In the past few years, home security cameras have come a long way. There are now powerful AI-enabled cameras that can pan and tilt and have built-in 3000 lumen floodlights, as well as cheap cameras made for one purpose. Arlo is a company that does a little bit of everything when it comes to home security. The Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera is the first product in their line.
Arlo Essential Indoor Camera: Description
The Arlo app has everything you need to set up and use your Essential Indoor Camera. To use the more advanced features, like Smart Notifications and Package Detection, you will need to pay for an Arlo Secure subscription. Plans for a single camera start at $2.99. On the app’s home page, you can see all of your Arlo cameras. When you go into the settings for the Essential Indoor camera, you can do basic things like turn it off, see what Wi-Fi network it is connected to, and set the camera’s time zone.
In the Motion Detection Test, you can change how sensitive the camera is. You can make it more or less sensitive by moving the slider. You can check the LED on the camera to see if it is picking up motion the way you want it to. In the Device Utilities section, you can check some of the camera’s features to make sure they are working right.
Pros and Cons
- Integrated camera cover
- Intelligent smart alerts
- Two-factor authentication
- Only works on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
- No local storage
- On the expensive end of the spectrum
Arlo Essential Indoor Camera: Specifications
|Resolution||1080p Full HD|
|Battery||No, mains powered|
|Night vision||Yes, infrared|
|Configurable motion sensing||Yes|
Arlo Essential Indoor Camera: Design
The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera looks like Arlo’s home security cameras that run on batteries. It is round and has the same glossy white plastic case as the other one. The stand-alone unit has a ball-and-socket joint and sits on a 1.8-inch/4.5cm-high stand with a circular base plate. This makes it easy to place in your home at just the right angle. The security camera comes with a mounting kit in case you want to put it on a wall or ceiling.
The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera is one of the smallest indoor home security cameras on the market. It is 2.0 x 1.9 x 4.5 inches (5.2 x 4.9 x 11.32 cm) in size. The sensor, which has a 130-degree lens and can record video in Full HD, is on the front of the device. On the back of the device is the speaker and a micro-USB port for the power cable from the wall. As we’ve already said, the unit also comes with a white plastic privacy shutter that opens and closes on its own. When turned on, it covers the camera lens, turns off motion detection and audio, and cuts power to the microphone.
The Essential Indoor Camera is easy to set up, just like all of the other Arlo home security cameras. Install the Arlo app, set up a free account, and then follow the steps to add the camera to your account. To finish setting up the camera, you may need to press the sync button on the bottom. It’s a very easy process that will only take a few minutes and get your camera up and running.
Connectivity and setup
This device’s name, “Essential,” tells you that it can connect directly to your Wi-Fi. As with the Arlo Q, this device works fine as a standalone camera, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve never used an Arlo device before. You can also add this camera to an existing Arlo system, and if you have an Arlo hub, you can also connect directly to the hub. You can choose, which gives you some freedom.
You will need to have the Arlo app on your phone, but once you start setting it up, you will be shown how to do everything. The app is in charge of the whole experience. It lets you decide what the Indoor Camera takes pictures of and when. Unlike other cameras, this Arlo’s Privacy Shield will be closed when it’s not being used. For added security, you’ll only be asked to unlock with biometrics when you want to make the camera live from the app to provide a live view.
Aside from this, you can add the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera to other Arlo modes. If you already have a system set up, you can set the Indoor Camera to go live when you turn on the other cameras. This can be done manually, on a schedule, based on your phone’s geolocation, or based on any other condition you choose from the app’s many options.
Arlo Essential Indoor Camera: Camera
During testing, it was easy to set up the Essential camera. I already had the Arlo app from previous reviews, but if this is your first Arlo device, you’ll need to download the app and make an account. I opened the app, tapped Add New Device at the bottom of the Devices screen, and chose Essential from the Camera list. Then I chose the Essential Indoor Camera, read the mounting instructions on a couple of screens, and tapped Connect Without SmartHub.
Once the privacy shield was open, I tapped Continue, pressed the Sync button, and tapped Continue again when the blue LED started flashing. The app found the camera quickly, asked me what I wanted to call it, and then updated the firmware. The installation was done when the update was done.
Arlo Essential Indoor Camera: Performance
It is pretty easy to set up the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera. With the Arlo app on your phone, you can sign up for an account or log in if you already have one. Then, turn on the camera and press a button to start the sync process. After a few minutes of installing new firmware, our camera was ready to go. From here, you can use the app to change how the camera’s motion sensor works. For example, you can tell it to only alert you when people are seen instead of cars and animals.
You can set up activity zones where the camera will only start recording and send you an alert if it sees movement in a certain area. We’ve been impressed by how clear and bright the Arlo’s video is and how much detail it shows. The brightness can be turned up or down by a few notches, but we didn’t need to change it because we liked the way it was set by default. The sound quality is also good, and the speaker and microphone can let you talk if you need to.
Notifications come quickly, almost as soon as movement is detected. However, the app can be a little slow when manually connecting to the camera. Integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant means that the camera’s view can be streamed to smart displays like Amazon Echo and Google Nest. The camera also works with SmartThings and can send live video to the Apple Watch.
Price and availability
The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera costs $99.99/£119.99/AU$159.99 and is sold around the world on Arlo’s website and at other online stores like Amazon.
As we’ve already said, the camera comes with a free three-month trial of Arlo Smart, which lets you store videos taken by the camera online in a safe way and use features to cut down on annoying alerts. Arlo Smart costs $2.99, £2.49, or AU$4.49 per month after the trial is over.
This camera has a unique feature called Privacy Shield that blocks the camera when it’s not being used. That will reassure people who are worried about being watched too much, and it will add to the Arlo system’s good set of features. To get the most out of this camera, you do need a subscription, though.
How long does Arlo Essential Indoor Camera record?
Your Arlo cameras can be set up to record videos that are between 10 and 120 seconds long. You can also set Arlo Ultra, Pro 3, Pro 3 Floodlight, Pro 2, Pro, Essential wire-free, Q Plus, Q, and Baby cameras to record up to 300 seconds after motion stops (5 minutes).
Does Arlo essential record for free?
After the 30-day trial, the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera needs a paid subscription to record to the cloud or library. Without a paid plan, the device will be able to sense motion, but it won’t record it to the phone’s library.