Arlo Pro 3 review: Arlo Pro 3 is the outdoor home security camera to beat

The cameras are supposed to last for three to six months, depending on usage.

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A gray cat got close to inspect the Garage camera.

Screenshot by CNET

The Pro 3 has excellent, crisp 2K streaming and saved clips. I was able to easily make out details, like people's faces, types of cars coming and going -- and even three different cats that wandered near the cameras.

As far as the smart alerts go, the Pro 3 did pretty well. It correctly identified a person roughly 80% of the time and it did decently well with animals. It identified the three cats as animals in all but one of the clips, although it misidentified a neighbor's dog as a person. Unfortunately, it didn't do as well at vehicle detection. Despite dozens of cars coming and going over the five days I tested this camera, it only ID'd a vehicle correctly once. Otherwise, it just classified it as a generic "motion" event. 

Package detection was hit-or-miss, too. This feature can only be applied to one camera, so I assigned it to the Front Door camera and it regularly sent me a person alert as someone walked up with a package, but never a package alert.

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The Pro 3 sent me an animal alert when this bird flew into the camera's field of view. 

Screenshot by CNET

Like Nest's IQ cams and the Arlo Ultra, the Pro 3 has an autotracking/zooming feature you can opt into. With this feature, the camera will focus on the specific activity and track it within the field of view for a close-up view. I found this feature worked well, but was somewhat unnecessary for me since I could easily see the person, animal or other miscellaneous motion even without the zoom/track feature.

Arlo Smart includes motion detection zones, which also worked well for me during testing. I created a "Driveway" zone for the Garage camera and it successfully sent me alerts only within that zone, ignoring everything else. 

The Pro 3's built-in spotlight also successfully illuminated when it detected motion, making it even easier to see what was happening. This doubles as a security feature, since it could scare away a potential intruder just like any motion-activated spotlight. 

The Pro 3 works with Alexa and Google Assistant. View your camera's live feed on Alexa- and Google-Assistant-enabled smart displays.  Siri support is forthcoming. With HomeKit, you should be able to view the live feed in the Home app for iOS. Apple hasn't yet released HomeKit Secure Video, an upcoming feature that's supposed to analyze your security camera's video footage locally on your Apple TV, iPad or HomePod and store 10 days of video clips. LogitechNetatmo and Eufy are the initial partners for HomeKit Secure Video, but I wouldn't be surprised if Arlo ended up joining in at some point.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The verdict

The $500 Arlo Pro 3 is an excellent outdoor security camera with solid performance and strong features. It's similar to the Ultra, but a bit more affordable, striking a good balance if you don't want to spend $600. And you aren't really missing out with the Pro 3 since you get roughly the same things as the Arlo Ultra for 100 bucks less.

The Pro 3 is my new top pick for home security cameras, although I do miss Arlo's previous seven-day free event-based cloud storage option. If Arlo brought that back with basic features, the Pro 3 would be pretty close to perfect. 

Want to read more about home security cameras? Here's an overview of our favorite security cameras for 2019 by category.