Like other Arlo products, the Q is meant to be a fuss-free security camera that’s completely painless to work with. It’s honestly its main charm, attracting a lot of people who are not capable of setting up their own home networks but will still try to do so just to save some cash in the process. One look at this item and you’ll be able to tell that it’s consumer-targeted and webcam-based, offering total convenience to consumers.
The thing with the Arlo Q, however, is that it’s pretty basic. It’s not as advanced as the other items in the Arlo roster but it’s completely painless to set up so that tradeoff is definitely nice. So if you’re after a reliable, no-frills, and fuss-free security camera to monitor certain areas inside your home. This can be a solid pick.
The Arlo Q Review
Design and Features
Again, like other Arlo products, the Q is made to blend in nicely in any contemporary home. Its white body, minimalist design, and sleek silhouette will not make it too distracting in most modern spaces. We even dare say that it’s quite cute. It has a large head that makes it appear a bit comical. It reminds us of the Pixar logo lampshade a bit, to be honest. So in some homes, it can work as a piece of decor.
Its 3 x 3 x 1.5-inch diamond-shaped head holds the camera lens that has a 130-degree view. It pivots and rotates, letting you change its angle and direction without a fuss. Holding it upright is a large flat magnetic base so you can anchor it to a metallic surface or use the included metal bracket and screws to secure it to a wall or ceiling.
What makes the camera’s head so big is its collection of LED lights, a microphone, and status light. There are no light sensors but the lens does the trick for this component. Completing it is its 10-foot power cord that is attached to the unit using a USB port.
Setup and Usage
As we keep saying above, if there’s one reason that should convince you to give the Arlo Q a shot, it should be its painless setup. It’s so easy to install, blowing all of the competition that requires wiring, drilling, and hours and hours on the computer to put together.
In fact, it’s so easy to set up that some experts don’t even find it necessary that you read the product manual anymore. It will help, though, as the instructions are broken down nicely and are easy to follow. However, if you’re not too keen on that, these steps will show you how easy this camera is to install:
- Plug the camera into a power outlet.
- Download the Arlo Q app on your smartphone then create an account.
- Press its Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button for it to automatically connect to your wi-fi network.
- Connect the camera to your app using the QR code.
- Claim your camera following the app’s prompts.
And that’s it. Your Arlo Q will be set up after these steps. If you need to move the camera, it will automatically reconnect to your wi-fi network. If it doesn’t, it’s still very easy to set up.
A good deal of the camera’s feed performance relies on your wi-fi network, so if you want it to be smooth and without any interruptions, it’s best not to add the camera to an overloaded network. Otherwise, expect some lagging and unstable performance.
To ensure clear footage, the Arlo Q records in full HD 1080p resolution. Its 4-megapixel image sensor promises high-quality video with 130-degree coverage. The clips are crisp, clear, and with good contrast whether in bright light or night vision.
Track and Zoom
While there are no tracking and zooming issues on the app, there’s some pixelation when viewing clips in the web portal. This is particularly true when the footage is taken in night vision mode.
You can also expect decent quality audio with the Arlo Q. It’s crisp and clear in recordings but can skip and lag in live streams. This is to be expected, however, since wi-fi signals can get wonky from time to time. The 2-way audio is also reliable as you can easily use the camera as an intercom. The speaker is small and soft but with a stable connection and the right positioning, you can be sure to hear what is being said.
Motion and Sound Detection
When it comes to responsiveness, the Arlo Q makes no distinction over humans or animals, which is why it can also be a good pet camera. It also comes with a comprehensive set of sound and motion detection features as the other Arlo products, so you don’t have to leave it up and running all the time.
We like that there are lots of ways for you to customize the notification settings as it will help you get more out of your security system. However, some patience might be required from you as setting this up on an iOS phone or the web portal can be a bit confusing.
Cloud Storage Costs
With every purchase of the Arlo Q, you’ll also get the generous basic cloud storage package of the brand. This comes with a gigabyte of storage space that will last for 7 days and can be shared by up to 5 cameras. It’s significantly more than what other brands provide, so lots of people are won over by this feature.
If you need more cloud storage or you want a continuous recording, Arlo has various packages available. Their prices vary depending on the amount of cloud storage you want, as well as the number of cameras and the subscription’s duration.
Smart Home Compatibility
The Arlo Q works with the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. So if you’re already using the said systems, you can easily integrate your Q cameras into your smart home network.
Mobile Apps and Web Portals
Both the mobile app and web portal of the Arlo Q are equipped with a straightforward and organized layout. They’re also nearly identical, making them very easy to navigate and use even when you need to switch between the two every so often.
However, as mentioned above, programming motion and sound detection settings can be a bit tedious. The web portal has an instructional video for this task, however, so you can refer to that to avoid any confusion.
It’s also important to note that the smartphone app and web portal come with a single-user interface. This means that if someone else logs into the network while you’re logged in, you’ll be automatically kicked out of your session.
What is the difference between Arlo Q and Arlo Q Plus?
There are a few major differences between the Arlo Q and Arlo Q Plus, mostly because the latter is an upgraded version of the former. Some of the features that set them apart include the following:
- The Q Plus has a memory card slot for storage while the Q doesn’t.
- You can set up the Q Plus in a wired network with the help of its built-in Power of Ethernet (PoE) adapter.
- The bugs in the Arlo Q were fixed in the Q Plus.
Does Arlo Q need base station?
No, the Arlo Q doesn’t need a base station as it’s capable of connecting to a wi-fi router on its own.
Can Arlo Q be used outside?
No. The Arlo Q is not waterproof so it’s not recommended to be used outdoors. There are also no official accessories that will let you use the Arlo Q in such an application. Doing so will also void the product’s warranty.
Can Arlo Q detect motion through glass?
It might seem like a good idea to just point the Arlo Q outside while behind a glass window since it’s not waterproof but note that doing so will limit its capabilities. The glass will significantly inhibit its motion and sound sensors so it might not work as intended if you’re putting it behind glass.
If you’re after a home surveillance product that won’t be too much of a hassle for you to use without the need to sacrifice video quality, features, and performance, investing in the Arlo Q would be a good idea. With its well-rounded features, it can already meet your needs.
It’s not packed with lots of bells and whistles that more sophisticated systems offer but it will already meet your basic needs. And for some people, that’s already enough to satisfy their monitoring requirements.