Arlo Essential Spotlight camera 3-pack with Echo Show 5 bundle review

Arlo Essential Spotlight camera 3-pack with Echo Show 5 bundle review

How to integrate Arlo Essential Spotlight camera with Echo Show 5? These bundle offers you to set alarms and timers, check your calendar or the news, make video calls with the 2 MP camera, and stream music or shows – all with your voice along with your home security system. Know about more benefits in Arlo Essential Spotlight camera 3-pack with Echo Show 5 bundle review.

Consumer Reviews is supported by its audience. This website contains Paid Links. As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchase. Find more

Pros & Cons – Arlo Essential Spotlight camera 3-pack with Echo Show 5 bundle

Pros

  • Simple to set up and use
  • Sharp 1080p video
  • Doesn’t need a SmartHub
  • Color night vision
  • Inexpensive monthly subscription
  • Intelligent motion alerts
  • Voice control
  • Supports IFTTT applets

Cons

  • Poor battery performance
  • Glitchy app
  • Blurry faces in video
  • 1080p only
  • Recorded video and other features require a subscription
  • Non-removable battery

Specs

  • Resolution 1080p
  • Connectivity Wi-Fi
  • Field of View 130 degrees
  • Integration Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
  • Notifications Email, Push
  • Two-Way Audio Yes
  • Mechanical Pan/Tilt No
  • Storage Cloud
  • Night Vision Yes
  • Alarm Yes

Price

At $130, the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera isn’t exactly cheap. But when you consider that a single Arlo Pro 3 camera costs $200, the Essential cam is a pretty good deal. This model had a lot of the stuff that makes other Arlo cameras great — HD livestreaming and tons of options via Arlo Smart.

Arlo Essential Spotlight camera 3-pack with Echo Show 5 bundle review

Design

It measures 3.0 by 2.0 by 3.5 inches (HWD) and has a glossy white IP65 weather-resistant enclosure with a glossy black faceplate. 

Build

Under the hood are the camera, a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio, a motion sensor, an LED spotlight, a siren, a status LED, a microphone, a speaker, and a pair of infrared LEDs for black-and-white night vision. When enabled, the spotlight will illuminate to provide color night vision.

Camera

The camera records in 1080p resolution and has a field of view of 130 degrees. This is a step down from the Arlo Pro 3, one of our favorite outdoor security cameras, which captures 2K video (to a max resolution of 2,560 × 1,440); and the field of view (how much the lens can “see”) is quite a bit wider at 160 degrees.

Motion sensor

The motion sensor worked well in testing, and the Advanced Motion Detection feature did a good job of identifying events from animals, people, and other motion. Push alerts arrived instantly, and Rich Notification functions worked like a charm. Two-way audio came through loud and clear, and I had no problem getting video to stream on an Amazon Echo Show using Alexa voice commands. Additionally, the siren is more than loud enough to let unwanted visitors know that they are being observed.

Image quality

The Essential is a solid performer. It provides crisp, colorful 1080p video during the day and sharp black-and-white video at night when illuminated by the infrared LEDs. When illuminated by the spotlight, nighttime video appears in color, but as we observed with the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera, night color quality isn’t quite as bright as what you get during the day (though it’s still better than black and white).

Battery life

I started testing my Essential camera on Aug. 11 fully charged, and the battery is at 95% as of writing this two days later. Extreme temperatures, lots of activity alerts and other factors can cause a battery to drain more quickly, so expect your results to vary too. 

Smart Home integration

Since the Essential camera has its own Wi-Fi radio, it doesn’t require a hub to connect to your network. However, you can choose to pair it to an Arlo hub to help extend your Wi-Fi coverage and take advantage of local storage if you have a USB attached to your hub. It works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands and will interact with other smart home devices such as light bulbs and door locks using IFTTT applets, but Apple HomeKit isn’t supported. 

Apps

The camera uses the same Arlo mobile app for Android and iOS devices as every other Arlo camera. The app opens to a Devices screen with tabs for all of your installed Arlo cameras. Each tab displays the camera name and a still image of the last captured motion activity, and has a play arrow that opens a live stream. In the upper right corner of the live stream are two arrows that flip the image horizontally for full-screen viewing, and along the bottom edge of the screen are speaker mute, tap to talk, manual video record, and picture snapshot buttons. There’s also a flashlight button that turns the spotlight on and off and a slider for adjusting the light’s brightness level.

Arlo subscription

This camera comes with three months of the Arlo Smart cloud service for free. While optional after the three-month period ends, Arlo Smart is necessary if you want to view saved video clips in the app, create motion activity zones and receive custom person, animal, vehicle and package alerts. The service starts at $3 per month; read more about Arlo Smart here.

How to install Arlo Essential Spotlight camera 3-pack?

Installing the Essential camera is easy. You have to download the mobile app, create an account, and charge the camera first. After that, I opened the app, tapped Add New Device, selected Essential in the Cameras tab, and selected the Essential Spotlight Camera. In the next screen I was given the choice to add the camera to my hub or connect it to my network without a hub.

I selected the latter and followed the instructions to make sure my phone was connected to a 2.4GHz network. I entered my Wi-Fi password, pressed the Sync button for two seconds, and held the QR code that appeared on my phone in front of the camera until I heard the camera chime. I tapped Continue and the app found the camera within 20 seconds. I gave it a name and it was immediately added to my Arlo and Alexa accounts.

Arlo Essential Spotlight camera 3-pack with Echo Show 5 bundle review

Essential for the right user

Pros:

Easy setup (with Arlo hub)

easy installation outside

Picture quality

Cons:

Difficult hardware

Configuration

Difficult setup on multiple Accounts

Adding the Alro Essential spotlight camera to my existing network of Atlanta cameras was a breeze.

The Alro Essential will work with, or without the Arlo network hub, but for the ease of installation I would strongly suggest purchasing another Arlo camera, or the Arlo hub for your home (without it, you would have to manually install it using IP addresses in with your home network making a typical setup non-intuitive for someone who does not have much experience with networks).

Unpacking the camera went well. After charging it for the recommended three hours, I opened up my Arlo app, selected the “Add device,” and followed the process of adding the Arlo essentials camera. The setup time took approximately two to three minutes. I went outside, found the spot I was looking for, and before installing the camera outside, I made sure the bandwidth/signal was not an issue (it is recommended to do this before you drill the base into your home outside to ensure there are no lag, or dropout issues). After installing the base and attaching the camera to it (this was an issue that I will mention later), I testes the picture quality in the app by specifically setting it up to have a better picture (I would suggest this setup; you may lose battery quicker, but your picture will look better overall). After a few days of usage, the picture, and sound quality was excellent for the use I had of the product. I only lost some picture quality at night, but with a 1080 P camera that is expected.

Unfortunately, the camera and Arlo app have their downfalls that I do want to point out. First, the hardware (or base of the unit). The base is equipped with a trackball that allows you to “move” the camera in any position you want. However, what I found difficult was the knob to twist, and keep the adjusted setting. Please know that over tightening the setting may cause the trackball to slip, and your camera may fall over. Also, the back of the camera you physically have to twist onto the connection base so that it holds position while on is rather difficult to take off. What the user should do to recharge it, is carefully hold the base, and gently twist the camera off the base to avoid moving your adjustment setting (when I did not do this, the trackball gave out and the camera fell down and out of place).

Second, one of the downfalls of the app is setting up your space to record. I found that this takes a lot of time setting up your zone for recording movement, etc. If you do not set this up appropriately, your camera will record any movement including cars, people walking, and even tree branches swaying in the wind, thus your camera’s battery life will fail in days (especially if your picture quality is set to the highest it goes). Also, when adjusting your zone for recording, you may see a loss in any movement if you are not careful. For instance, I was walking near the sidewalk and onto my front lawn and the camera did not record. Unfortunately, this poses a problem because you may want to record someone physically entering onto your property. Again, careful adjustment to your zone settings is needed, and you may experience drastic recording experience; this takes a bit of playing around with, and it mat frustrate the user.

Lastly, my wife and I have two different Arlo accounts with an Arlo camera on it already. Now, you cannot use the same account login on multiple phones or devices. Instead, you will need to create multiple accounts and add the cameras separately. Unfortunately, when adding the Essential camera to my wife’s account, for whatever reason, the phone would not find/add the camera to it (my wife has a newer phone than I do and we could not scan the QR code for the camera to install). The issue of not having the second camera on her account poses a problem for security, as I am the only one that can view both cameras (if I cannot view it and something happens, it defeats the purpose if my wife cannot see it either). I would strongly recommend a different approach for Arlo in the future for camera installations when pairing across multiple accounts.

Overall, the camera performs like it is supposed to. With a little elbow grease and some patience, recording zones, and picture/sound quality are there for the Arlo Essential camera. If you are looking for a better picture, I would suggest upgrading the Arlo 4K camera for better quality overall (at both night and day).

By Veganrichy at Best Buy

Echo Show 5

Manage your smart home – Look in when you’re away with the built-in camera. Control compatible devices like cameras, lights, and more using the interactive display, your voice, or your motion. Connect with video calling – Use the 2 MP camera to call friends and family who have the Alexa app or an Echo device with a screen. Make announcements to other compatible devices in your home.

How to connect Arlo Essential Spotlight camera 3-pack with Echo Show 5 bundle?

Arlo outdoor camera smart integrations

ModelArlo Pro 2Arlo Pro 3Arlo UltraArlo EssentialArlo Go
Amazon AlexaYesYesYesYesYes
Google AssistantYesYesYesYesYes
IFTTTYesYesYesYesYes
Apple HomeKitYesYes (with VMB4540 SmartHub)YesNoNo

What about the Arlo and Arlo Pro? The original Arlo isn’t compatible with Apple HomeKit, but the Arlo Pro is. And they both work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.Arlo indoor camera smart integrations

ModelArlo QArlo Q PlusArlo Baby
Amazon AlexaYesYesYes
Google AssistantYesYesYes
IFTTTYesYesYes
Apple HomeKitNoNoYes

Set up devices

Follow the instructions in the Arlo app to get your camera up and running. Then make sure the camera is on and connected to your Wi-Fi.

There’s an app for this too. Your Alexa app will guide you through setting up your Echo or other Amazon product. Again, check that your smart device is on and hooked to your internet before moving to the next step.

Enable the Arlo skill.

There are two ways to enable the Arlo Alexa skill on your Amazon device.

You can simply say, “Alexa, enable Arlo skill.” Alexa will then direct you to your Alexa app so that you can link to your Arlo account. You can also start in the Alexa app. Search for the Arlo skill, then select Enable.

Link accounts.

The Alexa app directs you to log into your Arlo account so that you can link everything up. The Alexa app will ask for permission to access your Arlo account. (You have to accept if you want to link the two.) Alexa will then notify you that your accounts are successfully connected.

Find Arlo camera

You need to “discover” your Arlo devices in your Alexa app. Once again, Alexa will guide you through the process. Once you’ve completed discovery, you can use voice commands to access your Arlo cameras.

Check your Arlo feed using Alexa.

To view your Arlo camera feed, just say, “Alexa, show me Arlo Pro” (or whatever name you choose for your camera). To make the feed disappear, say, “Alexa, hide Arlo Pro.”¹

It’s not hard to set up an Arlo-Alexa ecosystem. You just need a minute to sit down and figure everything out. And with these instructions, you’ll be on your way.

Alternate of Arlo Essential Spotlight camera 3-pack with Echo Show 5 bundle

Lorex Security Cameras

Lorex specializes in professional-quality security cameras for indoor and outdoor use. The company’s weatherproof outdoor cameras have 4K resolution and the ability to capture full video at night. Many Lorex camera models are vandal-proof as well. Ours had heavy-duty metal casings and protected power cords.

Lorex cameras also support two-way voice, geofencing, extra-long vision (depth of field), and pan/zoom function. Since we purchased our cameras directly from Lorex Technology, they all carried two-year warranties.

What We Like
  • Clear HD video quality up to 4k
  • Long-range night vision feature
  • Professional-grade design and build
  • Feature-rich cameras with smart tech
What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive high-end camera system
  • Easy to be overwhelmed by options
  • Cameras must plug-in to power outlets
  • Customer service is not the best

One bestselling home-use Lorex camera is the 1080p HD Outdoor Wireless Security Camera, costing $149. We liked its reasonably low price but were disappointed that it didn’t work in freezing climates. With its 118-degree wide lens, 115-foot night vision range with infrared sensors, and ability to record audio and video, we created professional-quality surveillance. This Lorex also is triggered by both on-screen motion and off-screen audio.

Editor’s recommendations