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The existing 2014 Arlo Q Smart Home Security system is a great solution for those looking for some serious smart home or office protection, with a range of cameras all working through a central hub.
However, for people looking for a regular home camera or a single unit security camera, they may find the new Arlo Q 1080p HD Security Camera with Audio a better fit.
The update sees the cameras move from 720p to 1080p, it adopts the more stalk-like design of other models and can be flexibly mounted to a wall, shelf or other surface.
It offers night vision, two-way communications and sensor activated alerts. And, if you’ve invested in the previous generation of Arlo cameras then this one will work fine alongside them.
However, is this unit at $219 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) a competitor for the likes of the Nest Cam or the many other low-cost rivals that are flooding the smart home camera market?
Note, there’s also an additional model, the Arlo Q+ that comes with internal storage if you don’t want to save data to the cloud. You might also want to know that Arlo is the smart home brand of NetGear, who make routers, so at least the WiFi component should be pretty good.
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The 1080p camera’s vision, and a wide angle 130-degree lens, plus speaker and microphone put the new Arlo Q up there with the top-end models on the market.
While the original Arlo models required their own base station to communicate, this model will work happily over your WiFi, providing a constant stream of video to your phone, or provide alerts if the sensors detect movement.
This powerful little camera needs mains power to operate, so is limited to indoor use with an 8-foot lead provided. It measures 2.75 x 2.80 x 4.50 in and weighs just 0.37lbs.
It is housed in a stylish design, with indicator LEDs on the front, Whatever is recorded can be kept in the cloud for free for seven days, with the usual longer subscriptions on offer. With an 8X digital zoom, you can take a closer look at anything of interest that happens in front of the camera.
Compatible with 2.4Ghz and 5.0-Ghz wireless networks, it can send its H.264 encoded video to the router at high data rates for better quality.
That quality may vary when it reaches your smartphone depending on what network you’re on, but the iOS and Android app provide a neat way to watch multiple streams if you have several cameras.
Pros of the Arlo Q 1080p HD Security Camera with Audio
Easy to set up, the Arlo Q 1080p HD Security Camera with Audio takes just a few minutes to get into action, linking to your router and the smartphone app with no complications.
That’s all even easier if you’re already an Arlo user with the same app taking control of the camera. If its needed in a far corner of the home to the router, then you might need to reconsider or look into a smart network like the Eero.
Video quality in both day and night modes is high quality, and the motion detector can be adjusted up to 50 feet with three activity zones to help minimize the chance of false detections.
The app is smooth in operation and regularly updated with bug fixes and improvements. It allows users to see streams from multiple cameras and refresh them regularly, or receive alerts when triggered.
Cons of the Arlo Q 1080p HD Security Camera with Audio
While the stylish design may look good, it does make the Arlo Q stand out on any shelf or other location you put it. It is certainly not discrete, which is what most people would what from a security camera.
You’ll also find the bright LEDs are on by default, but these can be turned off by adjusting the settings. If on the other hand it is just for watching the pets, or keeping an eye on comings and goings outside your window, then that’s not going to be a problem.
While it integrates with the other Arlo cameras, it does have to be armed and disarmed separately to the rest, which may be a minor issue for some.
There’s also the issue of longevity for the cloud service with charges for the Premium and Elite accounts if you need to keep video stored for over 7 days, or you can get the more expensive Q+ model and an SD card.
As with any product dependent on WiFi, your video quality and response times may vary, so ensuring the unit gets a strong signal needs to part of your installation plans. As with most of these products there can be a varying delay between the audio communication, but the Arlo Q is no worse than its rivals.
Arlo Q 1080p HD Security Camera with Audio are covering the bases when it comes to your smart home security cameras, you can now buy packs of these or bundles along with the previous models and their base unit to provide total coverage of properties and their exterior, be they small or large.
Sure, these things are not exactly cheap, but for your peace of mind could be worth the investment.
The product works well in most situations, depending on your network connectivity and the product quality and app is certainly a lot higher than those low-cost models that are arriving on the market.
It is also on a par in performance terms with mainstream rivals in a similar price point, so you can pick or choose if you are only after one camera and can focus on any particular feature that’s important to you.
It is perhaps a shame there’s no killer feature here, but Arlo clearly knows its market well and is working to offer a quality range for any use case.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!