Arlo Pro 3 vs Ring Spotlight Cam (2020): Which Outdoor Security Camera Should You Get?

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.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Ring Spotlight Cam Security Camera Comparison Chart

ModelArlo Pro 3Ring Spotlight Cam
Arlo Pro 3 Security Camera
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions89 x 52 x 78.4 mm124.4 x 68.5 x 73.6 mm
Weight316 g311 g
WirelessYesYes
Max Resolution2K + HDR1080p
Field of View160 degrees140 degrees
Integrated SpotlightYesYes
Color Night VisionYesNo
Two-way AudioYesYes
Noise CancellationYesNo
SirenYesYes
PowerBatteryBattery or Wired
Subscription ServiceArlo Smart (3 months free)Ring Protect
Lifetime Theft ProtectionNoYes

Design

The Arlo Pro 3 looks sleeker than the Ring Spotlight Cam.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Ring Spotlight Cam Design
The white finish of the Arlo Pro 3 (left) and Ring Spotlight Cam (right) makes them look stylish and modern.

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.

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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.

Video Quality

The Arlo Pro 3 offers better image quality, coverage and night vision than the Ring Spotlight Cam.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Ring Spotlight Cam Video Quality
You’ll get a wider field of vision along with more detailed night views with the Arlo Pro 3.

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.

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Audio Quality

The Arlo Pro 3 captures clearer audio than the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Ring Spotlight Cam Audio Quality
Both Arlo Pro 3 and Ring Spotlight Cam enable conversations using a mobile app.

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.

Other Features

The Arlo Pro 3’s subscription service costs lower than that of the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Ring Spotlight Cam Other Features
Check past recordings with a subscription service offered by both Ring and Arlo.

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.

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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.

Verdict

The Arlo Pro 3 is our recommended pick over the Ring Spotlight Cam.

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.

Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.