Arlo Video Doorbell Review
Arlo, a top smart security company, has two doorbells to choose from, audio and video.
After reviewing a ton of different Arlo products, from the Arlo Pro 2 and the Arlo Pro 3 to the Arlo baby monitor and the Arlo Ultra 4K, my experiences with Arlo have been mixed. After some major technical difficulties with the Arlo Ultra and the Arlo Hub in general, I’m hoping that their video doorbell can save face.
In this Arlo Video Doorbell review, I’ll go over the device’s design, features, installation process, and app. Is it the right video doorbell for your smart home? Let’s find out together.
Arlo Video Doorbell Design
Like most of the Arlo products, when it comes to aesthetics, I appreciate the Arlo Video Doorbell’s sleek style. It’s pill-shaped with black faces and a white rim, all in a shiny plastic. Now, before you make any purchases, you should know that the Arlo Video Doorbell requires an existing wired doorbell and chime setup with electrical wiring. You’ll hardwire it into your home, which means you’ll never have to worry about the battery running out. However, this will make installation a bit more difficult (but we’ll get to that later).
The Arlo Video Doorbell includes a built-in siren, making it useful for your home’s security as well as convenient. There’s also tamper detection included in the design, so the alarm will go off if anyone tries to move it. You’ll be alerted whenever the Arlo Video Doorbell detects a person, pet or package, if you have Arlo Smart (and if you don’t, you’ll be notified whenever there’s any kind of motion).
Working in temperatures from negative four to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, the Arlo Video Doorbell will connect to the Arlo app over Wi-Fi, allowing you to control and monitor it from your mobile device. Now that you know everything there is to know about the Arlo Video Doorbell’s design, let’s jump into it’s features.
Arlo Video Doorbell Features
As far as video goes, the Arlo Video Doorbell actually fares better than even the industry standard of 1080p HD. It actually can shoot in a maximum of 1536 by 1536 pixels, making for a clearer image. Plus, the camera has HDR, which helps with outdoor lighting that can cause discoloration. With the widest possible field of view of 180 degrees and the ability to zoom in digitally 12 times, I’m more than impressed with the Arlo Video Doorbell’s video quality.
Another essential feature of any video doorbell is two-way audio, which requires the device to have a speaker and microphone. This allows you to speak to whoever’s in front of the camera, be it your kids coming home from school, the Amazon delivery guy, or a Girl Scout trying to sell you some Thin Mints. Not surprisingly, the Arlo Video Doorbell has two-way audio, which makes it really easy for me to answer my door wherever I am.
But it doesn’t stop there. The Arlo Video Doorbell lets you leave pre-recorded messages for guests, and even lets guests leave voice messages! Think of it as an answering machine, but on your front door. This feature isn’t included in most of the video doorbells that I review, so I think it’s a really cool extra.
What’s a video doorbell without night vision? The Arlo Video Doorbell comes equipped with infrared LED sensors that allow you to see clearly at night. I actually prefer infrared night vision over color night vision, as it makes the camera way less conspicuous than a bright white spotlight.
Unfortunately, the Arlo Video Doorbell lacks local storage, but Arlo does provide a week of free cloud storage. For longer cloud storage, you’ll need to invest in an Arlo Smart plan.
Now, cloud storage isn’t the only thing you get with Arlo Smart; there’s also person detection, which we’ll get to next. Keep in mind that the Arlo Video Doorbell comes with three months of Arlo Smart, so you’ll get person detection plus 30 days of cloud storage. After the first three months, Arlo Smart starts at only $2.99 per month per camera. That’s a really reasonable deal, especially compared to some competitor pricing.
Smart Platform Integration
The Arlo Video Doorbell works with Alexa, meaning you can tell Alexa to:
- Show the Arlo Video Doorbell’s footage
- Hide the Arlo Video Doorbell’s footage
- Show the last motion detected by the Arlo Video Doorbell.
Again, Arlo Smart includes person detection, which lets the Arlo Video Doorbell distinguish between movement from people, pets, cars, and what have you. Person detection leads to more important notifications. You won’t be notified every time a car passes your house, but rather when a person is in front of your door. Person detection is one of the best features of Arlo Smart, which I recommend paying for after the initial free trial period ends.
Aside from person detection, Arlo also offers pet or package detection, if that suits you. I could see the latter being really useful so I can communicate with the delivery person about where to put my packages. Living in New York, getting things delivered when you’re not home can be a bit of a toss-up, so this feature really excites me.
Installing the Arlo Video Doorbell
To use the Arlo Video Doorbell, you’ll need a wired doorbell and chime setup with existing electrical wiring, as this device will be hardwired into your home. Unlike other Arlo products, this device only took about ten minutes to setup. I removed my existing doorbell, took the two wires and re-screwed them into the back of the Arlo Video Doorbell. Of course, make sure your power is off during this process so you don’t get electrocuted! Also, you’ll need strong Wi-Fi.
Once you’ve physically installed the Arlo Video Doorbell to your home, the app will guide you through the rest of the process, which includes giving it a name like “front door” and scanning the QR code from the app. From there, the app does the rest of the setup for you.
The Arlo App
The Arlo app is where you’ll monitor settings, speak through two-way audio, view cloud storage, turn your camera on and off, record messages, listen to guest records, and livestream footage. The app is highly-rated with a 3.7 from the Google Play store and a four star rating from the Apple store. The Arlo app is basically the Arlo Video Doorbell’s home away from home, so I’m glad it’s really easy to use.
Recap of the Arlo Video Doorbell
Although $149 may seem like a lot for a video doorbell, it’s actually about $50 less than the industry average, yet the Arlo Video Doorbell doesn’t skimp on features. With Arlo Smart, you’ll get person detection and 30 days of cloud storage on top of excellent video, audio, night vision, and an Alexa integration. I’d only get the Arlo Video Doorbell if you’re willing to do Arlo Smart, however, as person detection and cloud storage are super important.
Go with the Arlo Video Doorbell if you want…
- Alexa integration: The Arlo Video Doorbell works with Alexa, allowing for hands-free commands.
- Hardwired setup: Some people may prefer a hardwired setup if they have an existing doorbell and chime.
- Quality video: With 1536 by 1536 pixels and HDR, the Arlo Video Doorbell goes above and beyond the industry standard for video.
But avoid it if you want…
- Free person detection: After the first three months, you’ll need to pay monthly for person detection.
- Google or Apple integration: The Arlo Video Doorbell doesn’t work with Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit.
- Wireless: The Arlo Video Doorbell must be hardwired into your home.
Arlo Video Doorbell FAQs
- Does the Arlo doorbell have video?
The Arlo Video Doorbell has video while the Arlo Audio Doorbell does not.
- Is there a doorbell camera that works with Arlo?
Arlo has their own video doorbell, as of November of 2019.
- Can you live view Arlo?
Yes, you can livestream footage from your Arlo Video Doorbell or Arlo cameras through the Arlo app.