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If you’re looking for a smart camera solution to keep your home safe while you’re there and while you’re away, there are a lot of options on the market. Some are good, and some are bad, so how are you to know which is which?
Let’s dig deeper into the specifications, features, and value of the Arlo Pro and the Canary Flex to help you choose which one is right for your home. This review should make your decision a little bit easier.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Camera Specifications and Differences
- 2 Arlo Pro Pros:
- 3 Arlo Pro Cons:
- 4 Canary Flex Pros:
- 5 Canary Flex Cons:
- 6 Comparison Table
- 7 The Verdict
Camera Specifications and Differences
When it comes to the Arlo Pro and the Canary Flex, there aren’t a lot of similarities, but there sure are a lot of differences. Some may matter to you and some may not. It’s important to understand how each functions so you can determine whether you want to use them in your home and for your protection.
Field of View and Resolution
You need a camera to have a wide enough field of view that you can see everything you need to see, and you also want the resolution to be high enough that you can interpret what you’re seeing. If you can’t capture movement or see a face, what good does a smart camera do?
The Arlo Pro’s field of view is 130 degrees whereas the Canary Flex is only 116 degrees. However, the resolution on the Canary Flex is 180p ad the Arlo Pro is only 720p. If you need your camera to see a wider area, the Arlo Pro is the clear choice. However, if you want a crisper, clearer image, get the Canary Flex.
Most smart security cameras can sense motion, and that’s how they know to start recording. The critical setting you should worry about is how long it can record after a motion is detected.
The Arlo Pro automatically records for ten seconds after it detects any motion, but the custom settings allow for recordings up to five minutes.
The Canary Flex also automatically records for ten seconds after it detects motion, but you can purchase a membership for less than $10 per month that lets you record until the movement is gone, no matter how long that is.
The Canary Membership also includes other custom settings like two-way audio and an Activity Zone Masking feature that improves the intelligence of your notifications and provides incident support.
You need access to the footage your smart security camera records in the event you need to show it to police for a home invasion or some other unthinkable event. With the Arlo Pro, your footage is stored on the cloud for seven days by default. It can also save it locally via the base station. Just plug in a USB storage device and use it as your backup storage location in case you lose connectivity or want to save your footage for longer than seven days.
The Canary Flex is limited to twenty-four hours of cloud storage and doesn’t have a local storage option at all. With the Canary membership, your recordings are saved on the cloud for thirty days.
Viewing Footage Remotely
Being able to check your security footage while you’re away gives you peace of mind when you’re traveling, and most smart cameras will allow you to do that. The Canary Flex and the Arlo Pro provide live feeds from the mobile app. The Arlo Pro takes it one step further and lets you view your footage via the web.
While the Arlo Pro needs a base station to function, the base station comes standard with the Arlo Pro Starter Kit, so it’s easy to set it up out of the box without worrying about needed extra accessories to get started.
The Canary Flex connects directly to its app and works right out of the box without any other parts or accessories. You can connect as many cameras to the app as you need without using a hub of any kind, making it more convenient and easy to connect.
The Arlo base station isn’t difficult to set up, and the added benefits are worth it. The base station for the Arlo Pro has a one hundred decibel siren. From the app, you control the siren and set its triggers. It can go off at a motion event or an audio event.
The Arlo Pro battery lasts about six months while the Canary Flex will last about two. The Arlo Pro also has a solar panel that offers continuous powering of your camera via the sun without having to worry about recharging.
The Arlo Pro has push-to-talk by default. You can push a button and talk to your pets, answer the door, or check in on your kids who are home alone, all while you’re away. While the Canary Flex has push-to-talk, it’s only included in the membership.
Security cameras do their job more effectively when they blend in, and no one knows you have them. Plus, they look like they fit in instead of standing out like a sore thumb. The Arlo Pro comes in white, but you can buy skins separately that help it blend in.
The Canary Flex comes in black or white, but there aren’t any aftermarket skins available.
A camera is only as good as where you mount it because it needs a clear view of the entry points of your home to detect intruders or risky activities outside. You can install the Arlo Pro almost anywhere with the Quadpod, but it also offers hardware to mount it on walls, tables, and ceilings.
You can mount the Canary Flex via a twist mount that wraps or curls around fixtures or branches, a secure mount that attaches to any surface, or a stake mount that’s ideal for plants and gardens.
Expanding Your System
Adding devices to your system increases its functionality and utility. The Arlo brand has a long line of cameras including the Arlo Q, Arlo Go, or Arlo Baby. They are all compatible with the same base station, making them easy to connect and interact.
Canary only has two cameras: the Canary Flex and the Canary Indoor Camera, but with the Canary membership, you can connect as many as you want to the app.
As discussed, the Canary membership includes additional features that aren’t available by default. For less than $10 per month per camera, you get two-way audio, custom modes, incident support, enhanced motion activation, and activity zone masking.
Most of these features come standard without a subscription in the Arlo Pro, so the Arlo subscription covers something else entirely. Each level of the Arlo subscription plan offers longer duration of storage for your footage, support for a larger number of cameras on your system, and unlimited customer support.
Both the Arlo Pro and the Canary Flex offer a one-year warranty. You can extend your Canary warranty to two years if you purchase the Canary membership.
As our homes become increasingly connected, it’s crucial that your smart devices can talk to one another. There are a lot of possibilities unlocked with the use of hubs for geofencing, voice control, and more.
The Arlo Pro is compatible with SmartThings, which unlocks a world of smart devices you can connect to your security system for increased safety and functionality. The Canary Flex is compatible with Wink Hub and Wink Hub 2.
The decision is easy if you’re already using either the SmartThings hub or the Wink Hub. If you haven’t yet decided which hub you want to use, do some research about what other devices they support so you can make an educated decision about which would be best.
While it’s not necessary to be able to control your cameras with your voice, it is nice and convenient. The Arlo Pro works with Amazon Alexa, but will only work with the Echo Show for now.
The Canary Flex integrates with all Amazon devices, but not directly. You have to have the Wink Hub to connect them.
Arlo Pro Pros:
- Alerts via app and email
- Skins for more attractive displaying
- Local USB storage
- Scheduled recordings
- Two-way audio
- Unlimited video downloads
Arlo Pro Cons:
- Needs a base station
Canary Flex Pros:
- 1080p video resolution
- No base station required
- Lots of mounting and installation options
Canary Flex Cons:
- No local storage
- No siren
- Many features require a membership
|Arlo Pro||Canary Flex|
|Alerts and notifications||App and email||App|
|Cloud Storage||7 days free||1 day free|
|Color||White, skins available||Black or white|
|Continuous recording||Via Live View up to 30 minutes||No|
|Field of view||130 degrees||116 degrees|
|Integrations||SmartThings and Amazon Echo Show||Wink Hub, Wink Hub 2, Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Tap|
|Length of motion recording||10 seconds to 5 minutes||10 seconds free, unlimited with membership|
|Live View||App and web||With membership only|
|Motion detection recording||Yes||Yes|
|Night vision distance||25 feet||25 feet|
|Records in color||Yes||Yes|
|Two-way audio||Yes||With membership|
|Video Downloads||Unlimited||With membership|
|Warranty||One year||One year, two years with membership|
The Canary Flex offers excellent high-quality video, but many other features like two-way audio, streaming, and full-length video only come with a monthly upgraded membership cost. However, it’s easy to set up out of the box because it doesn’t require a base station.
The Arlo Pro offers high definition video at a lower resolution. While it requires a base station for its operation, it comes with many default features that don’t require a monthly subscription upgrade.
The Arlo Pro seems to be the best long-term investment with its added features and security. The add-ons available enhance your home security system in both design and functionality, while the solar panel keeps it green.
The integrations with other smart home devices may make your decision for you if you already use either SmartThings or Wink Hub at home. Either way, you can rest assured that your home is safe no matter where you are.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!