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Best HD Security Cameras: 1080p vs. 4K

Best overall HD cameraBest outdoor HD cameraBest CCTV HD camera
CameraArlo UltraAmcrest UltraHDAvalonix 4K
What it looks likeArlo HD Security CameraAmcrest Ultra HD CameraAvalonix 4K Dome Camera
Price$399.99$119.98$299.99
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Camera
What it looks like
Price
Shop now
Best overall HD camera Best outdoor HD camera Best CCTV HD camera
Arlo Ultra Amcrest UltraHD Avalonix 4K
Arlo HD Security Camera Amcrest Ultra HD Camera Avalonix 4K Dome Camera
$399.99 $119.98 $299.99
View on Amazon View on Amazon View on CCTV

Screen resolutions are getting better, and not just for televisions. Although the current standard for security cameras is 1080p, a handful of developing surveillance cameras now offer 4K video resolution.

They cost more, but 4K cameras serious boost your security. HD security cameras with 4K resolution provide four times the image quality of a 1080p camera, letting you hone in on important details like an intruder’s face or the license plate of a getaway vehicle.

If you’re looking for a security camera upgrade, here are the 4K cameras we like the best.

Top three HD security cameras

  1. Arlo Ultra
  2. Amcrest UltraHD POE Bullet Camera
  3. Avalonix 4K IP Dome Camera

Best HD security cameras comparison table

1. Alro Ultra**2. Amcrest UltraHD Bullet Camera3. Avalonix 4K IP Dome Camera
Product imageArlo HD Security CameraAmcrest Ultra HD CameraAvalonix 4K Dome Camera
Price*$399.99$129.99$299.99
Indoor/outdoorIndoor and outdoorOutdoorIndoor and outdoor
Field of view180°112°88°
Night vision25 ft.131 ft.100 ft.
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Product image
Price*
Indoor/outdoor
Field of view
Night vision
View product
1. Alro Ultra** 2. Amcrest UltraHD Bullet Camera 3. Avalonix 4K IP Dome Camera
Arlo HD Security Camera Amcrest Ultra HD Camera Avalonix 4K Dome Camera
$399.99 $129.99 $299.99
Indoor and outdoor Outdoor Indoor and outdoor
180° 112° 88°
25 ft. 131 ft. 100 ft.
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**Standard retail prices as of 2/5/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and can vary by retailer.
**Arlo Ultra is currently available for preorder only.

#1 Arlo Ultra review: Best user-friendly HD security camera

Arlo HD Security Camera

Tech specs

  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.9 in.
  • FOV: 180°
  • Power source: Battery
  • Night vision: 25 ft.
  • Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home Hub, Apple Watch

Arlo Ultra pros and cons

Pros

  • Automatic zoom and intelligent tracking
  • Weatherproof construction
  • Color night vision
  • Two-way audio with noise cancellation
  • Ability to recognize people, packages, vehicles, and animals

Cons

  • High price
  • Hub required
  • Arlo Smart subscription required for advanced features

Why Arlo Ultra made the list

Arlo Ultra has an impressive 180° panoramic field of view, among the highest FOV we’ve seen on the market. And the Arlo Ultra has some other unique touches too, like two-way audio with wind and noise cancellation, and color night vision.

Features and flaws

We like that Arlo Ultra can send alerts to your mobile device when your camera spots people, packages, vehicles, or animals. We’re also impressed by the camera’s autozoom and tracking capabilities and how the camera can intelligently adjust to an intruder’s movements.

All that upgraded technology is great, but it’ll cost you: at $399.99, Arlo Ultra is one of the most expensive 4K HD security cameras we looked at. Part of that is because it comes with Arlo’s SmartHub—it won’t work without it.

The Arlo Ultra is a new entry in the world of 4K security cameras, so there are still some growing pains: some customers complain about connectivity and problems with software. But once Arlo sorts those issues, we think the Ultra has the potential to be the most versatile 4K security camera out there.

ASL Our Choice

ASL recommends

Arlo Ultra is a great HD security camera if you’re looking for a no-fuss installation process, unique features, and ultrahigh-definition video.

#2 Amcrest UltraHD Bullet Camera: Best outdoor HD security camera

Amcrest Ultra HD Camera

Tech specs

  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 4.1 in.
  • FOV: 112°
  • Power source: POE
  • Night vision: 131 ft.
  • Compatibility: Amazon Alexa

Amcrest UltraHD pros and cons

Pros

  • Excellent night vision
  • Weatherproof construction
  • Ultra HD playback
  • Local video storage and cloud storage
  • Lower cost than other 4K cameras

Cons

  • No audio
  • Power over Ethernet requirement
  • No 4K playback over cloud

Why Amcrest UltraHD Bullet Camera made the list

The Amcrest UltraHD Bullet Camera has crisp 4K video and playback, which is impressive considering it’s one of the cheaper security cameras available.

Features and flaws

We like this camera’s long-range night vision and the option to save video to local video storage via an SD card or Amcrest’s cloud.

Unfortunately, Amcrest’s cloud doesn’t support 4K playback. And Amcrest UltraHD Bullet Camera doesn’t support audio, so you won’t be able to communicate with a delivery person via two-way communication.

Also, this Amcrest camera uses power over Ethernet (POE) as a power source, which can be tricky to install without the help of a professional. Fortunately, POE devices work well in areas where Wi-Fi tends to be spotty, like more rural areas.

ASL Our Choice

ASL recommends

The Amcrest UltraHD Bullet Camera is a solid security camera that works well without a ton of extra features. If you’re looking for a straightforward 4K HD security camera, this is a high-value pick.

#3 Avalonix 4K IP Dome Camera: Best HD CCTV security camera

Avalonix 4K Dome Camera

Tech specs

  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 3.2 in.
  • FOV: 88°
  • Power source: POE or power adapter
  • Night vision: 100 ft.
  • Compatibility: N/A

Avalonix 4K pros and cons

Pros

  • Long-range night vision
  • Indoor and outdoor capability
  • Weatherproof construction

Cons

  • Compatible 4K NVR recorder required (not included)
  • No cloud storage

Why Avalonix 4K IP Dome Camera made the list

This dome camera may be small, but it has a lot of features: face detection, night vision at up to 100 feet, and a MicroSD card slot that supports up to 128GB of storage.

Features and flaws

The Avalonix 4K IP Dome Camera is versatile and can be mounted on a ceiling or a wall. It works indoors and outdoors.

But it’s an investment. Recording video requires a compatible 4K NVR (network video recorder)—those start at $249.99. And the only compatible power sources are POE or a power adapter.

ASL Our Choice

ASL recommends

The Avalonix 4K IP Dome Camera is a heavy-duty security system that requires multiple purchases. We recommend this for bigger jobs, like large homes and apartment buildings.

1080p vs. 4k: What’s the difference?

Most security cameras are marketed as HD, with a resolution of 1080p. Resolution comes down to pixels. 1080p, or full HD, measures out to 1920×1080 pixels in a screen. But 4K, or Ultra HD, measures out to 3840 x 2160—four times the pixels as 1080p, and four times the quality.

Because 4K cameras offer greater detail, they allow you to zoom in with much more clarity than 1080p.

Because 4K cameras offer greater detail, they allow you to zoom in with much more clarity than 1080p. You’ll be able to access details like license plates or a person’s features. But be ready to invest. To view the 4K footage, you’ll need a 4K-compatible screen, which may mean upgrading your phone. The 4K video also takes up more bandwidth and storage.

If the clearest picture isn’t your highest priority and you’d rather not spend that much, a security camera with 1080p has a clear enough picture to satisfy. We’ve rounded up the best doorbell cameras, the best outdoor cameras, and the best security cameras that will help keep your home secure.

How we chose

Because the technology of 4K is so new, most security cameras max out at 1080p. Once we found a good selection of ultra HD security cameras, we focused on functionality: night vision capabilities, field of vision, and any special features worth noting. We also looked at reviews of both the products themselves and of their respective brands.

Other brands we considered

Q-See

QSee Camera HD
Q-See’s 4k Wi-Fi Cube Camera has 16x digital zoom for enhanced image clarity, passive infrared (PIR) heat-sensing motion detection that reduces false motion alerts, and night vision up to 30 feet away. But there are too many user complaints of Q-See’s weak software and poor customer support for us to recommend it.

Our recommendation

For most people, a 1080p surveillance camera will do the job. But if you need a 4K security camera, we recommend the Arlo Ultra for its versatility and user-friendliness. We like its thoughtful approach to improving security camera basics, like adding noise reduction to two-way audio and including autozoom and tracking. If you can wait out some of Arlo Ultra’s growing pains, it’s a great HD security camera.

>>Get the ultra HD experience. Buy the Arlo Ultra from Amazon here.

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3 responses to “Best HD Security Cameras: 1080p vs. 4K”

  1. Hey there, thanks for bringing this up. Your suggestions definitely bring up a good point and we’ll look into including bullet cameras in our next edit. What ones do you prefer?
    Best,
    Amy

  2. Following is the support I received after purchasing my system from Costco. If you review the iPhone app store reviews there is a known issue that Lorex is not solving. I have attempted calling Lorex, CostCo, used the online chat and online FAQ. Only the online chat reponded but their response was that they do not support iPhones:

    mobile app is not responding.

    it used to work now it keeps telling me that it can not reach the server when I launch it

    Tadeo

    Hello! Thank you for contacting LOREX chat, my name is Tad. How can I help you?

    mobile app is not responding. it used to work now it keeps telling me that it can not reach the server when I launch it

    Tadeo (Lorex)
    Do you have the latest updated version?

    Me: yes

    4.3.0

    Are you still there?

    Tadeo (Lorex)
    Yes, I’m here
    Can you give me the model nbumber?
    Please

    Me: 4KHDIP86 purchased from Costco

    Me: 6100series I believe

    Tadeo (Lorex)
    Ok

    Me: Are you still there?

    Tadeo (Lorex)
    Yes, one moment please
    Do you need it for Android or iPhone?

    Me: iPhone

    Tadeo (Lorex)
    Ok
    I can’t seem to find the app tight now
    I guess its not iPhone supported as of now

    Me: That makes no sense at all because I downloaded the app from iphone and it was working.I have logged a ticket ,called in for support and used this chat tool and no one is helping/responding to me. I am very frustrated

    Tadeo (Lorex)
    Thank You,
    Lorex Support.

  3. Great question! The Lorex does have 65 ft. night vision and a 65 degree field of view with 420 TVL. The secure video signal covers up to 150 ft. indoors and 450 ft. outdoors. Plus, it’s got 1 year warranty, is weather resistant, and has motion detection. It might be what you’re looking for.

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