As smart home devices become more and more ingrained in our society, we see a higher tendency toward smart security systems and cameras.
There is no shortage of selection when it comes to the smart security system market, whether it is purchasing a self-contained system, or putting one together yourself.
Bottom Line Up Front: Both cameras do a good job, but I prefer the Arlo Pro available here because it has two-way communication (Blink does not) and has a longer track record in this space.
Cameras are considered to be the devices that provide the most significant increase to security for your home, and just like the security systems mentioned above, there is no shortage of manufacturers boasting they make the best and most reliable devices on the market today.
Some of the most durable, powerful, and popular cameras on the market today are manufactured by Arlo and Blink. These well-known corporations have created names for themselves in the security camera arena by creating devices which stand out from the crowd and provide exceptional customer satisfaction.
Perhaps the highest rated cameras for these companies are the Arlo Pro and Blink XT. While these two security cameras share many similarities, there is also a significant difference which needs pointing out. Let’s dive into these innovative products and determine what makes them tick, how they compare to one another, and what makes them two of the best cameras available today.
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Out of the Box Experience
Setup of the Blink XT security camera is simple and intuitive, and only takes a couple of minutes. The Blink XT is a DIY (do-it-yourself) security camera, which means you won’t need to contact a professional for installation. There are a few steps you need to complete setting up the Blink XT, but they are easy to do and relatively straightforward.
Find and download the Blink mobile app. It’s available on both the Android and Apple app stores, and a simple search for “Blink” will locate the app.
Follow the user’s manual for instructions and guidance on setting up the sync module. This portion can be tricky, so don’t feel ashamed if you need to watch a YouTube video for reference.
Now add your cameras. Once the sync module setup is complete, you should see an ‘Add Blink Camera’ option. When you press it, you’ll be prompted to provide the serial number for your Blink XT security camera.
That sums up the setup process for the Blink XT security camera. As I said, it’s straightforward, intuitive, and simple. But if you do get hung up during installation, don’t hesitate to reach out to Blink’s customer support.
Similar to its counterpart, the Arlo Pro Security Camera is simple and easy to setup. It only takes a few minutes to finish installing the device, and most users will find that they won’t need to reference the guide or require additional assistance. Of course, like the Blink XT, there are videos and support options if you find yourself hung up while setting up your security camera.
Users want an intuitive, simple application that is easy to understand and navigate. This is true in the security camera market as well, and the ability to view and manage data and recorded video can go a long way in how consumers use devices. As a result, it is imperative that both Blink and Arlo offer great mobile app that are straightforward and user-friendly.
The Blink XT app requires users to become familiar with it right off the bat, as it is needed to activate the camera. Fortunately, the app is intuitive enough that users will have no problems, especially since it guides you through with a step-by-step tutorial.
Once activated, the main screen of the application on both Android and iOS platforms greets you with an image of the most recent feed captured by the security camera. You can view the clip by merely pressing the video button located in the corner.
Also located within the app is a folder icon which will let you review all of your recorded videos. If you decide to remove old clips, all you have to do is open the folder and select the video you want to delete. One thing to note is the blue dots next to specific files. This is the Blink app’s way of telling you that these are files you have yet to watch.
In the Camera Settings, you can change many of the Blink XT’s settings, including:
- Audio Settings
- Clip Recording Length
- Sensitivity Levels
- Retrigger Time
Perhaps the only drawback to the Blink mobile application is the lack of a paid subscription offer. If you run out of cloud storage, your only choice is to delete some of your saved clips until you have enough space to store new ones. It would be nice if Blink provided an option to upgrade storage for users that want to keep additional clips.
Like the Blink XT, the Arlo Pro offers an application that is intuitive and user-friendly. While the overall experience with the application is excellent, there are still a few bugs and defects that need resolution. Despite a few flaws though, the Arlo app gets high reviews for both iOS and Android.
As the first security camera to provide two-way audio support, the Arlo application includes this functionality. It is handy to be able to talk through or listen to what’s going on around the security camera. It’s a pretty neat feature and one that might sway users toward choosing the Arlo Pro.
The Arlo app offers a Mode feature that will let you set the current status of the device. There are three to choose from: disarmed, armed, and geofencing. If, for instance, the Arlo Pro is on and armed, it will take a five-second video when it recognizes motion or activity, which will then send notifications to your smartphone.
In addition to the Mode of your Arlo app, you can also view the current status of all your Arlo Pro cameras through the Devices section. This feature shows battery life of all your security cameras, connectivity status, live feeds, latest recordings, and other options which allow you to keep an eye on your cameras.
Another option included in the application is the Library. If the Arlo Pro identifies the activity, it automatically records a video, then places it in your library once the video recording has completed. If you want to view the video footage at a later time, you can find it in the Library section of the application.
One last feature about the Arlo that a lot of users are going to enjoy, and that might set it apart from the Blink XT, is the Geofencing option. This feature uses the GPS on your mobile device. When the application detects that you have left home, the Arlo Pro immediately turns on motion sensor and sound detection. The application knows that you aren’t at home, and will record any suspicious or unusual activity.
It used to be that as long as a device was functional and served its intended purpose, users did not care about how it looked. This is no longer the case in today’s consumer market, as customers expect not only functionality but also a beautiful design with pleasing aesthetics.
Smart home users rarely purchase a device based only on what it does. They also want a device that isn’t visually unappealing, which is a criterion today’s smart security cameras need to meet.
The Blink XT smart security camera ranks as perhaps the most well-designed cameras on the market today. Most users will rave about the beautiful design of the Blink’s security cameras, but will be quick to mention that they wish there were more color options, as the Blink XT is available only in black.
With a minimalistic design, the Blink XT is unintrusive and blends in well with is surroundings. Its dimensions measure 3.23” x 8.98” x 9.06, and it weighs roughly two pounds. With those types of measurements, the Blink XT is sure to fit in anywhere you need it.
If the Blink XT is one of the best well-designed smart security cameras on the market, the Arlo Pro just might be the best. Its sleek and beautiful design will have guests commenting on how incredible the device looks. If you’re looking for a stylish, professional, yet modern looking security camera, you can’t go wrong with the Arlo Pro.
Checking in at 2.8” x 1.9” and 3.1”, and weighing around one pound, this device is one that fits comfortably no matter where you need it to go, whether indoors or outdoors. The Arlo Pro is a fantastically designed device and will fit into virtually any space.
Performance is a crucial factor when deciding to purchase nearly anything. Who wants a car that doesn’t get the gas mileage promised, or a refrigerator that doesn’t keep food cold?
Similarly, users wish to have a smart security camera that is going to deliver on its claims. How to the Blink XT and Arlo Pro fare when it comes to performance?
Let’s take a look.
Blink’s XT smart security camera is a great device and should be at the top of the list for anyone seriously considering purchasing one. It’s a great option from a performance perspective as well, offering unique features and high-quality specifications.
One unique feature which the Blink XT offers is infrared night vision, which provides users a clear picture in the dark, providing clarity at distances of up to twenty feet. The night vision video recording is high-quality, and while you initially may experience a few false triggers, merely make a few adjustments in the settings, and you will be good to go.
A feature that many users will consider to be crucial is the quality of the video feed. The Blink XT provides a high-quality 1080p recording option. Most smart security cameras come standard with 720p capabilities, so Blink once again is at the top of the list for smart security camera options.
While the motion detection sensor may not be the top of the line for smart security cameras, the Blink XT sensors are still pretty good. When motion is detected, the camera will send notifications to your smartphone, and if you’re experiencing false alerts, simply go into the application and make adjustments to the sensitivity levels.
Blink boasts that the battery life on the XT will last up to two years – but there is a small caveat. To provide the long-lasting battery life that Blink says the smart security camera can achieve, you must keep the base station indoors. This is a device that interacts with your security cameras and performs the necessary hard work which keeps the batteries from overloading.
You can put your Blink XT outside if that’s the ideal place for the device, but it is imperative that it be within the range of the base station. Like its competitors, the Blink XT does not record continuously but instead starts a recording if it detects nearby movement or activity. If it records a video, a notification gets sent immediately to your smartphone.
The Blink XT does not provide local storage, which means that when a video records, it uploads to the cloud service. You receive around 7200 seconds of video space with the Blink XT. Once the storage is full, the device deletes videos, starting with the oldest. One way around this limitation is by downloading old recordings to your smartphone. This will eliminate the ability to share the streams with others, but once downloaded to the device; you have the option to share them through multiple platforms (i.e., email).
Perhaps the most significant drawback to using the Blink XT is the absence of two-way audio. The ability to hear through the security camera, or speak to those on the other end, is a feature many smart security cameras are adopting and implementing. If this functionality is essential to you, the Blink XT may not be the right choice.
Many would argue that the Arlo Pro is the complete smart security camera available on the market today. Its creative features and qualities make it a force in the smart security camera arena and outperform any competitor that comes calling.
Just like its counterpart, the Arlo Pro only begins to record when it recognizes activity or movement in its field of vision. One of the few flaws with the Arlo Pro is the lag that occurs between the time the device detects activity and when it begins to record. This is somewhat annoying, but the strengths of the Arlo Pro help overlook this small defect.
The Arlo Pro provides great video quality. It records in 720p, and while some suggest that Arlo should upgrade the device to 1080p, seeing the perfect and clean quality of the stream will quiet the naysayers. Additionally, the Arlo Pro provides its users with free cloud storage, so using 720p as its recording quality takes up less space, granting more room for additional video.
Like the Blink XT, there is the possibility that a few false alerts will occur, especially after first setting up the device. Not to worry, as this is merely a sensitivity level that needs to be adjusted, and can be done so through the settings menu. It is a good idea to play with the settings and make adjustments until you find what works best for you.
A night video in black and white is a nice feature offered by the Arlo Pro. It is a crisp and clean picture, providing clarity and detail in the dark. Many security cameras have trouble providing a good quality feed at night, but the Arlo Pro has no problem delivering great user experience.
One of the significant and impressive features that the Arlo Pro provides is the two-way audio option. This feature lets users talk directly to someone near the camera, whether they be a visitor or an intruder.
A great example of this functionality is addressing a trespasser through the camera. They’ll know they’ve been caught and can be identified on camera and will immediately vacate the premises.
Let’s take a high-level look at how these two incredible smart security cameras stack up against one another.
|Arlo Pro||Blink XT|
|Local Storage||USB Backup (Not provided)|
|Motion Detection Recording||x||x|
|Remote Viewing||Application and Web||Application Only|
|Camera Size||3.1” x 1.9” x 2.8”||2.8” x 2.8” x 1.3”|
The Blink XT and Arlo Pro are fantastic devices which offer many features and capabilities. Both are well-known in the market and are best-sellers on many different platforms. These industry-leading products provide users with great experiences when it comes to the security of their home.
It is only fair to say that the Arlo Pro is the leader in the smart security camera industry, and the majority of its features either meet or exceed user expectations. The Blink XT is a newer device and is very popular in its own right, but from a smart security camera perspective, it just doesn’t quite stack up with the Arlo Pro.
You won’t be going wrong no matter which device you choose, and you’re almost guaranteed to have a great experience with either smart security camera.
The Arlo Pro, however, is a more durable and reliable option, and purchasing this best-selling, top-of-the-line camera will not be a decision you’ll soon regret.
Read more about the best home security cameras here:
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!