Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Arlo Pro sending 0% battery notifications very frequently

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alisterr
Guide
Guide

Not sure if it's better to post this to the community or Netgear themselves, but thought I'd try here since others might have encountered similar issues.

 

My Arlo Pro camera became unreachable for about a week, but mysteriously re-appeared in the app today, showing the exciting new app icon with the mains plug symbol (rather than the previous battery with the charging symbol on it).

 

I can't actually see the charge level of the battery, as it just has the mains plug icon on it and no percentage.  So far, so lame.

 

However, my real annoyance is that the system is sending push notifications and emails telling me that the battery has 0% charge left.  I can't stop it from doing that - even turning the camera off in the app doesn't prevent the system from spewing this at me over and over again.

 

The camera itself seems to work fine (for now).  It's got mains power, so I don't really care about the battery that much, and definitely wouldn't spend 60 quid on a new battery for a device that's under 2 years old.

 

So:

1) given recent app updates and other concerns, it appears that there's still very little test effort going into this system.  Given that customers have been treated like beta (being generous) testers since launch, it's a bit rich that this is still the case.

2) please provide a means of disabling low battery notifications.

3) for the love of God, please don't tell me to pull the battery, un-pair and re-pair the camera, etc.  It's used for remote monitoring (you know, like it's advertised as being good for), and I can't just hop on a plane to do these things.  Performing the "have you tried switching it off and on again"? routine gets old very fast, and it definitely shouldn't be required in this day and age.  It just sounds like some sort of blood sacrifice to ensure the sun rises.  

Model: VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
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steve_t
Master Master
Master

If you're seeing a battery icon with a power plug in it instead of the lightning bolt, it's telling you the battery is not present or not charging. Can you swap this battery out for one from another camera? If the battery is dead and you've said you don't want to pay to replace it, can you just leave it out of the camera and run on mains full time?

alisterr
Guide
Guide
Thanks for your reply. It appears that the low battery messages have stopped now, although the mains plug icon remains the same. I'm not in the same country as the camera, so can't diagnose anything from here - the state it appears to be in now works for me anyway, so all's well until the next mysterious failure.

I would never buy another of these Arlo devices - I've been trialling three different brands and the cheapest one is far superior to this in every respect except the app.
steve_t
Master Master
Master

While I can assure you that reports of failed batteries are few and far in between, if you're having a great time with Wyze cams or whatever, that's great. Arlo's strengths are being completely wirefree and able to be positioned pretty much anywhere including outdoors in the elements. If your use is indoors with the ability to be constantly powered, you'd probably have been better off with an Arlo Q than the Arlo Pro but as you say, there are many other cameras in that space. I guess you can use the other Arlo cameras outside where you can't run wiring and the other cameras indoors as well as areas you can run wiring. Glad the messages have stopped

alisterr
Guide
Guide

I hadn't actually considered Wyze cameras, as my usage is exclusively outdoors.

 

Arlo has a number of good points, but also quite a few bad ones, the primary one being that I can't trust it to work - it mostly does, but when it doesn't, it's useless.  Users are not privy to any of the connection status and error messages that are communicated between the cameras and the base station, so rely on an app that has clearly been designed for ease of use at the expense of end user diagnostics.  When users report problems, they're told to switch the camera offf and on again, re-pair, etc.  This is the sort of thing that makes me not trust the system.  To be fair, the other vendors aren't very transparent with stuff like that either, but their systems have proven significantly more reliable over time.

 

I have four normal Arlo cameras mounted at various places close to a property, and one Pro mounted above the property's front door (outside), connected via a USB cable to mains.

 

I also have a Blink XT mounted on the property, and a Reolink Argus 2 with solar panel up a tree along a driveway.

 

The Arlos and Blink suffer placement-wise from needing to be close to the property - they both use proprietary base stations for wireless connectivity.  The Argus connects to an outdoor wireless access point, which means it can be (and is) nearly 300m away from the main property, up a tree.

 

I have no idea of the current state of the Arlo Pro - it's operating properly, recording activity, etc. but the app icon just shows the plug.  I'm getting no low battery notifications at all, which is nice.  I'm not 100% sure if the battery is dead or not now - Arlo changed the reporting of charge level and I haven't been near to the camera to try unplugging it to evaluate.