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The Arlo Essential Spotlight camera is a new lower-cost 1080p security camera in the tradition of the Arlo security camera range.

Perhaps the most important change is that Arlo is no longer wedded to using a Smart Hub or base station – although that is best for most cases. It can use your home network Wi-Fi and the app if that is all you need.

Arlo Essential Spotlight camera

Arlo uses the term Spotlight to describe two high-intensity LEDs above the camera lens. These provide sufficient lumens to enable colour night vision to about 6 metres.

Features here

Arlo Essential Spotlight camera
  • 1080p
  • 130° FOV
  • Dual 850nm LEDs for colour night vision
  • IR LEDs for mono night vision
  • 12x digital zoom
  • Speaker, mic and alarm
  • PIR 110° horizontal up to 6 metres
  • Motion alerts via the app – requires a subscription to store recorded video of other AI functions
  • OK Google, Alexa and IFTTT
  • Non-removable rechargeable battery via micro-USB cable (charger not supplied), or VMA3600 solar panel
  • Price: $229 for one, $429 for two from Arlo retailers in September
  • Missing – no local offline storage unless you have a Smart Hub
  • You can read other Arlo reviews here

GadgetGuy’s take – An essential lower-cost alternative

The specs are pretty good, and it has Arlo quality. But the emphasis on this device is to keep it affordable. Hence 1080p, a non-removable battery and no need for Smart Hub (but it will join Arlo SmartHub VMB4000, VMB4540, VMB4500, VMB5000 for enhanced range and battery life).

The Arlo Pro 3 (the 2K, 160° version of the Ultra) is closer to $400 (but shop around online – you may find a bargain) and would be my choice if you already have an Arlo Hub. And JB Hi-Fi has an Arlo Ultra 4K inc two cameras and the Smart Hub for $899!

The reason I mention this is because you should consider your security camera and smart home needs holistically and you may find you need the flexibility of the Smart Hub.

We will be reviewing this soon. International reviews give it a pretty good wrap commenting that nothing from Arlo is cheap – but it is good.