Move over, Arlo Pro 3 … or not
Arlo Pro 4 Camera review
Meet the Arlo Pro 4, Arlo’s new version of its oft-recommended Pro camera. The Pro 4 doesn’t need a base station to work (hooray!), but that’s its only improvement over the Pro 3.
So basically, if you’re ready to ditch the SmartHub, this is for you. If you already have an Arlo base station or you still want to get one for the local storage feature, you can skip the Pro 4 and spend less money to get the Pro 3.
Amazon.com List Prices (as of 02/12/2021) Full disclaimer
Arlo Pro 4 features
Arlo’s all about features, even in its more basic cameras. And the Pro 4 is no exception.
Arlo Pro 4 features:
- 2K video quality
- 160° field of view
- Colour night vision
- Advanced object detection (person, vehicle, package)
- Motion detection
- Customisable motion zones
- Sound detection
- Two-way audio
- Magnetic mount
- Arlo solar panel compatibility
- Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT compatibility
- Local storage with base station/SmartHub (though hub is not required)
Interestingly, the only advantage that the Pro 4 offers over the Pro 3 is the lack of hub requirement.
We’d argue that advanced object detection is what makes Arlo Arlo. But you can’t get advanced object detection without a paid storage plan, which is annoying.
Righty tighty, lefty loosey, blah blah blah. Forget about screw mounts. The Arlo Pro 4 comes with a strong magnetic base so you can easily detach and reattach it. Since the batteries need charging at least every six months, that’ll definitely come in handy.
Arlo Pro 4 pricing
If you’re looking for the most bargain cameras out there, typically, we wouldn’t recommend Arlo. But because you can buy the Arlo Pro 4 in a one-pack without a hub, its cost aligns more with that of other similar cameras.
However, the storage and full feature costs do jack up the price by a pretty penny.
If you want to take advantage of the Arlo Pro 4’s hublessness, you’ll need cloud storage. And for cloud storage, you need to pay.
|$4.49/mo. for 1 camera; $14.99/mo. for unlimited cameras
|Live video streaming
|Custom activity zones
|Advanced object detection
|Call a friend
|View Arlo on Amazon
|View Arlo on Amazon
Data as of 02/12/2021.
The Arlo Secure plan isn’t out-of-your-mind expensive, but it can add up—especially since you’ll need to pay even more money if you want your camera to record all the time. ($9.99 for 14 days; $19.99 for 30.)
But, sadly, a paid plan is your only option if you don’t want to go through the hassle of local storage. The local feature requires buying a hub and an SD card or USB drive, then manually downloading the video footage every time you want to look at an event.
Also, even if you used local storage, you’d still have to pay the cloud storage price to access your object detection features. The motion and sound detection come with the camera, but the package, people, and vehicle detection all rely on the storage subscription.
Luckily, the Arlo Pro 4 comes with a three-month trial.
Arlo Pro 4 home automation
With Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings compatibility, your Arlo Pro 4 will work with just about any major smart home hub. That’ll make it easy to integrate the camera into most smart homes.
And even if you’re not using Amazon, Google, Apple, or Samsung at your place, you can still connect your camera to smart home device chains using IFTTT.
We typically like to see some Zigbee or Z-Wave compatibility, too, so that the camera can connect directly to other devices. In that regard, Arlo is lacking. But you can still create quite a solid smart home without those closer connections.
The Arlo app is nothing to sneer at. It’s got high ratings on both Google Play and the Apple Store, and it’s pretty intuitive if not innovative. Most users seem to like it just fine.
Arlo Pro 4 installation
You don’t need any previous experience with Arlo or home security cameras to set up this device. Still, you’ll definitely find it easier if you’ve used similar products before.
Arlo Pro 4 installation steps:
- Plug in the Arlo Pro 4 to charge.
- Download the Arlo app.
- Create or log in to your Arlo account.
- Select Add New Device.
- Select Cameras.
- Select Pro.
- Select Pro 4.
- Follow the app instructions to complete setup and connect to your home Wi-Fi.
- Mount the camera if desired.
If this procedure sounds daunting to you, get a tech-savvy friend or acquaintance to help.
Again, this camera has an estimated six-month battery life, so you shouldn’t have to change the batteries very often.
Recap: Is Arlo Pro 4 good?
We’re loving the no-hub feature, but other than that, the Pro 4 is about the same as the Pro 3. So if you already have a hub, it makes more sense to stick with the (slightly cheaper) Pro 3.
If you don’t own a hub and would have to buy one, then go for the Arlo Pro 4.
- Features: The Arlo Pro 4 has all the features of its predecessor, such as colored night vision, a spotlight, and a siren.
- Pricing: You don’t have to buy an Arlo SmartHub with the Pro 4, which brings costs down, but you still need a subscription for video storage and detection features.
- Home automation: This camera has all the leading smart home hub integrations, though it doesn’t have Zigbee or Z-Wave.
- Installation: The DIY setup isn’t very complicated, although you do have to mount the camera.
Is your house ready for Arlo Pro 4?
You may have noticed that installing this camera requires both home internet and a smartphone. If you lack either of those things, we have a few suggestions below.
Recommended internet plans
All smart homes rely on strong, fast internet connections. If that doesn’t sound like your internet, maybe it’s time to look at something new.
Arlo Pro 4 FAQ
If you still have questions about the Arlo Pro 4, you might find the answers in this FAQ section.
Can I use Arlo without a subscription?
Yes, you can use an Arlo camera without a subscription. But you’ll be limited in your storage length (unless you’re using local storage), and you won’t be able to use all of your camera’s advanced features.
Does Arlo have a video doorbell?
Yes, Arlo sells the Arlo Video Doorbell, which our expert Mindy likes quite well. Check out her review.
Is the Arlo Pro 4 an indoor or outdoor camera?
Like most Arlo cameras, the Pro 4 works as both an indoor and outdoor camera.
Its design is ideal for an outdoor setup, but there’s nothing that makes it impossible to install indoors. However, most indoor-only cameras are going to cost significantly less.
What’s the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras?
The only practical difference between a surveillance camera and a security camera is that a camera specifically labeled for surveillance may not have all the latest features, like person detection and motion detection.
But there’s an easy fix for that: you can easily use most security cameras for surveillance purposes. Between a system marketed for surveillance and a system marketed for security, generally, we’d recommend the security system.
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