Android Central Verdict
The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Cam is full of impressive features that get amplified by the super-bright LED floodlight. You get excellent video quality, whether in daylight or at night. But the lack of local storage, less than great battery life, and the high price tag could deter some.
Great image quality
Solid AI features
Floodlight is very bright
Wide field of view
Magnetic charging cable not included
Most features are locked behind a paywall
No local storage
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Home security cameras have become almost as common as smart thermostats or light bulbs. Setting them up inside your home is going to be less of a hassle because there are likely more power outlets available. But when it comes to securing the outside of your house, sometimes the place you want to place a camera doesn't have an outlet nearby. Here is where battery-powered options come into play, and with the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Cam, not only can you forget wires, but you'll also be provided with plenty of area lighting.
Arlo put LED floodlights around its Pro 3 camera, which is wonderfully integrated and completely powered with a rechargeable battery. Those lights can reach a maximum of 3000 lumens when the camera uses the magnetic charging cable, 2000 lumens without the cable (more on the cable later), and illuminate a wide area around the camera. However, this comes with a fairly high price tag along with some quirks in using the device that is worth considering before you purchase it. Hopefully, this review can help you decide if those tradeoffs are worth it.
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera: Price and availability
The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera launched in May 2020 and is still the company's top-of-the-line outdoor floodlight camera. The price at launch came in at $250 through various retailers, including Amazon, Arlo, Best Buy, and more. Currently, you can get the camera in black for $229.99 or the white for $189.58 on Amazon. The Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is available at various stores for prices in the $190 to $250 range.
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera: What's good
I've been using the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera for about seven months now. I have had plenty of opportunities to test it in a lot of different weather conditions to evaluate the battery life and other features. But like the Arlo Essential Camera I reviewed a couple of months ago, it was clear from day one that the Pro 3 Floodlight Camera was a quality product.
Taking the unit out of the box, there were no creaks of squishy plastic housing the tech inside. Adding the heft of the 13,000 mAh battery to the equation and the entire setup feels quite substantial. After charging the battery up using the included micro-USB cable, the camera was ready for setup.
The setup process is relatively straightforward and easy. The app does a great job of walking you through paring the camera to both your Arlo account and Wi-Fi network, or it will help you to create an account if you don't already have one. With that complete, your next task is to find a place to mount the camera. The Pro 3 Floodlight Camera only works with 2.4GHz networks, so keep that in mind.
Arlo includes all the necessary hardware to attach the camera to your roofline, the side of a building, or wherever else you need to keep an eye out. The installation consists of attaching the base with a few screws and then using the plastic nut on the ball end of the outer camera housing to the base. After you've threaded the base to the camera housing, you can aim the camera and then finish tightening the nut.
After that's complete, you're ready to slide in the camera and battery with the hardware mounted. After pressing the camera into the outer housing, listen for a clicking sound to ensure it is fully seated; otherwise, it could slide out and crash to the ground as mine almost did. Luckily I was there when it fell out, and I was able to catch it. Check the Arlo app to ensure the camera is looking where you want it to be before putting away your ladder.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Cam|
|Dimensions||8.6 x 7.5 x 3.07 inches (218.5 x 190.5 x 77.9 mm)|
|Weight||22.92 ounces (650 grams)|
|Storage||Arlo Secure cloud storage|
|Camera||2K 2560 x 1440|
|Viewing area||160°, with 12x digital zoom|
|Night vision||Black and white viw infrared lights, Color via Dual LED floodlights rated at 3000 lumens maximum|
|Smart features||Image based motion detection|
The Pro 3 Floodlight Camera uses a 2K resolution sensor that offers terrific image quality in both daylight and nighttime conditions. As for seeing the goings on in the dark, aside from the ultra-bright LED floodlights, there are also two infrared lights to add some help in situations where you don't want the floodlights on but still want to see in the dark. Those IR lights provide black and white night vision, and with the floodlights, you get a color image.
Viewing the camera's video is done easily in the app. Upon opening the app you are able to click on the static image from the last viewing session to start a live stream of the camera. From there you can expand the video to full-screen and get a few more control options.
You can turn the floodlight on manually, talk to the person on the other end of the video, take a photo, or begin recording video. From the live view you can also press the red shield with the exclamation point in it to sound the siren or call emergency services if you've set up that feature. There's also an option to call a friend, again, needs to be set up in the app before it can work.
The Arlo app is loaded with features to set up your camera just the way you want and is one of the big reasons that Arlo is regularly on the list of best security cameras. The Pro 3 Floodlight Camera has a nifty feature that sometimes is great, and other times I wish I had shut it off, called Auto Zoom & Tracking. When motion is detected, the camera will digitally zoom in on the subject and attempt to follow as it moves within the field of view.
This has been helpful in times when what caused the motion isn't abundantly clear. But sometimes, the camera struggles to stay locked on the subject and bounces around, making it tough to see what is happening.
You also get things like package detection, customizable activity zones, auto HDR, a few different battery management modes, and more. While those are all great, I really like the flexibility of modes the app offers.
Most cameras will let you set a schedule for when the camera is watching for motion or maybe even geofencing to determine when it should be active. But Arlo lets you combine multiple options to get the perfect setup for you. I like combining the geofence and scheduling options so I don't get unnecessary notifications when I'm home. You can even set different methods for each camera rather than the same for all.
The app also has a helpful feature where you can choose to snooze notifications for a set period of time. This will apply to all of your Arlo cameras, though I'd prefer to have the option to set a specific time or choose an amount of time. Today, you can mute notifications for 30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours, or 24 hours.
Battery life on the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is just OK in my testing. I average about three months between charges. Now, this could be better or worse for you depending on your setup. Shortening the amount of time the floodlight stays on after activation, changing the brightness of the light, or adjusting the detection sensitivities, can all affect your camera's battery life. It can also be affected by environmental factors like temperature.
The Smart Alerts for AI detection features work well at deciphering when the camera sees a person, animal, or vehicle and telling you such when a notification comes through. I like this feature because then I can know what it might be without actually viewing the recorded event.
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera: What's not good
Now we get to talk about what isn't so great about this camera. If it sounds like I like the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera above, it's because I do. I live in rural Kansas, and it gets very dark at night at my house. Most of the cameras I have used in the past didn't have nearly as bright of a floodlight; many only had infrared lights, which made it difficult to see what was happening. But that doesn't mean there aren't some downsides to this Arlo's offering.
For starters, it's not cheap. When you are trying to find a camera that can help secure your home, you want to ensure you are getting a reliable product that you can feel confident in — and this camera does that. But the problem is that there are some areas that shouldn't be added to the total cost to use it for that price.
charging cable image
One prime example of where Arlo is offering the bare minimum and witholding more convenient ways is in charging the camera. See, when you buy the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera, it comes with the dreaded micro-USB cable to recharge the battery. That is fine for 2018, but it is hopelessly outdated in 2022 (not to mention in 2020 when the camera came out), when USB-C is a much more common option.
What makes it worse is that Arlo offers a magnetic charging cable that's provided in other cameras like the Arlo Go 2 that I'm also testing. Aside from being an easier way to charge the device, you could leave the camera plugged in and charging without disrupting the weather resistance. Then, should the power go out — your camera will keep working thanks to the battery. Buying the cable separately will cost you another $50 for the 25-footer and $25 for the 8-foot option on Amazon or $50 for the Arlo solar panel. It's just silly to pay these extra costs for something that is already expensive.
The other area that stinks when buying this camera is that you have no local storage options. You can't put a microSD card in it. If you want to save recordings, utilize the full resolution of your camera, get those Smart Alerts, or even take advantage of common features like activity zones, you'll need to pony up for an Arlo Secure subscription. Plans start at $2.99 per camera and max out at $14.99 for unlimited cameras. If you don't want to pay a subscription fee, all you get is live streaming and motion notifications.
Those are the primary issues I have with the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera, and that's less about the camera itself and more about Arlo's business model. Their products already cost a premium price. Don't get me wrong, they are great devices, but to charge as much as Arlo does and lock many of what have become standard features in the industry behind a paywall is just not cool.
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera: Competition
There's no shortage of outdoor security cameras. But finding one that is battery-powered and has a floodlight built-in is a bit more difficult. In comparison, some cameras will have a couple of small LEDs that are better than nothing but not nearly to the effect of what the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera does. But one that is well worth considering is the eufy SoloCam S40.
I was very impressed by this camera when I reviewed it in August 2022. There are a lot of features these two cameras have in common. Both are battery-powered, have 2K resolution, great AI features, built-in floodlights, and more. But the SoloCam S40 has a leg up on the Arlo option regarding battery life.
Since I put the eufy SoloCam S40 up nearly four months ago, I have not charged it once. That's because it has a built-in solar panel in addition to a large battery. Even with all the motion detection features enabled, bright floodlight, and 24/7 recording, I've never had to recharge it.
Eufy also managed to include local storage in the camera, but the problem is that you can't expand it. There are 8GB of built-in storage, and while that seems like a lot for a camera recording at 2K resolution, it can fill up quickly. However, unlike Arlo, the SoloCam S40 isn't compatible with eufy's cloud service. So when you buy the camera, currently selling for $199 on Amazon, you won't be paying for anything extra on top of it.
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera: Should you buy?
You should buy this if...
- You want an outdoor camera with a bright floodlight.
- You need a battery-powered outdoor security camera.
- You want a camera with a great app with lots of software features.
You should not buy this if...
- You don't want to have to take the camera down to recharge it.
- You want a budget outdoor security camera.
- You don't want to pay for a subscription.
Combining the features packed into the app with the excellent Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera makes for a fantastic wireless outdoor security camera. Aside from reliability, one of the essential parts of a security camera is video quality, and this one has it.
Arlo's app is easy to use and provides ample customization options to ensure you can fine-tune the camera just the way you want. Not just the camera itself but also how notifications are handled.
While it is unfortunate that Arlo has chosen to lock many of its features behind a subscription, the device itself is fantastic. At least when purchasing a camera, you can get a 90-day trial of Arlo Secure to test it out. If you can deal with that and the fact that you'll either need to take the camera down to recharge the battery or pony up some more cash for a magnetic charging cable or solar panel — the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is one of the best options out there in this category.
An excellent camera merged with a great set of LED floodlights makes, with the convenience of being battery-powered, makes this a fantastic choice for an outdoor security camera. But the out-of-the-box charging quirks and locking nearly all features behind a subscription is a bummer.