Arlo Adds a “Q” 

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Following the release of its original Arlo™ home security camera system last year, NETGEAR has now produced the Arlo Q. This is a 1080p HD Security Camera that offers two-way audio features operating as an intercom.

Arlo Q Smart Home 1080p Full HD Security Camera
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With the design of the Arlo Q, NETGEAR has instigated a number of changes to the appearance and performance of this home security device.  For a start the “Q” is a tethered, rather than wireless, device.  That is not to say that this camera lacks support for Wi-Fi.  In fact it is a Wi-Fi device.  The wireless aspect of this product refers to the means of drawing power. 

A lengthy 300cm USB lead and power plug are provided.  These will give you plenty of reasonable scope when positioning the device while connected to a power source so that you can have the best view of the area under the camera’s watchful eye.  Also included in the packaging are a wall-mounting plate, screws and a Quick Start Guide rather than the URL link that you had to make do with when accessing instructions for setting up the original Arlo.

The Arlo Q camera unit, with dimensions of 70 x 73 x 115mm and weighing 149g, consists of a white diamond shape camera element.  This is permanently attached to a short stand.  With white and smoky diamond-shaped outer layers, the camera’s lens is centrally positioned.  Located at the base of the diamond shape is an LED.  Using a series of different coloured flashing and steady lights, the LED provides feedback as to the camera’s current status.

Setting up this kit is reasonably straightforward and can be completed within a few minutes.  Once power has been provided to the camera, you can use the device to scan a QR code in the Quick Start Guide and be taken to the Arlo app in the appropriate store whether iOS or Android.  Once the app is installed you can create a new account or open an existing one.  The Arlo Q should be quickly detected and add to your security system as it connects to your router via Wi-Fi using a Sync button located on the side of the camera.

With its fixed 130 degree field of vision, the Arlo Q gives you plenty of choice when it comes to positioning the camera.  You should try to avoid areas where a great deal of light will be shining directly into the lens as there is no remote option to change the position in which the lens faces.  The camera can either be wall-mounted or free standing and the magnetised base of the camera will allow it to be magnetically attached to a metal surface.  One position recommended by NETGEAR is to place the Arlo Q high up in the corner of the room, under observation, for the best view.

The camera’s output can be viewed by the appropriate app on a smartphone.  While the app can be installed on different smartphones, it is only possible to log into the camera from a single smartphone at a time.  However alerts from the Arlo Q can be sent to multiple smartphones.

The Arlo app gives you a choice of three main sections, entitled Mode, Camera and Library, plus Settings.  Within Mode you can select from any available camera forming the Arlo security set up and create rules for specific situations.  These rules cover motion and audio detection.  Slider bar adjustment is available for the sensitivity of these features and you can opt to record a video, take a snapshot or do nothing.  Schedules can be set up to work with these rules.

Switching to the Camera section allows you to view content from any of the cameras making up the security system.  A Live button provides an audio video stream from the protected area.  Icons, across the bottom of the feed screen, allow you to record video, capture a snapshot, adjust the brightness level, initiate voice communication with whoever is within the vicinity of the camera and switch between portrait and landscape orientation.

Library section contains a list of captured video clips which are organised by date and time.  Individual clips can be viewed, shared, downloaded from your free Cloud 7-day storage allocation or you can delete the clips.  There is no option to zoom into a particular area.

The drop-down Settings option, from the three dots in the top right corner of the Android app, divides its functionality into Device, Account and System sections.  Providing status information regarding camera within your system, the Device section allows you to give each camera am appropriate name to replace the characters originally assigned to each Arlo camera.  You can also turn on and adjust the time zone, status light, video resolution (originally set at 720p rather than 1080p), night light, microphone and speakers.

By default you will be assigned to the free basic subscription and this can be changed to either the Premier or Elite paid-for subscriptions from the Account section.  You can also create a personal profile and grant access to friends and family from this section.

With more than a single camera, you can change the order in which they are featured on the app from the System section.  This section also contains the Help feature and the terms of services as they relate to the Arlo product.

The streamed image quality is good for both day and night work with a short delay in the actual delivery to a linked smartphone.  The two-way audio also has the same time delay in the delivery of its content.  With easy set up, good quality images and a free 7-day service for up to 5 cameras, the Arlo Q is well worth considering.  NETGEAR has priced this product at £169.99.

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