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Immedia Blink security camera review: The low price tag comes at the cost of features

Michael Ansaldo | March 17, 2016
An attractive price tag and free cloud storage aren't enough to make this stripped-down security camera stand out.

Blink’s picture quality was impressive in both video and live streaming—at least during the day—particularly for a battery-powered camera. Images were crisp with little lag.

After-hours video was more disappointing. Blink’s LED illumination shines white light into the room, and though it effectively brightens dark parts of the image, it tends to wash out lighter ones. And because it produces visible light—unlike the infrared LEDs most other home security cameras use for night vision—it will undoubtedly tip off any intruder that he’s under surveillance, giving him the opportunity to destroy the evidence.

The Blink app lets you monitor multiple cameras (the Sync Module can accommodate up to 10 devices in any combination of Blink cameras and alarms), and it offers ample features for customizing and monitoring the camera’s performance. From your device you can adjust motion detection sensitivity (a must for reducing false alerts), change the default length of video recordings, and keep an eye on battery life, to mention just a few settings.

But what’s more notable about Blink is the number of now-standard features that aren’t included. There’s no two-way audio, a popular feature for communicating remotely with kids, elderly parents, or pets at home. There are no audio alerts, which means you can’t detect suspicious activity that happens outside the camera’s field of view. And you can’t schedule Blink to automatically arm or disarm at certain times of day.

Immedia says it will add some of these features in future updates, but right now their absence really dulls Blink’s luster.

Bottom line

Blink is more affordable than most other HD home security cameras, and the free storage is undoubtedly attractive. But that cost savings is no longer enough differentiate it an already overcrowded market.

The idea of a small, inexpensive, battery-powered home security camera seemed novel when Blink’s crowdfunding campaign launched two years ago. But between then and now we’ve seen the arrival of Netgear’s cordless indoor/outdoor Arlo as well as the diminutive, budget-friendly EZVIZ Mini. And for a few sawbucks more than Blink, you can get a more full-featured security camera like Arcsoft’s Simplicam or Samsung’s SmartCam HD.

If Blink wants to stand out in that company, it’s going to have to raise its game.

 

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