The first thing you notice about the Canary when you crack the box open is how premium a product it feels. It’s more akin to buying a high end bit of tech like a smartphone or a SONOS wireless system than a normal security product. There’s a tight fitting black sleeve, and then the device itself, cradled in a white fitting- not a sight of bare cardboard to be seen!
The Canary itself is smaller than you might expect, about the height of a Halloween cat and only a couple of inches taller than a SONOS Play:3. The Canary is powered via micro USB, and is either wireless (2.4Ghz only) or can be hooked up via ethernet. I must admit, like a lot of hardware devices that need a smartphone app to set them up, I couldn’t get the device set up using an Android smartphone (in this case a Moto X) but had no problem with an iPhone.I had similar issues with Android when I was setting up a wireless storage device and another wireless alarm system recently, so it’s not just the Canary. It did work seamlessly with my iPhone and can he hardwired anyway.
Unlike a lot of tech security devices, it doesn’t look out of place on a shelf or in a living area, the Canary is very stylish.
As part of the secure set up, you have to connect an AUX cable to the Canary via the headphone jack and it plays some noises that tie the devices together. Once it’s set up, Canary learns, so the longer it’s on, the smarter the alerts it sends you are. It measures air quality, temperature and humidity too, so if you forget to shut a window in the middle of winter, it will alert you. The video alerts it sends are pretty clear, and everything is stored in the cloud for 30 days, which saves having to sort out complicated local storage solutions.
We’ve got the Canary set up in addition to a traditional burglar alarm as a second tier of security monitoring the inside of the house. Since it learns when we’re in and out, it’s not like you’re sitting there under constant monitoring from a camera. It’s good to know that the inside is being monitored as well as the perimeter!
If you’d like to win a Canary for yourself just enter the competition here.