Blink, an Amazon company, is focusing on the affordable end of the home security camera market. Everything is designed to simply work without a hassle. There are no wires, no required contracts, and even the batteries last for two years.
It’s Spring, and I’ve been on a bit of an outdoor camera kick. In this review, I’m taking a look at the Blink XT2, the latest indoor/ outdoor camera from Blink. Previously, I’ve reviewed the Blink XT as well as the Blink Indoor camera, so I’m hoping to be even more impressed by the XT2. But will it measure up to our Necessary Features Test in our Blink XT2 Review?
Today, I’m taking a look at the Blink XT2’s video, audio, night vision, storage, smart platform integrations, artificial intelligence capabilities, value, and convenience. By the end of this Blink XT2 review, you’ll have a great idea of whether the Blink XT2 is the right indoor/ outdoor camera for you, and I’ll break down specifically who I think it would be a great choice for.
Let’s get started!
Reading about the Blink XT2 is sending chills down my spine. It’s promising me a lot of things I look for in a security camera, like:
- 1080p HD video: This isn’t super surprising, as its in the current industry standard
- Amazon Alexa integration: I’m happy that the Blink XT2 works with Alexa, although I wish it also had a Google Assistant integration
- Two-year battery life: This is extremely impressive, and also the longest battery life I’ve seen from a security camera of any sort.
But this isn’t something I’m going to muse about forever— it’s time to open the box and see how this thing works.
My first thought upon seeing the Blink XT2? Well, it looks identical to the Blink XT, and looking on the Blink website, I can see this was on purpose. It seems like a lot of customers liked the look of the Blink XT, and I can understand why. It doesn’t look much like a security camera at all. Rather, it has a square face with rounded edges and is all black, which is good for camouflage. You can either place it on a flat surface or mount it onto a wall or ceiling. You’ll need the Blink sync module to use the Blink XT2, so it’s a great choice if you already use Blink cameras.
Of course, one of the Blink XT2’s main draws is its astounding two-year battery life. This is twice as long as the battery life of its predecessor, the Blink XT, and it’s really impressive (if it’s accurate).
Another thing to keep in mind is the camera’s weather-resistance. With an IP rating of 65, it is completely protected against all solids and will even withstand water jets. As long as you don’t blast it with more powerful water jets or immerse it in water, this thing can withstand all the elements, which is exactly what you want in an outdoor camera.
All in all, I’m satisfied with the Blink XT2’s design, and I’m excited to see if its features match up.
Now it’s time for the most important part of any camera review— the Necessary Features Test. Here, I’m going to be talking technical specifications along with my own personal experience of the Blink XT2 in regards to video, night vision, audio, storage, smart platform integration, artificial intelligence, convenience, and overall value. If you’re looking for the meat of the review, then you’ve come to the right place.
Of course, the Blink XT2 has 1080p HD video, the industry standard, which will make for some clear vision. It’s field of view is a bit narrow, however, at 110 degrees. I prefer my fields of view to be at least 120 degrees, so this isn’t a huge dealbreaker— you just won’t get as much coverage as possible. And while you can zoom in digitally, there’s no way to zoom in optically. Half marks for video!
The Blink XT2 has pretty clear night vision stemming from infrared LED lights, which I prefer over color night vision from a bright white light because they’re less conspicuous. However, I will note that when the camera is recording, a blue indicator light turns on, making it obvious there’s a camera. Despite this, I’m going to give the Blink XT2 full marks for its beautiful night vision display.
One major factor that differentiates the Blink XT2 from its predecessor is its two-way audio. Using two-way audio, you’ll be able to speak to whomever you’re recording using the Blink Home app. This can come in handy if you simply want to speak with someone remotely, or if you want to scare away intruders. I’m not kidding about that last part— it’s been done successfully on many occasions. I mean, imagine how freaked out you’d be if you were robbing someone and a voice starting yelling at you to get out of their house! Full marks for audio.
When it comes to your Blink XT2’s footage, you want to make sure you’re backing it up in two different ways; that way, if one way fails, you’ll have a plan B. The Blink XT2 offers cloud completely free. Your could store the footage will last for up to a year, which is among the most generous I’ve seen from a security camera company. From there, you can download footage to save on your local storage. However, it’s limited to 7200 seconds, which rounds out to two hours. For the lack of direct local storage on the Blink XT2, I’m going to have to give the camera half marks for storage.
Smart Platform Integration
If you’re already in the Amazon smart home ecosystem, you’re in luck— the Blink XT2 integrates with Amazon Alexa, enabling voice commands. However, it’s not a great choice if you wanted a camera to fit in with your Google, Apple, or Microsoft ecosystem. Still, I’ll give the Blink XT2 full marks for its smart platform integration.
The most advanced security cameras don’t just notify you when the camera detects motion. They take it a step further with person detection and, for the most sophisticated cameras, facial recognition. That way you’ll receive specific and smart notifications only when it matters (i.e, not when your camera detects movement from your dog, a car outside or the trees blowing in the breeze). Unfortunately, the Blink XT2 doesn’t have person detection or facial recognition, so I’m going to have to give it no marks for this category.
The Blink XT2 must be used with the sync module, which will start your installation process. Just plug in the module and add it to Wi-Fi using the Blink Home app (more on this later). Then, put two AA batteries in them camera itself, sync it with the module and you’re ready to go! Like I said, the batteries have a life of two-years, making your life a whole lot easier, plus, you can simply place the camera on any flat surface if you don’t feel like using the swivel mount. All in all, I’m giving the Blink XT2 full marks for convenience!
At only $99.99 for one Blink XT2 or $179.99 for two, this camera is particularly reasonably priced when you consider how durable it is. With an IP rating of 65, this camera comes in at about the third of the price of some similar outdoor cameras, making it a great deal overall. Full marks!
But wait— we’re not done yet! The Blink XT2 has a couple more features I want to talk to you about before we get into the app.
The Blink XT2 has built-in temperature sensing, which can give you the most accurate read of the temperature (because let’s be honest, the iPhone weather app has its limits).
Activity zones allow you to tell the Blink XT2 what areas to focus on specifically and what areas to ignore. This is especially useful for an outdoor camera. For example, you can have the camera ignore the street and focus only on your property so you can receive only meaningful notifications. Very nice!
The Blink Home App
Now I want to compare the Blink XT2 to some other top outdoor security cameras. Who will come out on top?
Blink XT2 vs. Blink XT
The most obvious comparison is the Blink XT, the predecessor to the Blink XT2, which is actually more expensive at $119.99. Both cameras have IP ratings of 65, integrations with Amazon Alexa, excellent infrared night vision and easy installation but the similarities end there. The original camera actually has superior video, as it can zoom in three times, however, that’s the only area in which it surpasses the XT2.
Unlike the XT, the XT2 has two-way audio, and free local and cloud storage for up to a year. Unfortunately, neither camera has person detection. Both cameras have two-year battery lives and built-in temperature sensors, although only the XT2 has activity zones. All in all, I’d choose the Blink XT2 over the Blink XT2 because of its more affordable price, free storage, and two-way audio.
To learn more, read our review of the Blink XT.
Blink XT2 vs. Canary Flex
Another indoor/ outdoor camera is the Canary Flex, which costs about $70 more than the Blink XT2 at $169. Both have 1080p HD video, infrared night vision, two-way audio, plus integrations with Amazon Alexa, although you’ll have to pay $9.99 a month to get two-way audio with the Canary Flex. The Canary membership also includes person detection, which the Blink XT2 lacks, plus 30 days of cloud storage. Unfortunately, the Flex lacks local storage and you’ll only get 24 hours of free cloud storage, unlike the Blink XT2 which offers a ton of cloud and local storage for free.
The Canary Flex also works with Google Assistant, making it an excellent choice for those already in the Google ecosystem, plus its field of view is slightly wider at 116 degrees compared to 110. All in all, I’d spend a bit more money and buy the Canary Flex due to its person detection alone, which I think is a very useful feature, particularly for an outdoor camera.
Want more information? Check out our review of the Canary Flex.
Recap of the Blink XT2
All in all, I think the Blink XT2 is a great camera, but it’s not for everyone! Let me break it down as simply as I can.
I think the Blink XT2 would be good for you if you want…
- Alexa integration: If you’re already in the Amazon ecosystem, you’ll be able to control the Blink XT2 using your voice alone.
- 1080p HD video: For a relatively affordable price, you’ll get the industry standard in video display.
- Free cloud and local storage: No need to spend any more money on storage once you buy the Blink XT2— this thing comes with cloud and local storage.
But if you don’t want the following features, I’d steer clear…
- No integrations with Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit or Microsoft Cortana: If you wanted a camera that fits in with any of these smart home ecosystems, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
- No person detection or facial recognition: As the Blink XT2 only has motion detection, you’ll probably receive a bunch of unnecessary notifications.
- Requires sync module: If you’re not already a Blink user, this is an additional cost that you might not feel like paying.
Blink Camera FAQs
- What is a Blink XT2?
The Blink XT2 is the latest indoor/ outdoor camera from Blink, a smart security company owned by Amazon.
- Is the Blink XT compatible with the Blink XT2?
Yes, the Blink XT and the Blink XT2 are compatible and can be controlled through the Blink Home app.
- Is the Blink XT2 good?
The Blink XT2 is good in terms of its 1080p HD video, infrared night vision, two-way audio, and integration with Alexa. However, it’s definitely lacking when it comes to it’s narrow field of view, lack of local storage and only two hours of cloud storage, and lack of person detection.