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Home security camera: Blink XT2 review

At just under $100, the Blink XT2 is priced in the midrange for home security cameras, but it has no monthly subscription fees and comes with up to a year of free cloud storage.
Written by Kasey Tross, Contributing Writer on

With high customer ratings and compatibility with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT, the wireless indoor/outdoor Blink XT2 is a smart option for anyone looking for affordable home video surveillance. At just under $100, the Blink XT2 is priced in the midrange for home security cameras, but it has no monthly subscription fees and comes with up to a year of free cloud storage.

The Blink XT2 also features two-way talk, motion-activated recording, and customizable activity zones. Get real-time alerts whenever it detects motion, and use the Blink Home Monitor app to view live video feeds from your phone or tablet.


Pros

  • Wireless setup
  • Two-way talk
  • Free cloud storage

Cons


Blink XT2 overview

Price

$99.99 on Amazon

Features

Indoor/outdoor operation
2-way talk
Motion-activated recording
Motion activity zones
Wireless DIY installation
2-year battery life
Free cloud storage

Ratings

4.3 / 5 on Amazon
4.6 / 5 on Best Buy App
3.3 / 5 on iTunes
3.9 / 5 on Google Play

Warranty

1-year limited

Trial Period

30 days (Amazon standard return policy)

Compatibility

Amazon AlexaIFTTT

Amazon Alexa integration

To enjoy the full range of Blink XT2's Alexa skills, connect it to an Amazon Echo Show, Echo Spot, or Fire TV device. You can say, "Alexa, show backyard camera," and you'll be able to view the live video feed from your backyard on your Amazon device.

If you don't have an Amazon device with a screen, you can still use voice commands to arm and disarm your cameras with your Echo or Echo Dot. For example, when you arrive home, you can say, "Alexa, ask Blink to disarm; my pin is ####." 

Energy-efficient technology

Blink states that the battery life of the XT2 camera is up to two years, based on "average use." This is twice the battery life of the original XT camera, but if you frequently stream the live feed and use the two-way talk, it will drain the battery quickly.  

Adjusting the recording time after a motion event triggers it can help conserve battery life, but you might end up with videos of motion events that get cut short. You can also save energy by customizing the activity zones to pinpoint relevant activity and avoid unnecessary motion, such as passing cars and pedestrians.

Other key features

One of the most notable features of the Blink XT2 is its free cloud storage. You won't have to sign a service contract or pay any monthly subscription fees, and you can get storage for hundreds of clips for up to a year. Your Blink XT2 camera purchase also includes a one-year limited warranty and service. Customer reviews indicate that Blink is very responsive to customer issues and works to resolve them to the owner's satisfaction. You can also use Amazon's 30-day return policy to return the Blink XT2 if you run into any problems with your device.

How to set up the XT2

Ready to set up your XT2? Below is a list providing step-by-step details on how to get your camera system up and running.

Download Blink App

First, you'll need to download the Blink App from your phone's operating system's marketplace.

Once you have installed the app, select the button titled "Create an Account" on your screen. If you already have an account, login with your existing information.

Your location will be selected after you are directed to the following screen. Be sure the selected region is correct, then click OK.

Set up credentials

Next, enter your email address. Once you have entered your email, you will have to create a password.

  • Be sure to use a phrase that only you or those who will also have access can guess. Personal information and phone numbers are not recommended.
  • Be sure to enter a password that corresponds to the password criteria described on the page.

Verify account

After you set up an email and password, you will have to begin the account verification process.

  • All you have to do is access the email you signed up with, retrieve the pin that Blink sent you, and enter the pin.
  • Be sure not to wait too long. Once the pin code is sent, the code expires after 40 minutes of delivery.

Next, enter a phone number.

  • The owner of the house, or the individual who will be accessing the app most often, should put their number down.

You will then receive a pin code to your phone.

  • Enter the code.
  • After this, you will have an email address as well as a phone that will operate as mediums for account access, like password recovery.

Add Blink Camera

Now that you are in the Blink App click on the + on the upper right of the screen to add your Blink Camera according to the model you possess. Your app will ask for a QR code.

  • Allow the app access to your camera, then scan the QR code on the bottom of your XT2.

Once you scan the QR code, the app will direct you to the Add Sync Module screen.

  • Have your XR2 nearby and press Discover Device on the app screen.
  • The green light should be steady, and the blue light should be blinking.

Connect Blink Module's Sync Wi-Fi

Your app will require access to the Blink Module's Sync WiFi.

Choose "Blink" so your app can connect to the Blink Module.

  • You will then be prompted to connect to your Wi-Fi.
  • Connect to your home Wi-Fi on your phone's settings, if not already.

Now that your network setup is finished, you will be directed to the Welcome Screen.

Set up device

  • At this point, you may add your XT2 camera by clicking the + on the upper right to add a device.
  • You will be prompted to enter the serial number of your XT2, which can be found on the bottom of the device.
  • Once you have added the camera, the onboarding process will be complete by clicking on the Done button on your screen. Voila! You can now monitor your home from the faculty of your phone. 

Things to note

Camera placement

  • Do not place your camera behind a large object that obscures most of its field of view. The camera will work wonders in close quarters, although the motion detection may suffer if too many large objects interfere with the field your camera will be supervising.
  • Try to avoid any sun in the sky of your field of view. The sun's glare will obscure your camera's lens, prohibiting it from using its aperture for detection.
  • Vehicles and pedestrian traffic should be minimized as much as possible in your camera's field of view.

Blink XT2 vs. other providers


 

Prices starting at

Monitoring options

Installation options

Blink XT2

$89.99

Self-monitoring with free cloud storage

DIY only

Google Nest Cam Outdoor

$199.99

Self-monitoring through Nest Aware subscription starting at $6/month

DIY only

Wyze Cam

$24.99

Self-monitoring with free cloud storage

DIY only

*Data as of 1/17/2021


Further Reading:


FAQs

Can you watch Blink cameras on TV?

Yes, as long as you have an Amazon Fire TV Stick remote. Using the remote's voice activation feature, you can ask Alexa to show you the live video feed from any of your Blink cameras. 

Are Blink XT2 cameras always recording?

No. The Blink XT2 only starts recording when it detects motion. This feature helps conserve battery life. 

Does Blink XT2 work with Google Assistant?

No -- Blink only works with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT. 

How long does the Blink XT2 record for?

Once triggered by motion, the Blink XT2 starts recording a five-second clip. You can adjust the recording length to up to 60 seconds in the device settings.

What is the range of the Blink XT2 camera?

The Blink XT2 has a viewing angle of 110 degrees and can detect motion up to 20 feet away.

What is the difference between the Blink XT and the Blink XT2?

The biggest difference between the XT and the XT2 is that the XT2 has a microphone and speaker for the two-way talk feature. When only used for video, the XT2 also has double the battery life of the XT. 

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