Arlo Essential Video Doorbell wire-free review and installation

Arlo Essential Video Doorbell wire-free review and installation

Receive a video call to your phone to hear and speak to visitors at your door with clear, two-way audio or respond with pre-recorded quick reply messages when you are busy. Receive notifications for people, vehicles, and packages so you can take quick action such as sound the siren, call friend or dial emergency services, with the included Arlo Smart trial. Reveal more in Arlo Essential Video Doorbell wire-free review and installation.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Wide field of view – 1:1 aspect ratio
  • Answer the door like accepting a phone call
  • Pre-recorded responses

Cons

  • Requires a subscription to enjoy all of the features

Price

The $200 Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell is available for preorder now at select retailers and will start shipping later this year. International prices aren’t yet available, but that converts to about £160 or AU$280.

Specification – Arlo Essential Video Doorbell wire-free

  • Dimensions1.85 x 5.63 x 1.45 in (47 x 143 x 37 mm)
  • Weight0.55lb (249g) with battery & 0.25lb (113g) without battery
  • All Video FeaturesHDR, SIP video call at doorbell push
  • Max Lens Field of View180-degree diagonal
  • Max Video Resolution1536×1536 resolution
  • Video Modes1536×1536, 1080×1080, 720×720, 1:1 ratio
  • SpotlightNo
  • Digital Zoom12x
  • MicrophoneSingle Microphone Array
  • Motion DetectionSingle Motion Sensor, 110 degree horizontal
  • Night VisionNight Vision, high powered Infrared LEDs (850nm) with IR Cut Filter
  • Indoor/OutdoorOutdoor UV & Weather resistant
  • AudioFull Duplex 2-way audio, SIP audio/video call initiated at doorbell press, quick reply messages
  • Operating Temperature-20 to 45 degree Celsius
Installation Requirements:
  • High-Speed Internet Connection..
  • Hardwiring requirements: Voltage between 8V AC and 24V AC and existing doorbell and chime electrical wiring, for continuous battery charging.

What is good in Arlo Essential Video Doorbell wire-free?

The Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell — Arlo’s latest video doorbell — is a bit different than the company’s existing hardwired Video Doorbell. Instead of having a strictly hardwired design, the new Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell can be either hardwired or powered via an included rechargeable battery. According to Arlo, the Essential doorbell should last between three to six months on a single charge.

The biggest point of difference between the Arlo doorbell and competitor products is the wide 180-degree viewing angle with a square 1:1 aspect ratio so you can see whoever is at your door from head to toe.

This is particularly handy if a courier is at your door. With the wider angle you would be able to see if there are any packages at their feet.

Key feature – Arlo Essential Video Doorbell wire-free

Features of the all-new Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free include:

  • Direct-to-Mobile Video Call: Calls your phone directly so you never miss a visitor
  • 180° Viewing Angle: Optimized for the front door with a 1:1 aspect ratio so you can see a person from head to toe or a package on the ground
  • Angle Mount: Easily adjust viewing angle to fully and clearly see visitors
  • Multiple Powering Options: Install without wires using the rechargeable battery1, or hardwire to existing wiring for continuous charging
  • Motion Detection and Alerts: Receive alerts when motion is detected
  • 2-Way Audio: Hear what matters with clear, noise-cancelling audio
  • More Ways to Answer: Quick Reply Messages enable users to play pre-recorded messages for instant response to guests
  • Night Vision: See who’s at your door at night, even without a light on
  • Weather Resistant: Designed to withstand heat, cold, rain or sun
  • Visitor Messaging: Guests can leave you a voice message if you’re unable to answer the door, and you can listen remotely at your convenience
  • HD Video with HDR: Capture vivid detail in bright and dark areas with HDR
  • Platform Compatibility: Works with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT for easy interaction, automation, and control
  • Direct to WiFi: Connects directly to WiFi for simple setup allowing it to function as a standalone home security solution without the need for a separate base station
  • Built-In Smart Siren: Trigger your siren automatically or manually from the Arlo app during an event
  • Silent Mode: Temporarily disable incoming calls, Arlo Chime melodies, and/or traditional chime rings
  • Notifications that Matter: Get alerts when your Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free spots people, vehicles, animals or a package with Arlo Smart via an included three-month trial with rolling 30-day cloud recordings

Arlo Essential Video Doorbell wire-free review

Design

When it came to aesthetics, we appreciated the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell is sleek style. It was pill-shaped with a shiny black face and a white rim. A black rim was also available. At five inches tall, 1.7 inches wide, and one inch deep, it was taller than most other video doorbells we’ve seen. It still maintained the sleek look we thought it was going for, but it was borderline bulky, as well.

Image

During our video evaluation, we found that the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell fared better than the industry standard of 1080p HD. It actually shot in a maximum of 1536 by 1536 pixels, which made for a very clear image. Plus, the camera had HDR, which helped with outdoor lighting that might have otherwise caused discoloration. While most video doorbells had a 16:9 aspect ratio, Arlo’s offered a 1:1 aspect ratio. 

Audio

Two-way audio made it so we easily answered our door regardless of where we were, but the Arlo Video Doorbell’s features didn’t stop there. It allowed us to leave pre-recorded messages for guests and vice versa. It was much like an answering machine for our front door. This feature was not included in most video doorbells we reviewed, so we were pumped to play with it a bit. Even if you’re driving, you can still pick up the call and talk to your visitor like you would answer a regular phone call.

Battery

Battery is charged via MicroUSB connection and I found that best to do on a weekend when you’re home – thus no need for the doorbell.

Motion & Siren

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell included a built-in siren, which was both convenient and useful for our home’s security. It also featured tamper detection, so the alarm went off if anyone tried to move it. Following our installation, we were alerted via our Arlo Smart every time our doorbell detected a person, pet or package. Since this was a lot of notifications, we used the activity zones feature on the mobile app to narrow our doorbell’s focus area to our porch, where we usually only saw people and packages.

e911 feature

“Arlo Smart’s e911 feature provides access to emergency services local to the camera’s location for quick action in emergency situations,” the company explained. “Controlled entirely through the Arlo app, users can easily view live streams and recordings, adjust their camera settings or access cloud recordings.”

Subscription

Its products are on the high-end side of DIY home security and include an optional Arlo Smart subscription service. Arlo Smart starts at $3 a month and includes 30 days of saved video clips, advanced alerts that distinguish among people, animals, vehicles and packages, activity zones and the e911 service that contacts local law enforcement, even if you’re away from home. 

Weather resistant

Protected against temperatures ranging from negative four to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, Arlo tauts their video doorbell as a “weather resistant security” that’s built to withstand heat, cold, wind, or sun. It did well for us during rain, but although it appeared durable, we wondered how it would hold up during a harsher winter.

The Arlo App Arlo Essential Video Doorbell wire-free app review

Video Call with the Arlo Video Doorbell
Video Call with the Arlo Video Doorbell

With the Arlo app, we monitored settings, spoke through two-way audio, viewed cloud storage, turned our camera on and off, recorded messages, listened to guest records, and live streamed footage. The app had a high rating, a 3.7 out of five, in the Google Play store, averaged from over 60,000 votes, and a four-star rating in the Apple store. Although most reviews were positive, a few complaints focused on the app’s lack of a user-friendly interface. We also noticed a general consensus about a three to five-second lag on live content. While we didn’t experience this delay ourselves, we thought that could get rather frustrating if we were trying to have a real time conversation.

Arlo Essential Video Doorbell wire-free installation

To install your Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free, you must have the following items:

  • The items that came in the box
    Note: These are listed on the quick start guide.
  • The Arlo app
  • A mobile device (smart phone or tablet)
  • A screwdriver
  • (Optional) A power drill

Install your doorbell

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free installation process takes place in two phases: connecting the doorbell to your Arlo account, and mounting the doorbell to your wall. You must use the Arlo app to install your doorbell. These instructions provide a brief overview of the installation process.

To install your Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free:

  1. Charge the battery that came with your Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free.
  2. Connect your mobile device to your 2.4 GHz WiFi network.
  3. Use the QR code in the Arlo app to connect your Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free to your 2.4 GHz WiFi network..
  4. Find a good place and position to install your doorbell.
  5. Mount your Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free.

You are ready to operate your Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free.

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