Kangaroo have sought to make significant dents in the home security industry. Alongside their plethora of household gizmos (some of which come in handy done-for-you kits), one of their shining stars is the Kangaroo Motion Sensor.
Even with that near irresistible price tag of $7, we still need to dissect the gadget: is it worth the money? Can you fortify your home on a budget? Let’s dive into it.
- Intelligent sensor
For a compact device, the sensor’s tech packs a punch: it detects motion in your home up to 15 feet away, and boasts a 120-degree Field of View (FOV) for picking up on activity. With this in mind, it’s definitely on our wish-list for affordable home security devices. Kangaroo thought ahead for pet owners: their built-in ‘pet rejection’ feature ensures your cats and dogs don’t trigger alarms as they go about their business. This is functional up to the height of 2’ 4”, or 0.7m.
- Bespoke application
In spite of the lean pricing, Kangaroo’s motion sensor provides an all-encompassing security setup; a iOS/Android app that functions with iOS 10 or above, and Android 5.0 or above, allows users to keep up-to-date with their home in real-time.
- Flexible setup
The sensor does not need a primary hub. This is a stand-out feature for us, because it means that you’re good to go with just a Wi-Fi connection. (Pairing takes the best part of a minute!) Note: Kangaroo specify on their site that their motion sensor should be strictly installed inside and is not suitable for outdoor use.
- Notification system
A unique sound was recently added to signal users of a Kangaroo motion alert, which gives users more feedback. The free self-monitoring plan provided by Kangaroo sends push notifications to all users connected to the device, including friends/family you may have invited to the app. If users wish to upgrade to the paid subscription, custom SMS and voice notifications are available.
The sensor can be integrated with Google Home and Alexa; though this is a feature of the paid subscription. (More below.) IFTTT integration is currently unavailable, with plans for this upgrade rumored to take place in 2020.
Note: If you’d like to hear about the features straight from the source, check out the device’s User Manual. Following this link will bring up Kangaroo’s in-depth resource pack for new buyers.
Installation and Use
Concerning installing and using the device, the sensors get by on two AA batteries (kindly included in the shipped product), and adhesive pads on the back of the device makes for ease-of-placement on walls, atop cupboards or in your room’s corners.
Kangaroo’s sensor also has a small drill-hole on the back, and your shipped product will have two helpful wood screws provided for easy installation. Helpfully, the device can be armed/disarmed via the app. After arming your sensor, give it 3 minutes to warm up – once hot you’re good to go. (Family and neighbors also linked to the device will be notified of this process.)
Naturally, one device will cover one room or car. But users can employ the app to focus on any room with a Kangaroo sensor, so if you’re looking for a more far-reaching, cost-effective setup, there’s no harm in buying multiple sensors. Yourself and others connected to the device will receive a notification should the device detect motion. Impressively, this notification is delivered within about 3 seconds.
Pros of the Kangaroo Motion Sensor
For the price (which is one of the sensor’s shining positives), you’re really getting quite an intelligent home security device.
Great For Cars and Garages
Motion Sensors can be placed in cars to monitor activity within the car’s cabin. If your car is in your driveway, or on the street within range of your wifi signal, you can set this sensor in your cabin and it will alert you if there is motion inside. Arming and disarming the sensor is done through the app, which is convenient. The IR sensor can’t see through glass, so you won’t receive false alarms. One reviewer was able to catch someone breaking in.
You can also monitor your garage door if your garage doesn’t experience extreme temperatures.
The sensor’s distance for picking up movement is impressive when you consider the gadget’s size, and the pet-rejection is a smart additional feature that stumps the likelihood of pesky false alarms. A user’s Amazon review touches on this:
The pet-rejection tech has worked for me, and I like how it even shows you in the app apoun setup how to install it. The app is really simple (in a good way) and modern…C HTO, Amazon Review
Useful, user-friendly app
The Kangaroo app really complements the sensor. The user interface is smooth and easily navigable and each feature is accessible in just a few touches. Upon installation, users are greeted with a comprehensive setup walkthrough so you can get started immediately. The application allows for additional Kangaroo devices to be onboarded, providing a seamless experience for super-fans with more than one device in their arsenal.
The app also notifies users with a unique alert sound, so you know when there is motion. This is a recently added feature that came from user feedback.
The incorporation of other users is a fantastic and reassuring feature. It adds an extra layer to your home’s security and provides you with better peace of mind.
You don’t have to worry about your sensor’s battery running out; the app updates you on that. It also reports your wi-fi strength so you’ll never get inaccurate notifications. Below, we’ve added some screenshots of the interface. It’s clean and simple.
Fast & responsive support team
If at any time users encounter issues during their setup or ongoing use of the motion sensor, all Kangaroo devices are backed by a very useful and attentive support team. In-app you will find a ‘Call Back’ feature that allows users to request a call; in our experience, these calls are quick and helpful.
A very impressive feature to such an affordable product.
Cons of the Kangaroo Motion Sensor
Whilst the price is attractive indeed, you are certainly sacrificing key security components and quality-of-life features with the Kangaroo sensor. A general issue with the device is that it only really has one mode: once you arm the system, you are given a 10-minute grace period to leave your home without setting off the alarm. This feature demands that users make it a habit to arm/disarm the device accordingly. Ultimately, this means you can only really protect your home while you are away or asleep in your house.
The Kangaroo motion sensor does technically ship with integrations like Google Home and Alexa, but these are hidden behind the paywall of a premium subscription. This means that users with the free plan do not benefit from the further-reaching benefits of the device. Alongside this, whilst the free plan allows for in-app and push notifications, only the $9 monthly plan unlocks the usefulness of SMS and voice notifications.
Reliance on Wi-Fi
Ultimately, this device is solely reliant on your internet connection. Whilst you are notified of both low battery and poor Wi-Fi signal, in the event that your broadband loses touch, you are essentially unprotected. This is something to consider if you are planning to rely on a single device for home security. This is also something households with generally poor signal should be wary of.
Specification for Indoors Only
While you might be able to protect the sensor outdoors under a patio or under some protected areas, you are on your own in terms of determining its success. The low price makes this device tempting to experiment with. Many people attempt to protect these devices for the elements, but wifi range, extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, and moisture are all factors you need to overcome for this to work outdoors. However, the motion sensor is great for monitoring inside cars and garages, if the sensor can withstand the conditions. The downside to indoor monitoring is that someone has to be inside your house for you to be alerted. This is perfect if you are out of town and you need updates on your home, but less than ideal if you are asleep in your home.
Like with many home security systems, you get what you pay for here. The Kangaroo motion sensor is an intuitive, highly-affordable option for households looking to introduce a cheaper home security device. It is great for out-of-town monitoring and cars and garages that do not experience extreme temperature swings. The combination of powerful sensor tech, a fantastic support team and reliable functionality, Kangaroo have clearly packed a great deal of value into such a small device. Should you desire a more expansive system provided by Kangaroo, they offer multiple options for device bundles; view bundles on Amazon here and take a look and see what catches your eye.
Plus, if you’re concerned about an area of your house that could flood, the Kangaroo Water Climate sensor is a great way to bundle your monitoring in one simple app. This notifies the user about changes in temperature, and humidity. This device troubleshoots leaky pipes, sump pumps, hot water heaters, and frozen water systems.
We hope this review has provided you with guidance on a purchase decision. Keep your home safe for less with Kangaroo’s affordable home security device.