Two-way audio: All smart doorbells — not just Arlos — have two-way sound so you can talk to visitors on your porch. The sound starts after someone presses the doorbell button and you accept the call on your smartphone.
Motion detection: Arlo doorbells have built-in motion sensors that send you messages without a visitor pressing the button.
Easy installation: You can install these doorbells in less than 10 minutes – just follow the step-by-step instructions in the Arlo app. Still, it may take a little longer if you need to drill new holes for the mounting screws.
No base station: Arlo Essential Video Doorbells work by themselves right out of the box. They connect directly to your Wi-Fi network after installation – you do not need any additional equipment, so you spend less money. You can add an Arlo SmartHub base station if you want local video storage, though we’m not sure it’s worth paying more than the doorbells themselves.
Arlo’s video doorbell records 1536p videos in a square image format – similar to what you find in an Instagram post. This gives you a better view of your porch than Ring’s widescreen video. Some other brands – like Nest and August – use a similar image format for their doorbell cameras. But Arlo has the highest resolution in the herd, providing clear videos both day and night.
Arlo Video Doorbell also uses artificial intelligence to distinguish between people, animals, cars and packages. While other doorbell cameras offer similar features, online reviews say Arlo is less likely to send you messages that confuse dogs with humans.
When a guest rings the doorbell, you can skip the small talk with one of five pre-recorded messages:
- “Leave the package by the door.”
- “You’re getting busy.”
- “I’ll be there in a little while.”
- “We can not answer the door right now.”
- “Leave your message.”
These are great when you can not get to the door or just want someone to stay on while you turn off the stove in the kitchen.
A notable quirk is that Arlo treats doorbell calls like a regular phone call on your smartphone, where you choose to accept or reject a call. It can be confusing at first, but is a little easier than opening a small message. There is also a siren in the Arlo Video Doorbell that you can activate in the app to scare uninvited guests trying to open the door.
Another feature we like about the Arlo Video Doorbell is pre-recorded messages that you can play for visitors, an option that pops up after you accept a call. This is such a time saver, especially with deliveries where face-to-face interactions are unnecessary or if you end an important email to work.
We think that Arlo’s best feature is the e911 emergency call service, which you can use to contact the emergency services. During a typical 911 call, the police respond to the location of your phone, but the e911 sends them to your home, whether you are there or not. Even if you need a multi-camera camcorder subscription to use the feature, it’s worth checking out.
Arlo has some of the best smart home compatibility among security camera companies, so it’s virtually stress-free to make it work with your favorite smart home devices. Adding Arlo products to the most popular smart home platforms is easy (though your mileage may vary depending on what you can do):
You can connect these devices to your existing mechanical doorbell for continuous power and extra convenience. By using your existing doorbell, the doorbell works as it always has, so you know when there are visitors, even if your phone is charging upstairs.
Arlo Video Doorbell requires a fixed connection to your existing doorbell. This is standard practice for most video doorbells, but costs a slightly more complex installation. It also limits placement options when you compare it to battery-powered models like the Ring Video Doorbell.
Arlo Essential Wired does not have a battery, so it is not as flexible as its wireless siblings. Still, we think it’s better for most people because a wired connection is more reliable and reduces $ 50 off the price tag. Although Arlo Essential Wireless does not require wires, it is a convenient way to charge the battery by connecting it to your doorbell.