Readers like you help support Android Police. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More.

Between initial hardware costs and monthly subscriptions, smart home security can get pretty pricey. While there’s no shortage of great bang-for-your-buck budget options available, more premium devices often have hardware and software improvements that make them well worth the buy for those of us wanting a more user-friendly experience. With a $200 price tag, the Arlo Pro 4 definitely bills itself as premium, and has the slick styling and powerful hardware to back it up.

Like plenty of other Wi-Fi security cameras on the market, it can feel downright hamstrung unless you spring extra for a monthly subscription, or for pricey additional optional hardware. That’s probably less of an issue for most flagship security hardware shoppers, but anyone looking to “buy once, cry once” should still prepare to pony up every month to get the most from their investment in their own peace of mind. While the Arlo Pro 4 feels severely hindered without that subscription, it’s downright impressive once the gloves are off.

Arlo Pro 4 against a white background
Source: Arlo
Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
8.5 / 10
$155 $200 Save $45

With impressive color night-vision recording, and a user-replaceable battery that can last up to 6-months at a time, the Arlo Pro 4 is one of the most impressive outdoor security cameras money can buy.

2K HDR Video
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Power Source
Rechargeable battery
Google Assistant, Alexa, Arlo
Field of view
160 degrees
Black, white
  • Toolless user-replaceable battery
  • Impressive color night vision recording
  • No required hub
  • Several seconds delay on live view
  • 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi only
  • Requires hub to record footage without a subscription
  • The app could be better

Price and availability

With a sticker price of $200, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera is well into the premium smart camera price bracket. It’s not uncommon for it to go on sale, with it sitting at $160 at the time of writing, but it’s still possible to drive the price down in a bundle when it’s not. A set of three cameras normally runs $550, but the bundles see discounts about as often as individual units, with three cameras going for a tempting $400 right now.

Design, hardware, what’s in the box

Because the front of the Arlo Pro 4 slides out for battery access, the business end of the camera has the full complement of spotlight LEDs, the microphone, and a speaker surrounding the 160-degree field of view lens. The white case doesn’t house any of the electronics, though the rear of it is where both the threaded mount and an interior metal plate for the magnetic mount live. The rest of the body is smooth white plastic, aside from the magnetic charging plate and disassembly button on the underside.

While plenty of wireless devices include so much paperwork that it feels like the entire Library of Congress is in the box, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight is comparatively spartan. Apart from the camera itself, the magnetic power cable, and the magnetic mount, the only things left are the legally required warnings, a sticker, and a slip informing you that the app will walk you through the entire setup process.

How’s the app and battery life?

View of the Arlo Pro 4 battery with the camera's plastic shell removed

As has become expected of battery-powered outdoor cameras, the Arlo Pro 4 can easily go months between charges. This can fluctuate a little based on things like how many hours per day it’s active, and whether or not you enable the spotlight, but even with a pretty aggressive monitoring schedule, it’ll have enough juice for two to three months at a time. Whether it’s recording or not will also impact battery drain, so if you have one in a high-traffic area, expect it to need recharging more frequently.

To top off the battery, you’ll plug the magnetic charging cable into any Type-A port. Arlo also sells a solar panel with the same magnetic connector, if you’d rather mooch some power from the sun every day than plug it in for a few hours twice a year. Because the battery is easily swapped out, there’s no shortage of Arlo or third-party batteries you can buy if you’d prefer to swap them out for a fresh one when the charge gets low.

Arlo’s app is a little obtuse at times. The settings are spread all over the place, with some in the account menu, widget settings in the plus menu of the dashboard tab, adding devices in the plus menu of the nearly identical-looking devices tab, detection settings in the feed tab, and automation scheduling sensibly tucked away in the routines tab. Most of it makes enough sense after you get over the initial learning curve, though it can feel a bit unintuitive early on.

The Arlo Pro 4 can also be connected through Google Home and Alexa, albeit with some limitations. It’s possible to see your Arlo camera feeds in the Home app, but only while they’re active, so you’ll still need to use the Arlo Secure app to view any cameras on standby mode. The Arlo Alexa skill has that limitation too, but with the extra caveat that you can only view your cameras on an Alexa smart display, and not in the Alexa phone app.

Subscription required?

It’s become par for the course for smart home security companies to rely heavily on subscription models, and Arlo is no outlier in that respect. With plans ranging from $5 per month per camera all the way up to $25 for unlimited cameras with monitoring service, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. The value proposition of the Arlo Secure subscription is significant, with lots of quality-of-life features, though it can feel frustrating to have things like continuous recording locked behind an additional subscription on top of it.

If you’d rather eschew the subscription altogether, you’ll have to do without nice-to-haves like person and animal detection, and borderline must-haves like cloud storage. While you still get push notifications and live streaming to your devices without a subscription, because the Arlo Pro 4 has no local storage of its own, you’ll have to spring for the optional hub to record any footage that you didn’t witness yourself.

Picture and video quality

With a 2K sensor inside, the Arlo Pro 4 has more than enough resolution to make out what’s knocking over your trash cans, or who’s coming home in the middle of the night. This extra resolution compared to the 1080p you’d have with something like the more budget-friendly Wyze Cam Outdoor V2 also means you’re left with plenty of pixels to work with after using the 12x digital zoom. To stream that full 2K video, you’ll need to have a hub and be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, though.

That extra resolution and digital zoom come in handy, too, since the Arlo Pro 4 consistently detected people and animals once they were about 40 feet away. The smart detection was also consistently correct in identifying people and animals, and not just informing me of generic motion being detected. The Arlo Secure app has smart detection of things like vehicles and packages, but since those tend to be delivered by people, I didn’t feel the need to keep using it after verifying its consistency.

One of the more noteworthy features of the Arlo Pro 4 is the inclusion of color footage at night. It still has the option for more traditional UV night vision if you need it, but so long as you have a little light available, you should opt for the color recording since it also comes with a much better 24fps max over the maximum 15fps night vision recording is capped at. On a dark and overcast night, the built-in LED spotlight won’t give you enough light for color night vision, though even the ambient light from a driveway floodlight ensures your 3 AM footage may as well be from noon.


There’s a glut of options in the smart home security space. With compelling budget offerings like the $80 Wyze Cam Outdoor v2, the similar specs and style of the $120 Reolink Argus 3, and the close competition from the Ring Spotlight camera, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. If you’re on a tighter budget, Wyze can save you a decent chunk of change without cutting out too many features, though the Arlo Pro 4 is measurably better in just about every metric. If onboard storage is important, Wyze and Reolink have Arlo beat, thanks to the inclusion of MicroSD card slots.

As far as the Ring Spotlight camera is concerned, we already chalked the Arlo Pro 4 up as the better option between the two, but it also has to compete with Arlo’s Pro 5 camera as well. You’ll get an upgrade from a 10-bit to a 12-bit image sensor with more dynamic range, an extra two months of battery life, and the addition of 5GHz band support if you pony up the extra cash. With the same resolution, excellent color night vision, digital zoom, and virtually everything else, it’s up to you to decide if the diminishing returns are worth it.

Should you buy it?

Side view of the Arlo Pro 4 attached to its magnetic mount

While Arlo’s app could still be better, I personally prefer its interface over the Ring and Wyze apps. The footage is crisper than what I got out of the Wyze Cam Outdoor v2, with significantly less noise in the color night vision. On top of that, the smart detection that comes with the Arlo Secure subscription was more consistent and faster than what I experienced with Wyze’s Cam Plus offerings. If your biggest concern is budget, Wyze and Reolink aren’t bad options, but spending extra here will get you noticeably better results.

Arlo Pro 4 against a white background
Source: Arlo
Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
$155 $200 Save $45

With impressive color night-vision recording, and a user-replaceable battery that can last up to 6-months at a time, the Arlo Pro 4 is one of the most impressive outdoor security cameras money can buy.