Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Review

Updated by Alexia on

We review Arlo's wired and wireless video doorbells to see which is the right fit for your front door.

The Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell is a great starting point before you decide to go all-in with Arlo for your security camera needs. It has a built-in siren to help scare away intruders—surprisingly no other doorbell cameras have such a useful security tool. It also stores pre-recorded responses to help you greet visitors more quickly—a feature previously exclusive to the pricier Google Nest Doorbell.†

Best for emergencies
View Packages
pro Pros con Cons
pro e911 feature
pro Smart detection alerts
pro Pre-recorded responses
con No free cloud storage plan
con Wired installation


Compare Arlo doorbells

Doorbell Price* Field of view Power source Pre-recorded messages Learn more
Arlo Essential Wired
Arlo Essential Wired
$149.99 180º Wired Icon Yes  Light Yes View

Arlo Essential Wireless

Arlo Essential Wireless

$199.99 180º Battery, wired Icon Yes  Light Yes View


* price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.


Arlo Essential Video Doorbell features

Core features

Two-way audio: All smart doorbells—not just Arlo’s—have two-way audio so you can talk to visitors on your porch. The audio kicks in after someone presses the doorbell button, and you accept the call on your smartphone.

Motion detection: Arlo doorbells have built-in motion sensors that send you notifications without a visitor pressing the button.

Easy installation: You can install these doorbells in less than 10 minutes—simply follow the step-by-step instructions in the Arlo App. Still, it might take a little longer if you need to drill new holes for the mounting screws.

No base station: Arlo Essential Video Doorbells work by themselves right out of the box. They connect directly to your Wi-Fi network after installation— you don’t need any extra equipment, so you spend less money. You can add an Arlo SmartHub base station if you want local video storage, though we're not sure it's worth paying more than the doorbells themselves.

Video quality

Arlo’s video doorbell records 1536p videos in a square aspect ratio—similar to what you find in an Instagram post. This gives you a better view of your porch than Ring’s widescreen video. Some other brands—like Google Nest and August—use a similar aspect ratio for their doorbell cameras. But Arlo has the highest resolution of the bunch, making for crisp videos both day and night.

Advanced detection

The Arlo Video Doorbell also uses artificial intelligence to distinguish between people, animals, cars, and packages. While other doorbell cameras offer similar features, online reviews say that Arlo is less likely to send you notifications that confuse dogs with people.

Quick replies

When a guest rings the doorbell, you can skip the small talk with one of five pre-recorded messages:

  • "Leave the package by the door."
  • "You are being recorded."
  • "I'll be right there."
  • 'We can't answer the door right now."
  • 'Leave your message."

These are great when you can't come to the door or just want someone to stick around while you turn the stove off in the kitchen.

Answering the door

One noteworthy quirk is that Arlo treats doorbell calls like a regular phone call on your smartphone, where you choose to accept or decline a call. It can be confusing at first but is a bit easier than opening a tiny notification. There’s also a siren in the Arlo Video Doorbell, which you can activate in the app to startle uninvited guests trying to open the door.

Another feature we like about the Arlo Video Doorbell is pre-recorded messages you can play for visitors, an option that pops up after you accept a call. This is such a time-saver, especially with deliveries where face-to-face interactions are unnecessary or if you’re finishing an important email for work.


Compare Arlo Secure plans 

Plan Price Number of cameras Cloud storage Basic features Advanced features e911 emergency calls Learn more
Arlo Without a plan Without a plan $0.00 5 None Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon No Light No Icon No Light No View
Arlo Secure (Single Camera) Arlo Secure (Single Camera) $2.99/mo. 1 30 days Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon No Light No View
Arlo Secure (Unlimited Cameras) Arlo Secure (Unlimited Cameras) $9.99/mo. Unlimited 30 days Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon No Light No View
Arlo Secure Plus Arlo Secure Plus $14.99/mo. Unlimited 30 days Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon Yes  Light Yes View


Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.


We like that the Arlo Video Doorbell offers a ton of extras when you subscribe to an Arlo Smart video storage plan. Our favorite emergency feature from this subscription is the e911 call service that connects you to emergency responders. For convenience, we like the package detection for when your new kitchen gadget arrives on your doorstep. 

As good as the e911 feature is, you need to subscribe to Arlo Secure Plan Plus to use it, even if you have only one camera. Because $14.99 a month is a high price to pay for cloud storage on one camera, it’s a good idea to hold off until you have more than one Arlo security camera or video doorbell.



Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

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