The $35 Blink Mini is an affordable and compact solution to all your home security camera needs, but it’s missing one key thing.
Blink Mini is cheerfully cheap, basic in functionality, and ideal for monitoring a single room. After having tested it extensively, we have written an in-depth Blink Mini review to help you decide whether the Blink Mini is worth your money or not. It may have a clunky app and a few long-term expenses, but it is definitely worth a try if you want to test the waters of a smart home security camera. Here’s a list of everything you’ll encounter while going through this review:
- A brief review about our experience
- The pros and cons
- Specifications and detailed analysis of certain features
- Our Opinion
Dimensions(W x H x D): 2 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches
Image resolution:1080p HD
Night Vision: Infrared Night Vision
Camera Frame Rate: Up to 30 frames/second
Motion Detection: Yes
Storage: Cloud (local storage coming soon)
Voice Control: Amazon Alexa
Warranty: 1 year limited warranty and service
This home security camera is power-packed with stable baseline features, easy operation, and a wallet-friendly $35 price tag. It is more than capable of assisting you in keeping an eye on your home.
Amazon has joined the growing market of cheap, entry-level security cameras with its Blink Mini indoor cam. The main stand out feature of this camera is its $35 price tag. However, the overhead cost of the cloud storage subscription is a big bummer. $35 is just the starting price, and it can easily get doubled within a year. Nevertheless, people usually don’t mind paying this price to get the most out of this device, since it is still a decent product.
Other features of this device are not that impressive either. All of them are basic and are expected from a smart home security camera, even if it is as affordable as this one. It isn’t battery-powered. Instead, it draws power from an electrical outlet that relieves you from the responsibility of keeping a check on the battery. It weighs only 1.7 ounces and has a blue LED to help you determine if the camera is active or not.
A significant drawback is that you can view the live feed for only 30 seconds at one go. The app will automatically shut off and will pop up a “continue” prompt. One of the most attractive perks is the one-year limited warranty and service it comes along with.
WHAT WE LIKED
- The $35 price hits easy on the pocket.
- It is easy to set-up and is smart home compatible.
- Good image and audio quality.
- Granular customized control over recordings.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- The free cloud storage trial of the Blink subscription ends by 2020.
- No local storage is available.
Blink Mini has several features that are quite a bargain for the price they come at. Here are a few that we thought were imperative to mention:
Blink Mini home security camera with its 1080p HD provides a good quality image. You can clearly see the faces through this camera. It features a 110-degree field of view, which is not as expansive as other high-end home security cameras but enough to capture most of the room.
For night vision, it utilizes Infrared LEDs that emit a beam of infrared energy. When combined with the heat of a human body, this energy gets magnified. It makes it easier for the Blink Mini camera to detect it. Even though you cannot get colored vision at night, a person’s face is easily visible if they are near enough.
Blink Mini is responsive to motion and sends alerts to your phone every time it senses any movement. Sometimes these alerts can be annoying since the camera fails to distinguish between people, pets, or the rustling of a curtain. In order to minimize false alerts, you can use motion detection zones to block out motion activity in certain designated areas via the Blink app. You can also adjust the recording clips’ length, customize infrared LEDs’ intensity, and alter motion detection sensitivity.
Blink Mini is a tiny square-shaped security camera that can be placed anywhere in the house and doesn’t attract much attention. Its black front camera is housed inside a white cube with rounded corners, giving it a sophisticated look. The security camera comes with a ball and socket joint stand that lets you articulate it the right perspective. However, the stand can be removed too—you can unsnap with a gentle tug. You can also mount it on the wall or the ceiling using the two screws that come with the package.
This indoor cam needs to be plugged in for power since it doesn’t run on batteries. It features a proprietary USB port that is snug, which, unlike many security cameras of this price range, doesn’t pull the camera out of position when plugged in. The package comes with a power adapter and a USB cable that are about 6 feet in length. However compact this Blink Mini may be, it is constricted to place it near a power outlet or a USB port powerful enough to power it.
Storing the recorded video clips is one of the essential functions of a home security camera. Blink Mini includes a free trial cloud storage subscription through December 31, 2020. If you are already a Blink account user through some old blink camera, you’ll be eligible for free cloud storage as a perk.
However, from January 1, 2021, you’ll have to opt for a blink cloud-storage subscription plan. There’s a Basic subscription that costs $3 per month per camera. It provides 60 days of rolling storage per camera. You can also bump up to the Blink Plus Subscription plan, which amounts to $10 per month for unlimited blink cameras from a single location. Purchasing either of the packs comes with a few extra perks. You’ll get an additional 10% off on all future blink device purchases on amazon. You’ll also receive an extended warranty on all subscribed blink devices.
Each account gets 7200 seconds of cloud storage, and you can choose to auto delete clips after 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, 30 days, or one year. If the storage gets filled up, the oldest videos get automatically deleted.
In case you do not opt for any cloud subscription, you will still be able to receive alerts when motion is detected. You’ll also be able to watch the live view from a distant location. However, the video clips won’t be getting recorded anywhere. If you prefer local storage, opt for Blink Sync Module 2, which will be releasing soon. It will let you save videos from up to 10 blink cameras in a USB flash drive.
Blink Mini indoor security camera features a two-way audio functionality that lets you view the live footage and simultaneously talk to a person on the other side. The microphone from the other end picks up audio amazingly well. The speaker is primary, but it is loud enough for people to hear what you are saying.
You might think that this feature isn’t as useful. After all, everyone carries a phone these days, right? But it’s actually pretty handy. While using the Blink Mini as a nanny cam, you can give your nanny instructions and simultaneously watch over them. They can even be used to comfort your lonely pets as they might experience separation anxiety. You can have them respond to tricks and simply let them hear your voice.
Smart Home Compatibility
Since Blink was acquired by Amazon back in December 2017, it is natural that Blink Mini works with Alexa. It can be simply added by using the Alexa app on your phone. You can use your voice to arm and disarm this indoor cam by using any Amazon smart speaker. You can also view the live feed or recorded clips on any Alexa-enabled smart display like the Echo Show devices. In case you have a Fire TV Stick, or a Fire TV enables television set, you can view the footage on that too. However, Blink Mini doesn’t support Google Assistant or Siri. (1)
The whole set-up process is reasonably straightforward and doesn’t take up more than a few minutes to complete. Just pull out the Blink Mini and tug it out of the stand if necessary. Place it on a flat surface and plug it into any power outlet.
Smart devices like these always come with a smartphone app to monitor and control. Download the Blink app from the app store, scan the QR code from the back of the Blink Mini, and connect it to your wi-fi network. You are all up and running! (2)
The Blink App
Like most of the other smart devices, Blink Mini comes with a smartphone application too. It can be easily configured with the app and empowers you with loads of controls to tinker with to get just the perfect setting.
Initially, when you configure the camera to the app, the name will appear in an odd serial number. However, the app gives you the option of renaming it according to your convenience. For instance, you can name it based on its location, like ‘Living Room’ or ‘Baby Cam.’
Unlike the high-end security cameras, you do not get a live view when you open this app. Instead, you are shown a static image from the recent past. Given that Blink Mini runs on a power cord, there’s no need to conserve battery. Hence, getting a live video instead of a static image would have been more preferable.
The Blink app allows you to set a schedule for when to arm and disarm the camera. It can be done either via the app or by Alexa voice control. You can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detector on a scale of 1 to 9. You can also configure the retrigger time, which is for how long to wait after there’s been a motion before starting to sense movements again. You can alter the recording length and set the time for which the camera records after the movement stops.
One of the most annoying things is the unnecessary notifications that you get on your phone. This app enables you to lower these notifications by creating irregular shapes for motion detection zones. The app shows a static image of what the camera sees, with an overlaid grid. You can highlight the sections you want the camera to detect motion in.
To view the live feed, you need to select the camera from the home screen. This screen features minimal functionality. You can view the live stream, save or discard the video recording, and talk remotely by the hold-to-talk button. You will have to unmute the camera’s speaker by tapping on the icon at the top before you speak.
Additionally, the app works with Neighbor By Ring. This app provides real-time safety alerts from your neighbors and local police. The Blink app also supports IFTTT integration, i.e., it becomes an active part of your smart home system and automatically arms and disarms the camera depending upon your phone’s location. (3)
If you are an old Blink user, you’ll know your way through the app since it’s largely the same as it has been for previous models. However, the app is clunky and isn’t very user friendly. It could use a revamp to improve the user interface for better usability.
Blink Mini is an affordable and power-adapter-tethered alternative. It has decent features and performance, but it has an overhead cost for cloud storage and no local storage. Blink Mini is a fine budget choice, but Wyze Cam is another alternative that costs a mere $20 and offers more for free. It offers two weeks of saved video clips and has a person detection feature. However, if you are already a Blink camera user, it is hard to deny the added benefits it comes with.
You may want to check other camera reviews such as; SS11 Hidden Mini Camera Review, SS Mini HD Waterproof Camera Review, SQ11 Mini DV Camera Review. And if you’re looking for a product guide for mini cameras, you may click here.
(1) Alexa app – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOEIH2l9z7c
(2) QR code – https://searchengineland.com/what-is-a-qr-code-and-why-do-you-need-one-27588
(3) IFTTT integration – https://help.ifttt.com/hc/en-us/articles/115010158167-How-does-IFTTT-work