Talk about home security camera, first thing that comes to mind will be high price, troublesome wiring, and local server space. For an outdoor security camera, the requirements will be even higher with weather proof, night-mode function and hi-resolution recording. After all the security camera is our first line of defence to protect our home, and it will also acts as an deterrent for criminals.
I received a nice little surprise when Arlo sent me their wireless security camera to review. At a market price of SGD 399, is it worth it?
What is the Arlo Pro 4?
The Arlo Pro 4 is a wireless 2K HDR security camera that boast an array of functions. With just a single charge, the camera dependent on the settings can last for up to 6 months. The Arlo Pro 4 provides live HDR colored video surveillance for both day and night. When paired with the Arlo Secure subscription plan, it gives you a wider array of functions that includes 30 days video recording playback .
The Arlo Pro 4 comes in a small package, in it you will find the camera unit which is like a fist size air pod case. A battery, charging cable, magnetic mount and a piece of instruction manual. I must say that the design of the camera is sleek and minimalistic, some might say that it will exude a classy look in its shiny white case.
Unlike other plug and play security camera or the traditional labour intensive wall mounted security camera which requires 1-2 workers to install.
Setting up the Arlo 4 is a breeze. In fact, I was quite surprise that there was so little components in the box. You just need to slap in the battery which was already 70% charged, setup the Arlo account and connect to your wifi and you are good to go!
It just took me around 10 to 15 minutes to get everything up and running.
I tried to look for the memory card slot to put in the microSD card that most security camera uses, but there wasn’t any. Arlo utilizes a cloud subscription service (Arlo Secure) to manage the cloud storage which includes interactive alerts and functions. It costs S$4.49 a month for 1 camera or S$13.99 for an unlimited number of connected cameras.
What I really love about the Arlo Pro 4 is it’s versatility, it is wireless and magnetic. Meaning I can either just stick it to any metal surface or place the magnetic stand onto any other surface and it is ready to go!
I can easily move the camera from one location to another, whenever and where ever I want to. It can be a temporary sentry for a room when you are out or even a baby cam when your child is sleeping.
The first thing that consumers look for in any security camera is definitely the clarity. The Arlo Pro 4 offers a 2K (2560×1440) resolution with a 4 megapixel image. The live feeds that was projected onto the Arlo App is crystal clear during daylight. Thanks to its 850nm night vision infrared LED and motion enabled spot light, the night mode could produce vivid colored videos and images. However, it can’t be compared to daylight condition. The Arlo Pro 4 like its predecessors does not have remote movement control. This can be resolved by having a 160 degree field of view which pretty much covered most of the angles.
The Arlo Pro 4 also has inbuilt speaker and mic which provides 2 way communication. The sound was clear and easy to understand, unlike some others which will have a fuzzy feedback.
Another interesting function is the alarm, it’s akin to a bicycle alarm which will wail when tampered with. For the Arlo Pro 4, you can either activate the alarm via the app or you can set a geofence alert.
The Arlo Pro 4 is also fully weather proof and can easily endure the tropical Singapore heat and rain. If you place the security camera at the gate which can get rather dusty, an easy way will be to spray water to clean it.
Arlo Secure and Arlo App
The Arlo Secure is a subscription plan that allows users to fully utilize the functions of the Arlo Pro 4. Without subscribing to the Arlo Secure, users are only able to view live feed and get motion notification.
In order to enjoy the full capabilities, it is recommended to subscribe. New users will be given free 3 months subscription to try out the features.
One of the main feature is the 30 days video history which you can recall using the Arlo App. Other than motion notification, you will be able to set vehicle, animal, package and person notification. A snapshot of the vehicle detected within the activity area will be prompted on your mobile device. You will also be able to preset 3 phone numbers which will notified when the alarm is triggered.
In the case where the field of view is too wide, you can geofence and set your activity zone. Not only will you be able to set the motion alerts, you can also set auto zoom and tracking.
The good thing about Arlo Pro 4 is that it works with most smart home assistance like google, Alexa, Siri. It can integrate with Apple Home kit, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT.
The Arlo Pro 4 is in my opinion one of the best wireless security camera that I had tried. It solves the issues of traditional security cameras on battery/power source, ease to shift and video memory space. However, to fully enjoy the functions, you will be forced to subscribe to their subscription plan. Give and take, I still feel that if by paying a bit more over the long run and it solves my issue. I will definitely take up the subscription plan.
- Easy to use
- Versatile and Functional
- Sleek and expensive looking
- Great video resolution
- Long battery life
- Require subscription to enjoy full function
- Magnetic mount not secured
- Price on the high side