THE’Arlo Essential Video Doorbell promises to be the connected doorbell of the future … combined with the present day: Wi-Fi, video recording, advanced functions, motion detection, night vision, parcel recognition, HDR, IP65, battery, it is an understatement to say that the ‘Arlo Video Doorbell combines a number of technological advantages to establish itself in a market that is still fairly new. A technical sheet doesn’t hit the nail on the head though, and nothing beats a good battery of “live” tests to really find out what the hell is going on. After a few days of testing, our verdict is final: the Essential Video Doorbell is truly the connected doorbell of the future; and here’s why:
A sober and elegant design
Who could have imagined that one day an intercom could be as stylish as a modern high tech device? In terms of aesthetics, the Arlo Video Connect no longer has much to do with the standard (and ugly) little square doorbell, or with the “metal box with holes” intercom that welcomes visitors to the door. entrance to large buildings.
The black and white livery of the home automation accessory turns out to be the most beautiful effect, as does the slightly glossy. We are dealing with a doorbell high tech, and it shows.
Easy to install and configure
The installation of the Essential Video Doorbell does not pose any particular problem, especially since this model works in Wi-Fi and especially wireless thanks to a good capacity battery. A beveled bracket (secured with two screws) allows the Arlo to be positioned so that the camera covers the entire entrance (all necessary mounting hardware, including screws, are of course supplied in the box) . Of course, it is still possible to connect the Essential Video Doorbell to the electrical sector. The manufacturer reminds that the voltage must be between 8 and 24 Vac and that a 10V transformer is necessary. Note that the arlo.com/support site offers demonstration videos and troubleshooting tips (don’t do it yourself!).
Tip: check the WiFi range
Before even mounting the Arlo to the wall, however, you must configure the accessory and connect it to home Wi-Fi. The dedicated app makes this step easier, which won’t take more than a minute or two. Be careful though to check that the Arlo mounting area is covered by the Wi-Fi signal. This should not be a problem if the Essential Video Doorbell is located near the front door, but in the event that you wish to position the bell next to the gate located at the other end of the garden …
An efficient wide-angle camera
The Essential Video Doorbell has a built-in camera capable of recording 1: 1 (1,536 x 1,536 pixels) images and video with a 180 ° diagonal and 110 ° horizontal field of view . In other words, depending on where you place the Arlo, it will be possible to distinguish (or not) a package on your doorstep. The image quality is quite good, the colors are fairly faithful, and you can clearly see the face of your visitors (necessarily masked). On the other hand, it will be better not to activate HDR in certain cases, the latter having an annoying tendency to brighten the image too much (which takes away the detail).
Detection and night vision: faultless
At night, you really have the impression of looking at the images of a surveillance camera (infrared), but the facial features are much less discernible. However, this is still more than enough to distinguish a human being from an animal, for example, which is good since the motion sensor also knows how to make this distinction. And since we are talking about motion detection, it should be noted that this function is really very effective, too sometimes: the slightest bit that will pass near your porch will activate an alert on the smartphone. At least we are sure not to miss anything … At each detection, 3 seconds of video are recorded and logged in the app, and the notification indicates whether the moving element is a person, an animal, a vehicle or any other thing. It is even possible to configure the device so that it can recognize the packages (essential if the delivery person has the authorization to leave the order on the porch).
The intercom of the future, plus the alarm
The video intercom function does not disappoint: the more talkative will be able to discuss the bit of fat with the visitor located in front of the doorbell, send them a pre-recorded message in case of absence, or even … contact a neighbor or close friend directly (via the app ) so that the latter can pick up a package (always in case of absence)! In the event that the visitor in question looks like a psychopath (whether the latter rings or is detected by the Arlo’s camera), it will always be possible to set off an ultra-strident alarm remotely. The volume of this alarm literally twists the ears, and it is hard to imagine a burglar not reacting to this infernal din (either by fleeing … or by giving the Arlo a good kick).
Compatible with everything … or almost
The other very big advantage of the Essential Video Doorbell is its impressive volume of parameters and various functions. Via the dedicated app (iOS or Android), you can choose the area of the field of vision targeted by the motion sensor, activate or deactivate night vision, the microphone, etc., adjust the flickering (50Hz, 60HZ), switch to silent mode, set a schedule, and of course talk about the battery level of the Arlo. In this regard, after two weeks of fairly intensive use, the battery was still over 80% capacity. Do you want more ? The Essential Video Doorbell is compatible with Apple Watch, Alexa, OK Google, Google Home Hub and can be inserted into an IFTTT event chain.
Conclusion: a connected doorbell close to faultless
Conclusion: Packed with features, and overall very efficient and reliable for each of them, the Arlo Essential Video Dorbell doesn’t offer a lot of criticism. Perhaps we regret the absence of a built-in version, which would protect against possible vandals, but it’s really a matter of quibbling. The business model may also not be popular with everyone: Arlo comes with a cloud – for storage of recordings for 30 days – which is available against a subscription of 2.79 euros / month. Apart from these small reservations, the observation is very positive: the detection is effective, the night vision works, the application is clear and well designed, and the remote alarm function is a real plus.
As of this writing, the Arlo Video Doorbell is available for € 199 on Amazon, or Cdiscount on sale for € 180.
➡️ See all prices of the Arlo Video Doorbell (black and white version) on our price comparison
➡️ See all prices of the Arlo Video Doorbell (all black version) on our price comparison