Security

Blink Home Security System Review – A Newer, Easier Home Security System?

(Last Updated On: July 11, 2017)

Home security cameras help homeowners secure their homes with more ease. However, users complain about having to wire their security cameras, making the installation process a hassle and limiting the places where they can be mounted or positioned.

Immedia, therefore, came up with a battery-powered camera that works with a wireless network to transmit video clips. This camera is called Blink.

Blink allows you to put a camera just about anywhere. This means that you can easily secure the doorway, the windows, and just about any area in the house you want to keep an eye on. Blink’s batteries are estimated to last for at least a year, so you don’t need to keep on changing them.

Blink allows you to start protecting your home with a single-camera system for $99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).

You can also choose from a two-camera to a five-camera system with prices ranging from $169 to $349 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here). After that, you can buy additional cameras at only $75 each.

First Up: What is Blink?

Blink is a white square camera with rounded edges.  Each side measures only 2.77 inches. That means that you can place the camera just about anywhere because of its size and it won’t clash with your decor because of its color.

The package comes with the camera, a pair of AA batteries, mounting hardware, and a separate stand.

You will need the Sync Module hub with Blink. The Sync Module is composed of a pair of smaller plastic squares that are a bit smaller than the camera.  You connect the power adapter (also included in the box) to the Sync Module and power it on.

The Sync Module communicates with the camera to activate it when you go into Live Mode. Both the camera and the Sync Module have a USB port which can be used to update your devices.

Once the Sync Module is powered on, you simply download the mobile app and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to connect to the Blink Wi-Fi network and your local network. Then you just wait for the camera to connect to the
Sync Module.

Blink works with a motion detector. Once it detects movement, it will start recording while also sending you an alert on your smartphone and other mobile devices. You can then check what caused the movement at home even when you are outside the house.

Blink also has a Live View mode that allows you to see what’s happening at home at any given time. The system sounds very useful and thousands of people agree. Blink earned around $1.07 million from backers on Kickstarter.

Features of the Blink System

Apart from the live view mode, motion detection, and wireless nature of the camera, the final product also includes several other nifty features.

  • Records HD Footage: For one, it records security footage in HD.  With 720 pixels, Blink gives you crisp and clear HD videos so you can see even the minutest details without too much blurring or distortion. For instance, you would have no problems identifying facial features or seeing plate numbers.
  • Instant Capture: You also get instant on functionality where the camera starts recording in just a few milliseconds when it is activated by the motion sensor. You get to capture whoever or whatever it is that triggers the alert.
  • Low Light Capable: Blink works in low light conditions. Thanks to a camera that is configured to perform well in dark lighting as well as the embedded LED illuminator, you can be sure to get your security footage day or night.
  • Built in Audio: The built-in microphone also allows users to hear what’s happening at home.

Security and Privacy

Blink comes with an LED light that lights up when the camera is recording or is being used in Live View mode. That means you will always know when the camera is being used and you cannot use it for stealth recording or spying.

It also has an option for you to manually or automatically arm or disarm the camera. You just set the schedule.

What this means is that you can set the camera to automatically record when you are out of the house, such as during office hours. This happens even when you do not arm it yourself or if you forget to turn on the camera when you leave.

Further, you can get more security and privacy with the multi-system support. You can use Blink to secure your home, your office, or your vacation house, and you can monitor all of these using only one account, which you can access on the Blink Home Monitor mobile app.

Tale of the Tape: The Blink Alternatives

When it was first introduced roughly two years ago, Blink offered a great proposition: a home security system that is easy to use and set up. You no longer have to call an electrician to wire your system and you can start monitoring your home in just a few minutes.

However, a number of wireless security cameras have been introduced since then and each one has a better set of features than Blink. These include Nest Cam, Arlo Q, Zmodo Pivot, and Flir FX WiFi.

There is one point of comparison, though, where Blink wins: its attractive price tag here.  Most similar cameras cost somewhere between $170 and $190 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).

Blink, however, pales in comparison when it comes to its field of view.  While most others have a wider degree of vision (ranging from 130 to 160 degrees), Blink only has an FOV of 110 degrees.

It means that, compared to its competitors, Blink has a bigger blind spot, or area that its camera cannot reach or cannot record.  This problem is made even more apparent by the fact that Blink is largely a stationary camera that you cannot tilt or pan.

But more than this, Blink offers the lowest video and photo resolution, giving users only 720 pixels and 1280 x 720 pixels respectively.  All the others have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels for photos and 1080 pixels for videos.

The more expensive cameras also come with integrations, which mean you can use them to work with other connected devices.  Zmodo Pivot, Flir FX and Blink do not have that.

 

CameraNest CamArlo QZmodo PivotBlinkFlir FX WiFi
Lowest PriceCheck hereCheck hereCheck hereCheck hereCheck here
ConnectivityWi-FiWi-FiBluetooth, Wi-FiWi-FiWi-Fi
IntegrationNestIFTTTNoneNoneNone
Field of View 130°130°135°110°160°
Video Resolution1080p1080p1080p720p1080p
Photo Resolution1,920 x 1,0801,920 x 1,0801,920 x 1,0801,280 x 7201,920 x 1,080
StorageCloudCloudLocalCloudCloud, Local
AppMobile, WebMobileMobileMobileMobile
NotificationsAppApp, e-mailAppAppApp
AlarmNoNoNoNoNo
Digital ZoomYesYesYesYesYes
Night VisionYesYesYesYesYes
Two-Way AudioYesYesYesNoYes
PanNoNoYesNoNo
TiltNoNoNoNoNo

 

In short, Blink has missed its chance taking two years to get ready.  As it is, Zmodo Pivot sells for roughly the same price as the Blink, but offers a better camera with more features.

What Could Be Better?

Blink has a plastic-like appearance that you might not appreciate.  Even when you are only changing the batteries, it feels like it is not durable and can break at any time.

Some people might also find it cheap-looking.  Another downside is that Blink needs to be visible and you cannot hide it behind a vase or books.

Moreover, Blink could definitely benefit with the addition of two-way communication, alarm, and on-demand recording.  It also does not have local storage, so you have to rely on Blink’s cloud service.

The Final Verdict

If you are looking for a simple home security camera system that is a breeze to install and easy to use, then Blink would be a good choice for you.

It is very simple to use and it offers you a good camera with night vision, digital zoom and HD recording.  It is a good first security camera system with a very low point of entry in terms of price: you can start with only about $99 for a single camera system and just add around $75 for every additional camera.

However, if you are looking for top-notch features, it might be a good idea to shell out a few more bucks to get a better security camera system that is packed with more features.

Even at the same price point, the Zmodo Pivot offers two-way communication and the ability to pan your camera, both of which are missing from the Blink.

Do not discount Blink just yet.  The presence of a USB port gives us hope that we would see more features added in the future.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Blink Security Camera System
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About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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