Canary Pro

One-minute review

Canary may not be a name you’re familiar with when it comes to home security cameras, but the brand has been in the space since 2013, when it launched a Kickstarter program for its first consumer security camera. So while Canary can match stalwarts such as Arlo and Ring when it comes to years of experience, how do their home security cameras measure up?

First launched in 2016 under the Canary All-in-One moniker, but changing to Canary Pro in 2018, this is the brand’s top-of-the-range home security camera. It records Full HD footage in color during the day, and in black-and-white at night, through the camera’s 147-degree lens.

The model builds on the Canary View, the brand’s mid-range home security camera, with the addition of a 90db siren that can be triggered manually from the app, and three HomeHealth sensors capable of monitoring the temperature, humidity, and air quality in your home. 

If the camera detects motion, it will push out an alert to your smartphone, encouraging you to log-in and view the camera’s live feed. It also stores short video clips of the activity, up to 30 seconds in length, which can be reviewed for the next 24 hours, for no extra cost. 

If you want to review these video clips for longer, you’ll need to subscribe to Canary Premium, which is priced at $8.25 / £7.99 per month. You’ll also need this if you want to use the camera’s built-in microphone to converse with anyone in its field of view. The camera is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant – but, unfortunately, there’s no support for Apple HomeKit. 

The Canary Pro is more affordable than other Arlo Pro and Arlo Ultra models, but it’s expensive compared to the rest of the market. That said, if you’re looking for a camera that can record detailed footage without the need for a base station, or you’d like to upgrade from an Arlo Pro 2 or earlier model – which only records video in Full HD – then it's worth the investment.

Look down on the Canary Pro on a dark wood surface

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Canary Pro price and availability

  •  List price  $169 / £159

The Canary Pro is priced at $169 / £159 and is available from Canary’s website as well as through Amazon in the US and the UK. It isn’t currently available in Australia. 

The home security camera will store a day’s worth of video clips of motion detected for free, but to expand this storage to 30 days, ensure video clips last the full-length of the incident rather than just 30 seconds, and access the two-way talk feature so you can converse with anyone in the camera’s field of view, you’ll need to subscribe to Canary Premium. This costs $8.25 / £7.99 per month.

The back of the Canary Pro on a dark wood surface

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • Mains-powered
  • Freestanding
  • Bulky design

As home security cameras go, the Canary Pro is a pretty bulky device. Available in black or white, the Canary Pro measures 3 x 6 x 3 inches / 7.6 x 15.2 x 7.6cm (w x h x d). A cylindrical device, the Canary Pro is made primarily from matt black plastic, with a glossy black strip on the front. A disc at the top houses the 147-degree camera lens, which records Full HD footage when motion is detected. Unlike most home security cameras, this unit doesn’t require a stand – but, as a result, you can’t angle the camera to ensure its field of view covers the entirety of the area you want. It can’t be wall-mounted, either. 

On the back is a micro-USB socket for connecting the bundled power cable, and an Ethernet port for those who wish to use a wired internet connection with the security camera, although Wi-Fi is built-in too. On the bottom is an LED light that glows blue during setup, and white when the camera is recording as a result of detecting motion, or when someone is watching the camera’s live feed. 

The Canary Pro has a built-in 90db siren, which can be sounded manually from the app, as well as a microphone. However, you can only converse with someone in the camera’s field of view if you subscribe to Canary Premium. 

Setting up the camera was relatively simple. We downloaded the app and created an account – which, along with upgrading your subscription, can also be done via Canary’s website. Our phone was able to find the Canary Pro and connect it to the internet on entering our password. We were impressed that during set-up, we were asked to select from various options about how the camera behaves when we’re at home and away from the property. Using your phone’s location to arm and disarm a security camera is a common feature among such security cameras, but most devices leave it up to the user to find and set this option up themselves. 

The Canary Pro on a dark wood surface with some glassware behind it

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Performance

  • Clear, detailed footage throughout the day and at night
  • 140-degree field of view displays a slight fisheye effect 
  • Includes temperature, humidity and air quality sensors

On test, we found the footage recorded by the Canary Pro to be clear and detailed, both during the day and at night, although note that footage recorded in low light will be in black and white.  While the 140-degree field of view created a slight fisheye effect on the video, we found it didn’t detract in terms of clarity.

The Canary Pro was effective at differentiating motion from humans and other sources, such as animals. Plus, we also didn’t suffer unwanted alerts as a result of car headlights reflecting in the window, as we’ve experienced with some other home security cameras. 

However, we did find that once the camera had spotted a person, it wouldn’t alert us or store footage if a person appeared again, until ten minutes had passed – although this isn’t the case if you subscribe to Canary Premium. Similarly, as we’ve already mentioned, the two-way talk function is also only available if you subscribe to Canary Premium. 

There are a range of modes that allow you to arm or disarm the camera, and we found the geofence function that uses your phone's location to arm or disarm the camera based on when you’re at home or away from the property effective. There’s also a 90db siren that can be triggered manually from the app, but won’t sound automatically when motion is detected. 

The temperature and humidity sensors proved accurate when readings were compared to those from our smart thermostat, and all of the data including information from the additional air quality sensor is displayed in the app as a graph.

The app used to control the Canary Pro home security camera

(Image credit: TechRadar)

App

  • Easy to navigate
  • Integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant 
  • Subscription required to access all features

The Canary app has a simple interface that's clear and easy to navigate. As soon as the app is launched, you’re presented with a list of any Canary devices in your home. Tap the Watch Live button under each to view the camera’s real-time feed, and for the Canary Pro, you can view the current temperature, humidity and air quality in the room as well. 

The home screen offers quick access to the modes that control how the camera behaves when you’re at home and away from the property, while the View Timeline section at the bottom lets you see the footage recorded by all of your Canary cameras in chronological order. Just tap on a video clip to watch it in full. 

Note, though, that if you don’t subscribe to Canary Premium, the home security camera will only store one video clip of motion every 10 minutes, which may mean you struggle to track all of an intruder's movements, or get a complete picture of what your pet gets up to when you’re not around. Similarly, you won’t be able to download any footage captured by the Canary Pro unless you subscribe to Canary Premium, which costs $8.25 / £7.99 per month – which is slightly more expensive than rival plans from Arlo and Ring. 

The Canary Pro is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can ask Amazon’s voice assistant to show the camera’s live feed on an Amazon smart display, such as the Echo Show 10, or on your TV if you have an Amazon Fire stick connected. If you use Google Assistant in your home, then you ask Google to give you an audible update on the temperature, humidity or air quality from the Canary Pro.

The side of the Canary Pro on a dark wood surface

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Should I buy the Canary Pro?

Buy it if...

You want a simplistic home security camera
During setup, the Canary Pro makes it easy to adjust how the camera behaves when you’re away from the property or at home. This means you can pretty much forget about the camera. 


You want climate information
As well as letting you check in on your home when you’re not around, the Canary Pro also tracks the temperature, humidity, and air quality of the room it’s in, making it ideal for those who want a fuller picture of the climate in their home.  


You have other Canary devices
If you already have other Canary products, or anticipate buying them, it makes sense to choose the Canary Pro as your wireless home security camera.  


Don't buy it if...

You don’t want to pay for a subscription
The Canary Pro is an effective home security camera but to access all of its features, including two-way talk and the ability to download footage, you need to subscribe to Canary Premium. If you want a home security camera that doesn’t require a subscription, look elsewhere.  

You want color night vision
Unlike home security cameras from Arlo and Ring, the Canary Pro doesn’t record night-time footage in color. If this is a priority for you, then consider other home security cameras. 


You want a compact device
The Canary Pro is pretty bulky compared to other home security cameras, and is best avoided if you’re after a smaller device.  



First reviewed: August 2021

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