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Blink Mini review

The Blink Mini home security camera is inexpensive, but not the best value

Blink Mini review
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Our Verdict

The Blink Mini is a good low-cost home security camera, but the Wyze Cam is an even better value.

For

  • Low price
  • Good design
  • Granular settings

Against

  • Adding local storage doubles price
  • No person detection
Blink Mini: Specs

Size: 2 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches
Camera resolution: 1080p/30 fps
Field of view: 110 degrees
Wi-Fi: 2.4 Ghz 802.11g/n

With its new indoor Blink Mini home security camera, Blink is trying to take what makes its budget outdoor camera so good, and adapt it for indoor use. The Blink Mini is a small, cube-shaped camera that records 1080p video, and gives you granular control over your recordings.

But, unlike the outdoor space, where the Blink XT2 is a real value compared to other weather-resistant cameras, the Blink Mini is up against much stiffer competition. In this Blink Mini review, we’ll explore if this $35 device is worth a spot on our best home security cameras page. 

Simple, small, and square: The Blink Mini sticks to the basics. The front of the camera is black, but is housed in a white cube with rounded corners. It rests on an adjustable white stand, and comes with two screws, which you can use to mount the camera to a wall or ceiling. The Mini’s design is reminiscent of another budget security camera, the Wyze Cam, which is an even more basic white cube roughly the same size. Both are small and unobtrusive.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Unlike the Blink XT, which runs off two AA batteries and uses a small bridge to link to your Wi-Fi network, the Blink Mini connects directly to your Wi-Fi, and must be plugged in. The Mini comes with a 6-foot USB cable and a power adapter.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I found the Blink Mini’s 1080p camera delivered video that was good, but slightly below the quality of the Wyze Cam

During daylight hours, the Blink Mini did a good job accounting for the bright sunlight streaming through a window, as well as from a lamp in the center of the frame. Colors were bright and accurate, and I could easily make out the features of a person (me) as he walked in the room. However, I preferred the video from the Wyze Cam, which, though slightly darker, was sharper overall. Both cameras record a 110-degree field of view, which isn’t as expansive as higher-end home security cameras, but is plenty for a sub-$50 device.

Nighttime video captured by the Blink Mini was also good for a budget home security camera; I could make out a person’s features fairly well, so long as he stood in one place. However, faster movement — such as when someone waved their arms — looked blurred.

Within the Blink app, you can set a schedule for when the camera is armed and disarmed, set its sensitivity, and get into pretty granular detail over the length of recordings, how long to record after motion stops, and more. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I also like that you can create irregular shapes for motion detection zones: Blink shows a static image of what the camera sees, overlaid with a grid, and you simply highlight the sections you want the camera to detect motion. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Wyze’s settings are a bit more basic. You can create schedules, but you can only draw a single rectangle or square to set a motion-detection zone. There’s also no settings for the duration of a cloud-recorded video, because Wyze limits free recordings to 12 seconds. However, the Wyze camera can distinguish between people and other movement (such as your dog), so you can opt to receive notifications only if it senses a person.

Unlike with the Wyze app (and other home security cameras, such as Arlo Q), the Blink app doesn’t present you with a live view from the Mini when you open the app. Rather, you are shown a static image from the relatively recent past. While I can see why the company would do this for its battery-powered XT2 camera, an automatic live view for the wired Mini would be preferable.

Blink Mini includes a free trial of the Blink cloud storage subscription through December 31, 2020. After that, if you want to save videos to the cloud, a Basic subscription will cost $3 per month per camera, and give you 60 days of rolling storage (but only up to two hours of recordings). A Blink Plus subscription will cost $10 per month, but lets you add unlimited cameras from a single location. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you want to save videos locally, Blink will sell the Blink Sync Module 2, which will cost $34.99 when it goes on sale later this year. The Blink Sync Module 2, which will also require a USB drive (up to 64GB), will let you save video from up to 10 cameras. 

Wyze offers 14 days of free rolling cloud storage. However, the maximum length of a cloud-stored video is 12 seconds, and there’s a 5-minute wait time between recordings. If you want to save longer videos—and eliminate the wait time—you'll need to save locally to a microSD card (up to 32GB, not included). Wyze also offers a paid plan, for $1.49 per camera per month, which will record motion to the cloud for as long as motion is detected. 

As Blink is owned by Amazon, it stands to reason that the Blink Mini would work with Alexa. You can use your voice to arm and disarm the camera, and if you have an Alexa-enabled smart display (the Amazon Echo Show, Echo Show 8, Echo Show 5, or Echo Spot), you can view a feed from the camera on that device. You can also view a feed from the camera on your TV if you have a Fire TV stick, or a Fire TV-enabled television set. 

The Wyze Cam works with Alexa, but is also compatible with Google Assistant and IFTTT.

While the Blink Mini is a good budget home security camera, it’s not the value that the Blink XT2 is. For starters, the Blink Mini costs $15 more than the Wyze Cam, which delivers even better video, along with additional features such as person detection. And, if you want to add local storage, your total cost of the Blink Mini will double. 

I do like that the Blink Mini has a highly customizable motion detection, as well as a host of other settings, but for those who want the best home security camera on a budget, it’s not the best option.