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Blink Outdoor Review

Wireless Outdoor Camera

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Blink Outdoor Camera

The Blink Outdoor Camera is a wireless outdoor camera with up to 120 minutes of Cloud-based video storage, good daytime video quality, and easy setup and usability. Based on our real world tests, night time video quality left much to be desired. If you just want a day time camera, Blink Outdoor is great, but if you need quality night time footage we would recommend something else.Check Price

Pros

  • No subscription fees; free cloud-based storage
  • Wireless install
  • Batteries last up to 2 years
  • Easy to use and monitor using the smartphone app

Cons

  • No audible siren or 911-alert system
  • Requires a Sync Module for pairing, may be sold separately depending on if you purchase a “camera kit” or “add-on camera”

Performance

Video Quality

Okay

Audio Quality

Good

App Quality

Good

10 SECOND SUMMARY: The performance of the Blink Outdoor camera was a bit of a mixed bag. The daytime video quality was pretty good, but the night time video quality was terrible. Audio and app quality was pretty good—consistent with other Blink cameras like the Blink XT2 or Blink Indoor.

Video: Day vs. Night

During the day, the video quality was good. It was clear and easy to see a moderate level of detail in the footage.

The nighttime video quality was extremely disappointing. It was so hazy that it was nearly impossible to tell what was going on. Figures that were caught on camera had a low level of detail and were blurry.

Day

In daytime settings, the video quality was similar to what we’ve experienced with other Blink cameras. Images were crisp, clear, and easy to see details of figures passing in and out of the frame.

Blink outdoor camera - daytime video quality
Blink outdoor camera – daytime video quality

There was a bit of a problem with overexposure, as you can see in the skyline area where there is lots of light. 

Despite this, the images are still clear, both with and without people.

Another small area where it struggles a bit is with quick motions, especially activity closer to the camera.

A little overexposure with the Blink Outdoor camera
Blink Outdoor camera – quick motions are blurred

As you can see in the example below, there is a high degree of blur.

Blink Outdoor day time shots
Blink Outdoor day time shots

In the day time clip where I am a bit further away from the camera it does a better job and more clarity overall.

Night

The nighttime video quality left quite a bit to be desired. The quality and clarity of the video footage just isn’t there. The images we snapped had poor contrast and a lot of blurriness.

Blink outdoor camera - night time video quality
Blink outdoor camera – night time video quality

We tried this camera in two different nighttime settings:

  1. Pitch black
  2. Moderate illumination within range of the house and detached garage

The performance in both environments was pretty poor. You can tell when people walk in and out of the frame, but if you’re hoping to see facial details or descriptions of clothing items or items you’re going to be unsatisfied.

Poor night time video quality with the Blink outdoor camera
Poor night time video quality with the Blink outdoor camera

RELATED: Check out the full review of the Blink XT2 outdoor camera.

For a camera marked as “outdoor” I really expected more from the Blink outdoor.

Audio

The quality of the audio is pretty good as far as detecting audio on screen as well as enabling 2-way audio from your smartphone to the camera mic.

Audio in and out was easily discernible and clear.

The Blink camera does not include an audible siren.

The Blink App

To view your recorded footage or get instant notifications, you’ll need to download the Blink app. This app helps to organize activity snippets with easy-to-read time stamps.

Blink app notifications
Blink app notifications

At the top, there is a storage bar that shows exactly how much storage you’ve used and how much you have left.

The Blink app with the Blink Outdoor camera / video history
The Blink app with the Blink Outdoor camera / video history

Once your camera is paired to the app, you’ll have some options when motion is detected. First off, you’ll receive an instant push notification to your phone.

From there, you can:

  1. View: view stored video for yourself and watch a live-feed
  2. Ignore: ignore the alert; regardless of your decision, the footage is stored on the Cloud with all of the other detected footage that the camera has captured

If you have multiple Blink cameras, the app makes it easy to manage and view a multi-camera system

Blink Design

The Blink Outdoor camera looks basically identical to the other cameras in the Blink lineup.

Blink Outdoor (right) vs. XT2 (middle) vs. Indoor (left)
Blink Outdoor (right) vs. XT2 (middle) vs. Indoor (left)

It has a black body with rounded corners and a glossy front face.

Blink Outdoor camera front

The camera lens is located in the middle, with no physcial controls on the camera itself.

Because this is an outdoor camera, it’s really designed to be used with the hardware mount, but the base is also wide enough that it can sit upright without any mounting hardware required at all.

What’s on the back of the camera?

Back of the Blink Outdoor camera

The back of the camera looks the same as other Blink cameras as well. It has an audio output at the top, connection for the mount in the middle, and the USB charger located at the bottom.

The USB input has a small silicone cover that covers the USB port and protects it from weather when it’s not in use.

Silicone cover on the micro USB connection - back of the Blink Outdoor camera
Silicone cover on the micro USB connection – back of the Blink Outdoor camera

What does it do?

The Blink Outdoor is a wireless camera that detects motion and sends push-notifications to your smartphone that notifies you when activity is detected on-screen.

The Blink app also allows you to view activity history directly from your smartphone or check out a live feed from the camera at any time.

RELATED Best Home Security Camera Systems

Features

Some of the top features of the Blink Outdoor camera include:

  • Motion Notifications: sends a push notification to your smartphone when the camera detects motion in the camera’s view
  • 2-Way Audio: lets you hear what’s going on in the video as well as the ability to talk back, using the audio output on the camera itself
  • 24/7 Live Video: can record footage for 24/7 live video playback (but only stores footage when motion is detected)
  • App Control: view the camera footage from your smartphone or other device using wifi pairing and cloud video storage
  • Multiple Pairing: pairs multiple cameras together (indoor or outdoor) for whole-home security using the Blink Sync module and the app
Blink outdoor camera - front display
Blink outdoor camera – front display

What’s in the Box?

The Blink Outdoor comes with the following parts and accessories right out of the box:

In the box, you’ll get:

  • Blink Outdoor camera
  • USB cord + power adapter
  • Key
  • Mount (and hardware)
  • Window sling (optional)
Blink outdoor camera and accessories
Blink outdoor camera and accessories

Setup & Usability

Setup and usability for the Blink outdoor camera is generally quite good.

Blink Outdoor
Blink Outdoor

The setup is fairly quick and takes only a couple of minutes. It does require the use of the Blink Sync Module.

How easy is it to setup?

Like other Blink camera systems, the setup is pretty straightforward and doesn’t take too long.

Blink Outdoor app setup
Blink Outdoor app setup

In full transparency, I will say that had some trouble with getting this specific model to connect to our network. That said, I think it’s due to a recent upgrade we made to our wifi and not necessarily a problem with the Blink system.

Once the camera was finally connected, the rest of the setup was simple.

What’s the Sync Module?

The Sync Module helps the Blink camera to communicate with the router and wifi network for a more intuitive camera system.

You can connect up to 10 Blink cameras within a single Sync Module.

Adding the Sync Module takes an extra step at setup, but this item is included in the box and you only have to set it up once so it’s not really a daily issue.

Step-by-Step

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to set up the Blink Outdoor Camera.

  1. Unbox the camera.
  2. Install batteries.
  3. Plug in the Sync Module.
  4. Connect the Sync to the app.
  5. Connect the camera to the Sync Module.
Blink camera setup steps

How easy is it to install?

After you’ve done the initial setup, the install is the last step. Because this is an outdoor camera you’ll have to use the hardware mount to guarantee a secure install.

The mount uses hardware provided to secure into a vertical exterior surface.

Once the mount is secured, you can pop the wireless camera onto the mount and you’re ready to go.

How easy is it to use?

Using the Blink Outdoor cam is incredibly easy to use. It only records when it is both armed and detects motion. Of course, you can change some of those settings.

The big thing with this is that it’s not designed to record a huge amount of clips.

If you do, you’ll fill up your space and your battery will run out quickly. So you want to set the recording settings to be within reason.

Blink outdoor camera

For example…you might only arm it during overnight hours or when you are otherwise away. You don’t want it to just constantly record in areas where there is lots of motion.

For these reasons, the camera is less expensive than many others.

Clip History

The clip history tracker is pretty cool and intuitive. This feature makes it easy to flip through your clips to see if people or others are coming into your controlled areas.

Does Blink require a subscription?

Blink does not require a subscription.

In fact, there isn’t even a subscription offered.

Blink Outdoor
Blink Outdoor

All Blink systems come with up to 120 minutes of cloud video storage for free.

There is no local video storage and you can’t purchase additional storage so once you have video clips taking up the whole capacity, it will begin to delete older clips to stay within the storage limit.

The Sync Module

You won’t need to purchase a monthly subscription with Blink, but you do need a Sync Module.

The Blink Outdoor camera kit comes with a Sync, but if you purchase any “add-on camera” from Blink you’ll need to make sure that you already have a Sync or are prepared to purchase one separately.

CHECK PRICE: Click here to check the price for the Sync Module.

This Module is the main point of contact between the camera and your network.

It’s a one time purchase and can pair up to 10 Blink cameras to a single Sync (provided that they are within range and installed on the same network).

Blink outdoor sync module
Blink outdoor sync module

All three of these cameras basically look the same. They have the same body style, same wireless design, and the same user-interface.

Blink Outdoor

Blink XT2

Blink XT2 security camera

Blink Indoor

Blink indoor camera

The difference is that the Blink Outdoor includes a weather proof shell. But with that in mind, you could easily turn the Blink XT2 into an outdoor camera by adding a weather proof casing.

Blink Outdoor Camera Specifications

 Blink
ModelOutdoor
TypeOutdoor
Size2.8 x 2.8 x 1.4"
Weight3.5 oz
Video Quality1080p
Night VisionYes
Field of View110° (diagonal)
Power2 AA batteries (non-rechargable)
Motion DetectionYes
2-Way AudioYes
Local StorageNo
Cloud StorageYes; 120-min limit
SirenNo
Live StreamingYes
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty1-Year Limited
PriceCheck Price

Should you buy the Blink Outdoor Camera?

I would recommend the Blink Outdoor if you’re looking for the following in a security camera.

  • No subscription fee: The Blink security system is a good option if you don’t want the added cost of a monthly membership. For free, you get 120 minutes of cloud-based video storage.
  • Mainly daytime surveillance: The video quality of the Blink Outdoor camera at night is pretty poor. But if you’re primarily looking for daytime surveillance and don’t want to spend a lot, the Blink Outdoor could be a good option.
  • Have other Blink cameras or an existing Sync Module: The Blink Outdoor camera needs the Sync Module to work properly, but it is also included in the box. If you already have a Blink camera hooked up to a Sync you can tap this camera into the same system. For people who have indoor Blink cameras, the Blink Outdoor can be a seamless addiiton.

Click here to learn more about or to buy the Blink Outdoor security camera.

Not Great At Night
  • 96%
    Design - 96%
  • 85%
    Performance - 85%
  • 96%
    Quality - 96%
  • 97%
    Usability - 97%
  • 90%
    Value - 90%
92%

Summary

The Blink outdoor camera offers wireless video surveillance of outdoor spaces. In daytime conditions, the camera performed pretty well, but we did notice video quality issues for nighttime shots. There was quite a bit of haze and not much detail visible. Blink requires the Sync Module to run, but once it’s set up the system is user-friendly. In addition, there is no subscription fee and it comes with up to 120 minutes of Cloud-based video storage for free. A good option for daytime, outdoor video security on a budget.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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