“Ditching the hub, the Arlo Professional Four delivers the identical glorious efficiency of its predecessor at a decrease beginning value.”

Sharp-looking footage

Extra particulars with colour night time imaginative and prescient

Does not require a hub to arrange

Sensible safety with Arlo Sensible service

Specs are just like predecessor

Highlight required for colour night time imaginative and prescient

Safety digicam maker Arlo may’ve been quiet for the primary six months of 2020, however the firm was definitely busy in the course of the second half of the 12 months. After introducing its new Important line of cameras, it saved the very best for final with the Arlo Professional Four Highlight Digicam. That mannequin is changing the costlier Arlo Professional Three, which is notable as a result of it established what it meant to be the very best digicam round.

At any time when a tool makes a numerical bounce, there’s an expectation that it’s pushing issues ahead in a dramatic approach. Let’s discover out if that’s the case with the Arlo Professional Four Highlight Digicam.

Ditching the hub

There’s no denying that the specs sheet of the Arlo Professional Four Highlight Digicam is drool-inducing, however what’s usually ignored is how the system features. What’s totally different about this cam versus its predecessor is that it ditches the hub — so it’s now a very wi-fi affair.

John Velasco / Digital Tendencies

The Arlo Professional Three required customers to arrange Arlo’s SmartHub base station to ensure that it to work. Nothing’s extra annoying than having to attach one more hub or bridge to your community. More often than not, they require being hardwired on to your property Wi-Fi router, which is made worse when Ethernet ports are briefly provide. Plus, it means one more factor that must be plugged into an outlet — additionally briefly provide at my condo.

That’s why I’m stoked that the Arlo Professional Four Highlight Digicam now connects on to my router, so getting it arrange is a extra streamlined affair. For smaller areas, like my condo, this direct Wi-Fi implementation works as a result of every part is inside shut proximity to the router. Nonetheless, I’d think about that the SmartHub can be a profit for bigger properties as a result of it might handle the connection lots higher — whereas additionally serving to out with battery life.

The Arlo Professional Four’s digicam efficiency is simply as glorious as earlier than.

Talking of battery, the Arlo Professional Four has a detachable rechargeable battery that’s rated for six months of juice. Since I’ve positioned it in a heavy-traffic space, its battery life has dropped by Three% each day on common. Clearly, that’s not going to get me remotely near that six-month vary, but it surely’ll be sufficient to final a full month earlier than requiring a recharge. It comes with a magnetic charging cable, which permits it to cost and nonetheless operate concurrently.

Predictably sharp-looking video

Going from the Arlo Professional 2 to the Professional Three, the digicam’s decision made a dramatic bounce from 1080p to 2K decision (2560 x 1440). As an alternative of constructing one other improve, the Arlo Professional Four’s digicam stays at 2K decision. It’s not dangerous, however it might’ve been good to maybe bounce as much as 4K — very like its Extremely line of safety cameras. Then once more, that’s what distinguishes the 2 digicam strains.

The remainder of the specs point out it’s primarily the identical hardware as earlier than: A Four-megapixel ⅓-inch digicam sensor with a large 160-degree area of view. That’s spectacular protection, but it surely’s simplest when it’s strategically positioned at corners. Rounding out the options are HDR, auto observe and zoom, high-powered infrared LEDs with cutoff filter, and a 12x digital zoom. That’s no totally different from the Arlo Professional Three, which is stunning.

Regardless of the dearth of change, the Arlo Professional Four’s digicam efficiency is simply as glorious as earlier than — producing sharp clips with loads of element, sharpness, and accurate-looking colours. When lighting is considerable, dynamic vary is dealt with properly all through the scene to supply a good publicity. Highlights don’t look overblown, which helps to retain particulars which will in any other case be misplaced. In low lighting, although, artifacting components do seem extra within the shadows. It’s not horrible, but it surely does soften the standard somewhat bit.

John Velasco / Digital Tendencies

When it’s nighttime, I admire that colour night time imaginative and prescient kicks. To ensure that this to occur, the highlight activates to shed some mild on the scene, which helps to attract colours out extra. Now, I ought to level out that the highlight kicks on each time movement is detected, however I want there was a strategy to pressure the digicam to shoot in colour night time imaginative and prescient with out it on. Whereas there may be an choice to disable the highlight by means of the settings within the app, it successfully defaults to straightforward black-and-white night time imaginative and prescient.

Smarter safety behind a subscription

Out of the field, you get a free Three-month trial to Arlo Sensible — the corporate’s premier safety service. With out it, the Arlo Professional Four Highlight Digicam is restricted to seven days of cloud recording at 1080p, versus 30 days with 2K footage. One other advantage of Arlo Sensible is that you simply acquire superior options corresponding to package deal, particular person, animal, car, and smoke/CO2 alarm detection. Arlo Sensible provides a sensible safety resolution that may get rid of false alerts, but it surely’s all behind a subscription.

However what? The $Three-per-month plan for a single digicam is value the associated fee to those that merely need extra peace of thoughts. It’s arduous sufficient juggling the various notifications in your cellphone, so it’s a comfort that the Arlo Professional Four can intelligently know the distinction between a stranger coming into body versus the neighborhood cat strolling previous.

I additionally admire that you may arrange a geofence to inform the digicam when to activate or off. That is particularly helpful if you find yourself utilizing the Arlo Professional Four Highlight Digicam indoors, since you possibly can set it to disarm while you’re residence — so that you gained’t have that feeling such as you’re being watched continually.

Our take

Actually, I used to be anticipating the bar to be elevated by the Arlo Professional Four Highlight Digicam. However in actuality, it shares a variety of similarities with its predecessor. Regardless of this, I’m glad that it doesn’t value an arm and a leg to select up, which is one thing that made the Arlo Professional Three a more durable consideration for these with a tighter funds. At $200 for only a single Arlo Professional Four Highlight Digicam, it’s a considerably decrease funding than the $500 beginning value for the bottom 2-kit system of the Arlo Professional Three. The decrease value mixed with its direct Wi-Fi connection nonetheless makes it a gorgeous possibility for anybody who craves smarter safety.

How lengthy will it final?

With its weather-resistant development, it’s capable of stand up to a temperature vary of Four-degrees F to 113-dgerees F. It’s unlikely to interrupt down, but when it does, there’s a one-year restricted guarantee that covers in opposition to defects in materials and workmanship.

Is there a greater different?

The Arlo Important XL can be an excellent different when you’re trying to save extra, however nonetheless crave an clever safety digicam to observe your property. You’ll solely must fork over $150 for it, which saves you $50. The one downside is that it’s restricted to 1080p seize and doesn’t provide HDR video.

One other comparable digicam is the Ring Highlight Digicam, which advantages from Ring’s in depth sensible residence ecosystem. If you happen to’re actually in search of a cut price, try the Wyze Cam Outside, which options native storage, sharp footage, and an offline mode, all for $60.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, regardless of the stark similarities it shares with its predecessor.

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