Let’s take a look at the new Arlo Pro 3 and compare it to both the Arlo Pro 2 and the Arlo Ultra cameras.
This is Arlo Pro 2 vs Arlo Pro 3 vs Arlo Ultra.
Here’s a comparison chart that sums up all the key features:
Let’s talk about these camera systems – and the features that make them so amazing.
Arlo Pro 2 – A great home security camera
The Arlo Pro 2 (Buy on Amazon) was the successor to the Arlo Pro camera.
It brought new features, and full HD resolution (1080p) to the game.
And at the same time, it kept all the great features – wire-free design (for the ultimate in easy installation), long battery life, and waterproof housing.
Add in motion detection, night vision, and more.
Combine all those things together – and you have an amazing camera you can use anywhere.
- 100 percent Wire free Free of power cords and wiring hassles
- 1080p HD High quality video with sharper and brighter details
- Flexible Powering Options Use wire free, plugged in. Rechargeable battery
- Weatherproof Pro cameras are weatherproof so you can place them anywhere indoors and out
- 7 Days of Free Cloud Recordings Pro comes with recurring 7 day free cloud recordings. Live stream or view recorded video and audio for up to 7 days
Arlo Pro 3 – The next generation of affordable home monitoring
Arlo didn’t rest on their laurels though – the market place for consumer security cameras is hot – and as with all technology – these things get better and better.
In September, Arlo released the Arlo Pro 3 (Buy on Amazon).
How could they improve on the Arlo Pro 2?
The Arlo Pro 3 has even better resolution – 2K.
This means even better crisp, clear images – and you can zoom in for extra detail.
But there’s more – the Arlo Pro 3 brings HDR (High Dynamic Range) to the Pro line.
This is great for areas of high contrast – like a backyard that is both brightly lit by the sun, and has areas of dark shade. It lets you better see the details in the shadows.
The Arlo Pro 2 has night vision – but the Pro 3 goes one step better with color night vision.
This is achieved through a newer generation of digital sensors – but the Arlo Pro 3 can still work in total darkness as well, thanks to it’s invisible IR light projectors.
The Arlo Pro 3 has an integrated visible spotlight too – so you can use it to deter would-be criminals.
And of course – it’s still wire-free, with long battery life, and easy to mount anywhere – indoors or outdoors.
But the real differentiator here is that the Arlo Pro 3 brings a lot of new features – with a minimal price increase.
- Wire-free and weather-resistant design, works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and includes 3 months of Arlo smart service with rolling 30 day cloud recordings
- 2K video with HDR: zoom in on objects and see clearer details and colors in 2K HDR
- Color night vision: see what’s lurking with color night vision or black and white. Battery Life - 3-6 months. Charge Time to Full (via camera)- 3.5 hrs. Charge time to Full (via charger accessory)- 2.9 hrs
- Integrated spotlight: light up the night and ward off unwelcome guests
- Fast and easy Wire-Free set up: magnetic mount makes it easy to install and adjust
Arlo Ultra – the top dog in home monitoring cameras
The ultimate camera you can get from Arlo is the Arlo Ultra (Buy on Amazon) camera system.
This has the most packed feature list of any of the cameras – but the biggest price tag as well.
Video Resolution is 4K (an incredible 3840 x 2160 pixels!).
This means even better images and details – and the ability to ZOOM in when needed.
The Ultra also does HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Color Night Vision too.
Perhaps what’s best about these cameras is their incredible 180 degrees of field of view.
This means you can see more with less cameras.
And this isn’t a crazy warped fish-eye view either – the Arlo camera automatically de-warps the video as it is recording.
Another great feature of the Ultra – there is a security spotlight built in – so you get the best impact as a crime prevention device (The spotlight can be motion activated.)
- Wire-free and weather-resistant design, works with Alexa, and includes 1 year of Arlo Smart Premier service with rolling 30 day cloud recordings (up to 10 cameras).
- 4K & HDR - Zoom in to see sharp details with Arlo Ultra’s 4K & HDR advanced image quality technology
- Enhanced night vision - See what’s lurking with color night vision allowing you to see video in color rather than traditional black and white
- Integrated spotlight - Light up the night and ward off unwelcome guests using Arlo Ultra’s integrated spotlight.Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2
- 180 degree diagonal field of view - See more with a wider angle lens that has auto image correction reducing the fish eye effect
Ok, that’s a good overview of the cameras. Let’s discuss in detail the feature sets.
Arlo: Video Resolutions
Video resolution quality is determined by the number of pixels (picture elements) used.
Each pixel is like a small point of color – and more pixels means a much more crisp and detailed image.
Arlo Pro 2 cameras provide “Full High Def” – which is 1920 x 1080 pixels.
It provides a good, crisp view.
In comparison, the Arlo Pro 3 can use 2K QHD resolution. This is 2560 x 1440 pixels.
This provides an even better, crisp view.
The downside of more pixels is that more storage space is taken up – and more battery life will be used to record. As such, you don’t have to use 2K with the Arlo Pro 3 – you can opt to use Full HD instead.
Lastly, the Arlo Ultra has incredible 4K video (3840 x 2160 pixels.)
When using proper lighting, a 4K view is very life-like and stunning.
But, it may be overkill for what you need. There are also caveats that 4K video takes a lot of storage space and will use battery life quicker too.
But, if you want the ultimate in crisp detail – 4K is the way to go.
Arlo : HDR (High Dynamic Range)
HDR (or High Dynamic Range) solves the problem with over- or under-exposed images of scenes with both bright and dark areas in the same picture.
Where might HDR be a requirement? In the outdoors – for example a backyard view that is both brightly lit by the sun, but still has areas of shade from trees.
The Arlo Pro 3 and Arlo Ultra cameras automatically determine when to use HDR.
HDR is optimized for outdoor environments, not so much for “artistic” photos as you’ve probably seen it used.
Arlo: Night Vision
To be a good security camera and monitoring device – night vision is a necessity.
The night vision used in the Arlo cameras will work in any conditions – including total darkness.
They work by projecting an invisible (to the human eye) beam of infrared light from the front of the camera.
You can see a faint red glow from the IR LEDs when it’s projecting.
This invisible light is of course highly visible to the digital sensors in the Arlo camera.
And that’s how basic night vision works – which will give you a basic black and white (and shades of gray) view of the night.
Arlo: Color Night Vision
The newest Arlo cameras have Color Night Vision.
Instead of the normal shades of gray and black/white view, the incredibly advanced sensors can show you colors at night.
It should be noted that some level of “ambient light” is needed for this feature to work.
The projected IR light we talked about earlier isn’t enough.
However, many consumer scenarios have more than enough ambient light – house lights, yard lights, street lamps – all that should be enough.
And, if there isn’t enough light – the Arlo will fall back to using it’s IR illuminators to give you a black and white view.
To find out more about night vision, see our article: How Security Camera Night Vision Works
Arlo: Security Spotlight
Invisible night vision is great for many scenarios.
It let’s you see activity at night – and is great for observing animals and people that you don’t want to disturb.
But sometimes, a visible deterrent is a better solution.
Having a spotlight, floodlight or security light is a best practice for deterring crime.
It provides a clear warning – “we can see you!”
Some of the Arlo cameras have an integrated security spotlight – and it can be turned on and off manually or via the motion detection.
This is a great feature to have for basic home security and crime deterrence.
Arlo: Motion Detection
All the Arlo cameras have Motion Detection.
How do they do it? They use infrared sensors that can “see” temperature changes – and the movement of those temperatures.
Best of all, the motion sensitivity can be adjusted.
This will help when you have a camera pointed to a “high traffic” area and you don’t want the cameras activating too often.
The other consequence of using IR “heat” sensors – the motion detection works day or night – even in total darkness.
We have an in depth article on motion detection in Arlo cameras, if you want to know more.
Arlo: Two Way Audio
All the Arlo cameras have microphones and speakers.
This means you can record important audio details – tires screeching, close conversations, the sounds of breaking and entering – etc.
But you an also use the Arlo cameras as a way to converse (remotely) with a visitor thanks to the 2 way audio.
The newer models have better noise cancelling microphones and provide a more fluent conversation.
You can find out more in our article: Arlo Camera – Sound & Audio Features.
Base Station Sirens
Earlier we talked about using a spotlight as a visible crime deterrent.
Arlo has an audio alternative too – a very loud (100 dB) siren that is built into the base station.
Why in the base station? Because it would be too challenging to make a very loud siren you can hear at extended distance in the tiny cameras.
You can trigger the siren from motion detection.
It is very loud, and would be particularly effective if someone were inside your house.
Hopefully once they hear the siren – they will know to quickly leave!
Arlo Pro 2 vs Arlo Pro 3 vs Arlo Ultra – In Summary
The Arlo Pro 2 is a great home security camera system – and should be available now at a sizable discount.
The Arlo Pro 3 brings a lot of advanced features previously available only in the Ultra line – at an affordable cost.
Lastly, for that that must have it all -the Arlo Ultra still represents the ultimate in home smart security cameras.
But, it has an “ultimate” price tag as well.
Last update on 2020-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API