Blink goes pint-sized with powerful protection and a simple indoor design.
There are a tremendous number of security cameras on the market these days with widely different functionalities across a broad range of costs. With so many options available, choosing the right security products can seem pretty overwhelming, and doubly so if you’re operating on a budget.
That’s where Blink comes in. As you’ll read all about in our hands-on review of Blink cameras, these are fantastic cameras for folks who need to protect their homes without breaking the bank. And how’s this for budget-friendly? The Blink Mini is a $34.99 indoor camera that often goes on sale for less than $30.
Pro Tip: Looking to get a little more mobility out of your security? Blink recently introduced the Mini Pan-Tilt camera. It’s a Blink Mini that — you guessed it — can pan and tilt, giving you 360-degree coverage. This configuration costs $59.99.
One thing we should say right off the bat is that Blink doesn’t offer a huge lineup of cameras — just seven total, including a video doorbell. While some folks might think this is a bad thing, we actually count it as a positive. With Blink, it’s really easy to understand what you’re getting.
Plus, Blink is more about quality than quantity. It’s always improving its lineup; recently, it launched a new version of the Blink Outdoor, improving the design of the older generation.
Today, though, we’re going to be talking small. Really small. In fact, it’s the smallest Blink camera ever – the Blink Mini. After a few days of testing, we found this affordable, pint-sized camera is a perfect addition to most home security systems, and while it’s a little lacking in features, we loved how easy it was to set up and how it fit just about anywhere. We can really see why Blink is a great camera option for folks who live in apartments, too.
We’re going to discuss all the ins and outs of the Blink mini, along with the intricacies and particularities of this itty-bitty camera, but first let’s get some pros and cons established.
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One trend we’re seeing is that a lot of manufacturers are producing cameras that are out-of-the-box ready to install. This is true, too, of the Blink Mini. All we had to do was connect the USB cable, plug it in, and set it up using Blink’s Home Monitoring app and the camera’s prompts. There was literally nothing to it.
Like most DIY cameras, the Blink Mini syncs to your phone using a QR code on the back of the camera. Once that’s done, the camera will automatically update its firmware, and boom, you’re done with your set up.
The setup process for the Blink Mini reminded us of the time we tested the Wyze Cam. We often pit the two against each other because they’re similarly small and affordable. The Wyze Cam does offer more smart features (like person detection), so if you’re into that, be sure to check it out. When it comes to set-up, though, we’d say they are about as easily configurable.
At the end of the day, you’re looking at about an 8 to 10 minute sync from “out-of-the-box” to “ready-to-go.” That is, if you’re installing just one camera. When we ordered two more for the kitchen and dining area, the setup process for each took less than five minutes because we already had the app set up.
This is pretty standard for DIY cameras today. Comparatively speaking, it took just a little bit longer than it took us to set up our Ring Indoor Camera with our phone. The difference, we think, was with the app. The Ring app was so much more intuitive and easy to learn to use, while it took us a bit longer to warm up to the Blink app. Check out our full experience with Ring in our deep-dive review of the Ring Indoor Cam.
Back to Blink, mounting the camera was a breeze, too. We didn’t need anything beyond a single screw and a screwdriver to affix our Blink Mini onto our foyer wall.
Even that was optional. We could have just set it on a table or shelf and it would have been just fine, but we found that mounting it on a wall gave it a better vantage point. It could see our entire 100-square-foot living room from up there, while on our bookshelf, it had a view of only about three-quarters of the room.
And note that the Blink Mini comes with a durable ball-socket mount that can be attached to the camera either in the back or the bottom, depending on how you’d like to display it. We like having options, and despite its small size, the Blink Mini gave us just that.
One thing to keep in mind is that unlike its more portable siblings that run off of battery power, the Blink Mini has to be plugged in. It comes with a seven-foot power cord, so you’re not terribly limited in where you can place your new camera, but it’s something to keep in mind. Other than that, setup and installation are a breeze.
Pro Tip: Plug-in cameras are easy to use, but they’re not always nice to look at. Wire-free cameras, such as the Argus 3 from Reolink, allow for greater flexibility and don’t require unsightly wires, though they tend to cost more than simple plug-in cams. If you’re interested, you can learn more about Reolink in our hands-on review.
If you’re as enamored with “mini” tech as we are, we think you’ll love Blink Mini, with its lightweight, attractive body, simple and crisp white finish. It can sit freely on a surface or be easily mounted on a wall, which made us feel like we were playing with Legos as we bent the base around to our liking, popping it in and out of place to move the camera around our home.
Its small frame also meant that it was very inconspicuous – well, except for the camera’s black face and the blue indicator light when it’s recording. Fortunately, you can disable the status indicator.1 But even with it, the Blink Mini won’t be the first thing someone will notice if they were to take a quick sweeping look around the room; great for low-key video surveillance.
In terms of features, we’re not talking about fancy bells and whistles with this one; this tiny camera gave us a reliable 1080p HD live video feed and delivered alerts smoothly and efficiently via our smartphone, both of which are huge priorities when it comes to securing our home.
As we mentioned briefly earlier, the original Wyze Cam2 has been compared to Blink Mini both in equipment design and affordability many times over. But facts are facts: we found Wyze Cam to have a wider range of features. It is, for example, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use thanks to its weatherproof casing, whereas the Blink Mini is for indoor use only. The Wyze Cam also has color night vision and person detection, while the Blink Mini uses infrared night vision and basic motion detection.
Another noteworthy point of comparison is video storage. The Wyze Cam has a microSD card slot and it comes with 14 days of cloud storage for free. The Blink Mini doesn’t have a microSD card slot, and the free cloud option has been discontinued. (We’ll take you through all of Blink’s video storage options in just a bit.)
That’s one word of caution we can impart from testing the Blink Mini: There are cameras out there that do more than Blink Mini for the price. But in our view, Mini is still a solid indoor camera in its own right. Let’s jump into the features and tech, and you’ll see what we mean.
The primary job of a home security camera, from the top performers in the industry to the lesser-known outliers, is to record good-quality video. By all accounts, Blink Mini handled this well.
Note that despite not having to worry about conserving battery like its battery-powered siblings, though, the Blink Mini doesn’t record continuously. With our cloud subscription, it recorded whenever motion was detected. That was enough to keep an eye on anyone entering or leaving our home, though, so overall, we were happy.
As an entryway camera, the Blink Mini got the job done. We weren’t overwhelmed with the image quality — after all, it maxes out at 1080p — and that quality did fluctuate quite a bit depending on our current Wi-Fi connectivity. On a few occasions we did notice the picture becoming really grainy, but these issues corrected themselves quickly and overall we were satisfied that the Mini was capturing sufficient detail.
Pro Tip: While 1080p is the most common benchmark for security cameras, it’s also possible to secure your home with 2K and even 4K cameras. Arlo Pro 3 and Arlo Ultra are great examples of this; we recommend checking out our full review of Arlo cameras for more insights.
Though it’s pretty barebones on its own, the good thing about Blink Mini is that it gets to harness the power of its siblings. When we reviewed Blink Outdoor, the customization options we had via the Blink Home Monitor app made for a much richer experience. And even though it’s a smaller, simpler camera, we like that Mini gives us this leeway, too.
Why is this a good thing? Because as you might recall in our side-by-side comparison between Blink and Ring, Blink has tons of customization, letting us fine-tune our recordings down to the second – literally. Take a look at the Blink app’s settings menu:
For starters, we were really glad to find a sensitivity slider here. That’s because, frankly, this camera is very sensitive. In our initial run-throughs with Blink Mini, it was sending alerts to our smartphone at a breakneck pace. We had the same minor trip-up when we reviewed Blink’s Indoor camera, so we knew it wouldn’t be difficult to fix.
Just for context, we did look back at the footage and saw why the alert was triggered: in a few instances, it was detecting sound from another room in the house. Clearly, this is not the kind of insight we would consider “smart.”
Turning down that sensitivity slider instantly helped to reduce those “nuisance alerts.” We think you’ll find the slider to be a great tool to enhance the camera’s motion sensor. Note that it’s also a pretty common feature in DIY cameras across the board, as we noted in our Ring camera review.
Blink also let us adjust the running time of our playback clips, which is one of our favorite features of this camera (and the Blink brand as a whole). We imagine you’re busy like us, so you don’t want to spend the time rifling through hours of recordings you might have missed after an eight-hour workday. Being able to set those recordings to activate for 5 or 10 seconds, for example, instead of 30 seconds, was a great help to this end.
In our home, Blink Mini helped us with everyday household tasks, like making sure our weekly meal kit arrived on time and our dog stayed out of trouble while we were out of the house.
And those tasks were made easier thanks to built-in two-way talk on the Blink Mini. Now, two-way talk is a fairly common feature, but there was a time when Blink cameras didn’t have this. That was back when Blink was just starting as a camera brand and they only had a couple of battery-powered cameras.
Fortunately, all current cameras, even the battery-powered ones, come standard with two-way talk. And rightly so, as two-way talk can be crucial in actively “spooking” would-be burglars. It’s especially key in outdoor cameras, where said burglars might be lurking. In our look at the Ring Spotlight camera, for instance, we loved having direct communication with the delivery driver dropping off our groceries during an especially hectic week.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to have this feature in an indoor camera, either. And in our tests, two-way talk through the Blink Mini held its own, save for a second-or-two audio lag.
Pairing the Blink Mini with our smart home devices was a snap. Thanks to a skill built into Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem, we were able to get our Alexa smart display, the Echo Show, to pull up the live feed of our Blink Mini within seconds.
This is a great feature if you’re not always anchored to your smartphone, or if you’re in a pinch and need a quick look at the scenery.
For monitoring guests entering and leaving your home, we think you’ll appreciate having quick access like this. But it’s Amazon, after all; we’ve come to expect Amazon-branded products to communicate well with one another, and they did so just fine here.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that Blink Mini doesn’t support the Google Assistant or the IFTTT3 smart home ecosystem, which is a bit disappointing. Clearly brand loyalty still wins the day here. We’re hoping Blink decides to expand their automation capabilities at some point in the near future.
As an alternative, take a look at our breakdown of Ring’s home automation options, which include support for Google, Amazon, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT.
As a solid indoor camera, Blink Mini easily justifies its $35 price tag. It’s still Amazon’s cheapest security camera, which is appealing for Amazon loyalists. And, as we touched on earlier, it’s pretty cheap compared with non-Amazon brands, too; we’ve seen cameras entering the market for as low as $19.99, but not with the power of a behemoth like Amazon behind them.
That’s good news, but there are other costs to consider with this camera beyond upfront purchases, though. Similar to what we found in our SimpliCam from SimpliSafe review, Blink Mini is one of those cameras that doesn’t house any internal storage, so if you want a large amount of storage for your recordings (beyond 64 GB), you’re going to have to shell out a small monthly payment for a cloud plan. We’ll touch more on this in just a bit.
Did You Know? SimpliSafe’s basic 720p security camera did a decent job in our tests, but we didn’t care for the $99 price tag (it’s free if you buy a SimpliSafe kit, though). They do have generous professional monitoring plans on the cheap, which you can read about in our full SimpliSafe system review.
In addition to Blink Mini, here’s a brief look at equipment pricing across the brand. We encourage you to check out our in-depth Blink pricing page for more cost information as well.
|Blink Outdoor 3||
|Blink Outdoor 4||
|Blink Mini Pan and Tilt||
|Blink Wired Floodlight Cam||
The true cost of owning home security cameras can often last far beyond the initial equipment. And in the case of the Blink Mini, we want to be very clear: This camera costs $35, but its “true cost” will ultimately be higher if you want to store your video history.
That said, there are a few ways to store video using a Blink Mini. The first is to attach a flash drive or external hard drive to the USB port in a Blink Sync Module and pair it with the Mini. This is one of the most seamless ways to do it, and if you already have the equipment, the least expensive.
In case you’re wondering what a Sync Module is, it’s the hub that comes with the Blink Outdoor and other Blink cameras. The Blink Mini is the only that doesn’t require this hub, but you could pair it with the hub for local storage. Since we had a Sync Module from when we tested the Blink Indoor and Outdoor, we were able to store footage into a flash drive, proving again that brand loyalty pays.
Keep in mind, though, the module will only support 64 GB of storage. Once it becomes full, it removes the oldest clips to make room for new ones, so you may have to check your archive more often.
That said, $3 per month to store video is still an economical way to secure your home as a supplement to local storage. We chose the basic cloud plan for our Blink tests, and it had everything we needed. But if you’re really hoping to buy a few cameras without a long-term financial commitment, Blink might not be the way to go. Instead, consider steering yourself toward Lorex. As you’ll learn in our comprehensive Lorex review, those cameras connect directly to Wi-Fi and can be monitored strictly through internal storage.
Check out updated pricing for Blink’s subscription plans below. And don’t forget to check out our rundown of deals, sales, and discounts on Blink cameras throughout the year.
|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|
Blink Mini was Amazon’s official introduction into the budget camera space, and we think they’ve done well with this compact, cubic device that fits into the palm of our hands.
After using the camera extensively in our home, we can say without a doubt that Blink Mini met our expectations. We observed clear, noise-free images, even when the threat of a fast-moving canine crossed the camera’s path.
Indeed, a well-working motion sensor is the cornerstone of any good security system, as we mentioned in our rundown of the best motion detection security cameras. With Blink Mini, we were able to customize motion detection so we’d get smart, intuitive alerts. For folks like us who don’t have a lot of time to spend monitoring multiple cameras, this is much appreciated!
That said, you’re not going to find features like A.I. person detection or pan and tilt capabilities with Blink; that’s simply not what this brand is about.
But as a low-cost, low-maintenance Wi-Fi camera with reliable technology, Blink is still a worthy gadget that does its best work as part of a larger Blink home security system. All in all, if you’re a current Blink user, we think the Mini is a great buy at only $35.
All in all, we think the Mini is a great buy whether you’re a current Blink user looking to add more indoor surveillance without breaking the bank or new to the brand. It’s great for renters and homeowners looking to save space. And again, it’s cheap, so if you’re on a budget, the Blink Mini is also for you.
Yes. You can schedule the camera to record motion at certain times of the day under motion detection settings in the Blink Home Monitoring app. You can also adjust the frequency of your motion alerts and block out activity zones within your feed.
You can run up to 10 Blink cameras on one Blink Sync Module. It’s Blink’s way of making it easy for customers to outfit their entire homes with Blink cameras.
Like all Blink cameras, night vision is standard infrared. Without a built-in spotlight supplementing the lens, night vision images tend to be blurry and grainy. But individual shapes and objects are still distinguishable from one another.
No. You can plug in an external hard drive to your Blink Sync Module to store your video history, avoiding the need to pay for a monthly cloud storage subscription.
At $35, it’s Amazon’s least expensive security camera, so we consider the Blink Mini to be cheap. There are less expensive cameras out there, but it’s always wise to be wary of “cheap” cameras that boast tons of advanced features, as they might not deliver on all of their promises.
Blink. (2023). Can I Disable the Blue Recording LED on the Camera?
Atallah, J. et al. (2018, April 23). How a tiny camera startup is taking on Amazon and Google. Business Insider.
Sowers, P. (2017, May 24). IFTTT now lets any developer build and publish applets for others to use. VentureBeat.