(Pocket-lint) - Arlo has a growing range of security cameras, each offering something slightly different.

Originally you got free cloud storage of HD video for up to five cameras for 7 days, although that's changing with Arlo pushing its Smart subsciption instead on its more recent models.

The Arlo Ultra, Pro 3, Pro 2, Pro and original Arlo camera all need a hub to connect to and all run through the same Arlo app, meaning you can mix and match your system, alongside Arlo's standalone cameras - the Q, the Ultra 2, Pro 4 and Arlo Essential - which will connect directly to Wi-Fi.

With Black Friday 2020 approaching, we're expecting a range of deals on Arlo cameras, so read on to find out how they differ.

Arlo

Arlo Ultra 2

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  • Camera: 4K, HDR, 180 degrees, colour night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? No

The latest version of the Arlo Ultra is currently on pre-order, but comes in to update the Ultra with the big change being that it will connect directly to Wi-Fi with no need for a hub. That provides a little more freedom for installation, as you can connect to any available Wi-Fi network.

It offers 4K HDR video capture, 2-way audio, along with a siren and a built-in LED spotlight. It offers IR night vision too. 

It uses a rechargable battery so is otherwise a wire-free installation, but to get the most out of this camera you'll need an Arlo Smart Elite Plan which will allow 30-day online storage of 4K video that's captured. Although it will work as a standalone camera, it can still be used with a SmartHub or as part of a wider Arlo system.

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Arlo Ultra

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  • Camera: 4K, HDR, 180 degrees, colour night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? Yes

Arlo Ultra is the top of the range, although it's now been updated with the Ultra 2. It offers 4K capture, with HDR, features a microphone and speaker, as well as a light built-in, which can illuminate and act as a security or convenience light. To get some features, you'll need an Arlo Smart subscription.

The camera has a wide 180-degree field of view and offers the highest quality for video capture from the range. It really does make other cameras look poor in terms of the quality it captures.

However you need the SmartHub to get it connected, so if you want any Ultra cameras in your system, you need to get that hub too - or buy an Ultra kit to get you started and then add other cameras. To store 4K content in the cloud you'll need a Arlo Smart Elite Plan, but otherwise you can store 4K locally on microSD card in the SmartHub. To store 2K content for 30 days, you'll need an Arlo Smart Premier plan.

Arlo

Arlo Pro 4

  • Camera: 1440p, HDR, 160 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? No

The Arlo Pro 4 is an update to the Arlo Pro 3, offering pretty much the same spec with 2K video capture, 2-way audio and an LED spotlight and IR for night vision.

The big difference to the Arlo Pro 3 is that the Pro 4 offers Wi-Fi so it can connect directly to the network without the need for a SmartHub. That gives loads of freedom for installation, considering too that the battery is rechargable, so there's no need for wires. 

You'll need an Arlo Smart Premier Plan to get 30-days of 2K video storage in the cloud.

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Arlo Pro 3

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  • Camera: 1440p, HDR, 160 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? Yes

The Arlo Pro 3 has a unibody design with internal battery that you can charge through a magnetic connector, rather than having to plug in a cable - which is a lot more versatile than older Pro cameras.

The Pro 3 steps up the quality over the Pro 2, offering HDR and 2K video capture (2560 x 1440 pixels), it offers motion and audio detection, a speaker and LED light too - so it's very much the Ultra in a more affordable state. It has a 160-degree wide-angle lens which is slightly narrower than the Ultra, but a step forward from the Pro 2.

You'll need an Arlo Smart Premier Plan subscription to access all the smart functions it offers, along with a SmartHub.

Arlo

Arlo Pro 2

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  • Camera: 1080p, 130 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? Yes

Arlo Pro 2 offers 1080p video capture, a step up from the Arlo Pro. It offers two-way audio, but the field of view isn't quite as wide as the Arlo Ultra and night vision is in black and white. It will give you motion or audio detection. 

The Arlo Pro can be used to record video 24/7 as well as use trigger zones when used indoor with a permanent power connection. Otherwise it uses rechargeable batteries.

Arlo Pro 2 basically offers the same features as Arlo Pro, the big differences being quality and the option for detection zones. If you do want detection zones, you'll also need an Arlo Smart plan, which provides AI features, with a monthly cost, but it offers free 7-day cloud storage of video.

There's a siren in the hub for the Arlo Pro 2 - the same hub as the Arlo Pro uses. It also offers local storage of video files.

Arlo

Arlo Essential and Essential XL

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  • Camera: 1080p, 130 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? No

The Arlo Essential is the latest entry-level device from Arlo, offering 1080p video capture, 2-way audio, IR for night vision as well as an LED floodlight. There's an integrated siren.

It can also be a standalone camera, as it will connect directly to your Wi-Fi with no hub required. It has a rechargable battery and offers wire-free installation.

If you want video storage, you'll have to have an Arlo Smart Plan and that will give you 30-days storage for anything that the Essential captures.

There is also an Arlo Essential XL, which has double the battery life.

Pocket-lint

Arlo Pro

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  • Camera: 720p, 110 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? Yes

The Arlo Pro is a step down from the Pro 2, returning to 720p video capture, the same as the original Arlo camera. It does offer motion and audio detection, as well as having night vision.

The Arlo Pro uses rechargeable batteries, which is a big advantage over the original Arlo cameras that use disposable batteries. The Arlo Pro can also be connected to the power. It offers free 7-day cloud storage of video files.

It uses the same hub as the Arlo Pro 2, offering a siren and local video storage. Arlo no longer sells the Arlo Pro 2 and by modern standards, it's behind in its offering.

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Arlo

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  • Camera: 720p, night vision
  • Battery: 4x CR123
  • Hub required? Yes

The original Arlo camera loses a lot of features of those higher up the range. It offers 720p HD video with motion detection and night vision, but it doesn't have any audio - so no sound detection, no option to record audio, and no built-in speaker.

The camera is battery powered, using CR123 batteries rather than a rechargeable battery pack (although you could buy rechargeable CR123), but it's an ongoing cost to consider. There's no option to have a connection to mains power.

The standard Arlo hub that comes with the Arlo cameras (if you buy a kit) doesn’t have a siren and won't offer local storage - so if you're building a new system it's better to opt for a higher spec Arlo hub. It offer free 7-day cloud storage of your video files. Arlo on longer directly wells the Arlo camera and it's outdated by modern standards.

Pocket-lint

Arlo Q

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  • Camera: 1080p, 130 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: No, mains powered
  • Hub required? No

Arlo Q is a standalone indoor camera, you don't need any other Arlo devices for this camera as it will connect directly to your Wi-Fi or Ethernet (there are two versions Q and Q Plus) network, so there's no need for a hub. It's mains powered.

It offers 1080p video with a wide-angle 130 degree lens and offers audio and motion detection, with a speaker so you can talk through it too.

Even though it's a standalone device, it works on the same app as the rest of the Arlo devices, so it's easy to integrate into a wider Arlo camera system. You get 7-days cloud storage of video files free.

Arlo

Arlo Go

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  • Camera: 720p, 110 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? No

Arlo Go is also a standalone device, battery powered with its own LTE connection, so it can be remotely placed and connect to the mobile phone network.

It offers two-way audio so you'll get both motion and audio notifications from it. You can storage recordings locally on microSD, as well as the normal 7-day cloud storage. 

However, it works within the same Arlo app as the other devices, just with that option to have to completely out of range, so it could make it ideal for gate or garden security.

Other things to consider

As we've said a couple of times, one of the great things about using Arlo as a system is that you can build it as you go, buying the cameras you need for each area. There's 7 days of cloud storage on some of the older devices, so you can access video from your phone, and refer back to it if you need to - including downloading for permanent storage. 

If you want to go beyond five cameras, or you want longer storage, you'll have to look at Arlo's subscription plans. This is where the cost starts to add up and you start to lose some of the cost advantages you have over a system like Nest. Arlo Smart plans give you 30-days storage and access to AI features like person detection and custom detection zones.

Writing by Chris Hall.