An Upgrade to the Original Arlo Cam
Arlo Pro CameraIf you like the simplicity of the first generation Arlo Cam, but want a few added features like sound detection, 2-way audio, rechargeable batteries, and an audible siren, the Arlo Pro is a good option. This camera still only has 720p video quality, but it’s easy to setup and use. It has a simple modern aesthetic to it. In our tests, we found video quality to be pretty good and the app experience was solid.Check Price
- Offers sound detection and 2-way audio (the original Arlo cam does not)
- Pairs well with other Arlo devices
- Free rolling 7-day video storage
- Requires the Arlo base station or hub
- Still only has 720p video quality (same as the original Arlo)
10 SECOND SUMMARY: Overall, the video quality was good, but not great on the Arlo Pro. For the added costs of the Pro over the first generation Arlo camera, I would have really like to have seen 1080p resolution, but it’s just not there yet. Besides that, audio was clear and it was easy to see people move on and off screen.
Video: Day vs. Night
The video quality during the day is pretty good on the Arlo Pro. As you can see in the image below, the resolution is good and the image is clear. Colors are vibrant, yet true to life and there is a decent amount of contrast and saturation.
In the view below, you can see there is a bit of overexposure where natural daylight meets the light from overhead fixtures (or lamps).
These areas had a bit of burnout that made it harder to see details in the light, but the rest of the view was clear and easy to detect motion or other activity.
At night, the camera switches to black and white mode which provides a bit more contrast and highlights lighter colored objects and materials on-scree.
I didn’t notice any relevant differences between the quality of indoor night mode vs. outdoor night mode.
Audio quality is a nice upgrade on the Arlo Pro over the original Arlo camera. It’s easy to hear activity on-scene, like a barking dog or doorbell. Softer or distant conversations would be more difficult to hear.
As an upgrade over the Arlo, the Arlo Pro also includes 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
RELATED – See our complete list of security camera reviews here.
The Arlo App
Using the Arlo app, you can perform the following features:
- 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. Avaiable settings include:
- Armed: arms the system and alerts you of any motion detection
- Disarmed: turns off the motion detection feature
- Schedule: allows you to make set up schedules, based on how your life works
- Geofencing: uses your location to help determine when motion detection may be most important
What is an Arlo SmartHub?
The Arlo SmartHub is essentially a central command center for the Arlo Pro camera to communicate.
Older versions of this device may also be called an Arlo Base Station, but every Arlo camera requires this device to work properly.
For our test, we used the Arlo SmartHub (VMB5000).
FAQ: Have an older model and wondering how it compares? Check out the table below for some head-to-head spec comparisons between “Base Stations” and the “SmartHub”.
|Arlo SmartHub||Arlo Base Station||Arlo Base Station|
|Compatibility||Arlo, Pro, Pro 2, Pro 3, and Ultra||Arlo, Pro & Pro 2 Cameras||Arlo, Pro & Pro 2 Cameras|
|Local Storage||Yes; Connect a Micro SD to hub||Yes; connect USB drive to base||None; connect to router for cloud-based storage|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Motion & Sound Detection
The Arlo Pro is designed to use motion detection and sound detection technology to determine when there is activity in any give space.
When significant or relevant activity is detected, it will automatically send you a push notification through the Arlo app which will notify you and let you decide how to address it.
- Use 2-way audio to speak through the camera
- Emit an audible siren (over 100 dB)
- Or ignore the alert
What does Arlo Pro look like?
The Arlo Pro camera is small, like the other Arlo camera in the lineup. It is lightweight and easy to move around, making it a good fit for a shelf, table, or mounted on a wall.
How do you control it?
All controls for the Arlo camera are accessed through the smartphone-based Arlo app. The app can provide a live video feed or allow you to review past activity that was documented by the cam.
Some of the top features of the Arlo Pro 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
What’s in the box?
The Arlo Pro is one step above the basic Arlo Cam and come with a few additional items right out of the box.
In the box, you’ll get:
- Arlo Pro wireless camera
- Rechargeable battery pack
- Mounting screw (optional)
- Drywall anchor (optional)
- Magnetic mount
- Battery charger and charging cables (USB to micro USB)
Setup & Usability
Setting up the Arlo Pro is pretty quick and simple. The complete steps are listed below.
- Unbox the Arlo and remove all original packaging.
- Unlock the battery compartment and insert rechargeable battery pack.
- Bring the camera close to the base station or SmartHub.
- 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?
- Install the Arlo app to your smartphone.
- Follow the prompts as the app tries to locate your camera.
- Once the app locates it, the devices should pair seamlessly.
How easy is Arlo to install?
To install the Arlo Pro follows two routes, depending on where you want to place the camera.
For indoor install, 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.
To install using the magnetic mount:
- Screw the magnetic mount into the wall. If the wall is drywall (and it is not screwed into a stud), you may need to use the drywall anchors provided.
- Magnetically attach the camera to the mount and set up designed position.
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.
How easy is it to use?
Overall, the Arlo Pro integrates well with the Arlo SmartHub or Base Station. Combined with the smart app, the Arlo system is easy to use, modify, and upgrade as your needs change.
Which base station is recommended?
Arlo has a few different base stations and smart hubs as I’ve mentioned above. The newer base station you get better features and an overall better experience.
The SmartHub offers more features over the traditional base station and is a little easier to use. For the best experience with the Arlo Pro, I recommend the the SmartHub (Vmb5000).
Does Arlo require a subscription?
You don’t need to pay for a subscription with Arlo, but with a subscription comes additional features which may or may not be important to you.
Without an Arlo paid subscription, you would still have access to 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 activity zones
With a paid Arlo subscription, there are a few different packages to pick from:
NOTE: The prices below are shown as USD.
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
Arlo Pro Specifications
|Field of View||110°|
|Local Storage||Yes; USB in base storage|
|Smart Siren||Yes; in base storage|
|Wireless Range||Up to 300'|
Arlo vs. Arlo Pro
On the fence between the Arlo and Arlo Pro cameras?
Here’s a quick look at the extra features you’ll get with the Arlo Pro, that you won’t get with the Arlo original.
- 2-Way Audio (Arlo does not offer audio detection)
- Rechargeable batteries (Arlo uses standard CR123 batteries)
- Smart Siren (Arlo can have a siren if you opt for an upgraded SmartHub—basic Base Stations do not have siren feature)
- Compatibility with Apple Homekit
Should you buy the Arlo Pro Camera?
I would recommend the Arlo Pro if you’re looking for the following in a security camera:
- Wireless indoor cam: For a quick camera setup indoors, the Arlo Pro is an excellent option. It’s wireless, has an easy to use magnetic mount, and a quick setup.
- Already have other Arlo devices: If you’ve already made the investment into an Arlo Base Station or SmartHub, it could make sense to expand your security with the Arlo Pro. Since all Arlo devices require a “command center”, additional Arlo cams can help improve the value of the base stations.
- You don’t need the absolute best clarity: The Arlo Pro is an upgrade over the Arlo Cam, but clarity is not really an area that was improved. Both cameras run at 720p and had issues with video quality in overlit spaces (whether it be lamps or natural light).
- Free cloud storage for up to 7 days: Arlo is unique in that they are one of the only companies that offer free cloud storage for up to 7 days.
Better Video, But Not Great
The Arlo Pro is a wireless camera that provides push notifications for motion detected or sound detected activity. It is easy to setup, and easy to pair together multiple cameras for a whole-home security system. The Pro has a rechargeable battery pack and offers decent video quality, at 720p resolution. Arlo is also one of the only current security camera makers that offers up to 7-day cloud video storage. While the video quality isn’t the best and there was a bit of lag between real-life and footage reports, this camera is still a great value and solid option for simple security.