Review: Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell

With Arlo you are always at home

With a video doorbell, you are always at home - even when you are out.

Karakter
Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell
Our opinion
+The fact that the app is available in the Nordic languages and supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings makes it very user-friendly. Two-factor approval provides security, and the image is really good in both light and dark.
-The volume of the speaker was different from time to time. As usual, it takes a subscription to exploit the full potential of the product.
Specifications
  • Type: Doorbell with video function
  • Works with: iOS and Android
  • Connection: Wi-Fi
  • Power: Rechargeable batteries
  • Resolution: Up to 1536 x 1536
  • Storage: In the cloud (subscription required)
  • Sound: Microphone and speakers
  • Picture angle: 180° diagonally
  • Dimensions: 14.3 x 4.7 x 3.7 cm
  • Web: arlo.com
Price 170

The video ringtone from Arlo – Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell (!) – looks modern and stylish. It is both easy to install and connect to the app, which is user-friendly and informative.

You can of course choose to connect Arlo using the existing cabling, but otherwise it is easier to run it over the home’s Wi-Fi. Then just make sure your Wi-Fi goes far enough. Despite thick walls in an old, solid apartment building, however, I experienced no problems.

Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell in use

In order not to be tied to the phone all the time, I recommend acquiring a chime from the start. Then Arlo can act as an old-fashioned doorbell when you’re home, so you hear a “ding-dong” when someone rings. Otherwise, you have to trust the app completely.

When someone comes near Arlo, you are notified on your mobile that there is movement in front of the camera, and via the Arlo app you can go in and see what is happening. In the app, you can also make a variety of settings for what your video ringtone should respond to and what it should ignore.

Depending on how you live, it may be wise to delineate the area Arlo monitors. Partly because for privacy reasons it does not seem like a good idea to film people who are not on their way to you and are unaware that they are participating in a film (especially not if the film is stored), and partly to avoid alerts everytime someone passes by. If you are not insanely curious or have nothing else to spend your time on…

Arlo supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings so it can collaborate with other smart devices you may already have in your home.

The image from the camera is really good and to check it out in the dark I used my husband as a test person. Our stairwell is always lit, so he had to lock himself in the bathroom with the doorbell, so it got really dark. But even in the dark, the picture from Arlo was clear.

Something that, in turn, was not so belligerent was the sound. Without making any adjustments or changes to the app, the speaker sound went from being super low at the first ring-on test to deafening loud at others. My poor husband almost got tinnitus along the way, but those are the sacrifices that need to be made in the line of duty.

In addition, the voice sounded clear and distinct, but the difference in volume without changing the settings may seem a little strange. But maybe it’s something that stabilizes with prolonged use?

Arlo-Bild-1-900x2000-1.jpg
You always look a little scary in the dark, but there is no doubt who the man hiding in the dark bathroom is. (Photo: Åsa Warme Hallén)

Security

If there are several of you in the family who must be able to operate the same Arlo, it requires two-factor approval to gain access to the product.

If you just have an Arlo Wire-Free Video Doorbell mounted outside your front door, it might not seem like the most important thing in the world. But if you choose to expand the system and make a thoroughbred security system in the home – with all that entails of cameras in different rooms – it can feel safe to know that unauthorized persons cannot access the material from these cameras.

Subscription

Without a subscription, video is not saved and you can only see what is happening here and now. But, being a doorbell,, the important part of its functionality is about real-time interaction.

If you choose to subscribe, your videos will be stored somewhere “in the cloud”. And if you are cencerned about protection, I can state that when I was looking for Arlo’s data protection statement, I found a link in the manual to a non-functioning website regarding their data policy. It was also not possible to find anywhere else on their website.

Conclusion

The Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell is simple and easy to use, and can be extended to a full security system for your home if you wish. That it supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings makes it very flexible.

The camera works really well in both daylight and darkness. On the other hand, we never quite got the volume under control during the test, but it may require an adjustment in the app or just a little longer running time.

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