Protection for every home and family. Capture the details in full 1080p HD video for a clearer picture, day or night. Spend less time recharging with 6 months of battery life*. Connects directly to Wi-Fi without the clutter of extra gear. The Arlo Essential is wire-free and weather-resistant to deliver fast, easy installation and flexibility to get the perfect camera view. With the integrated spotlight, see important features like faces and licenses plates in full color, at night with color night vision. Ward off unwanted guests by triggering the siren or integrated spotlight automictically or manually from the Arlo App. Receive smarter alerts for people, vehicles and packages and take quicker action like sound the siren, call a friend or dial emergency services with the included 3 month trial Arlo Secure**. Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit*** and Samsung SmartThings.
Spend less time recharging
6 months of battery life on one charge.*
No hub required
Connects directly to Wi-Fi.
Coverage for every corner
Fast, wire-free set up (no wiring required), delivers increased installation flexibility to get the perfect camera view.
Capture clear details in full high definition
Record video in 1080p for a clear picture, day or night.
See more at night
See important features like faces or license plates in full color, at night, with color night vision.
Smarter alerts, quicker action
Receive notifications for people, vehicles, and packages so you can take quick action such as sound the siren, call friend or dial emergency services, with the included, Arlo Secure trial.**
Hear and speak to visitors at your door with clear, two-way audio.
Ward off unwanted guests
Set the built-in siren to trigger manually or automatically from the Arlo App.
Light up the night
Ward off unwelcome guests using the integrated spotlight.
Plays well with others
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit*** and Samsung SmartThings.
Built to withstand the heat, cold, rain or sun.
* 6 month battery life will vary with device settings, use, activity captured and environmental factors.
** Arlo Secure includes cloud recordings of video clips at 2K or lower resolution for 30 days. Renewal of an Arlo Secure subscription is required to maintain Arlo Secure features, including cloud storage. Arlo Secure service not available in certain counties.
*** Apple HomeKit compatibility for Arlo Essential requires connection to a compatible SmartHub or Base Station, sold separately.
- Easy setup (with Arlo hub)
- easy installation outside
- Picture quality
- Difficult hardware
- Difficult setup on multiple Accounts
Adding the Alro Essential spotlight camera to my existing network of Atlanta cameras was a breeze.
The Alro Essential will work with, or without the Arlo network hub, but for the ease of installation I would strongly suggest purchasing another Arlo camera, or the Arlo hub for your home (without it, you would have to manually install it using IP addresses in with your home network making a typical setup non-intuitive for someone who does not have much experience with networks).
Unpacking the camera went well. After charging it for the recommended three hours, I opened up my Arlo app, selected the "Add device," and followed the process of adding the Arlo essentials camera. The setup time took approximately two to three minutes. I went outside, found the spot I was looking for, and before installing the camera outside, I made sure the bandwidth/signal was not an issue (it is recommended to do this before you drill the base into your home outside to ensure there are no lag, or dropout issues). After installing the base and attaching the camera to it (this was an issue that I will mention later), I testes the picture quality in the app by specifically setting it up to have a better picture (I would suggest this setup; you may lose battery quicker, but your picture will look better overall). After a few days of usage, the picture, and sound quality was excellent for the use I had of the product. I only lost some picture quality at night, but with a 1080 P camera that is expected.
Unfortunately, the camera and Arlo app have their downfalls that I do want to point out. First, the hardware (or base of the unit). The base is equipped with a trackball that allows you to "move" the camera in any position you want. However, what I found difficult was the knob to twist, and keep the adjusted setting. Please know that over tightening the setting may cause the trackball to slip, and your camera may fall over. Also, the back of the camera you physically have to twist onto the connection base so that it holds position while on is rather difficult to take off. What the user should do to recharge it, is carefully hold the base, and gently twist the camera off the base to avoid moving your adjustment setting (when I did not do this, the trackball gave out and the camera fell down and out of place).
Second, one of the downfalls of the app is setting up your space to record. I found that this takes a lot of time setting up your zone for recording movement, etc. If you do not set this up appropriately, your camera will record any movement including cars, people walking, and even tree branches swaying in the wind, thus your camera's battery life will fail in days (especially if your picture quality is set to the highest it goes). Also, when adjusting your zone for recording, you may see a loss in any movement if you are not careful. For instance, I was walking near the sidewalk and onto my front lawn and the camera did not record. Unfortunately, this poses a problem because you may want to record someone physically entering onto your property. Again, careful adjustment to your zone settings is needed, and you may experience drastic recording experience; this takes a bit of playing around with, and it mat frustrate the user.
Lastly, my wife and I have two different Arlo accounts with an Arlo camera on it already. Now, you cannot use the same account login on multiple phones or devices. Instead, you will need to create multiple accounts and add the cameras separately. Unfortunately, when adding the Essential camera to my wife's account, for whatever reason, the phone would not find/add the camera to it (my wife has a newer phone than I do and we could not scan the QR code for the camera to install). The issue of not having the second camera on her account poses a problem for security, as I am the only one that can view both cameras (if I cannot view it and something happens, it defeats the purpose if my wife cannot see it either). I would strongly recommend a different approach for Arlo in the future for camera installations when pairing across multiple accounts.
Overall, the camera performs like it is supposed to. With a little elbow grease and some patience, recording zones, and picture/sound quality are there for the Arlo Essential camera. If you are looking for a better picture, I would suggest upgrading the Arlo 4K camera for better quality overall (at both night and day).
The cameras were a pain to set up. Everything I looked up online, seemed like a lot of people had the same issue that needed to be resolved by contacting Arlo support. I have to say there support team have great customer service, but I have not been happy with the product at all. After days and many attempts to get working, I finally got it to work. I leave town and a day later the cameras are offline. The solution was I needed to do something with the cameras which I couldn’t because I was away. Well, those cameras became pointless during trip. Maybe they work better some others and what they are using them for, but for me they weren’t a good product. I will try something else.
Ease of Use
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Brand response from Arlo Team
We appreciate you sharing your Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera experience with us. Here are additional troubleshooting steps you can perform when your Arlo Essential Spotlight cameras goes offline again and you are near your system: https://kb.arlo.com/1133448. If the issue persists, please reach out to our Support team to further investigate the continual behavior of your Arlo Essential Spotlight Cameras going offline. ^KN
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Owned for 1 month when reviewed.
I really like the camera, I already had two needed another one for the backyard!!East to install &add to the ones I have.
The Arlo Essential camera looks nice and unique with it's white body and black facade around the lens area. It's approximately the size of a hockey puck in size. This is my second Arlo camera being added into my Arlo ecosystem. I already own the Arlo Ultra 4K camera and smart hub. This was an easy way to have the Arlo Essential Spotlight added into my Arlo network at home. The app is easy to use to get the additional camera added in, and that process will take less than 5 minutes to do.
The tricky part for me is the lack of distance that the smart hub can handle. I have a strong modem and router with broad coverage that works well in all of my 2400 sq. ft. home. I could not get this camera to connect properly to the smart hub to have an adequate signal.for a strong camera connection. So rather than putting the camera in the ideal security spot I wanted to, I had to settle for a different spot that would be closer in proximity to the smart hub. Not sure where the blame lies with this one, whether it's the Essential camera or the smart hub. Either way be sure to check the camera signal strength before you decide to place your camera in the designated spot.
The Arlo app on iOS works well and is fairly easy to navigate. This camera displays in 1080p so it's a fairly clear picture you'll receive when it's wide, but gets very grainy and blurry when you zoom in. I also like the spotlight ability of this camera as an added deterrent to make sure that you can make others aware of its presence. I have my camera placed outdoors and it's weathered some rain already and continues to work well. The Essential camera is great for allowing 2 way audio to speak with someone on the other end in order to communicate with any visitors. The built in siren can be a good deterrent to make others aware that you're watching and help to alert nearby neighbors.
One gripe I've had with this Essential camera is the Arlo claim of 6 month battery life. I have been disappointed with the lack of battery life in real world use. My camera ran for 5 days under the Arlo "Optimized" setting which allows for balanced video quality and battery life. 5 days of usage and experiencing a dead battery is unacceptable. I would hope that this is a product glitch or a defective product as one of the problems. I'm sure that no customer would want to be taking this camera off every week to recharge it with the supplied USB charging cable.
One good thing I do like about this camera is that I get 3 months of cloud service to view recorded footage of motion activities. I don't like having to pay into an ongoing monthly subscription service in order to see any recordings. Just another money drain on your wallet by the manufacturers. Please offer an internal way for customers to view their own recordings with a micro SD card.
Noticeable light and audio deterrent
Free 3 month cloud video recordings
WiFi range connectivity
Monthly subscription fees
Video quality when zoomed in
I’m not loving it. I have 4 Ring cameras and I love the quality but they don’t work with Apple's HomeKit. I bought this camera because it said it was comparable but it’s not unless you have a hub and that’s an extra $100. I installed it anyway next to my Ring camera to compare the two and the Ring blew it away in color, clarity and night vision. I decided to keep it as a garage cam but I wouldn’t by another one.
LOVE THESE CAMERAS!!! We bought 4 back in February and I just bought 3 more!! Seriously debating where I can put more! Lol The ones we put up in February were charged before we put them up and haven’t charged any since. Their battery percentage is all still around 70%!
The Essential is a nice entry level wire-free camera for the Arlo ecosystem. For the price you get a wire-free, weather-resistant, 1080p security camera with an integrated spotlight. The Essential also dropped the old Arlo requirement of needing to install a basestation and it can join your existing WiFi. This is great for homes where there is already adequate wireless lan coverage and you don’t want to install another proprietary hub or basestation. With that said, the Essential can also join an Arlo basestation easily with the added benefit of having local storage of footage.
The camera design is similar to previous Arlo camera’s but notably missing the magnetic mount and an access door to remove the battery. Arlo transitioned to an integrated battery design in this model likely to save costs. Unfortunate, as batteries will eventually loose their efficiency and need replaced. Where as you lose swappable batteries you gain a feature missing from the previous entry-level Arlo cameras, an integrated light. The light is similar to those found on the Arlo Pro/Ultra cameras, which provides decent illumination of the immediate area around the camera allowing “color night vision”. There is also a built-in siren that can be triggered through automation or activated manually as well. The camera performed as well as my Arlo Pro 2/3 cameras, with image quality in between the two. Daytime performance is similar to the Pro 2 but nighttime clarity and color are improved thanks to the spotlight design shared with the Pro 3. Though the 1080p image isn’t as detailed as the 2k Pro 3s, it is still clear enough to identify people and animals from over 15’ away.
Ultimately, the Essential is just that...the essential features of the Arlo experience without the fluff and priced reasonably.
I've had it about a weeks now and so far it's okay. When you get a notification about motion the app has a 2 to 5 minute delay before you can see the video sometimes. It synced up with my Google home app but it buffers for a new seconds to a minute before it shows you the live stream. The picture quality is good and so far the battery life is decent but not going to last 6 months on 1 charge. I got it, charged it, and installed it Dec 3rd and today Dec 10th and the battery is at 67% and thats with most of the notifications turned off but I do have dogs that run around my backyard so it detects them a lot
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about price. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 94/100 = Excellent quality.
PCMagRating, 4 out of 54.0John R. Delaney on October 2, 2020
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera ReviewThe Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is a 1080p outdoor security camera that features color night vision, a built-in siren, a spotlight, and embedded Wi-Fi. The camera doesn't require a hub, it's a cinch to install, and it delivers sharp video
A:AnswerIf you don’t continue the subscription after the free trial your cameras will not record when triggered. You will only receive a notification that there was motion on a particular camera. Had I known this I would not have purchased these cameras.
A:AnswerThe hub is the escape goat to not have to buy the arlo monthly package for storage
If you Ever record data and it Has to go to the police, it needs to be on a Sim card which goes in the back of the hub and stores the data longer than 1 week.
A:AnswerThe Arlo Essential Spotlight camera can connect directly to your router's wifi network. Its range limitation depends on the wireless range of the router and the obstructions between their connection. If connected to an Arlo base station/SmartHub, you can place the camera maximum of 300 feet (90 meters) from the SmartHub or base station. The maximum line-of-sight range of 300 feet is reduced by each wall, ceiling, or other major obstruction between the camera and base station. ^RM
A:AnswerYes, but I would suggest checking your internet, and bandwidth connection at home to make sure you can have this many cameras connected to your home network. I have two cameras in two different locations so far, and I am not experiencing any issues.
A:AnswerAn Arlo SmartHub or base station is optional to use the Essential wire-free camera. You can use an existing WiFi router to connect your Essential wire-free camera directly to 2.4GHz WiFi. If you want to connect your Essential wire-free camera to a SmartHub or base station, you can connect it to a VMB5000, VM4540, VMB4500, VMB4000 SmartHub or base station.