Arlo Video Doorbell Deep Dive Review

Is its unique square aspect ratio just a gimmick? Actually, we were really impressed.
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Arlo has released a video doorbell, and its claim to fame is a 1:1 aspect ratio. That means that instead of seeing the typical rectangle of the 16×9 landscape view, you are going to see a square. In other words, the image is gonna show just as much of the top and bottom as it does the sides.

But is the video doorbell as good as Arlo claims?

I’m always skeptical with marketing that is trying to sell me on something that I’m not even sure I really need. With Arlo they are advertising a new feature of a 1:1 aspect ratio, so that way if you’ve got something sitting at your front door, you should be able to see that package sitting there on the ground more easily than you would with a landscape view.

The thing that makes me skeptical is Arlo doesn’t know how close my doorbell is to my front door—if you check out the video, I show you how my doorbell and front door are pretty much right on top of each other.

So I’m curious to see if the camera has the angle to actually see what’s at my front door.

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Arlo Video Doorbell overview

The Arlo Video Doorbell is a wired doorbell, so there’s no battery.

The video doorbell includes the following features:

  • High-quality video: HD video, night vision, 180˚ viewing angle
  • Alerts and notifications: motion detection and alerts, video call, quick response messages
  • Durability: weather-resistant construction, tamper detection

The tamper detection is there so if somebody starts messing with your doorbell, a siren will go off, hopefully scaring them away.

What comes in the box with the Arlo Video Doorbell?

Inside the box, you should find the following items:

  • the actual video doorbell itself
  • a power kit
  • mounting brackets
  • an angle
  • screws
  • a release pin
  • wire extensions
  • quick start guide

How do I install the Arlo Video Doorbell?

Installing the Arlo Video Doorbell is really easy to do, like it is with all of the Arlo products.

If you are new to Arlo, you should install the Arlo app and create an account first.

Once you have an account set up, click on Add New Devices and select the device you want to add.

Choose the video doorbell and follow the onscreen instructions.

The onscreen instructions are super helpful. They include a diagram of everything you need to do, step by step. I was really impressed with how easy it was to set up.

What is the Arlo Video Doorbell’s 1:1 aspect ratio like?

Now that we have the video doorbell set up, let’s take a look at it in the Arlo app. I can see the new square aspect ratio and I can see my doormat.

I’m actually really impressed with this viewing angle—it looks like I’ll be able to see the packages at the door after all!

What other features does the Arlo Video Doorbell have?

One thing I like about this camera is that it uses the current chime that is built into my house. Now that I have it wired up, if somebody pushes on that doorbell, it is just going to use my normal mechanical chime. I don’t need to add any other additional digital chimes.

Turning on Silent Mode in the app is actually going to not only mute any incoming calls that you have to your phone or notifications, but it is going to mute the chime in your house, too.

Doorbell Call is an interesting feature with this device. When the doorbell is pushed, in addition to sending you a notification through the app, the Arlo Video Doorbell is also going to make a phone call to you.

You’ll want to check out the whole video above to watch me walk through the following aspects of the Arlo Video Doorbell:

  • Two-way audio functionality
  • Some cool features in the audio and video settings
  • A test to show you how well the camera works in the day vs. the night with lights vs. night without lights

Does the video doorbell work with the Arlo Base Station?

Yes, the Arlo Video Doorbell does connect to the base station if you have a camera system. It connects directly to the cloud and in addition to local storage. You can read more about that on Arlo’s website here.

What we did and didn’t like about the Arlo Video Doorbell

I was really impressed with the video quality and that aspect ratio.

I also liked that it makes phone calls. It made for a much quicker connection, so you weren’t worrying about the app making a connection with your phone, and then notifying you, and then you answering the call, and going through that whole process. Instead, it’s just a quick phone call right to you.

But I did not like that you can’t turn off phone-call notifications if you don’t want to use them.

I didn’t really like the fish-eye look. I was testing out the Eufy wired doorbell, and it has what’s called distortion correction, so it actually took that fish-eye look and it fixed it. It almost got rid of it all together, so it would be cool if Arlo could do the same down the road, maybe a software update to correct for the curvilinear distortion of the fish-eye lens.

Recap: Does the Arlo Video Doorbell work as advertised?

Overall, I would have to say that this camera actually exceeded my expectations. I was a little hesitant going into it because the last time Arlo came out with a doorbell, it was not good. That was their audio doorbell, which racked up many bad reviews due to delays in connection and notifications. But overall I’m happy with the video doorbell. I’m actually impressed with it.

Another huge plus for this camera is its very competitive price: only $149.* That’s right in the ballpark of its competition, if not even on the lower end, and you’re getting all of these cool features with this camera, that 1:1 aspect ratio, and the good video quality.

So after seeing what this camera is capable of, what do you think? Is this something that you would look into buying? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

* Amazon.com List Price: $149.00 as of 4/5/2020 12:52 p.m (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Reviews.org utilizes paid Amazon links. Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.