After a few performance issues, the Arlo Ultra 4K camera is no longer available from Best Buy or Amazon. In early January 2019, the Arlo Ultra was named as an honoree at CES 2019’s Innovation Awards before it was released to the public later that month. However, after numerous customer complaints, Arlo was forced to release several firmware updates before completely removing the camera from public sale.
One of the Arlo Ultra’s main draws, its 4K resolution, did not work for many customers. 4K means that the image will have twice as many pixels as it would in 1080p HD, the industry standard. However, most smartphones do not support 4K resolution, which takes 3840 by 1920 pixels. The iPhone XR, Apple’s most recent iteration of their flagship smartphone, can only handle 1792 by 828 pixels, so users are unlikely to see a major difference. On 4K-capable devices, many found that their footage was not shot in 4K, even when it was on the proper setting. Moreover, many customers complained that the Arlo Ultra drained their batteries.
James C., an Arlo Community manager, wrote on the Arlo website’s Support section:
“Our product team as well as Best Buy decided to take the product offline to limit the sales to their physical retail channel to take advantage of the expertise of the Best Buy in-store associates as we issued several firmware updates to address some of the unique issues in certain environments,”
On Best Buy, the Arlo Ultra is available for pre-order, but there is no release date announced. On Amazon, a four-camera Arlo Ultra kit is available from Netgear, but Arlo itself has completely removed the Ultra from its offerings.
Before Arlo pulled its product from Best Buy and Amazon, they had performed four firmware updates on the Ultra, dating January 16, 21st, 30, and 31. The updates had addressed issues like video corruption, image quality, camera timeout issues, charge voltage, and audio improvements for library clips. It remains to be seen when the Arlo Ultra will be available for an extended period.
This is not the first time that Arlo has experienced performance issues on its devices. In May 2018, the Arlo app faced a DNS issue, causing the app to crash . Last December, Netgear had to recall some of their Arlo camera power adapters after they were deemed a fire hazard. More on this story as it develops.