Arlo Pro 2 sees and hears better

NETGEAR’s Arlo Pro 2 wireless security camera has gone to Specsavers and “I can see even more clearly now” with 1080p vision.

It has also visited the audiologist and can now hear sweet nothings whispered to Alexa.

Its little brother Arlo was one of the first kids on the block when it came to wireless, rugged security cameras but it 720p vision (maximum) needed pebble glasses to make it more useful.

Arlo Pro 2 has 1080p 130° recording, can be wireless or wired, is IP65 certified, can listen and talk, and much more. It is a definite step in the right direction.

GadgetGuy’s take

GadgetGuy is on the warpath to strip the hype out of hyperbole.

NETGEAR’S Arlo, like too many other brands/products, has become an exercise in marketing par excellence. Pretty pictures, vague statements, glowing press releases written in the U.S. by people who have never used the product, and retail saturation.

The original Arlo and Arlo Pro (fixed a lot of issues in the Arlo) were popular but what NETGEAR still refuse to do is publish in-depth specifications that allow us as reviewers, to make objective comparisons and recommendations.

Of course, when we review a product we look at ‘fit for purpose’, and to some degree, specifications don’t necessarily count. But let me give you some “For examples”.

“Arlo Pro 2 is the most powerful and easy to use wire-free security camera ever thanks to its 1080p video, wire-free simplicity and the option to plug it into a power outlet whenever needed.” We have tested many other security cameras that are easier to use, have better video quality and simple set up!

Enjoy amazingly sharp 1080p HD video”. The Arlo Pro 2 has ‘resolution up to 1080p’ – meaning it still records in 720p or lower if the Wi-Fi signal is weak or bandwidth is an issue. There is no mention of megapixels, um pixel size, CMOS size, or f-stop lens aperture which lets reviewers know how it performs compared to other cameras.

“It records Night vision up to eight metres”.  My experience with Arlo (that uses the same 850nm LEDs) is barely three metres in mono and at such a poor resolution that it is impossible to make out faces.

“W-Fi N 2.4GHz up to 90m (line of sight)”. When I tested the Arlo, it was flat out doing 20 metres, let alone through walls etc. I have had a similar experience with other brands using Wi-Fi N 2.4GHz.

“8x Digital zoom” is useless as a cup of decaf. Digital Zoom (as against real optical zoom) takes a portion of the image and blows it up. You can walk through the pixelation! Colour and white balance – well let’s not mention that.

“Works with Amazon Alexa”. Sorry that means little – to display an image on your TV you need an Amazon Echo Show or Fire TV stick at extra cost.

And it needs a base station and external USB storage that adds considerably to cost – something most other cameras don’t need. The entry level is two cameras, and a base station for around $800+ and additional cameras are $349!

Don’t get GadgetGuy wrong – we like much of the NETGEAR kit, but in our opinion, where the Arlo Pro 2 is concerned, there are better and cheaper options. To be fair NETGEAR does offer an ecosystem of add-ons that make it more useful than many other brands.

We hope NETGEAR is still talking to us – we would love to objectively review the Arlo Pro 2 and rate is against genuine, real-world, performance paradigms instead of marketing hype.