Blink Totally Wireless Camera Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 12, 2016

Wireless cameras almost always still need a wire for power. Given that, many argue to just used wired cameras anyway.

Now, startup Blink has released a battery powered wireless camera that needs no wires. Plus, the camera / kit sells for just ~$100 plus $60 for additional cameras, a remarkably low price.

We bought a Blink and tested the following capabilities:

  • Motion Detection
  • Wireless Range
  • Night time performance
  • Storage capabilities
  • Playback usability

Advantages

******** ******* ****** ****** ***** **** * **** *** *****. Given ****, **** ***** ** **** **** ***** ******* ******.

***, *************** ******** * ******* ******* ******** ****** **** ***** ** wires. ****, *** ****** / *** ***** *** **** ~$*** plus $** *** ********** *******, * ********** *** *****.

** ****** * ***** *** ****** *** ********* ************:

  • ****** *********
  • ******** *****
  • ***** **** ***********
  • ******* ************
  • ******** *********

**********

[***************]

***** *** *** *** ********** **** ******* ***/**** ****** *********:

  • ******** ****** *********:*****'* ***** ** *** ******** **** **** ******** ********* **** the ***** ****** ********* ***** ** **** ****/*** *******, **** no ***** ****** ****** *** ****** ** *** *******, *** very *** ****** **********.
  • **** **** ************:*****'* ******* ******* ****** ****** ** ** ** ******* ******** within ***** ** *** *** (~***' ******* ******** ***** ** our *******), ******* ********* ** ****** ******.

************, ***** ******** ** ******* ******* *** ***** ******* *** no ** ****, ***** **** ** * ******* ******* ******* premium ***********.

*************

*******, ***** *** ******** ********* ** **** ********, ** ****:

  • ***** ***:***** **** * ***** *** *** ********* ************, ******* ******* when ****** (** ******** ** *** **** *** **** ** IR **** **** ** **** *******). **** *** ** ********* or ******** ** *****, ****** ** ******** ** * **** monitor ** ** ********* ***** ********* ********* *** ********** **** the ****** ** *****.
  • ** ********** *********:****** **** ***** *******, ***** ** ** *** ** ****** continuously ***** *****. ***** *** **** **** *** ** **** as **** **** (****** *** *** ***** *** ****** ***** 30 ******* ******* **** *****), *** ** ********* ***** ***** while **** *******, **** ** ****** ******.
  • ********* ******* *******: **** * ***** ** ******* *** ** ********, ** triggered ****** ******, ** ***** ** *** ******* ** ********* general **** (** ** ******** ** **** **** ****) ** having ********* ********* ** **** *** ***** ** ****** **** events.
  • ******* *******:*** ******* ** ********* *** '*** ****' *** **** ** based ** **** ***** ** *** *.* ***** *** *** year, ***** ***** ** ****** ********. ** ****, **** ******** usage **** ***** *** ******* ** ******, ** *** *****.

************

** ******** ** *** *** ***** *********** *********** *** *****:

  • ** ** ******** **** ********** ** ** '*****' ******, ***** its ****** ****** *********. *** *******, ***** ******* **** ** being **** ** *********** ** **** *** **** **** ******, and *** ******* ********* ** ***** ** ****** ******** *** this.
  • *** ***** *** **** ********* ****** (****** *** ******** ** aesthetic *******), *** ***** ** ****** **** ** ***** **** the **********, ***** *** ****** **** ****** *** ** **** for ***** *****.

*******, *** ***** *** **** ** * ***** ******* *** night **** ********** (******, *******, ***., ***** ****** *** * thief ***** ** ***** ** ********) *** *** ******* ********* will ** ** ***** *** ****. ** ***** *** ******* a ****** ******* **** ** ** ***, ** ***** ** would ********* ****** *** ****** *********.

*******

* ***** ******* *** ********** *** *** *** *** ****** sells ***$** *** ******. ********** ******* (** ** ** *** ***) **** $**.

**** ** *** **** ********* **** ******* ******** ******. **** this *******, ***** *** ******** * ***** ****** ***** ****** ($220) *** **** ~$** **** **** * ****** **** ******, such ** ****, *******, ******, ***., ******* ~$***.

*******, **** ** ************* **** **** **** ******** ******* ***** have ******** ****** *********, **** ** ***$** ******* *********** **$** ** ****, ****** ***** ******* ******* ***** *****.

Cloud ******/*******

***** **** *** ****** *** ********* **** *** ***** ******. Two ***** ** ******* ** ******** *** **** ****, ***** amounts ** (***) ** ****** *****, (****) * ****** *****, etc. **** **** **** ** ****** ******* *** ******* ** the ****'* *******, *** ********** ** **** ******.

**** *** ****** ** * ****'* ******* ** * **** office, ** ******** ***** *** ***** **** *** ******, ***** equates ** **** **** **** *** ******** *******. **** ***** likely **** ******* ***** ******, ********* ** ******** ***** (*** many ****** *** ** *** *********, ********** *********, **** ******* of ******, ***.).

Physical ********

*** ***** ****** *** *** *** **** *******, ***** *.*" square, ******* *** **** ** * **** *** ******* *** stand.

***** **** *** ****, *** ******'* **** ******** *** *** (center), ***** ***, *** ********* *********.

App ********

*** ***** *** ** ****** ********** ******** ** **** ******** camera ****** ****, **** *** ***** *********.

******(*) *** ********* ** *** **** ****, **** ***** ******** one ** ***** **** ****. ***** *** ***/****** **** ****** individually, ** *** ****** ** * *****. *** ********* ******/********* based ** *** ****'* ******** ** *********, ****** ***** **** they **** ** ******* **** ** ****** ********.

***** *****, ******* ***** *** **** ******** *** ** *** app, *** ********* ** * ****** **** **** ** *********** icon, *** *********** *********. ***** *** ********* ** ************* *****, with ** *** ** ********* *** * ******** **** ** time, ********* ***** ** ****** **** ******* ***** ***** **** to **** * ******** ********.

***** *** ** ******** ** *** ****** ****** ** **** via *****/**** *******/********, ***.

*************

************* ** *** ***** ******, ********* **** ******, ****** *********** (discussed *****), *** **** ** ***** ** **** *****:

White *** ***********

****** **** *******, ***** **** * ***** *********** ******* ** IR. **** **, ** *********** ***** **** * ***** ********** shining **** *** ***** ** *** ******.

***** ** ****** ***** ** ***-***** ***** ****** ****, *** light *** ** ******** ** **** ***** *** **** *****/******** children, ******** ****** ********* ** ********* *** ****** ** ** disarmed **** ****** ******* ** ****.

************, *** ***** *** ******** ***** **** ***** **** ** a **** *******, * ****** *** **** *** ******** ******** models.

**** ********* ***** *** ***** *** ********** ** ***** * 10' ******** **** *** ******.

Wireless *****

** ****** ******** ***** ******* **** ****** *** ****** **** indoors *** ***, ********* ***** ***' ** **** *****, ******** further **** *****'* ******* ***' *****.

*******, **** ******** *** ******** ******* ******** ***** **** *** drywall *****, ** **** ** * *' ***** ********. ******** testing *** **** ***.

Detection ***********

*** ** *** ***** ** ***, ***** ****** **** ******** motion *********, **** ** ***** ****** ** *** *****, *** nearly ** ****** **********.

***** ******* ******** (* *** ** *), ********* ***** *** about **' **** ******** *** ****** ***, *** ******* ** approaching ***/** ****** ******, ** *** ** **' **** ** some *****.

********** *********** ** ******* (*), ********* ***** *******, **** ******** triggering ** **' **** *** ******. ** *** *****, **** at **** **** *********** *******, ** ***** *** *** ******* any ***** ******.

*******

*** ****** ** ******* ** *** ******* *********, **** * claimed ******* **** ** "**** * ****" ***** ****** *********. We ****** ********* *** **** ******* **** *** ******** **** the ****** ** *** ******* ** *** *** ******** **** a ***** ******* ****, ** ***** **********. ** ******** **** 400 *****, *** *** ***** **** *** ****** ** * week, ** ******** ** ******* **** ***** **********, *** *** battery ********* ******* ** ****.

***********, *** ** **** *************** ***** ** ********* ** ****.* ***** *** *** **** (*** ******,*** *******, ***** ******* ** *.* *****), ***** ***** ** fairly ********. ** ****, **** ******** ***** **** ***** *** battery** ******, ** *** *****.

Transmission *****

***** ** * ****** ***** ****** *** ***** ****** ********* events ** *** **** ******. **** ****** ********* *** *** aware ** *** ****** ** ******** **, **** **, *** remove *** *********/******* ** ****** *** ***** ** ****. ************, no ***** ** **** ********* *** **** **** *** ****** has **** ********* ** *** ********* *******. **** *********** ****** a ***** *** ***** ******** **** ***** **** ** ************ of *** ********.

** ********, **** *** *** ****, ***** **** **** ******** models, **** **** **** ** ************ **** * ****** ** offline, ***** ** ****** *** ******** ** *****.

What ** *** *****?

***** *** ********** *** *************, ***** *** *** ***** ** your ****? **** ** *** ** *** *** ** *** comments.

Comments (21)

Blink's built in PIR provides much more reliable detection than the video motion detection found in most home/DIY cameras, with no false alarms during the course of our testing, and very few missed detections.

Blink and you won't miss it!

Arlo another complete wireless solution has been out for a while now. Its a bit more expensive though

Arlo, formerly Avaak, has been around for many years.

The closest comparable from Arlo's line is the VMS3130 which is ~$170 instead of $100 but is outdoor ready and has integrated IR.

It's probably worth us doing a new test of Arlo as Netgear seems to be promoting it fairly heavily.

Btw, Nubo is shipping in Europe this month. Work with optional battery pack.

Thanks. We'll order one when it's available in the US.

Btw, 349 Euros for a single super home cam, wow... Equal to an 8 channel Hikezviz system...

$10/month for a 4G video data plan seems ok at least.

I think Panasonic is going to really push it big, based on the quality and quantity of their marketing.

Notice how it's shown everywhere, without wires or battery pack, as if it's recording.

Is Arlo (and the other competitors mentioned in the comments) completely wireless? That's a huge benefit as far as I'm concerned. I can overlook some other shortcomings in favor of the battery operation.

Yes, wireless/battery powered. We have a test of Arlo, as well.

For some time I'm looking optimal wire free home camera model and Blink was one of them, unfortunately, we can see that they has serious things to work on. About no continuous recording I even didn't thought that there isn't such basic (by my opinion) thing.

Is it possible to disable this white LED? By default, I accepted that it can be done, but now I'm not sure.

Is it possible to disable the white LED?

It's not a hopeful sign that the blue led cannot be disabled:

There is not a way to disable the blue recording LED on the front of the camera. This feature was implemented as a security measure to ensure users would know if the camera was active and capturing video.

Of course, there are a few ways of permanently 'disabling' the white or blue LEDS, but these are not with some risk, as they involve some guesswork in determining the correct bit size...

1-10-2018, I just checked the Blink website for updates and found the blue recording LED can be turned off but only on the Blink XT cameras.

"About no continuous recording I even didn't thought that there isn't such basic (by my opinion) thing."

The reason for no continuous recording is because it runs on batteries. Theoretically, it could record continuously but then you'd have to change the battery multiple times a day.

"Is it possible to disable this white LED?"

If you do that, you won't have any night time video at all. That said, as the video in the report shows, yes, you can disable it:

Is there no skepticism for the claimed battery life of 'over one year'?

Certainly at the rate of 1/2 hr of recorded video per week, which doesn't seem out of line for a family household, that's > 26 hrs of video per set of batteries! Not including the power drain of the 24/365 PIR detector.

BTW, the transmission delay is probably a result of the camera having to wake up and establish a connection with the cloud.

The reason for no offline status is similarly tied to the fact that it is normally offline to save power, therefore this state cannot be polled for from the cloud. The best that could be done is a regularly scheduled 'check-in' process, but this would be delayed and would eat into power as well.

Yes, I am skeptical.

I've added the following: "

  • Limited Battery: The battery is specified for 'one year' but that is based on only using it for 5.5 hours for the year, which would be fairly sporadic. As such, even moderate usage will drain the battery in months, if not weeks."
If it emails video clips, then your email box is your extended storage.

If it did, that would be true, if not clunky. But it doesn't email video clips. It only sends push notifications through the mobile app.

Any ideas about the chipset being used for this camera or Arlo? I would imagine it is using a low power MCU to achieve this battery life time.

Anyone have any issue with delays between pressing play and video starting? I am trying one and delays more than 5 seconds and up to 10 seconds are commonplace. I assume part of it is the cloud relay but is it also an issue with activating the camera due to its power conservation / battery approach?

I have the same problem. Also delays on the analytics triggering the recording.

Paul, thanks, somewhat happy to not be alone.

From testing their audio portion, there's only a ~2 second delay on hearing audio, so I suspect the bulk of the delay is from the connection setup. Waiting that long to get the camera feed is painful, it's like connecting to a web page over a dial up modem.

I set it to record for 15s, but sometimes it only records for 5. It also starts playback in the middle of the recording

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
Last Chance - July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration ends today, Thursday. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...
UK VSaaS Startup Ocucon on Jul 03, 2018
Decreasing exposure to fraudulent slip-and-fall insurance claims and lawsuits is one of the oldest selling points of video surveillance for retail....
GDPR For Access Control Guide on Jul 03, 2018
Electronic access control is common in businesses plus organizations are increasingly considering biometrics for access control. With GDPR coming...
Digital Watchdog Low Cost 4MP Camera Tested on Jul 02, 2018
Based on member 4MP testing requests, we bought and tested Digital Watchdog's low-cost 4MP DWC-MTT4Wi to see how it performs in real world scenes,...
Panoramic Fisheye Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek on Jun 27, 2018
IPVM tested Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek 12MP panoramic fisheye cameras head to head, as shown in the test setup...
OpenEye Apex VMS Tested on Jun 26, 2018
OpenEye is a US company, founded nearly 20 years ago. In the past few years, OpenEye has been one of a few VMS providers that have pivoted to being...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Free 100+ Manufacturer-Customized Camera Calculator Released on Jul 19, 2018
Now, any manufacturer has a customized IPVM Camera Calculator, free. The goal is to make it easier for companies to help their customers better...
Improved Security And Surveillance Bidding - 2018 MasterFormat Divisions Examined) on Jul 19, 2018
Navigating the world of system specifications and bidding work can be complex and confusing, but a standard format exists, and understanding it...
Last Chance - Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 19, 2018
Today is the last day to register. Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security...
Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
FST Fails on Jul 17, 2018
FST was one of the hottest startups of the decade, selected as the best new product at ISC West 2011 and backed with tens of millions in...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...
Hikvision Wins Chinese Government Forced Facial Recognition Project Across 967 Mosques on Jul 16, 2018
Hikvision has won a Chinese government tender which requires that facial recognition cameras be set up at the entrance of every single mosque...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact