Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera Review 2021
The Blue by ADT outdoor camera is reasonably priced yet offers facial recognition and siren detectors in addition to night vision, motion detection, and two-way audio. Unfortunately, this camera had some connectivity issues when we tested it, which seems to be a common theme with the device.
Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy this security camera. You just have to be realistic about its limitations.
|Product||Price||Storage plan price range||Automation||Learn more|
|Blue by ADT outdoor camera||$299.99||$2.99–$12.99/mo.||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT||View Camera|
Data effective 02/26/2021. Offers subject to change.
Blue by ADT outdoor camera features
This camera offers not only the basics but a few extras.
Image source: Reviews.org
ADT’s other system has fairly generic, run-of-the-mill cameras that are about as exciting as dry toast. This camera is a lot more intriguing and has more features. And it’s proprietary, so you can’t get it anywhere else.
Blue by ADT outdoor camera features:
- 1080p resolution
- 130° field of view
- Two-way audio
- Night vision
- Motion detection
- Facial recognition
- Smoke and carbon monoxide siren detector
- Push notifications
- Rechargeable battery
- Local video storage
- 24 hours of free cloud storage
- Two color options
Unfortunately, this camera was pretty glitchy for us. We tested a Blue by ADT indoor camera at the same time and using the same settings. While the indoor camera worked almost flawlessly, the outdoor camera had connection issues with both the Wi-Fi and the app itself. Because of this, some features wouldn’t work.
We aren’t the only reviewers who’ve run into this problem, so it’s something ADT may want to look into. But in the meantime, let’s talk about some of the features that still worked for us.
Blue by ADT lets you customize your motion detection zones and sensitivity.
We dialed the sensitivity up to the highest setting and captured such riveting things as the sun moving across the sky and a plastic bag blowing in the wind. If getting notifications for such minute movements sounds like a bother to you, we suggest using a lower motion setting or changing the detection to “People” mode.
As far as the motion zones go, you’re pretty limited in the customization. You can only choose a square or rectangular area, whereas other cameras (such as the Vivint Doorbell Pro and Ring video doorbells) allow you to create triangular zones. So if you want your zone to cover an extremely specific area, you may not be able to get the outline how you want it.
Blue by ADT’s facial recognition settings are unique compared to some of the other cameras we’ve reviewed. You don’t just toggle the mode on and off. You choose whether the camera will identify people it already knows, pick out people it’s never seen before, or both.
To get the camera to recognize you, upload several photos of yourself into your user profile. That will (theoretically) help the camera identify your facial structure.
Unfortunately, it looks like the camera can only recognize individuals with user profiles on your Blue by ADT account. It won’t recognize your neighbor or your toddler unless you give them access to your mobile app.
When a stranger appears, the Blue by ADT camera tells you that it “recognizes someone it doesn’t know.” Regardless of the paradoxical wording, we liked knowing when someone unfamiliar popped up.
Fire/CO detector siren detection
We didn’t get a chance to test this detection feature, but we really like the concept. If you don’t have smart environmental devices, this is one way to get push notifications from your detectors without buying new devices.
When a detector goes off, the camera can pick up on the sound waves and notify you. (We aren’t sure of the range on this, so if the camera is far from your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, it may not work.)
Blue by ADT pricing
You won’t spend too much money on this.
This camera costs $199.99. Considering all that it offers, that’s a good deal. Typically, cameras with any features beyond the basics can reach up to the $400 price range. For instance, Google Nest charges serious money for its facial recognition cameras.
If you don’t want to use an SD card, the camera comes with 24 hours of free cloud storage, which is nice. But if you want more, it will cost you extra.
|Standard subscription plan||$2.99/mo.||60 days||View Plans|
|Premier subscription plan||$12.99/mo.||60 days||View Plans|
Data effective 02/26/2021. Offers subject to change.
This plan is per camera, not per user, so be prepared to pay extra for another device.
Overall, though, this is not a terrible deal, especially when compared to other camera plans. Sixty days of storage is higher than the typical 30 days, to the point where most of the time, it’s probably unnecessary. But if you need to rewatch some footage two months down the line, well, you can.
Blue by ADT outdoor camera home automation
The home automation is fairly average; the app could be better.
This camera works with a Blue by ADT security system, but it also works as a standalone device. That’s pretty standard for DIY systems, but we have to say, we love it. It’s so nice not to be forced to buy a system when a camera is all you want.
Apart from other Blue by ADT products, your camera will connect with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and the IFTTT protocol.
While we usually like to see a little bit more automation, you’ll be able to set up most basic smart home functions with this level of compatibility. You just won’t be able to directly control your smart devices from your Blue by ADT app.
Blue by ADT app
Getting the camera set up in the app wasn’t difficult (we’ll talk more about that momentarily).
But after we got the camera added to our account, we found the rest of the app a little confusing. Not every feature is located in the most intuitive place, and there are several spots where the app redirects you to sign in to the Blue by ADT website instead. What’s the point in having an app if you frequently have to jump to the website?
Blue by ADT outdoor camera installation
The camera installation is easy.
Blue by ADT is ADT’s first DIY offering, which means you have to install it without technicians. Luckily, the outdoor camera isn’t too difficult to set up.
Blue by ADT outdoor camera installation steps:
- Download the Blue by ADT app.
- Create a Blue by ADT account.
- Charge the camera battery.
- Detach the mounting plate.
- Drill the mounting plate into the desired location.
- Reattach the mounting stand to the installed mounting plate.
- Select Settings > Devices > Add Device.
- Select the outdoor camera.
- Follow the app instructions to connect your camera to your Wi-Fi or Blue by ADT extender.
Immediately after connecting to the internet, our camera updated its firmware, which took about an hour. (The delay may have been from the overall connection issues we experienced with the camera.) Apart from that, the process was quick and easy.
Recap: Is the Blue by ADT outdoor camera good?
It’s not bad, but it’s not our first choice.
If you’re planning to get a Blue by ADT system, then it would make sense to get this camera. That way, your whole security suite can live in one mobile app, and you’ll get all the camera’s benefits.
Features: The facial recognition and siren detection make the Blue by ADT camera stand out.
Pricing: For what this camera offers, the price is reasonable.
Home automation: You can’t do everything with this camera’s home automation, but you can do a lot.
Installation: Installation is pretty easy as long as everything goes smoothly.
But if you’re not getting a system, this wouldn’t be our first recommendation to you. This camera had a hard time staying connected. We’ve seen a few other reviewers with the same problem, which suggests this is a bigger problem than just a single faulty camera.
If you’re prepared to assume the security risk of a camera with connection problems, then this camera will serve you just fine. Especially if you have other Blue by ADT devices you’d like to connect to it.
But if you want something that stays connected (and we don’t blame you if you do), there are lots of other outdoor cameras to choose from. Also, if you don’t need an outdoor camera, the Blue by ADT indoor camera worked just fine for us and would be a good alternative.
Or, if you want more information before making a decision, feel free to check out our Blue by ADT system and Blue by ADT video doorbell reviews. And be sure to watch this video about Blue by ADT tips and tricks.
Is your house ready for the Blue by ADT outdoor camera?
Security devices work best with a high-quality internet connection and data plan.
Recommended internet plans
This camera doesn’t like to stay connected, but despite that (or maybe because of it), you’ll want a strong connection with a high download speed for your Blue by ADT device.
|Xfinity Internet - West||Blast! Pro||$80*||300 Mbps||View Plan|
|Verizon Internet - Fios Gig||Internet 400/400||$59.99/mo.†||400 Mbps||View Plan|
|AT&T Fiber||Internet 1000||$60/mo.‡||940 Mbps||View Plan|
Recommended mobile plans
Try any of these so you can access your app and camera feeds any time you want, regardless of whether you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
Blue by ADT outdoor camera FAQ
We couldn’t include everything in the main review. If we didn’t answer your questions earlier, you might find the answers here.
Is the Blue by ADT outdoor camera an IP camera?
According to the specs ADT has shared, this camera is not an IP (internet protocol) camera. It doesn’t use its own IP address to share videos over a Wi-Fi network.
Can you get professional monitoring for your Blue by ADT cameras?
No. You can get professional monitoring for your Blue by ADT home security system, but as far as we know, that doesn’t include video monitoring.
How does the Blue by ADT facial recognition compare to other cameras?
Compared to the Google Nest facial recognition (the only other version we’ve tried), the Blue by ADT recognition isn’t as good.
Even once we uploaded the required images, the facial recognition couldn’t identify us. And half the time, it didn’t seem to pick up on our faces at all. We also didn’t love that it’s seemingly limited to recognizing account users.
For the record, the Nest facial recognition isn’t all that and a bag of chips either. But it was better at picking out faces. It also wasn’t limited to recognizing users. And the Nest face software is supposed to learn and get better at its job as time goes on.