Last year Arlo filled a conspicuous hole in its smart-home camera lineup with the introduction of its Video Doorbell. The video quality and feature set were pretty compelling, made all the more so by its affordable price. And while there were a few software shortcomings early on, updates ultimately addressed nearly all of our concerns. Really, the only real sticking point was that you needed an old, wired doorbell with a transformer for power and chime. Now Arlo's finally a battery-powered alternative with the new Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell.
Just like the original Video Doorbell, the Wire-Free has a 180-degree (diagonal) viewing angle, supports HDR and IR night vision, and can connect directly to your Wi-Fi network, removing the need for an Arlo Smart Hub. If all that sounds familiar, it's because this new model is basically a spec-for-spec carbon copy of the wired first-gen Video Doorbell — that is, with the one critical change of now packing its own battery.
Unlike the Arlo Audio Doorbell, which takes a pair of AAs, the Wire-Free Video Doorbell will use an internal rechargeable battery. Exactly what capacity, Arlo has yet to say, but the company does clarify that users should expect between 3 and 6 months of operation on a charge. If that proves to be too limiting, the hardware still supports wired power, just like the original.
What's this upgrade going to cost you? While the wired Video Doorbell goes for about $150, the Wire-Free bumps that up to $200. Compared to the expense of putting in new wiring, that's probably going to be worth it to a lot of shoppers. Pre-orders are opening now, ahead of retail availability sometime this holiday season.
Up next, Arlo tells us to look forward to a new model of its wireless Chime early next year, all ready to connect with the Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell.