The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

NETGEAR Arlo Q Review

Great if you want a long video history without paying for a subscription, but bad if you want to do any real time viewing
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Price:   $200 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Good video quality, well designed app, relatively long cloud history available without subscription
Cons:  Poor real time viewing performance
Manufacturer:   NETGEAR
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Feb 22, 2017
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 17
  • Monitoring Performance - 30% 7
  • Video Quality - 30% 7
  • App Ease of Use - 25% 8
  • Real Time Viewing - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The strongest member of NETGEAR's Arlo line, the Arlo Q provides good video quality, a nice app, and a solid bevy of non-subscription monitoring services. Its only real weak point is its real time viewing performance, which we found to be rather hiccupy. If you like the Nest Cam Indoor or Canary All-in-One but want something that provides a longer video history without a subscription, then the Arlo Q might fit the bill.


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NETGEAR Arlo Q
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Pros Good video quality, well designed app, relatively long cloud history available without subscriptionGreat 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 available, weatherproofGreat Video quality, good real time viewing, relatively inexpensive
Cons Poor real time viewing performanceVery limited without a subscriptionVery few services offered without a subscriptionVery limited without a subscriptionNo scheduling, poor non-subscription services
Bottom Line Great if you want a long video history without paying for a subscription, but bad if you want to do any real time viewingTop 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 serviceThe best outdoor camera if your'e willing to pay for a subscription serviceA good all-around camera whose real strong point is its integration with the Amazon Key
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Rating Categories NETGEAR Arlo Q Nest Cam IQ Ring Stick Up Cam... Nest Cam Outdoor Amazon Cloud Cam
Monitoring Performance (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Video Quality (30%)
10
0
7
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 Q Nest Cam IQ Ring Stick Up Cam... Nest Cam Outdoor Amazon Cloud Cam
Maximum Resolution 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Power Source Wall Outlet Wall Outlet Wall Outlet Wall Outlet Wall Outlet
Mounting surface, walls surface, walls surface, walls surface, walls surface, walls
Static Field of View (degrees) 130 130 130 120
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

CVR (cloud video recording) plans available for Arlo Q
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 ($50/year)

$10- 10 Day ($100/year)

$30- 30 day ($300/year)
$7- Basic

$10- Extended

$20- Pro

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Below we provide the nitty-gritty details on how the Arlo Q performed in each of our individual testing metrics.


Monitoring Performance


The NETGEAR Arlo Q earned a 7 out of 10 in our monitoring performance testing, putting it right behind the top score of 8 in a metric that had scores as low as 4.

Monitoring Services With/Without a Subscription


The Arlo Q's high score largely came from the amount of services NETGEAR offers without a subscription. For free on the cloud the camera will store one week or one gigabyte (whichever comes first) of clips where the camera detected motion. In our testing we always hit the one week limit before we hit the one-gigabyte limit, even with lots of testers walking by the camera. This is the longest video history available without a subscription. However, the Arlo Q could be greatly improved with something like Nest's activity zones.

For $10 a month NETGEAR provides 30 days or 10GB of activity clips history, and for $15 dollars that history is extended to 15 days (but still 10GB).

Audio Quality


The Arlo Q's audio quality is mediocre. Under ideal conditions we could understand people speaking at a normal conversational volume near the camera, but any sort of ambient noise or echoes could easily render voices indecipherable. The speaker it uses for 2-way audio, on the other hand, was superb in our testing. All testers could easily hear everything that was said through the camera, and you would certainly be able to gain the attention of any intruders with it.

Video Quality


The Arlo Q was one of the lower scoring 1080p models in our video quality testing. It earned a 7 out of 10, one lower than the 8 that most of the 1080p models we tested earned, but still significantly better than the bottom score of 3. The daytime video was nice and clear. It lost points because its night vision was a good bit grainier than that of the other 1080p models. The lens does provide a respectable 130˚ field of view with barely any distortion on the edges.



App Ease of Use


We generally liked the design of NETGEAR's app, and it picked up a score of 8 out of 10 in our ease of use testing. This put it just off the top score of 9 in a metric that had scores as low as 5. We found navigating menus in this app quite easy and intuitive. However, doing the same felt just slightly more pleasant when using the Nest app, so the NETGEAR app was kept off the app ease of use throne.

The NETGEAR app provides easy to use menus for  things like scheduling
The NETGEAR app provides easy to use menus for things like scheduling

Real Time Viewing


The Arlo Q was one of the models that shared the low score of 5 out of 10 in our real-time viewing metric. It had the worst latency in our test with a whopping 33 seconds. We could run multiple laps around the office before we actually showed up on the Arlo app. The video also frequently paused for a second to refresh. These periods were short enough that we didn't feel like we were missing too much of the action, but they were still quite annoying.

Installation Notes


The Arlo Q does not have a battery and must be plugged into a standard outlet. It can be placed on any horizontal surface. The base does have a magnet, but it isn't particularly strong. It definitely adds stability when placed on a horizontal magnetic surface, but we wouldn't trust it to stay on a vertical magnetic surface. It comes with a mounting plate for mounting on vertical surfaces. The mounting plate installs with four screws.


Value


The NETGEAR Arlo Q lists for $200, which seems to be the standard list price for a 1080p camera. If NETGEAR's non-subscription offerings fit your needs, and you don't care about real-time viewing, then this is quite a good value. If you want a high definition camera that is adept at real-time viewing you might find a better value in the Nest Cam Indoor of the Logitech Circle.

Conclusion


The NETGEAR Arlo Q is a capable camera with generous non-subscription offerings. However, it falls short in real time viewing performance, making it a poor pet camera.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata