Blink Cameras Review
Blink is known for providing no-frills, high-quality cameras sold at a fraction of the cost of similar home security cameras. The Blink camera system began as a Kickstarter campaign in 2016, and instantly grew in popularity due to its feature-rich models, long battery life and simple setup.
Blink offers both indoor and outdoor cameras with HD video and other must-have features like night vision and smart home integration options. With both Blink camera options starting at under $100, it’s hard to beat that price point in the home security market.
At the end of 2017, Blink was purchased by the e-commerce giant Amazon. That's helped keep prices low over the last few years, and lead to a solid integration with Alexa for home automation options. It also makes returns easy in case you're not satisfied with the cameras, or end up purchasing one too many.
Let's dig into the pros and cons of Blink.
Both Blink security camera models are priced at under $100, making it an affordable way to add video surveillance to your home. Cameras with similar quality and features sell for much more, and Blink also offers discounts if you purchase more packs at once. When it comes to value, Blink is tough to beat.
The Blink camera outdoor and indoor model are both wireless, which means they run solely on battery. Changing out batteries can be a con, but a Blink camera battery lasts up to two years, which is longer than its competitors. If the Blink outdoor camera is used in a high-traffic area, users report the battery life isn’t quite that long, though.
Each Blink camera comes with its own temperature sensor which can alert you to high or low temperatures. This could alert you to a fire or even warn you of the danger of ending up with frozen pipes in the winter. In addition, the Blink camera system works seamlessly with Alexa, and utilizes IFTTT technology to allow users to connect the cameras with third party options like smart locks and lights.
If you want a Blink security camera, you’ll have to be comfortable with monitoring your home yourself. As of right now, Blink does not offer any professional monitoring.
While Blink’s cameras are a great value, there are only two options, and very few accessories to go along with the existing models. Many competitors offer extras like door and window sensors that help turn a camera system into a more powerful security system. With Blink, what you see is what you get — two camera options.
We like the fact that users don’t have to pay for cloud storage. But that storage is seriously limited. Customers will only be able to store two hours of footage at a time before it records over old footage. In addition, Blink doesn’t have any paid subscription options to allow you to add to that storage if you wanted to.
Blink Camera Features
Here are some of the features Blink offers that stood out to our SecurityNerd.
- HD video: Although the Blink security camera options are priced low, they still provide impressive HD video.
- Two-way communication: The Blink XT2 model has two-way communication, which allows users to not only listen in to what’s happening on the other end of the camera, but also communicate with whoever is there.
- App: Users receive instant alerts when the camera detects motion and begins recording through Blink’s easy-to-use app. Our Security Nerd also liked that you can view up to ten different cameras within the same app.
- Temperature sensor: Both the Blink outdoor camera and indoor version come with temperature sensors. This is a great way to keep tabs on environmental issues. Other companies require users to purchase temperature sensors as an add-on, but you get them built-in with Blink.
- Night vision: Whether you go with the standard Blink security camera or the Blink XT2, night vision is a standard feature that comes with both.
- Smart home integration: Although it’s limited compared to some other companies. Blink is compatible with Alexa and offers IFTTT integration. This means you can arm and disarm the system using Alexa. IFTTT will allow users to integrate third party home automation like smart lights and locks.
- Activity zones: Blink allows you to only get alerts based on certain areas of your home or yard. That means if you don’t want to get an alert every time a car drives by, you can set the activity zone to exclude the street.
Blink Camera Installation
Installation is where Blink stands out from the crowd. There are no wires, no plugs and no long installation manuals to read. Customers simply receive the cameras along with Blink’s Sync Module. The module plugs into the wall and automatically gets the setup started along with the Blink app on your smartphone.
Once you’ve launched the app and run the setup wizard, you simply place your cameras wherever you’d like them to go. Because they are wire-free, you’re ready to go right out of the box.
If you’re in the market for a Blink security camera, the more you buy at once, the better deal you’ll receive. Below are bundle options for both the Blink and Blink XT2 models.
Blink XT2: This is Blink’s weatherproof indoor/outdoor model with two-way communication. One camera costs $99. Buying two cameras at once will cost $179.99. The three camera bundle comes in at $249.99, while a five camera system costs $379.99. The more cameras you buy at once, the bigger the discount.
- Extended battery life – 2 year battery life on two AA lithium batteries with a combination of two-way talk, live view, and motion...
- 2-way audio – Talk to visitors through the Blink app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Customizable motion detection – Use activity zones to choose where motion is detected so you receive the alerts that matter.
- Free cloud storage – Keep hundreds of clips stored up to a year with no monthly fees or service contract required.
- Works with Alexa – View live streams, motion clips, or arm and disarm your system through select Alexa-enabled devices.
Blink indoor camera system: This model is only used for indoors, and does not have the two-way talk function. One camera costs $79.99. Just like the Blink XT2 model, the more you purchase at once the better deal you’ll get. For a two-pack, you’ll pay $139.99, for three $189.99, and for five $279.99. (All prices are accurate as of Feb 10, 2020)
- MOTION DETECTOR: Built-in motion sensor alarm, when motion detector is triggered, WIFI cameras send an alert to your smartphone and record a...
- BATTERY POWERED SECURITY SYSTEM: Wireless home camera with 2-year battery life, powered by 2 Lithium AA 1.5v non-rechargeable Lithium...
- SMART HOME SECURITY: Simple self-install home monitoring in minutes; easy control wireless cameras with the included iOS & Android apps or...
- ADVANCED HOME SURVEILLANCE: Home and pet monitoring in real time with video camera “Live View” streaming mode
- FREE CLOUD STORAGE: Totally wire-free, with no monthly fees or service contract required. (Requires iOS 10.3 or Android 5 Lollipop or...
Home Automation Options
Since Blink is owned by Amazon, it’s not surprising that the cameras work with Alexa. That means you can arm and disarm the system using your voice.
While there aren’t any other smart home options to buy directly from Blink at this time, you can use IFTTT to program third party home automation to work with your Blink camera system.
That means you can set rules to use smart home products like smart lights and locks right along with your Blink camera, even though it wasn’t manufactured by Blink. Compared with other similar companies, the home automation options aren’t terribly robust. But the IFTTT compatibility makes it easier if you already have some items you want to integrate into the camera system.
Security Plans & System
If you are interested in using the Blink camera system as the main security system, you’ll have to be comfortable monitoring your home yourself. At this time, Blink does not offer any type of security plans with professional monitoring.
Blink Cameras: The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a camera with foolproof setup at a low price, Blink is a great option. You won’t get many bells and whistles, but the cameras themselves are solid.
Blink is great for renters because of the price and the fact that it doesn’t require any wires or difficult setup. Renters can set up the Blink security camera wherever they need to in just minutes, and easily bring it with them when it’s time to move.
Blink is not ideal for people looking for a well-rounded home security system complete with traditional window and door sensors or professional monitoring. Blink offers only cameras, and doesn’t provide any additional hardware or services. But, if you’re looking for a quality camera at a great price, it’s worth looking into Blink.
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About the Author
Erin is a freelance video producer and writer based out of Florida. She works with major retail companies and digital startups as a brand storyteller. When Erin's not writing, you can catch her scuba diving and spending time with her dog (not at the same time).