Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Review
Compare to Similar Products
Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless
$551.19 at Amazon
$35.98 at Amazon
$190.65 at Amazon
|Check Price at Amazon||$30 List|
$22.49 at Amazon
|Pros||4K video, can call first responders to location, spotlight||Inexpensive, most features available without subscription, color night vision||Facial recognition, great night vision, redundant power source||Vertical/horizontal panning, color night vision, no subscription required||Sufficient live and download video quality, good onboard microphone|
|Cons||Expensive, battery-powered only, poor quality speaker||Plug-in power source, no remote panning, no backup battery||Big/conspicuous camera, no camera speaker, expensive||Indoor use only, no back-up battery, so-so sound quality||Poor night vision, relatively slow frame rate, no onboard speaker|
|Bottom Line||This device walks the line between a security camera and a security system, as it's bundled with two cameras and a base station||A high-performance camera at a low price that allows access to most of its features without a subscription||This is a high-quality camera with many useful security features that will be especially appealing to those using the Google Smart Home platform||A top-performing, remote panning camera at a low price with no hidden charges||An all-around decent quality camera that cuts a few corners to keep the price low|
|Rating Categories||Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless||Wyze Cam v3||Google Nest Cam||Wyze Cam Pan v2||YI 1080p Home|
|Recorded Video Quality (35%)|
|Monitoring Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Specs||Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless||Wyze Cam v3||Google Nest Cam||Wyze Cam Pan v2||YI 1080p Home|
|Camera Type (Indoor or Outdoor)||Indoor and Outdoor||Indoor and Outdoor||Indoor and Outdoor||Indoor Only||Indoor Only|
|Encryption Types||28-bit SSL, AED-128, TSL||AES 128-bit||AES 128-bit, SSL/TLS||AES 128-bit||Yes, type N/A|
|Wired or Battery||Battery||Wired||Battery and Wired||Wired||Wired|
|Smart Device Compatability||Apple HomeKit
|Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Arlo Ultra Wireless 2 comes with two cameras and a base station (mandatory for operation). It is rated for indoor and outdoor use and has a spotlight not seen on the competition's cameras. However, it is at the very high end of the market where the price is concerned — this includes both upfront and long-term costs. That said, the camera offers three field of view settings, 4k video, and emergency services for an extra monthly fee.
Recorded Video Quality
The Arlo Ultra Wireless earned a less than remarkable score in the recorded video quality assessment. This is partly because the camera records in HD, not 4k, and that video is often overexposed in daylight recordings. Also, the wide field of view setting slightly muddles facial features and makes everything seem far away. Additionally, the night vision struggled with clarity where facial features are concerned.
It's not all bad news for the Ulta. The camera's color night vision does a great job with license plates, and the background is pretty well resolved. Additionally, the camera offers three field of view settings (180 / 155 / 120), which is great for limiting the camera's view for motion alerts or widening it for tight areas like a front door. The wide field of view also makes up for the lack of a remote panning option.
The monitoring performance assessment focuses on live video quality and the sound captured by the camera's mic produced by its speaker. The Ultra performed abysmally in this evaluation on account of the pronounced lags between actual events and those seen on screen. Also, the sound captured by the mic and produced by the speakers leaves a lot to be desired.
While the live video and audio synchronicity wasn't perfect, it was pretty close. The microphone is reasonably sensitive, too. However, it produces a lot of static that sounds like an air conditioning unit was running in the background. Finally, the sound produced by the camera has really bad feedback and a slight echo when you are speaking through it. And, the alarm from the same speaker is too weak (62.8 dB at 10 feet) to be useful.
Ease of Use
The Arlo Ultra did pretty well in our ease of use assessment, picking up a well above average score. The app is easy and intuitive to use as the home screen has everything you need easily accessible. There are also many useful alerts that are straightforward to set up.
The Ultra has notifications, including motion alerts for people, vehicles, animals, and general motion. There is also package detection and a setting that allows you to get an animated preview of notifications you receive. Finally, the camera has an indoor smoke and carbon monoxide detector with associated alerts.
As far as storage options go, the Ultra has both local (SD card) and cloud storage. However, it should be noted that the cloud storage comes in tiered subscriptions starting with a 14-day rolling plan. Finally, the camera comes with a magnetic base that doubles as a wall mount (hardware included).
The Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless has a lot to offer, but value isn't on the list. This is a really expensive camera system, and it requires a paid subscription to function properly. Moreover, it fails to perform at the same level as significantly less expensive cameras in critical areas.
The Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless has two features that set it apart from the competition: a spotlight and a hefty price tag. While the camera offers lots of practical settings and adjustments, it failed to perform at a high level compared to the leaders in the class. Given its poor showing, we suggest you look at the higher-ranking products in our review and pocket the money saved for a rainy day.
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