The Canary All-in-One Home Security Device provides top notch video, a well designed app, the best sound quality of any camera we tested, and a decent real time viewing experience. We think the Nest Cam is the best security camera for monitoring, but only if you're willing to pay for a subscription. The Canary All-in-One is nearly as good and does offer some services without a subscription. We still feel that those services are somewhat limiting (a 24-hour history of 10-second motion activated clips), but they are a bit more generous than Nest's. So if you're looking for top notch video but don't want to pay for a subscription, this may be your best bet.
Canary All-In-One Security Device Review
Pros: Great video quality, useful non-subscription services
Cons: Real time viewing can be choppy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Below we discuss how well the All-in-One performed in each of our testing metrics.
The Canary All-in-One earned a score of 7 out of 10 in our monitoring performance test, well distancing itself from the low score of 4.
Monitoring Services With/Without a Subscription
Canary provides a 24-hour history of 10-second, motion activated clips without a subscription. It also provides activity zone masking, which is similar to Nest's activity zones that allow you to tell the camera where to ignore motion (like outside a window). This is a somewhat generous non-subscription offering but is far inferior to what Canary used to offer.
For $10 a month, Canary extends the available video history to 30 days of motion activated clips, extends the length of those clips to up to 10 minutes, and offers insurance deductible reimbursement of up to $1000 for, "…property insurance claims involving theft." This reimbursement is also unique to Canary. It also provides unlimited downloads for activity clips. This is fairly good, but for the same price Nest offer a 24/7 30-day video history.
The microphone on the Canary All-in-One is superb. It provided the best sound of any camera we tested. Conversations were always perfectly clear, even in a large, echoey room. The All-in-One does not offer 2-way audio, so you can't speak to someone if they pop up in the camera's view. If that person is an intruder you can sound a siren remotely. However, this siren wasn't incredibly loud and was easily ignored if it was going off behind a closed door. If 2-way audio is important to you, we would recommend the Nest Cam or the Arlo Q.
The Canary All-in-One shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in our video quality testing, putting it well ahead of the bottom score of 3.
Daytime videos look sharp and crisp with its 1080p resolution. We were able to consistently get recognizable screenshots of faces from its footage. The night vision was also quite good, but quick motions did take on a blurry quality. The only model that was slightly better than the All-in-One in this capacity was the Samsung SmartCam.
App Ease of Use
Canary's app earned a score of 7 out of 10 in our app ease of use testing. This put it right in the middle of a metric where scores ranged from 5 to 9.
The app makes it fairly easy to adjust settings and scheduling. The All-in-One also offers home health monitoring, which will send you a notification if the temperature of your home moves outside a certain range, or if the air quality changes (we put the All-in-One in one of our testers' homes and got an air quality alert when he heated up some wax for his skis). Adjusting settings for these features is easy within the app as well. It only received a 7 because, though easy to use, the app didn't feel quite as streamlined as the Nest app. Also, switching from live view to the menu requires a swipe down gesture, which some of our testers found annoying.
Real Time Viewing
The Canary All-in-One earned a 6 out of 10 in our real-time viewing tests. This made it about average, as scores ranged from 5 to 8, with a number of models scoring 5.
In our testing it had a mediocre latency time of 12 seconds. When we used it to view continuous motion the stream never stopped completely, but the picture did often get pixilated and blocky. If you're looking for a good real-time viewing model we would suggest the Nest Cam over the All-in-One.
The Canary All-in-One must be placed on a flat surface and plugged into a standard outlet. It does not come with any implements for mounting it on a wall.
The Canary All-in-One Home Security Device lists for $200, which is about average for a higher end security camera. On top of its great performance it also provides a decent suite of monitoring services without a subscription. If 24 hours of 10-second motion activated clips are all you need, the All-in-One is a great value. If you need a longer history the NETGEAR Arlo Q may be a better value.
The Canary All-in-One is a great option if you want high-quality video, are satisfied with a 24-hour video history of 10-second motion activated clips, and don't want to pay for a subscription. If you want something solely for real-time viewing, or don't mind paying for a subscription in order to get the best, look at the Nest Cam.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata