Arlo and Ring are two of the top brands for smart security camera systems. For outdoor cameras, among your best choices are the Arlo Pro 3 and the Ring Spotlight Cam. Both are equipped with motion detectors and bright spotlights to ward off potential crime, and they also have two-way audio so you can speak with visitors while you’re away. So which one should you choose? See below.
The Arlo Pro 3 indoor/outdoor security camera delivers wide, panoramic views, enhanced night vision, and advanced noise cancelling technology. Includes motion detection, two-way communication and live streaming.
Arlo Pro 3 vs Ring Spotlight Cam Security Camera Comparison Chart
|Model||Arlo Pro 3||Ring Spotlight Cam|
|Dimensions||89 x 52 x 78.4 mm||124.4 x 68.5 x 73.6 mm|
|Weight||316 g||311 g|
|Max Resolution||2K + HDR||1080p|
|Field of View||160 degrees||140 degrees|
|Color Night Vision||Yes||No|
|Power||Battery||Battery or Wired|
|Subscription Service||Arlo Smart (3 months free)||Ring Protect|
|Lifetime Theft Protection||No||Yes|
The Arlo Pro 3 looks sleeker than the Ring Spotlight Cam.
You’ll find different design flairs for the Arlo Pro 3 and Ring Spotlight Cam. The Arlo Pro 3 features rounded curves on its oval unibody shell while the Ring Spotlight Cam looks boxy. Both are weather-resistant so rainfall and other harsh weather conditions won’t affect their performance.
If you don’t like dealing with wires you’ll be happy to find that both have wire-free setups so you can simply mount them up to the best spot. The Arlo Pro 3 has a magnetic charging port at its bottom that makes it very easy to clip onto when its battery needs to be recharged. Meanwhile, the Ring Spotlight Cam uses a USB charging port and there’s also a wired variant if you prefer having the security camera plugged in.
Both cameras have a built-in spotlight that can be turned on manually or set to trigger automatically depending on your settings. The Arlo Pro 3 has its spotlight located right above the lens while the Ring Spotlight Cam has two strips on its front edges that give off bright light.
The Arlo Pro 3 offers better image quality, coverage and night vision than the Ring Spotlight Cam.
Arlo gave the Arlo Pro 3 a nice boost from its predecessor by giving it 2K maximum video resolution as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR) features. This gives you even better sharpness and detail while HDR tones high saturation and dark shadows to more visible levels. You’ll also have the option to set image quality to 1080p or 720p if preferred.
Meanwhile, the Ring Spotlight Cam is maxed out at 1080p HD. Furthermore, it has a 140-degree horizontal field of view compared to the Arlo Pro 3’s 160 degrees. Another point where the latter stands out is that it removes the fisheye distortion that you normally see with wide-angle lenses such as these. With advanced dewarping features the Arlo Pro 3 gives you a more natural picture than what you’ll find on the Ring Spotlight Cam.
Finally, both security cameras have night vision modes that allow them to continue to watch over your property when it’s dark out. The Arlo Pro 3 renders this in color though while the Ring Spotlight Cam sticks to black and white. This might not be too important if the spotlights get turned on anyway so the cameras can capture in full color, but having the option can be beneficial depending on circumstances.
The Arlo Pro 3 captures clearer audio than the Nest Cam Outdoor.
The ability to be speak with whoever’s at the door is fantastic, since you can talk with unexpected visitors and leave instructions for delivery personnel while you’re away. Both of these security cams have two-way audio with built-in microphones and speakers. You can listen in any time you’re looking at live feeds so you can have a better idea of what’s going on.
As to sound quality, the Arlo Pro 3 has the edge thanks to its noise cancelling features. It reduces ambient noise by a fair amount so you can clearly hear any person speaking up to 30 feet away, though you might need to tweak your volume if the speaker is far away or whispering. In comparison, the Ring Spotlight Cam tends to be loud, which can result in harsher sound output on playback.
Both security cameras are equipped with a loud siren that you can set off separate or together with the spotlights. You’ll be able to choose settings on when this triggers automatically and they can be tied to motion detecting sensors built into them. Both also work with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa if you have the appropriate device like an Echo Dot connected to your network.
The Arlo Pro 3’s subscription service costs lower than that of the Nest Cam Outdoor.
Arlo and Ring’s smart home security systems are designed to allow you realtime access online via mobile apps you can install on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC. They require a hub or base station, such as the Arlo Smart Hub and the Ring Base Station, to connect online and enable cloud storage for video feeds. However, recording footage requires a paid subscription for both devices.
Currently, both the Arlo Smart Premier and Ring Protect services cost roughly the same per month. You can either get a per-camera or per-home plan, which is useful if you want multiple cameras set up in your home. Subscribing lets you access video history up to 30 days ago for the Arlo Pro 3 and up to 60 days ago for the Ring Spotlight Cam.
Both services from these companies offer similar features, such as intelligent alerts, person/vehicle/animal detection, activity zones, and more. Arlo offers a free three-month trial to their Smart Premier plan when you purchase the Arlo Pro 3, while Ring has no similar promotion at this time. What they do offer is a lifetime theft protection for the Ring Spotlight Cam.
The Arlo Pro 3 is our recommended pick over the Ring Spotlight Cam.
Since both are listed at the same price point, it’s easier to recommend the Arlo Pro 3 as it offers better video and audio quality with all the extra features such as a spotlight, siren, two-way audio, and even color night vision. It has a completely wireless setup and you get a long trial period to test out the extra features that comes with the Arlo Smart Premier.
The Ring Spotlight Cam is simply overshadowed by the upgraded specs of the former, but it’s by no means a subpar choice. It has all of the advanced features that can help dissuade suspicious individuals away from your home, such as the spotlight and siren. If you can get this at a considerable discount, you’ll save quite a bit without losing any notable security feature.
The Arlo Pro 3 doesn’t come with lifetime theft protection, only the Ring Spotlight Cam. However, Arlo does have a Theft Replacement program that allows certain models linked to a subscription plan to be replaced.
Yes, the two will work even if you aren’t subscribed to any plan. However, their features will be limited. You’ll be restricted to live streaming and only local storage for recording on the Arlo Pro 3, for instance. Meanwhile, you can only access real-time video streaming on the Ring Spotlight Cam since it doesn’t have local storage.
The Arlo Pro 3 has a higher 2K resolution with HDR and a wider 160-degree field of view or FOV. On the other hand, the Ring Spotlight Cam supports 1080p and an FOV of 140 degrees.
The Arlo Pro 3 can last from three to six months per charge, while the Ring Spotlight Cam is rated to last between six months and one year.