How worth is investment for Arlo Pro 3 2K QHD wire-free security camera system – subscription, battery life and price? Receive notifications for people, vehicles, and packages so you can take quick action such as sound the siren, call a friend or dial emergency services, with the included, Arlo Smart trial. See and record video in 2K with HDR for a clearer, undistorted picture, day or night. See features like faces or license plates in full color, even at night, with color night vision. Get details in Arlo Pro 3 2K QHD wire-free security camera system review.
In the box
- Camera with Battery
- Wall Mount and Screw Kit
- Magnetic Charging Cable
- Smart Hub*
- Power Adapter*
- Ethernet Cable
- Video Monitoring Decal
- Quick Start Guide
Pros & Cons – Arlo Pro 3 2K QHD wire-free security camera system
- Night vision: With a spotlight, the Arlo Pro 3 has both color as well as infrared night vision.
- Video: The Arlo Pro 3 goes above and beyond the industry standard of 1080p HD with 2K, HDR video.
- Smart platform integrations: Whether you have Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Watch, the Arlo Pro 3 will integrate nicely into your larger smart home.
However, nothing is perfect and the Arlo Pro 3 is no exception, as it lacks:
- Battery life: The Arlo Pro 3 only has a battery life of three to six months, while I’ve seen cameras that can last up to a year without needing a replacement or recharge.
- Free person detection: Although the Arlo Pro 3 comes with three months of Arlo Smart which includes person detection, beyond that, you’re going to have to pay.
- Arlo SmartHub: If you don’t already have the Arlo SmartHub, this is an added expense that you may not want to pay.
The Arlo Pro 3 (originally $500 for a 2-camera kit, with add-on cameras priced at $199 each) sits squarely between the two. While it lacks Arlo Ultra 4K’s headline-grabbing UHD resolution, it offers a broader suite of enhancements that make it — arguably — a better choice than Arlo’s priciest kit.
|Camera||Arlo Pro 3|
|Field of vision||130°|
|Battery or Wired||Battery|
Compare Arlo Pro 3 2K QHD wire-free security camera system
|Arlo Pro 3||Arlo Ultra||Arlo Pro 2|
|Weatherproof||-4 to 113 degrees||-4 to 140 degrees||-4 to 113 degrees|
|Night vision||Color||Color||Black and white|
|Alerts||Motion and sound. Person, vehicle, animal and package with Arlo Smart subscription||Motion and sound. Person, vehicle, animal and package with Arlo Smart subscription||Motion and sound|
|Local storage||USB port in hub||MicroSD card slot in hub||USB port in hub|
|Cloud plan||Optional Arlo Smart subscription starting at $3 per month||Optional Arlo Smart subscription starting at $3 per month||Free 7-day activity-based cloud storage|
|Field of view||160 degrees||180 degrees||130 degrees|
|Zones||Yes, with Arlo Smart||Yes, with Arlo Smart||Yes, with Arlo Smart|
|Siren||Built into camera||Built into camera||Built into hub|
|Voice support||Alexa and Google Assistant. Siri forthcoming||Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri||Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri|
Arlo Pro 3 2K QHD wire-free security camera system review
The white, weatherproof enclosure measures 3.5 by 2.0 by 3.0 inches (HWD) and the slide-in camera assembly is glossy black and holds a removable, rechargeable lithium-polymer battery pack rated to last up to six months between charges. On the base of the enclosure is a magnetic charging port and a button that releases the camera assembly.
You can attach the Pro 4 to your house or any other structure using the included magnetic mount, or you can purchase a screw-in mount for $19.99. Also included in the box are a battery pack, a magnetic USB charging cable, and mounting hardware.
Spotlight feature & audio
Other features are lifted directly from the Arlo Ultra 4K. An integrated spotlight allows Arlo to claim support for color night vision, while noise-canceling two-way audio and an on-camera siren further reinforce the Arlo Pro 3’s security credentials. It also benefits from the neat magnetic charging system we met in April, which promises up to six months of camera battery life between charges.
Video and image quality
This new model boosts image resolution ranging from the Arlo Pro 2’s 1080p to a sharper, more vibrant 2K (2560 x 1440 pixels) with support for high dynamic range (HDR), which promises better video quality in very dark or bright areas. A 160-degree field of view may be narrower than the Arlo Ultra 4K’s generous 180 degrees, but it’s a noticeable step up from the 130-degrees offered by the outgoing model.
Arlo Pro 3 is built to withstand Mother Nature’s fierce temper, with operating temperatures between -4 Fahrenheit (-20 Celsius) and 113 degrees F (45 C), so expect the hardware to be robust. As for software, Arlo continues to release enhancements and tweaks for all Arlo systems, so we’d expect owners to enjoy a long and happy life with the Arlo Pro 3.
Subscription – Arlo Pro 3 2K QHD wire-free security camera system
That’s good news for surveillance video hoarders, who will benefit from storage capacities up to 2 TB. The Arlo Pro 3’s lower-resolution video also allows the system to operate with reduced bandwidth requirements. This SmartHub operates on 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi rather than the faster “AC” standard supported on the Arlo Ultra 4K.
|Arlo Basic||Arlo Smart||Arlo Smart Premier||Arlo Smart Elite||Premium Video Recording Add-on|
|Amount of Cloud Storage||0 Days||30 Days||30 Days||60 Days||Continuous recording for 14 days or 30 days|
|4K Cloud Recording||x||x||x||x||✓|
|Advanced A.I. Detection||x||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Max Amout of Cameras||5||1 per add-on subscription||10||20||1 per add-on subscription|
When it comes to backing up your security camera’s footage, I recommend doing it in two different ways, both on cloud and local storage. That way, if one method fails, you still have a backup. Fortunately, Arlo has it’s own cloud storage, and gives you 30 days if you sign up for Arlo Smart (keep in mind that buying the Arlo Pro 3 gets you a free three-month trial). But after that trial is over, you’ll have to pay to get 30 or 60 days of cloud storage. There’s also local storage if you connect a USB port to the Arlo base. Although I wish that Arlo still gave all of its cameras a week of cloud storage, both local and cloud storage are available with the Arlo Pro 3, so I’m going to give it full marks for this category.
Smart Home Integration
The Pro 3 works with Alexa and Google Assistant. View your camera’s live feed on Alexa- and Google-Assistant-enabled smart displays. Siri support is forthcoming. With HomeKit, you should be able to view the live feed in the Home app for iOS. Apple hasn’t yet released HomeKit Secure Video, an upcoming feature that’s supposed to analyze your security camera’s video footage locally on your Apple TV, iPad or HomePod and store 10 days of video clips. Logitech, Netatmo and Eufy are the initial partners for HomeKit Secure Video, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Arlo ended up joining in at some point.
The Pro 3 uses the same mobile app as every other Arlo camera. It opens to a Devices screen with tabs for all of your installed Arlo devices. Each tab displays a still image and contains a play arrow. Tap the play arrow to see a live stream that you can view in full-screen mode by tapping the two arrows in the upper right corner.
At the bottom of the video screen are mute, two-way talk, spotlight, photo (takes a still image), and manual video record buttons. There’s also a red alarm button that you can use to call 911, dial up a friend, or activate the siren.
The Settings screen is where you go to enable/disable Smart Notifications, configure the Package Detection, e911, and Call a Friend options, check the camera’s battery level, and configure motion detection and activity zone settings. Here you can also tweak video settings (HDR, brightness), enable auto-zoom, tracking, and color night vision, enable/disable the spotlight, and select a video mode (Wide, Standard, Full).
There are four buttons positioned at the very bottom of the Devices screen. The Devices button takes you back to the Devices screen from wherever you are in the app, and the Library button opens a screen with thumbnails for all motion-triggered videos. Each thumbnail displays the time of the event and the cause (Vehicle, Person, Animal). Use the Mode button to arm or disarm the camera, create an arming schedule, or configure location-based arming (geofencing). When the camera is armed, motion detection is enabled, and when it’s disarmed, it’s disabled.
Arlo Pro 3 2K QHD wire-free security camera system performance review
I opened the app, scrolled down to the bottom of the Devices screen, and tapped Add New Device. In the Cameras menu, I tapped Pro and selected the Pro 3. I was given the option to pair the camera with my Smart Hub or connect without a Smart Hub and chose the latter. Following the on-screen instructions, I entered my Wi-Fi credentials, inserted the battery into the camera, and confirmed that the camera’s LED was blinking blue. When the QR code appeared on my phone, I held it four inches from the camera and heard a chime indicating the camera was recognized. I gave the camera a name, and after a few seconds it was added to my Arlo and Alexa accounts.
The Arlo Pro 3 performed wonderfully in testing. Daytime 2K video showed excellent image detail with vibrant colors, and black-and-white night video was lit well, with good contrast. Color night vision was also sharp, but colors weren’t quite as vivid as daytime colors. Alexa voice commands to stream video from the camera to an Amazon Echo Show worked perfectly.
After waiting a few minutes for a firmware update, I took the camera outside, attached the magnetic mount to my house siding, and attached the camera to the mount to complete the installation.
Motion detection also worked well. Push and email alerts arrived instantly, and the Pro 4 had no trouble differentiating between vehicles, people, and animals. It also did a fine job of filtering out all other motion. Package Detection worked as intended, as did the motion tracking and auto-zoom features. Two-way audio between the camera and my phone was clear and loud, and the siren was loud enough to be heard throughout my house.
Arlo Pro 3 2K QHD wire-free security camera system customer review
Excellent DIY Camera Kit
I have quite a bit of experience with the Arlo line as I have been using an Arlo base station along with 2 of the Pro 2’s and 2 Pro’s for the past few years. I love these, they have been reliable, secure, and can take a beating in the elements. I have no doubt the Arlo Pro 3 will prove be even better!
=== In the Box ===
Inside the box there are the two Arlo Pro 3 cameras, the Smarthub base, 2 rechargable batteries, a magnetic mount, 1 outdoor mount, 1 magnetic charging cable with usb charger, power cord for the Smarthub, and an ethernet cable.
I find it a little odd that there is only one charging cable in the box for two cameras. I suppose the idea is the batteries are expected to last so long that you can survive with just one cable, simply removing the cameras or their batteries and charging them as needed. For me, personally, I like to wire the cameras up to a power source so that I never have to worry about them, so I would have appreciated two cables.
The way the kit is put together it almost guarantees you will need to buy at least some accessories such as an extra charging cable or the dual charging station. In case you were wondering, the batteries are different than the older Pro or Pro 2 models so not compatible.
=== Setup ===
Setup is dead simple with the Arlo app. Find a spot near your router for the Smarthub (has to be connected via ethernet, wifi not supported) and plug the ethernet and power cable in. The app will detect the new Smarthub and then you follow the instructions to add each camera. There’s a button on the bottom of the camera to release the unit from its housing to insert the battery. The whole process could not have taken more than 5 minutes. I was a little worried I might have issues since I use the same app to monitor my existing Arlo base station but looks like the older base station and new Smarthub and all six of my cameras can co-exist in the same app.
I could have added all the cameras to the new Smarthub if I wanted to but I’m glad that I am able to use two base stations as there are some areas around my yard where the old base station couldn’t reach. Now I have two hubs in two different corners of my home so I have much better coverage for the cameras.
As mentioned above, there are two types of mounts included. With the magnetic mount once you affix it to your wall the camera simply pops onto the mount at almost any angle. It also makes it easy to remove the camera when you have to recharge the battery.
The other mount is a necessity if you need to mount in an outdoor or high location. For now I’m using the magnetic mount in a new location and replaced one of my existing mounted Pro 2’s with the Pro 3.
While cloud recording is automatic, you may also want to connect a USB hard drive to the Smarthub for local copies of the videos.
=== Usage ===
Once everything is synced and mounted you use the Arlo app on your phone to manage and monitor the video feeds. The system should be armed which means the cameras will detect motion and automatically save the video to the cloud, turn on the LED spotlight, and send a notification to your phone. You can go into the device settings to turn any or all of this off. You can also configure the cameras to take action on sound instead of motion or to activate the siren on the camera. The siren is not ear piercing loud but I’d imagine it scare most intruders away especially if the spotlight also comes on.
I didn’t find the auto zoom and tracking to be that great. It’s not very smooth especially when the object it is tracking is moving quickly. You can use the app to have two way audio communication with someone but this is not a feature I use often.
The system can also be synced with a smart home system such as Apple’s Homekit. Here you’ll be able to see your cameras live in the Home app on your Apple devices. One of my favorite features is I can open the Home app on my Mac and select a video feed to keep open in a small window in the corner of my screen. Perfect for watching out for the pizza boy! Google Assistant and Alexa are also supported but I haven’t tried these out.
If you want to turn off the detection and video recording, simply open the app and disarm the system. There are also options to arm/disarm on a schedule or geofencing.
=== Performance ===
I can definitely tell a difference in the image quality between the Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3. Take a look at the image samples below. There is more detail in the Pro 3 screenshot and the colors are more natural than the Pro 2 which is quite a bit oversaturated.
The color night vision is pretty neat. You could clearly see I was wearing a red shirt at night but note that it does not work if you do not have the LED spotlight enabled.
=== Pros ===
App based setup
2560 x 1440 resolution w/ HDR
Color Night vision
Wider field of View than Pro 2
Long battery life
Auto Zoom and Track
Homekit, Google, and Alexa support
Local USB Storage
=== Cons ===
Includes just 1 magnetic charger
Pricey when you consider you’ll likely need accessories and a subscription as well
Overall, the Arlo Pro 3 is a nice addition to the Arlo lineup. You get mostly the same features as the more expensive Arlo Ultra, only sacrificing resolution. I would definitely buy these over the Arlo Pro 2 at this point as the increase in resolution, color accuracy, and night vision are worth the upgrade.By Titan5178 at Best Buy
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