The Arlo Pro 5 is the latest addition to its range of home security cameras and is currently the flagship model. Also known as the Arlo 5S 2K or Arlo Pro 5 2K, this supersedes the Arlo Pro 4, which has lived as our best security camera in our guide. So what makes the Arlo Pro 5 a better choice?
While selling for an identical price on the Arlo UK website, the Arlo Pro 5 promises advanced 2K colour night vision, dual-band WiFi connection, a new app and longer battery life. Certainly all good additions, but is it enough to warrant an upgrade?
I installed the camera on the outside of my home to give it a full test and used it for a few months to see how it performed in a real-life setting. Overall, the Arlo 5 Pro is a superb camera, though getting it set up isn’t always easy.
Price and availability
The Arlo Pro 5 retails for £219.99 in the UK, $199.99 in the US and AU$329 in Australia and was first launched in March 2023. The camera comes in a choice of black or white and can also be purchased in a kit including two or four cameras.
Design and features
The device itself is identical in size to the Arlo Pro 4, which is no bad thing. This is a compact and fairly lightweight camera that feels solid and well made. The standard model is white with a black facure, but it also comes in all black if you prefer.
To charge the 4800mAh battery, it features a magnetic charging cable. However, you can also open up the casing and swap the battery over, if you have a spare. You can buy a separate charging station, which can hold two batteries. Though this is the same battery that’s used in the Arlo Pro 4 (as well as the Arlo Ultra, Ultra 2 and Pro 3), this claims 30% more battery life. This is likely down to the new battery saving options that the camera offers.
The power management options allow you to prioritise battery life or video quality, or go for a optimised option, which is a mix of the two. There’s also a low power mode, designed to maximise the battery by taking photos rather than video clips. The camera can enter low power mode automatically when the battery gets low, and you can choose the point at which it does that.
Within the setting of the app, you can control the angle of the lens, from a “wide” 160 degrees, “standard” 125 degrees or “full” 110 degrees. There are also settings for HDR, brightness, auto zoom and tracking, and a flicker adjustment.
The Arlo Pro 5 offers full colour night vision as well as a spotlight that can be automatically turned on when it detects motion. There’s also a built-in siren to scare off intruders and the ability to talk to visitors through your camera – which could be handy for dealing with deliveries.
The camera records in upto 2K (2560x1440), but this does depend on the power management setting you choose. Even with optimised settings though, I was still getting videos output at this size, and in H.264 at 24fps.
If the placement of your camera is causing too many notifications, you can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection and also select the area in which motion should be recognised. This is perfect if you have it focused on a driveway and want to avoid being notified of people and cars passing by that may be in shot.
The Arlo Pro 5 boasts a brand new app called Arlo Secure. The camera is installed through the app and as this model now offers both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi, I was expecting this to be an easy process. The process is straight forward. You scan the QR code on screen with the camera and then enter your home network password to allow it to connect.
The problem is that the device can only use 2.4Ghz for the set up and then connects to 5Ghz later. This means that if your Wi-Fi is broadcasting on both (which most are) it will struggle to connect. It also doesn’t like Mesh Wi-Fi setups, as this can confuse the process. I have a Mesh Wi-Fi 6E set-up at home, broadcasting on 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz and 6Ghz and it definitely didn’t like this.
I tried all of the solutions that Arlo gives online, which including turning off all Mesh nodes and renaming your non-2.4Ghz channels, as to not confuse the camera. I also tried connecting to my regular Sky wireless router. The way I finally got it to work was by moving much further away from my router, so that only 2.4Ghz was being received, and finally connected after more than a dozen attempts.
While I’ve installed a wide assortment of smart devices, I’ve rarely had this much trouble connecting a device, and it seems looking online I’m not alone. It really shouldn’t be this hard to connect a smart device in this day and age, and its a real shame that Arlo hasn’t ironed this out.
Once connected, however, the signal is strong and I was easily able to get enough signal outside of the house to keep the connection. The camera also works with Alexa and Google assistant, Samsung Smartthings and the IFTTT protocol. I was able to connect the camera to my Alexa app using the Arlo skill and view the feed either through my phone or on my Echo Show device.
Unfortunately the Arlo Pro 5 won’t connect directly to Apple’s Homekit unless you buy the separate Smarthub device, which includes MicroSD storage. It’s not clear why this functionality isn’t built into the Arlo Pro 5 – as even the Nuki smart lock can do this – but it’s something to be aware of if that’s your chosen smart home hub.
The Arlo Secure app is a really good addition to the Arlo Pro 5, and I actually prefer using it to the Alexa view. The dashboard allows you to quickly set your camera between Home and
Away modes, with custom rules available for each in terms of notifications and actions, such as recording footage and engaging the light and siren.
The app is also where you can view your recorded clips and switch to a live view of the camera. To get the most of the app and its notifications you will need to subscribe to the Arlo Secure subscription once the trial period is over. Costing from £3.49 / $4.99 per month it’s actually pretty good value for a Cloud service, and means you retain your recent recording for upto 30 days.
While I only installed this camera to test, I didn’t realise just how useful it was knowing that my house was being constantly monitored, even while I was away. It actually came in useful too, when a repairman called round unexpectedly while I was out of the country.
The standard settings on the notifications are sensitive enough to even pick up when a bird flies into view – in my case, sitting on a patio table – but I never had a false notification. The fact that it specifies on the notifications when it’s an animal or person helps to filter that out too.
The quality of the footage is extremely good, even at night without the spotlight on. You really get the benefit of the 2K footage over a standard 1080P device too. It also means you can really zoom in on details when needed.
Being able to activate a siren and have two-way conversation is another piece-of-mind feature on this device. It’s these kind of features that make smart security cameras worth the extra money and I have no complaints with this one.
I was impressed by the battery on the Arlo Pro 5. While I didn’t get the 3-6 months that I’m sure is possible, with the optimised setting selected I got a solid two months use before the battery dropped below 10%.
The Arlo Pro 5 is a superb smart security camera that delivers great video footage and comes with an impressive array of features. The only thing that puts me off recommending this device is the set up process. Once you’re through that, everything else is easy sailing.
While it may be annoying to have to pay a monthly subscription for your cameras, the Arlo Secure package is well priced for what it delivers. Plus, you have the option of buying the Smart Hub if you would rather have local storage of your footage – which also opens up the option of Apple Homekit connectivity. The way to really get the best of these subscriptions is to have the same brand for your video doorbell, internal and external cameras though, otherwise you’ll end up paying for multiple subscriptions.
If you want an effective outdoor security camera, the Arlo Pro 5 is a great option, just be prepared for the setup to take a little longer than you might want.
Though there are clearly some benefits to the newer Arlo Pro 5, the Arlo Pro 4 remains a great choice and should cost you a little less. It still offers 2K footage, and the 160-degree lens. If you want high quality footage, the battery life will also be very similar.
If you’re after a more affordable option, or a great second camera, the Arlo Essential Spotlight camera is worth considering. For nearly half the price this camera looks a lot like the Arlo Pro 5, but features a 1080P resolution and slightly narrower 130-dress lens.