I really like Arlo's line of outdoor cameras. The Arlo Pro 3 is even our current favorite home security camera. But they have one major drawback: Arlo cameras are expensive. The brand's latest model, however — the Essential Spotlight Camera — is priced at $130. No, 130 bucks isn't cheap, but it's a pretty significant improvement over Arlo's higher-end options.
Here's an overview of the Essential Spotlight Camera:
- 1080p HD resolution
- Night vision
- Motion alerts
- Two-way audio
- Built-in siren
- Built-in spotlight
- Supports Alexa and Google Assistant
- Available in black or white
Essential Spotlight Camera customers have the option to sign up for the Arlo Smart cloud service, starting at $3 a month. Arlo Smart offers 30 days of saved video clips, advanced motion alerts that differentiate among people, animals, vehicles and packages, activity zones and more.
Unlike other battery-powered indoor/outdoor Arlo security cameras, the Essential Spotlight Camera doesn't require a base station to operate. To me, its ability to connect straight to Wi-Fi is a huge bonus — and likely what accounts for its lower price. Still, you have the option to connect select Arlo base stations, if you already have one. It's specifically compatible with Arlo SmartHub base stations, with model numbers VMB4000, VMB4540, VMB4500 and VMB5000.
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Arlo has long claimed that its base stations extend the range and improve the battery life of its cameras, so it will be interesting to test the Essential Spotlight Camera alongside Arlo cameras that require the base station. I've reached out to Arlo to ask about the Essential cam's expected battery life without a base station and will report back when I learn more.
You can preorder the Essential Spotlight Camera on Arlo's online store. It's expected to ship starting July 13.
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