Excited about the new Arlo Pro 2 cameras? Us too! Arlo Pro cameras are one of the top-rated solutions when it comes to building a smart home security system. So, let’s take a look at the new version see if it’s worth the upgrade.
But first, before comparing Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Pro 2, let’s clarify a few things. If you’re familiar with the Arlo wireless cameras, feel free to use the article navigation below to jump to the right section. However, if you’re new to Arlo, — we really suggest you keep reading.
About Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2
Whether you choose the Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2, you’ll need an Arlo Base Station to control them. The base station is a bridge between the Arlo wire-free cameras and your Wi-Fi Network. The base station connects to your router via an Ethernet cable to provide reliable remote control of the Arlo cameras.
Besides remote control, the Arlo Base Station has a few perks: a USB port that allows for local backup storage and a built-in 100+ decibel siren for scaring off your dog off the couch (not its intended purpose, but it is a bit funny); the siren is actually intended for scaring off would-be intruders. You can turn it on manually via the Arlo app or set a rule for it to be triggered automatically whenever the Arlo wire-free cameras detect motion or sound.
If you decide to purchase the Arlo Base Station separately and not as part of a kit, we’d suggest picking up the Arlo Base Station Pro and not the older 1st Generation model. Check out our take on “Arlo Base Station vs. Arlo Pro Base Station” to see the differences between the two.
Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Things in Common
Both the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 wire-free cameras are powered by a long-lasting, rechargeable battery, which puts no limit to where you can mount them — even outside — since they’re IP65-certified to withstand the snow, rain, and sun.
However, other power options are also available. You can connect the cameras to the Arlo Solar Panel to keep the battery always charged, or simply plug the cameras into an outlet. Just make sure to get the weatherproof cable for outdoor use.
Besides flexible power options, the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 feature two-way audio which lets you speak via the camera’s speakers. Both cameras come with a 130-degree field of view and provide pretty decent night vision that allows you to see up 25 feet away.
The Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 feature sound and motion triggered video recording, however you can also access the Live View mode from the Arlo app at any time. All recordings from the cameras are saved in Arlo’s free, 7-day cloud storage, so you can easily view, download, or share your favorite videos with your friends and family.
Now that we know what the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 have in common, let’s get to their differences.
Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Differences
Difference #1: Video Quality – One of the major differences between the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 is their video quality. Even though both cameras provide HD video, the Arlo Pro 2 offers a higher resolution at 1080p, whereas the Arlo Pro is only 720p.
It’s not like there’s a huge difference between the two, however you’ll have a better quality face to report to the police with a 1080p video than 720p.
Difference #2: CVR (Continuous Video Recording) – Only a few Arlo cameras offer this feature and unfortunately the Arlo Pro is not one of them.
But, good news! The new Arlo Pro 2 camera offers 24/7 CVR recording, though the camera needs to be plugged-in for this feature to work. It makes sense because we imagine that CVR would drain the battery very fast. Make sure to use a weatherproof cable if you plan on setting your Arlo Pro 2 cameras outside.
And if continuous video recording is of particular interest to you, check out the Arlo Q or Arlo Q Plus as they also they also offer CVR. You can learn more about them in our take on “Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Q vs. Arlo Q Plus.”
The CVR feature comes at an additional cost. Arlo offers three CVR plans starting at $99 per year per camera for 14 days of 24/7 CVR. Then comes $199 for 30 days and $299 for 60 days. All CVR recordings are saved to a cloud, so you can access them anytime from anywhere.
Plus, you can also store recordings locally. Just connect a USB drive to the Arlo Base Station for backup storage. Though you’ll still need to pay for the CVR plan because Arlo uses cloud space as its default primary storage.
Difference #3: Activity Zones – With Activity Zones, you can specify the area you want Arlo cameras to monitor. Here’s how it works: whenever there’s motion detected in an activity zone, you’ll get a notification on your smartphone. This feature is especially useful if your smart cameras cover a street view. Just create a new activity zone for your home’s entrance to help reduce notification spam which you would otherwise get from motion triggered by cars, bikes, or passer-bys.
Unfortunately, the Arlo Pro doesn’t offer this useful feature, whereas the Arlo Pro 2 does. With the Arlo Pro 2 you can create up to three different activity zones. Creating zone control adds more flexibility to motion-triggered recordings. However, if you want to use this feature, you’ll need to make sure your Arlo Pro 2 camera is plugged in.
Difference #4: 3-second Look Back – It’s important that your smart camera captures every motion from the very moment it begins, and the Arlo Pro does a great job of this (unlike standard Arlo cameras). The Arlo Pro camera starts capturing motion from the very first frame the motion shows up in its field of view.
However, the Arlo Pro 2 takes it one step further by starting to capture a move 3-seconds before it begins. The new 3-second look back feature might be crucial in some cases. With the lookback, you’ll be able to see what was happening before the motion started.
And just like CVR and active zone control, this feature also requires for the Arlo Pro 2 to be plugged-in. So, don’t forget to grab the weatherproof cable if you’re planning to place the Arlo Pro 2 cameras outside and use these features.
Difference #5: Color – The two cameras are almost identical. However, there’s a slight difference in design. The Arlo Pro has a black frame around the front side of the camera, whereas the Arlo Pro 2 has a white frame. The white frame complements the whole body color of the camera making it look more sleek, maybe?
Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Comparison Chart
|Arlo Pro||Arlo Pro 2|
|Video Quality||720p HD||1080p HD|
|Continuous Video Recording||No||Yes, when plugged-in|
|Activity Zones||No||Yes, when plugged-in|
|3-second Look Back||No||Yes, when plugged-in|
|AC power option||Yes||Yes|
|Motion detection alerts||Yes||Yes|
|Audio detection alerts||Yes||Yes|
|Night Vision Illumination||up to 25 feet||up to 25 feet|
|Siren||Yes via Arlo Pro Base||Yes via Arlo Pro Base|
|Local backup storage||Yes via Arlo Pro Base||Yes via Arlo Pro Base|
|Works with Amazon Echo Show||Yes||Yes|
|Works with Wink||Yes||Yes||Works with SmartThings||Yes||Yes||Works with IFTTT||Yes||Yes|
|Price (2-camera kit)||$309.99||$386.42|
Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 Accessories
Are you fan of going green/renewable energy? The Arlo Solar Panel will help keep the Arlo battery charged. It’s a great outdoor solution, especially if you have your Arlo Pro cameras mounted in hard-to-reach places.
Sometimes, motion-triggered recordings are delayed because the Arlo cameras are a bit out of WiFi range. With the Netgear Orbi Router & Satellite Extender, your Arlo cameras will always get a stable, reliable, secure connection. The whole home WiFi system provides 5000 square feet of coverage. It’s perfect for smart homes as the WiFi system doesn’t lose speed as you add devices. You can get is as part of the Arlo Pro 3-camera kit or buy the Orbi Router & Satellite Extender separately.
Since the cameras only come in white, they might attract some unwanted attention. So, if you want to make your cameras less visible, consider getting camouflage skins. The skins also help your cameras withstand rain, heat, and cold.
Both the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 are easy-to-install and, with a great range of mounting options, you’ll definitely find the mount that works best for you. Whether it’s the wall, table, or ceiling mount, you can place your Arlo nearly anywhere to ensure you get quality video from all the right angles.
Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Our Thoughts
Arlo cameras are one of the top rated smart home cameras, and there’s a good reason behind it. Arlo cameras offer two-way audio, live view, and motion/audio triggered recordings at no additional cost. To top it all, Arlo provides 7 days of free cloud storage, which we found to be more than enough to store our videos. So, right out of the box, both the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 cameras are ready to work. If you get more than 5 cameras and want to increase the amount of cloud storage (or add Continuous Video Recording), you’ll you need to take a look at their subscription plans.
We’d say go with the Arlo Pro 2 if you’re looking for super high video quality and need your smart camera to be able to record 24/7. Plus, you’ll get to customize activity zones and check what happened before any motion occurred.
Go with the Arlo Pro if you’re looking for a lighter version of the Arlo Pro 2 camera. Even though it offers a lower video quality (720p), it’s still an HD camera that’ll keep your home safe and secure.
Should I upgrade to Arlo Pro 2?
We think so. The new Arlo Pro 2 camera is compatible with your existing Arlo system. In fact, all Arlo wire-free cameras are backwards compatible. So you can get an Arlo Pro 2 add-on camera and blend it in seamlessly with your existing Arlo setup to enjoy all the new features of the Pro 2 version.