January 24, 2023

Arlo Go 2 – a truly wireless security camera (review)

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The Arlo Go 2 is a specialized security camera. Although you can connect it to your Wi-Fi network, it also has its own LTE (4G) connection. This means you can use it in places where you might not have a Wi-Fi signal, such as in a far corner of your property, farmland, boats and RVs, construction sites or even campsites. How you use it is up to you, and since it’s weatherproof, you don’t need to keep it under cover. Although it has a rechargeable battery, you can add an Arlo solar panel so you never need to recharge it or connect power cables. It will also continue to operate during a power outage. With all that in mind, we tested the Go 2 to see how it performed on the, well, “go”.

First Looks

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Go 2 is quite large compared to other Arlo cameras, such as the Ultimate, Pro, or Essential models. That’s probably because of its large battery rather than making room for a 4G SIM card or LTE antennas. And that’s also a good thing, because you’ll want the battery to last as long as possible because it can be far away or out of reach.

Setting up and running the Go 2 was fairly simple, provided your 4G SIM card is already working. We used one from Amaysim, but first had to plug it into our phone to register it on the network. Once that was done and inserted into the Go 2’s SIM slot, we ran the Arlo Secure app to add it to the camera’s dashboard. Here you will have the choice to connect it to a Wi-Fi network or to use a 4G/LTE signal. We chose 4G and were then shown a QR code to point the camera at. If it successfully “sees” the QR code, which it did in our case, it logs into the app and completes the process.

The Go 2 is a bit larger than the Arlo Ultra (right)

Arlo Go 2 – Price and Features

  • MSRP: $429
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • 1080P resolution (Full HD)
  • Weatherproof housing and seals
  • Color night vision
  • Floodlight (illuminates up to 7.6 meters)
  • Two-way talk (full duplex)
  • Long-lasting battery (13,000 mAh)
  • Wi-Fi and 4G (LTE) network compatibility
  • mounting bracket
  • GPS location tracking
  • Integrated siren
  • MicroSD memory card for local storage

The Go 2 is packed with features. The main differences that separate it from other Arlo security cameras, such as the Ultra, Pro, and Essential models, are its 4G connectivity, large battery, and GPS location tracking. 4G offers the ubiquity to use it wherever there is coverage, while the massive 13,0000mAh battery maximizes time between charges. This is especially handy if you place the Go 2 in a remote location.

GPS tracking is a great way to locate your camera if it’s stolen or if you have multiple units on your property, like a farm, and need to see where each is. You verify the 2 GBs located by visiting a card in the Arlo Secure app.

Besides these features, the Go 2 has a floodlight that can illuminate up to 7.5 meters and motion tracking can be set to 7 meters.

And like the top-end Ultra, the Go 2 has its own MicroSD card, so you can store videos in the device itself rather than in the cloud.

For images and videos, there is a 1080p/full HD sensor. That’s less than the 2K and 4K of the Pro and Ultra respectively. The choice of resolution is likely to reduce the size of the images, so they require less bandwidth to be sent to the cloud via the 4G network. Otherwise, there’s 12x digital zoom, night vision and two-way talk similar to the Essential and Pro models.

Subscribe for more features

Although you can buy security cameras for less, the more premium brands like Arlo offer many advanced features under a subscription service called Arlo Secure. This includes object detection, which uses AI to analyze what your camera “sees”. It can detect pets, people, packages and vehicles, so you can choose which events you want to be notified about. You can also assign activity areas in your image and exclude areas you don’t want the camera to notice. This helps reduce simple “motion” notifications where things like a tree blowing in the wind could trigger an alert. If you see too many, you’ll stop paying attention to the most important ones.

The Arlo Secure Plan gives you 30 days of storage for your videos, along with interactive notifications that embed the video clip in the message. There’s even continuous video recording for an additional fee.

Arlo Secure costs $4.49 per month for one camera or $14.99 for unlimited cameras. Without the subscription, you still have access to live video streaming through the app and motion notifications. More Arlo Secure plan pricing.

In action

Using the Arlo Go 2 is pretty straightforward. You can mount the camera on the included stand, which allows for a wide range of movement, or place it on a shelf, desk, or other inconspicuous location.

Camera settings can be configured in the Arlo Secure app. This includes doing a motion test to decide how sensitive it is, as well as adjustments to camera brightness, low-light settings, spotlight activation and more.

We’ve added the Go 2 to our other Arlo cameras and can manage them all in the Arlo Secure dashboard. As with other cameras, there is a delay of around 5 seconds to activate the live stream or turn on the spotlight etc., however, this is pretty standard for all security cameras.

Although it supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistants, we couldn’t add the Go 2 to Apple’s HomeKit smart home ecosystem. Although most Arlo cameras are compatible, this feature can be added later with a software update.

Performance

Because the Go 2 has 1080p resolution, images aren’t as sharp as some of Arlo’s other cameras and can’t zoom in to reveal as much detail, like a car license plate number. However, in most cases, the resolution is quite adequate. We tested the camera’s performance in direct sunlight, as well as in the dark. We noticed that when pointed at direct sunlight, the camera struggles to show detail in the darker parts of the scene, and it doesn’t support high dynamic range like other Arlo models. This is not a major issue as it only happens when the camera is pointed at the sun.

With nighttime motion detection and recording, the Go 2 can either rely on its infrared vision or use the spotlight for color night vision. We found both to work reasonably well, and the spotlight’s intensity and range are impressive at over 7 meters.

You can also listen to the camera’s surroundings via the built-in microphone, which picks up a reasonable amount of ambient noise. The two-way talk feature is full-duplex, meaning you can talk and hear at the same time, rather than a walkie-talkie type experience where you press a button to talk and then listen for a response.

The battery life should be quite long, even a month, but that highly depends on how it is used. For example, the sensitivity of the camera’s motion detection as well as the recording frequency and duration. We haven’t tested the camera long enough to drain the battery, however, as mentioned earlier, it can connect to an Arlo solar panel accessory if you never want to worry about charging.

GadgetGuy’s review

The Arlo Go 2 is a smart option for those who need to add security to large spaces or aren’t in range of a Wi-Fi network. Its price of $429 is higher than that of a Standard “premium” Wi-Fi camera, however, its 4G capability, larger battery, GPS and other features are what you get for the extra money. Depending on whether you want to pay for an Arlo Secure subscription, there are also plenty of advanced motion detection features. Otherwise, there are still plenty of great features included for the price to help keep an eye on your prized possessions, your property, or even just to watch the apples grow in the orchard.

What’s in the box?

  • Arlo Go 2 Camera
  • Screw kit for wall mounting
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Mounting screws
  • Magnetic charging cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Arlo Go 2 – Specifications

Video resolution 1080p
video size H.264
Night vision 850nm LED: illuminates up to 25 feet
Imaging 12x digital zoom
audio Loudspeaker, microphone
Movement Adjustable up to 23 feet, instant email alerts and push notifications
audio Two-way audio. Instant email alerts and push notifications
Battery 13000mAh rechargeable battery. Battery life varies with settings, usage and temperature
Operating temperature -4° to 113°F (-20°C to 45°C)
Certificate Weatherproof IP65
Dimensions 3.38″ x 2.53″ x 4.72″ (86 x 64.2 x120mm)
lester 1.08 lbs (490g) with battery
App support iOS, Android, FireOS, web browser

More Arlo news and reviews on GadgetGuy

The Arlo Go 2 is your go-to camera if you want to secure your outdoor space and don’t have a Wi-Fi connection. It’s built to be weatherproof and features long battery life and many features at your fingertips.

Good points

4G/LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity so you can choose which to use

Large battery for long battery life

Easy-to-use Arlo Secure app

Ability to connect a solar panel to eliminate charging anxiety

Easy to install and operate

Advanced detection of objects, people, pets and vehicles if desired

negatives

Advanced image detection available as part of an additional cost / subscription plan

HD resolution is ok, good to have higher resolution to see more details

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