Arlo Pro 2 vs Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
Which camera works better, the Arlo Pro 2 or the Ring Spotlight Cam? Our experts tested out these outdoor security cameras and here's which one we preferred.
Arlo Pro 2
- Works in temperatures from -4 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Clear, 1080p HD video display
- Wide 130-degree field of view
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
- Weather-resistant and can work in temperatures from -5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Color and infrared night vision available
- 1080p HD video
We put the Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, cameras from two of the largest smart home security brands in the industry, head to head in an in-depth comparison. Through our research, we concluded these were both excellent indoor/outdoor cameras that were equipped with a ton of our Necessary Features, including integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant, infrared night vision, and two-way audio. However, neither camera had everything, which was why we felt a direct comparison would help our readers make a buying decision. Read on to see how Arlo compared with Ring!
Before we started a detailed review of each camera’s Necessary Features, we took a step back to talk about each camera’s design.
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Design
As the name implied, we found an actual spotlight (in the form of LED light strips) in the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. We also discovered a 110-decibel siren, which was about as loud as a jackhammer. For us, these were great features for an outdoor camera; our camera literally shined a light on anyone outside our property, letting us know if something was wrong.
In addition to its spotlight and siren, we loved that the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery was completely wireless, powered by a quick-release rechargeable battery pack. Not only did this mean we never had to run out and buy new batteries, it also meant our camera would stay on during a power outage. For added backup, we added a second battery pack, and we had the option of using a solar panel, for continuous charge.
Of course, our Ring Spotlight Cam Battery was meant to be used indoors and outdoors, so it had to be durable against weather. We live up north, so we experience all kinds of winter madness plus our fair share of thunderstorms. Given our location, we needed the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery to work in all temperatures, and it did, functioning well from negative five to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It also had an IP rating of 55.
|1||A large body surface like the back of a hand, but no intentional contact with a body part||Dripping water falling vertically|
|2||Fingers or similar objects||Dripping water falling from 15 degree tilt|
|3||Tools, thick wires, etc.||Spraying water|
|4||Most wires, screws, etc.||Splashing water|
|5||Dust protected||Water jets 6.3mm & below|
|6||Dust tight||Powerful water jets 12.5mm & below|
|7||N/A||Immersion up to 1m|
|8||N/A||Immersion over 1m|
As we detailed in the above chart, that meant our camera was protected from dust as well as low-pressure water jets. We generally preferred outdoor cameras that were dust-tight, but this one was protected against most weather situations. Of course, it wouldn’t have held up through extreme situations like a tornado or hurricane. Nonetheless, it was clear that, for the most part, Ring Spotlight Cam Battery withstood heat, rain, snow or shine.
Arlo Pro 2 Design
We liked that the Arlo Pro 2 was also weather-resistant, but we were more impressed when we learned its IP rating was 65. This meant our camera was safe from all solids. It was dust-tight! However, its range, negative four to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, was a bit lower than that of our Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. After a brief discussion, we decided we would recommend the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery to anyone living in a climate that often reached triple digits.
Our Arlo Pro 2 also featured a siren that was over 100 decibels and even offered wireless and plug-in options. We rarely saw cameras with both options, so we really liked this aspect of the Arlo Pro 2. With the wireless option, we had to replace the Arlo Pro 2 battery at about six months. Granted, it was only intended to last about three to six months. However, we would have preferred a rechargeable battery like the one in the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. While the Arlo Pro 2 lacked a spotlight, it did have several LED sensors for infrared night vision and a speaker/microphone for two-way audio.
In terms of design alone, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery creamed the Arlo Pro 2, with its innovative power sources, spotlight, and large temperature range.
After spending an extended period with each camera, we noticed the Arlo Pro 2 and Ring Spotlight Cam Battery had a few key similarities.
Alexa and Google Assistant Integrations
Both cameras worked with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which allowed us to use voice commands. For example, we often told Alexa to show us our Arlo Pro 2 footage on our Echo Show. Sometimes we had ‘her’ play it on Fire TV, if we wanted it on the big screen.
The Google Assistant integration was a little less useful with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. While we could command our phone to show Ring footage, it didn’t work on Chromecast, which was a bit of a shame.
Both cameras had the current industry standard in video display, 1080p HD. As a result, we got a nice, clear images with either camera. Although, the fields of view and fields of zoom did differ.
We recommended both the Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery as wireless outdoor cameras. There was little difference in that area. However, as we mentioned before, however, the Arlo Pro 2’s battery didn’t measure up to the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery’s battery, as it only lasted three to six months. We really valued the rechargeable battery and the quick-release pack that came with Ring Spotlight. We even added a second battery for backup, so our camera charged continuously. We briefly tried out the solar panel charge, too. Unfortunately, our winters were frequently dark and cloudy, so a solar panel charge wasn’t the best choice for us. We imagined, however, it would have been a great option for anyone who got sun more regularly.
Both cameras we tested had speakers and microphones, which allowed us to speak to whoever our camera was pointed at, a process called two-way audio. We were excited about this because we’d met a few people who stopped crimes at their homes by speaking to the intruders through their security cameras and warning them that they’d been caught. This one simple action scared the potential intruders away. In our testing, we determined both the Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery produced loud and clear two-way audio.
The Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery had more differences than similarities. We took a closer look at these distinctions in the next several sections.
While our Arlo Pro 2 costed about $220, our Ring Spotlight Cam Battery was about $200, a small difference. Of course, with either camera, our costs would have increased if we wanted to invest in an Arlo Smart Home or Ring Protect Plan. At the end of the day, the camera we selected as best for pricing depended on the features we wanted and our monthly and yearly budgets.
We were grateful that all of Ring and Arlo’s plans were flexible and had a monthly option in case we wanted to cancel. While neither of these cameras were the cheapest option around, they both charged average prices compared to their competition.
So, technically, both the Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery had infrared night vision. However, the Ring camera was clearly superior. We weren’t impressed with the Arlo Pro 2’s 850 nm LED lights and thought it needed a few additional sensors.
On the other hand, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery had excellent infrared night vision plus color night vision when we had the spotlight on. We preferred infrared over color night vision because it was much less conspicuous. Of course, we really couldn’t complain about getting to try out both options. In the end, we decided the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery was definitely a better option for night vision than the Arlo Pro 2.
When it came to storage, it was a bit of a toss-up between both cameras. With the Arlo, we didn’t have to pay any extra fees for storage. Arlo gave us local storage and a week of cloud storage free. To get the equivalent storage with Ring, we were required to invest in a Ring Protect Plan.
Since we wanted more than a week’s storage, Ring was our better bet. They offered 60 days of cloud storage for only $3 a month, or $30 a year. The same storage plan would have costed us $14.99 a month or $149 a year with Arlo. Even 30 days of cloud storage were sold for $9.99 a month or $99 a year with Arlo. This seemed outrageous to us, as this was three times as much as Ring charged for only twice the amount of cloud storage! Overall, we recommended that anyone not wanting to pay any extra monthly charges choose the Arlo camera. For everyone who wanted more than one week of cloud storage, like us, we suggested they select the Ring camera.
Apple HomeKit, IFTTT and Stringify Integrations
Although the Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery both worked with Alexa and Google Assistant, only the Arlo Pro 2 worked with Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Stringify. What did that means for us? Well, as active members of the Apple ecosystem, the Arlo Pro 2 was definitely a better choice, as we used it to command Siri. We appreciated how easily we could create triggers and automate actions with IFTTT and Stringify. For example; we had our smart light bulbs turn on (switch to away mode) as soon as our Arlo Pro 2 was armed. As a result, it seemed like we were home when we were not. When it came to integrating into our smart home, the Arlo Pro 2 proved to be our best option.
Person detection was one of our favorite types of artificial intelligence. When one of our cameras included it, it differentiated between humans and other moving objects, everything from cars rolling down the street or dogs running across our neighbor’s lawn to leaves flying in the wind. Of course, the latter categories weren’t exactly essential information, but it limited the nuisances we experienced.
Sadly, only the Arlo Pro 2 offered person detection, and we only got it if we bought an Arlo Smart plan, which costed either $2.99 a month or $29 a year. In our opinion, this was definitely worth the cost, as it resulted in smarter, more specific notifications. It was easy to notice that person detection was missing from the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. What we found even more disappointing was that the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery did not offer any kind of artificial intelligence.
Fields of View
Although both cameras had wide fields of view, which allowed for maximum visibility, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery’s was slightly larger at 140 degrees, compared to the 130 degrees on the Arlo Pro 2.
Fields of Zoom
On the flip side, we zoomed in eight times with the Arlo Pro 2, but the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery didn’t let us zoom in at all. Overall, we recommended those searching for an outdoor camera choose Arlo for more depth, and Ring for more breadth.
As we read the directions for the Arlo Pro 2, we learned that since we had both an Arlo Smart Home and an Arlo Pro 2, we could create activity zones. Activity zones made our notifications even more specific, letting us divide the area our camera viewed into sections by telling it camera which areas to focus on or ignore. We set out zones so the camera would ignore the street and focus on our property only. Once we set our zones, we only received notifications that were relevant to our home’s security.
Unfortunately, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery lacked activity zones, which, along with its lack of person detection, led to a lot of unnecessary notifications.
Another feature that came with our Arlo Smart Home was a safety button. This button allowed us to contact 911 without having to ever physically make a call. Having this potentially life-saving technology measure at our fingertips had an intrusion occurred or even if we were in an Uber where and didn’t feel safe, gave us a peace of mind about potentially dangerous situations. Unlike Arlo, Ring did not offer a safety button. Thus, Arlo definitely won when it came to extra features.
|The Arlo App||The Ring – Always Home App|
|Features||Livestream footage, adjust camera, speak through 2-way audio, review cloud storage, receive notifications||Livestream footage, speak through 2-way audio, view cloud storage, change settings, receive notifications, neighborhood crime & safety alerts|
Both Arlo and Ring offered apps for both iPhone and Android devices, which allowed us to stay on top of our home’s security from anywhere in the world. But what did we actually do on these apps and how easy were they to use? We provided a more detailed review below.
The Ring– Always Home App
From the Ring app, we livestreamed footage, spoke through two-way audio, accessed storage, changed our camera’s settings, and received notifications, including crime and safety alerts from our neighborhood network. On both operating systems, the Ring app wasn’t rated as highly as we hoped, with a 3.2 from the Apple store and a 2.9 from the Google Play store. Nancy J. Smyth, an Android user, wrote in a recent one-star review:
“Buggy app. At least once a week it stops giving me mobile notifications, and I have to clear the storage and the cache, and sign in again. Of course, I can’t predict when it will stop giving me notifications, so the reality is I can’t trust that I will be notified when someone’s at my door unless I happen to be home. That defeats one major purpose of having Ring.”
We agreed, Ring definitely still had some improvements to make.
The Arlo App
The Arlo app offered similar features to the Ring app minus the crime and safety alerts. App ratings for Arlo were even worse on the Apple store than the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery at only 2.9! However, the Android app had a decent 3.7 rating. Therefore, we recommend the Arlo Pro 2 to Android users more so than we did with iPhone users.
Considering the results of both cameras on the Necessary Features test, we recommended Arlo Pro 2 over the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, mainly for its person detection, superior smart platform integrations, and free storage. Nevertheless, this was a case that truly depended on what specific needs we had, which was why we broke our thoughts down even further.
We’d have chosen the Arlo Pro 2 if we wanted…
- Person detection: Although we had to purchase Arlo Smart Home to get person detection on the Arlo Pro 2, we liked that it was available as an option, unlike with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.
- Integrations with Apple HomeKit, IFTTT or Stringify: If we wanted to use voice commands with Siri or connect our camera to other devices to create triggers, the Arlo Pro 2 was the better choice by far.
- Free cloud and local storage: With Arlo, we got local storage plus a week of free cloud storage on the house. Ring didn’t offer us any storage for free.
- Better Android app: The Arlo app had a 3.7 rating on the Google Play store.
Want to learn more? Read our full review of the Arlo Pro 2.
We’d have selected the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery if we wanted…
- Superior infrared and color night vision: Not only did our Ring camera have better infrared night vision than our Arlo Pro 2, it also had color night vision.
- Optional 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup: For only $10 a month or $100 year, we had a team, that was ready to respond to emergencies, monitoring our system 24/7.
- More affordable price: Our Ring Spotlight Cam Battery costed about $20 less than the Arlo Pro 2. It also offered lower monthly fees with the basic Ring Protect Plan.
- Better iPhone app: The Ring— Always Home app had a 3.2 rating on the Apple store.
For more information, read our full review of the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.
Arlo vs Ring FAQs
- Which is better, Arlo or Ring?
In terms of quality, we think Arlo has better cameras than Ring. Arlo also offers person detection, which is available through a trial or purchase of Arlo Smart. Ring cameras, however, lack person detection. Additionally, Arlo cameras have higher video quality. All that said, Arlo cameras are generally more expensive than the Ring cameras, so we recommend Ring as the more affordable option.
- Is Ring compatible with Arlo?
Ring and Arlo are not compatible. Rather, we need to use their respective apps to control and monitor each camera.
- Does Arlo have a monthly fee?
Arlo has an optional monthly fee through Arlo Smart. For $2.99 per camera per month, Arlo Smart gives us smart detection (for people, packages, cars, and pets), activity zones, a safety button, and more.