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Arlo Pro 2 Camera Review

Smart Cam with High Resolution

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Arlo Pro 2 Camera

The Arlo Pro 2 camera is easy to setup, quick to pair to the smartapp, and offers high 1080p resolution. It has motion or sound detection and on-screen zooming. During our tests, we were happy with the overlal performacne of this camera in terms of video quality, audio quality and overall app usability. Check Price

Pros

  • Offers 1080p video resolution
  • Pairs well with other Arlo devices
  • Free rolling 7-day video storage

Cons

  • Pricier than the original Arlo Pro
  • Requires a paid monthly subscription for continuous video recording

Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Pro 2

Right off the bat, here’s a quick list of differences between the Arlo Pro original and Arlo Pro 2 smart security cameras.

  • Resolution: Arlo Pro only has 720p video resolution. For 1080p high-res performance, opt for the Arlo Pro 2.
  • Longer recording: Arlo Pro original maxes out at 8-minutes of recorded video. The Arlo Pro 2 offers continuous recording (with a monthly subscription).
  • Look-Back: Arlo Pro 2 brings a new feature to the table called “Look-Back”. When motion is detected, it will go ahead and save a recording 3 seconds before the motion was detected to give you a better idea about what happened.
  • Custom motion zones: The Arlo Pro 2 offers custom recordings based on specific motion zones. The original Arlo Pro does not offer custom zones, only recording when motion is detected.

RELATED: Click here to read the full review for the original Arlo Pro camera.

Performance

Video: Day

Good

Video: Night

Good

Audio

Good

App

Great

10 SECOND SUMMARY: The performance of the Arlo Pro 2 is better than we’ve seen on the first generation Arlo Pro or the original Arlo camera. It offers 1080p with the ability to zoom in on custom motion zones. The audio is okay and the app is easy to use.

Video: Day vs. Night

The video quality on this camera is pretty good, a bit better than we’ve seen on other Arlo cameras, but not perfect. The 1080p and ability to zoom on-screen does provide some improved clarity.

Even the Pro 2 does still struggle a bit with overexposing certain spaces where natural light meets daylight, as you can see in the image below (see lamp at right).

Arlo Pro 2 camera - daytime video quality
Arlo Pro 2 camera – daytime video quality

When used outside, I was happy with the performance of the Pro 2. Overexposure didn’t seem to be as big of an issue in this application and quality was good.

Arlo Pro 2 camera - outdoor video quality
Arlo Pro 2 camera – outdoor video quality

At night, the Arlo Pro 2 switches to black and white mode with a pretty decent degree of contrast. Figures may not be as clear in darker environments as they are during the day.

As you can see below, due to the color of shirt and pants, I nearly blend right into the couch. But, of course, depending on your exact scene, this may or may not an issue for you.

Arlo Pro 2 camera night vision
Arlo Pro 2 camera night vision

Audio

The Arlo Pro 2 has the same audio qualities as the original Arlo Pro. So that means decent input and output, 2-way transmission, and an audible siren.

How loud is the Arlo siren?

The siren loudness is determined by the loudness of the siren trigger rule for whichever mode is currently active on the base station. If the active mode does not have any siren trigger rules, the siren defaults to its loudest setting.

-by Arlo

The Arlo App

The app for the Pro 2 is the same app that works with all Arlo devices.

Enabling the Arlo app allows you to:

  • View live feed
  • Set up modes
  • Timeline viewer (24-hours for free)
  • Add a new device

How user-friendly is the Arlo app?

The Arlo app makes it easy to change modes, add a device, or view the feed. Available settings include:

  • Armed: arms the system and alerts you of any motion detection
  • Disarmed: turns off the motion detection feature
  • Schedule: sets up schedules for when the system needs to be more or less alert, based on your personal settings
  • Geofencing: uses your location to help determine when motion detection may be most important
Arlo app mode screen
Arlo app mode screen

Arlo Design

In design, the Arlo Pro 2 looks similar to past generations of Arlo cams. It has a white body with a black face where the lens and sensors are.

design of the Arlo Pro 2 camera
Design of the Arlo Pro 2 camera with white trim

The biggest difference here between the original Pro and the Pro 2 is the trim. On the original Pro the trim is black, but on the Arlo 2, the trim is white.

Here’s a recap photo from the original Arlo Pro below. Note the black trim.

Arlo Pro camera design
Arlo Pro camera design with black trim

Aside from the difference in trim, the Arlo Pro cams are similar in design. They have a white shell body with rounded edges and a flat base that allows the camera to easily sit in a variety of spaces.

What about the mount?

Arlo Pro 2 magnetic mount
Arlo Pro 2 magnetic mount

The Pro 2 uses the same magnetic mount that the Pro and original Arlo use.

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Motion & Sound Detection

The Arlo Pro 2 camera provides surveillance through the detection of motion and sound. When you set up the camera, there is a general field of view that the camera is screening for motion.

When motion is detected, you will receive a push notification through the smartphone-based app.

Once the notification rolls in, you have a few options. You can:

  • Use 2-way audio to speak through the camera.
  • Emit an audible siren (over 100 dB).
  • Ignore the alert.

The audible alert can also be automatically dispatched whenever there is motion or sound

How do you control it?

The best way to access features on the Arlo Pro 2 is directly through the app. The app shows a number of different features and displays specs like:

  • Battery life
  • Connection details
  • Device info
  • Device utilities
  • Video settings
Arlo Pro 2 app settings
Arlo Pro 2 app settings

Top Features

Some of the top features of the Arlo Pro 2 camera include:

  • Motion Notifications: sends a push notification to your smartphone when the camera detects motion in the camera’s view
  • Local Storage: video footage can be stored locally on a USB drive installed in the base station or hub (storage for up to 7 days)
  • 2-Way Audio: lets you hear what’s going on in the video as well as the ability to talk back, using audio output on the camera itself
  • 24/7 Live Video: can record footage for 24/7 live video playback
  • App Control: view the camera footage from your smartphone or other device using the Arlo app
  • Multiple Pairing: pair multiple cameras together (indoor or outdoor) for whole-home security

Additional features that are new on the Pro 2 compared to the original Pro include:

  • Continuous Video Recording: in addition to 24/7 live video, the Pro 2 also offers 24/7 continuous recording feed (available with a monthly subscription)
  • Improved Resolution: 1080p HD resolution compared to 720p on older Arlo cameras
  • 3-Second Look Back: (available in AC mode only) but shows video surveillance of 3 seconds prior to the motion detection, which may help provide some context around the activity
  • Custom Motion Zones: allows you to highlight areas in the camera’s view that are a higher priority and you may want more alerts for

What’s in the box?

Out of the box, the Pro 2 comes with many of the same parts and accessories as the original Pro.

Parts & accessories include:

  • Arlo Pro 2 wireless camera
  • Rechargeable battery pack
  • Mounting screw (optional)
  • Drywall anchor (optional)
  • Magnetic mount
  • Battery charger and charging cables (USB to micro USB)
  • USB power bank
what comes with the Arlo Pro 2 camera
What comes with the Arlo Pro 2 camera?

Before you can start setup, you’ll also need to pick up an Arlo Smarthub or Base Station.

Now these two terms are basically two different names for the same function. Both a Smarthub and a Base Station serve as a central command center that communicates to the Arlo camera (or any other Arlo device in your house for that matter).

So which device is right for you?

Check out our quick guide on the similarities and differences between Smarthubs and Base Stations.

 Arlo SmartHubArlo Base StationArlo Base Station
arlo smart hub
Arlo SmartHub
arlo base station
Arlo Base Station (newer)
arlo base station
Arlo Base Station (older)
ModelVMB5000VMB4000VMB3500
Generation3.02.01.0
CompatibilityArlo, Pro, Pro 2, Pro 3, and UltraArlo, Pro & Pro 2 CamerasArlo, Pro & Pro 2 Cameras
Local StorageYes; Connect a Micro SD to hubYes; connect USB drive to baseNone; connect to router for cloud-based storage
Smart SirenYesYesYes
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Setup & Usability

Setting up the Arlo Pro 2 involves a few simple steps. To get started:

  1. Unbox the Arlo and remove all original packaging.
  2. Unlock the battery compartment and insert rechargeable battery pack.
  3. Bring the camera close to the base station or SmartHub.
  4. Sync camera to base station.

LED lights on the camera and in-app prompts help to ensure that setup is done correctly.

How to Pair the Arlo Pro to the Smart App?

  1. Install the Arlo app to your smartphone.
  2. Follow the prompts as the app tries to locate your camera.
  3. Once the app locates it, it should be quick and easy to pair the devices quickly and easily.
Arlo app camera setup

How easy is Arlo to install?

Installing the Arlo Pro 2 is simple and fast. For most users, it’ll take 5 minutes or less.

For indoor install, you can basically put on a shelf, tabletop, or other flat surface. Done.

The camera is wireless and has a flat base so there’s you can opt to simply place it on a shelf, table, or other flat surface. Or you can install it at a higher vantage point by mounting it to the wall.

For outdoor install, you’ll need to use the magnetic mount to secure it at a high vantage point. To use the magnetic mount, simply screw the mount into the wall. Depending on the material, you may need to use anchors (provided) or a masonry drill bit.

The camera easily magnetically attaches to the mount and you can adjust the exact angle to suit your needs.

For outdoor install, it’s recommended to always use a mount for security purposes. You can opt for the magnetic mount, but you can also use a hardware mount like this one.

Power Options

Whether you install indoor or outdoors, there are are a few options for power.

Options include:

  1. Wireless
  2. Battery powered (rechargeable battery included)
  3. AC power that plugs into a wall outlet (required for continuous video)
  4. Solar panel (solar panel sold separately)

How easy is it to use?

The Arlo Pro 2 pairs well with the SmartHub or Base Station, which ever route you take.

Which base station is recommended?

The older model base station are not quite as user-friendly as the newer SmartHub and may have other disadvantages, depending on your exact setup.

For the easiest setup without the most options, Arlo recommends the SmartHub (Vmb5000), which is their newest central command device.

Does Arlo require a subscription?

If you have an Arlo camera, that doesn’t mean you that you have to opt into the monthly subscription as well. The subscription certainly offers some good features, but may not be necessary for all users.

Without an Arlo paid subscription, Arlo provides the following features:

  • Live remote video streaming
  • 7 Days of secure cloud DVR storage
  • Email motion alerts & push notifications
  • Support for up to 5 cameras
  • 2-way audio
  • Custom motion zones

With a paid Arlo subscription, you basically get more video storage as well as higher resolution storage.

The two smart Arlo packages are:

  • Premier
  • Elite

Arlo Smart Premier

  • Cost (single camera): $2.99 /monthly
  • Cost (up to 5 cameras): $9.99 / monthly
  • Description: offers rolling 30 days of video storage with up to 2K video resolution for 1 or 5 cameras

Arlo Smart Elite

  • Cost (single camera): $4.99 / monthly
  • Cost (up to 5 cameras): $14.99 / monthly
  • Description: offers rolling 30 days of video storage with up to 4K video resolution for 1 or 5 cameras

Is the Arlo Pro a good value?

The Arlo Pro 2 offers some advanced features over the Arlo Pro original, but also comes with a higher price tag.

Arlo Pro 2

If you are especially interested in the newer features, the Pro 2 would be a better value.

The primary new features that the Pro 2 has over the Pro 1 include:

  • 1080p video resolution
  • 3-second look-back
  • continuous video recording

If these features aren’t particularly concerning for you, you may be better off to stick with the original Arlo Pro, which would be less expensive and therefore a better value.

Arlo Pro 2 Specifications

 Arlo Pro 2
TypeIndoor/Outdoor
Video Resolution1080p
Night VisionBlack/White
Field of View110°
Motion DetectionYes
2-Way AudioYes
Local StorageYes; USB in base storage
Smart SirenYes; in base storage
Wireless RangeUp to 300'
GeoFencingYes
Amazon AlexaYes
Google AssistantYes
Apple HomekitYes
SmartThingsYes
Continuous VideoYes
3 Second Look-BackYes
Warranty1-Year Warranty
ReturnsVaries by retailer
PriceCheck Price

Should you buy the Arlo Pro Camera?

I would recommend the Arlo Pro 2 if you’re looking for the following in a security camera:

  • Continuous recorded video: If you want 24/7 recorded video footage saved, the Arlo Pro 2 is an excellent option. Although, keep in mind, there would be additional fees associated with a monthly subscription.
  • Improved video resolution: The Arlo Pro 2 has an improved 1080p video resolution over the Arlo Pro original and is better than many other non-Arlo cameras on the market in this respect. The Pro 2 also offers on-screen zooming capability.
  • Simple setup & usability: The Arlo cams offer easy install (magnetic mount) and seamless pairing to smartphones or voice control.
  • Already have a SmartHub or Base Station: The Arlo Pro 2 needs a SmartHub or Base Station to function properly. If you already have this device from another Arlo in the house, the Arlo 2 makes sense because it would increase the value of this purchase.

Click here to learn more about or to buy the Arlo Pro 2 camera.

Arlo Gets Better
  • 96%
    Design - 96%
  • 92%
    Performance - 92%
  • 96%
    Quality - 96%
  • 97%
    Usability - 97%
  • 95%
    Value - 95%
95%

Summary

The Arlo Pro 2 security camera is a compact, wireless camera that is designed to pair with your smartphone for instant push-notifications of motion or sound activity. It comes with a variety of power options and installs quickly using the provided magnetic mount. We put this camera to the test, and overall I was pretty satisfied with the performance. Video and audio quality were both good and easy to decipher. There’s a good amount of customization available as well, like custom motion zones, on-screen zooming, 2-way audio or a siren feature. Overall, the Pro 2 is a good buy if you’re looking for advanced features on the Arlo interface while still having flexibility and a good value.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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