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Arlo Pro 3 review: The best wireless floodlight camera we’ve used yet

Read on for the full review of the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera and find out why it is an Editor’s Choice or 2020.

Techaeris Rated 9.6/10

Security has never mattered more than now. As events around the country unfold, some will take advantage of the chaos and commit criminal acts. Having a security system in place can help deter and identify individuals who embrace this chaos. There are a variety of home security systems on the market and the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera is just one of them.

We’ve used other wireless floodlight camera systems in the past, with the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight easily being the best we’ve used to date. Of course, nothing is perfect, but Arlo Pro 3 floodlight offers excellent picture quality, a clean and useable app, an effectively bright floodlight, and an attainable price tag. Read on for the full review of the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera and find out why it is an Editor’s Choice or 2020.

Specifications

The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera has the following features and specifications:

  • Max Resolution: 2560×1440
  • Image Sensor: 4MP
  • Video Modes: 2K, 1080p, 720p
  • Video Features: Auto Track and Zoom, HDR, H.264, and H.265 Encoding
  • Sensor Size: 1/3″
  • Lens Field of View: 160 degrees diagonal
  • Light Type: Flood
  • Light Modes: Constant and pulsate
  • Light Color Temperature: 4000K
  • Efficacy/Brightness: 2000-3000 lumens (Outdoor Magnetic Charging Cable required for 3000 lumens)
  • Motion Detection: Single Motion Detector, 130 degrees horizontal
  • Night Vision – Color: Yes
  • Night Vision – Black and White: 2 High Powered Infrared
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both – outdoor UV and weather-resistant
  • Digital Zoom: 12x
  • Mic/Audio: Single Microphone with noise and echo cancellation/Full-Duplex 2-way Audio
  • Compliant Standards: 128-bit SSL, AES-128, TSL, 2-factor authentication
  • Charge Time to Full (via camera): 6.5 hrs
  • Charge Time to Full (via charger accessory): 5 hrs
  • Operating Temperature: -20 to 45 degree Celsius
  • Dimensions: 218.5mm x 190.5mm x 77.9mm
  • Weight with Battery: 650g

What’s In The Box

  • Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera
  • Mounts and hardware
  • Battery
  • Charger and cable
  • Manual and documentation
Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera
It’s bigger than some other cameras but the LED light is very bright!

Design

The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera is a bit bulkier than other wireless floodlight cameras we’ve used in the past. Most of that bulk is due to the battery compartment and the very large dual LED lights on the front. So, while some may see the bulky design as a hindrance, we think it’s worth it due to the amount of light produced by the floodlight.

This is an all-white housing and comes with a ball mount that swivels so you can angle the camera in a variety of ways. The camera and battery are separate from the housing. This allows you to remove the camera and battery so you can plug the unit in for a recharge.

If you have access to an outside outlet, Arlo does sell a longer cable for outdoor use so your camera is getting constant power. They also sell a solar panel separately which can be used to deliver constant charge to the unit. I love the solar panel idea and my other outdoor camera has this feature as well. I just wish Arlo would offer it as a bundle rather than a separate accessory.

I like the idea of being able to separate the body from the housing, which makes it very easy to remove and charge the unit. The only thing I don’t like about this is that the housing is pretty flimsy. Arlo makes it a point to tell you to take care when removing and installing the body into the housing.

Overall, the design is larger than other floodlight cameras I’ve used but I don’t mind that because the light output is spectacular. I do like the ease of removing the unit for charging but don’t like that the housing is flimsy. Really, the pros outweigh the cons in design here. Sure there can be improvements made, but that goes for about every product out there.

Ease of Use and Setup

Setting up the physical camera is very easy. The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight doesn’t have any wires to deal with, making the mounting of it simple. You do need to be sure you have a good Wi-Fi signal where you’re setting up, though. I would also recommend you plug the unit in and charge it to full before mounting it.

Now, if you opt to buy theUS$24.99 outdoor power cable, which is about 8-feet in length, then you’ll need to be sure to be near a power outlet, or use an outdoor extension cable. If you opt to purchase the US$79.99 solar panel then you’ll need to be sure to have a spot where the panel can eat some sun.

Mounting the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight involves a mounting plate, a few screws, and 5-minutes of your time. It’s super easy and took no time at all, other than waiting a few hours to charge the unit to full.

Setting the app up is also very easy. You’ll need to download the Arlo app for iOS or Android and sign up for an account. You’ll be signed up for 3-months of one of their paid tiers of cloud recording. After 3-months you can continue or just opt for their free basic cloud package. Most people should be fine with the free tier but some may like the fact the paid tiers offer longer clips and storage options. We’ll go over the software and the app in the next section. It’s very easy to set up and should only take a few minutes of your time.

Really, the most time you’ll spend on setup with the Arlo 3 Pro floodlight camera is charging it for the first time. Once you have it charged, mounting and app setup is quick and easy.

Software/App

Before you start setup, it’s important to note that you will need to have your iPhone or Android connected to a 2.4GHz network and not a 5GHz network. Most of these smart home devices will only work with a 2.4GHz network so be sure you have one set up.

Once your Arlo Pro 3 floodlight is charged, just fire up the app and look for the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight. Click the photo of the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight and then follow the prompts in the app. The app will have you hold your phone in front of the camera to scan a QR code generated by the app. This will then connect your phone to the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight, allowing you access to the camera.

Once you have the connection to the app, it’s pretty simple from there. You’ll need to jump into the app and set up your activity zones. This allows you to specify where you want the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight to activate from within its field of vision. For example, if the Pro 3 floodlight is facing towards the street but you don’t want it to be set off when a car goes by, you can pull the activity zone back towards the driveway so the cars in the street don’t set it off.

Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera
The white button on the bottom is the housing release and the other is a magnetic point for cable charging outdoors.

You can also arm, disarm, create geofenced areas, and schedules within the app. You can grant access to your Arlo recordings to friends and family and you can setup a few really neat features. Those features include:

  • Package Detection: This one is really neat. Arlo will notify you when it sees a package is left within its line of sight. So you can either call someone to pick up that package or notify someone at home to retrieve it.
  • Smart Notifications: This is by far my favorite feature of the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight. Smart Notifications can distinguish between people, animals, vehicles, and other motion. It’s uncanny how well it works. The neighborhood cat sets our Arlo Pro 3 floodlight off every night around 1 am. The notifications have been spot on for people and vehicles as well.
  • e911: This will set up emergency services and call 911 for you, it’s best to read Arlo’s FAQs on this one for a better understanding.
  • Call a Friend: This is exactly what it sounds like, call a friend.

The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera app also allows for live viewing in 2K and you can go back and look at previous recordings. If you have the free tier of their service, you will be limited to how far back you can go and look and how long it records. I recommend watching the handful of videos on Arlo’s YouTube channel for help with some of the app features.

Overall, the Arlo app is possibly the best wireless home security app that we’ve used. It’s robust and easy to use and packs a bunch of features that are very useful.

Battery Life

Battery life is going to be wildly different for everyone. I found the battery drained faster than I wanted on our unit, but mostly because it’s placed in a higher traffic area. I would get notifications dozens of times a day. I found if I disarmed it for the hours we didn’t really need it to be active helped improve battery life dramatically.

With all of the activity, the battery life for our Arlo Pro 3 floodlight lasted about 2-weeks before needing to be charged. Once I disarmed it on the hours we didn’t need it to be working, the battery life seems to have improved. I think most people should be able to get near 4-weeks of battery life if placed in a low-traffic area. I would like to see battery life improved to a solid month for medium-traffic areas.

Keep in mind, you can buy the solar panel, which I recommend, and not have to worry about battery life at all. Overall, the battery life is good and it will depend on where you place the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera and how often it is being set off.

Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera
That front panel houses some spectacular LED lights that are very powerful.

Performance

Now, I say this having used several different brands of wireless security cameras in the past. The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera has the best picture quality of any camera we’ve used with a 2K resolution. The clarity of the picture is great, it’s better in the daylight of course but still does outstanding at night. Like other cameras, you can also zoom in and see things like license plates and faces. It’s really a great picture.

Another fantastic feature of the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight is the brightness of the floodlight. It’s very intense and Arlo recommends you DO NOT look at it. It’s easily the brightest wireless floodlight camera we’ve used and provides fantastic illumination.

One area that frustrated me a bit was the reaction time of the app. I don’t know if this has to do with network connectivity or not. But I notice I would not get a notification of movement until around 10-seconds after the movement was there. So I could step in front of the camera but not get notified for around 10-seconds. I wish that time was faster, even by half would be better.

The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight is also weatherproof so you can mount this where it will get wet and you’ll be fine. It’s also very sturdy and robust when it’s all put together. The housing by itself without the camera inserted is a bit flimsy but that’s really a non-issue as the camera will be mounted in it most of the time.

Overall, the performance is great on the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight. The standouts here are the 2K picture quality and the intensity of the floodlight.

The 2K camera produces great images with great clarity.

Price/Value

The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera is priced at US$249.99 which is a bit more than some of the competition. I’m going to say that the value here is going to be very subjective. We think the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight is worth the price tag because of its best-in-class picture quality as well as its bright floodlight. We do think adding a bundle with either the outdoor cable or solar panel for an extra US$20 would bring better value to the package. Even so, I’d recommend buying the solar panel, it will make life easier.

Wrap Up

The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight is a fantastic 2K wireless outdoor floodlight camera that gives you fantastic picture quality and superior illumination. We think this is the camera to buy if you’re looking for a floodlight camera that works over Wi-Fi and is super easy to set up. One thing to keep in mind before buying though is that this camera will be limited to your Wi-Fi range, so if you’re planning on mounting far from your router, you may be disappointed.

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Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

US$249.99

Design

9.5/10

Ease of Use and Setup

9.5/10

Software/App

10.0/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Performance

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Clean and simple design
  • Holy cow the floodlight is BRIGHT!
  • Easy to use, install, and setup
  • Best app of any wireless camera we've used
  • 2K picture is the best we've seen yet
  • Worth the price

Needs work

  • It is a bit bulky and some may not like that
  • Would be nice if the battery lasted at least month
  • Would love a solar panel bundle instead of a separate purchase
  • May be too pricey for some

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