Homeboy Ceiling Mount

Homeboy vs Blink vs Butterfleye vs Arlo vs Stick Up vs Canary Flex

Homeboy, Blink, Butterfleye, Arlo, Ring Stick Up, and Canary Flex are all getting ready for the home automation party. And they all wore the same dress. Each is a camera, and each is cordless. On the bright side, they've selected different accessories.

Homeboy Basics

Homeboy at CES

Homeboy at CES

Homeboy is cordless but has a magnetic base. The magnetic base attaches to the ball-shaped camera so that you can creatively place the camera throughout your home. Homeboy is 100% cordless and is 100% battery-powered. Because the camera is fully battery-powered, its hardware is less powerful. They've pulled power to focus on preserving the battery. As I mentioned in our Homeboy Review, the camera has its own IFTTT channel. And IFTTT integration is another feature that sets Homeboy apart from the other cordless options.

Of the three options, Homeboy has also been around the longest. Though there aren't many online reviews, the app has been sufficiently reviewed. It currently holds a 4-star rating on iTunes and a 4.5-star rating on Google Play. For a camera app, this is excellent.

PROS - Compared to the others: Works with IFTTT

CONS - Compared to the others: Low Resolution and Cannot Live Stream Video

Blink and Blink XT Basics

Blink Sync Module

The Blink Sync Module

If you want a more powerful camera, you should consider Blink or even better, Blink XT. Blink is an HD camera with a unique night vision feature. Instead of using IR technology, it uses a light that will shine when an event is detected. Blink XT is an indoor/outdoor security camera that is backed by IR LED night vision.

Of all the cordless options, Blink offers the best battery life. This longevity is thanks to their unique processing technology. Even though the camera can live stream and record in a higher resolution, it still offers a two-year battery life. Though I've not used the camera that long, I have been running it for almost a year. The battery is still going strong.

The other reason the battery life is so long is that part of the heavy lifting is done on what is known as a Sync Module. Sync is a base system that must remain plugged into a wall. Though the individual Blink cameras are cordless, the entire system is not 100% cordless. However, the latest Sync module, launching soon, will add 4G Cellular and battery backup, so your cameras will continue to function even without internet and power.

Finally, Blink is the only camera with a monitoring plan. For $19.99 per month, you can add 24/7 professional monitoring. For $9.99 per month, you can self-monitor your cameras backed by sensors including a door/window sensor, water sensor, and a keypad.

PROS - Compared to the others: Long Battery Life, Amazon Echo Integration, 4G Connection (Coming Soon)

CONS - Compared to the others: Requires a Sync Module

Butterfleye Basics

Butterfleye Review

Butterfleye only started shipping recently, but I'm not new to their camera. I was lucky enough to have a visit with Butterfleye at CES.

During the experience, I learned three things.

1. Butterfleye ships with a magnetic base.

2. The app is user-friendly and it supports Android and iOS.

3. The video quality is FHD, but will quickly dumb down based on your Wi-Fi connection. In fact, from what I saw, it can be downright crappy.

Butterfleye offers unique technology that sets the camera apart from the other cordless options. It uses advanced software that can learn over time. It can also tell the difference between a human and a dog or other non-human objects. Finally, it includes software that will help you shuffle through your recorded footage. Instead of sending you an entire day's worth, it will send the best footage to help save time.

My favorite feature is that Butterfleye is not only 100% cordless, but it can work without an internet connection. If you lose internet, it will keep recording to an internal storage device. When your internet is restored, the footage is uploaded from the device to the cloud.

PROS - Compared to the others: Facial Detection and Can Work Without Internet

CONS - Compared to the others: Not Yet Shipping and No Night Vision

Arlo Basics

Arlo Pro Review

Arlo is a popular home security camera, and there are not many cameras like it. They started with their cordless indoor/outdoor option and have expanded to the indoor Arlo Q. The Arlo Q is wired, while the chart below is focused on the cordless camera solution. However, it's nice to know that you can expand your system by adding the Q if you want to. The Q records in 1080p, uses night vision, and offers free cloud storage. They also have a new indoor/outdoor cordless camera, Arlo Pro, which is an improved version of the original wire-free. Arlo Pro can work wire-free or wired, it has a better motion sensor, support for audio, and a wider viewing angle. Finally, Arlo Go. Go is like Pro but runs on a cellular signal instead of Wi-Fi. It includes a Verizon Wireless SIM card; however, you'll need a data plan in order to use this camera.

Like Blink, the cordless Arlo cameras (with the exception of Go) are not 100% cordless. The base unit requires internet and power to communicate with the cameras. Also, Arlo and Arlo Pro have separate base stations. Arlo Pro’s has a siren and USB port for local storage. However, the Arlo Pro cameras will work with either base station.

My biggest issue with Arlo as a home security camera is that it's sleepy. It is not continuously monitoring, which is how it preserves battery life. Instead, when it detects an event, it wakes up. Sometimes it takes time to wake up; when you're trying to record something important, seconds can mean the difference between capturing footage or not.

PROS - Compared to the others: Works Inside and Outside and Option to Add Arlo Q Indoor Camera. Also, their free cloud plan supports up to 5 cameras; the paid plan supports up to 10.

CONS - Compared to the others: Requires a Base Station and Wake Up Time Can Be Slow, Original Arlo Lacks Sound

Stick Up Cam Basics

The Stick Up Cam is a direct competitor to several other wireless outdoor security cameras, including Nest Cam Outdoor. Ring created the Stick Up Cam to work in conjunction with the Ring Video Doorbell. Joining the two devices together is not necessary, but Ring recommends the pairing to create a more effective "ring" of security around your home.

The Stick Up Cam is completely wireless, incorporates 720p HD live video streaming, and has a long 6-12 month battery life. You can even keep the battery charged all the time by purchasing a solar panel. When connected to the camera via USB, the solar panel will recharge your battery.

Perhaps the biggest draw to the camera is zone selection and two-way communication. The zone selection feature allows you to select different zones within the camera’s field of view for it to monitor. Unmonitored zones will not trigger notifications through the app.

Despite its many benefits, the Stick Up Cam does have a few issues. First, the field of view is slight at only 80 degrees. It has the smallest FOV of any device on our list. While the resolution is good, there are known issues with the video quality, which is not the best available. There is also no remote arm/disarm feature with this device. Finally, the camera does not include free storage, but you can expand to cloud storage by paying $3/month or $30/annually for six months of stored video recordings. This price is per camera.

PROS – Compared to the others: Solar Charging and Zone Selection

CONS – Compared to the others: Insufficient field of view.

Canary Flex Basics

Canary Flex Review

The Canary Flex is not so much an upgrade from the original Canary, but a different device that serves a similar function. Where the original Canary has a warning siren and HomeHealth monitoring, Flex is weatherproof, wireless, and can be wall mounted. Flex and the original Canary use the same app, so those familiar with the app have an advantage. You can also monitor multiple camera types from one account.

The Flex boasts impressive features. Like the Stick Up Cam, it allows for two-way communication (coming soon). Flex also provides live streaming of activity and allows you to view recorded video. You can manually swivel it a full 360 degrees on its magnetic base, making its 116-degree field-of-view stretch further. If you purchase the Verizon 4G mount (coming soon), you can even remotely monitor the camera in areas without an internet connection and use the mount to boost the camera's battery life.

Canary Flex includes 24 hours of free cloud storage backup, which is shared between all of your Canary devices with a maximum of four devices to one account. If you want more, you can pay for 30 days of storage via a Canary Membership. Membership rates vary depending on how many cameras you want to support. As far as the battery life, it varies. While Canary suggests the battery might last up to four months, we found that it lasts about a month before needing a recharge. According to Canary,

"How long the battery lasts depends on a number of factors. Canary Flex only spends battery life if it’s unplugged and has detected motion using PIR—the more activity it is detecting daily and the longer the Canary Flex is activated, the more battery it will use."

PROS – Compared to the others: Versatility with 4G Connection and Multiple Mounting Accessories

CONS – Compared to the others: Newest device, has typical new device challenges. Wake up time can be slow.

HomeBoy vs. Blink vs. Blink XT vs. Butterfleye

 HomeBoyBlinkBlink XTButterfleye
Price$149$99$119$220
Free Cloud12 Hours 7,200 Seconds 7,200 Seconds1 Day
Extended Cloud$4.99/month for 30 DaysNO
NO
NO
Battery Life2-3 Months2 Years2 Years2 Weeks
FOV82° 110° 110° 130°
Resolution640×480
1280×720
1280×720
1920×1080
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
AppiOS & AndroidiOS &
Android
iOS &
Android
iOS &
Android
BatteryRechargeable
Replaceable
Replaceable
Changeable
Extra FeatureIncludes a
Siren
All Coming Soon: Siren, 4G Wireless, Entry Sensor, Keypad, Water Sensor, Professional MonitoringAll Coming Soon: Siren, 4G Wireless, Entry Sensor, Keypad, Water Sensor, Professional MonitoringActive Eye
Compressionh.264 Unknown Unknown h.264
Night VisionLight IlluminationLight IlluminationYES
NO
Live StreamingClips On-DemandYES
YES
YES
BaseMagnetic Stand or Wall MountableStand or Wall MountableMagnetic
MotionYES
YES
YES
YES
Multi-User YES
YES
YES
YES
Works WithIFTTT IFTTT, Amazon Alexa (Echo, Dot, etc)IFTTT, Amazon Alexa (Echo, Dot, etc)Amazon Alexa (Echo, Dot, etc)
Push NotificationsYES
YES
YES
YES
Geofence
Arm/Disarm
YES
Supports SchedulesSupports SchedulesNO
CordlessYES
Requires Sync ModuleRequires Sync ModuleYES
Visit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site
HomeBoyBlinkBlink XTButterfleye

Arlo vs. Arlo Pro vs. Stick Up vs. Canary Flex

 ArloArlo ProStick UpCanary Flex
Price$199$249$199$199
Free Cloud7 Days 7 Days
NO
24 Hours
Extended CloudStarts at $9.99/month for 30 daysStarts at $9.99/month for 30 days$3.00/month for 90 daysStarts at $9.99/month for 30 days
Battery Life3-6 Months
4-6 Months 6-12 Months1-2 Months
FOV110° 130° 80° 116°
Resolution1280×720
1280×720
1280×720
1280×720
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
AppiOS, Android, Kindle, Apple TViOS, Android, Apple TV
iOS & AndroidiOS, Android, & Apple TV
BatteryNon-Rechargeable
Rechargeable
Rechargeable
Rechargeable
Extra FeatureWorks indoors and outdoorsWorks indoors and outdoors, sirenWorks indoors and outdoors, Solar ChargingWorks indoors and outdoors, 4G Wireless
Compressionh.264 h.264
Unknownh.264 Compression
Night VisionYES
YES
YES
YES
Live StreamingYES
YES
YES
YES
BaseMagnetic Magnetic Magnetic
Stand, Wall Mountable, Secure Mount, Twist Mount, Stake Mount
Motion YES
YES
YES
YES
Multi-User YES
YES
YES
YES
Works WithIFTTT, Stringify, and SmartThingsIFTTT and SmartThingsWink, IFTTTWink
Push NotificationsYES
YES
YES
YES
(Supports Canary Custom Tone)
Geofence
Arm/Disarm
YES
YES
NO
YES
CordlessRequires Base UnitRequires Base UnitYES
YES
Visit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site
ArloArlo ProStick UpCanary Flex

WINNER

In my opinion, Blink and Arlo Pro are the best options.

With Blink, an automated arm/disarm feature would take it to the next level. While this feature was promised, they've not delivered; though they have responded with the ability to arm and disarm by creating a schedule and using your voice through Amazon Echo. However, the long battery life, the superior picture quality, the ability to watch video live, free cloud storage, and the option to record locally to USB make this camera a smart option for home security. With the new Sync Module, Blink will support a 4G connection, sensors, and even professional monitoring.

Arlo Pro is either tied or a close second, depending on how you look at it. It is slower to wake up, but it works with IFTTT, Stringify, and SmartThings, can be used outside, offers free cloud storage, local storage, and you can automatically arm and disarm the camera through geofencing. Arlo Go, although expensive ($399.99), is an option for monitoring places without Wi-Fi.