Gabe: Today, we’re going to check out the original Blink camera and its somewhat bigger, definitely badder cousin, the Blink XT. Let’s check them out. [music] Gabe: Hey everybody, this is Gabe at Security Baron. Today we’re going to look at the Blink and its bigger, badder cousin, the Blink XT. Blink was acquired by Amazon in the past year for this HD video technology.
Before we can get into that, we’ve got to unbox. [music] Gabe: For today’s review, I want to go over a few things. The way we’re going to structure it is talk about what these have in common and what they do separately, and then come back to say what they do well together. Let’s begin with the actual cameras themselves. Each of these cameras actually feels pretty weighty in my hands despite the plastic encasing.
They’re about 3.3 inches across. The Blink XT is a little bit bigger. They each come with these sync modules.
However, you just need one sync module to run up to 10 cameras.
Both of these cameras come with at least 720 high-definition video, a microphone, free cloud storage, Amazon Alexa integration, and the famed battery life. The best way for us to go about talking about the distinctions between the XT and the original Blink camera is to go through Security Baron’s necessary features. A good security camera should have stellar video, two-way audio, night vision, local and cloud storage, a great value, smart platform integration, artificial intelligence with facial recognition, and a convenience factor. To begin with, let’s start with the Blink. The original Blink camera goes for about $100 online, which I overall think is a pretty great value considering that you can just put two cheap AA lithium batteries inside and it will go for two years without having to think about it.
The Blink has 720 resolution, which honestly we’ve seen a lot better in a lot of other cameras that we reviewed here on our site.
That’s minus in terms of what kind of features they have. Secondly, you have the audio is only one-way. One-way audio, after we’ve seen so many two-way audio cameras, is a little disappointing. Additionally, the original Blink only comes with illuminated night vision, not infrared.
The thing that I think it really lacks in terms of what we’re looking for in today’s market is a smart platform integration. While you can set it up with Amazon Alexa, or even use some IFTTT, and set it up with your Google Home, the functions are pretty limited.
You can basically schedule an arming or disarming, but you can only do it for the whole system together. When you try to do one independently, it won’t work. I can’t have a Blink camera set up in my living room differently from my bedroom or kitchen versus outside.
That’s a bit annoying because I think this really stems from their issues with no artificial intelligence and no facial recognition. These are two other Security Baron necessary features that I don’t find in the original Blink camera. Now, it was very convenient to set up. All I had to do was take about 30 minutes, unpack everything, download the app, and I was ready to go.
Let’s talk about these necessary features in relationship to the Blink XT.
The Blink XT actually can be configured up to 1080p which should be the bare minimum for any security camera out in the market these days. Additionally, it has only one-way audio which is the same issue that we have with the original Blink. It does have a better night vision because it has actual infrared capacity, but it has the same cloud storage options as the original Blink camera.
In terms of value, for about $20 more generally than what you pay for the Blink original camera, you get the weatherproof Blink XT that has 1080p video. In terms of smart platform integration or convenience, or anything like that, they’re essentially the same.
In terms of value, I think this is the better value because you can place it anywhere, get a better video, and get better night vision. I want to talk about some of the things I really like about the Blink security cameras. For one, the two years of battery life with just two AA lithium batteries for the Blink Indoor is great. It allows me to set up this little camera and forget about it. Also, the set up itself was very easy.
I synced the module to my router and was ready to go within 15 minutes. While the Blink works for two years on two lithium A batteries, the Blink XT reports of the same thing. We’re reading so many reports that it actually will die within two, three or four months.
If I’m going out in the snow or any other elements, I have to change the battery that I expected to work for two years, I’m going to be a little bit annoyed. On top of that, when I want to watch the video on the Blink or the Blink XT, I have to continuously press on the app to maintain the live stream.
It’s almost like Netflix saying, “Are you still watching?” That’s really annoying because I want to be able to, like most of my cameras, tap on the app and watch the live stream for as long as I want without having to continuously think about the fact that I’m watching a live stream.
Another issue that each of them has is that there’s only 110 degrees of viewing angle. It’s not going to capture everything that’s happening in any given space. Many of the cameras that we’ve reviewed so far have 120 or 130 degrees, or they can even pan.
The fact that this is only 110-degree viewing angle is a real issue for us. Otherwise, I really enjoyed working with these cameras, but those are some things to think about when you’re buying the Blink and the Blink XT. I wanted to end today talking about how you can set up the Blink system in your home to feel secure. With one sync module, you can put up to 10 cameras and you can mix and match between the XT and the original Blink camera.
The Blink has motion detection, scheduled arming, all of things that you would want in terms of feeling safe and that you know what’s going on in your home.
We should mention that it will only send you a push notification after it begins recording when motion detection is sent off. You can expect it to be instant from the moment someone walks in your home. It’s going to start recording and then send you a message. Additionally, if you do live streaming you have to continuously press on it to see a new video. Most systems allow you to hit live stream once and you could watch that stream all day.
The Blink doesn’t allow for that. Finally, you can set up the configuration for video to be between five seconds to one minute, but ultimately, it will only record 7,200 seconds before it begins to overwrite itself. There’s no cloud storage beyond that. Additionally, if night vision is important to you, you’d definitely want to have more XTs in your system. Of course, you can mix and match up to 10 on just one module.
The XT has actual infrared LED video capacity. The original only comes with illuminated night vision. Let’s take a look at the video capabilities of the Blink and the Blink XT. Right now, I’m looking on my iPhone at the video clarity of the original Blink and I immediately noticed that it’s just 720. When you look at some of the other cameras on the market even at a lower price range, they’re often shooting in 1080.
That’s one thing. Additionally, every 30 seconds, I have to click continue in order to maintain the live stream. This may have to do with the fact that the Blink runs off of two batteries for two years. It’s definitely something that I find annoying as I go through and I have to continuously remember to press it if I’m watching a video in order to see what’s happening in my home, or I just want to catch up on something going on.
You’ll also find that the 110-degree viewing angle is narrower than many other competitors.
Usually, you start off with at least 120-degree viewing angle. We’ve seen cameras like the iSmartAlarm that have a pan that go a full 350. Let’s go ahead and look at the Blink XT. As soon as I start recording the video for the Blink XT, you can see how much better the clarity is in comparison to the original Blink. The Blink XT is configurable up to 1080p, so you get a much better resolution.
However, it is still limited by the 110-degree viewing angle and the fact that I have to look down and press continue in order to maintain a live stream.
It does come with some of the same setbacks as the original Blink when it comes to watching and reviewing a video, but it does have a much better quality. Let’s go ahead and look at both of these cameras and the ways of where they differ in terms of night vision. Both the original Blink and the Blink XT come with night vision modes. Now with the original Blink, it has something called low-light illumination, which essentially means that anytime it detects something in terms of motion or you press live stream, it shines a bright light, which I’m looking directly into now, I’m following the light.
The Blink XT uses a more traditional infrared LED for capturing video in low-light. If I’m trying to watch a live stream or it detects motion, a little red light is on, on the camera, but there’s no low-light illumination, bright light, and I can see everything in the same manner. Of course, I can still use digital zoom, whatever is necessary, but the Blink XT does the job in a really satisfactory fashion. Let’s check out the Blink app. I just click in.
As you can see, I’ve got an array of options in terms of modules. I’ve only got two set ups for right now. I’ve got the original Blink on top as Baron Spy and the Blink XT as Baron Spy Master. Of course, you want to make sure you’re connected. Here at the bottom, and I find this pretty intuitive generally, it says it’s online, the WiFi is excellent.
I go back. Now, I can either take a screenshot by clicking on the camera here or here. I can go here into the folder and look at some of the rolls of clips that I’ve shot. If I want to go to the live streaming, I click on either of these two icons depending on which camera I want to see. Here I am.
As you can see, there is a bit of lag for what I’m actually doing, what I’m actually hearing and what’s taking place on the screen. Overall, the app is very intuitive and I can merely get it up and working.
Overall, the Blink and the Blink XT are two great security cameras for your smart home security system. Of course, I have concerns with each, especially the resolution on the indoor or the battery life on the XT, but they’re great cameras for someone starting out setting up their home system. If you’d like to read the whole review, google Security Baron plus Blink Security Cameras.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below. If you have appreciated this video, give us a like. As always, this is Gabe at Security Baron. Be secure. [music].