Arlo is one of the most popular security cameras on the market, and for good reason. It’s easy to set up and use, has excellent video quality and is very affordable. In this Arlo essential wireless security camera review, Lacoon will take a closer look at all of the aspects of this product and see if it lives up to the hype.
- 1 Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera Overview
- 2 Arlo Essential Wireless Security Camera Review
- 3 Conclusion
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera Overview
The Arlo Essential spotlight camera is a 1080p outdoor security camera that includes color night vision, and embedded siren, a spotlight and Wi-Fi. It doesn’t need a hub and is easy to set up. The camera also delivers sharp video.
The camera is only $129.99. However, advanced features and viewing recorded videos will require you to pay. The Essential Spotlight Camera is a great deal.
Arlo Essential Spotlight cameras are more affordable than other home security cameras, the $40 Wyze Cam Outdoor is a better choice. It offers free cloud storage and local storage, as well as a Travel mode that allows you to take it wherever you go.
- Good video at a reasonable price
- Arlo is easy to use
- Spotlight works well
- Color night vision
- Voice control
- Supports IFTTT applets
- Intelligent motion alerts
- It doesn’t need a hub
- Subscriptions are not required
- Non-removable battery
- Smaller field of view than other Arlo cameras
Arlo Essential Wireless Security Camera Review
Arlo Essential Features
Advanced detection Sirens! Multiple colors! There are no base stations
The lack of SmartHub on the Arlo Essential, in our opinion, is the most important distinction between it and other Arlo outdoor cameras.
You don’t need an Arlo SmartHub or base station to connect with this camera. Arlo suggests using the hub if it is available (for one, it allows you to access local storage), but it is not necessary.
Advanced object detection
Although this camera is not the first to capture person, package and vehicle information, it is one of the few that does so with all four.
It is difficult to keep track of all the different motion detection settings in the app. You can toggle any setting on or off. You can turn on notifications for Amazon deliveries and neighbor’s cats. You can also exclude individuals, packages, vehicles, and animals from your motion detection.
If you live in a noisy area, the exclusion option will be more useful. We recommend that you keep all motion detection settings active if you live on a street with medium traffic or use the camera indoors.
This camera allows you to test your motion detection. We like it.
It is very likely that the spotlight will be used to alarm intruders. For most of our tests, we placed the camera on a landing. We were a bit shocked every time the light turned on as we walked up the stairs at night.
The app allows you to set the siren’s activation to automatically or manually.
Although the siren warns that it is “extremely loud”, it did not sound loud to us. The Essential siren is not as loud as the Arlo Ultra siren. We doubt you would be able to hear it unless you are very close.
This camera will be compatible with Arlo’s Essential Solar Panel. Although we don’t know when the panel will be available, we like the idea that the panels can harness solar power rather than charging the batteries.
Essential batteries: The Essential Camera’s batteries are expected for up to six months with a single charge. However, we discovered that the battery levels dropped by 9% after just a few days of usage. Although this is nothing to be ashamed of, it isn’t good news if your batteries are going to last for half a year with no need to recharge them.
Arlo Essential Spotlight Pricing and Availability
Price List: $129.99 / PS129.99 / AU$229.99
Arlo’s entry-level home security camera, the Arlo Essential Spotlight camera, is described as having color night vision and an integrated siren. However, it does not make too many compromises. The Arlo Essential spotlight camera can be purchased now at Amazon, Arlo and other electronic retailers for $129.99 / PS129.99 / AU$229.99.
Arlo Smart is included with the camera. This allows you to store your video online securely and identify whether motion alerts have been caused by an animal or person. To get the best out of your camera, you will need to subscribe at $2.99 / PS2.49 / AU$4.49 a month.
Arlo offers a higher-end subscription that supports 4K video. However, the Arlo Essential Spotlight is not capable of recording at this resolution so you won’t require this.
Rechargeable batteries are required to power the device.
The camera can be secured to a screw mount, making it more difficult to remove.
When charging, the camera is not in action
Arlo creates products that feel connected. The Arlo Essential Spotlight proves this. This weather-resistant camera is made of the same plastic material as the rest of Arlo security cameras, so it’s easy to identify which model it is.
An LED light is located above the lens on the front of the camera. The back of the camera has a screw mount that can be used to attach it to a surface or wall. On the bottom is the micro USB port. Arlo’s decision to stick with micro USB is a bit disappointing, as smart speakers, phones and other gadgets are increasingly switching to USB-C.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight is different from other models. Other models have removable batteries so your camera doesn’t need to be taken offline while you charge it. As long as you have a second battery you can swap in, this is a key difference.
You will need to remove the Arlo Essential Spotlight from its mount. Then, you can charge it indoors with the micro USB cable provided. This is a six-month battery life that’s not something you’ll have to worry about often.
It is easy to set up the Arlo Essential spotlight camera. Start by downloading the Arlo App and signing in or creating new accounts. Next, click the “Add New Device” button. Follow the instructions on the screen to add a camera. This requires that you hold the QR code displayed on the phone screen in front of the camera.
It’s easy to use the app. We had an Arlo account so we were able to complete the setup in less than five minutes.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight can be physically installed easily, as everything you need to mount it is included in the box. Simply screw the mount to a wall or ceiling and then attach the camera to the mount.
Color footage captured both at night and during the day
The 130-degree field is wider than other Arlo cameras
To scare away intruders, a built-in siren may be activated
If the camera is properly set up, you will not need to interact with it until it detects something. When it senses motion, the camera will start recording and the spotlight will switch on for low-light recording.
Even though the video quality isn’t as sharp as some of Arlo’s higher-end cameras, it’s still very good for a camera this affordable. You might consider the 2K Arlo Pro 3 or the 4K Arlo Ultra if you require a more detailed video. However, these hoses are much more expensive.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight’s 130-degree field is a little less than the 160-degree field of the Arlo Pro 3. It should be sufficient for most situations. However, if you require a camera that covers a large area, it might not be appropriate.
This camera does not have infrared night vision, like other security cameras. It uses its spotlight to illuminate low-light scenes. This results in night footage that is color and has a lot of detail. The light isn’t quite as bright as that on the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight but it’s sufficient for most situations.
For the best performance, it is important to have a reliable Wi-Fi connection.
Check out the other product in our Top Best Wireless Security Cameras
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera Image Quality
Despite being a high-priced camera, it isn’t the best quality. It’s 1080p and not 4K. And it doesn’t support HDR. The image quality is excellent in normal lighting but can become a bit fuzzy at night due to light from nearby properties becoming too bright.
It is small and can only shine light at one person, but it is capable of lighting up a car, window, or door. Although colors are more vibrant in daylight than at night, the LED spotlight’s color makes it easy to identify things such as the color of a vehicle or coat.
Although this camera isn’t bad, it’s not the best. However, it was designed for affordability and not for exceptional image quality. Arlo will gladly sell you a more powerful model for more money if you are interested in that. The camera’s image quality is excellent, but it is not class-leading.
Arlo Essential Spotlight Home Automation
The Essential includes all the standard suspects, plus more.
The Essential camera can be used with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT. This is quite common. It also works with Samsung SmartThings and Apple HomeKit, although less often. This is the only camera brand that works with Apple and Samsung hubs.
Arlo is still not compatible with Z-Wave or Zigbee. This means that you can’t connect your camera to smart lights, smart locks, or other home devices using your Arlo account. You can still connect to most things with the existing compatibility. All the links must go through a central hub or protocol.
Arlo automation assistance: We have tutorials for Alexa and Google Assistant users who need help connecting their Arlo equipment to their smart home assistant.
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera App and Usability
The Arlo app is one of the most appealing aspects of the Arlo ecosystem. It is well-designed, easy to use, with many settings you can adjust if you wish.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight camera uses the same iPhone and Android apps as the rest of its family. The main screen displays your camera(s), along with an image from the last time it was activated. There are also little status icons that indicate battery life, connectivity strength, and how many alerts have been received.
The Library allows you to view footage from each time a camera’s motion detector was activated (a feature that requires an Arlo Smart subscription after the free trial ends). It also allows you to arm, disable, schedule, or set up geofencing.
For example, you can disarm the camera when you are home. You can also create rules like “if Camera 1 detects motion”, which will record video, activate the siren, and send an email and push notification. You can also set up package detection to make sure that the siren doesn’t shout at your Amazon driver.
Read also: Do wireless security cameras need internet?
Arlo states that the battery should be changed every six months.
Recharging takes approximately four hours
Arlo claims that the Essential Spotlight camera’s battery will last for six months before it needs to be recharged. This will depend on how frequently motion is detected, how often the spotlight is activated, how much time you spend viewing footage through Live View and whether or not the speaker and two-way microphone are used.
It took us around four hours to charge the battery with the included micro USB cable, power adapter and cable.
Arlo Camera Installation
This DIY security camera is easy to set up.
You’ll love to set this camera up yourself if you enjoy DIY home improvements. (Unless you, like many of our team members, are able to find someone who enjoys manual labor in return for dinner.
Arlo Essential installation steps:
- Charge your camera.
- Get the Arlo app.
- Register for an Arlo account
- Select Devices > Add New Device > Cameras > Essential.
- Select your Essential model.
- You can choose to connect the camera with a SmartHub.
- Connect the app with your Wi-Fi network
- Follow the instructions in the app to complete the camera setup.
- Place the Arlo mount at the desired place
You should secure your camera somewhere you can reach. Until the solar panel is available, you will have to remove it at least twice per year to recharge the battery. If you prefer to bring the camera’s charge, you can mount it in an extension cord’s reach from an outlet.
Arlo Essential spotlight camera offers users an easy and affordable way to keep an eye on their property. The camera is easy to set up and use, and it comes with a variety of features that make it an ideal choice for those looking for a reliable security solution.