- Getting Started
- What we Liked
- What We Didn’t
- Feature Rundown
- Useful Features
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What does the package of Arlo Ultra include?
- How long will the battery of Arlo Ultra last?
- How effective is the new mount?
- What are the Smart Hub’s advantages?
- What is the required minimum upload bandwidth?
- Is there a minimum distance between Arlo Ultra cameras and a Smart Hub when recording it to a microSD card?
- Video Walkthrough
- Wrapping Up
We’ve tested the Arlo Ultra to determine if purchasing it is a good investment. And in this Arlo Ultra 4k review, I’ll educate you on the essential things you must know to help you with your decision.
Purchase the Arlo Ultra if:
- You want a device that is simple to install
- You want color night vision
- You want a camera that’s packed with excellent features
- You want 4k video quality
Don’t purchase the Arlo Ultra if:
- You want auto-zooming and motion tracking in 4k video quality
- You want a budget camera
- You already own an Arlo Pro 3
What we Liked
What We Didn’t
The Arlo Ultra security camera is the newest member of the Arlo home security camera family. Costing $400, it sets a new standard for outdoor cameras. It’s one of the most expensive cameras on the market, but it’s packed with cool and useful features. Apart from its price, you’ll also spend money on Arlo Smart Plans to get the most out of your Arlo Ultra.
There are two options for mounting the camera. It comes with a magnetic base attached to a wall as standard. However, the camera can easily be detached, making it unsuitable if the camera is within reach of anyone who may be snooping around your property. On the other hand, there’s a connector for a screw mount on the back of the camera, but the screw mount is an optional extra. You can easily screw the base into a wall, then magnetically attach the camera to that base and position it so that its field of view will cover your property. If you prefer to hardwire, there are charging pins for the magnetic cable on the device’s bottom, which snaps into place. (1)
The Arlo Ultra is simple to install. You must first download the Arlo app. Simplified instructions are provided upon startup. It includes plugging the Smart Hub into your router, inserting the camera’s battery, and so on. The entire setup procedure is extremely simple, and the app guides you through each step. After you’ve physically installed the Arlo Ultra, you can tweak a few settings in the app to suit your needs.
Arlo redesigned its Base Station, known as the Smart Base. There’s a LAN port, a power port, a sync button, and a reset button on its back. However, there is no longer a USB port on the back of this model for local storage. Instead, you’ll find a microSD card slot on the bottom of the Base Station. The microSD card has a maximum storage capacity of 250 GB. (2)
The Smart Base is smaller than the base station used with previous Arlo cameras, measuring 6.0×5.5×2.0 inches (HWD). But it’s packed with wireless technology such as Wi-Fi, ArloRF, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave radios (most of these radios are reserved for future use). After connecting all installed cameras and the hub, a LED indicator on the front turns blue, solid amber when an error occurs, blinks blue when pairing with a camera, and blinks amber when a camera loses connection.
Design and Hardware
The Arlo Ultra is a stylish product with its slim design and removable case. It features the same classic black and white design as previous generations of Arlo security cameras. It has a black and pill-shaped camera face, and the rest of its body is white. The Ultra camera is 20 x 30 inches. It’s noticeably larger and smaller than the previous Arlo security cameras, such as the Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo Go, respectively. Also, a button on the camera’s bottom allows you to remove the enclosure and access the battery pack.
Moreover, it is weather-resistant, which means you can use it outdoor without getting damaged by the rain. The camera’s upper part is where you can find the camera lens and spotlight. If you enable the spotlight, it will light up when it detects motion. Also, the spotlight provides a color night vision. If you want black-and-white night vision, you can turn the light off and rely solely on the two infrared LEDs. It also has an 80db internal siren that will trigger manually or automatically when it detects audio or motion. It’s loud enough to warn unwanted visitors that they are being watched.
Video Quality and Performance
The video quality of the Arlo Ultra is what distinguishes it from the majority of security cameras. This home security camera has a standard video display of 1080p HD. But when you pay their subscription plan, you can apply 4K resolution, which can produce images that are twice as clear as 1080p HD. Its high resolution enables a 12x zoom, allowing you to zoom in and examine areas of your house in detail.
Moreover, the Arlo Ultra security camera offers:
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) – with an 8-megapixel 4k sensor, the detail will not be lost even when the sun shines brightly or in very dark shadows.
- 180-degree field of view – unlike some other security cameras, the footage is not subject to a distorted fisheye effect. With it, you can capture the majority of what happens inside your house and outdoors.
- 150 degrees of motion detection feature installed with dual motion sensors – When it’s triggered, the camera sends a push notification or an email, records video of the event, and stores it in the cloud or on a MicroSD Card, sold separately.
- Auto-zooming and motion tracking – basically, auto-zooming automatically zooms the camera to the subject. On the other hand, motion tracking allows the camera to follow the movement of whatever or whoever triggered a recording.
Nighttime footage is also of excellent quality. The details are crisp and sharp, and you’ll have no trouble figuring out what is going on in the recordings. And as I have mentioned, you can have a color night vision through the embedded spotlight. But if you want to settle on the black and white night vision, you can turn off the spotlight and rely on two infrared LEDs.
Note: You can’t enable 4K streaming and auto-zoom/motion tracking simultaneously. Therefore, you must disable 4k streaming and settle for 1080p if you want to allow auto-zoom and motion tracking, or vice versa.
Audio Quality and Performance
The audio quality of the Arlo Ultra is also outstanding. It has two-way audio, so you can converse with the person you’re recording with. It’s also great for frightening off intruders. There’s a dual-microphone array, a front-facing speaker, and noise-cancellation technology to eliminate wind noise, which is helpful for two-way audio if you need it.
In its Arlo Smart plans, Arlo provides both cloud and local storage. We want to have a backup system in place when using a security camera. Luckily, the Arlo camera provided not one but two options for backing up your footage in case one of them fails. The Arlo hub has a micro-SD card slot for local storage. And you’ll need to pay their subscription plans for cloud storage.
Smart Platform Integration
The Arlo Ultra is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and the Apple HomeKit, allowing you to control it with voice commands. You can instruct your preferred assistant to display camera footage on your TV, view a live feed in your preferred smart home app.
Lock Screen Notifications
You’ll get lock screen notifications in the form of a live stream screenshot with any of the Arlo Smart Home plans. It allows you to monitor what’s going on in your home without even opening your phone.
E911 Emergency Services
Arlo’s Smart Premier and Smart Elite plans include an in-app button that calls 911 automatically. The e911 is useful because it allows you to call someone on your friend’s list or dial your local authorities when there’s an emergency.
Custom Activity Zones
These are available on all Arlo Smart Home plans. With that, you can tell the Arlo app to focus on specific areas, such as your window. It will help to improve the specificity of your notifications, as your camera can tell you where motion is exactly occurring.
A lot of security camera videos have a fisheye or warped appearance. De-warping enhances the scene and makes it what it looks like in real life.
The Arlo Ultra has a diagonal field of view of 180 degrees. It will allow you to see more areas in your property, which is undoubtedly the goal when purchasing a security camera. (3)
The Arlo Ultra works with the same mobile app and web console as the Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, and Arlo Q cameras. However, if you’re new to Arlo, you need to download the app and sign up for a new account. After you create an account, log in and click Add Device. With the Arlo app, you can live stream video, communicate via two-way audio, control device settings, receive notifications, connect to smart home platforms, and access cloud storage.
Home Screen Buttons
You’ll see a feed from all of your installed cameras on the home screen. Moreover, you’ll find the following buttons:
|Buttons at the bottom of the stream window||Mute the speaker Initiate two-way talk Record video Take a snapshot Turn on the spotlight|
|Camera Settings Button||Check the battery level Adjust brightness and motion sensitivity Enable/disable 4k streaming Enable/disable auto-zoom and motion tracking Select a video mode (Super Wide, Wide, Full) Select a power mode (Best Video, Optimized, Best Battery Life)|
|Audio Settings Button||Enable/disable the microphone Adjust speaker volume Enable/disable the setting for reducing wind noise|
Devices Screen Icons
On the device’s screen, you’ll find the following icons:
|Red e911 Icon||Activate the siren Dial 911 Call a friend|
|Devices Icon||Returns to the home screen|
|Library Icon||Open a screen where you can view all recorded videos by date, complete with thumbnails and time stamps.|
|Mode Icon||Configure smart hub settings for motion and sound detection Enable push and email alerts Add new devices Motion and alert schedules feature Disarm the Arlo smart hub Use geofencing to enable the hub when you leave your home|
|Settings Icon||Configure Smart notifications Upgrade your subscription Configure e911 and friend settings Change your gadget’s order on the Devices screen|
Arlo Subscription Plans
When you purchase the Arlo Ultra, you’ll have a one-year subscription to their plan for free. The benefits include rolling cloud storage and 1080p video quality for 30 days. You’ll also get Smart Notifications that distinguish between people, animals, and cars. You’ll also get Arlo e911 which allows you to call a friend or authorities when there’s a break-in happening.
After the Smart Premier trial period expires, you can no longer access recorded video or Smart Notifications unless you renew or purchase another subscription. Arlo has two paid plans, namely:
- Arlo Smart Premier – this plan costs $10 per month with coverage for up to five cameras. It will record in 2k video quality and store it in the cloud.
- Arlo Smart Elite – this plan costs $15 per month with coverage for up to five cameras. It provides the same additional features as the Arlo Smart Premier. But it will record in 4k video quality, which will be stored in the cloud.
Arlo also has a single camera plan for $2.99 per month with 30 days of storage and a 20-camera plan for $14.99 per month with 60 days of storage. If you want to take advantage of all the camera’s benefits, you need to get their subscription plans.
Note: You can’t have a 4k video recording if you’ll not avail of their paid plans. Since Arlo Smart Premier only records in 2k quality, you have to pay an additional $1.99 per month per camera to record in 4k quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the package of Arlo Ultra include?
The package of Arlo Ultra includes:
– A base station (Arlo Smart Hub)
– Battery pack
– USB charger and charging cable
– Magnetic mount
– Mounting arm
– Mounting hardware
How long will the battery of Arlo Ultra last?
The battery on the Arlo Ultra can last three to six months, depending on the usage. Its recharge time is approximately 3.5 hours. The battery life will be determined by how frequently motion is detected, how you often activate the Live View, and whether or not you are using the two-way microphone and speaker.
How effective is the new mount?
The newly designed mount perfectly matches the camera’s shape, allowing it to mount from the ceiling. It also has a built-in groove for hiding your cable. It also provides strain relief to keep the camera mounted to the wall.
What are the Smart Hub’s advantages?
The Arlo Smart Hub helps protect your footage by adding a secure, personal network to the router. Smart Hub also aids in the regulation of Wi-Fi traffic, increases battery life, and includes local storage. However, microSD cards are sold separately.
What is the required minimum upload bandwidth?
Arlo suggests an upload bandwidth speed of 3Mbps on average.
Is there a minimum distance between Arlo Ultra cameras and a Smart Hub when recording it to a microSD card?
No, there’s no required distance. You can record to a microSD card if you have an active live stream connection between an Arlo Ultra camera and a Smart Hub.
The Arlo Ultra comes at a premium price but comes with many useful features. It is the first security camera we’ve tested that streams and records a 4K video. Plus, it has no wires to contend with, making its installation a breeze. The Ultra has excellent video quality, which stands out above all other security cameras. Its features like motion tracking, auto-zooming, smart detection, color night vision, and integrated spotlight and siren make it a feature-rich wireless outdoor camera.
With Arlo Ultra, you’ll get a lot out of the money you’ll be spending. If you want an excellent wireless outdoor security camera, the Arlo Ultra might be your best bet.
You may want to check other Arlo and product guides we’ve made below;
(1) magnetic – https://www.livescience.com/38059-magnetism.html
(2) LAN – https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/switches/what-is-a-lan-local-area-network.html
(3) simulation – https://www.britannica.com/science/simulation
- Wire free and weather-resistant design, works with Alexa, and includes 1 year of Arlo Smart Premier service with rolling 3 day cloud recordings (up to 1 cameras)
- 4K & HDR : Zoom in to see sharp details with Arlo Ultra’s 4K & HDR advanced image quality technology