Arlo and Ring are two of the biggest smart home security brands in the industry. I’ve reviewed many cameras from each brand, but now, I want to put the Arlo Pro 2 head to head with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. These are both excellent indoor/ outdoor cameras with a ton of Security Baron’s Necessary Features, like integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant, infrared night vision, and two-way audio. However, neither camera has everything, which is why I felt that a direct comparison would be helpful to making your buying decision. Let’s get started!
Before I get into our Necessary Features, I want to take a step back and talk about each camera’s design.
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Design
Now, just as the name implies, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery has an actual spotlight in the form of LED light strips, plus an 110-decibel siren, about as loud as a jackhammer. These are great features for an outdoor camera because they can shine a light (literally) or anyone who’s on your property, letting you and the whole neighborhood know if something is wrong.
Aside from the spotlight and siren, I love that the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is completely wireless, powered by a quick-release rechargeable battery pack. Not only does this mean that I never have to run out and buy new batteries, but it also means that this camera will stay on in the event of a power outage. For added backup, you can even add a second battery back, or, for continuous charge, a solar panel.
Of course, this camera is meant to be used indoors and outdoors, so it has to be pretty durable against weather. The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery works in temperatures from negative five to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and has an IP rating of 55.
As you can see from the above chart, that means that this camera is protected from dust as well as low-pressure water jets. I generally prefer outdoor cameras that are dust-tight, but this should protect you against most weather situations, although not extreme situations like a tornado or hurricane. But for the most part, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery should withstand heat, rain, snow or shine.
Arlo Pro 2 Design
The Arlo Pro 2 is also weather-resistant, but it’s IP rating is higher at 65, meaning it’s completely protected from all solids. However, it’s range is a bit lower at negative four to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, so I’d go with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery if you live in a super hot climate.
The Arlo Pro 2 also features a siren over 100 decibels, and even offers wireless or plug-in options. It’s rare that I see a camera with both options, so I really like this aspect of the Arlo Pro 2. If you choose the wireless option, the battery should last three to six months, and you will have to replace it completely when it’s out, rather than recharge it like with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. While the Arlo Pro 2 lacks a spotlight, it does have several LED sensors for infrared night vision, as well as a speaker and microphone for two-way audio. But if we’re talking design alone, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery creams the Arlo Pro 2, with it’s innovative power sources, it’s spotlight, and it’s large temperature range.
First, let’s make sure you’re reading the right comparison and talk about what these cameras have in common.
Alexa and Google Assistant Integrations
Both of these cameras work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing for voice commands. For example, you can tell Alexa to show you your Arlo Pro 2 footage on your Echo Show, or play it on Fire TV if you want it on the big screen. However, the Google Assistant integration is a little less useful with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. While you can command your phone to show Ring footage, it won’t work on Chromecast, which is a bit of a shame.
Not surprisingly, both cameras have the current industry standard in video display of 1080p HD. You’ll get a nice, clear image with either camera, although the fields of view and fields of zoom do differ (but we’ll get there soon).
If you’re looking for a wireless outdoor camera, then both the Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery should work. The Arlo Pro 2’s battery lasts three to six months, while the Ring’s battery is actually rechargeable and comes in a quick-release pack. You can even add a second battery for backup or, if you want your camera to charge continuously, add a solar panel to the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, like I said before.
Both cameras have speakers and microphones, allowing you to speak to whoever your camera is pointed at, a process called two-way audio. I’ve literally seen crimes stop just because the homeowner spoke to the intruders through their camera, scaring them away, so I’m glad that both the Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery share this necessary feature.
The Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery actually have more differences than similarities. Let’s take a closer look and I can show you what I mean.
While the Arlo Pro 2 costs about $220, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is about $200, making a pretty small difference of $20. However, if you want to invest in an Arlo Smart Home or Ring Protect plan, your costs could increase with either camera. At the end of the day, it really depends on what features you want and what’s in your monthly or yearly budget. The good news is that all of Ring and Arlo’s plans are flexible, with a monthly option in case you want to cancel. While neither of these cameras are the cheapest option around, they’re both at pretty average prices compared to their competition.
Okay, so technically, both the Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery have infrared night vision, however, the Ring camera’s is clearly superior. I wasn’t impressed with the Arlo Pro 2’s 850 nm LED lights and think they could have benefitted from a few additional sensors.
On the other hand, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery has excellent infrared night vision plus color night vision if you have the spotlight on. Although I prefer infrared over color night vision, it being so much less conspicuous, I can’t really complain about having both options. So when it comes to night vision, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is definitely a better option than the Arlo Pro 2.
When it comes to storage, it’s a bit of a toss-up between both cameras. If you’re not looking to pay any fees, I’d go with Arlo. They give you local storage and a week of cloud storage completely free, while you’d need to invest in a Ring Protect Plan to get storage of any kind.
However, if you want more than a week’s storage, Ring is actually going to be a better bet. They offer 60 days of cloud storage for only $3 a month or $30 a year, while it would cost $14.99 a month or $149 a year with Arlo. Even 30 days of cloud storage will cost you $9.99 a month or $99 a year with Arlo, three times as much as Ring charges for twice the amount of cloud storage! So overall, go with Arlo if you don’t want to pay anything, but counter-intuitively, Ring if you want cloud storage for more than a week.
Apple HomeKit, IFTTT and Stringify Integrations
Although the Arlo Pro 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery both work with Alexa and Google Assistant, only the Arlo Pro 2 works with Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Stringify. What does that mean for you? Well, if you are in the Apple ecosystem, the Arlo Pro 2 is definitely a better choice, as you’ll be able to command it with Siri. Plus, if you are in a smart home with connected devices from many different brands, you’ll appreciate being able to easily create triggers and automated actions with IFTTT and Stringify. For example, you can have your smart light bulbs turn on to away mode as soon as your Arlo Pro 2 is armed so it seems like you’re home when you’re not, as the bulbs turn off and on periodically. When it comes to integrating into your smart home, the Arlo Pro 2 is a better bet.
Person detection uses artificial intelligence to differentiate between humans and other moving objects, everything from cars rolling down the street to dogs running across your neighbor’s lawn to leaves flying in the wind. Of course, the latter categories aren’t exactly essential information, while you’ll probably want to know if a person is in your house or on your property at all. Only the Arlo Pro 2 offers person detection if you buy an Arlo Smart plan, starting at only $2.99 a month or $29 a year. In my opinion, this is definitely worth the cost, as it’ll result in smarter, more specific notifications. Unfortunately, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery doesn’t have any A.I whatsoever, so Arlo clearly is the winner for this category.
Fields of View
Although both cameras have wide fields of view allowing for maximum visibility, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery’s is slightly larger at 140 degrees compared to 130 of the Arlo Pro 2.
Fields of Zoom
On the flip side, you’ll be able to zoom in eight times with the Arlo Pro 2, while you can’t zoom in at all with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. So overall, go with Arlo if you’d like more depth, and Ring if you’d like more breadth.
If you buy Arlo Smart Home, you’ll also be able to create activity zones with your Arlo Pro 2, which makes your notifications even more specific than ever. Activity zones let you divide the area that your camera views into sections, telling it which areas to focus on and which areas to ignore. For an outdoor camera, this will probably mean having your camera ignore the street and focus on your property only, so you only receive notifications that are relevant to your home’s security.
Unfortunately, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery lacks activity zones, which, along with their lack of person detection, can guarantee that you receive a lot of unnecessary notifications.
Another features that you’ll get with Arlo Smart Home is a safety button, a button that allows you to contact 911 without having to physically make the call. This could be a life-saving measure if you’re in the house when an intrusion occurs, or even if you’re in an Uber where you don’t feel safe. Unfortunately, Ring does not offer a safety button, so Arlo definitely wins when it comes to extra features.
Both Arlo and Ring offer apps for iPhone as well as Android devices, so that you can stay on top of your home’s security from anywhere in the world. But what can you actually do on these apps and how easy are they to use? Let’s take a closer look.
The Ring– Always Home App
From the Ring app, you’ll be able to livestream footage, speak through two-way audio, access storage, change your camera’s settings, and receive notifications, including crime and safety alerts from your neighborhood network. The app itself, unfortunately, has recently slipped a bit, with a 3.2 from the Apple store and a 2.9 from the Google Play store. Nancy J. Smyth, an Android user, wrote in a recent one-star review,
“Buggy app. At least once a week it stops giving me mobile notifications, and I have to clear the storage and the cache, and sign in again. Of course, I can’t predict when it will stop giving me notifications, so the reality is I can’t trust that I will be notified when someone’s at my door unless I happen to be home. That defeats one major purpose of having Ring.”
It seems like a recent update did more harm than good, which hopefully Ring can correct with the next update.
The Arlo App
The Arlo app is where you’ll use the exact same features, minus the crime and safety alerts. Unfortunately, it’s app ratings are even worse on the Apple store than the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery at only 2.9! However, the Android app has a decent 3.7 rating. Therefore, I’d recommend the Arlo Pro 2 to Android users much quicker than I would to iPhone users.
If I had to choose (and this is a hard choice, by the way), I’d choose the Arlo Pro 2 over the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, mainly for it’s person detection, superior smart platform integrations, and free storage. But this is a case that truly depends on what you’re looking for, which is why I broke it down even further.
I’d go with the Arlo Pro 2 if you’d like…
- Person detection: Although you have to purchase Arlo Smart Home to get person detection on the Arlo Pro 2, I like that it’s available as an option, unlike with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.
- Integrations with Apple HomeKit, IFTTT or Stringify: If you want to do voice commands with Siri or connect your camera to other connected devices for some triggers, the Arlo Pro 2 is by far the better choice.
- Free cloud and local storage: You’ll get local storage plus a week of free cloud storage on the house, unlike Ring which gives you no storage for free.
- Better Android app: The Arlo app has a 3.7 rating on the Google Play store.
Want to learn more? Read our full review of the Arlo Pro 2.
But stick with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery if you’re interested in…
- Superior infrared and color night vision: Not only does the Ring camera have better infrared night vision than the Arlo Pro 2, but it also has color night vision due to it’s white LED lights.
- Optional 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup: For only $10 a month or $100 year, you can have a team monitor your system and handle any emergencies if need be.
- More affordable price: The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery costs about $20 less than the Arlo Pro 2 and may also have lower monthly fees, if you choose the basic Ring Protect Plan.
- Better iPhone app: The Ring— Always Home app has a 3.2 rating on the Apple store.
For more information, read our full review of the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.
If neither camera sounds right for you, you might be interested in my list of the best outdoor security cameras of 2019. Or, leave a comment or question below and I’d be happy to answer as soon as possible. As usual, remember to be secure!