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The Arlo Ultra is a 4K HDR wireless security camera with built-in spotlight

The Arlo Ultra is a 4K HDR wireless security camera with built-in spotlight


Smart person detection and 911 calling are available at launch

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Image: Arlo

Arlo has announced its debut 4K security camera: the Arlo Ultra. As well as upping the resolution and offering HDR recording, the wireless camera also includes a built-in spotlight that you previously had to buy separately, allowing it to record in color at night with an improved 180-degree field of view over last year’s Arlo 2 Pro.

4K security cameras are still something of a rarity in 2018. The Nest Cam IQ, which is also available as an outdoor variant like the Arlo Ultra, features a 4K sensor, but its streams top out at 1080p. The higher resolution of the Arlo Ultra should make it easier to see finer details like the license plates of unwanted visitors, although Arlo’s announcement notes that you’ll have to pay an additional subscription fee if you want to store your security clips in their maximum resolution in the cloud. (Otherwise, a microSD card slot is available for local recording.)

A base station and a one-year subscription are included in its $399 price

Aside from the resolution increase, the Arlo Ultra appears to be very similar to the Arlo 2 Pro that we tried out last year, with added smart person detection and 911-calling functionality available at launch. It’s still a wireless system with a rechargeable battery (although the company doesn’t mention whether you should expect a similar battery life to the six months the Arlo 2 Pro provided), and it still includes noise-canceling microphones to let you talk to people via the app.

What Arlo doesn’t mention is whether any improvements have been made to its service to cut down on the widespread outages that it experienced both earlier this year and late last year. That’s not great for a connected security camera, especially if you’re one of those people who pays the additional fee required to have the camera continuously record.

The Arlo Ultra starts at $399.99. That price includes a single camera and base station as well as a free one-year subscription to Arlo Smart Premier, which will cost $119.88 for each year thereafter.

Correction November 30th, 15:40AM ET: Article updated to reflect the fact that Arlo was spun out as a separate company from Netgear earlier this year.