Blink Mini Goes Traditional with Wired Connectivity

Blink MiniThe opportunity to review the Blink Mini Indoor Smart Security Camera was greeted as a welcome diversion from all the scary pandemic news.  Breaking away from their traditional wireless battery powered cameras, Blink decided to give the traditional wired model a shot.  They did a nice job.

We encountered the first generation from Blink several years ago.  The Blink Home Security System was a their first generation and is still their wireless indoor camera offering as of April, 2020.  Two additional wireless entries were introduced including the Blink XT and Blink XT2.  Both are suitable as indoor or outdoor wireless solutions.  The Blink Mini is their first wired camera.

Blink has been known to us as a company that makes solid cameras with excellent easy to use software.  The Blink MIni is no exception to this streak.

Software

The Blink Mini is accessed with your Apple iPhone or favorite Android smartphone.  The camera uses the same app as the other Blink cameras.  There is no browser-based interface.

There is no manual in the box.  Printing on the inside lid of the box directs the user to download the Blink Home Monitor app, plug in the camera and add it using the instructions in the app.  There is a link to a more detailed setup page on their site.

Setup really is quite easy though and you likely won’t need to access additional directions.  If you already have the app installed for other Blink cameras, this is easy.  Open the app, plug in the camera, wait for the blinking blue light on the camera, tape the plus sign and scan the UPC on the back of the camera.  You will be prompted for the router password, and after a minute or two, it’s all setup.

Like other Blink cameras, motion settings include sensitivity, retrigger time and clip length.  There is also a toggle to end the clip early if motion stops.  This helps to save on battery and recording space.

Activity zones are supported on the Blink Mini.  Activity zones are highly recommended to eliminate false motion alerts.  Select the areas where valid motion will likely appear and deselect the places where invalid motion might be encountered.  Useful applications of activity zones can exclude things like pets walking passed the camera.

I find that a clip length of 10 seconds suffices for ordinary monitoring and I like to use a 20 second retrigger time.  A sensitivity of 7 is used to capture all motion events although you can probably get away with a 5.

Free cloud storage is not included with the Blink Mini.  A free trial to their cloud storage plan is included but once that trial ends, you can only access live views unless you pay for a subscription or purchase a Blink Sync Module 2 which will allow local storage for saving video.

Three video qualities are available and called Saver, Best and Enhanced.  Enhanced delivers 1080p HD quality video.  If you have good connectivity and unlimited bandwidth, try the Enhanced quality.

The Blink Mini works with Alexa enabling you to view live video, review motion clips, and arm/disarm the camera,  You may have already enabled the Blink SmartHome skill, but if not, go ahead and do that.  Setup is easy.

A WiFi strength indicator is shown near the bottom which I find useful for camera placement.

Hardware

That’s a Blink Mini in the photo that accompanies this article.  It’s a square camera with a small stand attached.  The camera measures roughly 2” x 1.9” x 1.4” and weighing in at 1.7 oz.

The camera is attached to a pivoting stand.  It’s a functional stand with rubber on the bottom.  The camera can tilt and swivel on the stand.

This is an indoor camera.  It’s not weatherproof and should not be used outdoors.  You can, however, point it through a window.  Just be sure to shut the infrared night vision off and place the camera as close as possible to the window glass.  It’s also a good idea to turn off the status light if you are planning to point it through a window.

A two-meter micro USB cable plus an adapter is included.  That’s an average length but can be extended by simply adding a longer micro USB cable.  The shape of the micro USB attachment fits into a molded slot on the back of the camera.

Daytime video is excellent at 1080p.  The Blink Mini camera has a 110 degree wide-angle lens.  That’s typical for most Blink cameras and sufficient to cover a lot of territory if placed in a corner or on an angle.  Night vision is adequate, if not a notch above average.

There’s an integrated microphone and speaker that supports a two-way conversation.

Connectivity

The Blink Mini does not require a sync module and will connect to the router at 2.4GHz using 802.11 g/n.

Mounts

There doesn’t appear to be a lot of options here.  A pair of mounting screws are included for use with the base of the camera.  Useful for attaching the camera to a wall.  There is a built-in stand with no traditional tripod screw attachment so no apparent opportunity for deploying traditional camera mounts.

Fun and Different

The Blink Mini introduces a new feature called Early Notification which is currently listed in the settings as a beta feature.  When activated, alerts are received when motion is detected.  Tapping on the alert takes you directly to a live video view.  Have not seen this on other Blink models.

Summary

The Blink Mini Indoor Smart Security Camera is a capable camera backed by a very solid company.  The lack of free cloud versus the other Blink models on the market is disappointing but there’s a much lower cost of entry.  If cloud archival isn’t important to you, this is a moot point.  But even if you factor in a paid subscription to cloud storage, it’s still a respectable buy.

The setup simplicity and easy to use app make this ideal as a first camera or an additional unit for those that already have the Blink infrastructure embedded in their home or office.

The Blink Mini is a good camera with excellent software that can be recommended.

Quick Specs:

Video QualityField of ViewCloud SupportSD SupportNight VisionMobile/Web AppAlertsOutdoor
1080p110 DegreesYesNoYesYes/NoYesNo

Manufacturer Link:  Blink