Arlo Ultra 2 Review

Introduction

Arlo Ultra 2 is a wireless security camera. It is the second generation flagship 4K camera of the “Arlo”. It is one of the best home security cameras we’ve come across, all thanks to the wide variety of what it offers.

 

Arlo Ultra 2

Image Credit: Amazon

This ranges from the improved battery life to better connectivity and an even longer connectivity range. There are also special features like the waterproof 4K smart security camera which is always on top of the best security camera ratings.

Arlo Ultra 2 Features

Stand out or the most important feature of the Arlo Ultra 2 is its crystal clear 4K footage. It also comes with a 180-degree field of view. It has an auto-zoom and track, which is also a good security feature, this means that if the camera spots motion it zooms in on it and moves with it.

Arlo Ultra 2 has a built-in spotlight that can be set to turn on motion, and stay on continuously, pulsing or strobing to really startle an intruder. You can also manually trigger the in-built siren or set it to go off anytime it detects motion.

Arming and disarming the camera turns them off and is based on a schedule or your own location using geofencing. This is another good feature especially if you don’t like the idea of footage of you moving around the lawn or walking in and out of your house.

Another good feature is the cloud-based AI smart detection. With this feature, you can choose to turn on or off one or more options, including all motion, people, animals, and vehicles, plus you can have one camera and also packages. This will help reduce the number of unnecessary alerts you get.

In addition to smart alerts, motion detection, and rich notifications including where you can view video clips, it also gets you a custom activity zone and an e911 emergency calling which will be directly from the app.

Arlo Ultra 2 Design

The Arlo Ultra 2 has the same stylish monochrome design as its predecessors, the other Arlo home security cameras before it. That is a glossy white casing, which is removable, though, in one piece, it houses the removable rechargeable battery, while its sleek black face houses the 180-degree lens and the LED spotlight it comes with.

It is measured at 3.5 x 2 x 3 inches / 8.9 x 5.2 x 7.8cm (h x w x d), it’s a very compact home security camera, and the cameras are designed to be weatherproof too.

Arlo Ultra 2 3 Sets

Image Credit: Arlo

The down part of the camera has some connector pins which are made for a magnetic charging cable, if you would rather hard-wire the Ultra 2, as well as the button which enables you to remove the casing, then on the back there is a connector for the screw mount if you want to mount the camera on the wall.

Arlo Ultra 2 can also be positioned using a magnetic mount which is included in the box, though of course, this is less secure than the screw mount, as the camera can be detached easily at any time. The camera can also be used while it is free-standing without using any of the mounts.

It uses a SmartHub, which is what connects it to your router for internet access. The shinny white hub, which is measured at 6 x 4.7 x 2.1 inches / 15.2 x 12 x 5.3cm (h x w x d) is in keeping with the design of the Arlo Ultra 2 cameras, and it offers local storage for the camera’s footages through a microSD card slot if you prefer to rather not subscribe to Arlo Smart.

It also features a power input and an Ethernet port, which you will then connect to your Wi-Fi router during the set-up process.

Arlo Ultra 2 Performance

The Arlo Ultra 2 records very clear, detailed color footage both during the daytime and at night, as long as the spotlight is triggered when motion is detected. You can still see small details even when the sun is shining so brightly, or dark shadows are being cast, all thanks to the HDR support.

The 12x zoom is also very impressive, because this allows the camera pictures to be zoomed in to check small details when viewing the videos in the Arlo app, and then the 180-degree field of view does not have the distorted fisheye effect which some other security cameras create.

It could also be found that the Arlo Ultra 2 is very effective at identifying motion, and though it was just the trial of Arlo Smart activated during testing, each notification highlighted whether the source of the motion was an animal, a person, or any other source.

There are some instances though where the camera can mistake washed clothes that are being hung on the line for a person, but then setting up motion zones in the camera’s field of view (which is another option offered through Arlo Smart) reduces the number of alerts that are received.

The camera can also be set to automatically zoom in when it detects motion, which is another good add-on, and then it can track the subject (even though this can be in a slightly lower resolution, because of how the image has been zoomed).

The in-built spotlight can be controlled manually or it can be set to switch on automatically, there’s also a siren feature, which likewise can manually be activated or set to be automatically activated. The Arlo Ultra 2 also has a 2-way talking function, which is very clear, thanks to the noise-cancellation technology that cuts out wind noise.

Note that while the SmartHub offers local storage, footage that is stored in this way can not be accessed through the application, you must remove the SD card from the SmartHub and view the video clips on a computer or any other compatible device.

Arlo Mobile App

The app has a very easy-to-navigate interface and it offers as much control over your home security cameras as you want.

When you open the app you are presented with a list of the Arlo security cameras that are installed in your home, with a snapshot of the one with the most recently recorded motion next to each one.

Arlo App

Image Credit: 9to5Mac

There is quick access from there to the settings menu for each of the cameras, where you can do stuff like setting up geofencing so that cameras can turn on or off based on your location, which is shared with the camera via your personal smartphone.

You can also adjust the speaker and microphone volume from the app, you can change the name of the camera, and then trigger the siren or the spotlight.

Let’s say you want to see past footage in chronological order, you will have to select the library tab from the bottom of the app screen, while the mode tab allows you to take control of how a camera behaves when you’re home or you’re away. There is also a more detailed settings section.

Integration with assistants like the Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and even the HomeKit means you can ask any of your preferred assistants to show footage from the camera on your TV, or on any other compatible smart display, as well as using the camera in some home automation.

Note that video storage and some AI features such as object detection require you to pay a monthly subscription fee for Arlo Smart, though the camera comes with a three-month free trial, after which this costs from $2.99 per month.

How To Set Up Arlo Ultra 2?

Arlo Ultra 2 Setup Accessories

Image Credit: The Ambient

You must plug the hub into power and into your router via an ethernet cable, and then pair each camera to the hub before installing them.

Installation is pretty simple since it doesn’t have any wires, if you buy the 2-camera kit, then you get two different mounts, a magnetic and a screw-in mount. Both of them are easily adjustable and simple to install, requiring you to just tighten the three screws to secure them.

But deciding where to fix it might be a little challenge since it can go just about anywhere. Once it is connected to the base station, you can mount it just about anywhere you want. Also note that the camera snaps magnetically onto the base, and that makes it extra easy to adjust the angle however you want.

You can install your camera following the below steps:

  • First of all, set up an Arlo account, that is if you don’t have one already. Select Arlo Ultra 2 as the device you want to install.
  • Then plug in the ethernet cable into your internet router and then do the same into the Arlo base station.
  • Next, you insert the rechargeable battery into your Arlo Ultra 2
  • And then the base station will automatically detect your camera. It will then ask you to select the correct serial number before it can connect.
  • Next, you install the camera mount wherever you want to put the camera. (It should be an unobstructed view for the best outcome).
  • Lastly, put the camera on the mount, It will then be magnetically attached so you can now adjust to the best viewing angle.

Once the camera is installed you can always remove them when you need to take them down to swap the battery and charge.

Arlo Ultra 2 Battery Life

As stated earlier, it comes with improved battery life, it is not just improved, it is superb, as it can go on for 6 months between charges. When recharging, it takes around 3.5 hours to be full, and it is also swappable.

But then since so many other features have been added to the Arlo Ultra 2 compared to its predecessors, the battery life will depend on so many of these features, like how much motion is detected, how many times the live view feature is activated, the times the spotlight or the siren features are activated, or the times the two-way microphones and speakers are used.

The camera is removable too, so you do not have to stay out of security cams when charging as you can easily swap it with a charged one while you’re charging the low one.

How To Charge Arlo Ultra 2 Battery?

The battery is very easy to recharge. It could be charged using the bundled USB cable and power adapter. You can purchase more than one battery, so you can charge one while the other one is in use.

Arlo Ultra 2 Price & Availability

The listing price from Arlo for its Ultra 2 camera is $599.99. This is for the Ultra 2 two-camera kit, inside this kit, you will see two cameras and the smart hub, which is an expensive purchase anyways, though it is fully worth it.

As stated earlier, this kit comes with a free 3-month trial of Arlo Smart, which you will need to subscribe to at a cost of $4.99 per month once it expires, that will be if you want to continue storing footage in 4K and then making use of the various other smart features. This is a great choice for anyone who wants a high-resolution smart security camera, or for those who are struggling with connectivity issues.

It is available worldwide through Arlo’s website and other online retailers including Amazon. There is also a 3-camera kit which is priced at $899.99, in the US and the UK there is a 4-camera kit that costs $999.99. There is also a single add-on camera that doesn’t include the smart hub; they are priced at $299.99.

Pros & Cons Of Arlo Ultra 2 Security Camera

The camera has its own pros and cons and we are going to discuss it accordingly in order to help you decide if this is really worth a shot at.

Pros

1. Great Video Quality

The Arlo Ultra 2 is just one of a few home security cameras on the market that records footage in 4K, which means it is extremely detailed.

2. Supports 5Ghz WiFi

With support for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands, the Arlo Ultra 2 can be placed further away from the SmartHub than any other Arlo security camera, which is a big plus. If you’ve got a large property and need a longer-range Wi-Fi connection, the Arlo Ultra 2 is a camera worth considering.

3. Color Night Vision

All thanks to its built-in spotlight, which can be set to switch on automatically if the camera senses motion around, the Arlo Ultra 2 records good color footage both during the day and at night.

4. Good Battery Life

According to Arlo, the battery can last for a huge 6 months without charging, even as this is unconfirmed, it will be there or thereabout due to the short time trial that was done. Even though the battery life is going to be dependent on features that are activated or not.

5. Smart Detection Features

The camera comes with a smart feature that can detect the motions of humans, animals, or vehicles.

6. Rich Notifications

The mobile app can be used to get instant alerts on a user’s phone when motion is detected and then take quick action.

7. Digital Assistant Support

It comes with assistant integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and even HomeKit.

Cons

A. Very Expensive

The Arlo Ultra 2 is a very expensive home security camera system because of its very good features, so if you are on a budget you will want to look elsewhere.

B. Video Storage and Access

If you choose the option to store the camera’s footage locally on a microSD card that is inserted into the SmartHub you won’t be able to access that footage in the app, you can only access it by taking out the SD card and viewing the footage on your computer or any other compatible device. The company says a fix for this is coming through, but nobody knows when.

C. Smart Hub Required

A smart hub is required in order to use the camera though, adding to the growing expenses.

D. Expensive Monthly Plans

The monthly plans to keep the camera running are very expensive, again, adding to the growing expenses.

E. The App Can Get Slow

Because of how bulky it is, the app can get frustratingly slow, and it can even happen when you need the service urgently.

Conclusion

There are not many full all-around featured battery-powered security cameras out there today that are better than the Arlo Ultra 2. With its crisp, 4K footage capturability and total flexibility of where it could be placed, all thanks to an entirely wire-free design and easy-to-install mounts, Arlo’s Ultra 2 security camera is one of the ultimate smart security cameras around.

You can easily stick these things anywhere and keep an eye on what is happening around your home, anywhere you are. Though we would like to see a slightly better camera range. The battery life has improved and the AI-powered smart detection features are great too, cutting down on nuisance alerts. If those things are worth the comparatively high price of Arlo to you, which should be likely, then you won’t be disappointed at all.