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Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Review

This device walks the line between a security camera and a security system, as it's bundled with two cameras and a base station
Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless
Credit: Arlo
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Price:   $600 List | $479.99 at Amazon
Pros:  4K video, can call first responders to location, spotlight
Cons:  Expensive, battery-powered only, poor quality speaker
Manufacturer:   Arlo
By Nick Miley, Matt Spencer, and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Apr 18, 2022
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 11
  • Recorded Video Quality - 35% 6.4
  • Monitoring Performance - 35% 5.2
  • Ease of Use - 30% 8.7

Our Verdict

If cost is no object, the Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless offers some useful features and services. For example, it comes with two standard cameras, and they have powerful spotlights to illuminate the field of view. Additionally, it has alerts for people, vehicles, and motion — the last of which can be narrowed to focus on a specific space like a door or window. Additionally, it will alert emergency services and send them to the camera's location. However, with the exception of ease of use, its general performance was subpar. For our money, there are better performing products for a significantly lower cost.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $600 List
$479.99 at Amazon
$36 List
$35.98 at Amazon
$180 List
$199.00 at Amazon
$50 List
$49.98 at Amazon
$30 List
$24.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros 4K video, can call first responders to location, spotlightInexpensive, most features available without subscription, color night visionFacial recognition, great night vision, redundant power sourceVertical/horizontal panning, color night vision, no subscription requiredSufficient live and download video quality, good onboard microphone
Cons Expensive, battery-powered only, poor quality speakerPlug-in power source, no remote panning, no backup batteryBig/conspicuous camera, no camera speaker, expensiveIndoor use only, no back-up battery, so-so sound qualityPoor night vision, relatively slow frame rate, no onboard speaker
Bottom Line This device walks the line between a security camera and a security system, as it's bundled with two cameras and a base stationA high-performance camera at a low price that allows access to most of its features without a subscriptionThis is a high-quality camera with many useful security features that will be especially appealing to those using the Google Smart Home platformA top-performing, remote panning camera at a low price with no hidden chargesAn all-around decent quality camera that cuts a few corners to keep the price low
Rating Categories Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Wyze Cam v3 Google Nest Cam Wyze Cam Pan v2 YI 1080p Home
Recorded Video Quality (35%)
6.4
7.5
7.5
7.1
6.5
Monitoring Performance (35%)
5.2
7.8
9.1
7.8
7.8
Ease of Use (30%)
8.7
8.7
7.4
8.7
8.4
Specs Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Wyze Cam v3 Google Nest Cam Wyze Cam Pan v2 YI 1080p Home
Camera Type (Indoor or Outdoor) Indoor and Outdoor Indoor and Outdoor Indoor and Outdoor Indoor Only Indoor Only
WiFi Type Dual-band
802.11a/b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
Dual-band
802.11a/b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
Encryption Types 28-bit SSL, AED-128, TSL AES 128-bit AES 128-bit, SSL/TLS AES 128-bit Yes, type N/A
Resolutions Available 1080p
2K
4K
1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Wired or Battery Battery Wired Battery and Wired Wired Wired
Smart Device Compatability Apple HomeKit
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Smart Things
IFTTT
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
IFTTT
Google Assistant Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
IFTTT
Amazon Alexa

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Arlo Ultra Wireless 2 comes with two cameras and a base station (mandatory for operation). It is rated for indoor and outdoor use and has a spotlight not seen on the competition's cameras. However, it is at the very high end of the market where the price is concerned — this includes both upfront and long-term costs. That said, the camera offers three field of view settings, 4k video, and emergency services for an extra monthly fee.

Performance Comparison


Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless home security camera - low-profile and unobtrusive, the ultra 2 is unique for having an...
Low-profile and unobtrusive, the Ultra 2 is unique for having an onboard spotlight.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Recorded Video Quality


The Arlo Ultra Wireless earned a less than remarkable score in the recorded video quality assessment. This is partly because the camera records in HD, not 4k, and that video is often overexposed in daylight recordings. Also, the wide field of view setting slightly muddles facial features and makes everything seem far away. Additionally, the night vision struggled with clarity where facial features are concerned.

It's not all bad news for the Ulta. The camera's color night vision does a great job with license plates, and the background is pretty well resolved. Additionally, the camera offers three field of view settings (180 / 155 / 120), which is great for limiting the camera's view for motion alerts or widening it for tight areas like a front door. The wide field of view also makes up for the lack of a remote panning option.

Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless home security camera - the ultra is one of the few cameras that has an adjustable filed of...
The Ultra is one of the few cameras that has an adjustable filed of view.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Monitoring Performance


The monitoring performance assessment focuses on live video quality and the sound captured by the camera's mic produced by its speaker. The Ultra performed abysmally in this evaluation on account of the pronounced lags between actual events and those seen on screen. Also, the sound captured by the mic and produced by the speakers leaves a lot to be desired.

While the live video and audio synchronicity wasn't perfect, it was pretty close. The microphone is reasonably sensitive, too. However, it produces a lot of static that sounds like an air conditioning unit was running in the background. Finally, the sound produced by the camera has really bad feedback and a slight echo when you are speaking through it. And, the alarm from the same speaker is too weak (62.8 dB at 10 feet) to be useful.

Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless home security camera - we were not impressed with the inboard speaker on the ultra.
We were not impressed with the inboard speaker on the Ultra.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Ease of Use


The Arlo Ultra did pretty well in our ease of use assessment, picking up a well above average score. The app is easy and intuitive to use as the home screen has everything you need easily accessible. There are also many useful alerts that are straightforward to set up.


The Ultra has notifications, including motion alerts for people, vehicles, animals, and general motion. There is also package detection and a setting that allows you to get an animated preview of notifications you receive. Finally, the camera has an indoor smoke and carbon monoxide detector with associated alerts.

Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless home security camera - the ultra has redundant data storage with both cloud and onboard...
The Ultra has redundant data storage with both cloud and onboard options.
Credit: Chris McNamara

As far as storage options go, the Ultra has both local (SD card) and cloud storage. However, it should be noted that the cloud storage comes in tiered subscriptions starting with a 14-day rolling plan. Finally, the camera comes with a magnetic base that doubles as a wall mount (hardware included).

Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless home security camera - the ultra's base doubles as a wall mount.
The Ultra's base doubles as a wall mount.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Value


The Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless has a lot to offer, but value isn't on the list. This is a really expensive camera system, and it requires a paid subscription to function properly. Moreover, it fails to perform at the same level as significantly less expensive cameras in critical areas.

Conclusion


The Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless has two features that set it apart from the competition: a spotlight and a hefty price tag. While the camera offers lots of practical settings and adjustments, it failed to perform at a high level compared to the leaders in the class. Given its poor showing, we suggest you look at the higher-ranking products in our review and pocket the money saved for a rainy day.

Nick Miley, Matt Spencer, and Austin Palmer

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