Wires are so … yesteryear. For indoor home security without unsightly power cords, we have Blink Indoor, the sleek, comfortably cube-shaped camera released in 2020 that has two very big things going for it: fast Wi-Fi connectivity and extended-life batteries for up to two years of continuous use.
We’ve been following Blink closely since Amazon bought them in 2017.1 Clearly this is a brand worth getting to know, which we noted when we reviewed the Blink camera system recently.
Today, we’ll be sharing our takeaways from the latest Blink camera to hit the market: Blink Indoor.
We recently added this camera to our Blink setup at home and spent the better part of a week rigorously testing out everything it offers, from crisp 1080p HD resolution to reliable motion detection. But for all of its great qualities packed into such a small frame, we must say, it’s not a perfect camera. In this review, we’re giving you our full rundown of the Blink Indoor experience, from start to finish.
We’ll kick it off with a few initial takeaways:
Straightforward. In a word, that’s how we would describe the Blink Indoor Camera’s setup process once we opened the box. It works very much like other DIY cameras in that the mobile app basically does all the setup work for you, except for scanning the camera’s QR code2 into the app, which we did in a flash. No complicated instructions to sift through, no small parts (other than the two mounting screws), and no slow-to-load firmware updates. Installing our Blink Indoor security camera, like the three other Blink cameras we’ve reviewed over the years, was no sweat.
You’re looking at anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes to get a Blink Indoor up and running. The swift setup is mostly thanks to consistently smooth communication between the camera and our smartphone – something we also noted when we reviewed Blink Mini, Blink Indoor’s pint-sized sibling.
In addition to the basic parts that came with our camera, Blink Indoor also comes with a Sync Module, which is basically a hub to relay commands and Wi-Fi information from the app to our Blink devices, allowing them to communicate with Blink’s servers. It did so brilliantly for us, much like the smart hub for Arlo cameras, allowing us to attach an external hard drive or micro SD card to store our video history.
Speaking of Arlo, we also likened Blink Indoor to the Arlo Pro 3 camera for its smooth, easy installation (read more about it in our Arlo Pro 3 review). And since we already had an account with Blink for our other cameras, we simply added Blink Indoor to our existing account, which made setup even faster.
As far as displaying the camera in our home, that didn’t take long, either. We typically recommend mounting indoor cameras on a high shelf or in a corner to get the best protection possible for your space, but we also found that simply displaying it on our fireplace mantel, or even discreetly placing it on a bookshelf, works well, too. We tried both scenarios for our tests of the camera, which we’ll talk about in greater detail below.
First, let’s talk about size. Blink Indoor is definitely considered a small camera, standing at around 2.7 inches, with a flat, lightweight body and a detachable stand.
Comparing Blink Indoor with its kid sister, Blink Mini, we saw a camera that is small enough to display basically anywhere in our home, but not too small that it risks looking cheap or ineffective.
You’ll recall, though, that our Blink Mini is wired. So if you’re looking for a camera you can put anywhere, without worrying about proximity to power outlets, we’d have to say Blink Indoor wins out over its mini-me.
Looking closer at camera design, we see that the lightweight build is a big part of what makes the Blink Indoor so easy to install – just as easy as a YI Home 3 camera, for example, with its magnetic base and teardrop design. In fact, if you’re looking for an ultra-affordable camera with basic features, have a look at our Yi camera review.
Pro Tip: Blink Indoor comes with two AA batteries for up to two years of battery life. They’re not rechargeable, but they are easy to replace. If you’re partial to rechargeable batteries, though, check out our hands-on review of Arlo cameras to learn about their wire-free options.
When we compared Blink to Ring, we noted how many of Blink’s features can be customized to fit the user’s needs. Via the Blink Home Monitoring app, we had lots of options to tailor the camera’s features, from adjusting sensitivity to mapping out zones within the frame to changing the length of our video clips from 60 seconds down to 5. It was all in one place in the app, too, which is another convenience worth mentioning.
In times when the level of activity in our space increased, the camera handled pretty well, using the same fluid video process we noted in the Blink Mini.
And while we’re on the subject of video quality, bear in mind that Blink Indoor is billed as a 1080p HD video camera, but we could also choose to view video in standard (720p) definition, or set it to automatically adjust based on Wi-Fi speed.
This is another feature we controlled in the Blink mobile app, and while it’s no longer rare to find this setting in cameras nowadays, we find it particularly helpful in cameras that rely heavily on a home Wi-Fi connection. We noted this recently in our review of D-Link cameras, where we were simultaneously dealing with some Wi-Fi network issues in our home, and were able to set the cameras to a lower image quality to ensure that the camera continued to work smoothly.
Our takeaway? This is a really neat feature for any security camera user, but it’s especially beneficial for people with unstable or troublesome Wi-Fi connections.3
When we tested Blink’s indoor-outdoor XT2 camera (now discontinued), we noted a problem with glare in our nighttime feed. Each time we ran through scenarios, we saw glares that produced reflections and at times distorted or obstructed some of the objects in the frame.
Later in the year, when we met Blink Outdoor, we were keen to test this feature once again. An outdoor camera isn’t worth much to us if it doesn’t work well at night, as criminals often wait for the cover of night to strike.
The result wasn’t particularly different from the majority of DIY security cameras out there; night vision has its limits, after all. While the camera certainly picked up our simulated activity during our tests, the recordings yielded a grainy, noisy picture. You’ll find lots more tips on using Blink cameras outdoors in our hands-on Blink Outdoor review.
Even an indoor camera like the Sight 180C from Zmodo, which we tested as part of our full Zmodo camera review, didn’t see very well at night, even though it’s literally called “sight.”
But what Zmodo cameras don’t have, that Blink Indoor most certainly does, is the ability to customize the camera for nighttime viewing. With Blink, we used the app to increase the intensity of the infrared sensor at night. While this didn’t yield a huge difference in picture quality for us, we did get enough exposure to see a tiny little disturbance in the bottom left quadrant of the frame, as you can see in our clip here:
Hint: It’s the dog.
Since it’s tied so closely to Amazon, pairing Blink with a smart home ecosystem is a little tricky for non-Alexa users, so just be warned.
If you’re on the hunt for a camera that can be configured into Google Assistant and IFTTT4 devices, Blink might not be your best bet. Though we’re still fans of Blink for multiple other reasons, this is one aspect of the brand that we wish could be improved. Until then, though, we’d advise smart home aficionados to look instead into the many Vivint automation options, a brand that takes a more comprehensive approach to home security.
That said, it just so happens that the Amazon Echo is one of the most popular smart home devices in existence. We have an Echo Show, as you can see in the photo above. By pairing a Blink system with this, we added a layer to our smart home that meant we no longer needed to be tethered to a smartphone to use our cameras.
Every security camera comes with an app these days, and like the cameras themselves, they’re usually pretty easy to understand and use every day. Blink’s app, in our view, is one of the brand’s best assets. Features are displayed in an intuitive, linear way. This also holds true in the app’s “play” tab, which houses each camera’s feed. It’s arranged in reverse chronological order, so when we wanted to find a specific clip from earlier in the week, it took us under 2 minutes and just a few swipes to locate it. Here’s what that feed looks like…
We were pleased to find yet another positive app experience with Blink, but it’s still important to note that Blink cameras are not packed with A.I.-driven facial recognition features4 like we found when we reviewed Google Nest IQ Cams. We didn’t get fine-tuned alerts letting us know if the object in the frame is a person or an inanimate object, which Google Nest so adeptly does.
With Blink, we had a reliable camera that wouldn’t let us down in tracking and deterring potential intruders; that was abundantly clear in our tests. And as for the state-of-the-art technology we found in the relatively high-priced Nest cameras, keep in mind that facial recognition features are really cool to have, but in the majority of cases, they’re not necessary in building a safe, protected home.
As an affordable brand, we’ve come to associate Blink with low prices. They’re certainly not the cheapest camera you’ll find out there; the industry is bursting with low-cost cameras these days. The $19.99 Wyze Cam, for example, didn’t get us the same sharp picture of the $80 Blink Indoor, but it still held its own as an affordable indoor camera when we tested the device for our Wyze review. Also note that Wyze is similar to Blink in camera design.
Here’s a look at what you can expect to pay for Blink Indoor, as well as other cameras Blink offers:
FYI: To really explore Blink’s range of cameras and packages, we recommend checking out our Blink pricing guide. We go into great detail on what to expect when it comes to camera cost, bundle packages, cloud storage fees, and more.
When comparing pricing in security cameras, it’s always wise to consider how the camera handles storage. With all the data these cameras generate, we certainly didn’t want to miss anything crucial. We knew we’d want to store at least a week’s worth of our videos in some way, either through our own external hard drive attached to a Blink sync module, or through Blink with a cloud storage subscription.
It’s not unusual to see this dual option in cameras, and we’ve found it to be quite helpful in saving money on security equipment over the long run.
But we do want to mention that the brand has, in the past, offered a free storage option, where we could record and save some video to the cloud without any extra cost. That’s since been discontinued, leaving some Blink users in the lurch.
So in Blink’s new format, you’ll have two choices for cloud storage, and neither of them are free. The basic option, however, is only $3 per month per camera, which is still on the low side.
Compare that to the storage fees you’ll pay with an Amcrest camera – a cool $6 per month for one camera – and we’ve found Blink’s basic cloud package to be quite reasonable, especially with everything the subscription offers. You can see both of Blink’s video storage plans laid out below:
|Video History||60 Days||60 Days|
|10% off Blink Products||No||Yes|
|Warranty||1 year||As long as subscription is active|
|Number of Cameras||1||Unlimited|
|Price||$3 per month||$10 per month|
Whether you’re just starting to search for home security products or you’re a seasoned pro, it can be challenging to choose the right security product for your home and all the precious things in it. What if you recently moved into a new neighborhood and don’t know where the threats are? What if you recently had a baby and hired a nanny,5 and you just want one camera for your own peace of mind while you’re at work?
Both of those scenarios require the same solution: A camera with versatility, that you can move around and customize with ease, and one that will record sharp video and send you instant alerts, allowing you to act swiftly and make sense of any danger that might be hiding in the shadows. Blink Indoor, like the rest of the Blink family, delivered that for us, and we feel confident it will do the same for you, too.
We consider both Blink Indoor and Blink Mini to be indoor cameras because they’re not rated for weatherproofing. Our recommendation? Use Blink Outdoor for the exterior of your home, and keep the Blink Indoor and Mini inside.
Since Two-Way Talk can be a key tool in “spooking” criminals caught in the act, we always test the quality of the two-way audio in security cameras. For Blink, Two-Way Talk worked great in our tests, but not any better or worse than other cameras.
Yes. You can buy multiple Blink cameras as a 2, 3, or 5-camera system with an included sync module and install the system in your home. As an affordable DIY brand, we’ve found this is pretty easy to do with Blink.
For $80, Blink Indoor is not the cheapest indoor camera available. But for a wire-free camera with reliable tech and easy installation, this is a fair price in our opinion.
Battery life in the Blink Indoor is billed at “up to two years.” Keep in mind, though, that this depends on the frequency of activity in the frame and how you’ve programmed your motion detection settings. For example, if you’ve set the camera at a lower or fluid image resolution, your battery will last longer than if you use the “best” setting at all times. It’s all in the settings, but generally, the batteries in a Blink camera go pretty far.
Bray, H. (2017, Dec. 21). Maker of Blink home security cameras bought by Amazon. The Boston Globe.
Nippon.com. (2020, Feb. 10). The Little-Known Story of the Birth of the QR Code.
Perry, A. (2020, March 19). How to improve your Wi-Fi while you’re stuck at home. Mashable.
Fortune Business Insights. (2020, July 8). Facial Recognition Market Size to Reach USD 12.92 Billion by 2027; Growing Adoption of Internet of Things (ioT) And AI Technologies to Stoke Demand.
Gerson, E. (2019 Jan. 18). Nanny Cams: What parents need to know before installing a home security camera. Care.com.