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Essential vs Pro 2 vs Pro 3

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I have a VMB4000 and several Pro and Pro 2. I want to upgrade some of my Pro cameras.  I'm trying to understand exactly what the Esssential is relative to the Pro line - it seems like it's the same as a Pro 2 except it doesn't require a hub. Here is what I've found so far:

 

Resolution:

- Pro  2 and Essential are 1080p

- Pro 3 is 2K

 

FOV:

- Pro 2 and Essential are 130

- Pro 3 is 160

 

Light:

- Pro 2 has none

- Essential and Pro 3 have spotlight

- there is also a Pro 3 Floodlight

 

Power:

- Pro 2 and Essential are USB-A

- Pro 3 is magnetic

 

Battery:

- I'm not sure here, it seems they are all the same (6 months)

- Essential XL apparently is 12 months, which is pretty attractive

 

Hub:

- Pro 2 and Pro 3 require hub

- Essential does not require hub

 

Questions:

1) is all of the above correct?

2) are there any other key differences?

3) are all Arlo cameras compatible with the VMB4000?

4) does the VMB4000 have a limit of 10 cameras?  

5) what does it mean for my Arlo network if I don't connect a camera to a hub?  Is it still part of the same rules programming as the other cameras?

 

 

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station

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Community Manager
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grillmaster13,

 

1.) Yes. Additional details for each camera can be found here: https://www.arlo.com/en-us/products/default.aspx

2.) Pro 3 and Essential series cameras require an Arlo Smart subscription to save content to the cloud. Pro 2 does not.

3.) Yes. See compatibility here: What is the difference between each Arlo SmartHub and base station?

4.) Maximum viewable legacy cameras on an account with no subscription is 5. A subscription would be required for more. Take a look here: What are the available Arlo subscription plans and how much cloud recording is available?

5.) The camera will show up separately under your modes and rules tab and will operate standalone from the cameras synced to your Base Station/SmartHub.

 

JamesC

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Community Manager
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grillmaster13,

 

1.) Yes. Additional details for each camera can be found here: https://www.arlo.com/en-us/products/default.aspx

2.) Pro 3 and Essential series cameras require an Arlo Smart subscription to save content to the cloud. Pro 2 does not.

3.) Yes. See compatibility here: What is the difference between each Arlo SmartHub and base station?

4.) Maximum viewable legacy cameras on an account with no subscription is 5. A subscription would be required for more. Take a look here: What are the available Arlo subscription plans and how much cloud recording is available?

5.) The camera will show up separately under your modes and rules tab and will operate standalone from the cameras synced to your Base Station/SmartHub.

 

JamesC

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4) That page only mentions the plans are for 5 cameras. I thought the plans were for 10 cameras. So if I wanted 10 cameras connected to my Hub, I would need a multi-camera subscription + 5 single camera subscriptions?

 

6) Does the Essential/Essential XL support CVR like the Pro 2? The subscriptions page you linked to does not mention this camera: "Arlo Ultra, Pro 3, Arlo Q, Arlo Q Plus, and Arlo Pro 2 cameras are uniquely capable of recording non-stop to the Arlo cloud when plugged in to AC power."

 

 

 

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4.) Multi-camera plans start at 5 cameras. Addon subscriptions to the Multi-camera plans can be purchased for additional cameras beyond the initial 5.

 

6.) CVR subscriptions are not available for Arlo Essential series cameras.

 

JamesC

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Hero

Some key differences you should know.

 

1.  The Pro 3 is not really a member of the legacy Pro family.  It doesn’t use the same batteries, cables, solar panels, etc.  It is really a member of the Ultra family in terms of accessories.  I consider it poorly named and confusing for consumers as a result.  I really like the Pro 3 and prefer it over the Pro and Pro 2.  But it is important to know the incompatibility in terms of accessories. 

 

2.  The Essential, seems to be a unicorn.  The battery is not removable.  I purchased two before I discovered this fact and I regret having purchased them for that reason alone.

 

If you don’t care about accessories and like having a base station, the Pro 3 is a very nice system.  

 

If you want to maintain accessory compatibility and don’t mind sticking with the older design, the Pro 2 is the logical choice.  

 

If you dislike having the base station interfere with your other wifi access points, the Pro 4 appears to offer direct attachment to our own WiFi network, while offering removable batteries.  I believe the solar panel and battery charger for the Pro 3 and Ultra are compatible with the Pro 4, but I’m not positive.  

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@AncientGeek wrote:

Some key differences you should know.

 

1.  The Pro 3 is not really a member of the legacy Pro family.  It doesn’t use the same batteries, cables, solar panels, etc.  It is really a member of the Ultra family in terms of accessories.  I consider it poorly named and confusing for consumers as a result.  I really like the Pro 3 and prefer it over the Pro and Pro 2.  But it is important to know the incompatibility in terms of accessories. 

 

2.  The Essential, seems to be a unicorn.  The battery is not removable.  I purchased two before I discovered this fact and I regret having purchased them for that reason alone.

 

If you don’t care about accessories and like having a base station, the Pro 3 is a very nice system.  

 

If you want to maintain accessory compatibility and don’t mind sticking with the older design, the Pro 2 is the logical choice.  

 

If you dislike having the base station interfere with your other wifi access points, the Pro 4 appears to offer direct attachment to our own WiFi network, while offering removable batteries.  I believe the solar panel and battery charger for the Pro 3 and Ultra are compatible with the Pro 4, but I’m not positive.  


1. I was aware of that. For my Pro 2's that are continuously powered, I purchased some 30' USB cables to keep them powered. For the Pro 3, will have to see if there is a 3rd party accessory for the same, or otherwise use an extension cord.

 

2. I was not aware of that. Very good to know, thank you. Though the battery life of the XL is very tempting.  I wish there was a something like the Pro or Ultra with larger batteries.

 

This was a great summary - thank you. The Pro 3 is looking pretty good, particularly the wider FOV in some locations. I also am thinking about the Floodlight.

 

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Mentor

I tried the essential also and returned it with it's limitations and the time at least the Pro3 was only 40 bucks more on some sites. The Pro4 is a good option for hub or wifi connection. Essentially it is the Pro3 with wifi option. 

Model: VMB4540 | Arlo Pro 3 SmartHub
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