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Arlo's Video Doorbell is like an Arlo security camera for your front door – CNET

The Arlo Video Doorbell costs $150.

Arlo

Netgear's smart home company Arlo is a leader in battery-powered security cameras. The weatherproof Arlo Pro 2 is currently my top pick among home security cameras. Arlo sells other devices too -- an indoor camera, a baby monitor and even an Audio Doorbell (a smart doorbell sans camera). 

Ever since the Audio Doorbell came around, I've been waiting for an Arlo doorbell with a built-in camera and the time is finally here. Arlo on Thursday announced a $150 Arlo Video Doorbell, available for preorder now at Best Buy and other retailers. At a glance, the price looks right for this device. The Nest Hello costs $229 and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro costs even more at $249. 

But what does the new Arlo Audio Doorbell actually offer? Here's a list:

  • 180-degree field of view
  • Hardwired
  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Pre-recorded messages you can play through the app instead of talking
  • Siren
  • HD livestreaming
  • Square aspect ratio (Arlo claims you'll be able to see more this way)
  • Motion detection 
  • Three months free access to Arlo Smart cloud subscription service
  • Person, package, car and animal detection added with Arlo Smart 

One key thing that's missing for me in this list is free cloud storage. The Arlo of yore used to offer seven days of free event-based cloud storage. If an Arlo cam detected motion, it would record a clip of the activity and save it for seven days in the Arlo app before deleting it automatically. But now that Arlo devices have become more sophisticated with person-, package-, car- and animal-detection capabilities, Arlo has ended its seven-day free cloud storage. Le sigh.

Instead, Arlo serves up temporary free access to its Arlo Smart service. Arlo Smart, like Nest Aware and Ring Protect, is an optional monthly subscription plan that gives you access to some of the Arlo device's more advanced features. But despite being optional, you really need it if you ever want to review activity. The good news is that Arlo Smart starts at $3 a month per camera. That basic tier includes person, package, car and animal detection, activity zones and 30-day video history. 

Pay $10 a month to get those things plus E911, a feature that makes it possible to call local law enforcement from the Arlo app, even if you're away from home. Pay $15 a month for all of those features plus 60-day video history. 

Nest announced earlier this week that it's changing up its Nest Aware subscription early next year, including adding an E911 feature like Arlo's. 

We're getting our hands on an Arlo Video Doorbell as soon as possible and I'm curious to test out the built-in siren, a new feature among the doorbells I've tested so far. Check back to find out if the Nest Hello is still our favorite smart video doorbell. The $150 Arlo Video Doorbell is available for preorder now and will ship later this year. 

Arlo's Video Doorbell is like an Arlo security camera for your front door     - CNET

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