When it comes to smart home products, few brands are as well-known as Ring and Arlo. These companies are responsible for creating some of the most popular smart gadgets on the market, but none are as premium as the Arlo Pro 4 and Ring Spotlight Cam Pro. Both smart security cameras offer easy ways to monitor your property, receive notifications, and keep tabs on your home whether you’re away on vacation or out running a few errands.
But what exactly is the difference between the Arlo Pro 4 and Ring Spotlight Cam Pro? And which is a better fit for your personal smart home? Here’s a closer look at the two smart security cameras and the features they offer to help you decide.
Resolution and night video John Velasco / Digital Trends
Both the Arlo Pro 4 and Ring Spotlight Cam Pro capture incredible footage, but Arlo has a significant advantage over the competition — instead of capturing 1080p HDR footage like the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro, the Arlo Pro 4 captures 2K HDR footage. That’s a significant increase in resolution, and it’s a huge win for Arlo, as it allows you to zoom in on your footage and pick out distance details that’d be lost on a lesser camera.
Both products also feature color night vision and integrated spotlights for capturing movement after the sun goes down.
Winner: The Arlo Pro 4 wins this category, thanks to its crisp 2K resolution.
Feature and spec list
If you’re looking for something that will capture the entirety of your yard, Arlo has you covered. With a 160-degree viewing angle, it barely beats out the 140-degree viewing angle offered by Ring. Beyond that, there’s not much offered by Arlo that you won’t find on the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro.
The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro also has a few tricks that you won’t find on the Arlo Pro 4. This includes 3D Motion Detection and Bird’s Eye View that can pinpoint exactly where motion is coming from in your yard. You’ll also get to choose from four unique models (wired, wireless, plug-in, and solar) that give you several ways to power your camera. Arlo, meanwhile, only offers the Pro 4 as a wireless product.
Ring’s product also benefits from two spotlights instead of one, allowing it to shine brighter and light up a larger portion of its environment.
Winner: Ring beats out Arlo in this round thanks to some high-tech features and multiple available models.
Monthly fees and what you get
Both the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro and Arlo Pro 4 require a monthly subscription plan to experience everything they have to offer. Arlo offers two different premium options, while Ring offers three.
The entry-level Arlo Secure plan will run you $3 per month for a single camera or $10 per month for unlimited cameras. This unlocks unlimited cloud storage for 30 days, along with interactive alerts and priority support. Step up to Arlo Secure Plus, and you’ll pay $15 per month for unlimited cameras and get 24/7 emergency response — along with all the benefits of your standard Arlo Secure membership.
Ring memberships start at $4 per month for the Basic plan. For the price, you get 180 days of video history, video saving and sharing, snapshot capture, person alerts, and Rich Notifications (which offer a photo preview of your most recent alert). The Plus plan runs $10 per month and adds extended warranties to your products. Then there is the Pro plan, which clocks in at $20 per month. Along with all the other perks, you’ll get several backups for your captured images and videos, along with a possible reduction to your home insurance.
Winner: Ring and Arlo tie this round. Arlo’s entry-level package is a bit cheaper than Ring’s ($3 per month compared to $4 per month), but Ring’s premium plan offers a bit more than Arlo’s.
Ease of use
Both the Arlo Pro 4 and Ring Spotlight Cam Pro are incredibly popular, and the simplicity of their designs is a large reason why. Getting them installed on your property is simple (thanks to detailed instructions, multiple power formats for Ring, and a slick, magnetic, and wire-free format for Arlo), and checking in on your live feed or reviewing notifications is easy, thanks to intuitive smartphone apps.
Arlo also lets you set up alerts with HomeKit, Alexa, Google Home, and SmartThings, while Ring is largely designed with Alexa in mind (Ring is an Amazon product) but offers some HomeKit and Google Home capabilities.
Winner: Because Arlo allows for easy, seamless integration with other platforms, it narrowly beats out Ring. However, if you’re a fan of Amazon products and frequently use the Alexa voice assistant, then Ring might be a better fit for your needs.
Apps and monitoring
As mentioned above, both the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro and Arlo Pro 4 offer robust smartphone apps that let you check in on a live feed, review old footage, or customize your notification settings. Both are well-designed and easy to use.
Both products are equally great at monitoring your property. Ring and Arlo designed these smart cameras to differentiate between various objects — allowing you to personalize notifications based on what’s happening on your property. For example, you can have both Arlo and Ring only alert you when a person is at the door or trudging through your yard, as opposed to getting alerts every time an animal triggers the motion sensors.
Winner: Thanks to their powerful apps and premium monitoring tech, Arlo and Ring tie this round.
Integration with other smart home systems John Velasco / Digital Trends
The Arlo Pro 4 is fully compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro is fully compatible with Alexa devices, although you can get some features running with HomeKit and Google Home. Since Ring is owned by Amazon, it should come as no surprise that it works incredibly well with other Amazon products, such as the Echo Dot and Echo Show. This point also means that integration with other platforms is a bit limited compared to Arlo.
Winner: Arlo wins this category due to its wide compatibility and integration with most smart home ecosystems and other products already on the market.
You can’t go wrong with either
If you’re deciding which of these two security cameras to purchase, you’re in luck — both are fantastic products, and you can’t go wrong with either. There are a few minute differences between the Arlo Pro 4 and Ring Spotlight Cam Pro, but at the end of the day, they’re arguably the two best spotlight cameras on the market.
Folks with tons of Amazon devices at home that are already familiar with the ecosystem will probably find the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro to be the better choice. Conversely, folks running with Google or Apple HomeKit will find Arlo to be the better option.
Pricing is another factor to consider, as the Arlo Pro 4 costs $200 (and is frequently on sale for less), while the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro starts at $230 and climbs to $250 for the solar and wired options. Then there’s the monthly subscription, which is a bit more expensive for Ring than Arlo — positioning Arlo as the better choice for budget-conscious buyers.
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