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Arlo Go 2 vs. Eufy 4G Starlight Cam: Two Wireless LTE Security Cameras Compared

With similar designs, features and price points, it might be tough to decide between these two outdoor-ready LTE cameras. Here's what sets them apart.

If you're interested in keeping a closer eye on things at home, you'll find a wide range of smart security cameras vying for the job. Whether you're looking to build your own DIY home security setup or you just want to keep watch over kids and pets, all of them will allow you to view the feed from your phone, and most will provide you with basic features like night vision and motion alerts whenever they spot something, too. Some are weatherized for outdoor use, as well -- but if that means placing the camera at the outer limits of your home's Wi-Fi network, keeping that cam connected might be a challenge.

Fortunately, there's a growing number of outdoor camera options that come with cellular connectivity as a backup to Wi-Fi, or a replacement for it outright. Just slide a SIM card in and you'll be all set, with the camera staying connected over LTE airwaves in situations where Wi-Fi won't suffice.

If you're shopping for a camera like that, the Arlo Go 2 and the Eufy 4G Starlight Cam are two of your top options. Each comes from a well-established company with a full portfolio of cameras and video doorbells. Each offers a similar pitch: high-quality footage sent straight to your phone, motion alerts, night vision, multiple months of battery life and, of course, cellular connectivity via those LTE airwaves. 

So which one is the better buy? I spent some time testing each one out. Let's take a closer look at what sets them apart.

The Arlo Go 2 takes the popular indoor/outdoor camera and adds cellular connectivity into the mix by way of a SIM card slot. You'll need a mobile plan to take advantage of those cellular airwaves -- such plans are available from T-Mobile, USCellular and Verizon.

Once the camera is set up and installed where you want it, you'll be able to check the feed from your phone and tweak your alert settings using the Arlo app. You get a free three-month Arlo Secure subscription at the time of purchase, which unlocks 30 days of unlimited cloud storage of your video clips, object-specific motion detection for people, animals, vehicles and packages, customizable motion activity zones and video history. After that, you'll need to pay $3 per month for those features, or $10 per month if you're using more than one camera. If you don't want to subscribe, you can still store your footage locally by inserting a MicroSD card into the camera, but you'll need to buy it on your own.

The Arlo Go 2 also features a built-in siren and spotlight, night vision, GPS tracking and two-factor authentication to help keep your account secure. Upgrade that Arlo Secure plan to the $15-per-month Arlo Secure Plus subscription and you can add in 24/7 emergency response capabilities, too.

  • Connectivity: 3G/4G LTE, Wi-Fi
  • Video resolution: 1,920x1,080 (HD)
  • Field of view: 130 degrees
  • Battery life: Varies based on usage
  • Operating temperature: -4 to 113 degrees F (-20 to 45 degrees C) 
  • Detection capabilities: Motion, person, face, animal, package
  • Motion activity zones: Yes
  • Pan and tilt: No
  • Two-way audio: Yes
  • Local storage: Yes (MicroSD slot, card sold separately)
  • Platform compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
  • Price: $250
Ry Crist/CNET

Eufy's 4G Starlight Cam doesn't support Wi-Fi at all -- instead, it connects with your phone (and if you're storing footage in the cloud, with Eufy's servers) via cellular 4G LTE airwaves. The camera promises three months of battery life on a charge, night vision, 2K resolution, and customizable notifications for people and animals alike. 

There's no MicroSD slot for expandable local storage. Instead, you get 8GB of built-in local storage. That means you don't need to buy a MicroSD card -- but it also means that you don't get very much space in the way of local storage, and cloud storage requires a monthly fee. That said, the rest of Eufy's features, like custom notifications and activity zones, don't require any extra subscription.

Like the Arlo Go 2, the 4G Starlight Cam includes a built-in spotlight and GPS tracker. There's no siren, but DIY security enthusiasts can subscribe to a Eufy protection plan to add 24/7 emergency assistance.

  • Connectivity: 3G/4G LTE
  • Video resolution: 2,592x1,944 (2K)
  • Field of view: 120 degrees
  • Operating temperature: -4 to 113 degrees F (-20 to 45 degrees C)
  • Battery life: 3 months
  • Detection capabilities: Motion, person, animal
  • Motion activity zones: Yes
  • Pan and tilt: No
  • Two-way audio: Yes
  • Local storage: Yes (8GB built-in)
  • Platform compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Price: $230

Design and setup

The Arlo Go 2 and the Eufy 4G Starlight Cam make similar first impressions. Each comes in a white plastic casing with rounded corners and a fair bit of bulk, due to the large-size batteries housed inside. You can place either one on any flat surface you like or you can grab a screwdriver and use the included mount to stick it up outside your home.

To get started with either one, you'll charge the battery and pop it in, along with the SIM card (and I wish both cameras did a better job of clarifying which direction the card should be facing when you slide it in). From there, you'll follow along in the app to pair the camera with your phone and finish setting it up.

Both apps will also let you customize the brightness and motion sensitivity and the kinds of alerts you receive. You'll also be able to track the signal strength and the battery status. Eufy says its battery lasts 3 months on a full charge, while Arlo says battery life will vary based on usage. To that end, the Arlo app offers settings that can optimize battery life or video quality and clip length at the expense of battery life. Either way, you'll need to remember to recharge the thing with the included cable whenever it runs low.

Winner: Tie

Both the Arlo and Eufy apps side by side.

The Arlo and Eufy apps will let you customize the motion sensitivity of your camera, and they'll let you turn notifications on and off for people, vehicles and animals. Arlo also features a package detection mode.

Ry Crist/CNET

Features and app controls

Speaking of the apps, they're designed similarly, with still-image previews of your cameras' feeds on the home screen, a history tab where you can review stored clips, and access to your camera's picture and notification settings. With both, you can tell the camera to notify you only when it detects certain things (people, pets and/or vehicles), but Arlo also offers package detection settings, which might make it the better pick for a front stoop.

Both cameras can store your footage locally. Arlo does so with a MicroSD slot, so you'll need to purchase your own MicroSD card to store up to 256GB worth of clips. Meanwhile, Eufy includes 8GB of nonexpandable, built-in storage. That makes it easier to use right out of the box without needing to buy anything else, but 8GB isn't a ton of space for clips, so local storage is somewhat limited.

In both cases, the key feature is LTE connectivity (support for T-Mobile, USCellular, and Verizon with Arlo, or AT&T and Eiotclub with Eufy). Neither one supports 5G, which is a little disappointing. Arlo and Eufy offer similar cameras without a cellular connection that cost less, so you'll want to consider going with one of those if LTE is more than you need.

Cellular connections aside, each camera uses precise motion detection to send you alerts whenever it spots something. Those alerts worked well when I tested them, including the object-specific ones. For instance, I used both cameras to track the comings and goings of Andrei, a neighborhood cat that enjoys wandering onto my porch for the occasional salmon-flavored treat. With animal detection turned on, both cameras always alerted me whenever he wandered in or out of the frame. When I turned animal notifications off, those alerts stopped coming.

All of that's to say that both cameras are similarly featured -- but you have to pay a subscription fee to unlock all of Arlo's features. That said, Arlo's MicroSD slot makes storing lots of clips easier, while many Eufy users will be forced to pay for cloud storage to store more than 8GB of clips. The other key difference is that the Arlo Go 2 also includes Wi-Fi connectivity, which makes it more versatile and can help reduce your data usage. It's close, but I give Arlo the slight edge here.

Winner: Arlo

Picture quality

With a 2K resolution packed with more pixels than regular HD, Eufy boasts better resolution than Arlo, though it's closer than you might imagine. Both cameras produce a clear, crisp image with a wide field of view (120 degrees for Eufy and a slightly wider 130 degrees for Arlo).

The Arlo Go 2 (left) and the Eufy 4G Starlight Cam (right) were both able to use night vision to show details from my darkened kitchen, but Eufy did a better job illuminating subjects at a distance. The white siding of my neighbor's house a few feet outside the window is much easier to see in the Eufy feed.

Ry Crist/CNET

I also made sure to take a close look at each camera's night vision capabilities. Each works well, automatically kicking over to night vision when things get dark. Still, Eufy's night vision seems a little stronger, with infrared diodes capable of lighting subjects far from the camera a little better than Arlo's. Arlo promises "color night vision," but that simply means you can turn the integrated spotlight on to light the scene up and see it without using the infrared diodes, so don't get too excited.

Winner: Eufy

Privacy considerations

For many, privacy is justifiably top-of-mind when picking out a camera for placement in and around the home. The good news is that both Arlo and Eufy offer two-factor authentication to help keep your account secure, as well as encryption that protects your footage in transit to Arlo's servers if you're paying for cloud storage.

You'll want to take each company's policies and track record into consideration, too. While neither has a history of repeated privacy blunders, Eudy did experience a brief software issue in 2021 that exposed the feeds of over 700 users to other Eufy customers. Fortunately, the company was able to take action and fix the problem within a few hours.

There's also the question of police requests for footage stored in company servers, especially in the wake of recent disclosures from Ring and Google about their policies for granting police access to user footage without consent and without warrants during life-and-death situations, which is permitted under US law. Eufy wouldn't explicitly rule out sharing footage with law enforcement in situations like that when I asked. Instead, it pointed out that the company can't access footage that's stored locally or transmitted using end-to-end encryption, as it is when you transmit Eufy footage over Apple HomeKit Secure Video. That said, unlike other Eufy cameras, the 4G Starlight Cam doesn't support HomeKit at all (and neither does the Arlo Go 2), so if you're storing footage in Eufy's cloud, you're subject to Eufy's privacy policy, which says that the company may share the footage with law enforcement to, "protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Eufy, its users or the public as required or permitted by law."

You'll find nearly identical language in Arlo's privacy policy. However, the company takes the position that if a situation is urgent enough for the police to request emergency access to footage, then it should be urgent enough for the police to obtain a warrant, as well.

"Consequently, it is our policy to NOT produce videos to law enforcement no matter the situation, unless we are compelled to do so by a valid warrant or court order," an Arlo spokesperson tells CNET.

Winner: Arlo

The Eufy 4G Starlight Cam and its solar panel charger accessory against a purple background.

Both Eufy and Arlo offer solar panel chargers for their cameras, but it's a more affordable option with Eufy.

Ry Crist/CNET

Value

Both cameras retail for about $250, but Eufy's currently costs a little less, and you're arguably getting more for your money since it comes with 8GB of built-in local storage for your video clips, plus a SIM card from Eiotclub preloaded with 100MB of data over your first 7 days. With Arlo, you'll need to purchase your own MicroSD card for local storage, but some might prefer being able to store a lot more than 8GB of video locally. Arlo also makes you sign up for an Arlo Secure subscription if you want to unlock object-specific notifications -- that's a free feature with Eufy.

You can also bundle the 4G Starlight Cam with Eufy's solar panel charger for an additional $40, which is a little less than you'll pay for Arlo's solar panel charger. As of the date this is published, that bundle is marked down to $250 on Amazon, which basically nets you the solar charger for free.

Winner: Eufy

The Arlo Go 2 and Eufy 4G Starlight outdoor security cameras against purple and orange backdrops, respectively.
Ry Crist/CNET

A split decision?

This one's close, as there are good reasons to pick either of these cameras over the other. If I needed a trail cam or something else where Wi-Fi wasn't a factor, I might lean towards Eufy for the slightly better value, particularly if I were interested in pairing it with a solar panel for nonstop trickle charging. The Eufy 4G Starlight Cam also offers slightly better video quality and stronger infrared diodes for better night vision during dark hours.

On the other hand, the Arlo Go 2 is probably a better fit around the outside of your home, where it can serve as a package cam, and where it might be able to leverage your home's Wi-Fi signal to cut down on the LTE data usage. I'd also go with Arlo if I wanted to store lots of footage, as the MicroSD slot lets you pick a card capable of storing as much of 256GB of footage on the device, as opposed to the non-expandable 8GB of storage that comes with the Eufy 4G Starlight Cam. 

The bottom line is that both are good devices that performed well when I tested them out, and both offer a good mix of features for both average and advanced users. If you're struggling to decide between them, consider that Eufy supports LTE via AT&T and Eiotclub, while Arlo offers LTE via T-Mobile, USCellular and Verizon. If one of those providers offers particularly strong service in your area (this LTE coverage map from the FCC might be helpful), then it's fine to make that the tie-breaker.