The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is the latest addition to the company’s smart home security ecosystem that doesn’t need a hub and connects directly to WIFI to get your new home security system up and running in a matter of minutes.
Last year, we took a look at the Arlo Ultra, the premium 2-camera offering that connects to the Arlo base station. Now we got to try out the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera, which literally shines a light on your home and security needs.
In the box you get the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera, a wall mount and screw kit, a charging cable and a quick start guide. The camera features the same modern design of any Arlo camera that can easily fit in most design schemes, and even blend in quite well if you like your cameras out of sight.
Much like the ones that have come before, the camera has a sturdy build, is weather resistant against heat, rain and cold and very suitable for outdoor use. In fact, that’s where it shine… but more about that in a bit.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight is extremely easy to get up and go, as long as you’ve done some preliminary planning – most important of all, placement. The camera has a 130 degree field of view that allows you to easily capture doorways, corridors and even your living room as long as you have the right placement.
It captures video at 1080p (1920×1080 – FULL HD) which is quite sharp and captures enough key details for peace of mind. And, it manages to do that at night as well.
One of the key features of the Arlo Essential Spotlight is its motion detection alerts and spotlight that’s powered by AI technology Taking advantage of those features, I experimented with using it not just as security, but as a doorbell.
Working from home most of the time, it’s where all my deliveries get channeled to. I get a lot. From household purchases to lunch, the doorbell gets busy – that is if they can find it. Due to the fact that my doorbell is on the door itself and not at the side, it tends to get missed and I tend to not hear when someone is at the door, and decides to knock rather than press the bell.
Placing the Arlo Essential Spotlight in a nook above my doorway facing the corridor meant I got notifications whenever someone was at the door and it was really quite convenient. Getting to see who’s at the door without having to leave my desk really helps when my son’s friends come over and I can just get him to answer the door rather than leave my “office”.
The 2-way audio feature is also pretty cool when I can let the person at the door know that I’m coming and they don’t need to press the doorbell twice when they actually do see it.
The camera is also meant to be more of a permanent fixture than one that’s designed to be moved around. Of course, you can do so if you want to, but the fact that it comes with only one mountable stand makes me lean in that direction.
Also, the battery can’t be removed, so you’ll need to unscrew the camera from the mount, charge it and then place it back. However, Arlo states that the Essential Spotlight Camera has a 6 month battery life, so that’s not bad at all. Which also means that you don’t have to find a power point 365 days a year which works really well for me.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t test the unit for 6-months, but after 2 weeks, the battery was still going very strong.
The biggest downside to the Arlo suite of cameras is the fact that you need its subscription service to access the full potential of the ecosystem which includes access to a 30-day video history.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera has just that, all the essentials to make your life a little bit easier, more connected and secure. Available at a suggested retail price of SGD 239, it isn’t the cheapest option out there, but it is very dependable.