Building on the excellent features of the Arlo Pro 2 security camera, Arlo has announced the Arlo Pro 3 camera – and it is available now.
It’s a good step up from the Arlo Pro 2 and earlier models.
But how does it compare to the Arlo Ultra camera?
We’ll talk about that and more in this review.
This is a Arlo Pro 3 versus Arlo Ultra comparison.
Arlo Pro 3 – Video Resolution
One major difference as compared to the previous models is that the Pro 3 captures video in QHD resolution.
QHD is more commonly described as being 2560×1440 pixels.
QHD stands for Quad High Definition.
That’s a big step up from the 1920 x 1080 resolution of the Arlo Pro 2– that is known as Full HD.
But, this new camera is not the king of video resolution – that crown still belongs to the Arlo Ultra camera – which can do 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels.)
Does that mean the Arlo Ultra is a better camera than the Arlo Pro 3?
Maybe not – very high resolution video with 4K may not be needed in all cases.
It’s also much bigger files to work with, and takes longer to upload and download.
You can probably expect better battery life with a lower resolution camera as well.
All together 2560 x 1440 pixels is still very high quality video – and that may be perfectly fine for most situations.
Secondly, let’s talk about the Field of View, often abbreviated as FOV.
This is how wide the view is – and the wider the better (to a point.)
The Arlo Ultra uses a very wide lens and automatic stitching algorithms to provide an incredible 180 degrees of coverage.
This means you can cover more space, with less cameras.
And that’s good, because the Arlo Ultra is an expensive camera.
The Arlo Pro 3 can cover a more modest 160 degrees – which is still pretty good.
And, it is a step up from the 130 degrees of coverage of the Arlo Pro 2 (the original Arlo Pro only covers 110 degrees.)
High Dynamic Range – HDR support
The Arlo Pro 3 also supports HDR video – or High Dynamic Range.
This can help to provide better contrast in certain situations.
The Arlo Ultra also supports HDR, but the Arlo Pro 2 and earlier models do not.
HDR is really recommended for areas of high contrast. In particular Arlo HDR is optimized for outdoor scenes where the image contains both dark and bright areas.
Think of a backyard covered with tree shade and sunlight, for example.
If your area is more uniformly lit, you probably don’t need HDR.
With HDR you are going to be able to see better detail in both the brightly lit and dark areas.
But if your coverage areas include your backyard or your driveway (as we recommend), you might need HDR.
Shining a Light
The Arlo Pro 3 also has an integrated spotlight (visible light).
This is one of the reasons we love the Arlo cameras – they are a great option for deterring crime.
The integrated spotlight can be set to trigger via motion detection – and this will help dissuade a potential criminal or thief.
The downside to using the spotlight is that it will use the battery charge more quickly.
But, it is a configurable option – use it if you want to. Or not.
By the way, if you want to add a motion detected light to an existing Arlo camera system, you can get the lights as separate Arlo accessories.
Night Vision – In Color!
Here’s another new twist for the Arlo Pro 3.
All the Arlo Pro (and Ultra) cameras have a night vision mode – which utilizes invisible Infrared light to create a viewable image.
But the drawback to that IR light is that the image is in black and white – and shades of gray – you can’t make out individual colors.
The Arlo Pro 3 includes Color Night Vision.
This is a first for the Arlo camera line.
How do they do it?
For color night vision to work there must be some form of ambient light such as house lights, yard lights, or a street light.
We’ve found that is usually the case when using the cameras for home security.
If there is absolutely no ambient light the camera will fall back to providing a black and white (and shades of gray) image.
This is really the best of both worlds!
The visual aspects of the Arlo camera aren’t the only thing that’s improved.
They’ve improved the two-way audio also.
First of all the microphone is now a full duplex microphone.
That means you can have a more natural “back and forth” conversation with the person on the far end.
There’s also a siren built-in – so you can cause that to go off anytime motion is detected.
Granted, not too many people use these features – but it’s good to know you have options.
Weatherproof? Of Course
Arlo has upgraded just about everything important with the Arlo Pro 3 camera.
And it is still IP65-certified water and dust resistant too.
The “6” in IP65 denotes full dust protection – the cameras are dust tight
The “5” indicates that the camera is protected from low pressure water jets – at any angle.
That means you can put this camera just about anywhere indoors or outdoors.
Just don’t let water get into the speaker/mic aperture though – we’ve found that will kill these cameras.
By the way, they also claim the Arlo Pro 3 gets better battery life than ever. It’s possible you’ll get 6 months off a single battery charge.
Arlo Pro 3 Camera – In Summary
The Arlo camera line is a juggernaut in smart home security.
With their ease of installation (wire-free), long battery life, and incredible feature list they are tough to beat.
We feel like Arlo has done the right thing with the Arlo Pro 3 – they’ve made some solid, useful improvements.
But, they didn’t go overboard and left some high-end advanced features for the Arlo Ultra (which is also more expensive.)
And by the way, you can even mix and match Arlo camera models – so don’t hesitate to upgrade to the Arlo Pro 3 – anywhere you need it’s new high tech capabilities.
What do you think of the Arlo Pro 3? Let us know in the comments below.