is was one of the most-talked-about standalone security cameras. But the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 boasts most of the praises and remain the brand’s bestselling cameras until now. However, will the series still hold their position by the end of 2022 or will they lose to their recently-released improvements? Well, let’s compare Arlo Pro 4 vs Ultra 2 and see about that.
Arlo released the two systems in 2020 as an upgrade of the previous models- Arlo Pro 3 and Arlo Ultra. Surprisingly, the former had a warm reception, but we can’t say the same for the Ultra series.
Anyway, in this article, we’re going to have a short but detailed Arlo Pro 4 vs Ultra 2 review to see who’s become better or worse. As always, we’ll not only focus on the good details that the brand is selling to us. But also some of the drawbacks that would be worthwhile to know before making the final buying decision.
The 5 Things We Like Most On Arlo Pro 4
- The Arlo Pro 4 is relatively cheaper than Ultra 2
- The Arlo Pro 4 camera still records clear videos
- The Arlo Pro 4 can work without the base station
- The Arlo Pro 4 has access to activity zones for free
- The Arlo Pro 4 has most of the features in the Ultra 2 camera
Arlo Pro 4 vs Ultra 2: A Quick Peek on the Features and Spec of the Security Cameras
- 1 Arlo Pro 4 vs Ultra 2: A Quick Peek on the Features and Spec of the Security Cameras
- 2 Arlo Pro 4 vs Ultra 2: The Seven Main Differences & Similarities Between the Security Cameras
- 3 Final Thoughts:
Here’s a quick summary of the two best 1080p HD security camera systems from the two companies
Is the Arlo Pro 4 Any Good?
- See a bigger picture - The security camera has a wide 160° diagonal viewing angle lens for auto...
- Capture clearer details - The wireless outdoor security cameras with advanced video quality that...
Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re expecting to get a sharper image than the previous Arlo Pro 3, that won’t happen.
The Arlo Pro 4 camera still has a 3.6MP image sensor that records in 2K HD resolution. Of course, that’s not the true Super-HD (5MP) quality, but it’s about 1.7 times clearer than the standard 1080p of the Pro 2 Series.
Unlike its predecessor, the new Arlo Pro 4 can now connect directly to your home WiFi without the base hub. It actually doesn’t come with one, which is why the provider is offering it at a few dollars cheaper.
Nonetheless, you can sync the Arlo security camera with the previous base station or smart hub if interested. In fact, it’s a crucial requirement if you want to make the most of the system, as we shall see later in the article.
Is the Arlo Ultra 2 Any Good?
- Free local storage - Remotely access your locally secured smart camera footage from the included...
- Smarter alerts, quicker action - With an Arlo Secure plan, receive smarter notifications for people,...
Sadly, the Arlo Ultra product line hasn’t been the most famous since its initial debut in 2018. The Arlo Ultra 2 is the upgrade of the original model. However, the company didn’t change a lot as the camera still uses the supposedly 8MP image sensor that records in 4K resolution.
Also, the image sensor of the camera is still at half-inch and the field of vision at 180-degree. So, you’ll notice not much difference in video clarity between the two Ultra creations.
However, Arlo has designed the new battery-powered security camera with the support of both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi. So, you necessarily don’t need to change the settings of your home router.
Nonetheless, 5G wireless signals tend to be weaker in that the signal range is short and more susceptible to obstruction. So, that’s something you should bear in mind, especially for outdoor installations.
Arlo Pro 4 vs Ultra 2: The Seven Main Differences & Similarities Between the Security Cameras
Well, now that we know what Arlo is selling to us on both Pro 3 and Ultra 2, let’s now break down the two and see how they behave in the real world.
In any security camera, the video quality is the most crucial of all if you’re to capture pictures good enough for evidence.
As for our two devices, the Arlo Pro 4 uses a 3.6MP sensor. So, you can set it to record in either 2K, 1080p, or 720 HD resolution. But the maximum resolution is the best to continue capturing in crisp details, considering the camera has a very wide field of view.
Of course, some people appreciate a wide-angle camera since it can cover a large scene with just one device. But as we said while comparing Lorex vs Nest cameras, a smaller field of view usually delivers more detailed pictures. Hence, the reason even the pictures of Arlo Pro 4 (2K HD) appear only slightly clearer than the Pro 2 (1080p HD).
On its end, the Arlo Ultra 2 has a far superior, 8MP, image sensor. So, it should deliver sharper images that you can even digitally zoom without sacrificing the clarity much. And this is quite true if you’ve never used another 4K security camera system– perhaps you’re upgrading from the first Arlo Pro.
But if you expect (which we do a lot) the camera to deliver images as sharp as from your iPhone smartphone, you’ll be disappointed. Why?
Similar to the first Ultra camera, Arlo designed the second generation with an extra-wide lens. So, yes, the 8MP sensor can capture more light to process sharp images, but the lenses are too wide.
And in that case, the recorded image will get squeezed and magnified to fit into the whole frame. Thus, causing the center of the object to appear smaller and also leading to distortion that causes loss of some details.
Recording Frame Rate
Things here are almost the same as you can record in 2K resolution with either Arlo Pro 4 or Ultra 2 at 30fps. At the 30fps, that means the cameras can capture more action of the object in motion. Thus, giving you smoother videos that you can identify those tiny details, especially for a fast-moving object.
In the case of the Arlo Ultra 2, there’s the option to capture in Ultra-HD quality. Arlo forgot or intentionally left out the details of the frame rate in the description, but we managed to find you can record in [email protected] or 15fps.
In other words, the videos of the Arlo Ultra 2 will be smooth, though not as smooth as a true 4K 30fps security camera.
Basically, there’s no difference when you compare Arlo Ultra 2 vs Pro 4 on the audio capabilities. They both have a built-in microphone and speaker, thereby giving you the option to record videos you can listen.
Also, you can use the two-way talk feature to tell the deliveryman where to leave the package or ward off the potential burglar. And if you’re in no position to scream at the burglar, you can also remotely activate the built-in siren. Yes, the speaker isn’t the loudest, but it can at least tell the uninvited guest that you’re seeing him.
AI Smart Detection
Similarly, there’s not much difference between the two cameras here. True, they both have multiple intelligent analytics, but they’re almost undependable. Why do we say so?
Well, the cameras have the option to record or capture all motion or specific ones by enabling people/ vehicle/ animal/ package detection. You can also set the motion capture zone to focus the camera on only what matters.
Furthermore, the Arlo cameras can also trigger after detecting sound from your smoke/ co alarm, breaking glass, and other noises.
However, almost all these advanced features are available only when you have an active cloud-subscription plan.
In fact, it’s only the motion activity zones function is available at no cost, but only for the Arlo Pro 4. Then, for the others, you’ll have to pay $2.99, $9.99, or $14.99 per month. And for that reason, the Eufy Security Camera would have been more worthwhile since you can use all AI smart detection features for free.
Continuous Video Recording/
By default, most battery-powered wireless security cameras usually record by activity (motion or sound detection) to save on power. The rule applies to our Arlo Pro 4 and Ultra 2 here, whether using the cloud or local recording.
However, both cameras also support continuous video recording (CVR), but you’ll need to be on either of the cloud storage plans. Then, you must also purchase a separate 14-day or 30-day plan for continuous video recording.
In other words, both the Arlo Pro 4 and Ultra 2 lose a point here again as CVR mode is very crucial for some of us. It can keep evidence of everything happening on your property, thereby allowing you to playback some of the moments you missed.
In the beginning, Arlo used to offer its security cameras with free 7-day cloud storage. However, this privilege ended with the Arlo Pro 2, which was also the last camera while the maker was still under Netgear.
So, the first Arlo Ultra, Pro 3, Pro 4, and Ultra 2, all no longer offer free cloud storage. But the company does provide a 90-day free trial so you can effectively set up your system and also try the various premium features.
Note, the Smart Hub that comes with the Arlo Ultra has a slot to insert a MicroSD card for local recording. But again, the local storage can only save the activity clips, plus you’ll have to remove the SD card so you can view them on the computer.
So, Arlo has yet again failed us here. That also means Eufy and Wyze cameras would have won here since you can record 24/7 on the MicroSD, plus also access the card through the mobile app.
Apple HomeKit Compatibility
Last but not least, all the Arlo security cameras support smart home integration. You can pair with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTT devices. Thus, bringing you a fun and more efficient way to control all your smart devices from one place.
Furthermore, the various home automation systems make it easier and faster to access your camera/s using simple voice commands.
Even so, the HomeKit is usually a little more complicated compared to the others. For instance, the Arlo Pro 4 camera can pair directly with Alexa and Google Assistant. But you’ll need to get the SmartHub of the Ultra Series to work with the HomeKit devices.
As for the Arlo Ultra 2, the provided SmartHub is compatible with Apple HomeKit. So, you can watch the cameras on your Apple TV and receive intrusion alerts on your smartwatch.
Nonetheless, Arlo doesn’t allow access to recordings on the iCloud secure video storage. So, you’ll have to use Arlo’s Secure or Secure Plus subscription.
While there are still other things to talk about, the seven here are the most crucial features in any security camera. And between our Arlo Pro 4 vs Ultra 2 duel, they happen to share at least 40% of them. But then, which is the best between the two?
Well, surprisingly, our favorite pick is the Arlo Pro 4– not the Ultra series as many would have thought. The one reason for this is because the Pro model is relatively cheaper, yet it does almost all the other things Ultra can do. If we argue about the video quality, the 4K resolution, in this case, is only very sharp for near objects due to the ultra-wide lens.
However, the Arlo Pro 4 has a narrower angle, in which case the object appears a bit larger. Then, for the case of HomeKit and MicroSD support, one can just purchase the separate SmartHub.