User-friendly, affordable price, albeit a monthly fee, this entry-level home security camera from ARLO, packs a real punch in every sense of the utility of this genre of devices.
Arlo exploded into the world’s leading home security camera manufacturer, a position it holds with around a quarter of the market share in the US, very quickly, after starting off as a division of NETGEAR, not much in the remote past.
This gadget is the company’s strategy in targeting the lower end of the market and thus strategically named Arlo’s essential. The 1080p Essential costs just $129 (AU$229) and can be up and running in minutes. It offers a narrower field of view at 130 degrees as compared to the Ultra at a wider 180 degrees, but realistically 130 degrees is still pretty dang wide. The Essential comes with a mount that screws into your wall, it’s weatherproof, and it’s wireless and battery-powered.
Connectivity is on 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network, connect the phone to the same network to set it up and get it running. Basic brightness settings, activity zones for notifications, flicker adjustment to counteract the effect of fluorescent lights, motion detection sensitivity, hence nothing much to play. With online AI processing, it also correctly managed to identify people, animals, and vehicles with very good accuracy, although, in stage 3 or 4 of the Covid 19 lockdown, it is a little weird to test the wireless camera! It takes a minute for logging a short piece of footage, uploading, processing and making it available for viewing. Playing back, one can pause and zoom right in to have clarity on the face. More-over the clips and images can be easily shared through the ARLO app.
The Essential has the ability to operate as an intercom, where one can speak into your phone, to have a conversation with whoever’s outside, and also press another button and delight them with a high-pitched, screeching siren. A built-in automatic floodlight delivers full-color images at night. According to the website, the in-built battery is as durable to last up to 6 months, however, its relative dependency is on the load it takes, and in testing conditions, it has been found the battery has dropped to 30% after six days of use.
Arlo Essential can be charged by unscrewing it from the wall mount, plug it into a Micro USB charger, and then go screw it back onto the wall every time it runs itself out. If Arlo was to put a removable battery in the Essential, maybe it’d compete too hard against the Arlo Pro 3. In the inside it can be plugged with a charging cable, and in case it’s running outside, it can be augmented with a little solar panel, though with $80 (AU$99), that does change the price equation.
Product Page: ARLO
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