The Arlo Ultra is a lot of things but unfortunately, its price tag tends to drive some people away before they can even look closely. To be fair, the Ultra’s price shouldn’t be too shocking since lots of the brand’s offerings are rather on the higher end of the scale. With its advanced features, it makes sense that it requires some investment.
A quick look at this camera and you’ll be able to tell that it has everything you need in a surveillance camera and a whole lot more. It boasts of a 4k resolution, noise-canceling microphones, and built-in spotlights among many other jaw-dropping features, promising you results and performance that will be hard to beat. It’s loaded with quite a few bells and whistles, too, so it might prove to be the most convenient pick in the market today.
The Arlo Ultra Review
This is how the Arlo Ultra compares with its peers in their product line.
Design and Features
For its price, it would be wise not to settle with anything less than stellar in terms of appearance. The Ultra delivers in this regard as this system looks really nice. It’s slightly larger than other Arlo cameras at 3.5 x 2 x 3.1” so it might be a bit more noticeable.
It shouldn’t be a problem, however, as it has a sleek, oval shape that’s very modern. The outer body is white but its faceplate is black giving it an ultra-modern appearance. The way it’s shaped is also rather futuristic as it has a streamlined shape that you won’t even notice its flat base. As a result, the camera looks floating even while it sits on top of a counter or shelf.
We also liked how Arlo integrated the buttons and movable parts of the camera. The charging pin and button for opening the camera to insert the batteries are all found on the faceplate of the Ultra and you won’t even notice them. It’s quite impressive, really.
The Ultra also comes with a hub which is a rectangular device that’s also rather sleek and modern. It’s very minimalist so it will also nicely blend in with most folks’ modern decor.
Setup and Usage
Setting up the Arlo may seem daunting at first but it’s actually very simple. If you have experience in setting up other Arlo products, it’s pretty much the same. You just need to install the smartphone app first and then it will already walk you through the process of setting up your new home security network.
After setting up the hardware, you might then want to tweak the settings on the app. There are lots of useful features that will allow you to get the most out of this system, so you should definitely check it out.
Once everything is set in place, there’ll be little to no upkeep required for the Ultra. This makes it a very painless system to have.
One of the main reasons why the Ultra is so expensive is the fact that it captures images and videos in high definition. There are three modes, 4k, 1080p, and 720p, letting you choose which one suits your needs best. The Ultra cameras have 180-degree views, too, so you’ll get a large range of coverage at any given time.
In terms of video quality, you won’t be disappointed. Ultra’s pictures are bright, rich, and crisp, giving you a good view of what the camera saw. Its night vision mode performs well, too, and will let you easily see what’s going on. You can even opt for a colored mode which will turn on the built-in spotlights for clearer and crisper shots.
Track and Zoom
The Ultra comes with an automatic Track and Zoom mode which will make your camera follow the movement it detected. It digitally tracks the movement, thanks to its wide field of view, and does a decent job at it. However, this mode will not record in 4k, so you might need to settle with a 1080p resolution for such functions.
Arlo Ultra’s audio quality is also hard to beat. Its built-in microphones have noise-canceling technology so it records crisp audio that you can clearly hear and understand. It can also pick up audio even from 20 feet away from the camera, so the audio of the clips you’ll get to record will be of reliable quality.
The full-duplex two-way audio also works well but the camera’s microphone isn’t as loud as many would like. So even with the volume at its maximum, you might need to put your phone to your ear to hear what the person in front of the camera is saying.
Motion and Sound Detection
With 2 8-megapixel sensors, Arlo Ultra is ought to be a lot more responsive than lower-end models. You can set activity zones to minimize false alerts as well as set the sensors to detect humans, vehicles, animals, or packages to fully streamline your system. Once triggered by either motion or sound, it will send notifications to your phone, telling you that something tripped your security system.
From here, you can then watch the live stream on the app. You can then use the button on the app to call for emergency services should you need it, call a friend or family member to check out what’s happening, or rattle whoever tripped your camera’s sensors by setting off the Ultra’s siren.
Cloud Storage Costs
One of the drawbacks of the Ultra is it doesn’t have the generous cloud storage plan of the other Arlo products. It doesn’t come with the free, 7-day rolling cloud storage plan. In its stead, it comes with a 1-year coverage of the $9.99 Arlo Smart Premier. This will give you a 30-day rolling-cloud service for 10 cameras recording up to 1080p.
If you’re going to record in 4k, however, you will need to purchase the PVR (Premium Video Recording) subscription in the Arlo cloud. It’s very cheap at $2 per month, however, so it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
You can also opt not to shell out money for 4k video storage, though. You can just use a microSD card and save the clips there then empty it out when full. As you can still stream in 4k, you can still make full use of your high-end system in real-time. Transferring files from the camera to your phone or computer might just be a bit fussier, however.
Smart Home Compatibility
The Arlo Ultra also takes things up a notch when it comes to its compatibility with smart home setups. It can play nicely with the Apple Watch so you can get notifications even without having your phone on you. It also works with the Google Home Hub and Amazon Alexa.
Mobile Apps and Web Portals
Another strong suit of Arlo is its backend solutions. Its app is intuitive and very easy to manage so you won’t have a hard time control your security camera with it. The web portal, however, is a bit problematic as it requires Adobe Flash to run. If you don’t have this software on your PC, you might need to shell out more money for it because you can’t do away with the web portal if you want to manage your Arlo account and cloud subscriptions.
Is Arlo Ultra worth the money?
With the brand’s good track record and the advanced features of the Ultra, it can be said that it’s worth the investment. It may seem really daunting and expensive at first but once you learn about the other alternatives to the cloud subscriptions, you’ll realize that your worries are unfounded.
How far can Arlo Ultra detect motion?
The Ultra can detect movements up to 25 feet away from the camera. It can also pick up sounds from this distance.
How long do Arlo Ultra batteries last?
The Arlo Ultra’s batteries are tested to last 3-6 months even with regular use. They only take 2.9-3.5 hours to charge fully, however.
It’s perfectly understandable if you’re having second thoughts about the Arlo Ultra because of the price. It’s an expensive set and there are lots of great cheaper alternatives. However, with Arlo’s quality construction and the fully-loaded features of the Ultra, investing in it can also be a wise financial decision. The advanced specs and capabilities of this system are hard to beat, guaranteeing that you’ll be able to get the most out of your purchase.