Arlo Essential Indoor Camera Review : Your HBL companion



HBL started on May 18.

Students from primary, secondary and JC schools will be staying home and using their computers to 'study'.  With parents having the need to WFH or even work outside of the home, monitoring the children can be a daunting task.

Arlo must have predicted our woes and send us a unit for their Essential Indoor Camera to review.

Who's Arlo


Arlo is a US company that specialised in a surveillance camera. Founded in 2014 as a division of Netgear, it had since operated as an independent company in 2018.

Arlo Essential Indoor Camera
Arlo has an impressive array of surveillance cameras as well as doorbells and accessories. For the camera range, it has surveillance cameras under Pro Specs with 2k HDR recording. For the essential range, It has a lower spec for recording video at 1080P (Full HD). At this framerate, it should be sufficient for home personal use.


Other features include an automated camera privacy shield, motion alerts, night vision and 2-way Audio. Arlo works with your Apple Watch, where you can receive alerts.  It is also compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Set up

What's in the box?
The Essential Indoor Camera comes in a nifty package. It has the camera, the micro USB cable, power adapter, wall mount and screw kit and a quick start page.  Everything necessary to set up the camera.


Set up process

The camera is set up via the app. Using the Arlo app, there is a step by step process for setting up the camera. The process is fast and easy to do. We had it set up within 3 minutes of unboxing.


Usage
As this is a fixed lens camera, this view may be limited. However, with the 130° viewing angle, it can have wide coverage. In a normal size room, it will be sufficient. I use it to monitor my kid during his Home Base Learning phase.


In terms of image quality, the 1080p is sufficient for viewing on a smartphone. The two-way audio works like a charm. If you intend to use this as a home security camera, you could even 'scare' away from the robbers. 

There is also a privacy screen that automatically covers the camera lens when activated. While this is a great feature to use when you need privacy, some limitations are associated with it. 

The camera comes with a motion sensor detection that could not be deactivated without activating the privacy screen. This meant that you will constantly get notification alert if you decide to use them to monitor someone. The workaround way is to disable the notification for the motion sensor.

In terms of price, Arlo is priced a tad higher than its competitors. One of the reason is that it comes bundled with a complimentary 3 months Arlo Smart Subscription. The smart subscription allows you to have cloud recording of up to 30 days with up to 4k video recording. Other functions include customising activity zones, smart detection that can differentiate between a person or car and other features.  Cost starts from US 2.99 per month for a single subscription.




You can still use the camera once the subscription is over. You will still get live streaming and notification, but there will not be any cloud recording or rich notifications. The camera does not need a hub to operate, and you can use it on its own.



Thoughts
Arlo Essential Indoor Camera

The Arlo is a capable workhorse indoor camera. For using it to monitor kids who are doing Home Based Learning, it is a nifty product.

At $199 per unit, it is not the cheapest indoor camera. For that price, there are competitors offering security cameras that are wire-free with weatherproof capabilities. If the price were to be more competitive, it will definitely be one that we would add multiple units around the house. 

The Arlo Essential Indoor camera can be at the following links





 

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