Blink Cameras Review

Blink cameras are an affordable way to keep an eye on your property, but they're missing some key features.
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
No monthly fees
Amazon Alexa integration
Limited storage options

Blink entered the home security camera playing field in 2016 with sleekly designed indoor and outdoor cameras. While the cameras have a range of great features, free data storage, and a completely wireless design, they’re missing a few key aspects we’re used to seeing.

For example, the indoor camera is missing night vision and the free data storage is only good for up to two hours of footage. That’s not enough to cover a whole night, let alone a weekend trip out of town. Plus, Blink doesn’t give you a local storage option.

However, if you only need some light  video surveillance, Blink’s basic features perform admirably, so it’s a good choice for basic home security.  And it’s pretty cheap. For less than the price of the Apple Pencil, you can get one Blink indoor camera and a sync module (you’ll need this in order to use your camera).

We’ll help you decide whether a Blink camera is right for you.

What Blink and Blink XT2 do

Blink and Blink XT2 cameras provide basic, easy-to-use video monitoring with no subscription or monthly fees.

The Blink family of cameras works best for folks who want unfussy video security and don’t want to pay yet another monthly bill to use their cameras. (Hello, renters!)

Blink camera comparison
ModelBlink (indoor)Blink XT2 (indoor/outdoor)
Resolution720p1080p
Field of view110°110°
Night visionNoYes
Motion detectionYesYes
Audio1-way2-way
WeatherproofNoYes
Learn moreView on AmazonView on Amazon

Right now, Blink offers two cameras: Blink and Blink XT2. The Blink is an indoor-only camera, so its features are more basic—but the XT2 is weatherproof, so you can use it inside or outside. (Plus, it has infrared night vision. Pretty handy for spotting real intruders or just those pesky raccoons . . . again.)

Both the Blink and Blink XT2 use the same sync module. What that means is fewer devices you have to connect to your router. What that really means is that your internet won’t slow down because your security cameras are pulling all the bandwidth.

Pros

  • No data storage charges or subscription fees
  • Infrared night vision (Blink XT2 only)
  • Easy DIY setup

Cons

  • Only (up to) 60 seconds of recording after motion is detected
  • No on-demand recording when in live view mode

What we like

No recurring monthly fees

Blink doesn’t charge any data fees to store your footage in the cloud, but it only lets you store up to two hours. That’s not very much—Arlo and Nest Cam both offer more—but depending on how much activity takes place in your home, you may be content with this amount.

We like that Blink offers its services without a subscription, but we wish it offered paid options to get more than two hours of storage, or at least gave you a local storage option through a microSD slot or USB port.

Motion alerts to your phone

When the motion detector is triggered, the camera starts recording. You can set it to record anywhere from 5 to 60 seconds at a time, but not more (unfortunately).

Those video clips will get saved to the cloud and you can view them through the app. But free storage is limited, so make sure you review your clips and download the important ones on a regular basis.

What we don’t like

Limited on-demand livestream

Blink offers a livestream feature, but it has some limitations compared to other cameras on the market.

Heads Up icon
Heads up
Even if multiple users have access to the camera via the app, only one user per sync module can view a livestream feed at a time.

The app allows you to view live footage at any time, even if you haven’t received an alert. That’s pretty nice, but it’s only useful for quick check-ins, not long-term monitoring, since you’ll get a pop-up every 30 seconds asking if you’d like to continue. (Gross.)

User experience

As far as app-monitored cameras go, Blink and Blink XT2 are some of the easiest to set up and use. (Plus they have a decent app!)

These wireless 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 it 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.

It’s available for free in the iTunes and Google Play stores, and both iOS and Android users report that the app’s interface is easy to use and it’s more reliable than a lot of other smart device apps.

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 Spot.

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 have Google Home, though, you’re out of luck: Blink doesn’t integrate with Google Home or Samsung SmartThings. Sigh. Maybe one day.

Similar products

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, like the Blink XT2, but it’s also loaded with additional features, including familiar face recognition. 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 an additional $5 to $30 every month.

Fits these needs:

  • 4k image sensor
  • 2-way audio
  • Geofencing
  • Familiar face recognition
  • Subscription options for additional cloud storage
  • Google Assistant integration

Arlo Q

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 also comes with some free cloud storage (7 days or 1GB, whichever comes first), but has additional storage service plans available for $2.99 to $14.99 per month. 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
  • Geofencing
  • Google Home and Samsung SmartThings integration

The bottom line

We don’t think Blink cameras are the best security cameras out there, but they’re a good option if you’re looking for a basic, affordable security camera.

We’re impressed with Blink’s free data storage, wireless design, and small size. However, other security cameras have had a few more years of experience, so they have the features we’ve come to expect from a security camera.

Blink is still in its infancy, so we’re looking forward to more features being added over time. In the future, we’d like to see pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities, more data and streaming options, and finally see the release of the long-promised doorbell camera.

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.

  • James Chu

    Blink home security camera review:
    Blink home security camera work good for a year, and then it falling apart. The camera lack of reliability, not worth the price of $100 each.

  • James Chu

    Blink security camera system is good for one year, and then it falling apart, the camera malfunction, will not take picture and can not communicate with syn module any more, it is not worth to pay $100 each for one year life time.

  • Rose Jones

    My Blink outdoor cam has been installed for two months. It would be a great little device if it worked but it is very capricious about sending notifications and sometimes it doesn’t record motion at all. These factors make it useless as a security device. I will replace it with another Nest cam.

  • Glenn Romano

    Terrible product. Only works with a 2.4G wifi system. Great if that’s what you had 10 years ago. We upgraded to 5G years ago. Why didn’t blink

    • Matthew Conn

      That is because of the range.

  • Matthew Conn

    Wish it had an online viewing website, rather than having to use smart phones only.

  • Amhsac

    I have had one indoor and one outdoor Blink in place at my home for over a year, plus we have had four in place at our summer home. They have worked flawlessly and are superb for low traffic situations. We are notified appropriately. The clips on long enough to record what you need. Work well day and night in any weather. Batteries have last well over a year with no need to change. Yes, my wife and I are fans!

  • Terry McGuigan

    My biggest problem with the Blink is the lag time between activation of a camera and when I am alerted. I repositioned the camera so that it is not looking straight on at someone approaching it, with no success. It’s nearly 30 seconds between activation and alert. Any suggestions?

  • John Smithers

    I have installed two xt2 units at my home and find them to be great when I am traveling. I can check the temperature in the house and keep an eye on both the upstairs and basement. When my house checker comes in, the app reliably sends an alarm to several of my devices. For the price and my needs, they work really well. I do wish that the two way audio allowed a true two way interaction, rather than hold, talk/release listen. Two hours of storage is a lot of time. It is easy to download the clips and keep them on an external hard drive.