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Canary Flex review – If you’re looking for the best home security camera, you’ve found it

Canary Flex review – If you’re looking for the best home security camera, you’ve found it

Canary Flex can be used indoors and outside, whether connected to the mains or running on batteryCANARY

Canary Flex can be used indoors and outside, whether connected to the mains or running on battery

  • Pros – Great Battery Life, Works Indoors And Outside, Compact Design, Solid Video Quality – Even At Night
  • Cons – Monthly Subscription Needed For Some Features, Does Not Have A 90dB Siren

 

Canary Flex is the latest home security solution from New York-based startup Canary.

The company first burst onto the scene in July 2013 with a hugely-successful Indiegogo campaign that racked up thousands of pre-orders.

Canary’s self-titled debut was an all-in-one home security solution capable of recording in 1080p HD video. It also boasted night vision, a 90dB siren, and cloud storage for any video footage recorded by the camera.

Express.co.uk praised the first Canary camera for its style and fiercely competitive price tag, but was less impressed with its overexcitable motion detection and laborious set-up process.

Happily, both of these quibbles have since been patched by software updates.

Canary is back with its second camera system – and it’s a real sophomore success story.

In a nutshell, Canary Flex is the best home security device on the market today.

Canary Flex is the firm’s second camera – and it’s much smaller, and more flexible (hence the name)EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS

Canary Flex is the firm’s second camera – and it’s much smaller, and more flexible (hence the name)

For such a compact little device, Canary Flex packs an astounding amount of functionality and – more importantly – flexibility for its users.

Ultimately, that is the real success of the Canary Flex.

Canary Flex promises to do it all. And unbelievably, it actually succeeds at fulfilling that lofty promise

Honestly, there is very little compromise here. Unlike some rivals, the Flex is not limited to simply monitoring the inside or outside of a property. Likewise,  it is not restricted to either battery or mains power.

Canary’s newest security solution promises to do it all. And unbelievably, it actually succeeds at fulfilling that lofty promise.

This lightweight security device sports a 1080p HD camera with a 116º wide-angle lens. Granted, that’s not quite as generous as the 147° wide-angle lens that shipped with the original Canary, but it’s still more than wide enough to make sure you always have a good view of any nefarious characters skulking around your home.

The Flex camera automatically switches itself to night vision whenever it detects the light begin to fail. The quality of the night vision video is remarkable, especially given the miniature stature of the 4.35-inch Canary Flex.

The Flex automatically switches to Night Vision whenever it detects the light failing EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS

The Flex automatically switches to Night Vision whenever it detects the light failing

Any screenshots taken from the video promises to include easily distinguishable features – even in the dead of night. That level of quality is essential if you have to use footage from the Flex to identify someone in your home.

Canary Flex also includes a microphone, so you’ll be able to hear what is said from hundreds of miles away. And following a software update later this summer, Flex owners will be able to speak through the camera, using a mobile device with the Canary app installed.

Annoyingly, this useful feature – which lets you speak to nannies, pets or children via the security camera – will requires a membership to Canary’s £7.99 a month subscription plan.

This monthly plan also includes the ability to store video from the last 30 days (free accounts are limited to 24 hours) as well as streaming video from a desktop PC, and the ability to add an unlimited number of Canary cameras to your home.

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Flex is also completely weatherproof, rated IP65, and built to withstand torrential rainstorms and temperatures between -20º and 45ºC.

And if that wasn’t enough, the US startup has also managed to cram a three-axis accelerometer and a PIR motion sensor into the svelte security system.

The Flex also ships with a magnetic base, which includes mounts to secure the camera to an outside wall. Canary also ships a slew of different brackets to hang the camera from beams, or secure the Flex in a plant pot or garden.

And since the Canary Flex has an in-built battery – you don’t have to install the bracket close to an outside plug.

The charger is secured with magnets and can be used to recharge the Flex, or power it full-timeEXPRESS NEWSPAPERS

The charger is secured with magnets and can be used to recharge the Flex, or power it full-time

Canary has performed miracles with the 6,700mAh lithium-ion battery included inside the Flex. When operating on battery power, users can change the range the Canary monitors for motion detection – longer ranges are tougher on battery life and will require more frequent recharges.

The ranges are approximately Low 0-4ft, Medium 0-16ft, and Long 0-28ft. Canary told us that height and placement of the device can have an effect on these ranges. But in our tests, the Flex lasted almost three weeks without a recharge when set to a medium range.

That should be more than enough to monitor your home while you’re away on a summer holiday. Those away from home for more than three weeks can limit the range or move the Flex so that it can have its charging cable permanently attached.

Installing the Canary Flex is a cinch – with simple step-by-step instructions provided by the companion smartphone app.

If you already own a Canary security camera, the Flex will seamlessly sit alongside your existing home security set-up. Within the Canary app, users can swipe between cameras to get a live view of their home from a variety of angles.

Both cameras will continuously monitor your home – pushing an alert to your smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, Apple TV or desktop app, whenever movement is detected.

Canary Flex ships in black or white and includes one magnetic dock to secure the cameraCANARY

Canary Flex ships in black or white and includes one magnetic dock to secure the camera

This works incredibly reliably. On iOS, Canary has added video to its notifications, allowing users to playback the detected movement without the need to launch the dedicated app.

Unfortunately, this is not yet replicated on Apple Watch.

Canary still boasts its nifty geo-fencing feature, which can automatically disable the cameras’ video recording as well as motion detection whenever a smartphone with the Canary app registered to your house arrives home.

At times, Canary can be a little slow to work-out exactly when you’ve arrived home. During our time with the device, we would often receive a notification as we were walking through the door, which is a little annoying.

However, it’s unclear whether this is an issue with the response time of the Canary or a problem with the broadband.

The ability to have Canary automatically switch itself into Privacy Mode whenever you arrive home should qualm any fears triggered by installing an HD video camera inside your home – even if the geo-fencing takes a few minutes to catch-up to your actual movements.

If something does happen while you’re inside the house and your Canary is set to Privacy Mode, the service still allows you to pull high definition clips from the US firm’s servers and review the video.

EXPRESS

Canary Flex does it all.

This home security system is well-designed, well-built and brilliantly versatile.

Don’t be fooled by its diminutive stature, the Canary Flex is brimming with technology. The ability to move the camera between the inside and outside of your home on a whim is phenomenally useful, and the jaw-dropping battery life proves to be very reassuring – especially if you’re planning a bumper holiday.

The companion smartphone app is intuitive and offers a plethora of options to tailor the motion detection, watch a live stream from your security camera, and review previous footage captured by the Flex.

The ability to have the camera automatically disable motion detection whenever you arrive home is a feature that more security systems need to copy.

If you’re looking to buy a home security camera, you can’t go wrong with the Canary Flex.

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