Arlo Essential Spotlight camera REVIEW
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ARLO ESSENTIAL SPOTLIGHT CAMERA - Quick Summary
Are you looking for a 1080p outdoor home security camera at an affordable price? If so, the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera could do the trick coming in at $129.99. This camera will give you colour night vision with a siren, spotlight and embedded wi-fi. Moreover you won’t need a hub. The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is easy to install delivering sharp video although you will have to pay to view recorded video and use the advanced features.
As with any other Arlo home security camera, the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is able to send an alert to your phone when motion is detected where you can login and vied the incident in real time.
The footage can then be stored in a secure area online (if you subscribe to the Arlo Smart Plan following the three month trial period expiration) and thereupon played back at any point in the next 30 days.
Recording of video is in Full HD which is inferior to Arlo’s other cameras. There is also only a 130 degree field of view compared to 160 and 180 degree field of views in Arlo’s more expensive ranges.
Coming in at $129.99 / £129.99 / AU$229.99 this is an affordable option which includes some of the features found on Arlo Pro 3 and Arlo Ultra. These features include spotlight which allows illumination when motion is detected in dim light so that the footage can be seen in colour. There is also two way audio and built in siren which can be manually or automatically triggered.
With the Arlo Smart subscription plan there is AI in the back that will give you detailed motion alerts such as if the motion was a person, vehicle or animal. You can also choose areas in the cameras field of view where motion is enabled.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera doesn’t need abase station unlike its more expensive siblings. Here the camera will connect directly to your wi-fi network. If you already own Arlo cameras and a base station then it can also be paired with those, this can increase the battery life and extend range of the camera.
There is a rechargeable battery which isn’t removable so when recharging is needed it will be out of action. You will need to remove the camera from its mount, then use the micro USB to recharge it.
The battery will last up to six months between charges. This is dependent on regularity of motion detection, how many times spotlight is triggered, how often you view the footage and the use of microphone and speaker.
With the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera you are ready to go when pairing with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Home Kit.
You can also view on your TV or other device the footage irrespective of which voice assistant you have.
Pros And Cons
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera price and availability
This is seen as Arlo’s entry level home security camera. Nonetheless it does give you colour night vision with a built in siren. The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera can be purchased from the Arlo website, Amazon and other retailers at a price of $129.99 / £129.99 / AU$229.99.
You will receive a three month free trial of Arlo Smart. This allows you to store footage in a secure area online. Motion detection alerts are also identified in terms of what has caused them.
Upon trial expiration you will need to subscribe which is $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49 per month. There is also a more expensive subscription for 4K video support but you won’t require this as 4K recording is not possible with this camera.
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera Design
What you get with Arlo is a design that resonates with the brands feel and look and the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is no exception.
This weather-resistant camera comes with a white plastic body and black front like all other Arlo cameras so at first view you may not notice the difference.
There is an LED light on the front of the camera and on the back you have a screw mount to fix the camera to a wall or other surface. The micro USB port is located on the bottom behind a cover.
Majority of brands are now moving to the universal USB-C version and we hope Arlo does soon.
unlike other Arlo cameras, here you need to remove the camera from its mount and charge using the micro USB cable. With a six month battery life it is not an issue you will run it regularly in the sense taking it offline for a few hours but still one to note.
Fortunately the setup for the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is lightwork. First download the Arlo app and sign in or create an account. You will then need to select ‘Add New Device’ button and follow the on screen instruction for adding a new camera. This requires you to hold your phone over the camera for the QR code to scan.
Installing the Arlo Essential Spotlight is straight forward also. All the things needed to mount the camera are in the box. You will need to screw the mount into a wall/ceiling and then screw the camera on to the mount.
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera Performance
Once you have the camera set up there is little that will require your attention. Recording will start instantly and once motion is detected the spotlight will turn on.
The video quality more than matches the price here. However if you are to compare this to some of Arlo’s more expensive siblings like the 4K Arlo Ultra, the video is not as crisp as those but those do come at a higher price.
The field of view is 130 degrees which is less than those of other Arlo cameras. 130 degrees is still enough for most situation but if you are looking for a camera to cover a wider area this may not be suitable.
Some home security cameras have infrared night vision, here you have spotlight which illuminates the scene in low light. the result is footage taken at night come in colour with a good amount of detail.
One final note to take of is you will need a strong and reliable Wi-fi connection for the best performance.
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera App
One of the strengths of the Arlo brand is its app. It comes with plenty of settings that you can tweak to your preference.
In the app you get four tabs. There is the devices tab where you can see all your cameras and devices, their status and settings.
In the library tab you can view past footage and export it. The mode tab allows you to configure settings to control how a camera should behave when you’re not around and finally you have the settings tab.
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera Battery life
The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera will last up to six months before recharging is required. This will depend on motion detection frequency, how often spotlight is triggered, Live view usage and if two way microphone and speakers are used.
Generally it should take four hours to recharge.
SHOULD I BUY IT...
BUY IT IF...
With the build in spotlight, Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera can record in colour at night while being cheaper than other spotlight equipped Arlo cameras.
If you already have other Arlo security products, or anticipate buying them, the Arlo Essential spotlight camera is an affordable add-on for your integrated security setup.
Arlo cameras, and the Arlo app, offer a number of handy smart features that are worth taking advantage of. Most of Arlo’s products also work with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant to at least some extent.
DON'T BUY IT IF...
The Arlo Essential Spotlight is certainly affordable as security cameras go, but at $129.99 / £129.99 / AU$229.99, it’s still not cheap. If you’re looking for a cheap camera, consider brands like Wyze and TP Link, which offer outdoor cameras from $50 / £50 / AU$65.
With no hub included, the ability to store footage locally on a microSD card, as you can with other Arlo cameras, isn’t an option. Unless you purchase a hub for the camera, which ups the cost considerably, you’ll need to subscribe to Arlo Smart if you want to store video.
Unlike the majority of Arlo’s other outdoor cameras, this model doesn’t require a base station.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera looks just like most other Arlo outdoor cameras and all of the Arlo Pro cameras. It will send push and email alerts when motion is detected and record video of the event, but you’ll have to subscribe to an Arlo Smart Plan to access the video.
An Arlo Smart Hub or base station is optional. You can connect your Arlo Essential Indoor Camera directly to your home router. If you connect your Arlo Essential Indoor Camera to an Arlo SmartHub or base station, you can save video and audio recordings to a local USB or microSD device
Set up your camera in a few easy steps thanks to its 100% wireless design. Connect directly to wifi – no base station required.
Once installed, the app or web interface will tell you the % charge of each camera. When they do need charging, charge time is about 2 hours depending on how flat they are. When you plug the charger in, the blue led will flash quickly and then go off. It will then come back on solid when the battery is fully charged.
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