My reviews are not very elegant, but they will be an account of our experience.
Step 1 - Unboxed and powered up.
Step 2 - Downloaded app and signed up. There was an error creating the account. Closed the app and started over. It let me fill out all of my info before telling me that an account has already been created. Then I logged in. Wasted 5 minutes or so on an error and poor design that did not automatically redirect me once it realized my email as already existing.
Step 3 - Connecting the camera. It connected quickly and had no issues.
Step 4 - Firmware update. No issues. It completed the update automatically from the app.
Step 5 - Membership - The membership page is annoying and a bit pushy. There should be a trial that allows you to use the system for a bit to test without putting in a credit card. 24 hour timeline for free is nice, especially since the ring units do not give any free days of recording.
Step 6 - Usability - This app is terrible. It says that this camera is set to private with no other information on the screen. From the first instant I started using the app, I was confused. Once I poked around, I found that I could change the home mode to record instead of private. There should be a button on the main page to make this more obvious and simple.
Step 7 - Quality - The quality is much worse than I expected from my experience with nest, ring, and Arlo. The compression is significant which results in a splotchy image with mediocre resolution. I am testing to see if this has something to do with its method of power. The zoom function is nice, but quality of image is not enough to support the feature.
Step 8 - Improving video quality - I just tried powered and battery and the resolution stayed the same. This might be due to compression to save room on Canary's servers when recording clips, but it just is not enough to compete with hardwired locan IP system from the likes of UniFi or Hikvision.
This thing is basically a toy. I would be surprised if it can actually offer enough detail to catch someone unless they are standing in front of the camera without moving waiting for the video compression in the codec to catch up enough to offer a clear image. Even my 9 year old son described the video quality as "horrible". This is a shame, because the unit has a nice visual appeal and the battery system is great for unique situations in which we are unable to get cabling to camera locations.
Longer battery life.
Better lens with wider view and more focus at further depths.
Matthew Mathis designs home entertainment and automation systems for clients in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area. Split between the world of high tech and an affection for the simplicity of life, Matt spends his days in the future of home technology and his off time in the past running a small permaculture farm.