Arlo Pro 2 vs Pro 3: Which camera is better for you?

It’s always a bit tough choosing between the older version and one of the latest of the same product. If you are trying to solve the puzzle of which camera to choose, Arlo Pro 2 vs Pro 3, we’re here to help you.

We’ll compare their design, features, prices, and performance and present pros and cons based on that. Hopefully, this will solve your dilemma.

Arlo Pro 2 vs Pro 3: Overview

Back in 2017, when Arlo Pro 2 came out, the software solution company Arlo Technologies Inc was at its peak. The company held 31% of the market share of the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) security cameras. When the Pro 3 version came out in 2019, the company’s market share had already shrunk a bit. 

Despite saying “Old is gold,” we must admit that the Pro 3 has some advantages over the older version and some new features you might like even more. 

On the other hand, Arlo Pro 2 package had a very tempting offer by giving buyers an excellent opportunity to have their recordings both on local storage or on the cloud for seven days.

You can say just by looking at them that they are different. Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3 have similar but not identical designs, and Arlo Pro 2 is a bit smaller.

Arlo Pro 2
Arlo Pro 2
Arlo Pro 3
Arlo Pro 3

But it doesn’t stop there. When it comes to video quality, battery, field of view, digital zoom, and system, Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3 differ even more.  

What Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3 have in common: they are wireless, have two-way audio, and you can use them both inside and outside, depending on your needs.

Everything else, design, battery, features, vision, view range, and even the magnetic mount, look different. 

When Arlo Pro 2 came out, it had one excellent feature, a 7-day recording on the cloud. It was a part of the package when you were buying this camera (or set of cameras), but today, Arlo Pro 2 cameras are no longer offered for purchase on the company’s website.

FeaturesArlo Pro 2Arlo Pro 3
Resolutionup to 1080p2K HDR
ColorWhiteWhite
Black
Night visionInfraredColorInfrared
Battery life6 months6 months
Maximum Camera Field of View130°160°
Digital zoom8x12x
Connects directly to WiFiNoNo
AlarmBuilt-in to SmartHubBuilt-in to Camera
Power SourceRechargeable BatteryRechargeable Battery
Local storageYesYes
Cloud storage7 daysOnly with a subscription plan
Motion Range DetectionSingle Motion SensorsSingle Motion Sensor
Integration with Smart homeAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Apple HomeKitAmazon Alexa, SmartThings, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

Arlo Pro 2 vs Pro 3: Pros and Cons

So, let’s dig a bit deeper and find out the pros and cons for Arlo Pro 2 vs Pro 3.

Arlo Pro 2: Pros and Cons

When Arlo Pro 2 came out back in 2017, it was one of the most modern surveillance systems. It had improved features of the previous Pro version and introduced some new ones, such as continuous video (when plugged in), motion zones, and a 3-second look back. 

Arlo Pro 2 is compatible with the VMB5000, VMB4540, VMB4000, VMB4500, VMB3000, and VMB3500 SmartHub. 

And talking about SmartHubs that go along with Arlo Pro 2, we must mention that not all SmartHubs have local storage, so you should pay attention to that detail. VMB3000 and VMB3500 are the first two versions and don’t have local storage. 

These two versions of SmartHub are compatible only with Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Wire-Free Camera, and the Arlo Audio Doorbell. So if you want to add a Pro 3 camera, for example, to your existing Arlo Pro 2 system, it would require a new SmartHub.

Arlo Pro 2 comes in a package with SmartHub and includes a wall mount, indoor power adapter, rechargeable battery, wall mount screw kit, quick start guide, cables, and Arlo window decal. 

Since Arlo Pro 2 cannot connect directly to WiFi, the SmartHub needs to be close to your router (2.4 GHz router WiFi capability required). The Arlo Pro 2 SmartHub has a siren within itself.

It has two-way audio, detects motion and sound, and the Lookback feature (new compared to the Pro version). It also offers activity zones (you can set up to 3 activity zones on which the camera will be focused and push notifications to you when some activity occurs there.)

Arlo Pro 2 Pros

  • Both local and cloud storage
  • 7 days free cloud storage 
  • Price
  • More saturated colors (though some might consider this as a disadvantage since the colors don’t exactly match the real ones)

Arlo Pro 2 Cons

  • The motion activity zones feature is enabled only while your camera is plugged in. Otherwise, you cannot use this feature.
  • Though the camera is resistant to various weather conditions, the charging port is not weatherproofed and can sometimes get wet and cause issues. 

Arlo Pro 3: Pros and Cons

Arlo Pro 3 came out two years after the Pro 2 version, and it brought a lot of innovation in almost all segments. 

It was bigger and more powerful, with improved features, color night vision, a built-in spotlight and siren within cameras, a wider view range (160°), 2K HDR, and users noticed that the audio is much better.

What’s similar is that both Arlo Pro 2 and the Pro 3 have SmartHubs with local storage, and they cannot be connected directly to WiFi. 

Arlo Pro 3 comes with SmartHubs VMS4440P, VMS4240P, VMS4040P, VMS4440B-100EUS, VMS4240B-100EUS, VMC4040B-100EUS, VMS4340P-100EUS, with one to four cameras –  in black or white. 

These SmartHubs no longer have alarms within themselves since the siren is built-in within the cameras. 

All cameras are weather-resistant, and they have a magnetic weather-proof charge port.

Now, besides all improvements and benefits of Arlo Pro 3, it has one disadvantage over the Pro 2 version – it doesn’t have a free cloud

Yes, you have the option for cloud storage, but you need a subscription plan. 

Arlo Pro 3 Pros

  • Better audio
  • Color night vision
  • Improved HD resolution and view range 
  • Weatherproof charging port

Arlo Pro 3 Cons

  • You need a subscription plan to access most features
  • It doesn’t have free cloud storage 

Features Face to Face

As you can see, Arlo Pro 2 vs Pro 3 is a real battle because they differ a lot. So let’s go through their features and see what these two versions offer.

Design

If you compare the two cameras, you’ll see that Arlo Pro 2 has a sharper and more squarish design compared to the oval design of Pro 3. 

Arlo Pro 2 is the smaller and lighter version, with dimensions of 79.3 x 48.6 x 70.5 mm, and a weight of 136 g. 

On the other hand, Arlo Pro 3’s dimensions are 89mm x 52mm x 78.4mm, and weighs almost double, 316g.

Video quality

Yes, video quality is probably one of the reasons why you might choose Arlo Pro 3 over Pro 2. 

Higher resolution and color night vision make higher-quality videos, especially night footage. But that’s not all.

We all know that video quality is not just the footage we take but also the sound. Arlo Pro 3 is a bit better in this segment; though both Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3 offer two-way audio, the Arlo Pro 3 has slightly better sound.

Camera resolution and features

When it comes to camera resolution and features, it might seem that Arlo Pro 2 lost a battle with Pro 3. 

Opposed to Arlo Pro 2, which has only 1080p, Arlo Pro 3 has HDR 2K HDR, maximum 2560×1440 video resolution. 

Arlo Pro 3 also zooms up to 12x, with three video modes (2K, 1080p, and 720p), while Arlo Pro 2 can zoom up to 8x, with only one video mode (1080p).

If we talk about the quality of night videos, again, the winner is Arlo Pro 3, since the cameras have high-powered infrared LEDs (850nm) with IR cut filter and color night vision

On the other hand, Arlo Pro 2 has only IR cut-off filter and no color vision during the night. 

Battery life

There is no difference between the two when it comes to battery life. Both Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3 cameras’ batteries last 3 to 6 months. 

Speaking of battery, you should know that Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3 use different batteries, so if you thought of recycling your old Pro 2 camera and using the battery for Pro 3, you wouldn’t be able to do that. 

Arlo Pro 2 uses a 7.2V 2440mAh 17.57Wh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, while the Pro 3 uses a 3.85V 4800mAh 18.48Wh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. 

Connectivity and app compatibility

With Arlo products, you don’t have to think about whether they can connect with other smart home equipment or features you have. 

Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3 cameras are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings.

You might need some additional equipment, such as a Google Home Hub, a Chromecast device, a TV with Chromecast, a Google Smart Display, or a media player with Chromecast to connect it with Google Assistant. Still, you can find detailed instructions for each on the Arlo website.

In order to function, Arlo cameras (both Pro 2 and Pro 3) require high-speed internet that can support bandwidth use per camera. Remember that your Pro 3 requires 2 Mbps upload per camera, and Arlo Pro 2 1 Mbps upload per camera.

Media storage

Now we came to the Arlo Pro 2 terrain! Yes, it’s the winner in this category because it offers local storage within the SmartHub and seven days of free cloud storage.

That means you will be able to see footage within the cloud, recorded up to 7 days prior. And you don’t need a subscription plan for it. And you won’t have any additional expenses. 

On the other hand, with Arlo Pro 3, you can have local storage (within the SmartHub) and cloud storage for 30 days if you buy a subscription plan. Therefore, if you don’t subscribe, you will have only live streaming and local storage.

Smart home features

Now, both Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3 have some compelling and valuable smart home features.

  1. Two-way audio – This lets you have a conversation through your camera, which is very useful in daily life. 
  2. Footage recording – The cameras record videos when something triggers them. So, you will have them on your local storage and cloud recordings every time a motion or sound detector detects movement. For 24/7 recording, you will need to buy a subscription plan for both Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3. 
  3. 3 second look back – This is probably one of the most interesting features. It enables you to look at the footage 3 seconds before the event triggered the recording. You can use this feature if your camera is plugged into AC power.

With Arlo cameras, you can set in the Arlo app, what will trigger the recording, what camera will record, when will it record, and you can even exclude some triggers. You can do all of that by setting Arlo automatic modes and rules.  

Subscriptions

We’ve mentioned that you can buy a subscription plan with Arlo Pro 2 as an option, and as for Arlo Pro 3, it’s more of a necessity. 

Without a subscription plan, your Arlo Pro 3 camera will not have cloud storage, which might be a stumbling block if you want to check past events while you’re away from home. 

And for both Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3, you need a subscription plan if you want a full-day recording. 

Now, there are two subscription plans, Arlo Secure (with two versions) and Arlo Secure Plus, and the price range is from $2.99/monthly to $14.99/monthly. 

A subscription offers you access to excellent features, such as a person, vehicle, animal, package detection, and many others. You can check the list of subscription features for each plan and choose the one that suits your needs the most.

Installation

The installation process of Arlo Pro 2 and Pro 3 cameras is the same.

  1. First, you need to install your Arlo app.
  2. Then you need to plug your SmartHub into electric power and connect it to your internet router.
  3. Connect your SmartHub with the app.
  4. Put batteries into your cameras.
  5. Sync your cameras with the app (by clicking the sync button on the camera while your app is open).
  6. Install wall mount and post camera there.

Within your app settings, you can set triggers and the sensitivity of your cameras.

User experience

Arlo Pro 2 has a score of 4.3 stars on Amazon by 11,408 users, while Arlo Pro 3 has 4.0 stars, evaluated by 5,459 users. 

The main objective for Arlo Pro 2 is the battery life. The users experienced that the battery didn’t last as long as the technical specification emphasized.

While for Arlo Pro 3, most criticisms were related to additional costs since Pro 3 doesn’t offer a 7-days free cloud, and that was not mentioned before they brought it. 

The good news is that these cameras are easy to install, use, and charge, and they provide good video quality.

Customer service

If you are stuck or have an issue with your camera, you can always reach Arlo support through their website, live chat, or phone. You can contact them even if you are not an English speaker because they offer services in several other languages (Spanish, Italian, French, Swedish, and German). 

And you always have an option to reach the Arlo community for help.

Standout features

When we compare Arlo Pro 2 vs Pro 3, the most impressive features are 7 days of free cloud storage that Arlo Pro 2 offers and the video and audio quality of Arlo Pro 3.

Conclusion

So, Arlo Pro 2 vs Pro 3? 

If you plan to invest in your security system one time only, without additional monthly costs for a subscription, perhaps Arlo Pro 2 would be the perfect solution.

On the other hand, if you want better video quality, an extended cloud, and additional features, perhaps you should go for Arlo Pro 3 with the subscription. 

About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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