Arlo Pro 3 Review
Arlo's latest indoor/ outdoor camera impresses with 2560p HD video display plus 2K HDR sensors, color and infrared night vision plus two-way audio.
They say that good things come in threes, and this is definitely true when it comes to the Arlo Pro. As of today, the Arlo Pro 3 is now available, the latest indoor/ outdoor camera after the Arlo Pro 2. Now, I’ve reviewed dozens of outdoor cameras at this point, so my expectations are pretty high, combined with the fact that the Arlo Pro 2 frequented my “best of” lists. But will the Arlo Pro 3 live up to my expectations?
This Arlo Pro 3 review will go through my entire experience with the camera, from reading about it on Arlo’s website to installing it and using it to monitor my home. Of course, I’ll be judging it based on its technical specifications along with my experience actually using the product, as I know from prior experience that these two things don’t always match up. Fingers crossed, the Arlo Pro 3 won’t disappoint.
Arlo Pro 3 Features Breakdown
|Camera||Arlo Pro 3|
|Field of vision||130°|
|Battery or Wired||Battery|
|Learn More||View Camera|
Pros and Cons
Now, some of you may be short on time, so right off the bat, I want to tell you about the Arlo Pro 3’s best and worst qualities. Let’s start with the good.
What We Like
- Video: The Arlo Pro 3 goes above and beyond the industry standard of 1080p HD with 2K, HDR video.
- Night vision: With a spotlight, the Arlo Pro 3 has both color as well as infrared night vision.
- Smart platform integrations: Whether you have Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Watch, the Arlo Pro 3 will integrate nicely into your larger smart home.
However, nothing is perfect and the Arlo Pro 3 is no exception, as it lacks:
What We Don’t Like
- Free person detection: Although the Arlo Pro 3 comes with three months of Arlo Smart which includes person detection, beyond that, you’re going to have to pay.
- Battery life: The Arlo Pro 3 only has a battery life of three to six months, while I’ve seen cameras that can last up to a year without needing a replacement or recharge.
- Arlo SmartHub: If you don’t already have the Arlo SmartHub, this is an added expense that you may not want to pay.
The first thing I think when I see the Arlo Pro 3 in person is how much it looks like it’s predecessor, the Arlo Pro 2. It’s a bit of an odd shape for a camera, sort of an oval prism, and of course, it’s wireless with a battery that lasts three to six months, although it’s rechargeable which I like.
Now, this is an indoor/ outdoor camera, so it’s weather-resistant and can last in temperatures from 14 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m also noting the speaker and microphone, which I’m assuming is used for two-way audio. Another thing to keep in mind is that to use the Arlo Pro 3 at all, you’ll need the Arlo SmartHub, an added cost if you don’t already have it from previous cameras.
But there are a few really cool things about the Arlo Pro 3 compared to earlier versions. one, it has a spotlight can which you can control manually or have it set to follow motion. That’s going to be useful for color night vision, which I’ll talk about more in a bit. And unlike most cameras, the Arlo Pro 3’s battery is rechargeable, and only takes a little over three hours to recharge via a magnetic charge cable that snaps into place, just like on your Macbook Pro! I’m also loving the use of magnets in the camera’s mount, as it makes for easy adjustments. Throw in a siren and this camera is a really comprehensive piece of security, at least when it comes to design. But of course, we must talk about the camera itself. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you…
This section is where I judge the camera based on it’s video, audio, night vision, storage, smart platform integrations, artificial intelligence, value and convenience. Let’s see how it stacks up!
The video quality is one of the best things about the Arlo Pro 3. Rather than 1080p HD, it has 2560p HD, 2k video that’s going to be even more clear than the industry standard. It also has HDR, a super helpful feature for outdoor light. With a 130 degree field of view horizontally and 12 times digital zoom, it’s safe to say that the Arlo Pro 3 has full marks for video.
Like I said, the Arlo Pro 3 has color night vision if your spotlight is on. However, it also has infrared night vision stemming from LED sensors, which I actually prefer despite it’s black and white image. Why? Because there’s nothing more obvious than a spotlight, especially when it’s following your every move. I like to be a bit more subtle with my home security, which is where infrared night vision comes in handy.
Of course, the Arlo Pro 3 has the best of both worlds, so it deserves full marks for night vision.
Not shockingly, the Arlo Pro 3 also has two-way audio so you can speak to whoever you’re recording. This can come in handy not only during an intrusion, but also for everyday occurrences like telling the delivery guy where to leave your package or telling your kids to stop playing basketball and come inside for dinner. Whatever you use it for, just know that the Arlo Pro 3 gets full marks when it comes to audio.
|Arlo Basic||Arlo Smart||Arlo Smart Premier||Arlo Smart Elite||Premium Video Recording Add-on|
|Amount of Cloud Storage||0 Days||30 Days||30 Days||60 Days||Continuous recording for 14 days or 30 days|
|4K Cloud Recording||x||x||x||x||✓|
|Advanced A.I. Detection||x||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Max Amout of Cameras||5||1 per add-on subscription||10||20||1 per add-on subscription|
When it comes to backing up your security camera’s footage, I recommend doing it in two different ways, both on cloud and local storage. That way, if one method fails, you still have a backup. Fortunately, Arlo has it’s own cloud storage, and gives you 30 days if you sign up for Arlo Smart (keep in mind that buying the Arlo Pro 3 gets you a free three-month trial). But after that trial is over, you’ll have to pay to get 30 or 60 days of cloud storage. There’s also local storage if you connect a USB port to the Arlo base. Although I wish that Arlo still gave all of its cameras a week of cloud storage, both local and cloud storage are available with the Arlo Pro 3, so I’m going to give it full marks for this category.
Smart Platform Integration
No matter if you use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you’ll be able to make hands-free commands with your Arlo Pro 3. It also works with Apple Watch, so you’ll be able to receive mobile alerts as well as speak through two-way audio through your wearable device, so long as you’re an Arlo Smart subscriber. Full marks!
Now, here’s where things get a little dicey. The good news? With Arlo Smart, you’ll get:
- Person detection
- Package detection
- Vehicle detection
- Animal detection
That means that the Arlo Pro 3 can tell all these things apart and can notify you only of the things that you’re interested in. This leads to more specific notifications, not that your camera detected motion but that it detected a person. Arlo Smart also gives you activity zones, which let you name areas to make your notifications even more specific. So now, your notification can be that there’s a person in your yard!
You can also tell the camera which areas to ignore, like the street. Activity zones are super useful in an outdoor camera as you’ll probably only care about what happens on your property. Although I wish person detection was free forever, I’m going to give the Arlo Pro 3 full marks for its A.I capabilities.
I had some issues setting up the Arlo Pro 3 because apparently, my hub was a bit faulty, but after I spoke to customer support for a while, I got a replacement and we figured it out. To set up the Arlo Pro 3, first, plug in the hub with the ethernet cable and power adapter. Next, charge your camera’s battery, and then the app will walk you through the rest of the setup process up to mounting. Keep in mind that for the 2K video to actually work, you’ll need the most recent version of the Arlo hub, which I had from reviewing the Ultra.
I’m really impressed with the video quality of the Arlo Pro 3 along with the night vision. It’s a very durable camera, and the fact that it’s wireless and weather-resistant is a huge plus, as this isn’t the most common combination around. Plus, mounting options are versatile, another feather in the Arlo Pro 3’s cap. But I had issues getting the video to work properly at first, and I think at $199.99 for the camera alone, it’s a bit pricey, especially if you don’t already have the Arlo Hub.
The Arlo App
The Arlo app is the mobile command center for your Arlo Pro 3. It’s where you’ll livestream footage, speak through two-way audio, set up your smart platform integrations, review cloud storage, and receive notifications.
Now I want to compare the Arlo Pro 3 to two similar indoor/ outdoor cameras, namely the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.
Arlo Pro 3 vs. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
Video-wise, these cameras are pretty much on the same page. The Nest camera has 4k sensors with 1080p HD display, while the Arlo has 2k sensors with 2560p HD display, and both have HDR, 12 times zoom and fields of view of 130 degrees. They also share infrared night vision, two-way audio, cloud storage, and integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, although the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor also works with Philips Hue lightbulbs.
However, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor lacks an integration with Apple Watch, so that’s one feather in the Arlo Pro 3’s cap. On the flip side, you’ll have to pay for person detection with Arlo, while it comes with the Nest camera in addition to familiar face alerts. Another major difference is power source, as the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor plugs in, requiring an indoor power outlet. Ironically, the Nest Cam is actually more durable than the Arlo Pro 3, working in temperatures from -40 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit in comparison to 14 to 113 with the Arlo Pro 3. Of course, it’s much more expensive by about $150, so overall, I’d go with the Arlo Pro 3 unless you really want to avoid paying for person detection. However, keep in mind that Nest’s cloud storage options are pretty expensive and there’s no local storage available. Arlo’s free cloud storage is also non-existent, although the paid options are much more reasonable.
Overall, I’d go with the Arlo Pro 3 over the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor. It’s cheaper, has color night vision in addition to infrared, free cloud and local storage plus a motion activated-spotlight, unlike the Nest camera.
For more information, read our full review of the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.
Arlo Pro 3 vs. Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
These cameras are at the exact same price, so it’s all going to come down to their qualities. As far as video goes, Arlo has Ring beat with 2560p HD and 2K HDR in comparison to regular old (but still clear) 1080p HD. Also, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery can’t zoom, while the Arlo Pro 3 can zoom in 12 times, although the Ring’s field of view is 10 degrees wider. Both have color and infrared night vision, two-way audio, integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and cloud storage if you buy paid subscriptions. However, only the Arlo Pro 3 offers person detection, even if it’s at a monthly cost. Both cameras are wireless and include spotlights and sirens, but I’d definitely go with the Arlo Pro 3 for the person detection alone.
To learn more, read our full review of the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.
Overall, I think the Arlo Pro 3 is a great choice of an indoor/ outdoor camera at a reasonable price.
I’d go with the Arlo Pro 3 if you’d like…
- Integrations with Apple, Amazon and Google: The Arlo Pro 3 will fit in nicely with the most popular voice assistants, allowing you to command it hands-free.
- Excellent video, audio and night vision: With 2K HDR, 2560p HD display, color and infrared night vision plus two-way audio, this camera has the basics more than covered.
- Spotlight and siren: There’s no doubt that you’ll be able to call attention to whoever you want with the Arlo Pro 3.
But avoid it if you were looking for…
- Free person detection: Unfortunately after your three month trial of Arlo Smart ends, you’ll have to start paying for person detection.
- Larger temperature range: If you live in a climate that regularly gets below 14 degrees Fahrenheit, then this is not the outdoor camera for you.
- Longer battery life: I was a bit disappointed that I’ll need to recharge the battery even three to six months, although I’m glad it’s rechargeable and not replaceable.
Arlo Pro 3 FAQs
- Is there an Arlo Pro 3?
Yes, the Arlo Pro 3 is available for purchase.
- Which is better, Arlo or Arlo Pro?
The Arlo Pro 3 is the most advanced camera, building on the technology of the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2.
- Does abode work with Arlo?
Arlo and abode both work with IFTTT, which allows you to create triggers and automations between the two brands of cameras.