Arlo Essential vs. Wyze Outdoor: Which should you buy?

Wyze Cam Outdoor Seven
Wyze Cam Outdoor Seven (Image credit: Wyze)

Arlo Essential

Arlo Essential Render

While it costs a bit more, Arlo Essential provides the essential experience for smart home security cameras. While it's not as inexpensive as Wyze Outdoor, it's still less expensive than many other options on the market, and still doesn't skimp on important features like advanced motion detection, color night vision, and automated track and zoom.

Arlo Essential

More bang for your buck

Color night vision with built-in spotlight
No hub needed
Up to six months battery life
Noise and echo cancellation
People, package, animal, and vehicle detection
Support for 2TB local storage
More expensive
Advanced detection requires a subscription

Wyze Outdoor

Wyze Cam Outdoor Crop

Wyze regularly undercuts its competitors' prices with every product release, and Wyze Outdoor falls right in line with that anthem. At a barebones price, Wyze Outdoor offers far more than a barebones experience. Quality video, up to six months of battery life, free local and cloud storage, and even great motion detection options make this a well-rounded value option.

Wyze Outdoor

Smart price, brilliant decision

Very low price
Free local and cloud storage
Up to six months battery life
Hub required
Lower video framerate
People detection requires subscription
No Apple HomeKit Support

Arlo Essential vs. Wyze Outdoor: A similar concept

Despite the substantial price difference, both the Arlo Essential and the Wyze Outdoor Cam operate on the same principles. Both cameras are outdoor-rated security cameras that can detect motion, have two-way audio for hearing what's going on and speaking to whoever might be on the other end, and both feature a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts several months. Each camera delivers high-quality 1080p video with digital zoom capabilities, the ability to see in the dark up to 25 feet away, and even maximum operating temperatures for some of the hottest and coldest climates people live in.

Unlike some other home security cameras on the market, both the Arlo Essential and Wyze Outdoor Cam allow users to choose between local or cloud storage like Arlo Smart. Both cameras can add in AI-powered people detection with a low-cost monthly subscription, and both cameras will hook up to your favorite smart home service for deeper integration into your smart home. Best of all, both are affordable compared to others on the market, even if the Wyze Outdoor is the most affordable.

Wyze Outdoor: Saving a buck (or a lot)

Wyze Cam Outdoor Fifteen

Source: Wyze (Image credit: Source: Wyze)

Cost can, sometimes, be an accurate indicator of quality or the number of features a product will deliver. In the case of Arlo Essential vs Wyze Outdoor Cam, you're absolutely going to get more when you pay more. Wyze has always focused on delivering a great product for considerably less than the competition, and it'll often do this by offering exactly what the customer needs while shaving off some of the seemingly superfluous features.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Wyze Outdoor CamArlo Essential
Price (MSRP)$60 for starter kit, $47 per camera$130
Hub requiredYesNo
Max Resolution1080p1080p
Dimensions2.3 x 2.3 x 2.8 inches3 x 2 x 3.5 inches
Frames per second (FPS)2030
Lens FOV110 degrees diagonal130 degrees diagonal
Zoom8X Digital12X Digital
Auto Track and ZoomNoYes
Night VisionBlack & White; 25ft distanceColor and B&W; 25ft distance
Integrated SpotlightNoYes
Power SourceIntegrated batteryIntegrated battery
Battery Lifeabout 3–6 monthsabout 6 months
Operating Temperature-4° F to 122° F (-20° C to 50° C)-4° F to 113° F (-20° C to 45° C)
2-way AudioYes: Single MicrophoneYes: Single Microphone with noise and echo cancelation
Sound DetectionNoNo
AI Features with SubscriptionPeople detectionPeople, package, animal, and vehicle detection
Local StorageYes, up to 32GB via microSD cardYes, up to 2TB via smart hub
Cloud Storage2 weeks of 12-second clips for free, full-length videos with subscription30 days of clips with subscription
Smart Home ConnectivityAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTTAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT

That much is certainly true with the Wyze Outdoor Cam, which retails for $60 and offers the same basic quality and functions that all other smart home security cameras on the market do. The biggest difference users will see between the two cameras lies in the additional functions that Arlo offers on its cameras.

It's extremely difficult to argue with Wyze's price here. At under $50 per camera, Wyze Outdoor is less than half the sale price of the Arlo Essential — which normally retails for $130 — yet still offers compelling features that would likely fulfill most consumers' needs. Aside from price, the biggest value-added advantage Wyze offers is in its cloud storage options, which will save 12-second clips for up to two weeks without any additional cost.

Arlo Essential: It's the little luxuries

Arlo Essential Power Options

Source: Arlo (Image credit: Source: Arlo)

So Wyze offers an incredible value that's seemingly impossible to compete with, but what about all the additional features that Arlo offers? While it's going to cost you twice as much to outfit your home with Arlo Essential cameras, the little luxuries could just be enough to sway you. From the get-go, Arlo Essential is less complicated since it doesn't require a hub to connect to the internet like the Wyze Outdoor does. That's one less thing to plug in, which is a particular plus since this is a wireless camera system.

If you already have an Arlo hub from other Arlo cameras or devices, Arlo Essential can store all recorded videos locally to one central location. On top of that, Arlo supports up to 2TB of local storage, while Wyze only has 32GB on each camera. Arlo also offers an official solar panel that can be purchased separately and used with each Arlo Essential camera so you don't have to worry about charging.

While both companies require a monthly subscription in order to enable advanced motion detection, Wyze only offers the people detection feature as a way to help cut down on false positives. Arlo, on the other hand, ramps this up with detection for people, packages, animals, and vehicles, so you can tell right from your phone's notifications what your camera saw. You can even zoom in 4x more with Arlo Essential than you can with Wyze Outdoor, which could come in handy when trying to see things far away.

Another truly excellent feature in Arlo's repertoire is the built-in spotlight, which can turn on automatically when motion is detected. There's nothing quite like warding off an intruder with a spotlight pointed right at them. The spotlight also means Arlo Essential has color night vision options but, if you would rather use infrared light, black and white is still available. Lastly, the higher framerate at which Arlo Essential records delivers smoother video than Wyze Outdoor.

Arlo Essential vs. Wyze Outdoor: A narrow win

Arlo Essential Lifestyle

Source: Arlo (Image credit: Source: Arlo)

Arlo Essential delivers a better overall experience with more features, and even though it's more than twice the price of Wyze Outdoor, the overall price is still quite a bit lower than most competing cameras on the market. Arlo's excellent cloud storage and advanced motion detection options give it a distinct advantage when subscribed to an Arlo Smart plan. Ultimately, it's a budget-friendly camera that feels more like a higher-priced experience.

However, if you just want to save some money and add more cameras to your home without breaking the bank, it's very hard to argue with what Wyze Outdoor Camera offers. You'll get all the basics and a bit more with Wyze Outdoor, all while spending less than half the price of what it would take to outfit your home with Arlo Essential cameras. Don't need the extra features? Wyze Outdoor really is a phenomenal choice.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu