Blink Mini Review
The Blink Mini is Amazon's cheapest security camera yet. The $35 Blink Mini watches over your house for less, but it's missing one key thing.
The Blink Mini is Amazon's cheapest security camera yet
Blink Mini Overview
Blink's $35 Mini cam is the brand's most affordable home security camera to date. In addition to its reasonable price, this power-adapter-tethered indoor cam has decent features and performance -- but it's missing free cloud storage. It's £35 in the UK but is not available in Australia. I like the Blink Mini as a budget option, but the $20 Wyze Cam costs less and offers more for free, including two weeks of saved video clips.
My vote still goes to the Wyze Cam, but the Blink Mini is a fine choice too, if you don't mind paying for cloud storage -- or waiting for the company's Blink Mini-compatible local storage device to hit stores later this year (more on that in a bit). The Blink Mini has a reliable 1080p HD live video feed, responsive motion alerts and two-way talk that was perfectly clear when my husband and I tested it out on day 3,982 of our home quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. It also has motion-detection zones that successfully blocked out motion activity in the areas I designated and an extensive settings section in the Blink app with lots of customizability. Some of your options include adjusting the length of the recorded clips, customizing the intensity of the infrared LEDs for night vision -- and adjusting the sensitivity of the motion sensor.
This camera is supposed to work with Alexa-enabled smart speakers and displays, but I didn't test that out because we don't have any smart speakers or displays. In theory, you should be able to use a smart display to view a Blink Mini's live feed or saved clips -- and a smart speaker (or display) to arm and disarm the camera for motion detection. The Blink Mini doesn't support Google Assistant or Siri via Apple HomeKit. Blink got its start in 2014, following a successful Kickstarter campaign for the original Blink Indoor camera.
While the first-gen camera was somewhat affordable at $100 (compared to what most DIY security cameras were retailing for at the time), it was missing too many features for me to recommend. An iteration of this model is still sold today for $80 with some improved features and functionality. The company was acquired by Amazon in December 2017 and introduced an outdoor version of the Blink indoor camera -- the $100 Blink XT2. The Blink XT2 is a battery-powered weather resistant camera that claims to have a battery life of up to two years.
I'm nine months into testing out that battery longevity (so far, so good). Both the Blink Indoor and the Blink XT2 offer free video clip storage via a required, second piece of hardware called the Blink Sync Module. That comes with your $80 Blink Indoor or $100 Blink XT2 purchase. Extra, standalone Indoor and XT2 cams are sold separately for $70 and $90 each.
Sync Modules help conserve the battery life of the Blink cams, but they also provide free video clip storage. The Blink Mini doesn't come with a Sync Module, because the Blink Mini-compatible Sync Module 2 won't be available until later this year for an additional $35. In the meantime, the company is temporarily offering its cloud service for free through Dec. 31, 2020.
After that, you'll have to chose between no cloud service and paying for the subscription plan, starting at $3 a month (or $30 a year) -- or buying a Blink Sync Module 2 to access the local storage option. In the UK the plan costs £2. 50 a month per camera, or £8 a month for unlimited cameras. Overall, the Blink Mini is a fine camera that delivers on expectations, especially for its low price.
I still prefer the Wyze Cam, but it's a fine addition if you've already bought into the Blink platform.