Arlo Essential Indoor Camera review

Arlo Essential Indoor Camera review

The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera is the latest smart security camera for the Arlo family, providing a budget-focused approach to smart home security with Arlo flair signature. There is no doubt that a smart, well-designed security camera with portable and useful privacy protection, but with key features locked behind an extra paywall and a costly price compared to a similarly thought-out competition, is a hard sell.

Does the Arlo Essential Indoor camera cost $ 99 / £ 119?

Design and build

Arlo Essential follows the same design language as the other cameras in the Arlo collection, which play the same circular shape as the old shiny white plastic body.

On the front, you will find a camera sensor, capable of recording 1080p video with a 130-degree viewing field, LED indicator, and microphone, while the rear has the micro-USB socket needed for power and a dual speaker- way.

One of the key features of the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera is the installation of a cover, which covers the camera when not in use, as well as the ability to control movement and capture sound. A separate white cover on a black front plate makes it easy to see if it’s covered just by looking, and is easily made with Arlo’s app – but more on that later.

The dinky Arlo Essential is one of the most compact indoor cameras on the market, with a size of 52 x 49 x 113mm, but it can’t beat the Ring Indoor Cam with its dinky size. However, if you are looking for a small camera that will meet your home, the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera should do the job.

Like the Ring Indoor Cam and other smart cameras, Arlo Essential uses a ball and socket attached to a stand attached to a circular base plate. The joint allows you to easily adjust the camera angle, while the base round plate can be used to position the camera on the shelf.

There is a mounting kit in the box if you want to protect the camera at the top, but with a short 2m cable needed to power the unit, you are not getting the freedom you would get from a battery-operated camera.

Features and functionality

Setup is a simple process, which requires no more than downloading the Arlo app from the App Store or Google Play and following the on-screen instructions to connect the camera to your Wi-Fi network. While some smart cameras are complicated (and sometimes frustrating) to connect, Arlo Essential Indoor connected and broadcast the video within minutes of being pulled out of the box.

Once the camera is off, you can just let it do its thing; will automatically start monitoring the movement, and you will receive an alert on your smartphone when the movement is detected.

Arlo’s app is well-designed and easy to use, especially for entry-level products – the advantage is that Arlo first builds high-quality cameras and then uses the same app to deliver its budget.

With that in mind, you will be greeted with a home menu showing all the currently installed cameras complete with an icon previewing the last recording event. Camera tapping provides direct access to live feeds with the ability to communicate with those around you using two-way speech, as well as access to moving events and the Settings menu to adjust camera preferences.

There is also a Library tab that will allow you to view photos taken on multiple cameras in sequence, and there is also a Mode tab that will allow you to customize how and when the system works.

Captured events provide a good overview, thanks to 1080p recording and a 130-degree viewing platform, though not as scalable as competing cameras that can offer 160 degrees.

In general, the quality of the video captured (and broadcast in real-time from the app) is excellent day and night, even maintaining some of that quality when digitally zoomed, although it is important to note that night vision is limited to dark and dark. white captivity. It can’t compete with the more expensive options for the Arlo family, with Arlo Pro 3 shooting in 2K and Arlo Ultra going all the way up to 4K, but it should be enough for easy home monitoring.

Like most smart cameras, recorded events are stored in the cloud. That means you will have to pay a monthly subscription to access recorded events, as well as the ability to access other advanced features offered by the camera that include AI features such as object acquisition and customizable location where movement is detected.

Although it is frustrating that some features are locked behind the paywall, rather than simply offering cloud storage, a £ 2.49 / $ 2.49 per month subscription is more delicious than most, and you also get a free three-month trial.

What if you do not want Arlo Essential Indoor to shoot the action? That’s where privacy protection comes in. It is activated by the Arlo app whenever you ‘uninstall’ the system, and will withdraw when the system is armed. There is also a geofencing feature that will automatically equip and disconnect the system based on your location which should make things feel seamless.

There is a catch though; if you have multiple Arlo products in the app, you will need to uninstall all weapons to enable privacy protection. With this in mind, a visual change in the camera itself would be helpful, allowing you to quickly disable the indoor camera outside, for example, to release an external camera that monitors your garden.

You can set up custom scenes with the Modes menu that will allow you to disable the home camera while keeping other products running, but it is a headache for existing Arlo users.

Arlo Essential Indoor Camera: Details

2Mp sensor

1080p @ 30fps video recording with 130-degree FOV

Night vision (B&W)

Optional detection of AI object

2m micro USB cable

One microphone


1 x LED light

12x digital zoom

A wall/ceiling is installed

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