The Bottom Line
Arlo has been one of the most popular wire-free security systems since its launch in 2015. 18-months after its initial launch, NETGEAR refreshed the lineup with Arlo Pro bringing in rechargeable batteries as one of the most necessary features of the original platform. This "Pro" lineup added audio alerts an increased 130-degree viewing angle and a smart siren to its list of features, and now a year later, we have Arlo Pro 2, that takes Arlo to 1080p, but is that enough to warrant buying?
Arlo Pro 2 adds a fourth or fifth if you count Arlo Baby camera solution to the portfolio for NETGEAR. This kit as it is carries over many of the original Arlo Pro features including the wire-free design, base station, and storage options. Arlo Pro 2 did get a bump up to 1080p and does support new features like 24/7 recording and activity zones. Outside of that, we still have rechargeable batteries, night vision, and the 130-degree viewing angle, along with USB 3.0 local storage up to 2TB.
The MSRP for the NETGEAR Arlo Pro 2 comes in at $479.99 with a two-year warranty.
Packaging is slightly upgraded from Arlo Pro. This time we have the cameras secured inside the packaging with images of the kit on the front and marketing below.
The spine of the box offers a full specifications list.
The two-camera kit includes everything needed to get you setup including both cameras, batteries, and charging devices. We also have the base station, ethernet cable, and power adapter.
The base station for Arlo Pro 2 hasn't changed at all from the previous. We still have three LEDs along the bottom for connectivity, power, and internet.
The backside houses the large siren two USB ports, LAN, and power input.
Arlo Pro 2 is identical to Arlo Pro outside of a white plastic ring on the front edge of the camera and metallic logo on the side. We have the lens up front with an array of night vision LEDs, the sync button up top, and motion sensor below.
While NETGEAR does offer a dock for charging batteries, included with the kit you get the USB cable to charge from the back of the camera. Above is the magnetic mounting pad or screw if you want a more permanent solution.
Internally, everything is identical to Arlo Pro with a four-pin battery connection at the bottom.
Arlo Pro 2 uses the same batteries at 17.5Wh.
The dashboard for Arlo hasn't changed with your cameras listed and their last motion or audio event on screen. Each camera gives you access to its setting at the top right while you can go live in the center.
The library gives you a list by day of motion or audio event followed by the recording.
The mode button offers you the ability to enable or disable the motion and audio detection or take things farther with scheduled recording setting up geofencing.
The device list shows you all cameras connected. For me, I have two Arlo Pro cameras and two Arlo Pro 2 solutions connected to the same base station.
The subscription gives you seven days of recording for free; you can upgrade to CVR if you plug in your camera to power.
Each device in its setting will give you its battery life and signal strength along with audio and video settings below.
The battery management options include best video, optimized, or best battery life.
For testing, I set up the cameras side by side with best video option selected. In real-time, there was no noticeable difference in stream quality as far as skips and pauses or buffering, but I did notice the original Arlo Pro looked slightly better as far as smoothness where the Arlo Pro 2 is more vibrant with color.
Night vision, Arlo Pro 2 has a much better array as it lights up the back of my shop 25 ft away.
I have used Arlo since it first was launched in 2015. The first iteration of Arlo pushed the market forward but quickly became annoying once I had to replace batteries every second month. Arlo Pro has since replaced those units, and I have been quite happy since March of this year.
With Arlo Pro 2 now on the market offering 1080p recording, CVR, and activity zones, I feel these features should have been launched on Arlo Pro earlier in the year, but instead missed the cut or weren't ready and now we have a relaunch. NETGEAR has essentially EOLed the original Arlo units, which is fine by me, adios, but at $449.99 for the two-camera kit and 219.99 for a single add-on camera, it doesn't entice users to join the ecosystem, as great as it is.
For me, the OG Arlo Pro is fine. As seen in my images, the clarity isn't much better on Arlo Pro 2, and I would argue at 30-40ft from the base station, it's actually better at 720p with Arlo Pro. That said, if you want constant video recording and 1080p, Arlo Pro 2 is the way to go as I do enjoy the higher quality cameras on the network, but for any consumer wanting to try Arlo and have a budget to work with, I would start with a two-camera Arlo Pro unit and save yourself a few Benjamin's.
The Bottom Line: While Arlo Pro 2 isn't revolutionary, it does upgrade perhaps the best wire-free security camera solution to 1080p, making some already good, even better.
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