Blink Cameras Review: Blink vs. Blink XT2

Blink
 
$79.99
Pro Bullet Inexpensive
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet No contract or subscription required
BlinkXT2
 
$99.99
Pro Bullet Indoor and outdoor use
Pro Bullet Two-way communication
Pro Bullet Two-way communication

Overview

Blink security cameras are budget friendly, easy to install, and don’t require a contract or subscription. They’re also wireless, so you can put them practically anywhere you like for some basic home monitoring.

Ahead, we’re looking at the pros and cons of Blink’s two security camera offerings: the Blink indoor camera and the Blink XT2.

Compare Blink and Blink XT2

*Data effective 9/30/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

Blink Camera Review: Best for indoor use

Best for indoor use
Blink Camera
 
$79.99

    Tech specs

    Dimensions
    2.8 x 1.18 x 2.8 in.
    Resolution
    720p HD
    Field of view
    110°
    Operating temperature
    32°F–95°F
    Power source
    Two AA lithium batteries

    Blink Camera pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletInexpensive
    • Pro BulletNo contract required
    • Pro BulletEasy installation
    • Pro BulletUp to two hours free cloud storage
    Cons
    • Con BulletModerate resolution
    • Con BulletNo two-way audio
    • Con BulletLacks infrared night vision
    • Con BulletNo continuous recording

    What we think about the Blink indoor camera

    The Blink indoor camera is inexpensive, easy to install, and lets you store up to two hours of video clips in the Blink app for free. It’s a good basic camera to inconspicuously put on a shelf in your living room, to keep tabs on your children—human and animal alike—when you’re away from home.

    Blink camera features and flaws

    The Blink indoor camera has a good handle on the basics. Its motion detection is accurate and adjustable so you can change the camera’s motion sensitivity to your liking. And once the camera detects motion, it’ll send you an instant alert with a video clip so you can make sure everything is where it needs to be.

    You can also view on-demand video, although playback isn’t super crisp at 720p HD. Plus, after 30 seconds of using live view, the Blink app will interrupt you to ask if you want to keep watching. That helps preserve battery life, but can be a small annoyance if you’re still checking in.

    The Blink indoor camera isn’t made to be used outside: it’s not waterproof, and it lacks two-way audio. It also doesn’t have infrared night vision, a feature that most modern security cameras are equipped with. Instead, the Blink emits a bright light when it’s recording at night, which isn’t exactly subtle.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: Though it may lack advanced features, the Blink indoor camera is an inexpensive, no-frills way to keep an eye on your home. It’s unobtrusive and easy to install. Plus, you’ll be able to keep up to two hours of video clips in the cloud for free, and you can download and share them whenever you like. If you’re new to security cameras, this is a decent place to start.

    >>Get the Blink indoor camera.

    Blink XT2 Review: Best for outdoors

    Best for outdoors
    Blink XT2 Camera
     
    $99.99

      Tech specs

      Dimensions
      2.8 x 2.8 x 1.34 in.
      Resolution
      1080p HD
      Field of view
      110°
      Operating temperature
      -4°F–113°F
      Power source
      Two AA lithium batteries

      Blink XT2 pros and cons

      Pros
      • Pro BulletAffordable price
      • Pro BulletIndoors and outdoor use
      • Pro BulletInfrared night vision
      • Pro BulletTwo-way communication
      • Pro Bullet1080p HD video resolution
      Cons
      • Con BulletPossible glitchy motion detection
      • Con BulletNo continuous recording

      What we think about the Blink XT2

      Compared to the Blink indoor camera, the Blink XT2 is both more versatile and advanced. It has higher-resolution video quality, two-way communication and infrared night vision. Plus, it’s weatherproof so you can put it to work in your family room or outside of your front door.

      Blink XT2 features and flaws

      The Blink XT2 makes for a mighty little indoor/outdoor camera. It improves upon the Blink indoor camera with  1080p HD resolution, night vision, and two-way audio.

      The Blink XT2’s resolution isn’t super crisp, and neither is its night vision. But they’re both clear enough to see your cat stalking her favorite toy during the day or your roommate crossing the room for a glass of water in the middle of the night. The two-way audio can come in handy too, especially if you’re mounting your Blink XT2 outside of your front door.

      It took us a second to get the hang of using the two-way feature in the app—you have to swipe up and hold to activate the audio—but it’s a handy addition to have.

      Like the Blink indoor camera, the Blink XT2 doesn’t have an option for continuous recording. And some customers who use the Blink XT2 outdoors report issues with range, saying that the camera’s motion sensor doesn’t pick up trucks in the driveway. Fortunately, the Blink XT2 is relatively new, so there’s a good chance that these issues will be worked out in the future.

      ASecureLife’s recommendation: The BlinkXT2 is a solid, affordable option with a few advanced features, making it ideal for renters. It’s a breeze to install, offers two-way audio and infrared night vision, and can be used both inside and outside of your home.

      >>Get the Blink XT2.

      Blink Camera setup

      Setting up the Blink camera system—whether you opt for the Blink indoor camera or the Blink XT2—is super easy.

      First, you create an account with the Blink app. Then, find a place to put your Blink sync module, preferably as close to your router as you can manage, and plug it in. From there, you’ll insert two AA batteries into your Blink camera and follow the instructions in the app to finish syncing your camera to the sync module. The whole process should take about five minutes.

      Blink camera troubleshooting

      If you get an error message saying “Camera busy,” it’s likely because your sync module isn’t connecting with your camera. Try moving your camera closer to the sync module, unplug your modem and router for 30 seconds, or remove the batteries for 10 seconds, and put them back in. If none of that works, you can submit a request for technical support on Blink’s website.

      Blink app

      The Blink app is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Once you’ve set up your camera, you’ll be prompted to give the camera a name to reflect which room it’s in. You can also use the camera icon to snap a picture of the room. 

      The delightful blue man running towards the end of your screen indicates that you’ve activated your camera’s motion sensor. And you can use the lines to the right of him to adjust your camera’s settings, from motion sensor sensitivity to the length of your clips.

      Blink app

      Blink Camera compatibility

      Blink cameras have some decent integration options. Since the camera company is owned by Amazon, you’ll be able to use your Alexa-enabled devices to talk to your Blink device. So if you have a Fire Stick TV, you can tell Alexa to show you the front door camera when someone rings your doorbell and it’ll come up on your TV.

      You can also use IFTTT to set up applets and connect devices. Set your camera to automatically arm when you leave a certain radius around your home or disarm when your Nest Thermostat is set to home. And though the Blink cameras don’t offer integration with Google Home or Apple HomeKit, you can often use IFTTT to bridge the gap between incompatible devices.

      Blink accessories

      Blink offers a few different accessories to help you customize your security experience. If you’re installing a Blink XT2 on your white stucco home and you want something a little less conspicuous, Blink offers white XT2 covers to help your camera blend in. And if you want a sturdier mount for your Blink indoor camera, you can get an adjustable camera mount.

      At the moment, Blink’s home security system devices, including sirens, keypads and entry sensors, appear to be discontinued. We’ll update you if anything changes.

      Blink vs. the competition

      *Data effective 9/3/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

      Compared to other Wi-Fi cameras, Blink is extremely affordable—but that’s because you’re getting less perks.

      The Arlo Q is a sturdy, wired indoor camera that offers a wider field of view and up to seven days of free cloud storage, compared to Blink’s two hours. The Arlo Q also offers much more in the way of integration, and it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings. Overall, it’s more expensive, but it’s a great value.

      The Logitech Circle 2 is another inexpensive security camera that offers extra perks. It can be used inside or outside, and you can store up to 24 hours’ worth of video clips in a secure cloud for free. It also has some impressive integration with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. Still, it’s wired, so while you won’t have to worry about the power source day to day, you’re somewhat limited in placement.

      But if budget is your main concern, Blink hits all the marks. You won’t get a ton of extras, but you’ll get decent coverage at an affordable price.


      Frequently asked questions

      Is the Blink compatible with the Blink XT2? 

      Yes. You can connect up to 10 Blink devices to each sync module, and you can control them all from the Blink app.

      Does Blink have a monthly fee?

      While some camera brands, like Ring, have a monthly fee for cloud storage access, Blink lets you store up to two hours of video clips for free.

      Are Blink cameras any good?

      Blink cameras are a great option for affordable, basic home surveillance. We think they’re a great option for renters in particular: these cameras are no fuss, easy to use, and great for smaller homes.

      Which is better: Blink or Blink XT2?

      Between the two, we think the Blink XT2 is the better camera. It has a few kinks to work out, but it offers advanced features like a high-definition resolution and two-way audio without breaking the bank. Plus, if you ever move to a new place, it’s easy to pack and take along with you.

      >>Blink and you’ll miss it. Get the Blink XT2.