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Canary View review:Canary's View security system is missing some important stuff

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The Good Canary's $99 View is the least expensive all-in-one security system you can find. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and has free person alerts.

The Bad You have to subscribe to Canary's cloud service to access basic features like two-way talk, the web app and longer video clips. The View doesn't have a siren.

The Bottom Line The Canary View is a decent, affordable system if you want something basic, but it's missing too many features to be a strong all-in-one security device.

6.7 Overall
  • Features 6
  • Usability 7
  • Design 7
  • Performance 7

Canary's $99 (£75 and AU$125 converted) View security system was inspired by the startup's original $169 All-in-One camera, but instead of replacing the All-in-One, Canary now sells both. In order to distinguish between the two largely identical-looking systems, the View is more affordable, in theory letting more people buy into Canary's DIY home security universe, but at the expense of advanced features like temperature and humidity sensors, a siren or an Ethernet port. 

Although the View is minimal by comparison, it offers some surprising free options like person alerts and auto-arming/disarming tied to your phone's location. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as Wink. Weirdly, though, Canary charges for things you usually get for free, like two-way audio and access to a web app. 

The View works fine as a camera, but it at least needs a siren to count as a full-fledged all-in-one security system. I'm also truly confused that Canary is charging for two-way audio. Get the View if you want a decent, affordable security camera, but don't expect a self-contained security device here. 

A closer View

Canary was one of the first startups to introduce an "all-in-one" security system -- a single, plug-in device complete with an HD camera, arming and disarming capabilities and a built-in siren to scare away intruders. Basically, if you either can't have, or don't want, an accessory-heavy security system, a self-contained model offers a small-scale alternative with minimal hassle (and often, less expense). 

Check out the chart below to see how the View compares to competing systems like Guardzilla's 360, LG's Smart Security and Canary's own All-in-One: 

Comparing all-in-one security systems


Canary View Guardzilla 360 LG Smart Security Canary All-in-One
Price $99 $230 $200 $169
Color finish Gray Black and gray Black Black, white
Type Indoor only Indoor only Indoor only Indoor only
Power source Adapter Adapter Adapter Adapter
Resolution 1080p HD 1712p HD 1080p HD 1080p HD
Field of view 147 degrees 360 degrees 130 degrees 147 degrees
Live streaming Yes Yes Yes Yes
Siren No 100-decibel 93-decibel 90-decibel
Continuous recording No No Yes No
Cloud storage Free 24-hour event-based video history (optional 30-day event-based video history for $10 per month) Free 48-hour event-based clips (Optional Pay $5 per month for 7- or 30-day clip storage for $5 or $9 per month; professional monitoring available for an additional fee) No free option. 7-day/30-day continuous cloud storage for $10/$30 per month; professional monitoring for $20 per month; 7-day/30-day continuous cloud storage and professional monitoring for $25/$40 per month Free 24-hour event-based video history (optional 30-day event-based video history for $10 per month)
Local storage No No No No
Mobile app Yes, Android and iPhone Yes, Android and iPhone Yes, Android and iPhone Yes, Android and iPhone
Web app Yes, with optional cloud subscription No No Yes, with optional cloud subscription
Night vision Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alerts Motion, person Motion Motion, tamper Motion, person
Activity zones Yes No No Yes
Two-way audio Yes, with optional cloud subscription Yes Yes Yes, with optional cloud subscription
Third-party integrations Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Wink Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Nest (SmartThings coming soon) Amazon Alexa, Built-in Z-Wave hub Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Wink

Looking at this chart, the View's obvious advantage is its low price. If you don't care about having a siren, then it could be the right choice. That said, you'll have to pay $10 per month for a "Canary Membership." That includes 30-day video clip history, two-way audio, access to the web app and longer video clips that capture more of each isolated motion event. 

If you want any of those things available only with a Canary Membership, the View simply isn't worth it. Even Nest, which used to charge a starting fee of $10 per month for its Nest Aware service, now offers a lower $5 price tier. And even at $5 a month, you get five days of continuous video recording (not just clips).

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