The Review Smiths
Arlo Essential XL Arlo Essential XL
Arlo Essential XL 4.5

The problem with many security cameras these days is the need to have a wired connection. Other security cameras I have reviewed in the past have had this one weakness and I’ve always wondered how they were meant to combat this if a determined criminal simply cut the wire, whether this be for the power source or to connect to a base unit for the Wi-Fi connection. The good thing about the Essential XL is that they have completely done away with that need! The battery is apparently large enough to keep a charge for up to 365 days and it is Wi-Fi compatible without the need for a base unit.

Great! So, what else can this camera do? Well, as to be expected it’s weatherproof (kind of essential for an outdoor security camera), has a 130 degree wide viewing angle, a spotlight and 1080p video. It also has a motion detector built in and can send an alert to your mobile phone when it’s triggered allowing you to converse with the person that set off the alert. Or you can just activate the alarm, it’s up to you. And that’s what you get with the base unit. Fairly standard so far to be fair. This camera really comes in to its own once you have the subscription to ARLO Secure however and you get 3 months free on purchase. Once you have the subscription set up, you have access to more features. You can set ‘Activity Zones’ within the camera’s field of view where movement should trigger an alert and have the ability to distinguish between people and animals. You can also store video in the Cloud for up to 30 days.

Finally, it’s compatible with Apple Homekit, Alexa, IFTTT, OKGoogle and SmartThings so should easily slip in to your normal Smart Management system. RRP £129.99

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Compatible with Apple Homekit, Alexa, IFTTT, OKGoogle and SmartThings
  • Completely Wireless
  • Hardy
  • Easy to set up
  • Subscription app costs less than £3 a month
  • Picture quality not as good as some, more expensive cameras
  • You have to take it down to charge it but that’s only once a year, right?