Blink Camera Review

Affordable indoor & outdoor cameras that play well with Alexa

SecureScore™: 7.5 /10
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Travis Goodreau https://www.safehome.org/security-advisors/travis-goodreau/
7.5 SecureScore™
How We Review
How We Review
Customer Service
6.5
Value
9.5
Equipment
7.5
Features & Technology
6.5
Ease Of Use
7.5
SecureScore™
7.5

We have to say, Blink is one of the easiest security cameras we’ve used. We recently took these cams for a test drive, and we think you’ll like what we found. Owned by Amazon, Blink wireless cameras are inexpensive and low-maintenance. In fact, we think it could be the perfect camera for renters, college students, or people who are always on the move. We also like that Blink doesn’t require contracts and has native integration with Amazon Alexa.

While that all sounds great, Blink isn’t without its faults. We found there to be limited hardware options and few advanced security features. Also, the home automation features can be tricky to configure, so it might require a little patience there. Still, Blink easily makes our top 10 list for great home security cameras. So let’s see how this brand measures up against the competition.

PROS
  • No contracts
  • Transparent pricing
  • Works with Amazon Alexa
  • IFTTT integration
  • Low maintenance hardware
  • Affordable camera options
  • Great for renters with easy installation

CONS
  • Limited camera options
  • Lack of advanced security features
  • Requires some technical knowledge to integrate with home automation services
  • Hardware price can be costly for larger homes
  • Doesn’t work with SmartThings

Pricing for Blink Indoor, Blink XT2, and Blink Mini

Prices start at only $34.99 for the Blink Mini, and range up to $79.99 and $99.99 for the Blink Indoor and Blink XT2 respectively. That’s three security cameras all under $100! We’ve tested countless devices from all the big-name brands, and we can say that Blink is cheaper than many of its competitors. Also, we like that there aren’t any contracts, required subscription costs, or installation fees to worry about. Here’s a roundup of the latest Blink prices:

Blink ModelPriceFeatures
Blink Indoor$79.99– Built-in motion sensor alarm
– Battery powered security system
– Live-view streaming
– Free cloud storage
– One-way audio
– 720p HD video quality
Blink XT2$99.99– Extended battery life
– Two-way audio
– Custom motion detection
– Compatible with Alexa
– Use indoors or outdoors
– 1080p HD video quality
Blink Mini$34.99– Smartphone controls via app
– Instant notifications
– Live-video streaming
– Two-way talk
– HD video quality
– Indoor use only

In our experience, Blink’s biggest competition is Ring, which is ironic considering that Ring is also an Amazon-owned company.1 Ring too has three cameras under $100: the Ring Indoor Cam, the outdoor Stick Up Cam, and the Peephole Cam. We found the features of these brands to be similar across the board. Blink also has cloud storage options that are strikingly similar to Ring’s services. See below for Blink’s monthly subscription options.

Blink Cloud Subscription Breakdown

Blink Cloud SubscriptionsFreeBasicPlus
Live-streaming
Video Recordingx
Video Storagex60-days rolling60-days rolling
Video Sharingx
Number of Camsx1Unlimited
Warranty1 year1 yearExtended
Monthly PriceFree$3 per month$10 per month
Annual PriceFree$30 per year$100 per year

Equipment Options

Blink Indoor Camera

The Blink Indoor camera has a motion-sensor that sends an alert to your phone with a short clip of the event. Similar to Blink XT2, it’s practically no-maintenance with a two-year battery life. It’s also quite easy to install. We like that you can easily control the cameras wirelessly from an app on your iPhone or Android (it’s the little things).

Blink Indoor Camera and Sync Module

Blink Indoor Camera and Sync Module

You can also use your voice to control the camera, as Blink is compatible with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, including Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap. Note that all video will be recorded in HD at 720p. While 720p is decent, you won’t get the super-crisp quality that 1080p or 4K cameras offer.2 So that’s something to keep in mind.

We think the indoor camera is a good choice if you’re looking to monitor your pet or check in on your home with the live view streaming feature. Thankfully, there are no contracts or monthly fees required — just a one-time payment to purchase the camera. You’ll also have access to free basic cloud storage, and you won’t have to worry about anyone cutting wires since it’s 100% wireless. For these reasons, Blink ranks in our top 3 for best indoor security cameras.

Blink XT2 Camera

We tested the latest home security camera released by Blink, the XT2 model, which launched in May 2019.3 This camera works both indoors and out, and it offers a stellar set of features as well as some much-needed upgrades. In many ways, this option reminds us of the Lorex outdoor security camera, only without the 25x optical zoom feature.

Pro Tip: If you need more than one outdoor camera, we recommend purchasing the XT2 model in 2-packs, 3-packs, or 5-packs. The more cameras you buy, the more money you’ll save.

Unlike the indoor camera, the XT2 resolution is set at 1080p HD at 30 FPS, which offers sharp video quality. You’ll also enjoy infrared night vision, customizable motion detection, live-streaming within the Blink app, and IP-65 weatherproofing4 (it will stand up to harsh weather like rain, sleet, and snow). In using the device, we were big fans of the two-way audio, which allowed us to give instructions to delivery drivers, check-in with our kids and pets, and even scare off intruders if push came to shove.

Blink XT2 Outdoor/Indoor Camera and Sync Module

Blink XT2 Outdoor/Indoor Camera and Sync Module

However, one of our biggest gripes about this camera is the 110-degree field of view. We think this can be improved to at least 120-degree, which is more in-line with other top cameras out there.

Blink Mini

This is Blink’s newest addition, and priced at only $34.99, we think this little plug-in camera shows a lot of promise. The compact indoor camera offers 1080p HD image quality, motion detection, and it works with Alexa, too. Somehow they even managed to squeeze two-way audio into the feature-set. You’ll also get motion-activated mobile alerts, which is always nice. We haven’t personally tested this security camera, but we must say that it looks pretty good on paper.

Blink Mini Indoor Camera

Blink Mini Indoor Camera

Blink Sync Module

It’s called the “Blink Camera System” for a reason. That is, the cameras can’t function without a Blink Sync Module, which acts as the hub between the security cameras and the cloud. Don’t worry, this comes in the box. Unlike the cameras, the module needs to be plugged in to a power supply as well as connected to WiFi. Without the module, you won’t be able to create a Blink system, add new Blink cameras, or even access your system.

Good To Know: If you need to purchase an extra Sync Module, you can buy it on Amazon, but it’ll set you back $50.

Our Experience With Blink Cameras

Blink Camera Installation

It was pretty simple to install our Blink indoor cameras (plug-and-play simple!). However, it does take some technical knowledge to set up the home automation integrations, so just keep that in mind. As far as the XT2 model goes, that one took a single screw to mount on our patio. Then, once it was up-and-running, we were able to rotate the bracket to dial-in the perfect angle. It only took a few minutes to install, as expected.

Overall, we think these cameras rank right up there with Arlo as far as streamlined DIY installation goes. You shouldn’t have any problems getting started, but if you do, the Blink support team is just a phone call away.

Everyday Use

After testing out the Blink XT2 and the Blink Indoor camera, we discovered some great qualities as well as some things we think could be improved. First off, the Blink XT2 has 1080p video quality which offers a crisp, clear image. No problems there. However, we only had a 110-degree field of view with this camera, which was a little disappointing. We think an extra 10- to 20-degrees would have made a world of difference.

We were able to get a fairly crisp and clear picture at night, thanks to Blink’s infrared LEDs. That said, there is a little red light that came on, which made it difficult to “hide” the camera out of sight. A tiny bit of duct tape did the trick to cover the light, and just like that we were back in business.

The Blink Indoor camera only has 720p video quality, which isn’t as clear as we’d like. It also only has one-way audio, whereas the Blink XT2 has two-way talk which allowed us to communicate with visitors at our door. We’d recommend the XT2 model for this reason alone, especially since you can use it both indoors and outdoors.

Blink XT2 Outdoor Camera Mounted

Blink XT2 Outdoor/Indoor Camera and Sync Module

The Blink Indoor is also limited by “illuminated night vision” rather than infrared night vision, so we found the video to be a little more grainy at night. However, the indoor device is an easy-to-use, basic camera that has a two-year battery life. It also offers solid motion detection. You can set it up with Amazon Alexa for voice control, too. With that said, it doesn’t come with advanced artificial intelligence features or facial recognition like the Nest Cam IQ — one of our top picks for security cams (but Nest is not cheap!).

Note that each Blink camera comes with a sync module, which acts as your hub and can link together a complete system of up to 10 cameras.

Pro Tip: Choosing a wireless camera for your patio, doors, or backyard is a wise choice. It makes it harder for criminals to disable them, as there are no cords to cut.

Standout Features and Tech

Trust us, Blink isn’t known for fancy features and technology. But at the relatively low price point, we honestly weren’t expecting cutting-edge technology. We also understand that many people value simplicity and DIY home security systems. From our hands-on experience with these products, that’s exactly what you get with Blink. Still, we did come across a handful of great features, which we think you’ll like. These features include:

Blink App Available on iOS, Android, and Fire OS

While it’s really common to have apps available on iPhone and Android, it’s pretty rare to see a home security system with built-in Fire OS support. We like the flexibility here.

Instant Alerts

Once your Blink camera is armed, it will begin detecting motion and, when triggered, it will send an instant activity alert to your smartphone. This allows you to quickly assess the situation and jump into action (by calling a neighbor or the police) if needed.

Live-Streaming Video

You can open the Blink app and view your live-video feed and recorded footage from pretty much anywhere in the world. We really enjoy using smartphone controls for home security products.

5–60 Second Video Clips

Blink’s default clip length for a motion alert is 5 seconds, which is why Blink batteries are able to last for two years. If you’d prefer longer recordings (highly recommended!), you can opt for 60 seconds. And if that’s not enough, you can sign up with a cloud plan for 60-days of video history.

Two-Year Battery Life

These no-maintenance cameras only require you to check on them every two years. Blink uses exclusive technology and efficient (but limited) recording features to keep the batteries running longer than most cams we’ve tried. We think this is one of Blink’s biggest strengths.

Alexa Voice Controls

Blink plays very well with Amazon’s Alexa — in fact it has native integration with Alexa-compatible devices, allowing you to control your camera using only your voice. It’s a nice feature, but we’re seeing it more and more these days.

IFTTT Compatible

If This Then That (IFTTT) is a highly-flexible home automation platform that connects smart devices to your Blink system. We recommend taking advantage of this, but keep in mind that smart home products will cost you.

Pro Tip: If you’re concerned about intruders at night, we suggest choosing the Blink XT2 camera, as this device offers high-quality infrared night vision.

Are Blink Home Security Cameras Easy to Use?

We’ve researched and tested hundreds of different home security cameras. And it really doesn’t get much easier than Blink—just throw in two AA lithium batteries and you’re good to go. The fact that the batteries will last you up to two years makes this camera very low-maintenance.

Once you have it up-and-running, you can pretty much forget about it and just use the mobile app. The app makes it easy to receive instant notifications, check in on your cameras, and view live footage whether you’re home or away. All in all, Blink is hands down one of the easiest camera systems we’ve tried.

Customer Service Experience

Another thing we like about Blink is that the company offers several different avenues to find help. They have all sorts of online resources — such as troubleshooting guides and how-to articles. There’s also a user community where we could ask questions to fellow Blink users.

Of course, we also had the option to reach Blink’s support team (which is backed by Amazon) by phone 24/7. Note that it wasn’t the best service we’ve received, but we did get a quick response from their friendly and helpful reps. So we think Blink makes the grade here. And it’s worth noting that their products get 4+ stars on Amazon where the cameras are sold.

Warranty

You’ll want to keep in mind that Blink offers a one-year limited warranty for its products. If your camera malfunctions within that time period, the company will either repair the camera, replace it, or give you a full refund. A one year warranty is decent, but from what we’ve seen it’s right on par with the industry average. We also don’t think you’ll need to cash in on the warranty, as these cams are pretty well made and have no moving parts.

FYI: To use the warranty you have to contact customer service and they will provide you with an address to drop off your device. Before you drop it off, we recommend backing up any data or software just in case you don’t see that specific camera again.

An Overview of Blink, an Amazon Company

We took a deep dive look into Blink’s history to learn more about the company. These battery-powered security cameras were founded more than a decade ago by Peter Besen, Don Shulsinger, and Stephen Gordon. In 2014, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign and successfully raised over $1 million.5

Then, in 2017, Amazon acquired Blink almost specifically for their efficient chip technology6 Two years later, Amazon rolled out Blink’s XT2 camera — an outdoor, weatherproof security camera with a two-year battery life on two AA lithium batteries (if you missed it, we shared all about this camera above).

But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Blink. You may remember the news stories of people hacking home security cameras and talking to the families they were snooping on. Well, Blink was a part of that fiasco. Thankfully Amazon was able to fix the security flaws and shore up their safeguards. As far as we know, Blink hasn’t had any privacy problems since.

Final Words

We think the Blink XT2 camera has great features including 1080p HD, two-way talk, and infrared night vision. We do wish that it offered a greater field of view, though. As it stands, we think the 110-degrees is somewhat lacking. Blink Indoor also has some room for improvement. These cams only offer 720p HD video quality, one-way audio instead of two-way talk, and illuminated night vision, which is a far cry from infrared night vision.

That said, there’s still a whole lot to like about Blink. With no contracts required, an extended battery life due to their unique chip technology, and overall sharp image quality, these cams will do a fine job at monitoring your home. They are also easy to install and use. So if you’re looking for something simple and affordable, we think Blink is a safe bet. Otherwise, we recommend having a look at these affordable indoor and outdoor security cameras.

FAQs about Blink Cameras

Does Blink have free cloud storage?

Yes, that’s one of our favorite things about Blink cameras. However, the free plan is somewhat limited, so we recommend looking into their affordable cloud storage subscriptions.

Are they wireless or wired cameras?

Thankfully, Blink cameras are 100% wireless. This means they are easy to install (DIY) and there are no cords that criminals can cut.

How long is the battery life?

Blink cameras can last up to two years on two AA lithium batteries, which is quite the battery life compared to other battery-powered security cameras we’ve tried.

Who owns Blink?

Blink is an Amazon-owned company, just like Ring. We are seeing more and more tech titans acquiring home security brands (also see Google Nest).

Is the resolution any good?

At 1080p HD, the resolution is great on the XT2 model. But we think the 720p HD Indoor camera could use some improvement.

Citations
SafeHome only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Business Wire. (2018, April 12). Amazon and Ring Close Acquisition.
    https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180412005805/en/Amazon-Ring-Close-Acquisition%E2%80%94Now-Working-to%C2%A0Empower-Neighbors

  2. Digital Citizen. Adrien Rusen, C. (2019, July 3). What do the 720p, 1080p, 1440p, 2K, 4K resolutions mean? What are the aspect ratio & orientation?
    https://www.digitalcitizen.life/what-screen-resolution-or-aspect-ratio-what-do-720p-1080i-1080p-mean

  3. Bloomberg. (2019, May 8). Press Release: Introducing All-New Blink XT2.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2019-05-08/introducing-all-new-blink-xt2-the-next-gen-outdoor-indoor-smart-security-camera-with-extended-battery-life-and-enhanced-motion-jvfa1c3f

  4. The Enclosure Company. (2020). IP Rated Enclosures Explained.
    https://www.enclosurecompany.com/ip-ratings-explained.php

  5. Kickstarter. (Retrieved June 2, 2020). Blink: Wire-Free HD Home Monitoring & Alert System.
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/505428730/blink-wire-free-hd-home-monitoring-and-alert-syste

  6. Business Insider (Reuters). Dastin, J. (2018, February 12). Amazon quietly dropped $90 million on a camera startup last year to acquire its unique chip technology.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-blink-camera-maker-acquisition-2018-2

Reviewed By
Travis Goodreau
Safety and Security Advisor
Travis is a retired Burglary Detective, having tallied 5,000+ burglary and theft cases throughout his career. He also served as an Arson Investigator, where he cracked the case of a serial arsonist, and made the arrest and prosecuted the would-be bomber of ABC-7 Studio in LA. We couldn’t be happier to have him as a Safety and Security Advisor. Learn more about Travis here
Written By
Andrew Garcia
Lead Security Editor
As Lead Security Editor, Andrew strategically guides SafeHome and the resources we publish. He holds a BA in business, and has 10+ years of experience in content development. Today, Andrew edits and publishes articles, guides, and other resources to meet our rigorous standards. Learn more about Andrew here

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