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Review: Arlo Go 2 – No WiFi required thanks to SIM card

Review: Arlo Go 2 - Do you need a smart security camera in a remote place? Then you're in the right place with the Arlo Go 2.

Arlo has released a new version of the Go. This smart security camera is the most flexible model in the Arlo range. The Arlo Go 2 does not necessarily need WiFi, but can be used anywhere thanks to a SIM card. That opens the doors to new locations for security.

People who have parked a caravan or motorhome or who have a boat somewhere know the feeling. You do not have your expensive purchase in sight and you prefer to keep an eye on it. But yes, a parking facility somewhere in the back or a marina in the middle of nowhere, how do you do that? And what about a holiday home, mobile home or just in the back of a large garden? You don’t have a WiFi network available everywhere. Introducing the Arlo Go 2. This smart battery-powered security camera can be placed anywhere, even in places where no WiFi network is available. You can insert a SIM card and use the 3G or 4G network. Mobile internet is available almost everywhere in the Netherlands, which means that you can now place a smart security camera in places that were previously not possible.

In fact, the Arlo Go 2 doesn’t do much different from Arlo’s other security cameras. This time, however, no 4k resolution as with the Arlo Ultra 2, but a modest 1080p resolution. Two-way communication, color night vision, an integrated floodlight and a built-in siren are all included. As a user, you will of course receive notifications of events and via an Arlo Secure subscription you will receive personalized detection with distinctions between people, animals and vehicles and 60 days of cloud storage. However, that is not necessary. You can also insert a micro SD card for local storage of the images. The Arlo Go 2 launches on July 1, 2022 for a suggested retail price of 299.99 euros.

Design and installation

The Arlo Go 2 is larger than the other cameras in Arlo’s range. Where the batteries of previous cameras sometimes run out just a little too quickly, especially in the cold winter months, the housing is now a lot bigger to make room for the new XL battery. Furthermore, it is again a typical Arlo camera in design with the large white housing and the black front where the spotlight is housed next to the camera. On the back you will find a hole where you can attach the mount and on the bottom a button to open the housing for access to the battery, SIM card and micro SD card. You will also find a contact point at the bottom for the supplied charger. It is again a solidly built security camera that seems to be able to take a beating. You can use the camera indoors, but also great outdoors. Rain is no problem.

According to Arlo, you can install the Go 2 anywhere in five minutes. And it is indeed not difficult. Download the Arlo app, add the Arlo Go 2 and follow the instructions. During installation, you choose the SIM card or WiFi. Arlo recommends installing over Wi-Fi first. Place the SIM card in a slot next to the battery, after which you can place the entire white cover over it. You can also place the micro-SD card here for local storage. The firmware update did take a while, so we didn’t get the promised five-minute installation. Other than that, the installation went smoothly. Mounting hardware is included in the box, so it really is a complete package. You also get three months access to Arlo Secure, Arlo’s subscription service with access to 30 days of cloud recordings, custom activity zones, smart notifications, smoke and co2 alarm detection, and more. You do not have to take out a subscription afterwards and you can also use the micro SD card excellently, but you also lack smart notifications with a distinction in people, animals, vehicles and other forms of movement.

Arlo app

The Arlo app, in addition to the Eufy Security app, is an example of how such an app should function. You have the home screen with connected cameras where you can quickly access a live view, you have the All Events Library and Mode where you can quickly adjust the security rules. Optionally, you can change the settings of the camera via the gear next to the live view. These are slightly different with this camera, because you can now also find the SIM card status in addition to the WiFi.

It is easy to change the security modes. You can choose how the camera should react. Do you want to receive notifications? Record videos? Should the spotlight be turned on? And when can the siren go off? You can do this automatically, but also via the live view. I recommend automating this, because the camera responds more slowly via live view if the 3g/4g connection is not optimal. If you automate the siren and the spotlight, this all happens very quickly via the camera itself.

In use

At home, the camera just uses the WiFi network, but do you take the camera with you? Then it automatically switches to the SIM card. We have no problem with the camera at home via WiFi. It all works just like the Arlo Pro 4,  Arlo Ultra 2 or the other cameras of the brand. What really sets this model apart is of course the SIM card. That has to be tried and so we take the camera on the road for a weekend. At home in the garden, the supplied Vodafone Smart Sim had hardly any range, but we can’t blame Arlo for that. It was nice that, despite the fact that the camera hardly seemed to respond, the videos were recorded. So if you don’t have range for a while, there are images. You will have that anyway with a micro-SD card where all images are directly stored locally, but some images were also stored via the cloud afterwards. Not everything, by the way, so a good connection to the mobile network is really important even in a remote place. Fortunately, this is generally well organized in the Netherlands, although there are differences between providers. T-Mobile works fine here, Vodafone does not.

We therefore look for a parking space in the middle of nowhere where the Vodafone SIM card has good coverage. And the camera turned out to work like a charm. And guess what, as soon as a good data connection has been established, the camera works almost as fast as at home via your WiFi network. You will receive notifications quickly and you can also quickly access the live view to see what is going on.

Anyway, the Arlo Go 2 actually reacts just like any other security camera. If you have a connection via a SIM card instead of WiFi, you may notice some delay. Our test model was supplied with a Vodafone SIM card. Its range isn’t great in my hometown, but it worked fine in other locations. So make sure you know which network has good coverage in your area. You mainly use the Arlo Go 2 in remote areas, so it is important whether a good mobile connection can be established. The camera is, incidentally, smart enough to carry out the automations you have entered, even if there is hardly any range. Have you set the siren and spotlight as well? Then any burglars in your caravan or holiday home are simply put in the bright light and chased away with the loud siren.

The image quality is good. Don’t expect top quality, but a 4k resolution via the SIM card would be disastrous for your data plan. The camera automatically switches the resolution back a bit if the range is less good. Thanks to the spotlight, night vision is again in color, which is really an added value. The Arlo Go 2 is basically a Arlo Pro 4 but with a slightly lower resolution and the option to insert a SIM card.

Battery and subscription

The only concern is the battery. Anyone who uses Arlo cameras more often knows that the battery can sometimes run out very quickly. Now that will not happen so quickly in the summer, but at colder temperatures you sometimes have to charge every month. The Arlo Go 2 therefore already has an XL battery, because Arlo also knows that this is a concern for many consumers. During the test period, we made full use of the camera, of course, but the battery runs out pretty quickly via the SIM card. You may have to take into account that you have to recharge the battery after two months during the cold months. That is of course not ideal for a remote area, but we cannot draw a real conclusion from this yet. The test period is too short for that.

Another downside is the subscription to Arlo Secure. You get three months free with the purchase of the camera. You can then use the Arlo Go 2 without a subscription and save images via a micro SD card. That works quite nicely. However, you miss a lot of smart functionalities, so that you almost feel forced to take out a subscription. And that will cost money. A subscription costs 2.99 euros per camera or 9.99 euros for unlimited cameras per month.

Conclusion – Arlo Go 2

Do you need a smart security camera in a remote place? Then you’re in the right place with the Arlo Go 2. Admittedly, there is little competition in the field of consumer security cameras with a SIM card, but due to the good quality of this model, you do not have to doubt which one to get. The price of 299 euros is hefty, but the good image quality, the spotlight, siren and the flexibility of WiFi and SIM card make up for a lot. The battery is a point of concern and you should also take the non-mandatory, but partly necessary subscription for granted.

Pros

  • Wifi and 3g/4g via SIM card
  • Excellent image quality
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Night vision in color
  • Spotlight and siren
Negatives

  • Battery sufficient capacity?
  • Subscription not required, but partly necessary
  • Purchase price

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