Added Blink Protection
Blink, the wire free home security and HD video monitoring system has been enhanced with the introduction of a new camera unit. Developed as the result of customer’s requests, this latest camera, known as the Blink XT, is a waterproof model suitable for use outdoors in all kinds of weather. This product can be integrated into an existing system or used as a standalone offering. However in the case of the latter, you will need to purchase the product with a Sync module at a cost of £149.99. Along with the single camera pack, the Blink XT comes in 2, 3 and 5 versions priced at £239.99, £329.99 and £499.99 respectively.
Like the original Blink camera, the Blink XT is powered by a pair of supplied AA Lithium batteries. These batteries have a claimed life two years of life under normal operation. As before the camera can be either free-standing or wall-mounted using the supplied mounting kit consisting of a bracket and a screw. The camera will communicate with the user via the free downloadable Blink Home Monitor app available for iOS and Android devices from the appropriate store.
Along with these similarities, there are a number of differences between the original camera and the Blink XT. For a start there has been a colour change from the original white to a black that is predominately matte apart from a lacquered panel covering the front mounted lens. The camera unit is similar in size with just a 4mm increase in the depth of its body. Video quality has been increased to full HD at 1080p standard while the camera’s night vision facility has been changed from visible white LED to infrared technology. Operation temperature range, to help cope with outdoor locations, has been increased.
There is one further change to the design of the camera that I felt was a retrograde step. Whereas previously you just needed to twist the camera’s back cover to gain access to the battery compartment, now you are required to press down on a centrally positioned button while raising the back cover away from the unit. Despite several attempts, this proved to be an impossible task for yours truly. I was forced to use my ingenuity and a couple of additional tools in order to prise the back cover away and gain access to the battery compartment and insert the required batteries. Incidentally there is a method to power the camera via the mains but this does require an additional purchase so it will not be included as part of this review.
Adding the Blink XT camera to an existing set up is relatively straightforward and, apart from a message stating “Unauthorised access” which I choose to ignore, was trouble free. With the original Blink camera I criticised the location of the unit’s serial number required for the set up process. This was located in the battery compartment and required the removal of the batteries to view it. Fortunately the Blink XT serial number is more conveniently positioned on the product’s packaging – just as long as you do not dispose of the box.
As part of the set up process I could give the camera an identifying name and position it to cover the selected targeted area. The Blink app then gave me the choice of viewing content from a choice of cameras and receives appropriate push messages of detected activity. Unlike the original Blink camera, the Blink XT unit is set up by default in armed mode and will immediately begin to dispatch messages of any detected motion to take up residence in the free storage area of your Blink account.
Various adjustments can be made to the settings used by the Blink XT camera. Among these adjustable features are those relating to temperature, scheduling, retrigger time for the next capture, clip length, sensitivity and a choice of 720 and 1080p video capture quality. There is also support for IFTTT and Alexa integration.
|Video||1080p H.264 encoding|
|Imaging||Full colour, auto white balance, auto exposure|
|Motion Detection||PIR based hardware detection up to 20 feet|
|Battery Type||2 AA batteries|
|Battery level indication||Yes|
|Battery life||2 years under normal operation|
|Field of view||110 degree|
|Focus range||Fixed focus (2 feet to infinity)|
|Operation temperature||-4 degree to 113 degree F|
|Dimensions||71 x 71 x 34 mm|
The Blink XT camera is a useful addition to the Blink system but I do feel that accessing the battery compartment could have been handled better.
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