The Review Smiths
Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free
Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free 4.5

The thought of actually missing a delivery due to being out of the house has seemed like some ridiculous idea over the last year but with the restrictions relaxing it is becoming much more likely. One way to ensure you don’t miss out on your latest purchase or long missed guests is through a video doorbell, however complicated installation might be something that has been holding you back.

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell is a wire-free option which gives you all the perks without the hassle of difficult cables, thanks to the rechargeable battery, or the need of a hub or base station within the home it simply connects to your 2.4Ghz WiFi network in a few seconds. This kit comes with the Arlo Video Doorbell, a flat mounting plate as well as an angled mounting plate, the power kit, all the screws you will need and a security latch release pin and wire extensions if you do want to wire it in to an existing doorbell for continuous power. The Essential Video Doorbell is a rather chunky unit, this might put some off but for us it means that visitors won’t miss it and will also let unwelcome guests know they can be seen on our property. Installation was easy, just download the app, set up an account and connect to camera to check your view angle before attaching the plate. The camera offers 180° Diagonal Viewing Angle which covered our door, front garden and drive even with the door tucked into the porch. The camera records in a clear 1080p HD video with a 1:1 aspect ratio for head to doorstep viewing, the image quality is bright and clear both night and day. The robust unit is fully weatherproof, it can handle hours in bright sunshine and hot days as well as heavy rain, snow and cold days.

The battery can last up to six months, but it very much depends on your motion detection settings, how many callers you get etc but even with a lot of action it can still last months without needing a charge. The Essential offers direct video calling straight to your mobile phone letting you hear and speak to whoever’s at your door, you can even set up a pre recorded message to visitors when you can respond (for example “shhh, new baby, we are all asleep, please leave presents by the door”), visitors also have the option of leaving a voicemail if you are not home. This is the only video doorbell that comes with an integrated siren that can be triggered automatically when motion is detected or be set-off manually from the app to deter intruders or freak out your party guests. There is the optional subscription to Arlo Smart Premier Plan for £2.49 per month, this gives you access to AI powered monitoring and verification for the doorbell with Object Detection (detecting the difference between a person, package, vehicle or animal), setting up custom motion detection zones, phoning a friend or sounding the alarm from your phone’s locked screen. This service will also give you up to 30 days video playback history which can be shared as well as allowing you to connect other cameras to the same system. It is worth noting this kit doesn’t come with an internal chime unit but there is a wireless option available separately, your phone will alert you to callers and if you have Smart Things or a Google assistant device it can be connected to chime through that. The Essential is a good choice for those looking for an easy set up but high performing video doorbell, the lack of a chime unit can be forgiven for the quality of the video, free features and low-cost subscription for additional features. RRP £179.99

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This high performing video doorbell asks for very little from you but provides so much in return.
  • Captures vivid details day and night
  • Set up easily
  • Connects directly to Wi-Fi
  • Get instant phone alerts
  • Low-cost subscription plan for added features
  • Works with SmartThings and Google Assistance
  • Robust, tamper and weatherproof design
  • 180° diagonal viewing angle with 1:1 aspect ratio
  • No internal chime unit
  • Chunky unit