Blink XT2 Camera Review

All-inclusive, budget-friendly home security cameras from Amazon

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4.4

Blink XT2 Camera

Blink XT2 Camera

Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack 

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly

  • Small and discreet

  • User-friendly app and setup

  • Free cloud storage

  • Great battery life

What We Don't Like

  • Can’t access cameras from a PC

  • Inconsistent and delayed motion detector

  • Limited range

Bottom Line

When it comes to an affordable non-contract home security system, the Blink XT2 Camera system has all the basics: It’s wireless and weatherproof for indoor and outdoor use and has HD picture quality, two-way audio, and an easy-to-use app.

4.4

Blink XT2 Camera

Blink XT2 Camera

Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack 

The best at-home security systems don’t just come from traditional security monitoring companies anymore. Smart, install-it-yourself camera systems, like Amazon’s Blink XT2 Home Security Camera System, have flooded the market—and there are options for every type of customer and home. Unlike its more popular competitors, the Blink XT2 is simple and affordable, in a good way. Powered by lithium batteries that last up to two years and equipped for indoor and outdoor use, it’s easier than you think to install a couple of Blink cameras around your home and property. 

My husband and I tested the camera system in our own home for over a month, analyzing everything from the design and mounting process to features like camera quality, audio, and motion detection. While we were immediately impressed at how seamlessly the camera system connected to the Blink app and to our Amazon Alexa home system, there are plenty of features to consider before you buy. After all, the more you know about your home’s security system, the better. 

Blink XT2 Camera
Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

Setup Process: Simple and straightforward

There’s an easy-to-follow Setup Guide included in the Blink XT2 box. Our first step was to download the Blink Home Monitor App and create a Blink account using our email address. Each Blink XT2 system consists of a Sync Module along with one or more cameras (in our case, just one). The Sync Module, which has to stay plugged into power at all times, is what communicates your Wi-Fi connection to the Blink app and Blink devices. (If you already have a Sync Module, you can buy the XT2 as an add-on camera; everything is compatible.) To set up the Sync Module using the app, we took a photo of the QR code on its back, then plugged it in near our router until the lights blinked blue. 

The camera’s microphone and audio quality sound is fairly clear, but definitely not top of the line.

Each of these steps is outlined very clearly on the Blink app, and we had no problems with it. Once the module was connected, we went ahead and added the camera. Again, adding the camera was easy, and the directions on the app were straightforward. We don’t usually have problems setting up our home tech, but the Blink setup was exceptionally easy. Adding the camera to the app was as simple as inserting the included batteries and using another QR code. Near the battery compartment, there’s also an option to switch the blue recording light on and off. We kept ours on. Once the camera is connected to the app, you can easily rename your camera; view the temperature, battery life, and Wi-Fi connection strength; enable the microphone; and reconfigure the settings to your preference.

Once the tech part of the setup was complete, we moved onto mounting. The Blink XT2 comes with a camera mount, mount riser, and two screws. The mount itself is small and sleek and a definite upgrade from the mount included with the Blink XT, which we also tested for comparison. The mount easily clicks into the camera with a push, but you have to use the screws to mount to the wall where you want it. We used these instructions from the Blink website to help us with this part of the setup and again, had no issues. With the included mount, we didn’t have problems adjusting the positioning of the camera, but ideally, it would be nice to be able to adjust positioning from the app. Of course, we weren’t required to mount our Blink camera to use it, and for parts of our testing, we just placed the camera on a shelf or table.

Blink XT2 Camera
Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

Compatibility: As easy as you’d expect

Just as you’d expect from an Amazon-owned company, one of the Blink XT2 Camera System’s key features is its ability to connect to your Alexa smart home device. By doing so, you can arm and disarm the system by voice and see the feeds from your camera on other Amazon devices. We loved this feature since we are already accustomed to using our Alexa speaker for other controls in our home. However, you can’t do everything you need with the Alexa app. To really control the camera settings and view the live video, you have to download and familiarize yourself with the Blink Home Monitor app, available on iOS or Android.

The app makes it easy to connect, control, and view multiple cameras—not to mention view saved videos and even create an arm and disarm schedule for your system.

The app itself is very simple; we had no trouble using it to access live video, record and speak through the two-way audio, receive motion alerts, and customize various camera and alert settings. We toyed around with the varying degrees of motion sensitivity, active areas, picture quality, and length of recording to make the camera most useful in our spaces. Again, we referred to the mounting instructions on the Blink support webpage to get the best out of our camera in the areas we mounted it. The app makes it easy to connect, control, and view multiple cameras—not to mention view saved videos and even create an arm and disarm schedule for your system. I like that both my husband and I were able to download the app on our phones, control the cameras when needed, and receive notifications when the cameras were triggered.

Blink XT2 Camera
Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

Battery: You don’t have to think about it

The Blink XT2 is completely wire-free, and we didn’t have to worry at all about battery life during our two weeks of testing. It was so nice to be able to set up the cameras, leave them alone, and trust they wouldn’t run out of battery while we weren’t home. Blink claims the batteries included in the box (regular AA lithium batteries) will last up to two years of standard camera use, but even if you had to replace them, it would be cheap and easy to do so. Amazon also equipped the XT2 with a better battery life than its earlier camera model, the Blink XT.

It was so nice to be able to set up the cameras, leave them alone, and trust they wouldn’t run out of battery while we weren’t home.

To check battery life, you simply open the camera of your choice on your Blink app. When it’s time to replace batteries, it will say “REPLACE.” You can also turn on battery notifications. If you prefer, you can power the cameras via USB instead of batteries.

Range: Slightly limited

Since the Sync Module is the key to each Blink camera’s ability to communicate with your app and Wi-Fi, it is essentially the center of your range. In our three-bedroom, approximately 2,100-square-foot home and yard, we had some issues with connectivity, mainly in the areas of the house where Wi-Fi is weaker (our basement, kitchen, and garage). In a larger home, you may experience issues with connectivity. The camera itself is totally weatherproof and can be placed indoors and outdoors, which gives you a ton of placement options. Also, the add-on cameras are very affordable so you could cover more areas and angles. 

Blink XT2 Camera
Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

Camera, Video, and Sound Quality: Nothing fancy but does the basics well

The Blink XT2 system has a full-color 1080p HD camera, infrared HD night vision, and passive infrared PI for motion detection. The picture was clear in daylight and in night mode. You can easily zoom in and out of recorded and live video from the Blink app, although the picture quality will decrease if you do so, similar to the camera on your cell phone.

We noticed that, in some cases, if a person was passing in and out of the camera’s sightline quickly, the Blink camera would record after they’d already gone.

It does take a few seconds for the Blink camera to begin recording triggered motion, and the live video feed has a slight delay. The delay isn’t out of the ordinary for home security systems, but the Blink was a little slow for our liking. We noticed that, in some cases, if a person was passing in and out of the camera’s sightline quickly, the Blink camera would record after they’d already gone. 

In the camera settings on the app, you can control the infrared illuminator intensity, choose the video quality, customize the motion triggers, speak through the camera, and listen to audio on the other side. The camera’s microphone and audio quality sound is fairly clear, but definitely not top of the line. In live view, you can stream 30 seconds of live video and record if you need to. Being able to record in live mode is a huge upgrade from the original Blink XT camera.

Price: An unbeatable value with no monthly fees

The Blink XT2 Camera system stands alone in terms of what you get for your money. The system and additional cameras are extremely budget-friendly but aren’t cheaply made or cumbersome to use or look at. At $89.99 for an add-on camera and $99.99 for a one-camera kit, they’re even cheaper than the original Blink XT cameras! 

Unlike other camera systems in this category, there’s no cost for cloud storage. Yes, you read that right. Blink allows you to save up to about 120 minutes of video for free. Having “no strings attached” not only makes this camera stand out in its category, but it also makes it easy to give as a gift

We love how cost-friendly these cameras are because we feel it gives us the option to add more to our home and property in the future. Also, we love that they’re made by Amazon since we’re very familiar with the company and its excellent customer service. 

Competition: More features but more expensive

Arlo Pro 2: The Arlo system may be your choice over the Blink if you’re looking for comprehensive, top of the line coverage. We also tested this device and found it has more features and more accessories and a local storage option. However, you pay for what you get. Depending on which kit you choose, the Arlo Pro 2 can cost anywhere from twice to five times the price of the Blink system.

Logitech Circle 2: This Logitech model is a similar indoor/outdoor offering since it doesn’t require a subscription, but it isn’t wireless. We would choose the Blink for its wireless convenience.

Final Verdict

You can’t argue with the value.

We would definitely recommend the upgraded Blink XT2 system to anyone in the market for an extremely affordable, high-performing wireless camera system with a strong app, two-way audio, and a good camera. You can’t beat the value this camera delivers. 

Specs

  • Product Name Indoor/Outdoor Smart Home Security Camera System
  • Product Brand Blink XT2
  • Price $89.99
  • Camera dimensions 71 x 71 x 34 mm
  • Sync Module Dimensions 62 x 59 x 18 mm
  • Video Resolution 1080p HD
  • Battery 2-year battery life
  • Weather Indoor and outdoor use
  • What’s Included 1 Sync Module, 1 USB cable,1 power adapter, 1 Blink XT2 camera, 2 AA lithium batteries, 1 mounting kit (consists of a mount, mounting riser and two screws), 1 User Guide
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