After the Arlo Pro 4 we reviewed, Arlo is doing it again with an XL version of their 2K camera. Surveillance cameras that are not connected to a power source do need to be recharged on a regular basis depending on the activity and capacity of the battery.
This XL version doubles the battery life from 6 months to 12 months, according to Arlo. But it is obvious that this assessment of the manufacturer depends on many parameters. In addition to observations made on the Arlo Pro 4 model which we will partially consider here, we will try to get a more accurate idea of its autonomy.
The camera comes with a screw base and an impressive battery. Other types of magnetic supports that we find more practical for fine tuning are sold on the manufacturer’s website.
The dimensions of this camera are clearly larger than those of the classic model: 120 mm instead of 89 in length, 86 mm against 78 in height and 64 mm instead of 52 in width. Weight increases to 490 grams instead of 316.
On the front, the LED projector sits above the lens.
The device opens with a strong press on the release button. After that, you can insert the battery.
There is no USB port for charging, but there is a magnetic system that attaches under the camera. The indicator indicates that charging is in progress.
Easy to install and use
From unboxing to running monitoring, the Arlo Pro 4 XL setup takes less than 10 minutes. From there, we were able to immediately begin testing camera functionality by manually turning the spotlight on and off to see the difference (bright enough at night), firing the siren to see how powerful it was (loud but not deafening), and zooming into different corners of the live video stream. .
The Arlo app is simple, with all the main features easily accessible from the live screen. You can also play with a variety of other tools in the settings, such as automatic zoom and tracking, power management settings, and activity zones (with a subscription).
Unlike the Pro 3 and other cameras from previous generations, the Pro 4 XL connects directly to WiFi, bypassing a separate hub.
The camera has 2k resolution, 160 degree field of view, color night vision (switchable to black and white in very low light conditions), bidirectional communication system, builtin siren and motionsensing spotlight. One of the best contenders Rechargeable outdoor camerahas 1080p resolution, 130degree field of view, monochrome night vision, twoway communication, but no siren or spotlight.
Needless to say, the Pro 4 easily beats budget options that often don’t have floodlights, sirens, 2k resolution, or wideangle fields of view. The only thing other companies offer is a few days of free cloud storage. Which brings us to our only criticism of Arlo: the lack of nonsubscription features.
It’s no secret that smart security camera manufacturers are looking to sell subscriptions to their services. Free trials abound in this area. The goal is always to make you pay over time.
If you are allergic to this type of subscription, it is better to buy a camera with enough features. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the Arlo Pro 4 XL. An Arlo Secure subscription is required to receive smart alerts, event history, and a range of other features.
Nest, on the other hand, offers free alerts for people, vehicles, and animals, as well as a threehour event history. Also note that the Pro 4 doesn’t have an SD card slot, which means any local storage will need a separate device… like Arlo’s SmartHub.
Arlo Secure costs €2.99 per month for a single camera (€9.99 for unlimited cameras) and allows you to enjoy the benefits of object detection (person, vehicle, animal and package), call a friend, activity zones, traffic notifications and 30 days of event history.
This price seems reasonable to us and is in line with other competitors like Ring who charge an equivalent price for comparable features. Google’s Nest Aware service costs €5 per month but offers more services, including facial recognition and no limit on the number of devices.
Arlo in the connected house
Arlo works well with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. For example, in the latter case, we only had to say “Alexa, show me my camera” on Echo Show 8 to access the live video feed. On the other hand, to use Apple’s HomeKit (which Arlo technically works with), you have to invest in a SmartHub gateway marketed by Arlo.
XL autonomy and quality choices to be made
To learn more about this battery’s battery life, we tested it for a month with a cloud subscription. Each video was sent to the cloud via a WiFi connection. After these 30 days of testing, about 1,000 videos were shot, about the same during the day as at night, which includes running the projector multiple times.
After this intense period of activity, we still had 60% battery left, which is pretty good given the number of videos we shot. However, it should be noted that the video quality of the camera was set to “balanced” mode, that is, by default.
There are three modes, even less powerconsuming, but lowering the quality, and one that consumes more resources, but allows you to have better video quality. Image compression is felt in the final video depending on the screen from which it is viewed. In balanced mode during the day, we recognize faces at a decent distance.
At night, compression affects the image a little more. However, it can be noted that even in the dark, the camera detected movement and started recording the sequence.
The presence of an XL battery just might be the solution for those who want to shoot in the best quality, but who were confused by the lack of autonomy, especially when placing the camera in places with high traffic.
Given these findings, and the low or no price difference between resellers, is it really worth it to choose between the Pro 4 and Pro 4 XL models? This may be due to the size of the device if you are looking for a more discreet model. If its truly limited nonsubscription options are an obstacle, we can also turn to competitors such as the Reolink Argus 3 Pro model and its 7day free cloud hosting.
Therefore, in this XL version, we have kept a few small things that can be improved compared to the Pro 4 version, in particular the absence of the cloud and other features when you do not want to subscribe to a subscription. For example, it is not possible to remotely view recordings made locally, even if you have a station. So a subscription is almost necessary.
With a subscription and assuming you have a stable and strong enough WiFi connection for video streaming, the Arlo Pro 4 XL camera is a good solution with a builtin siren and projector and plenty of options to customize the area to be monitored as you wish. , the notification method, or the quality of the received video.