- Easy to install.
- Sharp 1080p video.
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands.
- Some features require a paid subscription.
- Lacks native IFTTT support.
The Canary View is an attractive indoor security camera that offers sharp video and intelligent motion alerts, but you’ll have to pay to use some of its other features.
Monitoring your home when you’re not there is easy to do with a security camera, and there are more on the market now than ever. The $99 Canary View is a 1080p indoor home security camera that sports a stylish design and offers a handful of welcome features including person detection and compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. Day and night video quality was excellent in our tests, and motion alerts arrived quickly. But certain features such as two-way audio and desktop streaming require a paid subscription and the camera does not support native IFTTT interactions.
Design, Pricing, and Features
Like the original Canary All-In-One, the Canary View is a good-looking camera that you can place out in the open. The 6.0-by-3.0-inch (HW) cylinder looks identical to the black or white All-In-One, but comes in a gray finish. Behind its glossy black panel are a 1080p camera with a 147-degree field of view and a 3x digital zoom. It uses 12 infrared LEDs to provide up to 25 feet of night vision. The base has an LED ring that glows white when the camera is in Away mode (ready to record motion) and is off when in Home mode (recording is turned off). It blinks white when the camera is trying to connect to a network and blinks red when the connection fails.
The camera has a microphone and a speaker, but as with other Canary cameras, you have to subscribe to a plan to use the two-way audio feature. It also has a motion sensor that uses an algorithm to differentiate between motion caused by a person and other objects such as a pet or a passing car. Connectivity comes by way of an 802.11n Wi-Fi radio (2.4GHz) and Bluetooth. Missing are the siren and environmental sensors that you get with the Canary All-In-One and the Sens8 cameras.
You can use the View without a membership subscription but features are limited. As previously mentioned, two-way audio won’t work, and you can’t access live video from the web app or download recorded videos. Moreover, you only get access to the last 24 hours of recorded video, and the clips are only 30 seconds long. For $9.99 per month or $99 per year, you get 30 days of recorded video and the clips last as long as the motion is taking place. In addition to two-way audio and desktop streaming you get unlimited downloads and access to Canary’s Incident Support service, which connects you to a live agent who will walk you through the process of retrieving video of an event. If you subscribe to a one-year membership the initial price of the camera drops to $49 (a $50 savings), and with a two-year membership the camera is free.
As is the case with the Canary All-In-One camera, the View is accessed using a free Android or iOS app. You can also use a web app to watch live video, but you’ll have to subscribe to a membership plan to do so. The mobile app opens to a home screen with the name of the camera and a Watch Live button that launches a live video stream. Turn your phone sideways to view the video in full-screen in landscape mode.
At the bottom of the screen are buttons to sound the siren, enable two-way talk (this also requires a subscription), and place an emergency call (you enter your emergency number in the settings menu). The View doesn’t have a built-in siren like the All-In-One camera, but if you have an All-In-One installed somewhere else in the house, the siren button will activate that alarm. Missing is the manual recording option that you get with cameras such as the Reolink Argus 2 and the D-Link Mini HD Wi-Fi Camera DCS-8000LH.
In the top right corner of the home screen is a three-bar button that takes you to a screen where you can manage your membership, edit your address, and configure the geofencing feature that uses your phone’s location services to automatically put the camera in Away mode (ready to record motion events) when you leave the house and back to Home mode (no recording and Watch Live enabled) when you return home. Here you can also invite other people to share access to the camera and add new devices to your account.
At the bottom of the home screen are buttons for switching modes and viewing the Timeline, which provides a list of all recorded motion recordings as well as all mode changes, geofencing changes, and firmware updates. Each video event is accompanied by a thumbnail of the video with a play button and the type of event (Person, Motion). Video can be shared via text and email messages, and you can download clips to your phone if you have a membership subscription.
Installation and Performance
Setting up the Canary View couldn’t be easier. I already had a Canary account from a previous review, but if this is your first Canary device you’ll have to download the app and create an account. I plugged in the device, tapped the three-bar button at the top of the home screen, then tapped Devices. I selected Add Canary Device and chose Canary View from the list. The illustrated instructions prompted me to touch the top of the View until the LED flashed blue, at which point the device appeared in the app. Once confirmed, the camera was paired to the app within seconds. I chose my Wi-Fi SSID, entered my Wi-Fi password, and gave the camera a name. It was immediately connected, and after a five-minute firmware update, setup was complete.
The View delivered top-notch 1080p video in testing. Daytime video streams were colorful, with sharp detail, and black-and-white night video appeared well-lit, with good contrast. Barrel distortion was minimal and two-way audio was loud and clear.
The motion sensor worked well and push notifications arrived quickly, but as we saw with the All-In-One camera, the View would occasionally send a person alert when it detected motion from my dog. I had no trouble viewing live video on an Amazon Echo Show using Alexa voice commands, and the geofencing feature worked like a charm, automatically switching between Away and Home modes as I left my house and returned. While the camera works with Alexa and Google Assistant, it doesn’t interact with other smart home devices and lacks support for IFTTT unless you use it with a Wink Hub.
If you’re in the market for an indoor security camera that delivers sharp video and looks good doing it, the Canary View is worth your consideration. Its sleek design lets you place it anywhere in your home and its 1080p camera provides excellent daytime and night vision video. The View’s motion detection works fairly well, and Alexa voice commands work perfectly. Two-way audio is also clean, but you have to subscribe to a membership to use it and to access live video using the web app.
On the other hand, if you want a camera that will trigger and be triggered by other smart devices in your home, our Editors’ Choice, the iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro, is your best bet. It costs around $70 more than the View, but you get a lot of features for your money, including motion tracking, mechanical pan and tilt, free cloud and local video storage, time-lapse recording, and interoperability with other smart devices via IFTTT.