fits anywhere required.

This device shoots video at 1080p resolution with its 2-megapixel camera. It has 130-degrees field of view allowing it a wide range, if relatively smaller compared to the other cameras on this list.

During night time hours, or in darkness, it’s able to shoot black and white night vision video. It relies on a single motion sensor to detect any motion, and can be programmed with activity zones to exclude any busy areas.

This camera is rated for indoor use only, and should be kept away from high moisture areas. It also needs a wired connection as it doesn’t have rechargeable batteries like the other models on this list.

Pros:

  • Relatively affordable
  • Connects directly to Wi-Fi
  • Easily positioned on a wall or shelf

Cons:

  • Limited to indoor operation
  • Wired connections only
  • Limited to black and white night vision

Cost at time of review:

The Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera only comes in a one-piece kit at $99.99

What’s in the box

  • Arlo Essential Indoor Camera
  • Wall mount and screw kit
  • Power Adapter
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Average Rating Around the Web: 4.0/5

SMARTHOME.News Rating: 4.0/5

Step by Step Feature Comparison

Below, we provide a step-by-step comparison of the individual features of the specific Arlo Security Cameras. Find out how each model weighs up against others on the line, and which is the better option.

Max Camera Resolution:

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 80%

Arlo Pro 4: 80%

Arlo Ultra 2: 85%

Arlo Essential: 75%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 75%

Winner: Arlo Ultra 2

At a resolution of 4K, the Arlo Ultra doubles the resolution of the next best cameras on the list. When recording security footage, having a higher resolution means getting a clearer image. This is a win in favor of the Ultra.

Max Field of View

Score:

Arlo Pro 3:87%

Arlo Pro 4: 87%

Arlo Ultra 2: 90%

Arlo Essential: 75%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 75%

Winner: Arlo Ultra Pro 2

With 180-degrees FOV, the Arlo Ultra 2 is able to capture a wider area than any other model. Both the Arlo Pro 3 and Arlo Pro 4 come close with 160-degrees, but that extra 20 degrees of vision can mean the difference between capturing an event or not getting clear footage. The Arlo Ultra 2 takes the win.

Sensor

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 85%

Arlo Pro 4: 85%

Arlo Ultra 2: 90%

Arlo Essential: 75%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 75%

Winner: Arlo Ultra 2

Another clear win for the Ultra 2. At 8-megapixels, it once again doubles the resolution of the next best model on the list. The Arlo Ultra 2 is able to get clearer pictures, making any possible identification of suspicious persons easier.

Power Source

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 85%

Arlo Pro 4: 85%

Arlo Ultra 2: 85%

Arlo Essential: 85%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 70%

Winner: Tie (except for the Arlo Essential Indoor)

All models except for the Arlo Essential Indoor has a rechargeable battery, making wireless installation possible. This is great for setting up cameras in locations with no existing outlets available. As all outdoor versions of the Arlo Security camera comes with this feature, they are tied.

Motion Range Detection

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 80%

Arlo Pro 4: 80%

Arlo Ultra 2: 85%

Arlo Essential: 80%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 80%

Winner: Arlo Ultra 2

The Arlo Ultra 2 comes with dual motion sensors allowing it to detect motion easier for areas that haven’t been excluded from the activity zones. There isn’t anything wrong with having only a single sensor, but more sensitive motion detectors are always a plus.

Night Vision Type

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 90%

Arlo Pro 4: 90%

Arlo Ultra 2: 90%

Arlo Essential: 90%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 80%

Winner: Tied (except for the Arlo Essential Indoor)

All outdoor Arlo Security cameras on the list come with colored night vision video. This increase in contrast makes it easier to identify people and objects during night time recordings as opposed to the regular green or black and white night vision video.

2 Way Noise Cancelling

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 80%

Arlo Pro 4: 80%

Arlo Ultra 2: 90%

Arlo Essential: 80%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 80%

Winner: Arlo Ultra 2

With wind, noise, and echo cancelling, the Arlo Ultra 2 can record better audio during windy days as opposed to the other cameras on this list. Though the Arlo Essential Indoor doesn’t really suffer from this problem, the additional wind cancelling for the Arlo Ultra 2 gives it the win.

Weather Resistant

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 85%

Arlo Pro 4: 85%

Arlo Ultra 2: 85%

Arlo Essential: 85%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 0%

Winner: Tie except for the Arlo Essential Indoor

All the outdoor Arlo Security Cameras are rated as weather resistant, though great care must be taken to avoid extreme temperatures. The Arlo Essential Indoor, as the name suggests, can’t be used outdoors, and is thus not weather resistant.

Direct Wi-Fi Connection

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 0%

Arlo Pro 4: 80%

Arlo Ultra 2: 0%

Arlo Essential: 80%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 80%

Winner: Three-way tie between Arlo Pro 4, Arlo Essential, and Arlo Essential Indoor

Arlo Pro 4, Arlo Essential, and Arlo Essential Indoor can directly connect with any existing Wi-Fi network, which means they can be used without a hub. This is great for those who want to try out Wi-Fi security cameras without having to resort to equipment other than the cameras themselves. It’s a tie for these three models.

Connection Type

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 80%

Arlo Pro 4: 80%

Arlo Ultra 2: 80%

Arlo Essential: 80%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 0%

Winner: Tie except for the Arlo Essential Indoor

All outdoor Arlo Security Camera models have wireless capability, making installation in places where there is a Wi-Fi signal easier. They also come with rechargeable batteries for added convenience. The Arlo Essential Indoor is wired connection only and requires an outlet.

Siren

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 80%

Arlo Pro 4: 80%

Arlo Ultra 2: 80%

Arlo Essential: 80%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 80%

Winner: Tie

All security camera models in this list are equipped with a built-in siren to easily ward off unwanted persons in the area.

Rated Usage

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 80%

Arlo Pro 4: 80%

Arlo Ultra 2: 80%

Arlo Essential: 80%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 0%

Winner: Tie except for the Arlo Essential Indoor

All but the Arlo Essential Indoor on this list can be used in both interior and exterior locations.

Rated Battery Life

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 85%

Arlo Pro 4: 85%

Arlo Ultra 2: 85%

Arlo Essential: 85%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 0%

Winner: Tie (except for the Arlo Essential Indoor)

All outdoor security cameras featured on this list come with rechargeable batteries that have a single charge life of an estimated three to six months. Operating life may change due to frequency of recording, or due to extreme temperatures.

Price

Score:

Arlo Pro 3: 87%

Arlo Pro 4: 85%

Arlo Ultra 2: 75%

Arlo Essential: 85%

Arlo Essential Indoor: 90%

Winner: The Arlo Essential Indoor and the Arlo Pro 3

The Arlo Essential Indoor has the lowest price of all the models, but it’s limited to indoor use. For all outdoor cameras, the Arlo Essential may be cheaper, but the Arlo Pro 3 has better features in relation to the cost.

Final Score

Features

Arlo Pro 3

Arlo Pro 4

Arlo Ultra 2

Arlo Essential

Arlo Essential Indoor

Max Camera Resolution

Win

Max Field of View

Win

Sensor

Win

Power Source

Tie

Tie

Tie

Tie

Motion Range Detection

Win

Night Vision Type

Tie

Tie

Tie

Tie

2 Way Noise Cancelling

Win

Weather Resistant

Tie

Tie

Tie

Tie

Direct Wi-Fi Connection

Tie

Tie

Tie

Connection Type

Tie

Tie

Tie

Tie

Siren

Tie

Tie

Tie

Tie

Tie

Rated Usage

Tie

Tie

Tie

Tie

Rated Battery Life

Tie

Tie

Tie

Tie

Price

Tie

Tie

Win

Verdict: Overall Winner

There is no question that the Arlo Ultra 2 has the best features. With 4K resolution, 8 Megapixel sensors, and wind, noise, and Echo cancelling, the latest Arlo Security Camera is cutting edge. Those advantages come with a price, however, as it’s the most expensive model of the lot. If you’re looking for the best, the Arlo Ultra 2 is an easy choice.

For those on a budget, the Arlo Pro 3 is a great option. It offers a good balance between price and features when compared to the others on the list. Arlo Essentials may cost the same, but it only has limited capabilities when compared to the Arlo Pro 3.

If you’re only looking for an indoor camera to keep tabs on the goings on inside your home, the Arlo Essentials Indoor is a good choice. It’s the least expensive of the bunch, if its features are rather barebones. For an additional $40 you can get the Arlo Essential while an additional $90 can get you the Arlo Pro 3 with a smart hub included.

Quick FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Arlo Security Cameras:

  1. Do I need to pay a monthly fee for Arlo?

No. Arlo Security Cameras are able to save video recordings locally via the MicroSD slot available in the smart hub. For cameras with direct Wi-Fi links, recordings can be saved via your Wi-Fi network. There isn’t a need to get an Arlo subscription unless you want to save security footage to the cloud.

  1. Do I need a Smart Hub to use Arlo?

It depends. Some models like the Arlo Pro 4 and the Arlo Essential can connect directly to your Wi-Fi network, eliminating the need for a hub. The Arlo Ultra 2 and Pro 3, however, needs a hub in order to operate.

  1. Can different Arlo Security Cameras work together?

Yes, especially if you have an Arlo Smart Hub. All Arlo products are compatible with one another and can use a smart hub to coordinate their operations. The mobile app also allows for mixing different Arlo camera models together.

  1. Do I need Wi-Fi to use Arlo?

Technically no. Although Arlo cameras are certainly designed with Wi-Fi in mind, the existence of local storage means that they can operate without a Wi-Fi connection. The smart hub sends out its own signal that can connect Arlo cameras together, but it will still need Wi-Fi for setup purposes.

  1. Do I need an Arlo Subscription to use Arlo Security Cameras?

No. Arlo Security Camera recordings can be saved locally, and an Arlo subscription is only necessary if you want to upload files to the cloud.

A Security Camera to Fit Your Needs

If security is your concern, Arlo should have a product that fits your needs and budget. Getting a security camera can be quite an investment, we hope that this comprehensive guide helps you select the Arlo Security Camera model that works for you. Getting the best products that you can afford will certainly give you peace of mind.

Do you have experiences with any of the Arlo Security Cameras listed in this article? Which camera do you think is the best of the line? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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