I’ve used a lot of security cameras in my time and they all have their positives and shortcomings. The Arlo Ultra might just be the closest to perfection that we’ve had. With a huge feature set, amazing picture quality and helpful features like geofencing, the Arlo Ultra will have you feeling at ease.
IN THE BOX
The Arlo Ultra comes in three packs. A two pack, a three pack and your standalone add on camera. These will set you back $1049, $1449 and $449 respectively. In a typical two pack you get the cameras + a battery for each, one power adaptor and a magnetic charge cable. One magnetic mount & one three point mount, two wall mount screw kits, a security decal and the brand new Ultra smart hub.
Everything you need is in the box. I would have liked to have seen two magnetic mounts as these are way more functional and a fantastic design. The new Ultra smart hub is much slimmer and nicer, and provides a lot of the same functionality that the older hub did.
The Arlo Ultra devices are incredibly stylish.They have a similar striking white/black design, but it’s now a unibody design which means that the camera comes out of the shell which reveals the battery (which can be released by pushing a button on the bottom).
The biggest change is the charging mechanism which is now magnetic, and a huge improvement to the last iteration. Unfortunately, that means if you do have an old charger lying around, it’s no longer compatible.
As mentioned earlier, the new magnetic mount allows you to reach angles that weren’t previously possible. It holds incredibly well and means that you can even hang the mount from the roof (or at insane angles), and there’s enough suction there that you won’t ever have your camera falling off the mount.
THE CAMERA FEATURES
This it without doubt the most feature complete Arlo camera. Like with other Arlo products, they’re wireless and last a month or two before needing to recharge. Each Ultra camera has a spotlight built in, which will automatically come on when necessary. Each camera also has a siren built in, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you’ve got a camera outside, this is extremely useful as you can warn away intruders with a siren built into the camera, rather than at the base.
The camera quality is fantastic. You now have 4K video (which works either locally on wifi or by recording to a MicroSD card). The camera utilises auto zoom and tracking, which means that if it spots a pet or person in the distance, it’ll zoom in and follow them.
The app itself will let you view the cameras live feed or show your recordings sorted by day and also which camera. You’re able to tell the camera to record for a certain amount of time (30 seconds for example) or when it stops detecting movement.
You have full colour night vision (which is also made better by the spotlight) and full HDR which means that you can see better in shadows or when the sun is in full flight in the middle of the day.
You have a full 180 degree viewing angle with a reduced fish eye effect. You can flick between 180 degree, 155 degree or 120 degree field of views. 120 degree field of view will be fine in most instances (and provides the least distortion), but that 180- degree viewing angle is incredibly useful for wide spaces, reaching areas that you couldn’t have before.
The cameras now feature full two way audio with dual microphones. This means that you can have a full conversation with someone at the other end of your camera. Whether it be warning off an intrurder whilst still being able to hear what’s happening, or having a conversation with someone at the other end of the camera.
ARLO SMART AND EXTRAS
One of my favourite things about Arlo Ultra is the geofencing capability. This will sense when the last person in your family leaves your house (by your phone’s location) and alarm your Arlo. This means that it will automatically choose when to send you notifications and detect/record movement/sound from your wireless cameras. This has been a little bit spotty in the past, but it’s now working perfectly with subsequent updates.
With the purchase of Arlo Ultra you get a year of Arlo Smart. This is roughly a $120 saving. With Arlo Smart, you get 30 days of cloud recording stored, you get Person, Vehicle, Animal and Package detection which works really well. For instance, I have dogs in my house and yard constantly, so I’m able to weed out these notifications from hitting my phone. You get rich notifications to your lock screen and are able to live stream straight from your lock screen.
Similarly, activity zones is another area that is a bit hit and miss but has been getting better with time. This is where you can set zones within your cameras viewing path in order to tell it where to record and where not to record. When it works, it’s brilliant. It’s also worth mentioning that the Arlo Ultra is compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit and all three services work really well with this product.
The Arlo Ultra cameras are absolutely phenomenal. They are full of useful features and look fantastic in your home. Arlo has done a great job with consistently providing updates and making these products a must-have in your home.