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Wednesday, 14 October 2020 08:49

Arlo adds new 'Essential XL' security camera with up to 12 months of battery life!

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Arlo is the world's security camera leader, having popularised security cameras that were battery powered and connected via Wi-Fi, with the company continuously improving its offerings year after year after year.

Arlo. It started off life as a division of Netgear, but became so wildly successful that Arlo was spun off as a company in its own right.

Originally, the cameras were 720P HD, then went to Arlo Pro 2 as 1080P HD cameras with audio capabilities. After this came the impressive Arlo Ultra 4K cameras that offer the best video quality of all along with a nifty built-in spotlight, followed by the more affordable Arlo Pro 3 cameras with 2K video quality and colour night vision - and that built-in spotlight, too.

Then came the Arlo video and audio doorbells, followed by the very illuminating and enlightening Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight camera with super bright and adjustable light that is much, much brighter than the spotlights built into the Arlo Pro 3 and 4.

I have two videos of the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight camera that I filmed during the Australian winter (hence the beanie) that you can see, with my unboxing video here and my demonstration of how bright the Floodlight is here

This was followed by the excellent and affordable Arlo Essential camera, that takes the Arlo Pro 3 form factor and its benefits but dials back the resolution to a still very respectable 1080P, and now comes the newest Arlo camera of all - the Essential XL Spotlight camera featuring up to 12 months of battery life.

All the cameras work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and if you have an Arlo Ultra, Pro 3, Pro 3 Floodlight, Pro 2 or Pro camera, and an Arlo Base station VMB5000, VMB4540, VMB4500, or VMB4000 with updated firmware, then you can also connect those Arlo models to Apple HomeKit as well. You can’t use HomeKit with your Arlo device if the device is connected directly to a WiFi router.

So, what does Arlo have to say about the Essential Series?

Well, we're told that it "delivers the peace of mind every family needs to feel protected, both outside and inside the home".

The series is now enhanced with "the Essential XL Spotlight Camera, which features an integrated, extended-life battery that works for up to one year on one charge and an integrated spotlight with colour night vision".

I'm guessing that the battery is essential the same as the much longer battery that powers the excellent Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight camera, because that camera has such a big and beautiful light that can really light up any area, and whose brightness is fully adjustable by the end user - I personally have the one I'm using set to about 35% because it would be way too bright otherwise, although in a security situation having such a blinding light could be extremely handy.

Anyway, this new Essential XL camera certainly has ALL of the essentials we've come to expect from Arlo cameras, starting off with the 1080P HD video resolution that defines the Essential range, along with "two-way audio, motion detection alerts and a built-in siren – all in a beautifully compact, easy-to-install, wire-free design".

And now, of course, with up to 12 months of battery life, which is an excellent development that helps Arlo owners to set and forget and charge just once a year - depending on the settings, the amount of motion and more, but certainly less frequently than for other cameras in the range with smaller batteries.

The Essential XL is available for $279 for one camera and is coming to all major electrical retailers from the start of November 2020.

Brad Little, VP & MD Arlo Asia-Pacific said: "Our feature-packed Essential Series offers wire-free cameras that are as easy to install as they are affordable, providing families with a range of features so they can choose the solution that’s right for their home.

“The Essential XL Spotlight camera highlights the collection, enabling continuous security and peace of mind with extended battery life. Perfect for installing in hard to access or busy locations, the Essential XL Spotlight camera offers homeowners up to 12 months of battery on a single charge for added convenience. Whether it’s serving as a standalone solution or complementing an existing Arlo ecosystem.”

Features of the Arlo Essential XL Spotlight Camera include:

  • Extended Battery Life: One year of battery life on one charge, perfect for high traffic locations or areas that are difficult to reach so you can charge less frequently
  • Integrated Spotlight: Let’s you see what's lurking in the dark with a bright spotlight to illuminate the area of activity; spotlight can be motion activated or manually turned on
  • 2-Way Audio: Hear and speak to visitors clearly with superior audio quality
  • Built-in Siren: Siren can be triggered automatically or manually from the app
  • Colour Night Vision: See colour even at night thanks to an integrated spotlight
  • Full High Definition Camera: Capture clear details in full high definition with the ability to record video in 1080p
  • Weather-Resistant: Designed to withstand heat, cold, rain or sun and can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Motion Detection and Alerts: Alerts sent directly to your phone when motion is detected
  • 130° Viewing Angle: Keep an eye on more of what matters with a wider field-of-view
  • Platform Compatibility: Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT for easy interaction, automation and control

 The Arlo Essential XL Spotlight wire-free camera features an integrated battery and is designed for quick and easy installation or placement nearly anywhere – inside or out, rain or shine.

Also excellent is a "direct to a WiFi connection enables the Arlo Essential XL Spotlight to function as a stand-alone home security solution without the need for a separate SmartHub or Base Station".

That said, users with an existing Arlo security system can still link their Arlo Essential XL Spotlight to a compatible Arlo SmartHub (VMB4540, VMB5000) or Base Station (VMB4000, VMB4500) to enable local storage recording and enhance camera range and battery.

The purchase of an Arlo Essential XL Spotlight also "unlocks a complimentary three-month trial to Arlo’s AI subscription-based service, Arlo Smart. Users will receive access to 30-days of rolling 1080p video recordings to store and view video clips. Notification settings can be adjusted, enabling Arlo Smart subscribers to fully customise their experience to spot people, vehicles, animals or packages**. Controlled entirely through the Arlo app, users can easily view live streams and recordings, adjust their camera settings or access cloud recordings".

Here's the official video for the non-XL Essentials camera from a couple of months ago:

 

Here's the official video of the Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight from earlier this year:

 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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