Blink recently launched the Blink Video Doorbell released. You can buy this video doorbell for only 59.99 euros and you can use it both wired and via the battery. This flexibility sounds promising for a video doorbell in this price range, but how does this model work in practice? In this review you can read our experiences with the Blink Video Doorbell and we will immediately get started with the Blink Sync Module 2 for 34.99 euros. This device ensures that you can save images locally. So you are not tied to a subscription with this video doorbell!
Blink Video Doorbell and Blink Sync Module 2
Blink is now owned by Amazon, but started as an independent startup in the field of cameras and security systems. Two years ago we first started working with a product of the company, namely the Blink Mini. This small security camera was already cheap at the time for 39.99 euros, but now you can even buy two Blink Minis for that amount. The recently presented Blink Video Doorbell is also very affordable with a price of 59.99 euros. And at first glance, it seems to offer all the basic functions anyway.
For example, the Blink Video Doorbell has a 1080p HD camera, infrared night vision and two-way audio. Of course you get notifications when detecting motion and there is integration with Amazon Alexa. You can take out a subscription to store images in the cloud (you get a month free with purchase) or you use the Blink Sync Module 2 where you plug in a USB flash drive to store images locally. This device also serves as a hub. You can connect this video doorbell wired, or use it with two included AA lithium batteries. The two batteries, in conjunction with the Sync Module 2, will last up to two years, according to the company.
Design and build quality
What can you expect for 59 euros? Quite a lot, as it turns out. You can choose from a white or black version. We have received the black version. The whole is completely made of plastic, but solidly built. It is a typical video doorbell with the camera lens on the top and a round button on the bottom with a blue LED light. In terms of design, it is therefore somewhat reminiscent of the Ring Video Doorbell Wired. Not surprising, of course, Ring is also from Amazon. It is striking that the Ring seems to be built slightly better. It feels slightly firmer in the hands and is also more compact. Still, the Blink is certainly not large in size compared to some other video doorbells, such as the Eufy Video Doorbell Dual (see picture). Anyway, the video doorbell is water resistant and very flexible in its placement thanks to the option to connect wired or with battery. Screw material and a back wall are included.
Installation and the Blink app
When unpacking, however, we immediately encounter the first minus. The video doorbell itself is provided with transparent foil for protection. However, removal was a big problem, you can easily pull the foil off, but the glue residues just remain. Step 1 is therefore removing all glue residues and that is a task that you would rather not do.
Fortunately, after removing all glue residues, we can get started. In the box you will find a quick start guide, all the screw material, a back wall and everything else you need to get started. So it is a complete package. We download the Blink Home Monitor app, do a quick search for our Blink Mini account and thankfully get the prompt to use two-step verification for security. Of course we can only applaud that.
Once logged in, it is first important to add the Sync Module 2 before installing the video doorbell. The Sync Module 2 serves as a hub after which you can add other devices. Finally, the video doorbell makes contact via the hub. Via the home screen, we press the plus sign in the top right to add both products and scan the QR codes. It’s a piece of cake and can’t go wrong. After the Sync Module 2, we push the supplied batteries into the Blink Video Doorbell and add these as well. It is all extremely easy to install. If desired, you will receive a step-by-step explanation to install the entire wired connection, whereby your existing gong can also be used. However, we have not been able to test the latter. In our house there is no longer a physical telephone connection, so we opt for the batteries.
In the Blink Home Monitor app you can access your added products. The first thing that stands out is how well-organized the app is. You may not have many options for changing all kinds of settings, but you don’t have to. There is one page for your video doorbell where you can set the motion zones, night vision and notifications and that’s it. At the bottom of the app you will find a button for ‘Armed’ and Disarmed’ and that needs some explanation. Unlike many other brands, here you have the option to switch motion detection on or off at the touch of a button. Whichever option you choose, you will always receive a notification when the doorbell rings, but the motion detection is disabled with one push of a button.
What exactly is the Blink Sync Module 2?
Our review sample came with the Blink Sync Module 2, a small, flat and square device that you plug in and connect to your WiFi network (2.4GHz). We already know that it acts as a hub. You can connect up to ten devices to the Sync Module 2, which then controls communication with each other and with Blink’s servers. You can create groups and change the status of all connected devices at the touch of a button instead of having to do this individually. The connected Blink Sync Module 2 should also extend the life of the AA lithium batteries by taking over from the video doorbell. For example, on paper you would only have to replace the batteries after two years. We have obviously not been able to test this video doorbell for that long, so we will have to accept that from Blink for the time being. However, there were no problems with the batteries during the test period.
You can also use it for local storage. The Sync Module 2 itself has no storage options, but you can connect a USB storage device (1 GB to 256 GB) for local storage. In fact, you then have the same options as with a Blink subscription. Videos of people ringing the bell and videos of motion alerts are saved. The Blink Home Monitor app gives you access to the last 1,000 videos from the past few days. Do you also want to see images of that? Then you have to remove the USB stick from the Sync Module 2 and connect it to your computer. So you have to purchase a USB storage device (stick, drive, etc.) yourself to be able to actually store images locally and that is, in addition to the Blink Sync Module 2, an extra purchase. However, it does save a subscription. With a subscription you get access to cloud storage and you can choose from basic or plus. Basic costs 3 euros per month and Plus 10 euros per month. However, with Basic you can only add 1 camera or video doorbell, with Plus this is unlimited. So you can immediately see that the Blink Sync Module 2 is a good option for 34.99 euros. After a year you will have completely lost the purchase of the hub.
The Blink Sync Module 2 does not serve as a gong. However, do you have a Blink Mini at home? Then it is good to know that you can use it as a gong for your Blink Video Doorbell. Does the bell ring? Then the little camera will let you know. Naturally, Blink is closely intertwined with Amazon. The voice assistant Amazon Alexa is therefore fully supported and can also serve as a gong via your Alexa speakers.
Blink Video Doorbell in use
What exactly do we expect from a video doorbell? We want reliable notifications when someone is at the door, whether the doorbell rings or when motion is detected. In both cases, the Blink Video Doorbell is excellent. You get reliable notifications. Small point of criticism is the angle of the motion detection. Are you in the far left or right corner? Then this video doorbell doesn’t always get that right. However, as soon as someone is a little more in the middle of the image, it works fine.
The image quality is 1080p and that is more than enough to see who is at the door. The sound is also adequate. You can be heard clearly and your visitor can hear you well, even if the sound is slightly tinny. The viewing angle is more than sufficient, especially in width, but in height the viewing angle is a bit on the narrow side. It is very important to hang up the video doorbell tactically, otherwise you will not see whether a small child is at the door. After ringing, it takes about four to five seconds between clicking on the notification and the live view before you have an image in the app. This has sometimes gone faster with other video doorbells, but should be enough to see your visitor. Of course, this also depends on the speed and reliability of your WiFi network and the speed of your phone. The more powerful your phone’s hardware, the faster an app opens.
Actually, there is not much to fault about the Blink Video Doorbell. For 59 euros, this model falls exactly in the same price category as the Ring Video Doorbell Wired, Ring’s smallest video doorbell. That model seems a bit more solidly built and has slightly more advanced functions, but you can only connect it wired. The Blink Video Doorbell is more flexible in installation. You do need an extra Blink Sync Module 2 and a USB storage device, but then you don’t need a subscription. That’s one step ahead of the Ring video doorbell where a subscription is actually necessary.
The Blink Video Doorbell is a no frills video doorbell. Do not expect technical feats such as facial recognition or packet detection. This is really a pure video doorbell with basic functions. However, the Blink Video Doorbell does all that very well. It just scores a good enough, but does not really excel at anything. The Blink Video Doorbell is a great choice for people who want to purchase an affordable video doorbell with good picture and sound quality, flexible installation and a clear app. And thanks to the Blink Sync Module 2, you are not tied to an expensive subscription.
- Excellent picture and sound quality
- Good price
- Clear app
- Reliable notifications
- Choose from wired or installation
- Can also be used without a subscription
- Blink Sync Module and USB drive required for local storage
- Lacks advanced features
- Other video doorbells respond just a bit faster
- Foil in packaging leaves glue residue