Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell review: a quality, professional video doorbell

You'll get very few complaints from us when it comes to the Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

The Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell is well built, competitively priced, and good at all of the jobs you need a video doorbell to be good at. It's a shame there's no subscription-free local storage option for your videos, but that's not an annoyance exclusive to Arlo devices.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Top quality video

  • +

    Wired or wireless

  • +

    Straightforward setup

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No local storage

  • -

    Some features cost extra

  • -

    A little chunky

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The Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell you can buy now is the second generation of this particular model, and a piece of hardware that'll be looking to get on our best video doorbells list. It offers just about everything you could want from a video doorbell.

In this Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell review, I'll take you through everything you need to know about this home security device – from how quickly it takes to get up and running, to the features you can expect once the doorbell is in place and you've installed the app.

It's certainly one of the devices well worth considering if you want to be able to see who's at your door without getting up from the sofa – or from the other side of the world. You might also want to check out our expert guide to the best security cameras as well.

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell review: price and availability

The Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell is out now and available to buy from numerous retailers: check the widgets embedded on this page for the latest online pricing, but at the time of writing you can pick up the device for around £140 in the UK and $130 in the US. If you're in the UK, it's sold at places like Amazon and AO, as well as the Arlo website.

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell review: design and setup

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Future)

This video doorbell comes with a built-in battery so it's ready for wireless operation, though you can connect it to existing doorbell wiring if you want to. I took the more convenient wireless option, but the wired alternative seems to be easy enough. You get two mounting plates, a screw kit, and a USB-C to USB-A charging cable in the box.

If you're going wireless, once the doorbell is charged up, you're ready to get started. It is worth noting that battery-powered operation means you are occasionally going to have to take this off your door to recharge it – so bear that in mind when you're setting it up. With the help of the Arlo Secure mobile app, I was up and running in around 10 minutes.

The app for Android or iOS handles everything for you in terms of setup – all you have to do is follow the instructions. After a brief pairing process, the app gets the doorbell connected to your Wi-Fi, and installs any firmware updates that might be available. You do need to create an Arlo account, if you don't already have one.

When it comes to aesthetics, the white-and-black colour option is the only option. It is a little on the chunky side, but that of course also means a bigger battery. I like the curves and polish of the doorbell, and the satisfying click you get from pressing the button – it's another winning bit of hardware design from Arlo, in our opinion.

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell review: features and operation

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Future)

All the key features you need from a doorbell are here: two-way audio, night vision, motion detection, and of course the ability to see who's at your door from your phone. Arlo has been in this business a long time now, and everything works with the reliability and speed you would expect from an experienced home security camera company.

Audio and video quality is more than adequate for a doorbell – whether it's bright daylight or in the middle of the night – and you're not going to struggle to see who or what is at your front door. The 180-degree viewing angle fits plenty into the frame, and you can see packages on the doorstep unless they're pushed right up against the door.

There's also a built-in 80 db siren that you can use to scare people off your property – that's about the level of a vacuum cleaner. It's something that you may find useful, but I was worried about it going off accidentally and scaring the neighbours. You can disable it if you need to, so it's not really a problem.

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Arlo)

It's weather resistant, as you'd expect from something that has to sit outside all the time, and I didn't notice any issues with the rain (it didn't snow during the time I was testing the doorbell, but I'm assuming that's not a problem either). There's support for Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings, but not Apple HomeKit.

When it comes to battery life, Arlo claims you can get around six months between charges. This review was written after just a couple of weeks of testing, but as far as I can tell from the battery drain so far, that's about accurate (depending on how many people show up at your door of course). You don't need to recharge it every other week or anything like that.

As is often (but not always) the case with these devices, some features need a subscription – prices start at £4.49 or $4.99 a month. Perhaps the biggest miss if you don't pay up is a cloud storage archive of the video captured by the doorbell, so as well as checking the feed in real time you can go back and look at what's been happening over time. Check out these 3 video doorbells that don't require a subscription for more.

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell review: verdict

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Future)

There's a lot to like about the Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell: it comes with the key features you're going to need, the video footage and the two-way audio is crisp and clear, and getting around the app is very straightforward. It works well, and it's also intuitive enough that anyone can use it.

In terms of flexibility, the option to use it in either wired or wireless modes is definitely a bonus – if one doesn't suit you, you can switch to the other. Whichever way you go, setup shouldn't take you longer than a few minutes, and battery life is good enough that you'll only need to do a recharge a couple of times a year.

The way some advanced features (including person vs vehicle detection) are locked behind a subscription is somewhat frustrating, though Arlo is by no means the only company that does this. All the key core functions are free to use, but I'd like to see a local storage option included.

Pricing wise, the Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell is certainly competitive compared to products offered by the likes of Google (Nest) and Amazon (Ring), though if you're heavily invested in the Google or Amazon ecosystems then you might consider it worth paying a little extra for a device that more tightly integrates with what you already have.

Arlo 2K Wireless Video Doorbell review: alternatives to consider

When it comes to alternative video doorbells that I also like a lot, the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus is right up there. The field of view and the night vision mean you never miss anything that's happening outside your door, and it's a bit more compact than the Arlo model I've reviewed here – but it does need a wired connection, and is more expensive.

Then there's the Google Nest Doorbell: it's battery powered, like the Arlo 2K Wireless Doorbell, but it will cost you slightly more. When I tested this particular doorbell out, I was impressed with its clean and modern design, with the accuracy of its video tracking and monitoring, and with the straightforward setup process.

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.