Wireless security cameras have made it easier to set up surveillance systems at home. If you’re in the market for one, especially an outdoor model, then Arlo is a trusted brand. The Arlo Pro 4, for instance, delivers 2K video recording and connects directly to Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, the top-end Arlo Ultra 2 brings 4K video quality and advanced motion detection sensors. Are the upgrades on the Ultra 2 worth its extra cost? Or, given the Arlo Pro 4 price, are you better off getting the midrange model? To find out the answers, check out our review below.
Arlo Pro 4 vs Ultra 2 Comparison Chart
|Model||Arlo Pro 4 Wireless Security Camera||Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Security Camera|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Video Quality||2K, 1080p, 720p||4K, 2K, 1080p, 720p|
|Field of View||160º diagonal||180º diagonal|
|Motion Detection||Single motion detector, 130º horizontal||Dual motion detectors, 150º horizontal|
|Zoom||12x digital zoom||12x digital zoom|
|Noise and Echo Cancellation||Yes||No|
|Wind, Noise, and Echo Reduction||No||Yes|
|Requires Smart Hub||No||Yes|
|Battery Life||6 months||6 months|
|Dimensions||89 x 52 x 78.4mm||89 x 52 x 78.4mm|
The Arlo Pro 4 and Ultra 2 sport identifical designs with subtle differences in their faceplate hardware.
Like previous iterations of Arlo’s security cameras, the Arlo Pro 4 and Arlo Ultra 2 sport sleek, minimalist designs. Their identical, oval-shaped form allows them to blend easily wherever installed. From afar, they look like oversized AirPods cases, too. Unlike Apple’s favorite headphones, however, these wireless security cameras come in two colors: white and black.
Arlo shares that the Pro 4 and Ultra 2 are weather-resistant against the sun, the rain, and even the snow. You can also install them outdoors via a wall-mount. At the bottom of the cameras, there’s a threaded hole for this type of installation. If you want convenience, there is a magnetic mounting option, too.
To differentiate between the two, you’ll need to look at their faceplates. Of course, you’ll find the standard components are present: camera, status LEDs, spotlight, and speaker. But the Ultra 2 goes for extras. Its built-in camera, for instance, is noticeably larger than the Pro 4 upon closer inspection. You’ll also get a dual-microphone array on both sides of the lens.
Out of the box, Arlo includes a quick startup guide, a charger, and video monitoring decal. A wall mounting hardware kit is also included.
The Arlo Ultra 2 boasts a few upgraded features over the Arlo Pro 4.
Given the differences in their faceplate components, it’s right to assume the Arlo Ultra 2 offers upgraded features. The top-end device boasts an 8MP camera with a larger 180-degree field of view. In contrast, the Arlo Pro 4 is equipped with a 4MP camera and a 160-degree field of view. The Ultra 2 also features a dual-microphone array that offers wind, noise, and echo reduction. On the Pro 4, you only get noise and echo cancellation.
But there are plenty of shared features between the two. Arlo’s Pro 4 and Ultra 2 boast 12x digital zoom, along with auto-track and auto-zoom capabilities. The cameras support HDR, too. Users also get similar 850nm Infrared LEDs for night vision mode as well as 6500K spotlights. Out of the box, both security cameras offer live video streaming and motion notifications.
For more advanced capabilities, however, users need to subscribe to Arlo Secure. With a paid plan, homeowners can access animated previews and intelligent object detection. You can also eliminate unnecessary notifications by creating custom activity zones, which limits alerts to a specific area of coverage. The Pro 4 and Ultra 2 also work with smart home assistants. According to Arlo, their cameras are compatible with SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, Ok Google, and Apple HomeKit.
Arlo’s Ultra 2 delivers better image and audio quality compared to the Arlo Pro 4 camera system.
As expected, the Arlo Ultra 2 has the edge when it comes to image quality. The premium camera supports up to 4K video recording. Meanwhile, the Arlo Pro 4 maxes out at 2K. You can, however, lower the recording quality for both. On the Ultra 2, you can opt for 2K, 1080p, and 720p. The Pro 4, on the other hand, offers 1080p and 720p options.
When it comes to coverage, the Ultra 2 has the advantage again. Its super wide-angle lens lets you see more area without having to deal with a fish-eye effect. While both cameras excel in delivering well-exposed image quality, the Ultra’s 2 footage is clearer and more detailed. This becomes noticeable, especially when in night vision mode.
The Ultra 2 leads in audio, too, but not by a wide margin. Its dual-microphone array’s biggest advantage is wind reduction, a practical feature on an outdoor camera. Other than that, two-way functionality between the two is comparable. Like the Ultra 2, the Pro 4 uses full-duplex, two-way audio as well. The single microphone boasts reliable noise and echo cancellation, too.
In terms of storage, it comes down to a matter of preference. Because the Ultra 2 doesn’t directly connect to Wi-Fi, you’ll need a SmartHub for it to function. While it’s an additional setup (and expense), it does offer local storage. The Pro 4, on the other hand, does away with the SmartHub. Instead, it connects directly to your Wi-Fi. However, it also means losing local storage. If you want to save recordings, you’ll need to pay for cloud storage.
Camera Kits and Subscription
Both the Arlo Pro 4 and Arlo Ultra 2 come in single units or as multicamera kits.
Like most security camera brands, Arlo’s catalog is designed to work as a system. As such, you can get the Arlo Pro 4 and Arlo Ultra 2 either as standalone units or as multicamera kits. The Pro 4, for instance, is available as an add-on unit or in 2- or 3-camera kits. Meanwhile, the Ultra 2 comes either as a single unit or a 2-camera kit. The latter option will include the required Arlo SmartHub as well.
To make the most out of your devices, Arlo recommends getting a plan. You can opt for the more standard Arlo Secure plan or the upgraded Arlo Secure Plus. The latter is ideal for the Ultra 2 since it offers support for 4K video. It also adds an Emergency Response to its list of features. The Arlo Secure comes in at $2.99/month for a single camera and $9.99/month for unlimited cameras. Meanwhile, the Secure Plus costs $14.99/month for unlimited cameras.
While the Arlo Ultra 2 offers a better video recording quality, the performance of the Arlo Pro 4 should suffice for most homeowners.
Both the Arlo Pro 4 and Arlo Ultra 2 provide CCTV-like surveillance without the hassle of wired setups. The Ultra 2, however, delivers higher quality footage thanks to its 8MP sensor and 4K video recording support. It also offers a slight upgrade in audio, thanks to wind-noise reduction and a dual-microphone array.
Still, the Pro 4 stands as a compelling alternative. Outside of the Ultra 2’s extra features, you more or less get the same specs on the Pro 4. Plus, advanced capabilities are accessible only with an Arlo Secure plan anyway. So while the Ultra 2’s 4K recording sounds impressive, the image quality you get with the Pro 4 is more than enough for reliable home security.
The Arlo Pro 4 has a lower 4MP camera compared to the Ultra 2’s 8MP sensor. As such, the Pro 4 supports only 2K recording, while you can get 4K video quality with the Ultra 2. Arlo’s Pro device can also connect directly to the Wi-Fi. In contrast, the top-end Ultra 2 requires a SmartHub or base station to function.
The Arlo Pro 4 Solar Panel is a charging accessory for the camera. Using sunlight, it keeps your Arlo Pro 4’s battery continuously charged.
The Arlo Pro 4 boasts a removable, rechargeable battery rated to last for six months.
No, the Arlo Pro 4 does not need a base station to function. However, you’ll need a SmartHub if you need local storage for video recordings.
Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API