Will this bare-bones video doorbell get the job done? I put it to the test so you won’t have to.
Blink is known for two things: ease of use and affordability.
So it should come as no surprise that their video doorbell is the personification — doorbellification? — of that. You know what I mean. It embodies these two values perfectly.
That said, in the hypercompetitive world of home security equipment, you need something to make your product stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s the two-camera system that won me over when I reviewed Eufy’s video doorbell, or the sleek elegance we saw when we tested Arlo’s doorbell systems, if you’re a manufacturer of security equipment, you need a hook.
So what’s Blink’s hook? Does it even have one? Why should you consider purchasing this video doorbell over those of the industry leaders like Ring?
Don’t worry, I’ve got the answers for you. Before we start getting into all the details, though, let’s get our bearings with some quick pros and cons.
Now that you’ve got the bird’s eye view, let’s swoop in for a closer look at the Blink Video Doorbell — specifically, the unboxing and the setup.
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I ordered the Blink Video Doorbell on a Tuesday morning, and it was on my doorstep by the time I sat down for dinner. One of the benefits of ordering an Amazon product from Amazon, I suppose.
Speediness aside, I appreciated how well-packed the doorbell was, but I was a bit concerned when I took the unit itself out of the box. It feels a little … light. If you’ve dealt with as many electronics as I have, you know this usually isn’t a good sign. If your equipment doesn’t have a lot of heft, that can indicate problems with durability and reliability down the road.
I didn’t want to let that first impression poison the well, though, so I started to set it up.
The first thing I had to do was download the app and set up a Blink account. This was straightforward — the only thing you’ll need is your email address and the password you’ll want to use.
Then, you need to set up the Sync Module 2 unit. This is a compact device, a little smaller than your wallet, that you hook up to your home’s Wi-Fi and plug into a wall or a computer. It serves as the hub for your doorbell and other Blink devices, as well as your local storage.
Pro Tip: You don’t need to purchase a Sync Module 2 for your Blink Video Doorbell to be operational; you just won’t be able to store video footage or watch live video. Which, I’d argue, kind of defeats the purpose of having a video doorbell in the first place.
Did that last term make your ears perk up? Good, because this is one of the primary benefits of using Blink equipment in general. It’s one of the best home security systems with no monthly fees out there. Instead of paying a monthly subscription for cloud storage, you only swipe your card once.
There are a couple of caveats I’ll get into below, but that’s what you need to know for now. Keep in mind, though, that it’s going to add $34.99 to your total bill.
All right — back to the setup. Once you have the Sync up and running, you’ll add a device to your Blink network using your phone. That’s as easy as scanning a QR code on the back of the device, letting the firmware update, and presto — your doorbell is online. All said and done, this took about 10 minutes total.
So far, so good. Now it’s time to get the doorbell installed.
I’d say I’ve installed more video doorbells than the average person, and I’d also say that the Blink Video Doorbell was one of the easiest. The hardest part is making sure you line the two screws up vertically, but that’s made easy with the included template. Just make sure you screw some pilot holes first — that will prevent you from doing any damage to your doorframe.
Also note that you really don’t want to overdo it with the screws. If you get too overzealous with the tightening, you can easily crack the plastic mount. That’s why I prefer a metal mount. It’s definitely not a deal-breaker, but just be careful with that power drill.
Now, another thing worth pointing out here: Blink really went for the versatility in their design. You can hardwire the device using your existing doorbell hookups, or you can run it off two included AA batteries. I opted for the latter since I hate working with electricity, but if you don’t want to fiddle with having to change out batteries, I’d suggest the former. It might sound like a difficult job, but it’s really not. Just make sure you turn off the power to your entryway before you start working.
Pro Tip: With the right settings, your Blink Video Doorbell’s battery will last a whopping two years (so says the company, anyway). Check back here in late 2025, and I’ll let you know how accurate that estimate is.
Once the mount is screwed into your frame, all you have to do is slide the unit into the housing. It’ll give you a satisfying click to let you know it’s in there, and then you’re all set. I will say, I really liked the size of the Blink Video Doorbell. Some manufacturers make these particular pieces of equipment too bulky. I prefer something a little more discreet than a cinder block.
Now that everything’s all set up, let’s talk about what it’s like to live with the Blink Video Doorbell on the day-to-day.
So, let me start by saying the Blink Video Doorbell does everything you’d expect a video doorbell to do. It keeps an eye on your entryway, and it alerts you when stuff moves past it. You’ll see that stuff in “meh” 1080p resolution. You’ll get a notification on your phone when someone rings the bell, and you can communicate with that person using the two-way talk feature.
And … well … that’s about it.
Simply put, there’s nothing inspired about this doorbell. There’s nothing groundbreaking — nothing that makes you go, “Woah, that’s cool.” For context, here are some other doorbells on the market today, and the features that made me want to check them out.
|SimpliSafe Video Doorbell
|Pan and Zoom
|SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Review
|Lorex Video Doorbell
|2K Resolution and Color Night Vision
|Lorex Doorbell Review
|Nest Video Doorbell
|Nest Video Doorbell Review
Now, can I really dock points for not including bells and whistles? No, not really. Blink never said that this doorbell was going to knock your socks off. It does the bare minimum of what you’d want a video doorbell to do and nothing more.
That said, what it does do, it does well, for the most part. At no point during my test period did I have any complaints about the functionality of the doorbell. It didn’t miss anything important, there weren’t any major connectivity hiccups, and all of the features did exactly what I expected them to do.
One small gripe that I had while testing the doorbell was its field of view. Horizontally, it’s 135 degrees, but vertically, it’s only 80 degrees. That means it’s going to be really hard to see if a delivery person drops a package anywhere near it.
With all that in mind, I’ll say the price point is right where I’d expect it to be. Given the drawbacks and benefits that I saw, at just $59.99, I’d stick the Blink Video Doorbell squarely in the “reasonable” category.
Pro Tip: We’ve seen some pretty deep discounts on Blink Products recently. If you’re interested in saving more, make sure to bookmark our guide to Blink’s sales and discounts. You’re going to find the most up-to-date information there.
There are a few particulars that I want to point out about this doorbell, though. So let’s go through a few of those next.
So right out of the box, the doorbell is going to be way too sensitive. On the first day I hooked it up, I had about 300 notifications in the first half-hour. I thought my phone was going to vibrate a hole in my pocket. To avoid this headache, open up the motion settings in your app and change the sensitivities to your liking. I dialed mine back to two (out of nine!), which brought things down to a reasonable level. I’d only get notified when a person walked by my house, someone dropped something off, or a car drove by. Not when a butterfly flapped its wings three blocks over.
Another thing I wanted to talk about was night vision. Out of the box, it’s not great. You’re going to need to adjust your settings based on the ambient light in your neighborhood to really get it dialed in, and you might even need to use the included angle mount so that the infrared (IR) light isn’t shining directly onto your masonry.
I’d recommend working on this the first night after you install it. As I said above, adjusting the settings in the app is really easy to do, and you’re going to get a lot more out of your equipment if you tailor it to your needs.
So that’s about all there is to know about my test of the Blink Video Doorbell. We just have two more things to talk about before we move on to the final verdict.
One thing I liked a lot about using the Blink Video Doorbell was how much fine tuning you can do in the app. I mentioned above that you should definitely adjust the sensitivities and outputs for your specific entryway, but there are a few more items in the settings area worth checking out. Namely, the activity and privacy zones.
This is a pretty handy set of features if you find yourself still getting unwanted notifications from cars driving by or people out for a stroll — especially if you live in a high-traffic area. Just select the areas of the field of view you don’t want to monitor, and the Blink Video Doorbell will handle the rest.
Beyond these settings, using the app is very simple, and it’s a breeze to arm and disarm particular pieces of equipment, or to review notifications and watch your live video feed. Overall, I’d give the app experience a 95 out of 100.
So, as I said above when I mentioned the Sync Module 2, Blink does offer a cloud subscription plan that will activate some features on their more advanced devices. It costs $3 per month — which is really reasonable — but won’t really do much for you if all you’re working with is a doorbell. If that’s the only piece of equipment you need, I’d recommend using the Sync Module 2 and calling it a day.
If you’re interested in outfitting your property with more Blink equipment, though, here’s a quick rundown of what they offer and their prices:
|Blink Outdoor 4
|Blink Mini Pan-Tilt
|Blink Wired Floodlight Camera
|Blink Outdoor 3
Now that you know everything there is to know about the Blink Video Doorbell, let me bring it all home for you.
If you’re looking for a standard-issue video doorbell, Blink’s is going to get the job done. If you’re looking for something a little more flashy, you’re probably going to be a little disappointed.
The Blink Video Doorbell is like that one guy you had in all your group projects in school. He wasn’t super memorable, didn’t go above or beyond, but he didn’t let you down. He delivered exactly what he said he was going to, and you all got a B+. Not outstanding, but nothing you’d complain about, either.
Is the Blink Video Doorbell not exactly what you’re looking for? Not to worry — we have a roundup of the best video doorbells on the market today for you to browse through. I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for there.
We spend a considerable amount of time putting security equipment through a demanding battery of hands-on tests, but the process actually starts way before that. We conduct exhaustive research on manufacturers and providers to make sure they meet our exacting standards. If they pass muster, we install the equipment in our own homes to see what it’s like living with it day-to-day. Only then do we give you our honest insights — the good, the bad, and sometimes even the ugly.
While the Blink Video Doorbell doesn’t boast a ton of advanced features, it’s a solid piece of equipment considering the price.
The Blink Video Doorbell retails for $59.99. Keep in mind, though, that Blink often offers discounts, especially when they’ve released new equipment.
While you can purchase a storage plan through Blink for $3 per month, it’s unnecessary when you purchase a $34.99 Sync Module 2.
No, while the Blink Video Doorbell will alert you to motion and let you know when it’s been rung, it won’t alert you to packages specifically.