The Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera maintains the high standards of the brand's range of excellent wire-free security cameras. Everything just works without any fuss. And you'll get solid features, from the built-in siren and spotlight to integration with the major smart home platforms. In short, the Arlo Pro 4 is one of the best outdoor security cameras you can get. However, its premium price and subscription requirement are likely to be sticking points, especially compared to its competitors.
- 1440p video with 160-degree (diagonal) field of view
- Weather resistant
- Built-in spotlight (42 lux at 1m)
- 6 months battery life (average)
Unlike the Pro 3, the latest Arlo Pro 4 no longer requires an Arlo SmartHub or base station to work. It can now connect directly to your home router's Wi-Fi via the 2.4GHz channel. The 2.4GHz frequency isn't as fast as 5GHz, but it offers much better range, which is more important for an outdoor security camera. As for the base station, I prefer to do without — it takes up a valuable Ethernet port on my router. But if you already have a SmartHub, you can continue using it with the Pro 4. The base station lets you connect a USB storage drive for local video recordings. This is cheaper in the long run than cloud storage, which requires an Arlo Smart subscription (from S$4.49/month). Arlo includes a free three-month trial of Arlo Smart with the camera, so you can try before deciding.
The Arlo Pro 4 is built for outdoor use and is weather resistant. It comes with a plastic mount that attaches magnetically (and very securely) to the back of the camera. You should screw the mount somewhere inaccessible or buy the optional anti-theft mount. Else anyone can just remove the camera easily. Setting up the camera is as simple as inserting its removable battery and letting it scan a QR code on the Arlo mobile app. The first thing the camera does is to update itself. You can then tweak its settings, like creating activity zones for the camera to focus its attention on or adjusting the motion sensitivity. However, many of its best features — object detection that flags a person, package, vehicle or animal and 30-day cloud storage for videos recordings — require Arlo Smart.
The Arlo Pro 4 supports a crisp 2K resolution that, together with its HDR feature, make for sharp and lively images that's better than most security cameras. The app could be a tad faster in connecting to the camera. It takes several seconds to switch to the Live view. The phone notifications for detecting activity, though, came promptly within a couple of seconds. The camera also correctly flagged — from just a glimpse of my arm — that it had spotted a person. The siren starts off at a high pitch that grabs your attention without being deafening. As for the spotlight, it's handy to have at night as you can now see more clearly (and in colour). Arlo says the camera's battery will last up to six months, but this varies depending on your usage. I recommend getting a spare battery since it takes over three hours to recharge it.
Connecting the Arlo Pro 4 to smart home platforms like the Google Assistant is fairly straightforward. It lets you stream the video feed to a smart display or turn off the camera with voice commands. However, you'll need the base station if you're linking it to Apple HomeKit. I think it's superfluous to use a voice assistant as there are just a few voice commands. But it makes sense if you already have a bunch of smart home devices that you can link together. Overall, the experience of using the Pro 4 is excellent. The camera performs up to expectations and has more features than I need. But it's relatively expensive at S$399 for a single camera. This D-Link outdoor camera that I tested previously is just S$159. And the Pro 4's price doesn't include the Arlo Smart subscription. It's available at Amazon, Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Arlo.
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