January 24, 2023

Arlo Pro 3 vs Blink XT2: Which Wireless Security Camera is Right for You?


The biggest battle of completely wireless security cameras is Arlo Pro 3 vs. Blink XT2. Does the Arlo Pro 3 justify its massive price tag, or is the compact Blink XT2 a better deal overall? That’s what we’re here to find out. But don’t be fooled by their monochrome typos, because this is not a black and white contest.

When choosing a security camera, you are essentially locking yourself into that particular ecosystem, which means making the right choice beforehand is crucial. Blink and Arlo represent two distinct poles of the wireless security camera market, one very high-end and the other inexpensive.

We’re obviously pretty high up on the Arlo Pro 3, given that it won the crown for Best Smart Security at the 2020 T3 Awards, and it also complements our roundup of the best wireless outdoor security cameras. The Blink XT2 is no slouch either, easily earning its place on the same list thanks to its incredible value. But what is the right wireless outdoor security camera for you? Read on and find out.

Arlo Pro 3

(Image credit: Arlo)

At first glance, the Blink XT2 looks like a much better deal than the notoriously expensive Arlo Pro 3. Look below, though, and – well, in fact, it still is. Blink products are much cheaper. As of this writing, a single camera and the required sync module cost £ 75 / $ 75, with an additional camera without the module costing £ 10 / $ 10 less.

The Arlo Pro 3 isn’t the most expensive camera in the Arlo lineup (that honor currently belongs to the extravagant Arlo Ultra 4K), but it does require a significant investment to get started. A kit of two cameras, including the Arlo SmartHub, will set you back £ 550 / $ 500 as of this writing, with additional cameras at a tempting price of £ 280 / $ 170 each – depending on where you live, the cost of a basic Arlo dual camera arrangement could earn you a five camera Blink setup.

Not to mention Blink’s indoor cameras, which can extend your safety net inside the home for as little as £ 35 per camera for the wired Blink Mini or £ 49 for the wireless Blink Indoor, though at that. stadium, you probably don’t need more convincing of the power of Blink as a value proposition.

Arlo is clearly gaining a lot of ground in the vision department, with the Arlo Pro 3 touting a 2K HDR sensor, as opposed to the rather standard 1080p eye of the Blink XT2. Both cameras rig the numbers a bit using interpolation, but it’s something you can’t really avoid, and it’s not a big deal – interpolation or not, the Arlo Pro 3 will definitely let you down. to pick out finer details more easily than the Blink XT2, and that extra resolution gives rise to its zoom and track function. This reduces the output video resolution to 1080p, but crops in motion and follows whatever is detected in the image.

While we’re not suggesting that one Arlo unit can do the same job as two Blink cameras, it’s worth noting that the Arlo Pro 3 has a wider viewing angle, with a useful 160-degree angle to the camera. The XT2’s relatively thin 110-degree lens. , which means it might just cover these important points better. Arlo also scores a victory at night, with a very impressive color night vision mode surpassing Blink’s more pedestrian monochrome night vision and remarkably bright spotlights built into each of its cameras.

Flashes XT2

(Image credit: Amazon)

Here again, Arlo scores big. Both camera families use infrared to detect hotter objects, and both can use motion zones to determine the areas of their field of view that interest you, which means you can block the road and avoid traffic. notifications when pedestrians or cars pass. The Arlo Pro 3 takes you a step further, however: as long as you subscribe to the Arlo Smart cloud service, it can analyze the video to spot exactly what it detected – human, animal, packet – and you. inform as such.

There is also alarm detection built into the Arlo framework, so it can alert you to a smoke alarm or the like, and (in contrast) there is a siren built into each of the camera units and the camera. SmartHub too, which can be configured to automatically activate if something untoward is detected. All of this can be tweaked to your liking, while Blink’s more limited range of detection features grants a little less control.

(Image credit: Arlo)

Arlo certainly gives you options. You can store your images locally, with your choice of USB stick swallowing it when inserted into the SmartHub, or opt for cloud saving, although it can get a bit pricey. You can cut costs by putting a single camera online, giving you 30 days of continuous storage of 2K resolution video for £ 2.49 / $ 2.99 per month, or plug in up to five cameras for 7 , £ 99 / $ 9.99 per month. Keep in mind that many of the more advanced features like parcel detection, movement zones, and smart alerts are tied into these subscription plans, so they are really necessary if you want the full set of. features.

If you really want to flush the battery out of the Arlo Pro 3, you can also go for a continuous recording plan, although this is more expensive and doesn’t allow you to download captured images.

Blink doesn’t offer as many. Not so much in terms of options – there’s no local storage at all, so you’re literally tied to the cloud for all your recordings – and not so much in terms of cost. In fact, there are no ongoing running costs: it stores everything online without a subscription, although you have to keep an eye on your storage as old footage is deleted. If you’re looking to save some cash, this is the way to go, but keep in mind that this doesn’t include the advanced intricacies of Arlo.

Flashes XT2

(Image credit: Amazon)

While you might not get the kind of banana battery life that Blink claims for the XT2 – instead, the company is hopefully suggesting that a single camera can power on for two years in a row. ideal conditions of use – it undoubtedly has a certain autonomy. Above all, this isn’t a proprietary battery we’re talking about: the Blink XT2 takes AA batteries. The better the battery, the better the life, but whatever you use, you can just drop off fully charged batteries in the store.

Arlo uses proprietary batteries, and you’ll need to purchase extras if you want to have one charged and ready to change without downtime. It’s a more convenient option than cameras that lock their batteries inside and require you to charge the whole unit, but it’s still not as convenient as being able to put in a few AA’s and be done. with that.

You’ll also be climbing the ranks much more often: In our full review of Arlo Pro 3, we noted that the battery lasts around six weeks on a charge. It’s not bad, but it’s not (supposedly) two years.

You can charge the battery still in the camera (when magnetically mounted, the Arlo is really easy to grab) using a custom magnetically attached cable, and charging doesn’t take too long.

These two cameras share many functions. They’re weatherproof, cordless, and flexible enough to cover just about any corner. They will both interact with smart home systems, although Arlo has a slight advantage in that it can work with HomeKit, Google, and Alexa, while Blink (owned by Amazon) sticks fairly well. predictable to Alexa-enabled devices only.

The real argument isn’t really between their capabilities, as it’s clear that the Arlo Pro 3 is by far the more powerful of the two in terms of image, intelligence, motion detection and everything in between. It’s not a cost argument either, as the Blink XT, with its cheap cameras and minimal running costs, is a clear winner.

This is what you want. If you want the smartest wireless home security system you’ll have to pay for it, but you won’t be disappointed with an Arlo Pro 3 setup. If you want comprehensive coverage of your perimeter and don’t need to much more, Blink XT2 cameras are a perfect choice.

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