Wednesday, 04 November 2020 15:41

Arlo's Essential WireFree Video Doorbell delivers 'full head-to-toe view' for A$329, ringing bells from mid-Dec 2020


Arlo singlehandedly popularised the concept and actuality of completely wireless and battery powered security cameras, with its latest, all-new video doorbell now wireless and battery powered with a 180-degree viewing, clear two-way audio, direct to mobile video calls and more for the utmost flexibility.

One of the very best wireless security camera companies in the world is Arlo. Way back in 2015, when Arlo hadn't yet been spun off from Netgear, Arlo's original cameras launched, which iTWire captured on video at the time and which you can see here

Since then, Arlo has grown its product range extensively, taking things to 4K, full colour night vision, two-way audio, spotlights and so much more, with Arlo's recent Essentials XL wireless camera launch with up to a whopping 12 months of battery life covered here.

Now comes Arlo's new Essential WireFree Video Doorbell (US site link) with an "industry leading 180-degree field-of-view with square 1:1 aspect ratio" which Arlo rightly describes as delivering "the most complete front-entry protection, with direct-to-mobile video calls for faster response".

Arriving at retail in Australia from mid-December 2020, this wire free model incorporates all the features of the award-winning wired model in what is obviously an "easy-to-install, wire-free, battery-powered design".

The company promises "HD video resolution combined with direct-to-mobile video calls, clear, two-way audio and personalised alerts, allow users to quickly reply to guests or take action. Able to connect directly to WiFi, the latest solution can be powered by its rechargeable battery" - and this wirefree model can even be hardwired, if you wish, for continuous charging.

The rechargeable battery lasts from three to six months on one charge, while if choosing to hardwire, users will need existing electrical/doorbell wiring with voltage between 8V AC and 24V AC or will need to have this installed, but with long battery life, battery power will be the choice for many who don't already have wiring ready or who don't want to install it.

Here's the official video from Arlo that shows you exactly how this new wirefree model works:

Brad Little, the VP and MD APAC of Arlo in Australia said: “In today’s world, having a smart video doorbell at your front door is more valuable than ever.

“Unlike other video doorbells that can lag in response time, our new Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell leverages the latest hardware and software advancements for swift, comprehensive monitoring. Industry-leading picture and audio quality combined with our AI-based subscription service, Arlo Smart, enable complete front door protection. Users can receive smart notifications and secure, simple access via the Arlo App, allowing them to quickly and easily live stream or respond to guests.”

Features of the all-new Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell include:

  • 180° Viewing Angle: Optimised for the front door with a 1:1 aspect ratio so you can see a person from head to toe or a package on the ground
  • Direct-to-Mobile Video Call: Calls your phone directly so you never miss a visitor
  • Multiple Powering Options: Install without wires using the rechargeable battery, or hardwire to existing wiring for continuous charging
  • Motion Detection and Alerts: Receive alerts when motion is detected
  • Angle Mount: Easily adjust viewing angle to fully and clearly see visitors
  • 2-Way Audio: Hear what matters with clear, noise-cancelling audio
  • More Ways to Answer: Quick Reply Messages enable users to play pre-recorded messages for instant response to guests
  • Visitor Messaging: Guests can leave you a voice message if you’re unable to answer the door, and you can listen remotely at your convenience
  • HD Video with HDR: Capture vivid detail in bright and dark areas with HDR
  • Night Vision: See who’s at your door at night, even without a light on
  • Weather Resistant: Designed to withstand heat, cold, rain or sun
  • Platform Compatibility: Works with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT for easy interaction, automation, and control
  • Direct to WiFi: Connects directly to WiFi for simple setup allowing it to function as a standalone home security solution without the need for a separate base station
  • Built-In Smart Siren: Trigger your siren automatically or manually from the Arlo app during an event
  • Silent Mode: Temporarily disable incoming calls, Arlo Chime melodies, and/or traditional chime rings
  • Notifications that Matter: Get alerts when your Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell spots people, vehicles, animals or a package with Arlo Smart via an included three month trial with rolling 30-day cloud recordings 

Arlo Smart:

Arlo reminds us that "the purchase of an Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell unlocks a complimentary three month trial to Arlo’s AI subscription-based service, Arlo Smart", after which there is a monthly fee, with full details here.

You don't have to sign up to a plan to get live video streaming or notifications, but if you want up to 30 days of cloud storage, rich interactive notifications, person, vehicle and animal detection, package detection, cloud activity zones and the ability to call a friend, The Australian prices are as follows.

The single camera Premier Plan is $4.49 per month for a single camera, $14.99 per month for up to 5 cameras, and 50% off each additional camera thereafter - and this is for 2K cloud video recording.

If you have an Arlo Ultra 4K setup, you can can also choose the Elite plan with 4K cloud video recording, which costs $7.49 per month for a single camera, and $21.99 per month for up to 5 cameras with 50% off for each additional camera.

There is also the option of adding on Continuous video recording or CVR. The costs $12.99 for 14 days of monitoring per month, or $24.99 per 30 days, and can be especially handy for when you go on holiday, or for work environments, or if you have a need to continuously monitor the inside of your home when babysitters, cleaners, tradespeople or others are there. 

It's all controlled entirely through the Arlo app, where you can "easily view live streams and recordings, adjust camera settings or access cloud recordings".

On the US site, we're told that this model can send video to your Apple Watch, Google Home/Nest Hub and Amazon Alexa devices with screens as well.

Pricing and availability:

With a RRP of AUD $329, the Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell is rolling out at leading electrical retailers nationally in the middle of December 2020.

More info on the full range of Arlo smart home security products and services is here

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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