As an upgrade to the successful Blink XT, there’s a lot of pressure on this model to do better than the original offering of the crowd-funded brand. The XT was greatly received, as proven by the amount it raised and the number of units shipped out on its first year of production. In addition to this, Amazon purchased Blink just recently, so it makes sense that lots of people are looking forward to the brand’s latest offering.
Blink XT2’s roster of solid features was able to meet the public’s high expectations, however. It’s certainly a step up from the original XT and offered a budget-friendly player in the DIY home security game.
It’s a truly alluring pick that some folks think it to be too good to be true. Is that really the case or is the Blink XT2 worth the hype? Find out in our review below.
The Blink XT2 Review
Design and Features
The Blink XT2 comes as a black square boxy device. On its face is a panel at the center where the lens and the audio hardware sit. It’s also where the brand logo is depicted. It doesn’t necessarily look like a traditional camera. But if you’ve seen some of the latest home security systems available right now, you’ll be able to tell that it’s one of the more modern options. Its sync module is similarly shaped but is plainer and a bit smaller.
The XT2 is lightweight and balanced enough to stand alone. However, it also comes with a mount so in case you need to attach it to a wall, you won’t have to fuss about it.
Along with its appearance, you can also expect quite a number of modern features from the XT2. For starters, the spherical housing that sits under the camera houses its motion sensors. With this, you don’t have to go through hours of empty footage as it will trigger the recording for you as soon as it senses movement. It also has a built-in speaker and microphone, allowing you to record and transmit audio as well as project sounds from the Blink App.
Its construction is also reliable as this item is rated for both indoor and outdoor use. It’s waterproof so you can install it outside your house without having to worry about exposing it to the harsh elements.
Its battery life is also worth noting. Rated to last for up to 2 years (depending on your usage), it certainly ups the painlessness in having a home security system.
Setup and Usage
One of Blink XT2’s biggest promises is a truly wireless experience, so it makes sense to expect a pain-free installation. For the most part, it delivers such if you’re not necessarily looking for a complicated or feature-loaded system.
The Blink XT2 security camera is virtually a plug and play device, like the other products from the brand. All you really need to do is to power the unit up, plug in the sync module, scan the bar code on your unit, then download the Blink App on your smartphone. From there, you’ll already receive the step-by-step instructions on setting up your system. Follow them closely and you’ll surely set up your camera system in less than five minutes.
Using this product is simple. Navigating the app is easy, although sometimes it tends to have some quirks which you should be able to handle in not time.
Integrating the XT2 to a smart home platform is straight forward. The camera is ready to connect to Alexa, compatible with IFTTT and can be live-streamed using the Echo Snow, Echo Spot, and Fire TV products. With a little beginner level home automation skills; you should be able to integrate with your existing automation system.
Like many of the most popular home security cameras in the market today, the XT2 also features 1080p recording. Its videos are clear and crisp, guaranteeing that you’ll get a good picture of what’s happening in the area you’re monitoring. It doesn’t get blurred even when recording something in motion. It also comes with an infrared night vision, so you can continuously watch over certain areas even with the lights off.
Tracking and Zoom
Since it comes with a very friendly price tag, we didn’t really expect more advanced features like tracking. Unfortunately, there’s also no image zoom which might be something you may need to consider when choosing this device.
Being the first Blink product to have a 2-way audio, it’s certainly an exciting option for those who are interested in the brand. The good news is, the mic does a great job in picking up audio.
The speaker is also decent despite having a low volume. So if you’re planning to use it as a deterrent, it might not work as well as you intend it to be.
Motion and Sound Detection
The first thing that you need to know about this functionality of the XT2 is that it doesn’t have sound detection at all. However, its motion detection is at a different level, thanks to its passive infrared sensor. With this feature, it also detects body heat, guaranteeing that the camera will only be triggered by an actual living creature.
This is a great plus due to the way the recording functionality of the XT2 is configured. It doesn’t have a continuous recording option, so it’s crucial that it gets to record the most important stuff. With an accurate motion trigger, you’re guaranteed that it will be able to capture movements in the areas you’re monitoring.
Aside from its sensor, the Activity Zone feature in the Blink App is also very useful. It will let you map out the areas you want to cover. You can go for the Basic mode which will let you set the motion detection on a wide area or use the Advanced mode which will let you zoom in on specific spots for more precision.
Cloud Storage Costs
Another reason why Blink is such a great system is the fact that they do not force customers to pay for subscription services. Instead, they have various customizable services that are available for free. They’re pretty limited but can be upgraded, so you still have the choice to go for their paid subscriptions.
What comes with the XT2 is a 2-hour storage service on the Blink cloud. Once it fills up, older clips will be deleted automatically. As this camera does not have a continuous recording functionality, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to save old clips before your 2-hour allocation is filled.
Smart Home Compatibility
As mentioned above, the XT2 is compatible with Amazon Alexa and the IFTTT so if you have those systems in place in your home, you can easily add this camera to your network. You can then use and operate the camera using the other devices in the system.
Mobile Apps and Web Portals
As at the time of writing this review, you can only access Blink cameras using the Blink App. There’s no web portal available which can be a pro and con at the same time. The app’s straightforward design makes it easy to navigate, however, so it shouldn’t be a problem for most users. It might even be more appealing for some as the app lets you do everything in one place.
Is Blink XT2 good?
With the features and price tag of the Blink XT2, it can be said that this product is highly satisfactory. It performs well and has comparable performance to higher-end products so it can definitely be the best budget pick for home security.
How does the Blink XT2 work?
The Blink XT2 works using its motion detection. It will start recording clips once its motion sensors are tripped. You can set how long the clips should be or set the recording to last until the camera stops detecting motion.
How long do Blink batteries last?
Blink XT2’s batteries are meant to last for up to 2 years without the need for replacements or recharging. However, this is not completely guaranteed since your usage will still affect its battery life.
True to the brand’s mission to provide great home security, the Blink XT2 offers one of the most painless and affordable surveillance cameras in the market. While there are a few things that it can’t do, it still covers all of the basics. Some of its features can even be deemed worthy trade-offs. So if you’re after a solid pick that can do everything you need without breaking the bank, make sure to check out this product.