Arlo Ultra 2 4K review: Beauty comes at a price

Arlo Ultra 2 4K
3.8 out of 5 stars
Hannah Geremia
May 27, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read

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Considering cord placement, power points and Wi-Fi proximity is such a first-world problem, but I love the convenience of a wireless security camera. But with placement convenience, there's often a trade-off when it comes to quality. Sometimes the stream will lag, or the audio is a tad buggy. The Arlo Ultra 2 4K truly makes you wonder how a wireless camera can have such exquisite video and audio quality. However, as breathtaking as it may be, its beauty comes at a price. 

pro Wide field of view with no fish-eye distortion
pro 12x zoom
pro Clear 4K footage even at night
pro Smart home compatible
pro Smart hub included
pro Smart motion detection notifications
con Integrated spotlight needs configuring
con Outside installation is not renter-friendly
con Settings need adjusting
con Disappointing battery life

Arlo Ultra 2 4 price

Arlo Ultra 2 4K
Arlo Ultra 2 4K
3.8 out of 5 stars
$599 (2-pack plus smart hub)

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Arlo Ultra 2 4K retails for about $300 per camera. You can find packs of two for around $600 or packs of three for under $900. While it’s expensive, especially if you’re after more than one, this price includes the Arlo Smart Hub for local storage and is pretty on par with Arlo’s higher-quality cameras and their higher-end competitors. The Arlo Pro 5 retails for around $300, as does Google’s Nest Cam ($329) and the Ring’s Spotlight Cam Pro ($330).

Included in the base price is a three-month trial of Arlo's subscription service, Arlo Smart. After that, you’ll need to budget at least $7.99 a month per camera to regain access to the features you know and love.

This is perhaps the greatest downside of the Arlo Ultra 2. Unless you’re willing to pay $17.99 a month for Arlo Secure Plus, get ready to part with that shockingly clear 4K quality. Say your goodbyes to smart notifications, cloud video storage, and smart activity zones, too. Yep, the main selling point of this spectacular camera – the crisp, clear video – is locked behind a paywall.

What's in the box?
  • 2 x Arlo Ultra 2 4K camera 
  • Smart hub
  • Rechargeable battery (1 for each camera)
  • Magnetic wall mount (1 for each camera)
  • Mounting screws (2 sets)
  • Magnetic charging cable 
  • Power adaptor 
  • Ethernet cable
  • Instruction manual

Arlo Ultra 2 4K design and setup

Straight out of the box, the Arlo Ultra 2 looks and feels like a boujie camera. Its sleek, monochrome design follows in the footsteps of its previous iterations and keeps true to the shiny luxe design we associate with Arlo cameras. It’s not just a pretty face either. It’s weatherproof, so it’s built to withstand harsh Aussie winters, scorching summers, and everything in between. 

The Arlo Ultra 2 is without a doubt the quickest security camera I’ve ever assembled. As a tech writer, I’ve set up my fair share of security cameras. There’s no thinking or guesswork in setting up the Ultra 2. Just take it out of the box, follow the instructions, download the app, and connect it to your Wi-Fi. 

Although the Arlo Ultra 2 is weatherproof, you may have an issue or two setting it up outside. Unless you have an approved or preinstalled mount you can stick the camera, its outdoor setup isn’t renter-friendly. If you don’t have a conspicuous ledge to place it on or you don’t own your home, you’ll need to get creative. We tried using 3M tape to stick it to the patio door, but the camera was too heavy so it didn’t hold. It does come with screws though, so if you’ve got the green light from your landlord, you can mount it where you please. 

According to Arlo, you can expect the battery to last about six months between charges. We found that to be pretty ambitious. With our current settings, placement in a high-traffic area, and ensuring it’s off when not in use, we found it to last about a month. While it's easy enough to pop it on the charger for a few hours, we do wish the battery lasted longer, especially at such a high price point.

Arlo Ultra 2 4K features and performance

It’s no exaggeration to say we’re irrevocably in love with the quality of this camera. It streams in 4K quality and takes pride in its clear, crisp video and audio, even at night. It doesn’t lag, and it’s easy to peruse the inner workings of your living room with the 12x zoom and the 180-degree field of view. 

Integrated spotlight

The integrated spotlight is a unique feature, but it does need some configuration. The spotlight ensures that any footage recorded at night is in colour, not black and white. When the sun begins to set, or somebody enters its POV during the night, the spotlight activates. It’s a useful tool for outdoor cameras and will no doubt scare off lurking intruders. It can be fickle for cameras situated indoors, though. 

Both myself and my partner have been blinded by the spotlight upon waking up in the morning and walking out into the camera’s POV. If you want to keep your eyesight, you'll need to turn the camera off before you hit the hay.

While you can theoretically turn off the spotlight feature in the app, I've still been caught out and blinded numerous times. To make matters worse, even when the spotlight illuminated the indoor space, visibility was non-existent. It does depend on where you place the camera though, as we found the colour and visibility exceptional when placed outside.



Motion detection

While the set-up of the camera was as easy as can be, you’ll need to adjust the motion sensitivity. I left the motion sensitivity as is initially, and in the first ten minutes of the setup, I was inundated with over 20 notifications. Each time my dog lifted its head or shifted positions on the lounge, I received a notification. You’ll need to adjust your motion sensitivity settings, or even turn off pet detection if your dog loves to do zoomies around the house and you want to use it for genuine intruder detection. 

It also frequently detects animals as people. While we love to think of our furry family members as our children, it was frustrating (and kinda spooky) receiving frequent notifications about a ‘person’ roaming around our house when it was just our dog looking for her toy. 

What we loved about the motion detection is that once it detects a pet or a person, you’ll receive a screenshot of the stream with the notification. That way, you can deduce if it’s something you need to tend to right away, like a postie, or your dog just doing parkour around the house. We also love that you can ask the camera to record up to two minutes of your pet once they’re detected. The footage can be accessed in the app so you can save it directly to your camera roll.

Smart home compatibility

HomeKit-compatible security cameras are few and far between, so we were thrilled to have one to add to our repertoire. The Arlo Ultra 2 4K is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, and Google Assistant.

Final word

The crystal clear quality of the Arlo Ultra 2 4K is unlike anything we’ve seen before. The two-way audio is crisp, and in no way crackly or laggy. But this quality comes at a price. The steep upfront investment is not a one-and-done. If you want to keep with the astonishing quality, you’ll also need to fork out for the subscription service. We’re conflicted. We’re in love with the quality, however, we just can’t justify such a high ongoing cost for features we know and love.

Arlo Ultra 2 4K FAQ

Yes, the Arlo Ultra 2 4K does need a base station. Although the camera can connect directly to your home Wi-Fi network, the hub is required for local storage and if you want to take advantage of the camera's HomeKit compatibility.

Yes. However, most of the advertised features (like activity zones, cloud video storage, and smart notifications) will only work with a subscription. If you choose not to renew it, you'll lose access to those features. Additionally, you'll only be able to watch the camera's stream in 1080p (not 4K).

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Hannah Geremia
Written by
Hannah Geremia
Hannah has had over six years of experience in researching, writing, and editing quality content. She loves gaming, dancing, and animals, and can usually be found under a weighted blanket with a cup of coffee and a book.

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