Canary was one of the first companies to introduce a security camera with an integrated siren, with the Canary Pro reviewed here being the company’s most current offering. But where other manufacturers have expanded the concept (the Abode Iota is one of the most notable), the Canary approach hasn’t evolved much.
A single camera does not make a home security system, not even for a small house, so Abode designed his Iota to work in conjunction with other types of discrete sensors: motion, doors and windows, etc. This allows you to improve your security ecosystem. piece by piece. If the Canary Pro camera does not detect an event, it may not have happened. The Canary app does it It supports multiple cameras, but standalone door / window and motion sensors are much less expensive to implement than full cameras, and they are also more granular in terms of intrusion detection.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best home security cameras, where you will find reviews of competing offerings, as well as a buyer’s guide on the features to consider when purchasing this type of product.
The good news is that Canary Pro is relatively inexpensive. In fact, it’s free if you pay for the premium service subscription at $ 13 / month or $ 129 / year, with a 24-month commitment. If you want to pay less each month, you can pay $ 169 up front for the hardware. Basic service is included with this option, or you can contribute another $ 99 per year for the premium service plan. I’ll outline the details of the plan in a moment.
Let’s start with a look at the hardware. It’s a no-nonsense indoor camera, a 6-inch tall, 3-inch wide single cylinder, with a camera lens on one side. The camera has a 147-degree field of view and records video at 1080p resolution. It requires full-time power and can connect to your network via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi or Ethernet. The latter is a good thing: I was never able to get the Canary Pro to connect to my wireless network (it kept crashing during firmware updates) and had to rely on a wired connection. After connecting directly to my router, the setup continued without a hitch, at least after going through a lengthy registration system that must be done on the Canary website.
The alarm part of the device is built around a fairly penetrating 90dB siren with three modes of operation: Away, Home and Night. The camera can switch between modes based on when multiple users come and go, or you can switch between them manually in the app. Night mode can be automated with a schedule.
Motion detection and night vision are included, but neither can be configured by the user. You can activate recording and / or notifications for certain types of movement (all movement or only people detection), for each of the three security modes. (The Canary user manual has a page on how to adjust motion sensitivity levels, but this option has been removed from the app, according to the company, as it has “evolved into the smart people detection feature.” ). In practical terms, there is no real difference between the various modes, as they can all be individually customized.
It is essential to note that the siren cannot and cannot be automated. It can ring on demand only, either while watching a live broadcast or recorded video, although there is little point in sounding the alarm while watching something that happened for more than a few seconds. in the past.
In other words, if you are away from home, you should wait for Canary to send you an automatic alert that someone is at home, then watch the video and choose to sound the alarm (and optionally have an agent send to police). , EMS or fire department if you have a subscription. However, keep in mind that there is no professional monitoring option; You must act to summon first responders.) Realistically, this feels so under-elaborated that the unit’s security features hardly deserve any level of consideration.
An interesting additional feature in Canary Pro is the weather management. The HomeHealth system tracks temperature, humidity, and air quality over time, and you can choose to be notified of extreme changes in these variables. It’s not a game changer, but it’s a useful feature if you don’t have another environmental monitoring system available. Google Assistant and Alexa devices are also supported. You can ask them about these readings, or if a registered user is at home or not.
Canary’s video quality is good and for the most part (though not always) she was able to distinguish a person from one of our cats during my tests. Its timeline system is packed with large thumbnails that comfortably pause to display the moving object on the screen. Too many competing products offer paused thumbnails at the beginning of the video, before something happens, which means it takes longer to find clips of interest. Night vision is the standard infrared variety, but range is good and clarity is solid.
If you don’t have the premium service plan, you will be limited to a single day of cloud-recorded video history and clips limited to 30 seconds in length. This is better than what some home security cameras offer (Ring, for example, doesn’t give you some recordings without subscription).
The premium plan extends this to 30 days of recording, with clips up to 10 minutes long. The premium plan also adds a few other small features, including two-way talk and unlimited clip downloads to your display device. While the basic service plan is decidedly basic, it’s arguably sufficient for some users, especially if you’re using the camera to, say, keep an eye on pets while you’re out of the house.
Ultimately, Canary Pro is a solid surveillance camera, although it doesn’t offer much of what you can’t get in competing products. If you already have a Canary, adding a Pro may make sense, as the additional devices only cost an additional $ 3 / month of $ 29 / year (again, if you’re comparing with Ring, a single Ring subscription covers as many Ring cameras as you do. own). However, you wouldn’t dream of relying on the device for protection needs. As a security system, it is not even close to being effective.