Arlo Essential vs Pro 4: Do you really need the premium one?
By Naila Syifa
Updated August 2023
Arlo is a well-known brand for home security cameras. Some of its popular models are the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera and the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera.
The Arlo Pro 4 is the more premium one, priced more expensively and offering more sophisticated capabilities. On the other hand, the Arlo Essential is a budget-friendly option that is still reliable for home monitoring and security.
In this article, we will compare both models to help you choose the best one for your home security needs.
|Specs||Arlo Essential Spotlight||Arlo Pro 4|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
|Power Source||Rechargeable Battery||Rechargeable Battery|
|Field of View||130°||160°|
|Color Night Vision||Yes||Yes|
|Motion Detection||Single Motion Sensor (110° horizontal)||Single Motion Sensor (130° horizontal)|
|Two-Way Audio with Noise Cancellation||Yes||Yes|
|Smart Home Compatibility||Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTT||Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTTYes|
|Smart Hub Required||No||No|
Arlo Pro 4 is better with 2K resolution and 160° lens compared to Arlo Essential with 1080p resolution and 130° lens. Pro 4 also comes with the more sophisticated magnetic charging cable for easy charging. However, Arlo Essential is budget-friendly.
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera
Budget-Friendly for Smaller Spaces
✓ 1080p with Color Night Vision
✓ 130° diagonal viewing angle
✓ Wireless installation for indoors and outdoors
✓ USB Charging
Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
More Costly, More Capabilities
✓ 2K resolution with HDR & Color Night Vision
✓ 160° diagonal viewing angle
✓ Wireless installation for indoors and outdoors
✓ Magnetic Charging
The Arlo Pro 4 is more expensive, coming in at $199.99 for one pack. The Arlo Essential is originally priced at $129.99, but it has recently been on sale for as low as $69.99, making it a much more affordable option for budget-conscious consumers.
Both the Arlo Essential and Pro 4 look sleek and modern, but they have some differences in their design. The Arlo Pro 4 has a modular design that consists of two parts: the camera and battery are together in one part, and the housing as a protective shell in the second part. Such a design allows you to remove and swap batteries with ease. The Arlo Essential, on the other hand, features an integrated design that doesn't allow for battery replacement.
Another difference is that the Arlo Pro 4 has a more futuristic magnetic charging port that makes charging the battery a breeze, while the Arlo Essential has a standard micro USB port.
Arlo Pro 4
In terms of design, the Arlo Essential and Pro 4 share some common features. They both are weather-resistant, have an integrated spotlight for better illumination at night, have a single microphone, and are available in black and white color options.
#3 Video Quality
The Arlo Pro 4 has a 2K HDR resolution with a wide 160° diagonal viewing angle and auto image correction to reduce fisheye distortion. The Color Night Vision allows for clear, full-color footage even in low light conditions. It is also equipped with a 4 MP image sensor and motion detector with a 130° angle, which ensures that you'll be alerted of any movement in the area. Not only that you can manually zoom 12x to see details up close, the Arlo Pro 4 also has an Auto Track and Zoom feature which can automatically track and zoom in on moving objects to keep them in the center of the frame.
On the other hand, the Arlo Essential is sacrificing video quality for its lower price point, with a maximum video resolution of 1080p, no HDR, and only a 130° diagonal field of view. The motion sensor also captures a narrower angle of 110°, suitable for detecting motion in limited space but not ideal for larger areas where wider coverage is needed. However, it does share some common features with the Arlo Pro 4, such as Color Night Vision and 12x digital zooming capability.
#4 Smart Features
Emergency Response in Arlo Essential and Pro 4
In terms of smart features, the Arlo Pro 4 has no added benefits compared to the Arlo Essential. Both offer live video and audio for home monitoring, two-way audio for communication, and a built-in siren that you can activate manually or set to activate automatically when motion or sound is detected for added security.
If you subscribe to an Arlo Secure plan, you can also unlock more smart features, including setting Activity Zones, viewing 30-day Video History in the cloud, receiving rich notifications, requesting Emergency Response from first responders, and Advanced Object Detection which can differentiate a person, package, vehicle, or animal and send you alerts.
Smart Home Compatibility in Arlo Essential and Pro 4
Both models also support integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, SmartThings, and IFTTT. However, keep in mind that compatibility with Apple HomeKit requires a compatible smart hub or base station that you'll need to purchase separately.
Magnetic Charging in Arlo Pro 4
Both the Arlo Essential and Pro 4 are powered by batteries, so installation is wireless and easy, both indoors and outdoors. Both models also connect directly to Wi-Fi, so you don't need a separate hub or base station.
The batteries in both models are rechargeable with 6-month battery life per charge. If you want a longer battery life, the Arlo Pro 4 has an optional Solar Panel Charger that can be purchased separately for $57.99. Arlo Essential also comes with the XL Version which provides a longer battery life of a year.
Charging is easier in Arlo Pro 4 with its magnetic charging cable, which allows you to simply align the metal contacts and snap them into place. However, keep in mind that charging cables included in both models are for indoor use only, so you will have to dismount your camera and bring it indoors to charge it. If you desire to charge the camera outdoors, Arlo Pro 4 has a compatible Outdoor Magnetic Charging Cable you can purchase separately.
Arlo Essential vs Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
Arlo Essential vs Pro 4
When choosing between Arlo Essential and Arlo Pro 4, you need to consider your specific needs and budget. If you're looking for a more affordable option and don't need the advanced features of the Arlo Pro 4, the Arlo Essential is a great choice too.
If you like to read more about Smart Home Cameras, check out our other relevant guides here:
The Best Smart Home Camera 2023
Arlo Ultra 2 vs Pro 4: Smart Home Cameras Comparison
Ring Spotlight Cam Plus vs Pro: 5 Key Aspects to Compare
Ring Floodlight Cam Plus vs Pro
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