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Arlo Go 2 review: A go-anywhere smart home security camera

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £280
inc VAT

With Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity options, the Arlo Go 2 offers plenty of versatility but it’s pricey


  • Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity
  • Clear HD image quality
  • User-friendly interface


  • Expensive
  • 4G performance can vary
  • Subscription required for many features

The Arlo Go 2 is a smart home security camera that can go where other cameras can’t. An upgrade over the original Go, the Go 2 captures Full HD video and offers both Wi-Fi and 4G wireless connectivity. Combined with a long-lasting rechargeable battery and a weather-resistant shell, this allows the Go 2 to be installed just about anywhere, indoors or out.

Its dual-connectivity options make it well-suited to protecting caravans, boats or trailers that are likely to move in and out of Wi-Fi range and it might also prove useful for positioning over garages, sheds or across larger properties where your Wi-Fi signal may fail to reliably reach.

This flexibility does come at a cost, however, and at £280 it’s a fairly significant one at that. For those who need the versatility that a dual-connectivity security camera has to offer, the Arlo Go 2 may prove worth the investment. Those that can settle for a standard Wi-Fi or 4G camera may, however, find better value elsewhere.

Arlo Go 2 review: What do you get for the money?

For £280 you get the Arlo Go 2 camera, a rechargeable battery, a proprietary magnetic USB charging cable, a wall-mounting bracket and a set of screws.

Design-wise, the Go 2 is a departure from its more rounded predecessor, with Arlo opting for a more elongated plastic shell similar to Arlo’s Pro-series of cameras. The face of the unit features a wide-angle lens with a 130-degree field of view, a speaker, microphone and an LED spotlight for colour recordings at night.

A 1/4in standard tripod thread is built into the rear, while on the base there’s a magnetic charging port and a button that pops open the camera’s outer shell. The entire unit is IP65-certified, allowing it to stand up to any weather it’s likely to encounter.

Sliding off the shell provides access to the removable rechargeable battery along with slots for a microSD card and a nano SIM card – both of which you’ll need to supply yourself.

The camera records Full HD colour video during the day along with black and white night vision footage at night. Alternatively, toggling the camera’s optional spotlight allows for colour video at night. A built-in microphone allows you to listen in, while the speaker enables two-way audio between yourself and whoever is in front of the camera. There’s also a siren that can be triggered either automatically or manually, should your visitor be an unwelcome one. Videos are saved to the installed microSD card and, provided you have an active Arlo Secure subscription, they’re uploaded to the cloud as well.

While the camera will operate without a subscription, many of the device’s most useful features will be locked out. Arlo’s Standard Secure plan starts at £2.79 per month for a single camera, running up to £8.99 per month for an unlimited number of devices.

Arlo Go 2 review: What do we like?

The camera produces a nice, clear image with lifelike colours during the day. The clarity is, ultimately, limited by the camera’s 1080p resolution but you can still make out a decent level of detail and overall the picture quality holds up reasonably well provided you don’t zoom in too much.

The detail level drops when the camera switches to its black-and-white night vision mode but it maintains an impressive viewing distance. Setting the camera to look down my garden I was able to see right to the end, even in pitch darkness. You can also opt to have the spotlight trigger at night, allowing for full-colour video and acting as a handy security deterrent.

The Arlo Go 2’s main selling point is, of course, its Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. While you do need to go through two separate set-up processes to set up each connection, the camera will switch between the two networks automatically once connected. By default, it will prioritise the Wi-Fi connection, and will only hop over to the SIM card if the signal strength drops below a certain level. Overall, the streaming video quality looks broadly similar, whether the camera is using Wi-Fi or 4G and the cloud storage videos should look identical. 4G performance isn’t quite perfect but I’ll touch more on that later.

As with most other smart home security cameras, Arlo’s app pings your smartphone whenever motion is detected but it also provides some extra features if you pay for an Arlo Secure subscription. In this case, the notifications will also detail whether a person, animal or vehicle was detected, along with a neat little image preview.

Using the app you also have the option to set up custom activity zones, allowing you to select which areas within the camera’s field of view you’re interested in monitoring. Don’t want to receive a notification every time a car passes the end of your drive? Zone it out. Only want to focus on the garden gate? Place it within a custom zone. This feature, again, however, requires a subscription.

I was also impressed by the run time I was able to get out of the rechargeable battery. Arlo says the Go 2 can run for up to three months per charge, but after having used the camera for longer than two months during my review I still had more than 60% charge remaining. My camera did, however, spend much of its time connected over Wi-Fi, using the optimised quality setting.

Arlo Go 2 review: How could it be better?

While the Go 2 offers decent battery life, when it does come time to recharge, the process is somewhat irksome. Arlo uses a proprietary magnetic charging cable that, unless you install the camera within easy reach of a plug, means you’ll need to unscrew it from its mounting bracket every time you need to recharge. While this may not seem like a huge deal, it does mean that you have to take the time to readjust the camera’s positioning and potentially realign your motion zones every time.

Given the Go 2’s headline feature is its dual Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity, I have to say I was a little disappointed by its performance when using the latter. While the camera automatically hops between its two network options, there’s a noticeable delay of up to a couple of minutes while it switches between the two and during this time you’re completely locked out of the camera.

And, while the video looks broadly the same whether you’re connected over Wi-Fi or 4G, the latency can vary greatly. I experienced delays of up to around five seconds over Wi-Fi but, in some instances, I found the 4G feed to be nearly 30 seconds behind. The 4G stream also froze up on occasion, requiring me to reboot the app and reconnect. The camera’s 4G behaviour is almost certainly heavily dependent on the available 4G signal strength.

Then, of course, there’s the cost, which is much higher than it is for regular Wi-Fi-only security cameras. The Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight, for instance, offers higher quality 2K HDR video and costs less at £220, and the Arlo Essential Spotlight, which mirrors most of the Go 2’s specs, is a mere £130. Both of these alternatives do, however, require an additional hub if you want to save the videos locally.

There’s also the subscription to consider. While subscriptions are hardly uncommon in the smart security market, the number of features Arlo keeps locked behind the paywall can’t be overlooked. Without an active subscription, you lose the ability to set custom motion zones, receive detailed notifications or play back your recordings remotely, essentially, limiting the camera to basic notifications, live streaming and local video storage. And you can’t even access your saved recordings remotely without the subscription, so you’ll have to wait until you can retrieve the SD card from the camera to view the footage.

Arlo Go 2 review: Should you buy it?

The Arlo Go 2 is a capable, versatile, easy-to-use smart home security camera. It produces clear, useable images both during the day and at night. And, with an active Arlo Secure subscription, it offers a number of smart features that make it an attractive, well-rounded package.

However, there are some niggles. While its dual-connectivity helps it stand out from the competition, its real-world performance can sometimes be a little patchy. Although it works reliably over Wi-Fi, depending on your local network coverage you may find that its 4G showing is not quite as consistent. It’s pricey, too, and once you factor in the near-essential subscription price, the cost is only going to mount.

For truly remote installations that absolutely call for both Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity on demand, the Arlo Go 2 is certainly worth your consideration. But if you can do without the 4G connection – perhaps by extending the reach of your Wi-Fi signal instead – you’ll save yourself a significant amount of money.

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