Arlo Essential Spotlight Security Camera Review: Better Than Basic

Smart house safety is continuously advancing, squeezing extra capability into smaller, neater programs which are more and more reasonably priced.

Arlo’s Essential Spotlight Camera is one such instrument, combining this type of options you possibly can have spent giant on a couple of years in the past – a focus, two-way audio and a siren – right into a compact wi-fi digicam that takes about quarter-hour to arrange and set up.

Design and construct 

  • Wireless
  • Weather-resistant
  • Spotlight

What’s in an instant noticeable as soon as the Essential Spotlight Camera is put in is how discreet it’s, with a corpulent design that’s sensible but swish. At simply over 11cm tall and 5cm broad, the digicam itself is sufficiently small to slot in the palm of your hand and lightweight at 122g, whilst the mount is in a similar fashion unobtrusive.

It’s designed to be proof against the weather – its USB charging port is beneath and it’s lined with a protecting flap.  

It may well be assumed to be a safety gentle and not anything extra. A shiny white or black plastic external with delicate branding and a black fascia do not anything to dispel this assumption. The digicam’s highlight, which illuminates at evening so you’ll be able to see in color, is located simply above the lens.

Arlo Spotlight camera in position on a wall

Perhaps the one quibble comes from putting in the mount – the wall plugs provided didn’t chunk right into a brick wall correctly, so needed to be substituted for appropriate fixings.

Performance and lines

  • User-friendly app
  • Battery won’t closing six months with prime utilization
  • Person, car & animal differentiation subscription solely

There’s a handy guide a rough get started information provided with the Essential Spotlight Camera however all it does is let you know to fee your digicam and direct you to the app.

We discovered connecting to the app easy: putting in the essential long-range 2.4GHz bandwidth for it to paintings correctly if truth be told took extra time.

There are some considerate touches within the set-up, similar to the facility to circumvent one of the settings till later and a bit to call your digicam – helpful should you upload others at some point.

The app’s user-friendly interface shines; it’s uncommon that you just’re ever greater than a few faucets clear of discovering other settings, which come with toggling video high quality (opting for best possible battery lifestyles will cut back this, whilst the most productive high quality video method you’ll be recharging extra regularly), converting process zones and deciding which notifications you need to obtain.

This closing choice is essential should you solely need to know when folks were noticed, moderately than be alerted to automobiles and different movement.

When putting in process zones, versatile shapes would were helpful – the one selection is squares of imaginative and prescient, which means you’ll have to attract a lot if you wish to steer clear of specific motions triggering notifications.

Screenshots from the Arlo app

There’s additionally the facility to regulate how delicate the digicam is to movement. We discovered that ours was once inconsistent in selecting up animals (cats, a night-time fox) till we became up the sensitivity to prime. That will impact battery lifestyles.

If you might be questioning how lengthy the battery will closing, Arlo estimates six months between fees. But that appears to be in keeping with minimum occasions, low video high quality and occasional sensitivity. If, as we did, you toggle video high quality to prime and building up the sensitivity to most, it’s going to run down a lot more temporarily.

In our take a look at, it dropped from 100% to 50% in about 10 days, even supposing there have been a large number of comings and goings, which once more does affect battery lifestyles. 

Another inconsistency was once the two-way audio. It’s now not obtrusive the right way to use it – it calls for going reside with the video prior to you’ve gotten the choice. Even then, it labored on occasion, even supposing this will were as a result of a deficient connection. However, the siren labored neatly and with out fail. 

The video the digicam supplied was once crisp and transparent, each day and evening, due to the highlight. We discovered that the 130° view lined many of the entrance of the home.

Price and availability

In america, the Arlo Essential Spotlight Wi-Fi Security Camera is to be had direct from Arlo for $129.99 however the more sensible choice is to shop for it from Amazon, the place it’s $99.99

In the United Kingdom, it is to be had from Arlo for £130, from Currys for £129.99, or from Amazon for £127.96. For its characteristic set, its worth compares favourably with the Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera, even supposing no subscription is needed for Netatmo merchandise.

There are two tiers of subscription, Secure and Secure Plus. In the United Kingdom, the Secure subscription prices £2.79 per thirty days for a unmarried digicam, or £8.99 for limitless cameras. Secure Plus will set you again £12.99 per thirty days, however you’ll be able to have as many cameras as you need.

In america, the Secure subscription prices $2.99 per thirty days for a unmarried digicam, or $9.99 per thirty days for limitless cameras. The Secure Plus subscription prices $14.99 per thirty days for limitless cameras.


While Arlo’s Essential Spotlight Camera gained’t be for everybody (those that need options that let them to fine-tune tracking, for instance), as an easy-to-use instrument, it’s nice for any individual who’s prior to now have shyed away from good house merchandise for worry that they’re difficult to arrange or use.

It does the fundamentals of house safety, and does them neatly. 

However, there are compromises to be made. Cloud video historical past, wealthy notifications and detecting the adaptation between automobiles, folks and animals are subscription-only after an preliminary trial length. That method you can both wish to join, or be ready for a definite selection of false-alarm notifications. 

But should you’re proud of normal movement notifications and reside video streaming, it’ll proceed to paintings as a greater than elementary safety digicam.

The different factor is if your digicam is used so much, it’s possible you’ll in finding that you need to recharge the battery a lot more regularly than each six months. This would possibly imply that it is best fitted to a house with some good house safety already, the place it’s going to make a at hand additional to control an outbuilding, again lawn or storage.

For extra safety digicam choices, and to look how Arlo’s providing stacks up towards the contest, take a look at our round-up of the most productive indoor and out of doors safety cameras.


Arlo Essential Spotlight Wi-Fi Security Camera: Specs

  • Product dimensions: 8.88 x 5.2 x 7.74 cm
  • Weight: 350g
  • Colour evening imaginative and prescient
  • 1080p digicam
  • Two-way audio
  • Wireless
  • climate resistant
  • Compatible with: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT & Stringify
  • 130-degree diagonal box of view
  • 12x virtual zoom

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