"The Alro Pro 3 is a premium choice for smart home security."

  • Weatherproof, wireless cameras

  • High quality 2K video

  • Smart A.I. properties

  • Easy to install and use

  • Easy upgrade for existing Arlo owners

  • Minor performance issues with multiple 2K streams

  • A subscription is required for advanced features

Since its beginnings as a peculiar offshoot of Netgear, Arlo has found its rhythm with an excellent selection of wireless and weatherproof smart cams. The high-resolution Arlo Pro 2 tops our list of the best outdoor surveillance cameras in 2019 – and it is also a good choice for indoor surveillance.

In April Arlos became Ultra 4K came and marked the first shot in a next generation battle for the supremacy of the UHD Smart Cam. It offers superior sharpness and impressively large views, but a price tag of $ 300 per camera and a restrictive upgrade path for existing Arlo owners meant it wasn't a big hit.

The Arlo Pro 3 ($ 499 for a 2-camera kit with additional cameras at $ 199 each) sits exactly between the two. While Arlo Ultra 4K's headline-breaking UHD resolution is lacking, it does offer a wider range of enhancements that make it a better choice than Arlo's most expensive kit.

There has been fierce competition in this area, but Arlo's excellent track record has given consumers confidence that this should succeed.

Netgear Arlo Pro 3Terry Walsh / Digital Trends

This new model improves the Arlo Pro 2's 1080p image resolution to sharper, more vivid 2K (2560 x 1440 pixels) and supports a 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-degree field of view, but it's a noticeable advance over the 130-degree visibility of the outgoing model.

Additional functions are performed directly by the Arlo Ultra 4K. A built-in headlamp enables Arlo to claim color night vision support, while two-way noise-canceling audio and a siren in front of the camera further strengthen the Arlo Pro 3's security requirements. It also benefits from the clean magnetic charging system that we got to know in April that promises a battery life of up to six months between charges.

A better choice for Arlo upgrades

Visually, the cameras and the SmartHub of the Arlo Pro 3 look identical to those we saw when we tested the Arlo 4K Ultra. That's not a bad thing, as Arlo's much-copied design is one of the more compact and attractive systems. The curvy all-plastic case is sturdy enough to withstand the elements, while installation is simplified by a strong magnetic mounting system (a screw-mounting option is also available). A partially flattened base also allows the camera to be placed indoors on a shelf or desktop. In short, you can install the Arlo Pro 3 anywhere.

The often copied design by Arlo is one of the more compact and attractive systems.

It also includes Arlo's latest SmartHub (VMB4540), which enables the network connection between the cameras and your router. Again, it looks identical to the slimmer device introduced with the Arlo Ultra 4K, but a closer look reveals important differences. External video storage for camera shots is available, but this model enables it via a single USB 2.0 port instead of the microSD slot equipped with the Arlo Ultra.

This is good news for surveillance video horters who benefit from storage capacities of up to 2 TB. The With Arlo Pro 3's lower resolution video, the system can also operate with reduced bandwidth requirements. This SmartHub works with 802.11 b / g / n Wi-Fi and not with the faster "AC" standard supported by the Arlo Ultra 4K.

Netgear Arlo Pro 3Terry Walsh / Digital Trends

Perhaps the best news is that owners of some older Arlo systems You can add Arlo Pro 3 cameras to your existing network and take advantage of enhanced 2K video streams without having to replace the SmartHubs. This makes the Arlo Pro 3 a better upgrade option than Arlo's top tier kit. Arlo Pro 3 owners can even add Ultra 4K cameras to their systems at a later date without losing functionality.

Setup is a breeze

As with every Arlo system we tested, commissioning Arlo Pro 3 is very easy. Arlo recently launched a new version of its smartphone app that guides you through the installation. While cheaper smart camera systems can switch between direct Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections during setup, Arlo's wired SmartHub does the installation smoothly.

Hardware installation is just as easy. The scope of delivery includes options for screw and magnetic fastening. Arlo's newer concave magnetic mount is fabulous and combines strength and versatility. Cameras snap into place on the bracket on the back and can be precisely angled despite the fixed connection. For more ambitious assembly, the included adjustable safety bracket can be screwed into walls, fences, ceilings, trees, etc. It supports 360 degree rotation and 90 degree tilt.

A step in video quality

In use, the Arlo Pro 3's 2K image quality is a noticeable improvement over the previous generation camera (and a big leap over the 720p that is supported by the original Arlo system). While it's not quite as clear as Arlo Ultra 4K or wired Nest Cam IQ models, it's still very good indeed.

The improved resolution allows you to use the camera's 12x digital zoom without instantly breaking images into blurry chaos. If you exceed the 3x zoom, the quality will be noticeably affected. Arlo Pro 3 is equipped with an intelligent automatic zoom and tracking function, which is practical for security monitoring. As we found with the Arlo Ultra 4K, the resolution of the camera is unfortunately reduced to 1080p when the function is activated.

Night vision offers greater sharpness and clarity than many competitors.

We found that the image quality is balanced during the day, with precise colors and good contrast. Arlo's Auto HDR feature makes it one of the few smart cameras we've tested indoors that avoid overexposure near bright windows. This means that you take pictures of people looking through your windows to see if you are at home. The 160-degree field of view is wide enough to cover all but the most spacious rooms or huge gardens, and the distortion of the fisheye is negligible.

At night, the Arlo Pro 3 color night vision feature requires the camera's built-in headlight to be illuminated. The resulting images are certainly more natural than the creepy standard monochrome images produced by competitors. Although the range is good, color night vision suffers from the blurring and noise that normally occurs in high ISO photography. If the headlight is deactivated, the camera returns to a standard night vision setting. The lighting range is good here too, and while black and white images are a bit noisy, the night vision of Arlo Pro 3 offers greater clarity and clarity than many of its competitors.

Piercing alarm, integrated headlight

While the Arlo Pro 3 doesn't necessarily compete with those Easy or nest safe As a full-fledged smart home security system, it comes with a number of overlapping features that are worth considering until we wait for the next one to arrive Arlo security system.

The Arlo Pro 2 SmartHub piercing alarm was transmitted to the cameras themselves. The option can be triggered when motion is detected. The resulting racket is certainly enough to scare an intruder and, together with the camera's bright, integrated LED spotlight, forms an effective first line of protection for your home.

The Arlo app supports a number of configurable modes for activating the system. In addition to manually switching, you can enable monitoring using a timed schedule or geolocation setting. Each mode can be customized with simple IFTTT rules covering motion detection, video recording and built-in alarm, or you can quickly create a custom mode that suits your preferences. Everything is very simple.

Easy to use, but it's super smart under the hood.

Elsewhere, we found the updated Arlo app easy to understand. There are few ways to tweak camera settings, but they do include useful options such as brightness, low-light settings, and video quality controls. Navigating, reviewing, and sharing video clips from the library is easy. A standard daily timeline view is supported by filters that allow users to zoom in on specific cameras or review clips based on the type of alert triggered or object detected. Our only criticism of the app is that connecting to a camera's livestream can take a while, even on the local network. In some cases, we watched live videos within 5 seconds. In other cases, there is a delay of up to 30 seconds.

Terry Walsh / Digital Trends

Since both cameras broadcast 2K video live at the same time, we noticed some temporary performance problems during stress tests. About every 20 seconds, both streams were replaced by a black screen for one second before the livestream was restored. When 2K local streaming was disabled, the performance improved, although there was occasional flickering. Since both cameras report a good signal, we can only assume that this was a problem with the network bandwidth or a processing bottleneck. Maybe it would have been better to maintain Arlo Ultra's 802.11ac connectivity?

Intelligent functions behind Paywall

While Nest often praises Smart Cam A.I. Received, the Arlo Pro 3 is equipped with an admirable set of improvements that offer real comfort and benefit. Unfortunately, most are locked up behind you Arlo Smart Subscription service for $ 3 per month. A 3-month free trial version is available during setup so that you can try out the functions and check whether the upgrade makes sense.

This includes extended object recognition, which the camera can use to differentiate between people, vehicles, animals and packages (the latter is currently in the beta phase). Smoke and carbon dioxide alarm detection sends you a smartphone notification when a camera detects an audible alarm. US subscribers also benefit from an e911 feature that allows you to call emergency services with a single touch of a button on your smartphone.

We loved Arlo's extensive notification feature, which adds a thumbnail to the smart notifications sent to your phone. When a person is recognized, an image captured by your camera is displayed. Many smart cams do the same thing, but Arlo also darkens the image and clearly highlights the person in the frame. With a quick glance you can check whether the friend or foe of the camera has been recognized. Arlo is easy to use, but super smart under the hood. With everyday features like custom activity zones and a 30-day video recording cloud, Arlo Smart functions well. Only you can decide whether they are worth the extra effort.

Our opinion

While the Arlo Ultra 4K made headlines with its striking UHD video resolution, we consider the Arlo Pro 3 to be a more worthy and economical successor to our favorite Smartcam of the past two years, the Arlo Pro 2. It is certainly not cheap, but the improved one The image quality of the Arlo Pro 3, the integrated security functions and the simple app control make it an excellent choice for home surveillance. If you enjoy investing in a monthly subscription, you can take advantage of an expanded suite of useful A.I. Features that make the Arlo Pro 3 one of the smartest systems around. In the meantime, owners of Arlo systems of the first and second generation have a reasonable way to update their cameras and / or SmartHubs. We were waiting for a competitive Arlo Pro 2 smart cam to hit the bar – maybe it was inevitable that the Arlo Pro 3 would do the job.

Is there a better alternative?

Few smart cameras offer Arlo's winning mix of lightness, quality and versatility. With a limited budget, however, many cheaper systems are available. The Swann Smart Security Camera ($ 129) is a solid budget device with similar wireless connectivity and weatherproof protection to Arlo and 1080p HD imaging.

At the premium end of the market, the Arlo 4K Ultra ($ 599 for a 2-camera bundle) definitely beats the Arlo Pro 3 in terms of video quality, but you should be aware that you are into new cameras and a replacement SmartHub must invest Use UHD video. It is also worth noting that Arlo recently expanded its line and introduced new models such as the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight and the Arlo Essential.

The Cam Cam Outdoor ($ 329) and Nest Cam IQ Indoor ($ 229) cameras are top-notch performers that lack the versatility and value of the Arlo Pro 3.

How long it will take?

Arlo Pro 3 was developed to withstand the hard temperament of mother nature with operating temperatures between -20 degrees Celsius and 45 degrees Celsius. Therefore, expect the hardware to be robust. In terms of software, Arlo continues to publish improvements and optimizations for all Arlo systems. We therefore expect the owners to live a long and happy life with the Arlo Pro 3.

Should you buy it

Yes. It's an investment, but the Arlo Pro 3 is a great choice for those considering their first smart home camera system.

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