Blink Camera Review

by | Oct 22, 2018 | Home Surveillance

Home surveillance has always been a crucial matter that needs heedful planning. There are a lot of reasons why you want to protect your home with a video surveillance system. Possibly because you want to beef up the existing security surveillance system, or you are just starting out to set up a fresh system.

If you are looking for possible ways you can protect your home, property, and family, then you should consider buying video surveillance equipment that the performance will suit your targets.

Home surveillance equipment are now substantially lower in price and affordable, thereby allowing homeowners to set up video surveillance security system.

The three blink cameras

Blink is a home automation company that produces battery-powered home security cameras and a video doorbell. The company was founded in 2009 by Peter Besen, Don Shulsinger and Stephen Gordon.

The company was initially started as Immedia Semiconductor Inc. in 2009, but pivoted into a consumer electronics company. In 2014, the company had a Kickstarter campaign for their indoor security camera, which raised over US$1 million.

Subsequently, Blink later announced an outdoor security camera, home security system, and video doorbell.

Amazon announced in December 2017 that they had acquired the company. Blink continues to operate as an independent subsidiary. It was anticipated that Blink’s technology will be used for the Amazon Key service.

Today, we will be walking you through review and analysis of Blink Cameras System that is, Blink and Blink XT.

Blink Security cameras are getting a lot of attention lately because of their small size, wireless and sleek design, and inconspicuousness.

Blink offers two cameras on the market: Blink – an indoor only camera and Blink XT which is an indoor/outdoor version.

Comparison between Blink and Blink XT

blink vs blink xt
Blink Blink XT
Starter set

View price on Amazon

View price on Amazon

Video resolution 720p 1080p
Field of view 110° 110°
Weatherproof IP 65
Camera Power Source 2 Year Battery Life (AA Lithium batteries) 2 Year Battery Life (AA Lithium batteries)
Night Vision White LED Illuminator Infrared
Schedule Automatic On/Off monitoring
Live Streaming HD Audio and Video with Push Alerts
Motion Activated Instant On Recording
Compatible with smart-Home Services (Alexa Echo & Echo Dot and IFTTT) (Alexa Echo & Echo Dot and IFTTT)
iOS and Android App
Free Cloud Storage 2 hours of video clips 2 hours of video clips
Sync Module
Temperature Monitoring
Zoom 3x Digital Zoom 3x Digital Zoom
Requirements 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi network; minimum 2 Mbps upload speed 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi network; minimum 2 Mbps upload speed
Operating Temperature 32° to 95° F -4° to 113° F

Review of Blink Cameras

Review of: Blink Cameras

Last update: 10.22.2018

Effectiveness

Great systems for a starter.

Price

The systems are reasonably priced.

Usability

They are very easy to set up.

Support

1 year warranty and a lifetime support are included.

We Like

R

Live viewing / Playback

R

Built in mic

R

Affordable and easy to set up

R

The app has a friendly user interface

R

The systems use readily available AA size batteries

R

Amazon Alexa and IFTTT integration

R

Small form factors

R

Great customer service

R

Same sync module for Blink and Blink XT

R

Scheduled arming/disarming capabilities

R

No monthly fee for cloud storage of your recorded videos

We Don’t Like

s

No pan, tilt, or zoom capabilities

s

No motion sensing zone setup

s

You cannot record while watching live video feed

s

Motion can’t be detected through window glass

s

No alarm / siren

s

Motion detection alerts are sent after the video clip has stopped recording

s

The systems do not allow for much customization or flexibility

s

No ability to add multiple users on one account

s

No web portal

s

No two-way audio

Summary: Blink is a very popular and reputed brand in the smart home market. With their continuous innovation in the home surveillance, we strongly believe they will improve on the features of blink cameras in the future.

The Major Difference between Blink and Blink XT

The major difference between these two products is that, Blink is designed to be an indoor and does not have outdoor capabilities, whilst Blink XT is built for outdoor application and can also perform as indoor, but it is a bit pricey for indoor application.

The differences are not much, the Blink has white LED illuminator and records in 720p resolution, whereas Blink XT has an infrared LED for its night vision and records in 1080p resolution.

Finally, they also have different working temperature.

Main Features of the Blink Cameras

If it’s the first time you’re considering buying a security camera system and you have no real idea which feature to prioritze, you can check our Buyer Guide and our guide about which features are important.

  • Live HD Video
  • Motion Detection
  • Instant Alerts
  • Auto-arm/Disarm Function
  • Built-in Microphone
  • Multi-System Support
Main Features of the Blink Cameras

Breakdown of the features / Overview of the products

Blink has come into limelight through its battery powered security surveillance cameras, by giving customers option to consider installing their basic, small size, wireless design and affordable security cameras.

Whilst these battery-powered and truly wire-free security cameras lack some basic key features, that most systems on the market come standard with, we strongly believe as time goes on, those features will be overly added.

Blink cameras deliver crisp picture and video quality through the embedded 720p and 1080p HD lens respectively. This is enough to ensure that you get a clear view of your home or business, with little or no distortion from any of the two cameras.

The three blink cameras Focal and zoom comparison

The main technology or concept behind Blink cameras is Motion Detection, when these cameras are armed, any detected motion will trigger the recording of a 5 seconds video clip, which can be adjusted to a maximum of 60 seconds.

Instant alerts will keep you updated with the current happenings on your home or private property, by sending a push notification alert with a link to the video attached, so you can decide what proper action to take.

Another important feature in Blink is the Auto-arm/Disarm Function, Let’s say for instance, you want to mow the flowers in the garden and you don’t want to be recorded by your blink camera, you can easily schedule advance time to make the Blink camera inactive. With this function, you can activate the camera to work on specific times and days. You no longer have to worry about forgetting to arm your system before leaving for work in the morning.

Multi-System Support gives users the ability to access multiple Blink systems from different location from one account. Users will have to send an email to Blink support to have their multiple Blink accounts merged.

What is more important than hearing the audio in the video surveillance footage, a built-in microphone allows one-way audio access, so you can both see and hear what is happening at home.

Another powerful feature in Blink cameras system is the Voice Controlled with Amazon Alexa. Blink easily integrates with Amazon Alexa to make the whole process of automatic arming/disarming, a lot easier with only voice command.

You don’t understand what’s the purpose of each component? We made a great infographic that details everything for you.

Design of the Products and their Installations

Blink camera mounting

Blink cameras are consciously designed to make serenity easy and accessible. Immediately motion is detected, video starts recording a 5 seconds clip and an alert is sent to your smartphone or tablet, so you can see exactly what triggered the alert and decide how to respond to it.

Blink security cameras are designed to make installation a breeze, you don’t have to be a tech-savvy to install or use Blink, all which is needed, is to plug the Sync Module into any wall outlet, launch the Blink app and run the setup wizard.

Blink Home Monitor app requires iOS 10 or higher to run on Apple and Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher to run on Android platform.

Here’s a video made by Blink showing you how to set up Blink:

User Experience and Performance

Large number of users said the products were easy to set up with little or no further instructions, all they did was to download and use the Blink Home Monitor app on their smartphones, to set up the cameras.

They were delighted with the purchase, as they could easily arm one or all of their cameras at once, add or subtract cameras. They also felt they got great value for their money, because Blink app is user friendly – all the functions reside in the mobile app.

What’s in the box?

Blink Camera what's included

The Sync Module Box contains 1 Sync Module which is the brain behind the entire smart home security camera, 1 USB cable that connects the Sync Module to the power adapter, and 1 power adapter that provides constant power feed to the Sync Module.

The Camera Box contains 1 Blink camera, 2 AA size 1.5v lithium batteries that last 2-years, and 1 mounting kit (consists of a mounting bracket and a mounting screw)

The Advantages

  • Blink’s app user interface is very intuitive and one of the best in the market, also Blink and Blink XT accuracy and reliability are awesome.
  • Video and audio quality of recorded clips of Blink and Blink XT cameras, are good enough for you to see what’s happening on your home or property.
  • The Blink Home Monitor app allows user to adjust a multitude of different settings such as clip length, motion detection sensitivity.
  • Blink cameras are extremely simple to setup, very compact and versatile, they easily integrate with Smart services like Amazon echo and IFTTT.
  • These cameras are ideal for areas that are much tougher to mount traditional security cameras.
  • You will get instant alert on your smartphone whenever motion is detected, with a link to view what set the camera off.

The Disadvantages

  • Blink indoor camera only record video in 720p, whereas Blink XT and most competitors give you options up to 1080p.
  • The white LED illuminator on the Blink camera is enough to reveal the camera’s identity and tip-off an intruder or burglar.
  • The 2 years longevity given on the batteries is misleading especially when motion activity level is higher.
  • Users incur additional cost of replacement of the 2 AA size lithium batteries. Blink could have made it a rechargeable batteries like Arlo Pro and many others.
  • It is very disappointing to see that Blink cameras do not have alarm or siren that could go off, if motion is detected.
  • Blink cameras system is not compatible with a 5Ghz wireless band, which is another shortcoming from a major player like Amazon in the surveillance industry
  • It is very bad to see that Blink cameras do not also have web portal where cameras can be accessed.
  • The motion sensor is basic, it will only pick up movement if placed where movement may occur from side-to-side. If someone walks directly toward it in a straight line, it takes longer for it to activate.
  • Notifications are slow, they aren’t sent until the video clip has stopped recording as opposed to being notified when it senses motion.
  • The audio feature is only one way, you can listen while viewing live feed but you cannot respond and be heard.

About the Warranty

Blink comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, in which users can return the product if they are not satisfied.

Also comes with 1-year limited warranty with services included. But Immedia Semiconductor – the manufacturer of Blink further stated that, it is users’ responsibility to back up any data, software, or other materials they may have stored using their devices.

It is possible that such data, software or other materials will be lost during service, and they (Blink) will not be responsible for any such damage or loss.

The Final Verdict

This is a great and solid security camera system with simple design, ideal for a starter looking out to install a basic, simple and affordable surveillance system for monitoring. The best part of this system is, there is no monthly subscription fee unlike other brands, requesting users to subscribe to a plan after the trial period has ended.

Blink cameras are not the best security cameras in the surveillance market, but they are off to a good start with the promising features they have to offer, compared to their competitors.