Arlo has established itself as one of the leading names in DIY security camera setups. With options through its range from 1080p to 4K resolution and a variety of features, there’s little wonder why. The Arlo Go 2 is the second iteration of the mobile security camera and while there’s an improvement, there are a few little concerns too.

The main concern that will potentially deter a lot of potential buyers is the cost. Coming in at $429.00 for a single camera and only one battery, it’s the second most expensive single camera in the Arlo range. If you’re looking at cameras for home use only, look at another model because this one isn’t for you. There are, however, a lot of features built in that work towards justifying that cost as a truly mobile; if somewhat niche solution.

What is it?

This is a camera that is designed to be used primarily outdoors with an IP65 rating and is capable of withstanding -20c to 45c temperatures. It carries a 3,660mAh battery that provides impressive life for the 1080p video capture. It has the capacity to store video locally through an SD Card (optional extra) or store videos in the cloud.

Where this differs from other cameras in the Arlo range is the dual connectivity of Wi-Fi or 4G. This puts the Go 2 in a fairly strong position to be the choice for cameras mounted to a caravan, use on building sites or holiday houses with no permanent internet connection. A significant improvement from the first generation which only had a cellular connection.

It has an 850 nm light as well as LED lighting for visibility and safety if you’re coming into a dark area at night.

When it comes to viewing and communication, the Arlo Go 2 has a very typical range of features. A speaker, siren and microphone on the camera for two-way communication and the ability to ward off unwanted visitors.

Design and setup

One thing that really stands out early on the Go 2 versus some of the other Arlo cameras I’ve previously reviewed is the physical size and weight. It’s heavy enough — 490 grams — that it isn’t practical to have the device magnetically mounted, and in a mobile — ie. Caravan or building site — a scenario that makes it far too easy to knock off mountings or steal. So the practicality is that the screw mounts are more secure from both theft and vandalism, as well as the outright weight of the device.

That being said, it does fit with the look of other more recent cameras with better battery life and feature sets. It is also compatible with some of the accessories like spare batteries and solar panels. If you’re installing somewhere that has at least an intermittent power supply, if not permanent, you can grab one of the charging cables which are magnetically attached. This introduces another potential issue though, with the magnetic mount not taking much to dislodge which could be done accidentally in transit or deliberately by nefarious persons.

Before you get that far though, you need to link the camera to your Arlo app and this is a very simple process. You just need to ensure the battery is fully charged, and then put it into the device. Once it’s in, the set-up process automatically begins and it’s as simple as following the bouncing ball.

Provided you know your Wi-Fi password, your camera will be online within a matter of minutes. Adding a SIM card is just as easy, all you need is a few details about your carrier. Keep in mind that the Go 2 doesn’t require a SIM card, but you’re spending a lot to not use the functions when there are cheaper cameras with better video quality in the Arlo range. As a default, Wi-Fi will connect first with Cellular as the failover if the Wi-Fi isn’t available which is perfect for motor homes, caravans or other mobile needs.

Use and features

Like most DIY security cameras these days, to get the full range of features you’ll need to subscribe. Arlo is one of the better options in this respect as there are single, or multi-camera options. The subscription gives you access to better notifications (with preview) and activity zones which are an absolute blessing if your camera fringes on a public roadway, preventing dozens of false notifications on a daily basis.

There are a number of other tweaks that you can make to the sensitivity also, reducing the effective detection range to as little as a couple of meters, through to about 15 with decent accuracy of detection. Once the camera is connected and set up, it works within the Arlo app exactly as all other cameras do. You’ll get push notifications to your phone of motion alerts, you can use these to enter live view or simply swipe them away.

After a few weeks of testing there are a few good and a few bad points that are worth noting:

  • Videos stored on your SD card can’t be accessed remotely, you need to remove the SD card from the camera
  • While activity zones are great, they change every time you move the camera
  • You can stream to smart screens — Assistant or Alexa — without a problem
  • Transition between Wi-Fi and mobile connection is seamless
  • GPS location allows your camera to be found remotely, great for security if it, or whatever it’s attached to is stolen

Video Quality

Ultimately this is a 1080p camera that is intended to be a mobile solution, it’s not a fixed position camera at super high quality. Despite the relatively low resolution, the quality of the video feed is excellent and allows you to see clear detail across the full 130-degree viewing angle.

You’ll get really clear, sharp video feed during the day and at night with the LED at night you’ll still have sufficient detail at close range to identify people, and vehicles and see what’s going on. This lower resolution is important because 4G can — in fringe areas — be unreliable with potentially slow upstream speeds that won’t support higher video bitrates.

Whether you’re streaming video directly from the camera or grabbing motion alert clips from the app, the quality of the video is consistent. Providing you have the Arlo Secure subscription, the clips in the app are labelled for the type of movement detected eg. people, vehicle, animal or motion.

Should you buy one?

If you’ve read this far, there’s something about the dual connectivity option that has piqued your interest. So the answer is potentially, yes, you should however there are a lot of potential buyers that should look elsewhere.

If you’re looking for a fixed position camera, that has access to Wi-Fi then this isn’t the camera for you. If you’re looking for a really high quality — ie. 2K or 4K — camera feed, or simply something a bit more cost effective for home then you should be looking at the Arlo Ultra 2 or Pro 4 Spotlight.

If for any reason, you need a security camera that can connect to Wi-Fi and mobile networks; this is the pick of a rather niche bunch right now. There are some great features onboard, you’ll get good quality video and the ability to track your camera (and whatever it’s attached to) via GPS location.

The Arlo Go 2 is available through the usual retail and online channels for AU$429.00

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Phill Edwards

Great article. Thanks for recommending alternatives depending on use case.