These trustworthy cameras are popular with renters and earn high praise for value.
Ever since Amazon acquired Blink way back in 2017,1 this manufacturer has become a crowd favorite for building smaller, smarter, and cheaper equipment than the competition.
Now while they might not be as budget-friendly as we saw when we tested out YI’s cameras, Blink strikes the right balance of affordability and functionality.
We recently took a handful of these cameras for a spin, and while we weren’t exactly blown away by any high-tech bells and whistles, what we did find was a really solid lineup of affordable cameras that do exactly what you need them to without a whole lot of fuss. You can read more about this in our hands-on Blink review, but we can certainly understand why they’re rated highly for effective apartment security as well as being a great solution for traditional homeowners.
Pro Tip: Looking for smarter battery-powered security cameras? Arlo is a pioneer of wire-free cameras. See how person detection and advanced motion detection features work in our Arlo review; you’ll be amazed how much better the image quality is, too.
Pivoting away from the features and tech, today we’re looking deeper into Blink the brand, and their equipment costs, plans, packages, and deals.
To start things off, let’s lay out some of our favorite Blink features:
Check out more recommendations from the SafeHome team:
While there’s no one-size-fits-all security camera, Blink comes relatively close with their latest lineup.2 There are only five pieces of equipment here: The Blink Indoor, the Blink Outdoor, the Blink Mini, the Blink Floodlight, and the new Mini Pan-Tilt. Each camera brings its own set of basic but effective features, allowing us to check off all of the boxes of home security we’re looking for: An accurate motion sensor, easy everyday use, clear audio, a nice picture, durable equipment, and convenient storage.
That said, if you’re looking for a little more variety, you might want to check out our review of Reolink cameras. Their prices range from around $35 for a simple indoor camera to north of $300 for feature-rich pan-and-tilt equipment. You might also want to take a look at Wyze cams. They’re another DIY-forward brand with a couple of options even cheaper than Blink. Keep in mind, though, you get what you pay for.
In our view, this makes Blink – with equipment priced from $34.99 for the Mini to $99.99 for Blink Outdoor – a worthwhile purchase for DIY home security.
But is Blink the brand for you? Let’s pause for a few quick stats on these cams:
|No. of Cameras
Now, we’ll dig into each camera a little more, starting with the pint-sized Blink Mini.
Retailing for about $35, Blink’s pint-sized camera is not going to knock your socks off in video resolution. But in our Blink Mini review, we noticed that it already has one thing over its bigger, bolder siblings – it doesn’t need a sync module. Blink Mini just works directly off our Wi-Fi, which is always a nice perk in the installation stage.
Pro Tip: The Blink Mini is currently on sale. If you want to snag a great price for this diminutive sentinel, now is the time. They’re only $34.99.
With this unassuming device, standing less than 2 inches top to bottom (not including the stand), we got clear 1080p video,3 two-way audio, motion zones, infrared night vision, and great customization via the Blink Home Monitoring app. And, storing video history with Blink is a breeze, with affordable monthly subscription plans (which we’ll cover in just a moment).
The only drawback to Mini is that it’s wired – it doesn’t contain batteries, so you’ll have that pesky power cord to reckon with. We tend to use cameras like this on a fireplace mantel, or a high bookshelf, to get a sweeping view of our space without having to drill any holes in our wall, and with a little wiggle room to obstruct the power cord from view.
This way, wired cameras look less messy in our home. But if you’d rather not deal with wires at all, we suggest taking a look at Arlo’s cameras and systems, many of which are wire-free and use rechargeable batteries.
Probably one of Blink’s most iconic cameras, the sleek, cube-shaped Blink Indoor was released in 2020 as an upgrade to the Blink XT2. With an outstanding two year battery life, this camera can go anywhere and do almost anything inside your home. You can read more in our review of the Blink Indoor security camera, but the long and short of it is this: For indoor security, you can’t go wrong here.
For a camera under $100, it feels like a luxury to have wire-free functionality. But keep in mind that it’s not the only wire-free camera out there that’s considered budget-friendly. We got a firsthand look at this setup when we tested Ring Stick Up Cam, an impressive wire-free camera for just about the same price point. It’s also worth noting that Ring and Blink offer identical cloud storage plans with their cameras, but we’ll dig deeper into that in a few.
FYI: To really explore Ring’s range of cameras and packages, we recommend checking out our Ring camera pricing guide, where we go into nitty-gritty detail on what to expect when it comes to camera costs, cloud storage fees, and bundling options for Ring security cameras.
As the priciest of Blink cameras, Blink Outdoor offers a decent package for just under $100 for the camera and sync module. It pulls together several key upgrades over previous models, including some handy ways to customize the camera’s motion sensor. We paid particular attention in our review of Blink Outdoor to all the ways we could tinker with the camera’s features to get a better picture, like adding or removing activity zones, adjusting video resolution and sensitivity, and setting alert schedules.
We do want to note that Blink Outdoor couldn’t quite match the competition in night vision, which is important in outdoor cameras; in our tests of this feature, the camera delivered a decent picture in black and white, but not nearly the quality we saw when we tried out Nest for our Nest Cam review, Google’s original security camera.
Pro Tip: Looking to shine a light on things? Blink recently released a wired version of its popular floodlight camera. It retails for $99.99 and is a great option for folks looking to keep an eye on things once the sun goes down.
But beyond all that, you’re still looking at a pretty reasonably priced camera when it comes to upfront costs. If you need more proof, consider that the aforementioned Nest Cam is double the price of Blink Outdoor. Just something to consider as you narrow down your options.
|Blink Mini Pan-Tilt
|Blink Wired Floodlight Cam
In the past, Blink came with a free basic cloud storage plan for your video history, but unfortunately that plan no longer exists. That said, their basic plan only costs $30 per month, or $30 for the year. It’s not free, but it’s close to it. For this price, you’re going to get a lot of features to help optimize your cameras like live video recording, rapid video access, and smart detections, so we’d say it’s a fair trade off.
With your Basic or Plus plan, you’re going to be able to record and save all of your clips and photos to the cloud and review them from anywhere at any time from your mobile device. As an added bonus, though, the Plus plan will get you a 10 percent discount on any more Blink equipment you buy as well as an extended warranty for protection.
FYI: Choosing to store video clips through Blink’s cloud has other advantages, too. Namely, we learned you’ll pay the same amount as Ring users pay for their cloud storage. Check out our side-by-side Ring vs. Blink comparison for lots more on the two Amazon-backed brands.
As you can see, despite the loss of free cloud storage, Blink still presents a viable option for a decent amount of storage without a huge financial commitment. See below for our breakdown of Blink’s cloud storage plans.
|10% off Blink Products
|As long as subscription is active
|Number of Cameras
|$3 per month/$30 per year
|$10 per month/$100 per year
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a shift in camera design trends4 to a more minimalistic style and away from bulky, heavy builds. With its unassuming look and lightweight construction, we see why Blink cameras are a big hit with apartment dwellers. After all, if you really don’t have the extra space for bulky gadgets and all the extras and add-ons needed to power them, Blink presents a viable option.
Did You Know? For a look at how Blink cameras stack up against a more comprehensive security brand, check out our SimpliSafe vs. Blink comparison. While Blink provides home security on a much smaller scale than SimpliSafe, we found some surprising similarities, too. That said, if you’re looking for intrusion protection plus video, we recommend checking out our SimpliSafe review.
1080p HD Resolution
Every Blink camera supports video up to 1080p resolution, the standard for HD. But it’s important to remember that these are Wi-Fi cameras, so the camera’s technology allows it to dip down into lower resolutions so it will run smoother and avoid connection interruptions.
With the exception of the Blink Mini, all Blink cameras run on two AA batteries, making them wire-free for easy, flexible installation. This means that, with average use, we can go up to two years without having to change the batteries in our Blink cameras.
Smart Home Integration
Since they have the same parent company, Blink makes it easy to use their cameras as part of a smart home setup, but only if that setup happens to be Amazon. The brand still hasn’t added this feature for non-Amazon devices, like Google Home and Nest Hub.
Two-way talk is a great tool for spooking criminals, which is why we think it’s also an essential tool in any security camera. Blink cameras have both a built-in speaker and microphone, allowing us to speak to whomever is at the other end – possibly breaking up a crime in progress.
Blink Outdoor, with an official IP65 weather rating, gets high marks for durability from us. In the peak of Ohio winters, temperatures can dip dangerously low, but our Blink Outdoor camera held up through it all. This means a great deal to us, as we like to use a couple of cameras outside the perimeter of our home to check for errant critters or porch pirates.
Blink cameras have infrared night vision, which records video in black and white. In our tests, it did a good job detecting activity in dimly lit areas and sending us prompt alerts, but we didn’t see the fine-tuned details of our space that we’d get in a color night vision camera.
This might sound obvious, but we thought it was pretty neat that buying Blink cameras is literally as easy as buying any random product on Amazon. Which is, you know, the easiest way to buy anything ever. (We see you, Prime members.)
That said, the best way to save on Blink is to bundle cameras together. Most of the time you’re not just looking for one security camera, so it makes sense to purchase them all at once as a package to save big.
Take, for instance, the Blink Outdoor camera. Alone, they cost $99.99 apiece, but if you buy eight of them at once, it’ll only cost you $629.98. That’s a savings of almost $170. Do note, though, you don’t have to buy either one or eight, they sell six-, five-, four-, three- and two-camera packages as well.
For more tips on buying Blink cameras, check out our guide to Blink’s deals, discounts, and sales.
Did You Know? Amazon typically offers some great savings on Blink during Amazon Prime Day. To find out more, see our full roundup of Blink Camera Prime Day Deals and Discounts.
Whether you’re looking to fill an entire home with wireless security cameras5 or just purchase one or two as add-ons, finding the perfect fit can be quite challenging. Blink’s cameras offer a truly hassle-free option, right down to the two AA extended-life batteries that let these cameras run for up to two years.
As far as value, we continue to score Blink high. We’re not talking about rock-bottom prices here; we’d put Blink cameras in or around the mid-range category in terms of pricing. But for what these cameras gave us – a truly hassle-free experience – we wholeheartedly recommend adding Blink cameras to your home.
With the extended-life batteries included in every Blink camera (except Blink Mini), you’ll get about two years of battery life with typical use. From what I’ve seen, that’s a whole lot of battery life in one charge.
Since they’re owned by the same company, Blink and Alexa play well together. You can set up your Blink cameras to use voice commands through an Amazon Echo. It does not work as smoothly with Google Assistant, though.
No. Blink cameras use standard infrared night vision that is not colorized, so you’ll get a pretty grainy picture at night.
Yes. The cameras have USB ports, and a power cord is included in the box, in case you’d rather wire the cameras for continuous use.
While not the cheapest camera on the market, Blink is generally considered an affordable brand. Their most expensive camera is $100, which isn’t bad for a battery-powered camera.
The Sync Module is a small, shallow box that comes with the Blink Indoor and Blink Outdoor cameras. The module receives information from Blink servers through your home Wi-Fi, and sends notifications to our phone. Cameras receive information from the Sync Module, then send images and notifications through your Wi-Fi. You can also use the Sync Module to attach an external hard drive via USB.
Bray, H. (2017, Dec. 21). Maker of Blink home security cameras bought by Amazon. The Boston Globe.
Amazon. (2020, Sept. 2). Amazon’s Blink Unveils New Wireless Security Cameras with HD Video, Flexible Storage Options, and New Battery Expansion Pack.
How Stuff Works. (2020). What does 1080p mean?
Alton, L. (2017, Oct. 2) Millennials Want Smart Home Tech More Than Anyone. Techzone.
Wireless Security Cameras. (Accessed January 22, 2021). Wikipedia.