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Arlo Pro 3 review: Two steps forward, one step back

Article Contents

  • 1 Specs
  • 2 The Good
  • 3 The Not So Good
  • 4 Design, {hardware}, what’s within the field
  • 5 Video and app options
  • 6 Must you purchase it?

Wi-fi cameras have had a big impact on how we’re in a position to preserve a watchful eye over our properties, possessions, and family members. Fashionable methods are as characteristic packed as they’re straightforward to put in, and the sector remains to be new sufficient that we’re seeing actual enhancements generation-to-generation. Earlier this 12 months, Arlo launched a 4K choice within the type of its Extremely cam, and now we’re getting a recent entry in its Professional sequence with the discharge of the Arlo Professional 3.

The Professional 2 was already a unbelievable wi-fi digicam, with a stable 1080p decision, battery life extending into weeks, and free 7-day cloud storage for recorded clips. Now the Professional 3’s out to try to one-up its predecessor, providing a brand new 2K decision, built-in highlight, wide-angle recording, and extra. However for all these adjustments, does the Professional Three in the end supply a greater person expertise? Let’s test it out.


Digicam2560 x 1440 2K-class
Area of view160 levels
Night time imaginative and prescientIR LEDs for B&W, white LED “highlight” for shade
AudioMicrophone array with noise and echo cancellation
Energy4,800 mAh battery
ConnectivityDevoted hub, 802.11 b/g/n
Native storageUSB help for FAT32 drive (as much as 2TB)
Cloud storageNone free, obtainable as paid add-on ($3/mo./digicam, $10 for as much as 10)

The Good

Video high qualityA definite enchancment over the 1080p Professional 2: crisper particulars, wider angles.
Rugged designFeels much more resilient and weatherproof than last-gen.
Set upFrom hanging digicam mounts to configuring software program, Arlo makes getting arrange a breeze.

The Not So Good

WorthWe knew it was going to be costly, however $500 for a two-pack remains to be loads to abdomen.
Arlo SensibleDelivering object recognition as software-as-a-service and killing off free 7-day cloud recording makes a Sensible subscription virtually necessary.
ChargingArlo was so near nailing charging on the Professional 3, however a proprietary cable is a step within the improper course.

Design, {hardware}, what’s within the field

The Arlo Professional Three goes with the identical fundamental design because the Extremely, and in comparison with the Professional 2, this can be a huge enchancment. Fairly than giving us one other digicam physique peppered with hinges, buttons, and flaps, the Professional Three encloses its {hardware} in a glossy, well-protected shell. The digicam physique pops out of the body to entry the battery, however is generally held snugly in place with a gasket to maintain all of the forces of nature at bay.

The 2017 Arlo Professional 2 (left), new Arlo Professional 3 (proper)

Arlo features a pair of mounting choices for the digicam two-pack I checked out. The usual magnetic mount will get an improve this 12 months, shifting from a convex to concave design. This provides you a bit extra freedom in organising your viewing angle, however largely simply helps the cameras themselves really feel extra sturdy. We additionally get a pole mount, which works nice when putting in the Professional Three on a ceiling.

Whereas the pole mount is arguably safer, the magnetic mount simply installs with only a single screw.

My solely actual criticism with the brand new look is that charging is now executed with a proprietary magnetic cable. I definitely do not miss the rubber flap overlaying the Professional 2’s micro-USB port, however whereas extra strong, this appears destined to get misplaced (it is $25 to interchange). The brand new camera-shell design additionally looks like it could be superb to allow you to pop the digicam out of its body to cost, whereas not forcing you to reconfigure viewing angles later. Sadly, you continue to have to drag the entire thing down, because the magnetic adapter solely works with the shell current.

Simply ensure you preserve the proprietary magnetic charging adapter in a secure place.

The large information for the Professional 3’s digicam {hardware} is the transfer to 2K decision: 2560 x 1440. We additionally see viewing angles broaden from 130 to 160 levels, and the earlier B&W IR-only night-vision mode joined by an choice for full shade due to the presence of an LED highlight.  We’ll speak about picture high quality and operation in only a second.

Arlo’s base station (formally a “SmartHub”) is simply barely totally different this 12 months, dropping certainly one of its USB ports for exterior storage (it is nonetheless bought the one), and providing fewer standing LEDs. In all probability essentially the most important transfer there’s that the system’s siren relocates from throughout the base station itself to being part of every particular person Professional Three digicam.

A extra streamlined hub nonetheless presents USB help for exterior storage, however drops its siren.

Video and app options

Properly, the transfer to 2K has actually paid off: Video shot with the Professional Three seems nice. It isn’t sufficient to make me go and pull down my present Professional 2 cams, but it surely’s undoubtedly a welcome enchancment. Extensive-angle filming, whereas not fairly as huge as on the Extremely, is a good asset, and you’ll at all times tighten the sector of view up should you need not seize all of the corners. There’s even an elective auto-tracking mode that digitally zooms in to observe the motion, although I choose to maintain the entire scene in view.

A decently highly effective LED highlight helps mild up the evening for full-color video. 

Movement detection works nicely, and is very configurable with sensitivity choices and customizable zones. In case you really need video clips of all of the chipmunks working round your yard (like me), the Professional Three is pleased to conform, or can simply be set to solely search for extra substantial movement.

Talking of that, superior options like individual, animal, car, and package deal detection can be found, serving to to curate the movement occasions that want your consideration. Sadly, all that is solely yours as a part of the Arlo Sensible subscription service, although you do get a three-month free trial.

Digicam overview, Sensible Alert settings, movies categorised by sort (left to proper)

That is additionally the one strategy to get cloud storage for the Professional 3, which drops the free 7-day rolling storage from the Professional 2. Actually, that is an absolute deal-breaker for me personally, and with how costly Arlo {hardware} is, this simply looks like nickel-and-diming. We’re not speaking a variety of storage, both: The common for my motion-triggered clips over a 7-day interval involves underneath 1GB per digicam. A $200 digicam ought to be capable to include a measly gigabyte of cloud storage.

This may be much less of an issue if the Arlo hub’s exterior USB storage have been value a rattling, however there is no strategy to watch these recordings from the app itself; it’s a must to bodily transfer your USB system over to a pc to view. Even the bargain-basement $20 Wyze Cam allows you to stream its native microSD storage by way of the app. This feels much less like a technical limitation and extra a transfer to generate subscribers for Arlo Sensible. Both method, it is half baked and makes me cross.

The Arlo app itself hasn’t modified a ton since I bought to realize it with the Professional 2, with a wholesome assortment of choices to dive into, and fundamental rule help — movement on one digicam can set off one other to start out recording. Whereas acquainted and useful, a few of the identical issues I’ve seen earlier than stay, like prolonged delays when manually connecting to cameras for dwell views, and the occasional duplicate recording.

Must you purchase it?

Arlo Professional 3


Possibly. The Professional Three digicam {hardware} is an plain enchancment over the Professional 2, and whereas I really feel Arlo did not go far sufficient in just a few areas, and missed some alternatives to make issues even higher, I am very glad with the general course. However whereas the Professional 2 was an incredible funding, to get any type of cheap operation out of the Professional Three you may have to pay between $70 and $120 a 12 months for Arlo Sensible and its cloud connectivity. Arlo’s at all times catered to consumers keen to spend top-dollar, and the Professional Three solely additional cements that function.

If worth isn’t any object, try to be very proud of the Arlo Professional 3. The 2-pack system reviewed right here lists for $500, with add-on cameras at $200 a pop (although it is simple to avoid wasting with bundle offers). However should you’d fairly not fear about ongoing service charges, there are many different choices on the market, and it is pretty much as good a time as any to select up the Professional 2 for affordable.

About Stephen Schenck

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