Although its feature set is limited, the Blink X is a reliable wireless indoor / outdoor camera that includes the necessary casing and even free cloud storage.
- Totally wireless
- Excellent battery life
- Very easy to install.
- Sharp 720p picture.
- Motion detection with push alerts.
- Free cloud storage.
- Buggy app
- Fairly ‘dumb’
- Wi-Fi range could be better
- Only records with motion detection; no on-demand capture.
- Lacks two-way audio.
- No IFTTT support and does not integrate with other smart home devices.
- Some pincushion distortion.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Blink Home Security Camera System is a reasonably priced modular surveillance system that allows you to monitor your home from your smartphone. It is completely wireless and offers free storage for recorded video and motion alerts, but it suffers in short on features and pincushion distortion.
- Review Price: £240
- Battery powered (2 x AA)
- PIR motion detection
- Night vision
- Free cloud storage (two hours)
What is the Blink XT?
Most outdoor security cameras need to know some level of DIY on how to get up and running, but waterproof Blink XT cameras powered on AA batteries can be mounted on any flat surface and can be controlled only with a smartphone.
As this is, you can get a device up and running in minutes. In fact, since they are also available in packs of two, three and five, setting up multiple units will not take long.
The following review covers the two-camera pack, which brings you the sync module you need to talk to your Wi-Fi network. If you want to add more cameras at a later date, you can buy them for $ 120 without sync.
Blink XT – Design and build
With its solid black plastic shell, the Blink XT camera looks solid enough. It sounds like a GoPro that has retired from all the daring stuff – and consequently put some weight on it.
To connect each unit to your Wi-Fi cable is simply to plug in the Sync module and use your phone to scan the QR code at the bottom of the back panel of the camera. My camera needed a firmware update, but it took a few minutes to get ready.
In order to work, each camera must be within the range of the sync module, which should be in good range of your router to maintain a steady signal from one end of your cycle to the other. This does not mean that it is very likely that you will be able to place your blink camera right at the end of the garden, though its form factor is perfectly suited.
The fixtures and fittings are limited, but each camera features a basic plastic mounting bracket that easily slips behind the device and allows you to tilt the camera.
Remember that you do not rotate it. Fortunately, a 3-degree wide-angle lens doesn’t mean that. The mount is not particularly sturdy, mind you, but once in position you need not touch the camera.
No matter where you position your camera, you’re probably using the bracket to attach something; The camera doesn’t feel heavy enough to withstand high winds, especially if you’re keeping it in an open space. The clip-on nature of the device also means it’s not particularly stealth-proof, though stealing security cameras seems to be an unnecessarily high-risk crime.
Blink XT – Features
Blink’s XT cameras are triggered by movement and record a minute of video at once, though the duration and quality of the app can be changed. There is also a live view feature if you want to check in at any moment, and the camera uses infrared to watch in the dark at night.
You can adjust the motion sensitivity, but there is no option to set specific detection zones. XT also fights to tell the difference between an animal and a person, so be prepared to get acquainted with the local wildlife (a lower secondary benefit of ownership if you ask me).
This is because the Blink X uses a peer motion sensor instead of in-video motion detection. The advantage is that a PIR sensor uses less battery.
Once the movement is detected and a video clip is recorded, the camera will send a notification to any phone that has the Blink app installed and is logged into your account.
It’s a shame that it’s not possible for different users to have different profiles, but at least the calendar-based interface schedules make it easy to set up.
Blink Calculations You can record up to 10 five-second clips a day with each camera, with the battery lasting two years. As such, if your cameras are located somewhere that shows less traffic than this, you don’t have to buy a new AAS for too long.
It didn’t rain during the test, but my neighbor jet-washed his fence. As a result, one of the cameras took good drenching, but escaped unscathed. In fact I got some good footage of it.
The Blink X does not employ a particularly sophisticated waterproofing system; You only need to firmly hold the camera while attaching the back panel to create the seal. Still, it seems to be effective.
Blink XT – Performance
If you already have Blink’s indoor cameras, you can only add outdoor units to the same sync module, but that means you can turn them on or off only once.
If you want to independently control your outdoor camera and indoor units, you need two sync modules (each can withstand up to 10 cameras). Sync modules do not require a direct connection to your router over Wi-Fi only, so they only accept a plug socket. Being able to run multiple network cameras on a single bridge can be an obvious solution.
Cameras once seemed to be pretty reliable once things were in sight – though, of course, there’s no way to know if they missed anything.
The biggest problem with Blink’s XT cameras is that they often start recording too late or stop recording prematurely. Many of the videos captured begin at the center of the frame instead of entering the subject already; They finished before the matter went away.
One of the settings you can activate will turn off the cameras if the speed is off before the clip has reached its allotted length, but this has not been proven 100% reliable in the test. It won’t be a problem if the footage is only required to prove one’s presence (or something), but if you need to capture someone (or something) in acting, you must make sure that your camera will record the whole thing.
On occasion, the cameras go offline for no apparent reason – you’re notified via a push notification – but leaving alone can usually reconnect after a while. This is almost certainly due to the poor connection between my setup cameras and the sync module, so if your Wi-Fi is weak outside your home, you may see your placement options limited.
However, most issues are limited to the buggy app. Sometimes, it would claim that the devices were not armed when they were obviously there, and I found that the app was likely to crash after watching live video.
However, these issues seem to be limited to applications only, not the functionality of the cameras and have never seemed to affect their operation.
Blink XT – Video quality
XT’s video quality is better than Blink’s indoor cameras, available in 1080p ‘enhanced’ settings. Do not expect HDR, but this is good enough to detect faces even in medium HD mode, while microphones carry the ambient sound.
The audio is just one-sided, so if you catch snooping around their format, you can’t tell criminals to go their way.
The video frame rate can take half a second to speed up, and thanks to the wide-angle lens that has some distortion around the edges of the frame, however, in important places in the center, the footage is clean and sharp with plenty of detail.
The color can be a bit washed out under some conditions and I could see the camera struggling to open up the bright sky. This should not be a problem even if the intruders are not attacked by parachutes. Also, X is not here to score points based on artistic ability.
The details of the night were obviously a hit, with the camera switching to one color. You may lose some range as well, but each clip still has plenty to see.
Each Blink camera comes with a maximum capacity of up to two hours of video, with free cloud storage. Setting the default video length to 5 seconds, this is enough footage. Plus, since it automatically overwrites the oldest when there’s no space left, you never have to worry about running out.
Everything you want to keep can be stored on your phone through the app.
Blink XT – IFTTT and voice assistants
You can add functionality to your Blink setup using the IFTTT channel. For example, it can be triggered to turn it on or off by the Nest Thermostat or using the IFTTT app via GPS. I tried it later and it worked flawlessly.
You can also use IFTTT to work with Google Home, and since Alexa support is built-in, all you have to do is enable the skill and log in to your account. This bit is simple – but I’ve only got it for disarmament using Alexa, not the arm, and the command you have to use is the mouth. Unless it’s developed, it’s probably not something that many will bother using.
Why buy the Blink XT?
There are two major reasons to purchase the Blink XT system: price and convenience. The meaning of both is often sacrificed, but this is no different with the XT.
The Netgear Arlo Pro is more expensive, but this wireless system comes with a better app. Or, if you can go to cable, the new Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has the best quality images.
If you are looking for an affordable solution that is easy to install and operate, Blink’s XT might like more about the camera – just be aware that your awareness may be in the gaps in the evidence gap.
Trusted Score: ∗∗∗∗∗
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