Blink Mini Review: When It Comes to This Budget Security Camera, You Get What You Pay For

Blink Mini Review Featured Image
John Velasco | SPY

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After being acquired by Amazon in 2017, Blink has built itself a solid reputation for making some of the best home security cameras. In fact, the Blink XT2 outdoor security camera was well-received by critics and consumers for its exhaustive battery life. Who doesn’t want a camera that can last upwards of two years?

While the company had an impeccable track record in the outdoor space, going indoors was the next logical step. Enter the Blink Mini, the company’s first wired indoor camera. It’s made more irresistible because it sells for under $35, which is a threshold we don’t find often in this category.

Recently, we named this one of the top indoor security cameras of 2022. Read our full Blink Mini review to find out why.

Blink mini security camera Courtesy of Amazon

  

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 2 x 1.9 x 1.4-inches
  • Weight: 1.7 ounces
  • Field of view: 110° horizontal
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F

Included in the Box

  • Blink Mini camera
  • Mounting screws
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Power adapter
  

Unlike Blink’s past security cams, the Blink Mini can be set up on its own and doesn’t require a separate hub to connect. After a few on-screen instructions through the Blink app, which also had me scan the QR code on the back of the camera, it was connected to my home’s WiFi network. It was a straightforward process that took me less than five minutes.

Blink Mini on table. The Blink Mini installed on a table. John Velasco | SPY

Since it already came connected to its articulating base, I decided to keep it on a side table. Alternatively, there’s the option to wall mount it with the included screws. It may be a good idea because its field of view is on the narrower side at 110 degrees.

Strangely enough, I found it odd that I couldn’t view the live stream through the Alexa app on my phone. The whole purpose of the Alexa app is to have a convenient place to access all of your smart home gadgets, so to have the live stream inaccessible is annoying.

  

Seriously, there’s nothing remotely attractive about the design. It’s as utilitarian as it gets with its all-plastic housing held in place by a ball-and-hinge joint. Despite the hollowness of the camera, the casing has been durable enough to withstand a few drops onto the floor, which can also be attributed to its 1.7-ounce weight.

Blink Mini on table. A close-up photo taken during our review of the Blink Mini security camera. John Velasco | SPY

There’s a magnetic plate on the button of the base, but since it’s on the weaker side, a slight brush can easily dislodge it. Although, it comes with mounting screws that keep it snuggly in place if you opt to wall mount it.

I know that most security cameras don’t make design a priority, but having a charming design to blend with your home’s decor helps. Unfortunately, the Blink Mini is predictably an indoor camera.

  

Just about every security cam records video at 1080p, and while it’s no exception either for the Blink Mini, the results are just too soft for my liking. Given how other cameras around this price range can produce sharper video, its overall quality is lagging behind the competition. I’m still able to distinguish the bigger picture, but it’s the finer details in the footage that suffer the most from its sub-par performance.

Some of its glaring qualities include artifacting elements in the shadows, colors that lean towards the colder side and its poor handling of dynamic range. Highlights are consistently overblown, which makes me appreciate how some cameras offer HDR video to help draw out details that are otherwise lost.

Blink Mini camera quality. A screenshot showing the video quality captured by the Blink Mini. John Velasco | SPY

Despite all of that, the night vision performance offers better clarity. Meanwhile, the built-in speaker manages to produce crisp audio for two-way communication.

  

The Blink Mini is a perfect example of why users eventually end up disregarding notifications pertaining to event triggers. That’s because it’s triggered by all motion, whether it’s someone walking into the frame or your pets play-fighting. There’s no way for it to properly identify those triggers apart from the motion it is supposed to detect, which brings me to my initial point. The notifications I received soon became increasingly redundant over time, which isn’t what anyone wants from a security camera.

Blink Mini mobile app interface A screenshot showing the Blink Mini mobile app interface. John Velasco | SPY

Other cameras can discern people, pets and even moving vehicles — with the option to choose what to be alerted about or disregard. The Blink Mini only offers activity zones that can be set up to help reduce false alerts.

I’m also not a fan of the antiquated-looking app interface, which harkens back to the early days when I first started to use security cameras. It doesn’t help either when controls and settings are hidden under other menus and not directly labeled, which makes for a frustrating experience.

  

When setting it up initially, the app required me to verify the account I created with two-factor authentication. I wasn’t expecting a camera like this to offer it, but it’s appreciated because it’s the first step in preventing your security camera from being hacked.

Beyond that, it’s worth noting that the Blink Mini requires manual arming because there’s no option for setting up a geofence. This means that you’ll need to remember to arm the camera through the Blink app whenever you decide to go out, and then disarm it once you return.

Blink Mini on table. A photo taken during our Blink Mini review. John Velasco | SPY

And lastly, there’s a way to store video clips locally to a USB flash drive, but it requires you to purchase the optional Blink Sync Module 2 in order to do it.

  

Our Verdict: An Impressive New Indoor Security Camera from Amazon

I know I’m guilty of sometimes being overly enthusiastic about a gadget, especially when it’s ultra-affordable. Even though the Blink Mini did reel me in with that prospect, it’s a security camera that requires micromanagement in order to be most effective.

If you have the time and commitment, more power to you in checking this out. At the very least, it’s simple to use and packages in all the basic essentials you’ll need in an indoor security camera.

So Should You Buy it?

Yes, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone. The $35 cost of the Blink Mini makes it one of the most affordable security cameras with basic features, but it’s the kind of camera that requires detailed attention to make it truly effective.

Pros

  • Super affordable cost
  • Simple setup process
  • Two-factor authentication is required

Cons

  • Soft looking video quality
  • Struggles with dynamic range
  • Basic set of features
  • Antiquated looking software

Blink mini security camera Courtesy of Amazon

  

How Long Will It Last?

Considering that it’s expected to remain stationary, it’s not the kind of thing you should worry about breaking. In the event of something going bad internally, there’s a 1-year limited warranty that covers defects.

  

What Are Some of the Alternatives?

Competition is fierce in the sub-$50 security camera space, but there are several options to consider below.

Wyze Cam V3

Widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound contenders in the sub-$50 space, the Wyze Cam V3 is packed with rich features such as local storage, color night vision and smarter identification.

wyze cam, best security cameras Courtesy of Amazon

  

Eufy Security Solo IndoorCam C24

Additionally, there’s also the Eufy Security Solo IndoorCam C24 flying under the $50 price. Its most attractive quality is being able to capture video at better-than-average 2K resolution.

Eufy Security Solo IndoorCam Courtesy of Amazon

  

Ring Indoor Cam

Ring’s indoor security camera might be older and might cost a bit more, but it’s been proven to be a reliable camera with features such as geo-fencing and pet detection.

Read more: Ring Indoor Cam Long Term Review

ring indoor camera Courtesy of Amazon

  

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