Canary vs. Arlo Q

What your camera can see depends on where you can put your camera, and it makes a big difference.

  • Check
    Environmental sensors for air quality
  • Check
    20-foot night vision range
  • Check
    Versatile mounting options
  • Check
    25-foot night vision range
Mindy Woodall
Managing Editor, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
December 09, 2020
8 min read
Canary Pro and Arlo Q comparison
CameraCanary ProArlo Q
ImageA Canary View cameraarlo q camera
Field of vision147°130°
Free storage1 day7 days
Subscription service30 days30 days
Learn more

These are some of the most popular indoor security cameras on the market, and they provide you with both live and recorded streams from mobile and desktop devices. However, the two cameras have a few distinct differences.

If you’re looking for a straightforward security camera that can be mounted anywhere from the pantry door to the wall in the living room, then go for the Arlo Q, which comes with some versatile options. For a more specialized look at your whole home’s health, go for the Canary Pro, which has a unique air quality sensor for tracking pollutants, temperature, and humidity in your home.

Key differences between Arlo Q and Canary Pro

As you might expect, the Arlo Q and the Canary have some similarities. Both have 1080p HD resolution, two-way talk, and cloud storage. You can plug both of them into any indoor outlet. They both can send email alerts and push notifications to smartphones, tablets, and computers. And they both have geofencing and custom modes, so they know when you want them on or off based on your location.

But they have a few key differences, too, such as night-vision distance, field of view, storage lengths, and smart home compatibilities. And depending on your needs, these qualities could make a big difference for you.

Arlo Q vs. Canary Pro differences
CameraCanary ProArlo Q
ImageA Canary View cameraarlo q camera
Night visionYesYes
Motion detectionYesYes
Two-way talkRequires subscriptionIncluded
MountingFlat baseAdjustable, magnetic base and wall mount
Environmental sensorsTemperature, humidity, and air qualityNone
Storage time1–30 days7–30 days
Learn more

Arlo Q integrates with the following technologies:

  • Google Assistant
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Samsung SmartThings
  • Stringify
  • Wink

Canary Pro integrates with the following technologies:

  • Google Assistant
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Wink

As you can see, Arlo Q works directly with Samsung SmartThings and Stringify, while Canary currently does not. While we wouldn’t be surprised if Canary released updates to include these home automation technologies, we’re also not expecting it any time soon.


Similar prices means your decision will depend more on your needs.
Arlo Q vs. Canary Pro comparison
CameraCanary ProArlo Q
ImageA Canary View cameraarlo q camera
Subscription plan price$9.99 per month or $99.00 per year$2.99–$14.99 per month

Prices as of 12/09/2020. Offers subject to change.

Sticker price

Right off the bat, you’ll have to check Amazon for current prices. Arlo Q goes for about $150 in most places we’ve seen, which is reasonable for a full-on smart home security camera. And Canary’s list price is $169, but we’ve seen it on Amazon for as cheap as $125.


Both Arlo Q and Canary Pro will work right out of the box, but you’ll get a much more complete home security experience by buying a monthly subscription.
Arlo Smart service plan prices and features
Plan name
Cloud storage
Learn more
Arlo Smart Premier

$9.99/mo. for up to 5 cameras

30 days

Arlo Smart Elite

$14.99/mo. for up to 5 cameras

30 days

Prices as of 12/09/2020. Offers subject to change.

The nice thing about going with the Arlo Q is that, even without a subscription, you get seven days of cloud storage for free.

However, Arlo Q gives you way more time and cameras when you buy a subscription. For casual users, the Arlo Smart Premier plan’s 30 days and 10 cameras will be plenty—and will save you an extra $5 per month. But if you need that extra 30 days of storage (and up to 20 cameras), then the only way to go is the Arlo Smart Elite.

Canary subscription plans pricing and features
Plan name
Cloud storage
Plan name
Premium Service

$9.99/mo. OR $99.00/yr.

30 days

Prices as of 12/09/2020. Offers subject to change.

Canary’s main features are free: live and recorded video, environmental sensors and tracking, and motion detection. The only way to get Canary’s advanced features like full-length videos (instead of clips), unlimited video downloads, two-way Canary talk, desktop streaming, incident support services, and custom modes is a paid subscription. Getting a subscription also increases your device warranty from one year to two years.

Both cameras are priced about the same, but we like that Arlo gives you more for free in terms of cloud storage and additional cameras. For a lot of people, the last thing they want is another subscription service (that isn’t full of fun stuff like Hulu or YouTube TV).

Video resolution

Since both cameras have 1080p HD resolution, the real differences lie in night vision, motion detection, and field-of-view ranges.

Need to see more in the dark? At 20 feet compared to 25 feet, Canary’s night vision doesn’t quite reach as far as the Arlo Q’s. With that extra five feet of night vision, Arlo Q may help you pin down who keeps finishing off your tub of raspberry cheesecake ice cream in the freezer.

Motion detection

You can adjust the ranges for both cameras for sensitivity reasons, but Canary’s motion-detection goes up to only 28 feet, so those who need to see farther or just want more clarity would be wise to go with Arlo Q for its 50-foot adjustable motion detection range.

Field of view

A wider field of view allows Canary to see more from a single location than Arlo Q can.

Between the two, Canary has a wider field of view at 147° compared to Arlo Q’s 130°. While 17° doesn’t seem like a dramatic difference, it could mean the difference between seeing a full person or just their leg. And unless you’re some kind of weirdo, you’re probably better at recognizing faces than legs.

Canary doesn’t pivot, but when you get the proper camera placement, chances are you’re not going to move it around a lot anyway. We like the wider field of view from Canary to capture everything going on.

Number of cameras

Arlo Q gives you more for free

With Arlo Q, you can watch up to five live streams at once. And you can connect up to five cameras for free to the same account—but after that, you must purchase a subscription. The Premier plan can connect 10 cameras, and the Elite plan connects up to 20 cameras.

With Canary, you must pay for the subscription service to get up to five cameras linked together, which is more than enough for most people. After those five cameras, you have to pay an extra $5 per month or $49 per year for each additional device, which can rack up over time. We like when a company allows for expansion, but we wish it didn’t cost so much to do it.

However, for people looking to sit in a dark office and ominously watch the camera feeds from every corner of their house, it seems like Arlo Q allows them to be three times as creepy—and for less money.


Arlo Q includes seven days of free cloud storage compared to Canary’s one day of free storage. Once you add a paid subscription, both services upgrade their cloud storage dramatically.

Arlo Q can store your video footage for up to either 30 days (Smart and Smart Premier plans) or 60 days (Smart Elite plan). While we think Canary’s 30-day cloud storage plan is more than enough for most people, we appreciate having the option for longer storage—which could translate to a longer vacation if you’re wealthy, or a longer run of your own personal reality show during unemployment.

Do Arlo Q and Canary have local storage?

Neither camera is equipped for local storage. If you need local storage, the Arlo Q Plus costs about $50 more than the Arlo Q and offers a microSD local storage option in addition to the cloud service.

The advantage of cloud storage is that you don’t need the device to view and access the footage, so even if your camera gets destroyed by a wild dog-meets-child accident, or if a burglar decides he wants to take your security camera with him, you will still be able to see what happened.

Advanced features

Arlo Q and Canary can both do a lot for free, but you’ll get more by paying for a subscription.

Arlo Q

  • Scheduling feature
  • Geofencing
  • Three activity zones
  • Person detection
  • Package detection

Canary Pro

  • Environmental sensor
  • Geofencing
  • Activity masks
  • Person detection

Which features do you have to pay for?

The main benefits of Arlo’s subscription service have to do more with cloud storage length and the number of cameras you can connect; otherwise, the Arlo Q is fully featured for free.

Canary, on the other hand, wants you to subscribe to its membership to unlock all of its features, which is kind of a bummer. You have to pay for two-way talk, which is a main selling point for us. Your video downloads will be limited to 30-second clips instead of unlimited 10-minute videos. Desktop streaming, incident support services, and custom modes are available only through paid membership, as well.

Scheduling features, modes, and geofencing

Arlo Q’s scheduling feature is unique. It helps you save energy and storage space, and have to scan through only footage you want to. Turn it on after you leave for work so you can keep an eye on the kids and make sure that package showed up.

Canary has different modes—Home, Away, Night, and Privacy—so you have a variety of ways to stay in the loop at your will. We think Canary’s modes are a little better suited to someone looking for minimal effort, but people who like a lot of control will prefer Arlo Q’s scheduling feature.

Both companies offer geofencing, which uses your phone’s location to determine if you’re home or away. You can even set your camera to turn on automatically when you leave and turn off when you get home.

Canary environmental sensor

Perhaps the main selling point of the Canary camera is the unique environmental sensor, which uses a HomeHealth technology report to detect temperature, pollution, and humidity. This can potentially help people who suffer from allergies or other health-, environmental-, and climate-related issues.

Canary’s sensors are most useful for those who suffer from allergies or who need to maintain a proper climate for pets, musical instruments, or special tools. While you may not be a scientist, you may still be surprised at what you learn about the chemical composition of the air in your home.

Recap: Which camera is better?

Arlo Q vs. Canary Pro

You should get Arlo Q if . . .

You want a straightforward indoor home security camera. Arlo Q wins our pick for the better visuals and better price of the two cameras here, despite having a smaller field of view. (Just to mention it, Nest Cam is a favorite of many and shares the same 130° field of view.)

You should get Canary Pro if . . .

You want its unique features. Canary’s coolest feature is the air quality sensor, which helps you monitor your home’s climate, from humidity and temperature to possible pollutants in the air.

Canary’s other main selling point is a wider field of view. At 147°, the Canary has one of the widest fields of view we’ve seen, especially for a camera without either a moving base or a completely flat lens (like the Logitech Circle 2 has).

Overall pick

While we don’t think you’d go wrong with either the Arlo Q or the Canary, we would pick the Arlo Q. The Canary is a great option for those looking to view main areas in the living room or a personal office from a table or desk top because it has a very large field of view, but keep in mind that it has less placement versatility. As always, think about the room you’re monitoring and decide which parts of the room you most need to see.

Still haven’t found the perfect security camera? Check out our Best Home Security Cameras articles. And if you need full home security and smart home automation, take a look at our Best Home Security Systems.

Or, if you’re leaning towards an Arlo camera, check out our Arlo Pro, Arlo Ultra, and Arlo Video Doorbell reviews.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

Mindy Woodall
Written by
Mindy Woodall
Mindy has been writing about technology for seven years. She covers all things smart home for, and keeps track of the latest robot gadgets. Mindy attended the University of Utah and her work has been featured on the likes of, Digital Care, Hostfully, and more.

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