The most responsive wireless security camera I’ve tested is $90 off for Black Friday

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Arlo Pro 5S

Arlo Pro 5S is easy to install, thanks to its built-in battery.

Maria Diaz/ZDNet

What are Black Friday deals?

Arlo’s flagship Pro 5S The camera is available for just $160, $90 off before Black Friday 2023

Why this deal is ZDNET-recommended

The Arlo Pro 5S 2K It is a fully wireless security camera that can be placed for indoor or outdoor surveillance. It’s sleek, compact and reliable — all qualities you’d expect from a new Arlo camera But some things left me wanting, though I can’t say for sure if it was because of Arlo or because of me.

Arlo Pro 5S

Recommended by ZDNET

Arlo Pro 5S 2K

The Arlo Pro 5S has all the features any Arlo customer needs: 2K-resolution HDR video, color night vision, and seamless integration with Arlo home security systems.

First, it’s worth discussing the elephant in the room: monthly subscriptions.

Also: Meet the new Arlo video doorbell and essential security cameras

I love a great security system; It’s one of the few things I don’t forget to switch on every night and, as a diagnosed OCD sufferer, it helps me sleep at night. I have a Eufy security system at home because there are no subscriptions or monthly fees, although startup costs aren’t cheap.

Arlo Pro 5S

Maria Diaz/ZDNet

Arlo cameras are more expensive than Eufy Security in my home and require a subscription after purchase I could go on and on about why I hate security camera subscriptions, but I’ll say this: If I buy a camera, I want to own the pictures. You don’t buy a photography camera to pay the manufacturer for every photo or video you take.

The Arlo Pro 5S 2K camera is not a standalone product. Although it is sold and can be used as one, it works best when linked to other Arlo home security devices. Users can purchase a separate Arlo Ultra SmartHub to enhance their security system and enable local storage. The SmartHub can record to a microSD card, which is sold separately.

Arlo Pro 5S

Maria Diaz/ZDNet

Once set up, users can only access camera recordings when they are on the same network as the SmartHub, as the system operates locally. This gives some users a much-needed sense of privacy and gives others a headache.

Arlo customers can bypass this setup and remotely access video recordings stored on the SmartHub using port forwarding or a VPN.

Also: The best outdoor security cameras to protect your home

Arlo offers a variety of Arlo Secure subscriptions to enable up to 30 days of cloud storage, smart interactive and animated notifications, audio detection of alarms, smart activity zones, burglary replacement, critical alerts, 24/7 emergency response, and certain AI-powered features. characteristics

Arlo Pro 5S

Maria Diaz/ZDNet

Arlo Secure subscriptions range from $4.99 a month for a single camera to $25 a month for an unlimited number of cameras, plus 24/7 professional monitoring services, video verification, family safety monitoring for check-in and location alerts, and crash detection and the Arlo Safe app. Feedback through.

Also: This brilliant smart home controller makes managing multiple devices easier than ever

Aside from the monthly fee, I’ve found the Arlo Pro 5S 2K to be very reliable and responsive — motion alerts come immediately; My phone tells me as I move towards Arlo in the yard.

Battery life has been outstanding. The Arlo Pro 5S has a removable and rechargeable battery that lasts up to eight months on a single charge. I’ve only been testing the Pro 5S for a few months, but the battery is still going strong, with no low-battery warnings.

Arlo Pro 5S

The Arlo Pro 5S’ battery is tucked inside the camera.

Maria Diaz/ZDNet

The image captured by the camera was not great. I’m not sure if it’s what’s going on with my camera or if my backyard isn’t nice enough, but I’ve been waiting for high-quality images from the Arlo Pro 5S. Instead, I encountered overexposed patches of grass in my feed that overshadowed the rest of the image and made it difficult to spot people as they walked through the area.

Also: Best Affordable Home Security Cameras

I will admit that my backyard gets a lot of sunlight, and overexposure was the only issue I experienced with the Arlo Pro 5S. Through this experience, I’ve determined that the Pro 5S is better suited for monitoring the front or side of my house.

ZDNET’s buying advice

is Arlo Pro 5S 2K Value purchase? The way I see it is that it’s the perfect camera for anyone with an existing Arlo subscription or setup or interested in it — as long as they don’t mind the monthly fee. It’s an exceptional camera, that’s for sure, but it’s one that doesn’t live up to its full potential without a subscription or as part of a larger Arlo setup.

I don’t believe I can get SmartHub to enable local storage, as it looks remotely problematic, but I can see why people do. If I add to my Arlo network, I’ll probably get a monthly subscription. But since I’m on the cost-saving side, the Pro 5S 2K will be the only Arlo in my house for now.

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