I tend to search Amazon and The Home Depot online a lot. I am not sure why, maybe it’s just a sickness I have. I tend to find weird and wild things, but I usually don’t post about them. I try to stay with practical items that could be useful. However I am making a pretty crazy list of weird things I found online together that I will be putting out in the next month or two. On The Home Depot online I came across a product called the Canary security camera. Then it dawned on me, we saw this same camera at the The Home Depot event. Thinking it was pretty cool, I had to get one to review, so here we are today.
There are a ton of security cameras on the market and finding the right one can be like finding your way through the Amazon forest. The Canary security camera says they are a little different and they should be the camera of choice when protecting your home, shop, site or garage. So are they right? While there is a lot to love about this camera, there are also some disappointments.
Canary Security Camera Overview
The Canary security camera is more than just a camera. The unit has multiple sensors and a 1080p camera. So when the unit detects motion, it will start recording and store the video in the cloud so you can view at another time through your smartphone. Besides watching live video or previously recorded video, the Canary will also monitor the surrounding environment. The unit will monitor temperature, humidity and air quality. For air quality, it will monitor Hydrogen, Carbon Monoxide, Ethanol, cigarette smoke and cooking odors. I am not sure if it monitors anything else because yesterday my son and I (we both have allergies), we started sneezing like crazy. It wasn’t more than 20 seconds later, I received a text on my phone saying the air quality was abnormal. With that said, I really don’t need a heads up since I knew it was bad because we were sneezing. However it’s nice to get the alert if I am out, so I know to open the windows when I get home or I will be going bonkers with my sneezing. Since it can measure the air quality, I would love to be able to know what’s in the air to make it abnormal instead of the generic abnormal message. It also uses geofencing to arm and disarm itself so you don’t have to.
The Canary is sleek looking and attractive. You can get the unit in either white or black to help blend into the surroundings. The unit only weighs .87 lbs and is 6″ high by 3″ in diameter. While the unit is round in shape, the front is flat. On the flat part of the unit lays the camera and sensors. You have a 147° viewing angle, a 3 times zoom and 12 infrared LED, which are for night vision. On the back of the unit, you have a couple of ports. There is an Ethernet port if you want to hard wire the unit, there is a micro USB power port and port if you want to create a secure connection between the camera and your phone or tablet. On the bottom of the unit, there are LED lights that give you a visual alert of the status. Blinking red means it’s searching for a network connection and solid red when it’s offline. A solid green light means the Canary is armed and yellow means it’s disarmed. On the bottom is also where it measures the air quality, humidity and temperature. The speaker for the 90 dB siren is also located on the bottom.
Setting up the Canary security camera really couldn’t be easier. Just download the app, plug the unit in and follow the directions. You have to sign up for a free account which is just your email and password. Then you can pair the device and enter your WiFi password. There is a ton you can do with the app such as sound the alarm, view videos, check air quality, set up emergency contacts and more.
Canary Security Camera Positives
The camera is incredible and can easily see faces and other objects. I love being able to see what’s happening live or look back at previous recordings. One thing that really amazed me was the night camera. I have seen other cameras where the day camera is great, but the night camera is awful. With the Canary, the night camera is crisp and clean. You will be able to easily make out what is happening in front of the camera.
Now I know some of the reviews knock the user interface of the Canary, but I tend to like it. The app is easy to navigate. Everything you need is right on the homepage of the app. You can watch a live video, see the air quality, set the unit to home, away or night and view timeline. When you watch the video feed live, you will be able to see the time, sound the alarm or place an emergency call to your local fire or police department. As a side note, the unit was smart when it was set up. It automatically puts the correct police and fire department numbers in place. While it did put the non-emergency number in, it still had the correct number. When you watch a previously recorded video, you will have more options. You can still see the time, but you will also be able to share the video, tag it or bookmark it for quick retrieval, plus download or delete the video. You can also add notes to the video like the milkman was here again for the third day in a row.
In regards to the sensitivity, this is a pro and a con. While you want to be able to detect the slightest movements, there are also false alarms. For me, I would rather have a camera with high sensitivity. I have noticed that sometimes a car will drive by and the reflection of the sun will trigger the camera and a text alert. While this is a false activity, it does have to have this in case someone is walking around and they have a flashlight. So with the sensitivity, this is something you will have to get used to.
As I said before the set up is easy and painless. There is nothing more annoying then getting a product and you have to spend hours trying to learn it and figure out how to use it. So I am happy that the Canary is very easy to use and set up.
I love the fact it can monitor the air quality around. Now I am sure there are plenty of benefits to this, I think the biggest benefit is for temperature. When you’re out or on vacation, it’s nice to know your heater or A/C unit is still working.
The last item I love about the Canary security camera is the looks. The unit is sleek and can easily blend in with decor. It’s not a product that stands out like a sore thumb. With offering the unit in either white or black, anyone can make this fit into their surroundings.
Canary Security Camera Negatives
While the Canary has a lot to offer, there are some things that I am not too fond of. While the Canary has a nice speaker, unfortunately it’s not a two way speaker. Not that it’s a huge deal, but it would be nice to talk with the person on the other end. Not that I want to talk with a burglar and ask him how his day is going, but for family, it’s nice. I would also like to tell the milkman we have enough milk and don’t need anymore.
Another thing I would like to get is an alert when the system is offline. Now I understand that when it’s offline, how would it send an alert, but that’s not my problem to figure out. I would like some form of an alert if the system goes offline and is just a paperweight at that time.
The biggest thing that may stop me from buying the system is their pricing plans. While you get a 7 day free trial, the plans are rather expensive. I know, you can’t put a price on safety, but here we are. They charge $9.99/month or $99 for the year. If you add more devices, the price goes up from there. I know it’s only $10/month, but I look at products like the ring and that is only $30/year. Now I am not saying I am not going to spend the $99, but it will get me to look at other security camera options first.
Canary Security Camera Conclusion
Overall I like this camera. While I do wish the plans were less expensive and you could have a two way chat with the burglar, the pros make up for what it’s lacking. The camera is high quality and even at night, you can easily see what’s going on. While some people complain about the user interface, I found it very nice and easy to use. I think this is a high quality camera that would work perfect for any area in your house, shop, site or garage.
Canary Security Camera Hardware
Canary Security Camera Software