Blink Cameras Review 2021
Blink cameras have a range of great features, like local and cloud storage, a wire-free design, and a long battery life on just two AA batteries. You also get standard offerings like two-way audio, night vision, and HD video resolution. For the price, Blink cameras are a big value in a small package.
What Blink cameras do
Blink has three cameras on offer that give options for indoor and outdoor surveillance.
|Model||Blink Indoor||Blink Outdoor||Blink Mini|
|Field of view||110°||110°||110°|
|Learn more||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
Amazon.com List Prices (as of 10/1/20 4:45 PST) Full Disclaimer
Right now, Blink offers three cameras: the Blink Indoor, Blink Outdoor, and Blink Mini. The Blink Indoor and Outdoor cameras are wire-free, meaning they have no power cords to trip over or wrangle around corners. The Blink Mini uses a power cord, but it’s still technically “wireless” because it connects to your Wi-Fi network.
All the Blink cameras use the same Blink Sync Module. The Sync Module works as a bridge to connect your wire-free Blink cameras to your Wi-Fi network. It also works as a local storage option if you use a USB flash drive.
Keep in mind the Sync Module is an extra cost. You’ll spend about $35 on one. But a single device supports up to 10 cameras.
- Local and cloud storage options
- Wire-free design (for Indoor and Outdoor models)
- Easy DIY setup
- No Google Assistant support
What we like
Cloud storage and local storage options
Blink lets you choose between cloud storage and local storage for your video. Cloud storage is convenient, but you will have to pay a separate monthly subscription price for the privilege. Luckily, Blink’s cloud storage plans are cheap, starting at only $3 per month.
If you’d rather skip the subscription price, you can opt for local storage using a USB flash drive. The flash drive plugs in to the Blink Sync Module.
If you don’t subscribe to cloud storage or use a flash drive, then Blink won’t record any video. You can still get motion-activated alerts sent to your phone, but that’s it.
Motion alerts to your phone
When the motion detector is triggered, the camera starts recording. Those video clips will save to the cloud (if you opt for a subscription plan) and you can view them through the app. Alternatively, they’ll go to a USB flash drive on your Sync Module. But you can get alerts on your phone either way.
What we don’t like
No Google Assistant support
Amazon (which owns Blink) and Google notoriously have trouble getting along. Their refusal to play nice means that Amazon devices don’t always work with Google Home speakers, and vice versa with Amazon Alexa.
Blink is a prime example of the tech wars. You can’t currently connect your Blink cameras to your Google smart speakers to control them via Google Assistant. Hopefully this option will be available at some point, but for now, it’s Alexa or nothing.
As far as app-monitored cameras go, Blink cameras are some of the easiest to set up and use.
These wire-free cameras fit in the palm of your hand and can be set up just about anywhere. Seriously. Mount them on the wall or set them inconspicuously on a bookshelf. They’re pretty versatile. We do wish Blink had pan, tilt, and zoom options and a wider field of view, but it’ll get the job done for most spaces.
Blink Home Monitor app
If you get a Blink camera, you’ll want the app too—it’s where you customize your settings for each camera, including clip length, motion detection, and scheduling. From there, you can also review and download clips or check in with your livestream.
Compatible with Amazon Alexa
Blink was purchased by Amazon shortly after its original release, so it works with Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show.
If Alexa already runs your house and you prefer homemade recipes, Blink’s got you covered. It also plays well with your other IFTTT devices, so you can create customizable rules to turn on lights when motion is detected.
If you’re looking for more features and different smart home integration systems, well, you have a few choices.
Nest Cam IQ Indoor
If you like the idea behind the Blink cameras, but fall more in the Google Home camp than the Amazon Alexa camp, the Nest Cam IQ is worth checking out.
Not only does it have night vision, but it’s also loaded with additional features, including familiar face recognition and a 4K image sensor. If you’re more worried about burglars than checking in on your cats, the Nest Cam IQ may be worth the extra money.
You don’t need a monthly subscription to use the basic features of the Nest Cam IQ, but if you want access to its top features—including familiar face recognition—you’ll need to shell out some additional cash every month.
Fits these needs:
- 4k image sensor
- 2-way audio
- Familiar face recognition
- Subscription options for additional cloud storage
- Google Assistant integration
Like the Blink cameras, the Arlo Q indoor camera is easy to set up and use, but it has more integration options and upgraded features than Blink that may make it worth the extra money.
The Arlo Q comes with a little free cloud storage, but has additional storage service plans available for an extra monthly cost. If you’re looking for integrations beyond just Amazon Alexa or IFTTT, the Arlo Q is also compatible with Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings.
Fits these needs:
- 2-way audio
- 25-foot night vision
- Google Home and Samsung SmartThings integration
The bottom line
Blink cameras aren’t the most impressive cameras we’ve seen, but they’re a decent, affordable option for people who want basic surveillance.
We’re impressed with Blink’s wire-free design, small size, and long battery life. However, other security cameras have superior smart home integrations and extra smart features.
If you’ve used Blink cameras, we’d love to hear about your experience! Tell us all about it in the comment section below.
If you’re looking for other security camera options, check out our Best Home Security Cameras review.
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