WiFi-enabled baby monitors backed by mobile apps have been a huge failure thus far. Seriously, I dare you to find one with decent reviews. The problem is that we have too many baby focused companies trying to make technology. What we need is a successful technology company ready to make a baby monitor. And thanks to Netgear, we have just that. Meet Arlo Baby, a baby monitor with the specs of Arlo's already successful security camera plus a few surprises of its own.
- FHD Video
- Motion detection with customizable detection zones
- Includes kid-friendly skins
- Expensive compared to other baby monitors
- Tablet monitor costs extra
Arlo Baby vs. Arlo Wire-Free
I'm a fan of Arlo cameras—Arlo Wire-Free, Arlo Q, Arlo Pro, and Arlo Go—and hold great expectations for their baby monitor. But before we review it, let's talk about how it compares to Arlo Wire-Free.
There are major differences between Arlo Baby and Wire-Free. Arlo Wire-Free doesn't support audio, Arlo Baby does. This allows you to hear your baby's room and at the same time speak to your baby through your phone. It also enables Arlo Baby to detect sound, as we will discuss later.
They also differ regarding how "wireless" they are. Arlo Wire-Free can run on battery for months, but Arlo Baby needs more time plugged into an outlet. Although it has a rechargeable battery, it can only run on battery power for a few hours.
Another difference is the way the cameras are setup. Arlo Wire-Free works inside and outside of your home as it is weatherproof. Arlo Baby is designed to work indoors. Regardless, the two cameras are really installed the same way. You can mount them on your wall or let them sit on a flat surface. But Arlo Baby has an extra option, the adjustable Table/Wall Stand, which Netgear will sell for an additional $35. It can stand on the floor or a table, and it can also mount on a wall. The stand's height is adjustable. You can fold it short to watch your little one play on the floor during the day and then extend it at night to watch over your baby's crib.
Finally, Arlo Baby comes with cute animal skins to make it more at home in a nursery. Arlo Baby kit comes with a Bunny costume complete with bunny ears and toes. If you want, you can purchase either the Kitty or Puppy costume, which cost around $25 each. Although the skins don't hide the fact that Arlo Baby is still a camera, at least they tried to make it cute.
Despite the differences, Arlo Baby is still a part of the Arlo family. This means it will also integrate with the smart home products that Arlo works with such as SmartThings, IFTTT, and Stringify. Unfortunately, this also means that Arlo Baby will be counted against your 5-camera limit while using the free cloud subscription plan (see table under Video Storage). If you already have five Arlo cameras under one account, you will need to upgrade your subscription to a paid plan to make room for Arlo Baby.
Image and Video Quality
Arlo Baby is not that different from existing Arlo cameras in terms of image and video quality. It offers a 1080p resolution, a 25-foot night vision range, up to 8x digital zoom, and a viewing angle of 110° that you can adjust, probably using the app, up to 130°. While watching a live stream on your phone, you can also talk to your little one via Arlo Baby's two-way talk feature.
Netgear offers an optional 7" touchscreen tablet to serve as your monitor. It connects to Arlo Baby wirelessly and streams live video. The tablet has a retractable stand so you can prop it on your bedside table for easy access.
If you're worried about adding a cloud connected camera to your baby's room, perhaps knowing that the video streams are encrypted using bank-level encryption will make you feel a little better?
Added Baby-Friendly Features
As a camera that is part security camera, part baby monitor, Arlo Baby can do more than the average monitor. Like a security camera, it can detect motion and sound and send alerts to your smartphone. Its ability to detect motion is enhanced with motion detection zones, so you can select the areas you want to monitor while ignoring the rest. For example, you might want to monitor motion at the door to your baby's room while ignoring the crib. Or you might want to monitor for motion in the crib while ignoring everything else.
Like a baby monitor, Arlo Baby offers features designed for babies. For one, it offers Cry Detection. Of course, your baby's cry is probably enough to set off the sound sensor, but Arlo Baby can go the extra mile and tell you specifically if it hears your baby crying. It also includes an Air Sensor. Arlo Baby monitors the temperature, humidity, and the amount of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the air. When the air quality falls below the recommended range, you will receive a notification on your smartphone.
And last, Arlo Baby can help you send your baby to dreamland using its Smart Music Player and Smart Night Light. The Smart Music Player can play lullabies, white noise, or even a recording of your voice. You can remotely control what you want it to play using the smartphone app. The Smart Night Light, on the other hand, is an ambient light that offers thousands of shades to choose from and adjustable brightness and warmth. Like the music player, you can change the hue and control the brightness of the light from your phone.
One feature that Arlo cameras are known for is 7-Day FREE cloud storage, and yes, Arlo Baby has inherited this feature. You can store motion or sound events in the cloud for 7 days. Netgear also offers premium cloud features if you're willing to pay a monthly fee.
|Basic Plan||Premier Plan||Elite Plan|
| $0 per year||$99 per year||$149 per year|
|7 Days Cloud Recording||30 Days Cloud Recording||60 Days Cloud Recording|
|Up to 1GB Cloud Storage||Up to 10GB Cloud Storage||Up to 100GB Cloud Storage|
|30 Day Premium Trial||Unlimited Premium Access||Unlimited Premium Access|
|Supports 5 Cameras||Supports 10 Cameras||Supports 15 Cameras|
|1 Base Station||1 Base Station||3 Base Station|
|Standard Support||Unlimited Support||Unlimited Support|
A Quick Summary
I'm extremely optimistic about Arlo Baby. So much so that it went straight to the top as our number one recommended baby monitor. Of course, things could change if it doesn't perform as promised. Arlo has slightly mitigated this potential problem by closely modeling the monitor after their existing security camera. Also, the fact that Arlo Baby is made by Netgear should provide additional peace of mind. There are so many baby monitors made by "fly by night" companies. What happens if they go belly up? With Arlo Baby using the same cloud as Arlo Cameras, the chances of this happening are greatly reduced.
As of now, Arlo Baby is not yet for sale. Netgear plans to launch the monitor this spring. If you want, you can join their Pre-Order List to reserve a chance to be one of the first to order Arlo Baby. The default Arlo Baby kit will sell for $249.99 and includes the camera, a Bunny Skin, a power adapter, wall-mounting plate and screws, an Arlo decal, and free cloud storage. Another kit is available starting at $349.99 that adds the touchscreen tablet and the Table/Wall Stand.