The Arlo Pro 3 is my new favorite outdoor. Its performance, design, features and overall value add up to a solid product worth strong consideration. Here are the highlights that make the Arlo Pro 3 worthy of CNET’s Editors’ Choice Award:
- Excellent 2K livestreaming and recorded, saved clips
- that (mostly) correctly differentiate among different types of motion
- A siren built into the camera
- A USB drive in the hub for local storage
- , and support
Yes, at $500 for a camera two-pack, plus the requisite hub, you’re going to spend a lot of money on the Arlo Pro 3 (I really wish Arlo sold a one-camera kit with a hub). But if you have the money and you’re looking for a great outdoor home security camera, the Arlo Pro 3 is a great bet. And, if you already own a hub from a, you can buy Arlo Pro 3s as standalone cameras for $200 each.
A whole new Arlo
The Arlo Pro 3 sits somewhere between the $600and the $400 two-camera kits in terms of its specs, features and price. Here’s a more in-depth overview of the Pro 3’s specs and features versus other Arlo cams:
Comparing Arlo cameras
|Arlo Pro 3||Arlo Ultra||Arlo Pro 2|
|Weatherproof||-4 to 113 degrees||-4 to 140 degrees||-4 to 113 degrees|
|Night vision||Color||Color||Black and white|
|Alerts||Motion and sound. Person, vehicle, animal and package with Arlo Smart subscription||Motion and sound. Person, vehicle, animal and package with Arlo Smart subscription||Motion and sound|
|Local storage||USB port in hub||MicroSD card slot in hub||USB port in hub|
|Cloud plan||Optional Arlo Smart subscription starting at $3 per month||Optional Arlo Smart subscription starting at $3 per month||Free 7-day activity-based cloud storage|
|Field of view||160 degrees||180 degrees||130 degrees|
|Zones||Yes, with Arlo Smart||Yes, with Arlo Smart||Yes, with Arlo Smart|
|Siren||Built into camera||Built into camera||Built into hub|
|Voice support||Alexa and Google Assistant. Siri forthcoming||Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri||Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri|
The Arlo Pro 2, my previous pick for best home security camera, has a narrower field of view than the Pro 3, lower resolution and a siren built into the hub rather than the camera (having the siren inside the house isn’t helpful if you want to scare away a potential intruder your camera spots outside). The Pro 2 is also missing a built-in spotlight, has black and white night vision (rather than color) and an 8x zoom (rather than 12x).
The older Pro 2 has other limitations: no HDR, no autotracking or zooming and no person-, vehicle-, animal- and package-detecting “smart alerts.” It does still have the free seven-day cloud storage option that Arlo sadly ditched with the Ultra and Pro 3 cameras.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Arlo Ultra has all of the same advanced features as the Pro 3, plus higher resolution, a larger field of view and a microSD slot in the hub (which is better than the Pro 3’s USB port). Ultra customers get one year of Arlo Smart Premier free. Arlo Smart Premier is Arlo’s midrange $10 per month subscription tier that includes e911, a feature that makes it possible to call local law enforcement from the Arlo app.
The Pro 3, in contrast, only comes with three months of Arlo Smart Premier, but it has virtually identical features as the Ultra at $100 less up front.
The Arlo SmartHub helps to protect your footage by adding a secure, personal network to your router. SmartHub also helps to regulate WiFi traffic, improves battery life, and comes with local storage.
Getting to know the Pro 3
Just like previous Arlo cams, the Pro 3 is easy to set up. Follow the simple steps in the app to connect the hub to your router and set up the cameras. Out of the box, the cameras come with two stands, two batteries (these batteries are interchangeable with Ultra cameras only) and one charger. I set up one camera in the front yard and the other at the side of the house near the garage.
Arlo also sent me a 25-foot outdoor extension cord adapter for $50 and a solar panel accessory for $80 (both sold separately). I set up the solar panel accessory with the Garage camera and the battery is holding steady around the full charge line after five days of active use. The Front Door camera is hovering lower at 25% battery remaining, although it wasn’t fully charged when I first set it up.