Our favourite all rounder just became a budget solution
Somehow, I’ve found myself tackling the majority of Expert Reviews’ security camera reviews. This means I now have opinions on security cameras where before there was blissful ignorance, but it’s good news for you because I’ve spotted this quite incredible offer on Amazon.
The Blink XT outdoor security camera, which cost £150 at the time of my review, is now on sale for £49.99 to Prime customers as the company’s deal of the day. Although the in-page clock suggests it’ll hold onto that title for a few days yet.
The two-pack is even better value, providing two cameras for £89.99. And if that’s still not enough, you can buy add-on cameras for £44.99 apiece. Don’t think you can be clever and buy an add-on camera alone, by the way: you need the Blink Sync module or it won’t work, and that only comes with the main packs.
So, what makes the Blink XT so good? I can narrow that down to three reasons: weatherproofing, battery life and free cloud storage.
Let’s tackle those in order. Most cheap security cameras can’t be used outdoors – and that includes the original Blink. The Blink XT, however, can and has IP65 weatherproofing.
Secondly, there’s the battery life. Rather than requiring charging via USB cable, the Blink XT uses two AA Lithium batteries. These last for two years with “normal use” – which Blink calculates as 4,000 five-second 720p recordings per year, or just under 11 per day. You can make the camera more or less sensitive, record for longer, or up the quality to 1080p if you wish, but it will impact the battery life.
Third, and most important, is cloud storage. The advantage of cloud storage for a security camera should be obvious, but I’ll spell it out anyway: if a burglar is caught on camera, they can’t just steal the camera to make off with the footage. It’s instantly uploaded to Blink’s servers, and a notification sent to your phone.
The downside of cloud storage is it’s typically a premium feature requiring a subscription. Not so with Blink, which will save up to two hours’ worth of footage to the cloud. When two hours is done, it’ll start recording over the older clips.
Two hours may not sound like much, but remember that by default a clip is five seconds long. That means you’re saving 1,440 events before the first one is deleted. You can download important ones at any time until they’re wiped, so as long as you’re vigilant, it’s a very generous freebie.
Free cloud storage isn’t unique to Blink, but others have started offering it before realising it’s too expensive to maintain. As Blink is owned by Amazon, it’s got the reasonable buffer of one of the world’s richest companies to protect its USP.
In other words, it’s a great camera, and a solid all-rounder. All that for £150 was a bargain when some rivals go for double that – at £50, it’s an absolute no brainer.