More and more “smart” devices are coming onto the market now than ever before — and smart security cameras are no exception. There are a wide variety of models on the market with an equally wide variety of differences. It’s helpful to look at what some of these devices have in common before diving into what sets them apart.
You may be thinking that there’s not too much they have in common, and you’d be right! The Arlo Pro and Circle 2 are good at different things, and we’ll get into what these differences are in the sections below.
Arlo Pro vs. Circle 2 — Differences
Difference #1: Power Options – One aspect that sets these devices apart from one another is how they’re powered.
The Arlo Pro is a wireless camera powered by a rechargeable battery or via mini-usb. One of the unique perks of the Arlo is how it also supports solar panel charging. Simply install the panel and then forget about manually recharging your devices, as long as you’ve got some sun that is!
The Circle 2 is unique in that it isn’t just one camera; it’s four different cameras in one, with support for even more. It can be both wired and wireless, mounted to walls and windows, and used basically however you’d like. Unfortunately, this modularity comes with the downside of having to purchase additional modifications to transform it into the camera you want — And there are a lot of parts!
Difference #2: Video Quality – The Arlo Pro offers 720p resolution for its recordings, and the Circle 2 advertises 1080p. However, the Circle 2 is only capable of this resolution during “always on” mode. This mode is only realistically usable while the Circle is connected via wire, so basically, by default, the wireless Circle camera only records in 720p.
Difference #3: Field of view – The Circle 2 features one of the largest fields of view in the smart camera niche. It has a 180° wide-angle field of view, allowing you to capture the big picture and ensuring you’ll never miss out on important activity. A good field of view is important to make sure your house is fully protected with the least amount of cameras.
The Arlo Pro’s viewing angle is 130°, providing a respectable view but lacking the wide angle of the Circle 2.
Difference #4: Local Storage – If you didn’t know already, Arlo cameras require the Arlo Base Station in order to work. But, the base has some added benefits — one of which being the ability to locally record videos. It’s primary method of storage is via the cloud, and while there’s no real way to work around using the cloud, you can connect a USB device to the Arlo Pro base station and use the USB drive as a second location to store Arlo recordings. When you connect the local storage, footage will be recorded both to the USB device as well as the cloud.
Conveniently, the Arlo base will automatically overwrite the oldest recordings when the available storage is less than 20% of the maximum capacity. This feature can be disabled, but we recommend keeping it on so that you always have access to the most relevant footage.
However small, this local storage convenience comes in handy for a few situations, like if the Wifi drops for an extended period of time.
Unfortunately, the Circle 2 offers no options for local storage.
Difference #5: Siren – One of the main benefits of having an Arlo Pro Base Station is the included 100+ decibel siren. Stop crime before it happens remotely, or scare off intruders with the motion and audio sensing siren.
The Circle 2 does not provide support for a siren.
Difference #6: Motion Zones – Motion zones are a nifty feature that some smart cameras are beginning to include to stay competitive. Being able to keep a closer eye on specific areas of your home is convenient, and can give you some peace of mind knowing that what’s most important to you is protected.
The Circle 2 gives users the ability to highlight specific areas of their home for increased surveillance by creating up to 5 motion zones within the Circle web app. These zones notify you if the Circle 2 detects motion in specific areas of the house, such as the front door, garage doors, or windows. A downside to this feature is the fact that zones can only be created using a web app. With how ubiquitous smartphones have become, it would be nice to have a dedicated mobile app.
Difference #7: Alerts – Getting timely alerts when there’s a disturbance is a crucial part of what makes a smart camera effective. The Arlo Pro sends instant email or mobile alerts whenever motion or audio is detected, usually within 5 seconds.
The Circle 2, on the other hand, has some issues when it comes to activity alerts. Some users report delays in excess of 20 seconds, which is a major drawback with how time sensitive a security issue can be.
Circle tech support said it’s a known issue and that the engineers and development team are working to address the issue, but as of now it still has issues with alert delays.
Difference #8: Maximum number of cameras – If you have a larger house, it’s important that your surveillance system supports multiple cameras for maximum coverage.
There’s no limit to the amount of cameras you can attach to your account or mobile device with the Circle 2. Keep in mind, however, that image quality may be affected by the number of cameras on the same network depending on your internet speed.
The Arlo Pro can have a maximum of 15 cameras connected to one base, which is less than the Circle 2, but more than enough for the vast majority of situations. But this 15 camera max has a small caveat — a subscription.
Difference #9: Subscription Plans – Both cameras have free plans that offer a lot of functionality for no additional price.
Arlo’s Basic plan is free and covers 7 days of cloud recording, support for up to 5 cameras, and limited support for up to 3 months from date of purchase.
Circle 2’s Free plan includes 1 day of cloud storage, unlimited streaming and downloads, and smart alerts when the cameras detect activity.
If you’re looking for more features, such as person detection or motion zones, you’ll have to shell out for a subscription plan.
Arlo’s subscription plan is a flat monthly fee ranging from $9.99/month or $99.99/year, to $14.99/month or $149.99 a year. The main benefits to these subscription models are increased cloud storage and support for additional cameras: 10 cameras supported in the Premier plan, and 15 cameras in the Elite plan.
The Circle 2 also offers additional features with their subscription plan, but the payment model is set up differently. Customers are charged per camera, with $3.99/month for the basic plan and $9.99/month for the premium plan. It’s plain to see how these plans could get super expensive with a lot of devices, so make sure you take these plans into account before you outfit your home with dozens of cameras.
Difference #10: Person Detection – Person detection is a neat perk that allows your camera to differentiate between a person and a pet. Circle 2’s person detection is truly “smart”, using advanced analytics to allow your camera to accurately detect any person in your home. Whenever a person is detected, you’ll get a notification.
Unfortunately, the Arlo Pro doesn’t feature any sort of person detection. To the Arlo, motion is motion.
Difference #11: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant – With smart cameras, it’s handy when they integrate with the rest of your connected home. Both models work with Amazon Alexa, with Circle 2 featuring support for all Amazon Echo devices. The Arlo Pro only works with the Amazon Echo Show for now, but there are plans to expand this functionality in the future.
Also, Logitech has just announced Google Assistant support for Circle cameras. As of today (26.10.2017), you can control your Circle 2 cameras with your voice via Google Assistant. The new feature is only available for the USA; however, Logitech promises to roll out Google Assistant support to other countries “soon”.
Arlo cameras do not currently support Google Assistant. The workaround for it is to use IFTTT and add the Arlo applet for Google Home. It definitely doesn’t replace the full, official integration experience, but still — it’s better than nothing.
Arlo Pro vs. Circle 2 — Comparison Chart
|Arlo Pro||Circle 2|
|Power||Wired or Wireless||Wired or Wireless|
|Video Quality||720p||1080p when plugged in,|
720p by default
|Local Storage||USB via Arlo Pro Base||No|
|Siren||100 dB+ via Arlo Pro Base||No|
|Motion Zones||No||Members only|
|Person Detection||No||Members Only|
|Maximum Cameras||15 per one base||Unlimited|
(quality might drop)
|Free Cloud Space||7 days||1 day|
|Amazon Alexa||Echo Show||All Echo Devices|
Arlo Pro vs. Circle 2 — Our Thoughts
Overall, the Logitech Circle 2 camera has a lot of things going for it, but it fails in execution. Once the company fixes some of the issues such as a slow wake-up time, 1080p support for wireless cameras, and reducing the pricey subscription plan, it should be a more serious contender.
But for now, there are other great cameras in the same price range, with multiple options from Arlo. Take a closer look at the Arlo Pro and its sister products in our Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Q vs. Arlo Q Plus comparison and review. With the wide variety of options the company offers, you’re sure to find a model that works for you.