Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Clear day and night view
Two-way talk could be louder
About the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight
The Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight camera has higher video quality and better field of view than almost any camera we’ve tested—including the popular Nest Cam Outdoor. Other Arlo Pro 4 features include color night vision output, two-way talk capabilities, timely smart alerts, and easy integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The Pro 4 is entirely wire-free and runs on a rechargeable battery that can last up to six months per charge. It also has a built-in spotlight that illuminates when motion is detected, and a smart siren that can be triggered automatically or remotely via the Arlo app.
While many previous Arlo outdoor cameras required a base station in order to work, the new Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight camera abandons its old ways and goes hub-free, following the likes of other popular smart camera security brands such as Nest and Ring.
Here are the Arlo Pro 4’s specs:
- Price: $199.99
- Colors: White, Black
- Connectivity: WiFi (2.4 GHz), Wire-free (battery-powered)
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440
- Smart assistant support: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
- Operational temperatures: -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight: 11 oz.
- Dimensions: 3" H x 2" W x 3.5" D
What we like
Premium features for a good price
The Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight camera does many of the same things as a high-end outdoor camera like the Nest IQ Cam, but for half the price. Similar to Nest, Arlo is built with advanced object detection (meaning the Pro 4 can differentiate between people, packages, animals, and cars) and comes with a handy track-and-zoom feature that shows a close-up look of the object in view.
When the Pro 4 tracks a new motion event, a notification is sent to your smartphone or tablet. The intelligent alerts are sent quickly and come with a helpful preview video, so you can easily see what’s happening without having to open the Arlo app.
A subscription to Arlo’s Smart Plan (starting at $2.99/month per camera or $9.99/month up to five cameras) is the best way to get the most out of the Arlo Pro 4. Keep in mind that paid subscription plans for recording devices like smart doorbells and smart cameras are fairly common these days. When you sign up, you’ll have access to Arlo’s awesome features like 30-day event history, 2K cloud recording, activity zone control, and advanced object detection, and more. There’s also the option to pay for continuous video recording, which starts at $9.99/month.
(For anyone on the fence about paying for the subscription plan, a free, three-month Arlo Smart trial is included with purchase.)
Ultra secure camera and app
Arlo comes with all of the common privacy settings you'd expect from a good outdoor camera, like two-factor authentication, the option to log in using Face ID technology, and advanced encryption for video storage. However, Arlo takes it a step further than other security cameras I’ve tested. Any new devices attempting to log into an existing Arlo account must be approved by the person who originally set up the account. When a login attempt is made, a request for approval is sent to the main user's phone or tablet. It’s one extra layer of protection that felt like a bit much at first, but it’s nice to know there’s one more layer preventing someone from accessing my camera without approval.
Remember, these privacy measures are only to keep the bad guys out. If you want to add approved users (like roommates or family members) to manage your Arlo camera, it's easy to do so within the Settings section of the Arlo app.
There are also built-in security features like a smart siren, which can be triggered automatically or manually via the Arlo app and plays a very loud alarm tone when triggered. The camera also comes with the ability to call 911 and up to three contacts directly from the Arlo app.
Slim design that’s easy to recharge
The Pro 4 is petite and lightweight compared to other similar outdoor security cameras like the Arlo Essential XL Spotlight Camera, which is an inch and a half longer, and the Nest IQ Cam Outdoor, which weighs slightly over a half-pound more. The size is just right, making it easy to install and remove when it’s time to recharge the battery.
We also like that there are no wires to fiddle with, as this camera includes a mount that can easily be screwed in on the exterior of your home. Before you place it, we suggest giving it a full charge out of the box using the included magnetic charging cable.
The camera comes with a removable battery or you can charge the battery within the camera using the magnetic charging cable (it takes about 3 hours for a full charge). Either way, you'll need to take down the camera to do it. Not all Arlo cameras offer removable batteries—the Arlo Essential XL Spotlight Camera being an example, meaning the entire camera must come down to power it back up. The Pro 4’s removable battery is a nice option that gives the appearance of security cameras even when they’re not recording.
What we don’t like
There's no dual-band WiFi
Almost all smart home products require a 2.4 GHz WiFi connection, but many newer devices are starting to offer dual-band WiFi (which accepts both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz connections). While we found the installation process to be fairly uncomplicated, a 2.4 GHz WiFi connection is required.
If you use a dual-band mesh WiFi router like Eero like me, I found it’s best to unplug all of the Eero beacons and then connect the camera to WiFi to avoid any connection issues. Other outdoor security cameras from Arlo like the Ultra 2 camera offers dual-band WiFi functionality and the Pro 4 would benefit from the same connection features.
Overall, this was a minor issue during the testing process but it is something to note before setting these up around your own home.
Two-way talk is a little soft
Another minor issue we have with the Pro 4 camera is that the audio for two-way talk—which lets you speak to whoever is at your door in realtime—isn’t as loud as it could be. If you’re within three to five feet, you can hear it well, but any farther away and it’s too soft. That said, the camera’s speaker is clear and easy to understand when you’re within earshot, but overall the camera’s volume would benefit from being louder.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight is a great way to build out or expand a new home security setup.
Home security cameras come in all shapes and sizes, but Arlo’s Pro 4 Spotlight is the standout star of the bunch. Features like 2K resolution, color night and day video, quick response times, and easy integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant make this camera an excellent choice for your home. Its shortfalls of so-so volume and lack of dual-band WiFi functionality are easy to forgive when considering the long list of must-have features this reliable smart home camera offers.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current security cameras or set up an entirely new system, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight camera is the best smart outdoor security camera for anyone.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Rachel Murphy covers smart home for Reviewed. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for several major outlets and as an associate editorial producer for ABC News' Good Morning America.
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email