Security has become an important part of our life, both inside and outside our homes. This is why it is a good idea to have a high-quality security camera that will give you an idea of what’s going on around you.
Netgear’s Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 are the world’s first smart and wireless security camera that comes with rechargeable batteries, good audio and more. The best part is you can connect both these devices to the Arlo base station.
So, what’s the difference between Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2? Are they the same product or very different? Which one should you buy? We have answers to all these questions in this post. So, read on.
Arlo Pro vs Arlo Pro 2: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Table of Contets
Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 are more like twins, as they entered the market exactly a year apart. While Arlo Pro was released in 2016, Arlo Pro 2 came into the world in October 2017. Which of these is better? Let’s find out.
The design between the two models is fairly similar. Both are aesthetic and come in a white casing with a black camera.
Arlo Pro 2 comes with metallic lettering instead of the grey one of Arlo Pro. Also, the latter version has a white bevel around its front area instead of the black bevel of its predecessor. But, these changes have little to no difference from an appeal perspective.
In terms of design, there is not much difference, and both score equally well.
This is one area where the two models are significantly different from one another. Let’s explore the features in detail to understand which of these two is better for you.
The resolution of Arlo Pro is 720p, which is fairly the standard that we have come to expect from any home security camera. Images and video are clear at this resolution and there is nothing much to complain here.
Arlo Pro 2, on the other hand, comes with a resolution 1080 HD, which means the video is significantly clearer than Arlo Pro. In fact, there are only a handful home security cameras that come with a 1080 HD resolution, and this makes Arlo Pro 2 a clear winner if you want super quality video.
Geofencing is a technology that points your location, regardless of which part of the world you are in, using Wi-Fi and GPS. If you happen to be around a predetermined radius of your device, it can trigger a particular event for you. It just depends on how you program the device.
Most people disarm the device when they are back home and arm it back up when they leave, just as a matter of convenience.
Both Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 come with geofencing technology. But the problem is, the technology itself needs to improve to be of any substantial use for you. For example, if you’re in a sparsely-populated area or if you’re in a high-rise apartment, geofencing doesn’t work. Sometimes, the GPS may never give your accurate location, which means, the system stays armed even when you’re home.
Since both the products have geofencing, there is no winner here. But let’s hope that geofencing technology improves soon, so we can get more benefits out of it.
Arlo Pro 2 can be powered by solar, batteries or AC adapter whereas Arlo Pro can be powered only by battery and solar.
This could make a big difference because a device that can power with an AC adapter can do much more because it has interrupted source of power. The device does not have to conserve power use by shutting down applications or by turning off any monitoring.
This is one of the reasons why Arlo Pro 2 is much more powerful in terms of its capabilities than Arlo Pro. So, if you think AC adapter charging is essential for your needs, Arlo Pro 2 is the clear winner.
- Night Vision
Night vision is a must-have feature of every home security camera because most unpleasant incidents happen only at night, where the intruders have the cover of darkness.
Both Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo Pro have night vision capabilities and this greatly adds to their appeal. These models come with eight infrared lenses to give a fairly good picture. However, both these cameras need some kind of a background light such as street light or ambient light, and this is fairly understandable because sensors need photons to capture images.
The night vision capabilities are well-developed in both the models, though the vision is slightly clearer and better in Arlo Pro 2. The facial features of intruders are more well-defined when compared to the featureless blur of Arlo Pro. But the difference in image quality is not substantial enough.
Again, there is no winner in this category because both have the same capability. Even though Arlo Pro 2 offers a slightly better image, it doesn’t make so much of a difference really.
- Video recording
Arlo Pro records a video for eight minutes at the most and that too, only when it detects motion. Otherwise, it goes into the “sleep” mode to save battery life.
Arlo Pro 2, on the other hand, offers a continuous video recording feature where your surroundings are recorded all through the day and night. However, the catch is you have to subscribe to a monthly plan if you want to use this service. The video that is recorded continuously is stored in the cloud and can be accessed at any time.
Also, the Arlo Pro 2 should be connected to an AC power supply for this continuous video recording to happen.
Another difference is that Arlo Pro begins recording only a few seconds after the motion is detected, which means, it can miss out on the first few seconds of the motion. The Arlo Pro 2, though, can capture motions with a three-second look back and this could help to capture some important movements.
In short, Arlo Pro is enough for most people as it can record motion for about eight minutes. The Arlo Pro 2’s continuous video recording is a fairly expensive option that is unnecessary most of the times. So, opt for Arlo Pro 2 only if you think you need continuous surveillance. Otherwise, it is a feature you can afford to miss.
- Battery Life
Arlo Pro has a long battery life that lasts up to six months because it has been designed to run only on existing charge and to conserve battery use when not needed.
Arlo Pro 2, on the other hand, has a battery life of just three months, which means, your costs will add up as you’ll have to replace it more times in a year.
From this perspective, Arlo Pro is the clear winner here. Of course, you should also understand that certain features in Arlo Pro 2 such as continuous video recording greatly reduce its battery life. In many ways, that’s the trade-off you do to get the advanced features of Arlo Pro 2.
- Motion Activity Zones
A major disadvantage that was pointed out by many users in Arlo Pro is its Passive Infrared Sensor. As a user, you have no control over the area that is monitored by Arlo Pro. Since the infrared lens covers the entire front portion, you will not be able to zoom into the PIR focus point, though you can choose to zoom into a specific area.
The problem with zooming is you’ll not be able to identify the motion that activated the camera. This feature limits the ability of seeing just what you want.
Arlo Pro 2 was designed to overcome this limitation. It sets something called activity zones that will activate the siren or recording only when the motion is detected within the set boundaries. Anything outside this boundary is not detected.
However, this feature works only when Arlo Pro 2 is connected to an AC power supply.
The winner in this feature is obviously Arlo Pro 2 because it addresses the problem present in the previous version.
Both Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 are weatherproof and waterproof, and this means they work well in rain, shine, wind and snow.
These cameras are designed to work well in temperatures ranging from 14F to 122F.
They come with IP65 weather resistant technology, so they can monitor your environment at all times, regardless of the weather conditions. IP stands for Ingress protection and is an industry standard to ensure that the product works well under all-weather situations. Also, 65 mean that the cameras are resistant to both dust and water.
- Field of View and Siren
Both the versions come with a large field vision, typically 130 degrees. This is an important feature, considering that these cameras have no pan, zoom or tilt functionality. Also, they do not have automatic zoom, so a static camera needs a large field vision to identify motion and intruders.
In addition, both the cameras connect with the base station that has a siren feature to alert you of any motion or intruders. However, this siren is really too loud and could burst your eardrums!
Since the features are identical in both the models, both are winners here. Such a wide field vision is not available in most other cameras that are priced in this range.
- Compatibility with Home Automation Systems
Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 are compatible with most home automation systems, and this gives an extra touch of flexibility for users.
They work well with Amazon’s Echo and their digital assistant, Alexa. You can control Arlo devices through Alexa’s voice control while the live feeds can be displayed on different Echo devices such as Echo Spot and on Amazon Fire devices. However, you cannot disarm any of the two Arlo devices through Alexa.
SmartThings is Samsung’s smart home system. Only Arlo Pro can work with this smart home system and it doesn’t look like Arlo Pro 2 is supported.
Another up and coming home system is the IFTTT, which stands for “If This Then That.” This is, in fact, a free app that allows you to connect different smart devices together, and both the Arlo products are compatible with it.
In short, you can choose either of the two products to connect with your smart home system. But, if you use SmartThings, then Arlo Pro is your go-to choice.
- Mobile App
Having a mobile app allows you to control your devices without having to physically touch them. Both the Arlo devices connect to the same app and this app is truly incredible. It has a simple and easy to use interface that makes it easy for all kinds of users to use them. This app works well with:
- iPhone or iPad that runs iOS 9 or later versions
- Android phones that run 4.1 or later versions.
In addition, these devices can be accessed through a web browser too.
If audio is a must for your recordings, then Arlo Pro 2 is your only choice because one of the disadvantages of Arlo pro is that it does not support audio in its recording.
Arlo Pro 2 goes one step ahead and provides a two-way audio. This means, you can listen to it and also talk to others using your camera as the medium and the smartphone as the connector.
In short, Arlo Pro 2 scores over Arlo Pro in terms of features. The latter version is definitely more advanced and eliminates the shortcomings of Arlo Pro.
3. Advanced Connection Options
Surprisingly, both the products do not give you the option to connect to your Ethernet directly. They connect to the base station, and this base connects to the Ethernet through a cable. This is how it receives a signal from the cameras through your home Wi-Fi system.
If you’re a tech enthusiast, the good news is you can connect to the satellite Internet, but the bad news is you have to meet some stringent requirements. The Internet should always be on and there should be a minimum of 1Mbps upstream capabilities. Also, satellite option for bandwidth use would cost you extra.
Both the products have the same capability.
Arlo Pro 2 is more expensive than Arlo Pro because of the additional features that come with it. While Arlo Pro 2 is priced higher, Arlo Pro isn’t that cheap.
You’ll also have to sign up for a paid cloud storage plan to use the continuous video recording feature. There are two plans currently offered – a 14 day and a 30-day plan.
The 14-day plan costs $9.99 per month or $99 a year while the 30-day plan costs $19.99 per month or $199 a year. These are the costs for one camera. If you have more than one, you’ll have to pay $10 per month or $100 per year for every additional camera.
One word of caution here. When you subscribe to continuous video recording, you’ll have tons of video and it might take you hours to find what you want. Since Arlo Pro 2 doesn’t come with any facial recognition software or functions, sorting through these huge volumes of video can be an overwhelming experience.
Arlo is a reliable company, which means, both Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo Pro are highly reliable and stable products. They can give some of the best features when compared to other smart home security cameras, and for this reason, they are highly popular.
The setup time in incredibly fast and the process is a breeze. Everything related to the setup can be done through the app on your smartphone and takes under five minutes.
Mounting the camera is also easy because the magnets snap well to the base. In fact, the whole thing can be up and running within just a few minutes.
Since the setup process is the same for both the products, we have equal winners here.
7. Pros and Cons
Let’s now look at some of the pros and cons of each product.
Arlo Pro – Pros:
The advantages of Arlo Pro are:
- Has one of the most sensitive motion detection technology, which means, even the smallest of motions can trigger it.
- Works well with all smart home device systems including Samsung’s SmartThings.
- It is lightweight, and this makes it highly portable.
- Though battery life depends on the usage levels, settings and the temperature of the surrounding environment, it could last for up to six months.
- Installation is simple, hassle-free and is ideal for all users.
- The design is eye-catchy and functional.
- Comes with excellent features that give the best surveillance.
Arlo Pro – Cons:
- It does not provide audio, and this could be a huge disadvantage.
- It starts recording only after a lapse of two to three seconds, which means, the cause of the trigger may not get recorded.
- Does not charge with an AC adapter.
- Users do not have control over the area that is monitored by the device.
- Records a video only for eight minutes at the most, and does not record videos continuously.
Arlo Pro 2 -Pros:
- Comes with a 1080p HD resolution for the clearest images.
- It can be recharged easily, as it can be plugged into an AC power source at any time. However, you need AC power to use many of its advanced features.
- Provides a two-way audio for you to talk and listen to others.
- Has good night vision as well.
- Triggers at the slightest motion,
- You have the option to choose continuous video recording, if you’re ready to pay extra. The recorded videos are stored in the cloud.
- You can set activity zones to get specific alerts only.
Arlo Pro 2 – Cons:
- Though the difference between Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo Pro is only a few tens of dollars, it could get expensive if you want to add continuous video recording to it. There is a monthly or yearly subscription to use this service and much of this goes towards cloud plans.
- It is not compatible with Samsung’s smart system called SmartThings.
- You have to replace batteries more often.
The Bottom Line
Arlo Pro 2 is the next version of Arlo Pro, and comes with a few new features. Mainly, it rectifies some of the problems existing in Arlo Pro such as the Passive Infrared Sensor. This makes Arlo Pro 2 a better product, if you have to choose between the two products.
If you already have Arlo Pro and want to upgrade, then it is a different question altogether. Since the difference is only minimal, it doesn’t really pinch your wallet if you want to make the upgrade. But the additional features may not be useful for everyone. For example, the continuous video recording feature will not be used by everyone simply because it is not needed. Also, you need a monthly subscription plan for it.
So, if you don’t think these new features will benefit you so much, you can stick with your Arlo Pro version. But, if these features are a must-have, then you can make the upgrade for just a few more dollars.
What’s the final verdict? Buy Arlo Pro 2 if you’re going to buy for the first time. If you want to upgrade, consider if you’ll need the additional features of Arlo Pro 2.
|Security Camera Name||Arlo Pro||Arlo Pro 2|