Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2 Review 2021

The Arlo Pro 4 and Arlo Ultra 2 have fairly similar features, but the Ultra 2 is fancier (and more expensive)
Arlo Pro 4
Price: $179.00 for 1 camera
Resolution: 2K
Arlo Ultra 2
Price: $479.99 for 2-camera kit
Resolution: 4K

The Arlo Pro 4 and the Arlo Ultra 2 are both smart outdoor security cameras, but the Pro 4 is a slightly less fancy version of the Ultra 2. These two cameras have very similar features, but everything with the Arlo Pro 4 is just slightly less than the Arlo Ultra 2.

That said, the Arlo Ultra 2 costs a lot more for slight upgrades. We don’t think you need to pay the higher price for the Ultra 2 when the Pro 4 would work just fine. In fact, despite its minorly downgraded specs, the Pro 4 has some benefits over the Ultra 2–and you can get it for cheaper.

Arlo Pro 4

Pros

  • No hub required
  • Longer battery life than the Ultra 2
  • Cheaper than the Ultra 2

Cons

  • No 4K resolution

Arlo Ultra 2

Pros

  • 4K resolution
  • Wireless installation
  • Local storage option

Cons

  • Shorter battery life than the Pro 4
  • Pricey

Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2: Price

The winner: Arlo Pro 4 is substantially cheaper than the Ultra 2

The Arlo Pro 4 costs less than the Arlo Ultra 2 by like … a lot. You’ll pay three hundred dollars less for a single Arlo Pro 4 camera than you would for the standard two-camera kit you get with the Arlo Ultra 2.

You can buy a single Arlo Ultra 2 security camera, but it still costs almost $100 more than the Arlo Pro 4 camera, and you can’t use the Ultra 2 without an Arlo SmartHub. (The Arlo Pro 4 doesn’t need a hub.)

Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2 price comparison
CameraImagePriceRequires a hubLearn more
Arlo Pro 4Arlo Pro 3 camera$179.00 for 1 cameraNoView on Amazon
Arlo Ultra 2Arlo Ultra 2-camera starter kit$479.99 for 2-camera kitYesView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices as of 6/2/2021 11:08 PST. Full disclaimer

Arlo Pro 4 pricing

The Arlo Pro 4 is still kind of a pricey cam at almost $200 for a single outdoor security camera. But Arlo packs a lot of features into the Pro 4, and we think the price is fair for what you get.

Arlo Pro 4 camera kit pricing
Camera setImagePriceLearn more
1 cameraArlo Pro 4 in black$179.00 for 1 cameraView on Amazon
3-camera setArlo Pro 4 three pack in black$499.99 for 3 camerasView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices as of 6/2/2021 11:08 PST.

We also like that the Arlo Pro 4 doesn’t require an Arlo SmartHub. Previous models of the Arlo Pro security cameras, including the Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo Pro 3, required the SmartHub to work, but the Arlo Pro 4 lets you skip it.

You can still use the Arlo SmartHub with your Pro 4 camera if you want to. And the SmartHub has some perks, namely local storage. You can store video recordings and footage locally on the SmartHub without relying on Arlo’s cloud storage service.

3 Arlo Pro 4 cameras in a row

Image source: Arlo

Because most of Arlo’s other security cameras require the SmartHub, you usually have to buy them in multi-camera kits. The fact that you can buy a single Arlo Pro 4 camera without a hub saves you some money over previous Arlo Pro editions (and over the Arlo Ultra 2).

View Arlo Pro 4 on Amazon | Read Arlo Pro 4 Review

Arlo Ultra 2 pricing

Unlike the Arlo Pro 4, the Arlo Ultra 2 requires an Arlo SmartHub to work. If you already have a SmartHub, then you can connect an add-on Ultra 2 camera to your existing hub. But if you don’t have a hub, then you’ll need to buy the Arlo Ultra 2 as part of a two-camera kit.

Arlo Ultra 2 kit price comparison
Camera kitImagePriceIncludes hubLearn more
1 add-on camera$249.99 for 1 add-on cameraNoView on Amazon
2-camera kit with hub$479.99 for 2-camera kitYesView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 6/2/2021 11:08 PST)

We know it’s weird that Arlo doesn’t sell the Ultra 2 as part of a one-camera kit, but that’s how it rolls. If you want only one security camera, you can cheat the system and buy an add-on camera and a SmartHub separately. That method can potentially save you about $100 over buying the two-camera kit. It’s just kind of a hassle.

Arlo Ultra 2 camera

Image source: Reviews.org

Keep in mind that Arlo makes a few different models of hubs. If you want to buy a hub and Ultra 2 camera separately, double-check that the SmartHub you’re looking at is compatible with the Arlo Ultra 2. Arlo releases new versions of its cameras what feels like once a year. And the old stuff doesn’t always work with the new models.

View Arlo Ultra 2 on Amazon | Read Arlo Ultra Review

Arlo Smart subscription plans

Whether you get the Arlo Pro 4 or the Arlo Ultra 2, you’re going to want to sign up for an Arlo Smart subscription plan. You don’t have to, but without an Arlo Smart plan, the cameras aren’t worth it.

Arlo Smart subscription plan comparison
PlanArlo Smart PremierArlo Smart Elite
Price for single camera$2.99/mo. $4.99/mo.
Price for up to 5 cameras$9.99/mo. $14.99/mo.
Max resolution2K4K*
Cloud storage30 days30 days
Smart alertsPeople, packages, vehicles, animalsPeople, packages, vehicles, animals
Customizable activity zonesYesYes
Emergency call serviceYesYes
Learn moreView Arlo on AmazonView Arlo on Amazon

Data effective as of 6/2/21. Offers subject to change.

* 4K resolution is available on Arlo Ultra Pro 2 but not on Arlo Pro 4.

You need an Arlo Smart Plan to get full 2K resolution (with the Arlo Pro 4) or full 4K resolution (with the Arlo Ultra 2). An Arlo Smart plan also grants you access to Arlo’s AI technology, which tells your security cameras the difference between a car driving down the street, a package on your porch, and the neighborhood cat.

We can’t emphasize enough how great smart alerts are. Most motion-detector security cameras can’t tell the difference between your spouse and a squirrel. But Arlo security cameras can tell you right in the notification whether they see a person, package, vehicle, or animal. It’s awesome.

Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2: Features

The Arlo Ultra 2 technically has better features, but you sacrifice internet bandwidth and battery life

The Arlo Ultra 2 technically has better features than the Arlo Pro 4, but it’s not a huge difference. The Ultra 2 records in higher resolution (4K vs. 2K), and has a wider field of view, but honestly, that’s about it. The biggest difference is definitely the Ultra 2’s fancy 4K resolution, which puts the clear in “crystal clear.”

Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2 features
CameraArlo Pro 4Arlo Ultra 2
Resolution2K with HDR4K with HDR
Digital zoom12x digital zoom12x digital zoom
Field of view160º180º
Operating temperature-4º to 110º F (-20º to 45º C)-4º to 110º F (-20º to 45º C)
Night visionColor night vision (with spotlight) Color night vision (with spotlight)
Power sourceBattery-poweredBattery-powered
Requires SmartHubNoYes
Motion detectionYesYes
Built-in spotlightYesYes
Built-in sirenYesYes
Auto track and zoomYesYes
Two-way audio with noise cancellationYesYes
Customizable motion zonesYesYes
Learn moreView Arlo Pro 4 on AmazonView Arlo Ultra 2 on Amazon

Data effective as of 6/2/21. Offers subject to change.

We tested the Arlo Pro 4 and the Arlo Ultra side by side, and while the 4K resolution is fun, it’s not necessary.

The Ultra 2 doesn’t take amazingly better video than the Arlo Pro 4, and the 4K resolution puts a bigger burden on both your internet connection and the camera’s battery. Our Arlo Pro Ultra 2 battery died twice in one month while the Arlo Pro 4 was still going strong.

Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2: User experience

The winner: Arlo Pro 4. These cameras work almost the same, but the Pro 4 has a longer battery life

The user experience with these two cameras is similar. With the Ultra 2, you have to install the Arlo SmartHub first and then sync the cameras with it.

With the Arlo Pro 4, you get to skip the hub installation. But otherwise, these security cameras are about the same. They use the same Arlo app, they have the same setting options, and they send the same types of alerts.

Arlo Ultra 2 on a fence

Image source: Reviews.org

The Arlo Pro 4 and the Arlo Ultra 2 also both have built-in spotlights and built-in sirens. The spotlights are useful because they turn on automatically when the camera detects motion.

The light makes it easier to see when you’re walking through your yard, and it helps the camera record better quality footage at night. Both the Pro 4 and the Ultra 2 have standard night vision, but the built-in spotlight lets the cameras record in color instead of the usual black-and-white night vision quality.

Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2: Customer service

Both these cameras have the same customer support from Arlo

Because both of these cameras are from Arlo, they have exactly the same customer support resources. Arlo has an online support and knowledge base that can answer questions, help you troubleshoot issues, and tell you how to adjust your camera settings.

If you need a real person, you can reach out to Arlo over the phone, through live chat, or by posting in Arlo’s community forums. You can also submit a case if you have an issue that’s covered by Arlo’s one-year warranty.

Arlo customer service phone number: 1-408-638-3750

We love that Arlo has so many ways to access support resources, but some customers still don’t seem to have great experiences with the company. Arlo has a measly 1.3 stars on Trustpilot, albeit with less than 200 customer reviews.1 Most of the negative reviews seem to focus on Arlo cameras’ build quality and battery life.

Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2: Recap

The Arlo Ultra 2 technically has better features than the Pro 4, but we don’t think they’re worth paying the Ultra 2’s higher price. The Arlo Pro 4 works almost exactly the same as the Ultra 2, and it doesn’t require a SmartHub.

 

  • Price: Arlo Pro 4. The Arlo Pro 4 costs a lot less than the Arlo Ultra 2, and you get almost the same features.
  • Features and installation: Tie. The Arlo Ultra 2 has slightly better features, but the 4K resolution takes up more internet bandwidth and strains the battery.
  • User experience: Arlo Pro 4. These security cameras work almost exactly the same, but the Arlo Pro 4 doesn’t need a hub and its battery lasts longer.
  • Customer service: Tie. These are both Arlo cameras, so they’re backed up by the exact same support resources.

Want to check out an even cheaper Arlo security camera? Read our Arlo Essential Review.

Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2 camera comparison
CameraImageStorage typeResolutionLearn more
Arlo Pro 4Arlo Pro 3 cameraCloud storage*2KView on Amazon
Arlo Ultra 2Arlo Ultra 2-camera starter kitCloud storage or local storage4KView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices as of 6/2/2021 11:08 PST.

* Local storage available with optional SmartHub.

Read Arlo Pro 4 Review | Read Arlo Ultra Review

Methodology

We assess five different criteria to judge home security cameras:

  • Price
  • Equipment
  • Home automation
  • Cameras
  • Customer service

We tested the Arlo Ultra 2 and the Arlo Pro 4 cameras side by side for over a month before writing this review. We assessed features, video quality, battery life, and internet speeds while using these cameras to find out if the Ultra 2 is ultimately worth the higher cost or not.

Arlo Pro 4 vs. Arlo Ultra 2 cameras: FAQ

Does the Arlo Ultra 2 require a hub?

Yes, the Arlo Ultra 2 requires an Arlo SmartHub to work. The SmartHub connects to your internet network and then the Ultra 2 cameras sync with the SmartHub. The Arlo SmartHub also enables local storage. You can insert a microSD card into the SmartHub to store video footage outside of the cloud.

Does the Arlo Pro 4 require a hub?

No, the Arlo Pro 4 doesn’t need an Arlo SmartHub. It’s the first Arlo Pro camera that doesn’t require a hub to work.

You can use an Arlo SmartHub with the Arlo Pro 4 camera if you want access to local storage, but you don’t need one.

Do Arlo cameras require a subscription?

No, you don’t technically need a subscription to use Arlo cameras. But without an Arlo Smart subscription, Arlo cameras aren’t worth the cost. You need a subscription plan if you want access to Arlo cameras’ best features, including 2K or 4K resolution, cloud storage, and smart alerts.

Do Arlo cameras have local storage?

Arlo Pro and Arlo Ultra cameras have local storage through the Arlo SmartHub. You can insert a microSD card into the SmartHub to enable local storage.

Do Arlo cameras record 24/7?

Some Arlo cameras can record 24/7, including the Arlo Pro 4 and the Arlo Ultra 2. But you have to subscribe to a different monthly plan than the regular Arlo Smart subscription before you can enable 24/7 recording.

Arlo’s Continuous Video Recording (CVR) plan costs $9.99 per month for 14 days’ worth of recording or $19.99 per month for 30 days’ worth of recording.

Sources

1. Trustpilot, “Arlo.” Accessed June 2, 2021.

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