The best smart home security camera system has arrived – it is the Arlo Ultra - 4K Wire-Free Security Camera System(Buy on Amazon).
The Arlo Ultra camera adds even more features and convenience to what was already one of the best options available – the Arlo Pro camera line.
We’re going to explain to you why the Arlo Ultra is the ultimate choice for smart home security.
The Arlo Ultra is going to give you the best high resolution view of what’s going on – and that extra level of detail and clarity could be the difference between identifying a perpetrator – or not.
They also have a very wide field of view – and that means more coverage with less cameras!.
Here’s an overview of the products available.
Arlo Ultra – Easy To Install
First of all, this is a wire-free security camera system.
That means there are no power cords to be run – and that means the ultimate in flexibility for mounting these cameras – indoors or outdoors.
Because the cameras are battery powered and communicate back to the base station via Wifi technology the install is always easy.
And perhaps even better, these are weatherproof cameras – so use them indoors or outdoors.
Arlo Ultra – Long Battery Life
Ok, you might be thinking – these things must burn through batteries like crazy, right?
And surprisingly – the answer is NO.
How do they accomplish amazing battery life?
First of all, the Arlo Ultra, like the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 cameras before it use high capacity, powerful Lithium Ion ( Li-Ion) batteries.
This is the same advanced technology that is in use in your smartphone or laptop. Lithium Ion can provide a lot of power.
And perhaps even better – these are rechargeable batteries – they can be re-used for hundreds of recharging cycles.
And lastly, this is a SMART security camera system. With motion detection built right into every camera unit, the Arlo system only records when motion is detected (Day or night, indoors or outdoors) and that means efficiency.
Your cameras will not be recording when there is nothing to see!
(So make sure you mount them in the right places.)
When you take into consideration all those factors, you will get WEEKS of use on a single battery charge – and then you can simply recharge the battery again.
And, if all else fails, it is possible to hard wire these cameras to a power source (via USB cable and power module), or you can even connect these to a Solar Panel for a trickle charging capability.
Arlo Ultra – Amazing Video Quality
We’ve all seen grainy, black and white security camera footage.
A lot of times, you can’t even tell what is happening – or who somebody is.
And that is the other amazing feature of the Arlo line of cameras – these have amazing High Definition and image quality – day or night – because they have night vision.
You probably know what the Arlo Pro line of cameras brought High Def ( HD) capability to the line, but the Alro Ultra takes things even further – providing full 4K video (Also called UHD -for Ultra High Def).
That means a beautiful, clear picture.
There’s plenty of detail – and you can even ZOOM in on parts of the video – like license plate numbers, and more.
The Arlo Ultra cameras also do HDR – High Dynamic Range. That won’t be needed in all cases, but it does help fine tune the picture quality in certain situations.
Ok – that’s great for the day time – but what about at night?
The other really big new feature in the Arlo Ultra is the addition of a Security Light built right into the camera.
With motion detection activation a bright flood light comes on – and ensure you get a better picture of your subject.
But, that’s also a great crime deterrent in and of itself.
The Arlo Ultra has color night vision too – this is helpful so you can make out details of objects and people – even in total darkness.
Color Night Vision is only in the most advanced devices, using the latest high-sensitivity light sensors.
But, for color night vision to work there must also be some form of ambient lighting.
House lights, street lights, yard lights – all of these should provide enough for color night vision to work.
And if there isn’t enough ambient light – the Arlo Ultra will still use it’s IR projector LEDs to provide the classic black and white night vision view.
Want to know more about how night vision works? Check our article: How Security Camera Night Vision Works.
Arlo Ultra – More coverage from less cameras
These new Arlo Ultra cameras have an amazing 180 degrees of coverage – which means you get more bang for the buck.
By the way, that 180 degree view is done with a fisheye lens. But the image has none of the typical warping you see with such a device.
The Arlo Ultra system automatically de-warps the view – so it’s better to use.
And there is even more.
The Arlo Ultra can use auto-zoom and tracking.
This means the camera intelligently adjusts to movement, focusing its frame on what matters.
Arlo Ultra – Audio
The Arlo Ultra has also improved on the audio capabilities of these cameras.
That’s right – audio.
There is a microphone and speaker in each of these.
That means you can listen in on a situation – and you can speak over the mic to the person as well!
The Arlo Ultra adds noice cancellation technology to the microphone – so that the audio quality is better than ever.
It should be noted that while the microphone picks up sounds very nicely – the integrated speaker is quite small.
So, it is not very powerful. But it will work in many close range situations.
There is also a siren in the base station.
This loud 100dB siren can be triggered manually, or via motion detection (or audio triggers!)
This means you can set off a highly annoying alarm inside your house if you see trouble – that should help scare off an intruder or thief.
Arlo Ultra vs Arlo Pro 3
Arlo just released the Arlo Pro 3 model of camera.
Will this dethrone the Arlo Ultra as the king of the Arlo home security cameras?
No – it won’t
The Arlo Pro 3 has some major improvements over the Arlo Pro 2.
But they’ve not gone all out and bumped the specs past that of the Ultra.
For example, the video resolution on the Arlo Pro 3 is QHD quality (2560×1440 pixels).
That’s much improved over the Arlo Pro 2’s 1920×1080 Full HD resolution.
But, it’s not as good as Ultra’s 4K resolution.
Both cameras can do HDR – High Dynamic Range. This really helps clarify details in high contrast images – like when you have shade and bright sunlight in the same video.
The Field of View (FOV) on the Pro 3 is 160 degrees as compared to 180 on the Ultra.
The winner again – the Arlo Ultra.
Both have night vision, including color night vision.
But, here’s where the Arlo Pro 3 does win.
The Arlo Pro 3 is more economical, costing significantly less than the Arlo Ultra.
We recommend you mix and match in an intelligent manner.
NOTE: You must use the Ultra Smart Hub (Part Number VMB5000) (Buy on Amazon) to use all the features with the Arlo Ultra camera.
(You won’t get all the cool new features with the older base stations.)
If you want or need 4K resolution – use it where it makes sense.
Otherwise use the most economical camera for the job.
Arlo Ultra – Power Accessories
As we mentioned, much of the ease of use of the Arlo camera system is due to the wire-free, battery powered nature of the system.
You will have to re-charge batteries every few weeks.
For the Arlo Ultra system, we recommend you use the Dual Charging Station (Buy on Amazon).
This will let you fast charge two batteries at a time.
- Charge up to two Arlo Ultra and Arlo Pro 3 batteries 15% faster
- Batteries not included
- Compatible with Arlo Ultra and Arlo Pro 3 cameras batteries only
It is also best practice to have a spare battery on hand.
That way, when an Arlo Ultra battery runs low, you can quickly swap it out and minimize any gaps in video coverage.
Arlo Ultra batteries are a proprietary, high capacity battery.
Therefore you must get the Arlo Ultra Rechargeable Battery (VMA5400) (Buy on Amazon) if you want a spare battery.
Some people don’t like proprietary batteries – but remember – these last for hundreds of recharge cycles (because they are Li-Ion) and are the right form factor for the camera.
It is also nice that there is only one battery per camera.
- Swap out and recharge your camera battery
- Compatible with Arlo Ultra and Arlo Pro 3 cameras
- Arlo Ultra camera or Arlo Ultra charging station required to charge the battery
We mentioned earlier you can also “hard wire” an Arlo camera to power – via USB cable and wall outlet.
But, what if your camera is outdoors and far away from an outlet?
The Arlo Ultra Solar Panel (Buy on Amazon) might be the right choice.
This solar panel lets you “trickle charge” the battery – so you can keep it topped off at all times.
This is a great accessory for Arlo Ultra cameras mounted near the roof line, or in trees.
- ONE PANEL TO CHARGE YOUR DEVICE - The Wasserstein Solar Panel specially designed for the Arlo Ultra which comes with an outdoor magnetic charging cable makes sure that your surveillance camera does not run out juice ever again. (Note: Arlo Ultra NOT included.)
- VERSATILE MOUNTING - Our unique 360-degree wall mount allows you to easily position your solar panel and ensures that it is placed directly in maximum sunlight exposure. With its extra long 13.1ft/4m magnetic charging cable which is twice its previous length, you can set up your device in more convenient locations.
- EASY INSTALLATION - Installing our solar panel is as easy as 1-2-3. Simply mount the panel outside your house and connect the magnetic charging cable to your camera.
- PACKAGE INCLUDES - 1 x Solar Panel, 1 x 13.1ft/4m Outdoor Magnetic Charging Cable, 1 x 360-degree Mounting bracket, 3 x Screws and Wall Anchors, and a User Manual.
- WASSERSTEIN 3-MONTH WARRANTY - If any of our products fail to meet your expectations, please get in touch with us and we will try to resolve the issue. If we can't resolve the problem to your satisfaction, you will get a full refund or replacement - no questions asked.
Please note that Solar Panel ONLY works with the Arlo Ultra – it will not work with the Arlo Pro, or Arlo Pro 2 camera line.
Prevent Your Arlo Ultra From Being Stolen
OK, there is one downside to the Arlo Ultra cameras.
They are expensive and work well – but they are easy to remove by a thief!
What can you do about this?
You can mount them out of reach, hide them, or anchor them with security cables.
Here’s one potential product you can use that works great for Arlo Ultra cameras.
- Compatible Model: Unique designed for your Arlo Ultra / Arlo Pro 3.
- Safety Effect：Connect the camera to the mount to prevent the camera from falling and prevent theft.
- Durable and Last Long：High quality, waterproof sunscreen, no rust, can be used for a long time.
- Easy Installation: Koroao Anti-Theft Chain only take a little time to install, makes installation easier and more convenient.
- Safety Equipment：The anti-theft chain is a security device that does not affect the normal use of the camera.
For more anti-theft tips see our article: How To Prevent Your Arlo Cameras From Being Stolen.
Arlo Ultra – Smart Home Security Camera System
We think the Arlo Ultra is the best home smart security camera system.
It’s not just because it can take 4k HDR video.
Netgear has built the most convenient system.
It is easy to setup, and easy to physically install.
It has long life – which ensures the cameras are working when you need them.
We recommend the Arlo Ultra camera for any home owner that wants to greatly improve security and awareness of their home.
Last update on 2020-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API