Arlo Pro 3 review

This Arlo Pro 3 Review will answer all your questions about the device. The Arlo Pro3 camera kit that includes two cameras, can be purchased for around $499 and you can get additional cameras for $199 each. Although it doesn’t have the attention-grabbing 4K’s UHD resolution, it does pack a punch with a full suite of enhancements making it a better choice than others of its kind.

Full Arlo Pro 3 Review

What’s New

The Arlo Pro 3 is an upgrade to the Arlo Pro 2 camera promising better video quality in bright or dark areas. It boosts image resolution much like the Arlo Pro 2’s 1080p only with an improvement making this version more vibrant and sharper and it supports a higher dynamic range (HDR). Moreover, its field of view is 160-degree, which is not as wide as the Arlo Ultra K’s 180-degree view. However, it is a step up from its predecessor that had a 130-degree angle.

Some features were taken from the Arlo Ultra 4K, such as an integrated spotlight that supports night vision in color and noise-canceling two-way audio.

One benefit of the Arlo Pro 3 is the cool magnetic charging method that delivers up to six months of battery life between charges.

Visual Design

The visual design of the Arlo Pro 3’s supporting SmartHub and cameras look identical to the Arlo 4K Ultra, which is a good thing since the design of the 4K Ultra is more compact and attractive than other systems like it.

The all-plastic, curvy chassis is enough to endure the elements, and a stronger magnetic mounting system makes it very simple to install. (There is also a screw-mounted option available). With the partially flattened base attached, you can place the camera basically anywhere, including on a desktop or shelf.

Arlo Pro 3
Photo cred: Christian de Looper/techradar

Arlo’s SmartHub

Arlo’s SmartHub (VMB4540), provides connectivity to a network between the router and your camera. Although it looks just like the Arlo Ultra 4K, if you take a closer look at the device, you will find that there are some important differences between the two.

Video surveillance hoarders are going to love the Arlo Pro 3 for this next feature in this Arlo Pro 3 review as you will now have up to 2 TB capacity to store your videos. Storage for your videos created with the Arlo Pro 3, is enabled through a single USB 2.0 port and not a MicroSD slot like the Arlo Ultra contains.

Due to it providing lower resolution video, the system operates with fewer bandwidth requirements and rather than the standard AC supported by the Arlo Ultra 4K, which is faster, the Arlo Pro 3’s SmartHub uses 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. The good news about Arlo Pro 3 is that the cameras are supported by some of the older Arlo systems, and therefore, can be added to an existing network to get the benefits of the enhanced 2K video streams without having to replace the SmartHub. This is what makes this newer Arlo a better option than even Arlo’s top-tier kit. You can even incorporate Arlo Pro 3 cameras at a later date without losing functionality.

Setting Up the Arlo Pro 3

As with every other Arlo system, setup is very simple and fast. A recently released upgrade to their Smartphone app walks you right through the installation process of the Arlo Pro 3. With cheaper systems, you have to switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections during setup, but with Arlo’s wired SmartHub, the installation runs more smoothly.

Even installing the hardware for the Pro 3 is easy, with the magnetic mounting options and screws available and the newer concave magnetic mount is fantastic at balancing versatility and strength. Despite the firm connection, the cameras simply snap right into the back of the mount at a precise angle. The Arlo Pro 3 also comes with an adjustable security mount for more ambitious mounting, which can be used to screw the mount into walls, ceilings, fences, trees, and more. The cameras support 90-degree tilt and 360-degree rotation.

Improved Video Quality

One thing that you can’t miss about the Arlo Pro 3 is the improved video quality. It uses 2K image quality, which is a step up from its predecessor and the 720p that the original Arlo supports. However, it lacks the clarity you get with the Arlo Ultra 4K, but it is still a great system.

With the enhanced resolution of this Arlo you can take advantage of the 12x digital zoom without the images blurring up like with other cameras, but going past 3x zoom will noticeably degrade quality. It is also equipped with a tracking feature and a smart auto-zoom that comes in pretty handy with security monitoring. Unfortunately, when this feature was enabled with the Arlo Ultra 4K, the resolution of the camera dropped to 1080p.

While the daytime image quality is well balanced with good contrast and accurate colors, night vision produces greater clarity and sharpness than many competitors. The Auto HDR feature makes the Arlo Pro 3 smart camera one of the few indoor cameras that avoid overexposure in brightly lit areas, allowing you to capture images of someone peering through your window. In addition, the 160-degree field of view may not be wide enough to view huge gardens or expansive areas, it still can cover a lot of area without distorting the fish-eye view.

To view color at night with the Pro 3’s night vision feature, the camera will require the integrated spotlight to illuminate the area. The results appear to be much more natural than the standard monochrome pictures competitors produce.

However, high ISO photography used with color night vision results in some noise and blurriness and if you disable the spotlight, the camera will revert to the standard model of night vision settings.

arlo pro 3
Photo Credit: Engadget

The Integrated Spotlight and Piercing Alarm

Unlike the Arlo Pro 2, the piercing alarm has shifted to the cameras in this newer version, with the option of motion detection trigger resulting in a loud piercing alarm that will scare any intruder off. In combination with the camera’s integrated bright LED spotlight, it gives your home a good first line of defense. To arm the system, the Arlo app supports various configurable modes for you to choose from.

The Arlo Pro 3 has a manual toggle that can be used to enable monitoring with geolocation or timed schedule settings. You can customize each mode with simple IFTTT rules for video recording, integrated alarm, and motion detection or you can simply build a custom mode to meet your needs.

Arlo Pro 3 Review Conclusion

The Arlo Pro 3 seems to be on par with regular Arlo upgrades with some additional features added in. The color night vision is a superior feature with a good illumination range although the monochrome images are a bit noisy. It provides greater clarity and sharpness than many of its competitors.

While the Arlo Pro 3 isn’t actually in competition with the likes of the Nest Secure or Simplisafe as a fully-fledged smart home security system, the overlapping features it is equipped with make it worth considering as a home smart monitor.

arlo 3
Photo Credit: Tomsguide

Buying the Arlo Pro 3

Editors’ Recommendations

Did you enjoy our Arlo Pro 3 review? If so, read some of our other reviews to learn how to turn your home into a smart home. 

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