Blink Outdoor – wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera with two-year battery life and motion detection, set up in minutes – Add-on camera (Sync Module required)
What are blink outdoor – wireless features?
- Blink outdoor is a wireless battery-powered hd security camera that helps you monitor your home day or night with infrared night vision.
- With long-lasting battery life, outdoor runs for up to two years on two aa lithium batteries (included).
- Store video clips and photos in the cloud with the blink subscription plan and save events locally to the blink sync module 2 via a usb flash drive (sold separately).
- Outdoor is built to withstand the elements to help you protect your home inside or out, come rain or shine.
- Designed so you can set up yourself in minutes. No wiring, no professional installation required.
- Get motion detection alerts on your phone with the option to customize motion zones in the blink home monitor app so you’re only alerted when you need to be.
- See, hear, and speak to visitors with live view in real time and two-way audio features on your blink app.
- Works with alexa – use your voice to monitor your home through supported alexa-enabled devices.
- Add-on camera requires blink sync module (sold separately).
- Includes one blink outdoor add-on camera, sync module 2 not included.
Blink Outdoor – wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera with two-year battery life and motion detection, set up in minutes – Add-on camera (Sync Module required) AMAZON
Looking for specific info?
How fast do they begin recording after motion? My arlo cameras continually miss cars coming in the driveway.
I see conflicting information on the size flash drive that can be used to store files on the sync module 2; is it limited to 64gb?
Will this connect to my existing blink (last generation) system?
Whats the difference between this camera and the last one? Also can u see good at night?
Do they come with mounts?
If you use the usb, will the footage play on your phone through the app or does it have to be downloaded from usb on computer?
Look up the recent 1-star reviews on this product. You’ll see a number of titles with “bait and switch.”
Will my using the new sync module with the new outdoor camera and my existing cameras still grandfather me on my storage or use the old one
Do the new cameras have the same motion range as the xt2?
I do not have any of the blink system. What all do i need to buy?
What is the wireless range of this device?
Does the back mount on the new outdoor cam fit the xt2 mount i already have screwed to wall? It would be easy to change cameras if same mounts.
What happens when the usb flash drive is full? It deletes the old videos or do i have to download all the content from the usb to my pc?
After the ‘two years’ are the batteries replaceable or are you supposed to dispose of the camera?
If the subscription saves everything in the cloud why do you have the option for local storage with the blink sync module 2?
What is the difference between this camera and the current xt2?
Conveniently for amazon, they supply a 30 day free trial to the cloud with the purchase of a blink outdoor system. By the time you realize the local storage does not work as advertised and mentioned in reviews from 2020, your return window has closed. With a couple of long calls to amazon customer service, i received a partial refund.
Look up the recent 1-star reviews. Look for several with “bait and switch” in the titles.
Will the cameras work without the flash drive or a subscription?
Even though they say you can store videos on the sync module with the attached usb flash drive, you can’t really do that without a subscription. To me, that’s very deceiving marketing. I don’t actually understand the point of this storage module. Perhaps it is for backing up videos, that you can’t view except on a computer but i think the real point of it is deceiving you into thinking this system can work without a subscription while in fact it cannot.
What is the difference between these and the x2 cameras that work outdoors as well?
Do you have to buy the subscription in order for it to work?
Will this camera work with the older sync module, and/or will the older cameras work with the new sync 2 module?
Will this version have the option for continuous live view (without needing to click “continue” constantly)?
Blink Outdoor – wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera with two-year battery life and motion detection, set up in minutes – Add-on camera (Sync Module required) AMAZON
What are our customers saying?
When we first purchased cams back in 2017, we compared to arlo and ring before we chose blink. Now we are up to 10 cams, covering every angle of the house. Here are my findings after using them for almost 4 years (and still buying more):
> #1 video quality is excellent. Day time is a bit better than night, but night vision is as good as it gets with cams. Position of your cam matters a ton. I started out putting them way high up and quickly realized – if you actually want identifying features – they need to be lower. Otherwise… Yeah you see someone walking past, but you cant id anything, so what is the use.
> so inexpensive – so easy to integrate. Anytime we have anything we need to cover, we just order another cam and it literally takes 5 minutes to get it out of the box, batteries in, and added to existing system.. Seriously – 5 minutes.
> the app is great. Very intuitive. Our first cams had very few ‘advanced features’ every time i order new cams, they have improved their features. Now you are able to zoom all the way in to very small areas, to capture certain areas and exclude others.. For example – old cams you had to block off large sections of the capture area to avoid the cams picking up movement from trees, but now you can pinpoint one little part of a branch on a tree to exclude if its triggering the cam.
> motion detection is very sensitive – but they have it tweaked just about right. It never misses anything, but if you setup your exclusion zones well – you can get it almost perfect. I dont have a lot of false alarms and i’m running 10 cams. We have one setup to look at the sidewak, and after much tweaking, we can actually exclude the street… But pick up both sidewalks on both sides of the street. You can setup the app to alert you or not alert you.. You can turn sound on or off on alerts. On windy days i do end up just going into the app and turning off all cams that are setup around lots of trees until the storm is over.. But thats like a few times a year.
> super easy playback and control of cams. It’s instant – you can control them in any way, very easily. If i am working on a project in the yard, i dont want my cams on for hours, running out of batteries – so i just go into the app and turn them all off. It takes seconds. Likewise – if i hear a noise at night, super easy to open the app and live view any cam so i can look all around the house and see everything happening outside, from every angle.
> extremely easy to move around. We have had them for years – so we move them around occasionally. I even had mice in our crawlspace under the house at one point and just grabbed one of the cams off the side of the house and stuck it down there so i could catch them at night. Theres no commitment with these – no hard wiring so you can mount them anywhere and taking them on and off the mount takes 2 seconds.
> no subscription needed to store clips. Thats big for us. We would not like blink as much if they changed that. We run a lot of cams and it just stays 100% full storage – we can still access a few weeks worth of video, it just deletes oldest. You can download/save any videos.
> lots of mounting options. You have to buy them separately if you want anything special, but i have 3 different types of mounts – one for trees, one around porches that need to be secured so they cant be taken, and then the standard mounts for cams not at risk of being taken. There are camo skins as well – i have on in a tree that you pretty much cant see unless you know its there.
> customer support is super decent. In the winter of 2018, one of my cams took on a green hue to the image when the temp went down to about 10 degrees outside. I emailed customer service explaining the issue and sent a screenshot and within 24 hours they asked me for the sn of the cam, and did a firmware update that fixed it. I was quite happy with that.
> so while the batteries are awesome because the cams are so easy to move around and deal with… I blow through batteries. Fortunately, i just get 20 packs of aa’s, but with 10 cams – even though blink ~says~ batteries can last a year? It totally depends on usage. So we get lots of traffic on our front cams because we live in a busy area and have people walking past all day. I change out the batteries on every one of those front cams once a month. Granted – thats many hundreds of video captures and ideally, we should connect those cams to electricity somehow – that is an option with blink, but i dont mind changing batteries. On the cams in the back yard and side paths – i really can go once or twice a year changing those, except for the ones that catch a lot of foot traffic. So the battery usage is totally dependent on traffic. Personally – the cams are a big deal to me, so i dont mind it at all. Benefits totally outweigh the downsides.
> the biggest difference between blink and some other companies is that i see other people with hardwired cams that can catch everything in a continuous fashion, for hours. Like the surveillance videos you see online where the cam just happened to catch something happening down the street…blink doesnt work that way. It only captures immediate video clips, triggered by motion activation. It does store all videos.. You can see something weird in your yard and look back through videos to find out what happened – but it isnt 24 hours of continuous video feed.
> you can get gaps in your videos. So it can capture 1 minute of video at a time, but then it takes a small break before it starts capturing again, so if something is happening and its videotaping an event – it will record an entire minute of excellent footage – but then it takes a 5 second break before it starts recording again. That doesnt sound like a long time, and for security it’s not normally an issue.. The average bad guy is in and out quickly.. But it is annoying that it takes 5 seconds to re-trigger. So…. 2 minutes of continuous video… But in the middle of that 2 minutes.. A 5 second break.
Overall – super high video quality… Cams you can move around super easily… A very easy app… I love blink and the upsides far outweigh any downsides. I always recommend it to people when they ask. You can cover your entire house at a super affordable price, you dont need to be rich at all.. Our 3 year old cams are still as good as our brand new ones. The peace of mind the cams bring me is priceless. I know every single thing happening everywhere, all the time outside. The affordability made it possible so that nothing can ever surprise us.
We’ve got some bad actors in the hood, so it was time to catch them with some irrefutable evidence. Our xt2 is a little old and our arlos are acting stupid. Saw this come out and had to give it a shot. It was time to upgrade. Plus, the specs of the possibility of two year battery life is mindblowing. It’s probably a lot less, but my arlos would last a week with $10 cr123 batteries, so that had to go. Anything had to be better than those dinosaurs.
Set up was fairly easy. There is no real printed instruction manual, but those are rare today. Scanned the qr code and my smartphone popped me to their website with tons of tips, info, and even setup videos. The entire setup process is qr from the new sync module 2 to the camera itself. So don’t make the mistake of slapping the batteries in and closing the camera unit like i did before i scanned the qr code. Whoops. Took less than 15 minutes to setup and sync. Signed up for a new blink account so the old one won’t get confused – plus there’s several weeks of free cloud storage right now. Boom.
Set it up in a tree across from my house this time. When i put it over my door, my old cameras would flag every car or pedestrian close and far. All i want to see is the jerk stealing my ups packages, so i flipped the perspective. The hd is super clean and clear, and the camera is at least 30 feet from the sync module with no problems connecting. Big plus there. And, there’s a pretty powerful little speaker in this unit! I was really surprised at the volume this thing can push for such a small speaker. Now, when this alerts me to funny business, maybe i’ll be able to yell at the perps. Probably not, because they’ll be long gone by the time i see the notification. Still, this feature could be useful in warning your kids from doing something silly when you’re not home.
The live view was disappointing, since you have to keep clicking the app to continue the live view for longer than 10-ish seconds. So you can’t use this as a spying device or a baby monitor. Bummer. Also, the default recording time was like 5 seconds, probably to maximize battery life. You can’t catch much in 5 seconds. I adjusted mine in the settings to about 20 seconds. I’ll sacrifice battery life to catch a bad actor. Plus, there’s a battery pack you can attach to this unit to increase battery life. I’ll update in the future to let you know how the battery goes.
Overall, i’m impressed with the new blink outdoor. It’s gonna rain here in florida soon, so i’ll let you know how that goes as well as night shots when available.
Love these cameras!! Day time quality is excellent, night time quality is decent, nothing to write home about!
Set up is super easy, the app is nice and easy to use! One thing that i don’t like is the fact that you can’t change the notification tone on the iphone app. We have a ring also that has a very distinguishable notification sound. The blink notification sounds like all my phones notifications, so when it goes off at night to alert me i don’t know if someone is sending me an email or breaking into my house! Unfortunately with iphone you can’t even make a custom notification outside of the blink app which is very disappointing. If blink could update their iphone app to all you to change notifications sounds it would make the product so much better! You can do this one the ring app so i don’t know what the issue is here with blink. One other thing to note is that you have to pay $10 a month for the service, to me, this is a small price to pay for unlimited cloud space and protection. I was reading the reviews and many people seemed to have an issue with this, this may just be bidens inflation though causing the extra stress of $10 a month. Anyway, 9/10 would recommend this product. If they fixed the notifications on the iphone app then it would be a 10/10. Thanks
If your looking for easy and inexpensive as i was, blink is the way to go. Adding a camera to the system is as easy as scanning a qr code. The video quality for the price is exceptional even at night. I like the way you can schedule the system to arm and disarm automatically at night in a very granular way on a 7 day plan.
It took me about 20 minutes to set up 5 cameras with the sync module and i did it all from my old ipad. Today i access my cameras from android and iphones as well as my ipad and my desktop pc. To make this work on a pc you need an android emulator and there are many free ones to choose from. I use a popular program called bluestacks. Looking at your videos on the big screen is often very handy.
I also linked it to my alexa devices. A very handy feature when connecting them is that you can verbally arm and disarm the system. That feature alone makes it worth the effort of the setting it up. You can hands free arm and disarm the system as you come and go. Alexa can also announce movement on all the alexa devices in the house. ‘movement at the backdoor!’ ‘movement at the driveway!’
to be fair, it’s not the most feature rich cctv system, and sometimes you need those advanced features. However my entire family can use it with no trouble at all. From little kids to grandparents, everybody gets it.
I was fortunate to buy in early on the blink camera system. Therefore, i have the included cloud coverage. Only recently did i find out just what an advantage that was.
After buying my initial system, i continued to add cameras to the initial sync module. I ultimately ended up having two additional sync modules from systems i purchased after the original system. I was under the impression that all my cameras had to be connected to the original sync module to continue receiving free cloud coverage.
I currently have a mixture of cameras to include 3-xt2, 4-outdoor, 1-indoor (2nd gen) and 2-mini. I was using a schedule to arm the cameras, but i was disappointed that the system would not allow individual scheduling for each camera.
I recently decided to use my additional sync modules to divide my cameras into different zones and allow myself to set different schedules for each zone. Even if it meant the additional modules would not include free cloud coverage, i felt the scheduling control would be worth it.
I was happily surprised to find that even the newer modules set up under the original system included free cloud coverage. Therefore, i now have three different zones that can be individually scheduled. And furthermore, i can add up to 10 cameras to each module.
I only ran into one problem with the setup. The second module i had purchased had been sitting in the box for probably about a year. When i tried to add a camera to it, it would not connect. I called customer support and the first person wasn’t able to help me. I decided to investigate the problem myself and noticed there was a huge difference in the firmware on the second module.
I expected that the firmware of the second module would automatically update, and there was no way to initiate an update within the app. Since it didn’t automatically update, i called customer service back and told them the problem. The individual i spoke with didn’t seem to understand the issue, so i simply insisted that the module’s firmware had to be updated by them.
It took a number of increments to finally update the firmware once the issue had been escalated to the appropriately skilled technician. I insisted that the customer service representative stay on the line until the firmware of the second module exactly matched that of the existing module. I wasn’t trying to go through another 30 minute hold and 20 minute update again.
After the firmware was updated, i was able to add cameras to the second module. I will monitor the module to make sure future firmware updates occur.
I realize that the cloud coverage or camera support may change or discontinue in the future. But for the time being, i’m quite happy with my blink system.
I will start this by saying i do not write many product reviews.
So that said – i have 2 different types of camera systems at my house. I use the blink cameras primarily for outdoors and have had them up and running constantly for about 2 years. I have to say that even though these cameras aren’t perfect, they are masters of survival. During hurricane ian i was out of town and they allowed me to view my property until my main electricity and backup power went out. Though i couldn’t watch extended clips because i don’t have a subscription i was able to keep informed on the state of everything within the cameras view until there was no sync module power.
When i got home i fully expected the 2 cameras to be gone and/or non operational. However, once power and internet was restored they were back up and running within minutes.
My propery was inland but still received low cat4/high cat 3 winds. I am very impressed these are still operational.
I don’t write many reviews but i thought this product deserved one. I have a 5 camera system at my vacation home which is an 8 hour drive from where i live. We only visit about every 5-6 weeks so it needs to be reliable. I can’t say enough for the reliability, it’s been awesome. The house is in a very rural and fire danger area so there are many power outages where the wifi goes down. As soon as the power comes back they boot right back up immediately, every time. Never been a camera down. I actually use this system to see if my power is on or off. If i see they are off, i report a power outage ay my house and sure enough there is one.
I compare this to my 5 camera adt system at my residence and no comparison, not even close. There is always a camera or two down and you need a special technician to hopefully get it booted back up by phone along with you being there to go through all the processes. I never have 5 cameras working at the same time. They try to tell me i may have weak internet speed….i have 500 mbps, that’s low end fiber optics speed, and i have about 200 mbps at each camera location. I’ve just learned to live with it.
Blink has audio both ways, adt has none. Blinks resolution is every bit as good as adt, if not better. Blink is $10 per month, adt is much more. You would just think adt has a far superior system but it’s far inferior in every category.
Battery life on the blink…i’ve had it for a year and half and i’m a very heavy user. Batteries are still great. Adt had to be hard wired for power. When my commitment with adt is up in 3 months i’ll be getting another blink system for my home. If you’re shopping for a system look no further, get this one….and don’t even think about adt. They’re good with the home alarm but their camera system is trash.
We purchased our first blink home security camera july of 2018. We were going out of the country and wanted to make sure our 18 year old son closed the garage door and locked the house. It did the job and we felt better knowing while on the other side of the world we could monitor our home.
The following summer we were so happy with our indoor system, we decided to purchase 2 outdoor cameras with the 2 way audio, and were so happy with the video and audio quality, we bought another add on outdoor camera, the next month.
A year later we found the mini indoor cameras. We have one for a child’s bedroom and one for the playroom. The video and audio quality is great.
A year after that we bought another 3 outdoor cameras, again video and audio quality is great.
Just before christmas 2021 blink came out with the doorbell camera, and we purchased it. One, because it was blink and 1/2 the price of a ring doorbell camera. Two, because the doorbell that came with our new build home was so quiet, we couldn’t ever hear the bell ring.
In total we now have…
3 indoor battery powered
2 indoor mini corded power
6 outdoor battery powered
1 doorbell wired to exciting doorbell.
July 17th, 2018
blink indoor home security camera system with motion detection, hd video, 2-year battery life and cloud storage included – 3 camera kit
july 15th, 2019
blink xt2 outdoor/indoor smart security camera with cloud storage included, 2-way audio, 2-year battery life – 2 camera kit
august 20th, 2019
blink xt2 outdoor/indoor smart security camera with cloud storage included, 2-way audio, 2-year battery life – add-on camera for existing blink customers
november 22nd, 2020
blink mini – compact indoor plug-in smart security camera, 1080 hd video, night vision, motion detection, two-way audio, works with alexa – 2 cameras
august 3, 2021
blink outdoor – wireless, weather-resistant hd security camera, two-year battery life, motion detection, set up in minutes – 3 camera kit
november 29th, 2021
introducing blink video doorbell | two-way audio, hd video, motion and chime app alerts and alexa enabled — wired or wire-free (black)
blink offers two subscription plans.
1 blink device
$3 per month or $30 annually
unlimited blink devices
$10 per month or $100 annually
you do not have to have a blink subscription if you do not choose to, but you won’t be able to store videos.
With the subscription you are even able to share your videos by text, or email. To neighbors, friends, family, and even the police department.
when an outdoor camera faces the sun at any point of the day, the motion detection will go off, until you adjust the motion activity spots in the camera settings. This can take a few days to work out the kinks.
Indoor mini cameras the motion activity spots don’t always work. Sometimes it will go off when there is motion in the grayed out zones, and sometimes not go off in the non-greyed out zones. This maybe human error on our part. We are looking for a longer cord for the mini’s to mount on the wall or ceiling. The are options to rotate the camera view, so that you are able to mount the camera wherever you need.
Overall we are happy with our blink system and hope the company continues to grow and come out with new products.
Compared to my parents very very expensive arlo system, blink is more reliable, and is more cost-effective. So much so, my parents have ditched the arlo camera system and have purchased a new blink system.
We highly recommend blink to anyone who would like to have a home video camera system that works, and won’t break the bank.
We love that you can start out small and work your way in to as much as you want/need.
One of the cameras stopped working after less than 5 months. I initially thought the camera had issues and was consuming too much power. But later i found out that one of the lithium batteries was defective. The multimeter measured a voltage of 0 (zero) while the other battery in the same camera has a normal voltage of 1.7v. Those are the energizer batteries which came with the camera and blink was able to send me replacement batteries after contacting them. I ordered a 5-pack camera so it came with 10 energizer batteries. This is a defective rate of 10% for the batteries which is quite high. But check the batteries first if the camera runs out of batteries too quickly. Perhaps the lithium batteries are not as reliable as the typical alkaline batteries, but they do last longer if they are not defective.
Otherwise, the cameras work fine for the most part. Sometimes it takes a few tries to see live view from the blink app, but we can’t compare that with how responsive wired cameras are. After all, it saved me the trouble and cost of running cables to connect all these cameras. What i like the most is that you are able to save all motion videos to the sync module by connecting a hard drive / usb thumb drive to it, without paying any monthly subscription fee. The blink app allows you to view the saved videos on your hard drive on the go, which is very handy.
I live out in the country where we have had a lot of new development and a lot of new people and activity in the area that we weren’t use to. Our internet is honestly not the best, (we use an lte verizon modem with a nighthawk 5 router, hardly ever have more than 3 bars) but we have had no issues getting everything synced up and there’s no significant delay in notifications. We now have 7 cameras outside the garage and home and are using them as game cameras for our chicken coop and tree lines. I will say i feel like they are a little too sensitive but i think it is only a matter of time before i figure that out. There seems to be lots of little tricks to customize everything to your preferences and internet speeds. We will be looking at the flood light attachments next, i’m super impressed with this system.
Due to my answer in the qa section receiving many endorsement, i decided to give it a bit more detailed review after 2 weeks into owning the blink setup. I came from simplisafe, and i still do have simplisafe’s alarm system, but due to their lack of outdoor camera solution, i finally decided to pull the trigger on the latest outdoor blink and try out the mini blink as well.
First thing’s first, the new outdoor blink cam works mostly as advertised but the indoor blink mini is junk. Read more about the mini below. But first the outdoor (good)
motion recording speed & delay:
the outdoor cam’s trigger time is almost instant, in fact, i noticed that it even records a second before entering the frame. Which tells me that it might be doing some kind of constant recording into the cam’s onboard volatile memory as cache, and once motion is triggered it starts encoding the data and dumps it onto the cloud. So the trigger time is almost instant. However, note that there is a 5 second delay from what’s happening live vs what you see on your phone. So that delay is between trigger –> encode –> cloud –> decode. I’d imagine that if your cam is connected to a wifi bridge as oppose to directly to the main router, the delay could be longer than 5 seconds. Compare to simplisafe cam, the live vs view delay is about the same. And the trigger time is about the same too.
Motion sensor & sensor distance.
The motion sensor distance in the outdoor cam is less than 25 ft. Despite what the feature ad would tell you. I have 4 cams (3 outdoor setup at an angle pointing down 45 degree angle, and 1 in the garage looking pretty much straight flat at my car), 3 of the outdoor ones could pretty much trigger 15~20ft out, while the one in the garage struggles to even trigger at 15 ft. You should also take night vision into account. In nv mode, the distance is 5ft shorter. Increasing the ir blast in nv will somewhat mitigate the problem but at a cost of battery drain. I tried moving the cam in garage from pointing 45 degree down to looking almost straight horizontal to improve motion sensing to a degree. So if you have trouble with the motion sensor, try that. Compare to simplisafe’s cam, the simplicam seems to have farther motion sensing distance. But then again, simplisafe still doesn’t have an outdoor solution.
the speaker and mic quality is really good. It doesn’t sound overly tiny like you would expect and is loud and clear. Compare to simplicam, the blink outdoor has better sound and mic.
i was surprised how well the wireless works. Lots of complains in the review about wireless distance, not sure if they’re genuine. But my farthest cam is about 80ft away from my main router thought a living room, a dining room and a garage and garage door (just shy of the max 100ft advertised in the spec), i am still able to get above 33% wifi n signal. But i think a lot of this ‘might’ depend on the quality of your wifi router. I spared no expense on my home wifi. So my router is 3×3 beam forming top of the line ac router that also has a very wide 802.11 n coverage. It can reach far and carry lots of bandwidth. My advice is invest in a quality wifi router with the most bandwidth and range you can afford. Note that the cams and module only supports 802.11 n. Compare to simplicam, the wifi signal reach is about the same, if not slightly better than the simplicam.
Part of the charm and strength about the blink outdoor is its battery powered wireless nature. Only time will tell how long my cams will last. I will update this review and reflect the score once my first set of battery run out. My gut tells me it’ll be less than 2 years, well less. But i’d be happy if i can get even 1 year out of those cams. Note that the advertised 2 year battery life from amazon is based on roughly 2 mins of video footage per day per cam. One of my busiest cam facing out the front door is seeing 2~3 times that amount.
the resolution of the cam and video compression is really good. Compare to those legacy 480p outdoor cams, this was a big step up. But compare to the simplicam, i would say the image looks slightly sharper than the simplicam. But note that true 1080p resolution is only possible with high quality video record setting, which can chew up your battery and storage. Amazon’s 2 year battery life is based on medium setting, which is actually 720p. But even at the medium setting, i still find the image to be very sharp and clear. Going from medium to high (1080p) setting yield ‘some’ improvement viewing on a smart phone. You likely won’t be able to find big difference viewing it on a smartphone unless you view both videos on a large monitor. Oh which btw, currently there’s no app available for desktop computers. You’ll have to either download the footage or pull the backup off your thumb drive to view it on a dekstop.
ok, this is the most contentious and messed up part. The ad made you believe that you don’t need to subscribe to cloud and able to store locally. What they don’t explain to you is that local storage is only a secondary option on top of the cloud subscription. So you cannot, at least at the point of this review, store your recordings directly to the usb thumb drive and read off of it directly. How the blink cam works right now is everything gets dumped to their cloud server, and when you view the footage, it reads off their cloud server. The usb thumb drive is just there to backup ‘from their cloud server’ ‘once a day’. There is no way for you to have the cams upload recordings directly to the thumb drive locally and view them from your phone wirelessly off the usb thumbdrive. There’re a lot of people asking about this question on forums and, like me, only found this out after the fact. It’s not a deal breaker, but it just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Why not just come out and say it. It’s simply misleading. If you go to their website, and dig, and i mean really dig, you’ll find that there is a way to run it without subscription. But any motion trigger or live views will not be recorded. So what’s the point of local storage? It’s almost like they just want to find a way to cramp that ‘local storage’ wording into their ad to sell you the product only to find out that it’s a secondary backup on top of a pay subscription.
Now onto blink mini (junk)
blink mini on the other hand. To put it simply is junk or an opportunity wasted. The blink mini has a long standing bug that plagued the camera for at least 2 years, and the dev team still hasn’t released a fix. The issue with blink mini is that it fails to trigger motion recording coming out of night vision mode when you enter the room to turn the lights on. The dev team explained that something to do with the cam goes into freeze mode when it attempts to wake itself out of night vision to do recording. For that reason, it’s pretty much trash if you intend on using the mini as any kind of indoor security cam. I originally intended to use the mini in my garage to monitor my prized stallion. But i literately would go into my garage and walk up to the car and no motion or recording is triggered. Dev has acknowledged this issue since late 2018 and said in 2019 forum post that firmware update is coming to fix this. It is now end of 2020, i would not count on it. The only reason i kept my mini and ordered another outdoor cam for the garage is so that in any case when we go on vacation, i can set the mini up in the living room to do live view. But if you’re thinking about getting the mini for motion triggered security cam indoor, forget it. Don’t say i didn’t warn you.
the interface for the app is easy to use and more organized than many other similar services. Clips are organized with usable filters at your disposal. The motion sensing manual dead zone configuration is helpful, although likely not too useful if you’re using it outdoor, since the ‘motion sensor’ distance (not wifi distance) is well shy of advertised 25ft.
the new outdoor blink has a lot going for it. If they can fix their advertisement wording, or better, let us have the option to record directly to the usb thumb drive and be able to view the recording from our devices directly from the thumbdrive. It’ll then be a true local storage solution. The only reason i ditched my simplicam is because i really wanted to have smart cams covering my house outdoor. Been 3+ years since simplisafe said that they would come out with an outdoor solution. But till this day, still nothing. I just got tired of waiting. When i saw the new blink outdoor being advertised for black friday, i really wanted to give it a try. I would say the barrier to entry is minimal. The blink hardware given the discount that amazon has been giving out, is worth the shot. Without the deep discounts, i am not so sure. They just need to improve the motion sensor distance coverage, and let us really use the usb thumb drive for storage. In a sea of smart home security market today. Amazon really needs to do more to win over customers and not only that, to keep them there. If they can combine ring with blink, i might just ditch my simplisafe completely and go ring to combine their alarm system with blink. If they can do that, i don’t mind paying the $10/month subscription. But at its current state, they still have work to do to win over customers.
I will update the review on the battery life
I must preface this review by telling all that i am a mechanical klutz but semi-tech savvy. I should also advise that i only received and assembled this product a few hours ago so i will certainly learn more as time passes and i will amend this review accordingly. Having said that, there are a few things that i should mention for the benefit of all other klutz’s out there. The first thing i noticed is that there are no detailed instructions! Everyone noted in amazon revewes how easy installation was so i wasn’t all that concerned when placing my order. I should have been. Inexcusable that there were no instructions. I resorted to going to you tube and found a couple of videos that were very helpful. But even with the videos, i had some very simple but troubling issues. I am after all a klutz.
The first step in installation is to download the blink app. Much to my surprise, the free blink app is not compatible with a desktop pc windows computer. It is primarily an android app so i was compelled to download the app to my android phone. Now i realize that most would not have an issue doing that but i wish i had known that because i prefer to control my surveillance systems on my pc. I suspect there may be 3rd party companies that offer blink compatible software for pc’s but again, i wish i had known beforehand. I am still investigating and will likely find a solution to use the app on my pc but for now, can only use compatible devices.
The cameras and the module are all wrapped in a thin and almost invisible plastic wrap. One of the first steps is to install the provided 2 lithium aa batteries in the rear of each of the cameras. I finally figured out how to get the back plate/cover off the camera and it was a little frustrating. First, you should know that there is a rubber plug that covers the screw which holds the back plate. You need to take that plug out to access the screw. The kit provided a plastic key that fits into the screw and can be used to unscrew the screw. Simple right? Well, i turned and turned and turned the screw but the back plate would not come off. I finally figured out that there was a very thin and invisible plastic that wrapped around the edges of the camera body and that it had to be removed because it otherwise prevented the back plate from releasing once it was unscrewed. Yes, you have to have had eagle eyes to have seen that plastic film and it was a little tricky getting it off. (i warned you that i was a klutz.) ok, so now that i removed the plastic, i found a notch in the back plate to help lift it out of the camera body. That now revealed the slots where to install the batteries and the slots were adequately marked to show polarity positions. But after you install the batteries – do not screw the cover back on. Why? Because you need to access the camera id serial numbers. Again, i had to find this out on my own because there were no instructions! Also know that once you do screw the back plate back on, it should be orientated properly and there is only one way that will happen even though the cover will go on any way. The easiest way to orient the plate correctly is to ensure that the usb c port opening lines up with the usb c port on the camera.
Synching the module and each of the cameras was relatively easy so i won’t belabor these steps. The you tube videos were very helpful to get through these steps. But here’s another setup klutz problem i came across. To mount the cameras, there are mounting bases that attach to the back of the camera body by snapping into that area where the screw is located. Sounds easy enough but it is a little tricky. First, understand that the mounts need to be screwed into whatever house structure your attaching the camera to. But the holes in the mount are situated in such a manner that it is impossible to access the holes once the camera is attached. So you need to first screw the mount on to the wall before attaching the camera. The only problem with that is you now have to snap the camera on to the mount and as i mentioned above, that was a little difficult.
Ok, now that i had the cameras set up, figuring out how to work the system was another stumbling block. Again – no guidance because no instructions. Even being a little tech savvy, i had some difficulty. I found that the software was not as user friendly as i would have expected. Ok, i am still playing with the system and learning but once again, it sure would help having instructions.
I’ve had the system for more than two years now and to be honest, it’s pretty good.
A- though limited in exactly how far it can see at night, (from garage to end of driveway just beyond my parked vehicles), it triggers nicely.
B- i love how where in the view, you can set the motion tracking. (there’s a grid you can use to tell it where to watch for motion in the image. Aka: i can filter it to not trigger off my neighbors headlights)
c- i love being able to bring up the live view of any camera on your system. (it takes a few seconds and it will ask you after about 10-15 seconds if you want to continue, so there’s that.)
d- it’s weird how i keep getting videos popping up from previous nights, (not last night, but several nights previous). And sometimes the replay injects weird, full daytime looking imagery in the playback.
E- love how i can upload from within the app to my youtube (or wherever) channel.
F- it is a real battle swapping out batteries.
F1 – once the camera is dismounted from the base, it’s super easy to unscrew and replace batteries, and closing it back up.
F2 – snapping it back into their mounts is a real (expletive)ing battle. Knowing i have to tackle that makes me dread the battery change.
F3 – if i were to add a photo to this review, it would be of my grimacing painfully while trying to pop the cameras back into their base.
G – yes, the lithium batteries do last 2 years… But it’s dependent on how much you use the cameras interactively. If you use them to look at blind spots around your house, the batteries for those particular cameras will poop out faster, but that’s a minor nit, though i try to use them sparingly to not have to deal with issue f!!!
H – love how i can talk to someone through the cameras and hear them very well.
I – i do not appreciate the fine detail when a nighttime spider rudely crawls across the lens! Ick.
J – i live in the hot and freezing desert and they’ve held up well through the seasons so far.
K – love how i can customize exactly when the system will turn on and off.
That is all i can think of for the moment.
Oh – i wish i could access my cameras from a desktop and not be limited to just my phone.
Ok.. Now that is all… For now.
I’ve only had these outdoor cameras for a few days, so i won’t comment on battery life yet. But overall, i’m very happy with these cameras and most of their features. I’m nitpicking a bit here, which is why there are so many cons. They are minor issues outweighed by the pros.
* setup was relatively simple–once you understand it–but the instructions weren’t (see below)
* infrared is awesome in the darkest environments and does a good job switching between ir and non-ir automatically
* motion detection works well, as does the 1-9 sensitivity setting, although this requires some tweaking until you find the right setting for each camera
* daytime video quality is excellent and good enough to read stationary license plates up to about 50 feet.
* audio quality is amazing! Individual birds and nearby bees can be heard easily, and normal volume conversations within about 20 feet can be understood.
* the cameras seem to require an active internet connection, not just a wifi connection (although i could be wrong). This may be because the initial setup requires you to use cloud storage. This could become a problem if your internet connection is lost or dropped.
* initial setup requires storage in the cloud (for the free trial), even if you install a usb drive in the sync module. I have not found a way to disable the cloud storage. This cloud storage requirement may be slowing down the entire system, since it forces everything to constantly use the internet.
* setup instructions were weird and unintuitive. The included booklet simply said to install the app. And the app is kind of confusing at first, and i ended up trying to create an account (and failing) and adding the sync module several times until i figured out what it was doing (and i’m an experienced techie). The basic problem is the app requires cameras to be installed only by following certain steps, with no other option.
* setup requires the mobile app and an active internet connection to install the cameras.
* accessing the cameras and video clips requires the mobile app. There are no desktop app or web options.
* cannot schedule individual cameras. The weekly/hourly schedule can only be set for all cameras attached to a sync module. This is unfortunate and will make the scheduling feature useless for most people. It would also be helpful to be able to set quality, motion detection sensitivity, and ir settings on a schedule. The settings i use for night time would be different than the middle of the day or when i’m not at home.
* no quality setting on the audio. There are multiple settings for quality of the videos, to conserve batteries, but there’s no way to turn down the audio quality, for battery conservation. The included audio quality is great, but it seems to be ‘too’ high for the purpose of these cameras.
* only 2 aa batteries in each camera. This could become very cumbersome to replace batteries if your camera is installed in a hard-to-reach location. The cameras should have 6, 8, or 10 batteries instead, so you don’t have to replace them often. I would happily pay the extra battery cost so that i wouldn’t have to climb up there very often.
* when a camera is ‘in use’, its settings cannot be changed, and if you try to change the settings, you’ll get an error message, causing the app’s settings screen to get out of sync with the camera’s actual settings, until you go back and modify the settings again.
* the ‘talk’ feature produces garbled, broken, delayed (by 3-5 seconds) audio that is unintelligible, no matter how close the camera and sync module are to your router. I have about 115 mbps bandwidth, and it made no difference. You will never be able to use this to have a conversation of any type, even if they could understand what you’re saying. This seems like a very odd flaw since the recorded audio is so excellent. This was obviously an oversight by the engineers.
* the android app’s setting to disable the vibration on notifications doesn’t work. It always uses my phone’s setting and ignores the app’s setting.
* insects near my 4 cameras are causing 15-30 false alerts per day right now, until i can figure out a better placement or setting. Other than the wear on the batteries, this is not a huge deal, but it can be annoying.
* the installation hardware is inadequate. Each camera comes with 2 large wood screws that are too big and too long for almost every installation. Much smaller wood screws and double-sided tape or velcro would have been much more practical. I ended up not using any of the screws that came with the cameras because they were too big or impossible to use on the required surfaces.
* the back panels on the cameras are very weird to remove for battery installation. There are no instructions that i could find on how to do this, and the included plastic tools are not intuitive. I nearly broke one of the cameras trying to get the back panel off using the included tool. There’s a certain trick to hooking and unhooking the tool from the back panel that you’ll have to figure out on your own.
* the cameras and lenses are fully exposed to sunlight and weather, which is not ideal. The cameras should come with a small hood the lens or camera to protect it even more from weather and shade from light.
* user access cannot be customized. The only way to give someone access to a camera is to give them your password to your account and entire system. It would be helpful to be able to grant someone limited or temporary access, such as a neighbor, child, relative, or visitor.
Honestly, this is a good-almost great camera to use. I don’t have a doorbell so opted for this one instead. It will do what you need it to and the night vision is not terrible either. The main complaints i have with this model are the battery life and motion sensors. The battery life is supposed to(according to description) last for about two years- but that’s very far off. I have to change my batteries like every two months. Granted, in the app it says my camera has high usage, but that’s the point of it lol. The motion sensor is iffy for sure. I have a lot of stray cats by my house and it rarely picks up on them walking through my porch… And if it does pick it up it’s always super delayed (the cat is almost off my porch by the time the camera records it). Oh one more thing – it gets super frustrating when you get the notification of movement on your phone, i click it, and it takes forever to load the live view (usually the mailman is gone by the time it pulls up and works). Usually, when doing that or just checking live view in genera the app sort of like crashes and i end up having to close it and start over. So i can never really use the talk feature since it usually takes awhile to load and then the person is gone by the time it works lol. But those are things i can live with and it overall works like it’s supposed to!
Blink outdoor 3 camera system with sync module and camera mounts.
easy setup and connectivity to existing network.
Adjustable camera settings.
Small size (about a cigarette pack.)
mediocre ir (night) vision.
Less than stellar range for motion sensors.
Cheap mounting brackets.
Subscription service for full features.
Much has been said about blink/amazon’s subscription service to keep the ‘full features’ of this system active. That is true. However professional security systems have much the same thing so ymmv. We are only in week one of our 30 day trial and i’m on the fence about subscribing… But probably will depending on the performance of the system over the next month.
If you have pets setting the cameras up will be a challenge. Same for rural locations.
The mounting brackets for the cameras are pretty much crap. Consider your locations and try the cameras out without mounting if you can. Holding them in a position with the ‘live’ feature enabled will let you see what the camera sees. I found this to be helpful.
you’ll probably pay a lot for a professional security system with 24×7 monitoring. This setup won’t do that. It will let you know what is around your house, barn, garage, etc. And alert you via the app and a stable internet connection. I like it. It’s not ‘true security’ but it is better than not having any sort of situational awareness at all.
I love these they record and you can see what is going on. There are some issues with the app and software built into these. Nothing that would make me say don’t buy. As software and apps can be made better over time. The app only works in portrait mode. Which on my phone is not that big a deal. But with my kindle fire 10 on the dock. Well it is kind of dumb when i ask alexa to open up the app and it only shows it in portrait since the dock is only landscape it is unusable to be on the dock to try to review the videos.
It has a temperature alerts ability but that is useless as you can only set it between 40 and 90. So anytime it is below or above those it lets you know. Neither temperature limit is appropriate for where i live as we spend a long time in the summer above 90 and in the winter we are below 40. So what is the use of this feature. Granted it is optional but why even put it in if you are going to set the temperature limits so strangely.
I have a number of these cameras across multiple properties. In general, i like them — easy to install and set up, good wireless coverage, and good image/video quality. There are a few things i wish were improved, however. First, the motion detection lacks any ability to distinguish between people, animals, and even insects (spiders and moths), so if you have pets you’re going to get a lot of false positives, which will shorten the battery life. Second, it’s hard to find the sweet spot for motion sensitivity — some cameras seem to trip too easily, and some seem to miss the action. Third, it would be nice if the cameras included a date/time stamp on the videos. Fourth, there’s only a phone app and no web app, and if you download videos to your iphone, they’re not compatible with imessage, which is a pain (it makes it hard to send a clip to a family member, for instance). Lastly, when the batteries in a camera are low, it doesn’t reliably warn you… The camera just goes dead — if the property is remote, that’s a pain. Overall i like and recommend these cameras, but they’re not perfect and could use some improvement.
Good, clear video. Easy set up. But missing two big things. 1-it only videos for a set amount of time you set (5-60 seconds). It does not continue to video even if there is continued motion. And there’s a 10 second delay between recordings so a gap. Thus, you miss action as it resets and waits for another motion trigger. 2-the motion detection is not that great. However i’m updating this review as a notice there’s a sensitivity control for that. I had it on five out of 10 so i need to set higher and test. Increasing both those settings will reduce battery life. Keeping as too much of a hassle to dismantle, return and install something else that has its own weakness. I have not tried the usb local recording yet as still within my free 30 day trial but support, which was quick to answer and was helpful, says it will work. You just can’t record live events (who cares) and it will not show thumbnails of the recordings (somewhat who cares).
Set-up of blink went well, and the cameras work great but the overall rating loses one star for tough alexa integration. I had the blink app running and the cameras mounted within an hour of starting.
I opted for local storage on a usb stick even during the free one-month trial of blink cloud storage.
Setting up the echo show 5 and getting the blink app to work well with alex took at least twice that long. Once i was done everything was great! Now when motion is detected alexa announces which camera is active and if i wish i can ask the echo show 5 to display the live view. I used ‘help’ several times during the process. Anybody not comfortable with technology would have a tough time so i’ve deducted one star. I expected it to be easier since they are all amazon devices.
One tiny disappointment is that blink doesn’t allow you to choose between ‘landscape’ and ‘portrait’ orientation for the images from the cameras since one of mine would serve me better in portrait mode. The product information claims that the batteries last up to two years, i’m hoping for at least half that.
I considered adding the blink doorbell until reading the reviews. Due to the location of my existing doorbell on the siding of my house and which faces directly into the morning sun i decided to instead mount a camera high up over the door facing downward. The camera motion detecting software is apparently better too.