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 we’ve been on a bit of an outdoor camera kick. In this review, we looked at the Blink XT2, the latest indoor/outdoor camera from Blink. Previously, we reviewed the Blink XT as well as the Blink Indoor camera, so we hoped the XT2 would prove even more impressive. Did it measure up to our expectations? Read on to find out.
We evaluated the Blink XT2’s video, audio, night vision, storage, smart platform integrations, artificial intelligence capabilities, value, and convenience. Here’s what we learned.
Reading about the Blink XT2 sent chills down our spines. It promised a lot of features we look for in a security camera, such as:
- 1080p HD video: This wasn’t super surprising, as it’s the current industry standard.
- Amazon Alexa integration: We were happy that the Blink XT2 worked with Alexa, but we wish it also had a Google Assistant integration.
- Two-year battery life: We found the Blink XT2’s two-year battery life extremely impressive. It was the longest-lasting battery we’d seen from a security camera.
Our first thought upon seeing the Blink XT2 was that it looked identical to the Blink XT. After reviewing the Blink website, we could tell this was on purpose. It seemed like a lot of customers liked the look of the Blink XT, and we understood why. It didn’t look much like a security camera at all. Rather, it had a square face with rounded edges and was all black, which is good for camouflage. We couldn’t decide whether set our Blink XT2 on a flat surface or mount it to a wall/ceiling, so we decided to try it both ways. We also learned that in order for BlinkXT2 to work we need the Blink sync module, so we were glad we already owned other Blink cameras.
We found many of the Blink XT2’s features outstanding. Of course, one of the Blink XT2’s main draws was its astounding two-year battery life. This was twice as long as the battery life of its predecessor, the Blink XT. Another thing we considered was the camera’s weather-resistance. With an IP rating of 65, it was completely protected against all solids and could even withstand water jets. As long as we didn’t blast it with even more powerful water jets or immerse it in water, the BlinkXT2 withstood all the elements, which is exactly what we want in an outdoor camera.
All in all, we were satisfied with the Blink XT2’s design and excited to see if its features match up.
Next, it was time for the most important part of any camera review— the Necessary Features Test. We tested and discussed technical specifications of the Blink XT2 in regards to video, night vision, audio, storage, smart platform integration, artificial intelligence, convenience, and overall value.
Of course, the Blink XT2 had 1080p HD video, the industry standard, which made for mostly clear vision. Its field of view was a bit narrow, however, at 110 degrees. While we prefer our fields of view be at least 120 degrees, this wasn’t a huge dealbreaker. And although we could zoom in digitally, there was no way to zoom in optically. Half marks for video!
The Blink XT2 had pretty clear night vision thanks to its infrared LED lights, which we preferred over color night vision because they were less conspicuous. However, we will note that when the camera was recording, a blue indicator light turned on, making it obvious there was a camera. Despite this, we gave the Blink XT2 full marks for its beautiful night vision display.
One major factor that differentiated the Blink XT2 from its predecessor was its two-way audio. Using two-way audio, we were able to speak to whoever we were recording using the Blink Home app. This came come in handy if we simply wanted to speak with someone remotely or scare away intruders. We’re not kidding about that last part. Us yelling through our Blink XT2 even deterred a potential thief once while we weren’t even home. Full marks for audio.
We wanted to make sure we backed up our BlinkXT2’s recorded footage in two different ways, so if one way failed, we had a plan B. The Blink XT2 offered cloud completely free. We liked that we could store our footage for up to a year, which is among the most generous time frames we’ve seen from a security camera company. From there, we downloaded our footage to save on local storage. However, it was limited to 7,200 seconds, which rounded out to two hours. For the lack of direct local storage on the Blink XT2, we decided we could only give the camera half marks for storage.
Smart Platform Integration
We were lucky to already have the Amazon smart home ecosystem, which integrated the Blink XT2 with Amazon Alexa, enabling voice commands. While it worked as part of our smart home, it didn’t seem like a great choice for anyone with a Google, Apple, or Microsoft ecosystem. Still, we gave the Blink XT2 full marks for its smart platform integration.
The most advanced security cameras don’t just notify us when the camera detects motion. They take it a step further with person detection and, for the most sophisticated cameras, facial recognition. That way we 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 did not have person detection or facial recognition, so we gave it no marks for this category.
During our testing, Blink XT2 had to be used with the sync module, which started our installation process. We plugged in the module then added it to Wi-Fi using the Blink Home app (more on this later). Next, we put two AA batteries in the camera itself, synced it with the module and were ready to go! Like we said, the batteries had a life of two-years, making our lives a whole lot easier. Plus, if we didn’t feel like using the swivel mount, we could simply place the camera on any flat surface. All in all, we gave the Blink XT2 full marks for convenience!
At only $99.99 for one Blink XT2 or $179.99 for two, this camera was reasonably priced when we considered how durable it was. With an IP rating of 65, this camera came in at about a 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 had a couple more features we want to touch on before we get into the app.
The Blink XT2 had built-in temperature sensing gave us a very accurate read of the temperature. We appreciated this, as smartphone weather apps have their limits.
Activity zones allowed us to tell the Blink XT2 what areas to focus on specifically and what areas to ignore. This was especially useful for an outdoor camera. For example, we chose to have our camera ignore the street and focus only on our property. This way, we only received meaningful notifications. Very nice!
The Blink Home App
We wanted 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 was the Blink XT, the predecessor to the Blink XT2, which is actually more expensive at $119.99. Both cameras had IP ratings of 65, integrations with Amazon Alexa, excellent infrared night vision and easy installation but the similarities end there. The original camera actually had superior video, as it could zoom in three times. However, that was the only area in which it surpassed the XT2.
Unlike the XT, the XT2 had two-way audio, and free local and cloud storage for up to a year. Unfortunately, neither camera had person detection. Both cameras has two-year battery lives and built-in temperature sensors. Still, only the XT2 had activity zones. All in all, we’d choose the Blink XT2 over the Blink XT for its affordability, free storage, and two-way audio.
To learn more. about Blink XT, read our review.
Blink XT2 vs. Canary Flex
We also compared the Blink XT2 to the Canary Flex, another indoor/ outdoor camera, which cost about $70 more than the Blink XT2 at $169. Both had 1080p HD video, infrared night vision, two-way audio, plus integrations with Amazon Alexa.
Although, we also had 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, we’d spend a bit more money and buy the Canary Flex due to its person detection alone, which we 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, we think the Blink XT2 is a great camera, but it’s not for everyone! Let us break it down as simply as we can.
We 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, we’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.