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Arlo Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) review: Polished but pricey

Arlo Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) review: Polished but pricey

Arlo Video Doorbell (2nd Generation)

The latest Arlo Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) upgrades the camera hardware of its predecessor. It also offers a slightly higher resolution (1,944 x 1,944 pixels) than the older Arlo Essential Video Doorbell, though both have a similar 180-degree field of view with a squarish aspect ratio that's more likely to capture footage of any packages left on your doorstep.

Quick specs

  • 2K video with HDR and 180-degree (diagonal) field of view
  • Install with or without wires
  • Night vision up to 6m
  • 4 months battery life (average)

Arlo currently sells four different video doorbells, though the differences between the Essential models and the Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) are small enough to be confusing. Here's what Arlo's support page says. What you need to know is that the Arlo Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) can be hardwired to existing doorbell wiring. That's something you won't find on some other video doorbells, such as the TP-Link Tapo Video Doorbell Camera Kit. However, Arlo doesn't include a chime, which I consider a must-have accessory, as the doorbell itself barely makes a peep. If you're anywhere but the living room, you almost certainly need a chime (or have your smartphone with you) to be informed about visitors.

Arlo Video Doorbell (2nd Generation)
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Included in the package are mounting plates (you can use the angled one to tilt the doorbell), screws, and the USB-C charging cable. You'll need the Arlo Secure app (for iOS and Android) to set up and manage the doorbell. It has two-step verification, which is reassuring, and supports biometric authentication. But the video doorbell settings requires one tap too many, it's not that intuitive. There's no need for a smart hub as the doorbell connects directly via Wi-Fi. The camera quality is great, especially with HDR enabled. Night vision is available, thanks to infrared LEDs. But there's no colour when dark since the doorbell doesn't have a built-in spotlight. It does have a siren, which emits an annoying high-pitch sound that's actually not that loud, to deter would-be intruders.

Arlo Video Doorbell (2nd Generation)
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The Arlo Video Doorbell has the usual features you'd expect of a home security camera. For example, you can set it to focus on motion detection within specified activity zones in its field of view. Or use the canned voice messages in the app if you don't feel like responding to your visitor. I like how the ring LED around the doorbell button lights up when it detects someone nearby. It's a great visual cue to tell visitors what to do next. Video snippets captured by the video doorbell go to the cloud. There's no option to use local storage. So you'll need an Arlo Secure subscription plan (a one-month trial is included) for 30-day rolling cloud storage. The plan also includes smart alerts that show a snapshot of the event that triggered the doorbell, as well as features like the activity zones.

Arlo increased the prices of its cloud subscription plan earlier this year. At US$7.99 a month, it's pretty expensive, especially when competitor Ring is charging US$4.99 a month for its most basic plan. Some competing doorbells also offer free cloud storage, albeit a shorter duration, or let users store their recordings locally on a SD card. And that's not factoring the price of the Arlo Video Doorbell (S$299) or the cost of additional chimes. In short, despite the slick and polished user experience, I think the total cost of this video doorbell might deter potential users. It's available now from Shopee, Lazada, and Amazon SG.

See Also
Corsair K70 Core RGB

Note: Review unit provided by Arlo.


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Verdict



CAN BUY...BUT

Expensive compared with the competition

Buy it at Shopee
Buy it at Lazada
Available at Amazon SG

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