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NETGEAR Arlo Pro Review

The wireless capability is convenient for an outdoor camera, but it offers lesser video quality than other models
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Price:   $250 List | $194 at Amazon
Pros:  Wireless, weatherproof
Cons:  Expensive, relatively poor video resolution, poor real time viewing
Manufacturer:   NETGEAR
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Feb 22, 2017
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 18
  • Monitoring Performance - 30% 5
  • Video Quality - 30% 6
  • App Ease of Use - 25% 8
  • Real Time Viewing - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The NETGEAR Arlo Pro is a wireless, weatherproof indoor/outdoor camera that uses a well designed and intuitive app, but otherwise it's an all-around mediocre performer. It is also one of the few models we tested that requires the use of a base station, which makes it about 25% more expensive than most of its competitors. This combination of high price and average performance make it a poor choice for most users. If you want an outdoor camera you'd probably be better off with the likes of the Canary Flex. If you want an outdoor camera and don't mind paying for a subscription, you'd be even better off with the Nest Cam Outdoor. Finally, if you looking for a inexpensive outdoor camera the Blink XT would be a better option.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
NETGEAR Arlo Pro
Awards  Editors' Choice Award    
Price $250 List
$194.00 at Amazon
$300 List$180 List
$99.99 at Amazon
$200 List$120 List
Check Price at Amazon
Star Rating
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Pros Wireless, weatherproofGreat video quality, smooth real time viewing, field leading monitoring services available, great facial recognitionGreat video quality and real time viewing, user friendly app, inexpensive subscriptionGreat video quality, smooth real-time viewing, field leading monitoring services availableGreat Video quality, good real time viewing, relatively inexpensive
Cons Expensive, relatively poor video resolution, poor real time viewingVery limited without a subscriptionVery few services offered without a subscriptionVery limited without a subscriptionNo scheduling, poor non-subscription services
Bottom Line The wireless capability is convenient for an outdoor camera, but it offers lesser video quality than other modelsTop notch video quality and facial recognition, but very little video history without a subscriptionA good choice if you're willing to pay for a subscription serviceGreat for live viewing and high quality video, but little video history available without a subscriptionA good all-around camera whose real strong point is its integration with the Amazon Key
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Rating Categories NETGEAR Arlo Pro Nest Cam IQ Ring Stick Up Cam... Nest Cam Indoor Amazon Cloud Cam
Monitoring Performance (30%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Video Quality (30%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
App Ease Of Use (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Real Time Viewing (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs NETGEAR Arlo Pro Nest Cam IQ Ring Stick Up Cam... Nest Cam Indoor Amazon Cloud Cam
Maximum Resolution 720p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Power Source Wall Outlet/Rechargable Battery Wall Outlet Wall Outlet Wall Outlet Wall Outlet
Mounting surface, walls surface, walls surface, walls surface, walls surface, walls
Static Field of View (degrees) 130 130 116 130 120
Free Features Activity alerts, 7 days of cloud event recordings (up to 1GB), 5 cameras, two way audio Activity alerts, 3 hour video history, two way audio Motion alerts, live viewing, two-way audio Activity alerts, 3 hour video history, two way audio Activity alerts, 24 hour history of activity clips
Paid Subscription Features Premier- 30 days of cloud recordings (10GB) when activity is detected, 10 cameras, unlimited support, activity zones, e911

Elite- 60 days of cloud recordings (10GB) when activity is detected, 20 cameras, unlimited support, activity zones, e911
5-Day- 5-day video history, 24/7 continuous recording, intelligent alerts, clips and timelapses, activity zones

10-Day- 10 day video history, 24/7 continuous recording, intelligent alerts, clips and timelapses, activity zones

30-Day- 30 day video history, 24/7 continuous recording, intelligent alerts, clips and timelapses, activity zones
Basic- 60-day video event history, video sharing
Plus- Ring Alarm professional monitoring, 60-day video event history, video sharing
5-Day- 5-day video history, 24/7 continuous recording, intelligent alerts, clips and timelapses, activity zones

10-Day- 10 day video history, 24/7 continuous recording, intelligent alerts, clips and timelapses, activity zones

30-Day- 30 day video history, 24/7 continuous recording, intelligent alerts, clips and timelapses, activity zones
Basic- unlimited clip downloads, person alerts, motion zones, 7 day history, supports up to 3 cameras
Extended- basic plus 14 day history and supports up to 5 cameras
Pro- basic plus 30 days of history and supports up to 10 cameras
Monthly Cost (one camera) $10- Premier

$15- Elite
$5- 5 Day

$10- 10 Day

$30- 30 day

$3- Basic
$10- Plus
$5- 5 Day

$10- 10 Day

$30- 30 day
$7- Basic

$10- Extended

$20- Pro

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Here we go into further detail about how the Arlo Pro performed in each of our individual testing metrics.


Monitoring Performance


The NETGEAR Arlo Pro scored a 5 out of 10 in our monitoring performance testing. This put it just above the bottom score of 4 and well behind the top score of 8.

Monitoring Services With/Without a Subscription


NETGEAR will save one week or one gigabyte (whichever comes first) of activity clips to the cloud for free. Even in our testing where people were constantly walking in front of the camera we didn't reach the 1GB limit inside of a week, so unless you plan on using multiple NETGEAR cameras on the same account you probably won't reach it either. Therefore, this week-long activity history is the longest offered without a subscription. Paying $10 a month extends this history to 30 days or 10GB, and $15 a month pushes it out to 60 days but still 10GB.

Poor Video recording


The Arlo Pros low score is mostly due to its poor ability to capture video. It was good at detecting initial motion, but it seemed that the recording would sometimes stop in the middle of the action and then start up again, leading to disjunct video clips that didn't seem to capture all of the action.

Audio Quality


The Arlo Pro's microphone is not particularly sensitive. We often had trouble understanding normal conversations recorded on the camera, even without disruptive ambient noise. It does have 2-way audio, and we found the speaker to be a bit better than the microphone. Most testers could easily understand things said via the camera's speaker, but it could be drowned out by wind if placed outside. It also includes a siren, but this sound comes from the base unit, not the camera, making it somewhat useless if you're trying to deter intruders that haven't yet entered your home.

Video Quality


The Arlo Pro was an average performer in our video quality testing, earning a 6 out of 10 in a metric that saw scores ranging from 3 to 8. Its relatively low 720p resolution was noticeable, with the video looking a good deal grainer than footage from full HD models. The footage saved to the cloud was also occasionally choppy. The lens does provide a wide 130˚ view, but that couldn't make up for its other shortcomings. Outdoor cameras like the Nest Cam Outdoor and the Canary Flex capture much better video.


This is one of the worst videos we pulled from the Arlo Pro, which displays the pixelated choppiness you can sometimes get.

App Ease of Use


NETGEAR's Arlo app was one of the favorites amongst our testers. It offers easy to navigate menus for scheduling, geofencing, and setting alert settings. We had very few complaints with this app, though it did feel just a tad less streamlined and intuitive than the top scoring Nest app.

The NETGEAR app is generally simple to navigate.
The NETGEAR app is generally simple to navigate.

Real Time Viewing


The Arlo Pro was in the bottom basement club in our real-time viewing testing, sharing the low score of 5 with a number of other models in a metric where scores went as high as 8. It logged a mediocre latency of 12 seconds in our test. Like its saved video clips, the live feed was often choppy, sometimes to an annoying degree. The Nest Cam Outdoor is a much better option for real-time viewing outdoors.

Installation Notes


The Arlo Pro mounts magnetically onto its base so its direction can easily be adjusted. The base itself must be mounted on a wall and installs with a single screw. The camera runs off of a rechargeable battery, but can be charged while in use. If you place it somewhere out of reach of a cable it must be taken down and charged periodically. Battery life can vary depending on a number of different conditions, but ours lasted over two weeks when placed outside in the winter cold. The camera's included base station must be plugged into a standard outlet.

We liked the Arlo Pro's magnetic mounting base.
We liked the Arlo Pro's magnetic mounting base.

Value


With a list price of $250 the Arlo Pro is the most expensive camera we tested. While it does do some things fairly well, in our minds it doesn't excel enough in any area to justify the high price, thus we would rank it as a fairly poor value.

Conclusion


The Arlo Pro is a fairly convenient, wireless outdoor camera. However, its convenience factor won't outweigh its performance shortcomings for most users.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata