ARLO ULTRA REVIEW
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ARLO ULTRA - Quick Summary
With the Arlo Ultra you can stream and record videos in fantastic 4K. This is an outdoor security camera that is feature packed although expensive. Nonetheless you get colour night vision, motion tracking, auto zoom and intelligent motion detection.
If you want to keep an eye on your home when you’re not there then the Arlo Ultra will more than do the job. This is Arlo’s first home security camera where recording is in 4K. This will allow you to access footage of intrusions or incidents with ease giving you very detailed information along the way. This could be the one for you.
There is the option to alert you via the smartphone App when motion is detected. This will allow you to login and view your property visibility live. If you subscribe to the Arlo Smart plan, you will be able to store videos in a secure area online where you can view the footage back over the following 30 days.
Arlo Ultra comes with a number of smart features such as pinpointing the exact place where motion was created by a whole variety of sources. Furthermore you can set motion zones so you are only alerted if motion happens in specific areas.
Coverage is a strong point with 180 degree field of view and 12x zoom. Arlo Ultra has the ability and intelligence to pick out nuance details like number plates and minute logos. The built-in spotlight if activated ensures footage recorded at night is in colour rather than black and white.
The Arlo Ultra home security camera can be powered up from a rechargeable battery or from the mains. With the Unibody design the battery is very easy to change by pressing the button on the bottom of the camera which will slide the case off to expose the battery. The battery can then be popped out and swapped for a fully charged one. In the instance you only have one battery then you can use the magnetic USB cable that comes with it to charge while battery is in camera.
The compatibility of Arlo ultra is very flexible. It can be paired with Alexa, Google Assistant and Homekit in addition to smart lights and other smart devices that give impression someone is at home.
The Arlo Ultra home security camera starts at $399.99 / £449 / AU$599 for the Ultra starter pack. This will give you one camera which can seem like an expensive buy, you get three month free trial of Arlo Smart with it. Once this trial expires you will need to on one of their service plans to continue enjoying the features on offer such as 4K recording. It is these features which set it apart from other home security cameras.
All in all this is what you need if you want a high-resolution smart home security camera, more so if you are already in the Arlo system.
Pros And Cons
Arlo Ultra Price
Arlo Ultra is defined as top-of-the-range home security camera system. In the future newer models will come out but for now this is the one thus it is not cheap.
But for the price you do get the flexibility of wired or wireless installation not to mention 4K video streaming for day and night. Along with this you will need to subscribe to the Arlo Smart service to enjoy the best features Arlo ultra has to offer.
The monthly subscription fee comes in two different versions: for 2K recording it is $2.99/ £2.49 / AU$4.49 per month or for the more powerful 4K you are looking at $4.99 / £3.99/ AU$7.49 per month. You will be able to store your video footage in a secure area online and have your camera record video continuously with all the features such as smart motion detection.
Arlo Ultra Design
This is a neat looking product. The Arlo Ultra similar to other Arlo home security cameras has that white and black design. The face of the camera is black whose upper part is where the camera lens and spotlight are. The remainder of the device is white and this can be removed with real ease for changing the battery.
When mounting the camera there are two ways. The Arlo Ultra has a magnetic base which can be fixed to a wall, although unmounting of this is easy so may not be appropriate if in reach of someone snooping around your property.
You will need to set up Arlo Smart Hub first if you have not used an Arlo camera before, this will be in the box with the starter kit.
The Smart Hub design is like that of the camera, majority white, stylish and unobtrusive. It contains a power input with an ethernet port which will be needed when connecting to the internet.
You can also find on the back of the camera a connector for a screw mount, this is an optional extra. It is simple to screw the base into a wall and from there to attach the camera magnetically to the base. This can then be positioned so the field of view carefully covers the front of the property.
Arlo Ultra Performance
The setup is straight forward, you will need to download the Arlo app and then follow the on-screen instructions. Within this, you will be instructed to plug the Smart Hub into your router then insert the battery into the camera and on.
Upon the physical set up of the Arlo ultra you may want to play with the settings of the app. One such feature is geofencing where the camera will turn itself on or off based on if you are away from home. This is done by you sharing your location with the camera from your smartphone. There are other more general settings that can be adjusted like the name of the camera and volume of speaker and microphone among others.
From here on, there is little for you to do unless an incident occurs. If you have set it up so it is off when you are at home and comes on when you go out then you will only receive notifications when the camera detects motion or another event.
The notifications are a key strength of the Arlo ultra. They include a snapshot of the motion and give you quick access to actions like sounding a siren or alerting a friend without having to launch the app.
In relation to image quality this is one of the few 4K home security cameras currently. The image quality is excellent with high resolution allowing for 12x zoom. This level of zoom will allow you to examine areas in detail you require.
The strength of detail is validated further with the HDR support provided. A 180 degree field of view and colour night vision are welcome features. Further features here are the automatic zooming and motion tracking.
The large and wide field of view will allow you to capture what happens outside with high resolution footage capture.
Night time footage has a very good quality with details crisp and sharp. There is the option for colour footage by choosing to have floodlights illuminated if motion is sensed at night.
For audio quality there is a dual-microphone array with noise-cancellation tech to cut out wind noise. This will be useful for two-way audio if you require.
There is compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Home Kit which will allow you to show footage from the camera on your TV or view a live feed on your preferred smarthome app.
Arlo Ultra App
The Arlo app for Arlo ultra is well designed and very easy to use once you’ve played around with the settings to your choosing. On the home screen you get a feed of all the cameras that are setup with buttons to access Smart Hub settings for each camera.
Within settings menu of the camera you can straight away switch cameras on and off, check the battery level of each device, change video quality and set up zones of motion detection so you are only alerted when motion is detected in these areas.
With the Arlo Smart subscription, you will also have the ability to be alerted about specific types of motion detected by the camera such as vehicle or person movement.
There is a library section where you can view a list of events and also set different modes your cameras are in from the mode tab. From the settings tab you can set up notifications, manage subscriptions and edit profile details among others.
The Arlo app is easy to use and navigate with a good range of features.
Arlo Ultra Battery life
Arlo states that the battery in Arlo Ultra will last in the range three to six months between charges. This will depend on how often motion is detected, the number of times Live view is activated and if the two way microphone and speakers are used.
Using the bundles USB cable and power adapter it took three and a half hours to recharge the battery.
SHOULD I BUY IT...
BUY IT IF...
The handy magnetic mount makes installation straight forwards along with the whole set up process easy to follow
This is one of a few cameras on the market that offers 4K Video recording. This will give you great detail along with the 12x zoom you are able to pinpoint number plates and logos
With the built in spotlight, Arlo Ultra can be set to switch on automatically recording in colour at night based on camera motion detection
DON'T BUY IT IF...
If you choose to store footage locally on a microSD card inserted into the smart hub you can’t access that footage in the app – you have to manually take out the SD card and view footage on your computer or another device. Arlo says a fix for this is coming, but it may not be for some time
The video quality defaults to HD if you use the auto subject tracking feature. This might not be of a high enough resolution to ensure detailed footage, especially if the camera is covering a large area
The Arlo Pro 3 home security camera records in 2K rather than 4K, but that’s the only difference compared to the more expensive Arlo Ultra, so unless you place a premium on having the best possible image quality you won’t gain much by upgrading
The latest addition to the Arlo family of home security cameras, the Arlo Ultra ($399.99), raises the bar for all outdoor cameras. It’s the first model we’ve seen that streams and records video in true 4K, or Ultra High Definition (UHD).
At night, the Arlo Ultra can use its full-colour mode, combining IR and the colour sensor, enhanced by the spotlight, to generate images that don’t have the full softness that IR-only cameras have. Again, the 4K footage looks much sharper, and it’s easier to pick out details in the image.
As with other Arlo cameras, the Ultra requires a base station to connect to your network, but it is not compatible with older hubs and requires the new Smart Hub, which comes with the camera. The good news is that previous-generation Arlo cameras will connect to the Smart Hub.
The weatherproof camera is powered by a rechargeable battery pack that is rated to last anywhere from three to six months (depending on usage) before requiring a charge. It takes around 3.5 hours to fully charge using the USB adapter and a magnetic cable that attaches to a charging port on the bottom of the camera.
The camera can detect motion up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) away, the best area for motion detection is 5 to 20 feet (1.5 to 6 meters) from the camera position.
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