Recently Netgear announced their Arlo system of cameras, marking the companies move into the connected devices industry, they are a range of security cameras that have been designed to provide you with piece of mind security in a method that uses the cloud.
Today we will be taking a look at their consumer flagship product within this Arlo range, the Arlo Q.
The Q has been designed for use indoors at either home or work, featuring a sleek 70 x 73 x 115mm that allows it to be very versatile, whilst not sticking out too much thanks to its soft-touch white finish.
It also features an awesome integrated stand that can be mounted to a wall, or sat on a flat surface and allows you to point the camera wherever you choose via the ball joint, top that off with the 3m micro-USB cable to power it, and you have a very flexible system.
Inside of the Arlo Q you will find 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi that can reach speeds at up to N600, along with a 170-degree wide-angle lens and a sensor that allows you to record at up to 1080p resolution at 30fps.
There are also 10 infrared LEDs placed around the lens that turn on automatically as soon as the outside light drops below a certain level, illuminating subjects at up to 25ft away.
There’s also a status LED and microphone below the sensor.
Taking a look at the back and sides of the device will reveal the WPS button for quick WiFi connections, a micro-USB socket for power, a reset pinhole, and a speaker, which can be used to allow you to speak to people via the camera through the app.
Setting all of that up is actually really easy, we simply plugged it in, downloaded the app and then followed the instructions.
One cool thing within the set-up is that it uses a QR code to link the camera to the app and settings, which makes things really simple.
Sadly, the camera does require you to link it to the Arlo camera service in order to automatically record a lot of content.
You do get support for up to 5 cameras, 1GB of cloud storage (recordings will only be stored for a week) and device support for up to three months for free, however, if you want to set it and go then you are going to need to set up a subscription.
These a split into two packages, Premier and Elite.
Premier costs £6.49 a month and provides 10GB of storage with 30 days of recording storage and support for 10 cameras with unlimited support. Elite costs £9.99 a month and bumps support up to 15 cameras, with up to 100GB of storage and 60 days of recordings storage.
Thankfully, you do get a 30-day trial with the camera.
To have the camera continuously you will need another subscription, which costs £6.99 a month for 14 days of continuous recording or £12.99 a month for 30 days of continuous recording. The camera will alert you about scheduled activity via notifications on your phone for free.
The app is really nice and easy to use, with four sections to navigate between, one for viewing a live feed of your cameras, another for viewing your library of recordings, another to choose the mode for scheduled recordings and finally, another for the settings.
Viewing clips is really neat to do, with a sleek arrangement and an easily navigatable calendar slider for filtering recordings by date. You can also choose automatic recordings with a range of different options, including manual, audio detection, motion detection, and even geo-based automatic recording, that will turn on the auto recordings when you move away from the set location with your smartphone.
But probably the most important feature of all is the recording quality, a lot of the time security cameras like this record very grainy and distorted images, however, the Arlo Q is very different from this.
Recorded footage is quite similar to what you would expect from something like a smartphone camera, images are detailed, especially when recorded at 1080p, however, 1080p recording is only something that may not work with your network.
Night vision is also similarly awesome, with a great amount of detail in the black-and-white footage,
By the time that we were finished with the Netgear Arlo for the purposes of this review we found that we were very impressed with the connected camera as a whole, it looks great, works fantastically, and is very easy to set up, especially when compared to other products in this category that we have used before.
However, the camera does have some drawbacks, because it is an indoor-only camera, there are a lot of use cases that you can’t use the Netgear Arlo for, and sticking the Arlo in a window won’t work either, due to the infrared simply shining back into the camera off the window.
On top of this, while the camera doesn’t necessarily require you to subscribe to a service, most of the camera’s features would require you to do that in order to work in the best way possible, all of that means that the camera could prove slightly more expensive than other solutions, especially when you factor in the price of the Arlo itself, which is £169.99 recommended, although Amazon is listing the camera at £129.99 at the time of writing this review.
However, unless you create you own home NAS system, you aren’t going to get a good cloud recording service without paying for a subscription.
If you are interested in the Netgear Arlo you can find out more on Netgear’s website here.