Canary's smart security device doesn't stack upDespite impressive video quality and helpful "Homehealth" data, this all-in-one security gadget doesn't quite sing.
[MUSIC] Hey, I'm CNET's Ry Crist and I'm standing here beside Canary. This is the all in one home security device that did quite well on Indiegogo about a year and a half back. Now the big question here is how is Canary doing because back in January it didn't seem like the device was quite ready for prime time. Testing that now, it runs pretty smoothly. It's pretty to use the app. It's pretty easy to get it set up. And the camera works almost all the time. But one thing I wasn't pleased with as I dove back into my test with this thing, was that there still isn't an auto alarm function. You want this thing to sound the 90 decibel siren as soon as it sees someone enter your house in the middle of the night, right? Well the reason for that is because the thing is really sensitive. We ran it here in the office for a few nights and we have lights that go off on a staggered schedule. It would pick up each one of those lights going off, and send me an alert and say, "hey, I see something," and I'd say, "no, it's just a light going off." Now, it's kind of a good thing; you want this thing to be able to catch the smallest detail, but, you want it to be able to differentiate between irrelevant data, and actual threats. And, Canary is supposed to learn, but Canary hasn't really picked up on those differences yet. The Canary team tells me that takes a couple of months. So you would have to spend a lot of time just tagging these video clips before you would ever expect to see any sort of improvement in that sensitivity, which by the way, you can't adjust. This means that when Canary sees something while it is armed, it is going to send you an alert on your phone and leave the decision to turn the alarm on up to you. Another big problem is that I never received notifications when Canary went off line, when the power went out. So this means that if someone unplugs it before the alarm gets raised, it's basically blind and dead. And you don't get that alert and you don't get that video logged in your Canary app. Watch what happens. I'm gonna pull my app out here and arm the device. The. Light at the bottom turns green there, that tells you that it's armed. And what I'm gonna do is, I'm gonna wave my hand in front of it here, and trigger that motion sensor, and then yank this cord out real quick. And you see, my phone doesn't give me an alert, my phone doesn't say, hey, your Canary is offline suddenly. If someone were in the middle of burglarizing my home, I would have no idea. All in all this device is still not as thorough an option as I would want to protect my apartment. I'd rather have the [UNKNOWN] or my camera [UNKNOWN], I'd rather have dropcam, I'd rather have the Piper NV which does very well doing basically the same thing that Canary does. Given all those other options for cameras right now I just don't think this is the one that you want. [INAUDIBLE] Thanks for watching. Check out the rest of our smart home reviews here at cnet.com. For CNET Appliances, I'm Ry Crist. [NOISE]