Security systems are an integral part of making sure your home is safe and secure. Like a lot of technology, recent advances have made smart systems available to more and more people. A side effect of those advances, however, is how complicated it can be to navigate the world of smart home security. With so many features and attachments and hubs, it can be really difficult to figure out what exactly you’re getting when you buy a smart security system.
This article takes a look at two popular models: Arlo Pro vs. Blink XT. Both are fantastic brands and have cameras that can be used outdoors, making them leaders in smart home security. But we’re going to look at the main differences so you can really get a sense of which system is right for you and your needs.
Arlo Pro vs. Blink XT — Differences
Difference #1: Video Quality – With any video surveillance system, it’s important that you can actually see what’s going on. These cameras don’t require huge HD resolutions, but it’s important that there’s enough definition to be able to know what’s happening.
The Arlo Pro features a 720p, as does the Blink XT. However, Blink XT has 1080p capability and states that 1080p is coming in an update. When exactly? We’re not too sure. And we’ve seen other companies (we won’t name names) promise on feature rollouts that, when released, required monthly subscription plans to access them.
For all intents and purposes, you can basically consider the two models as having the same resolution — at least for now.
Difference #2: Remote viewing – Being able to view your house while you’re away is great for peace of mind. Checking in on your property at any given moment can give you the confidence that your home is protected and safe from intruders.
Both the Arlo Pro and the Blink XT offer remote viewing. The Arlo Pro, however, offers both a mobile app and web access to your device, while the Blink XT only features a mobile connection.
Considering how attached everyone is to their phones these days, it’s likely that this distinction will be a non-issue. But it’s nice to know that if something happens to your phone, or you’d just like to keep the video in the background while on your computer, the Arlo Pro has you covered.
Difference #3: Length of Video Recordings – Every time motion is detected, Arlo Pro and Blink XT will start the recording. But an important question to ask is how long will they record the motion for? Especially if you don’t want to miss a single second of the recordings.
The Blink XT camera records 5-second video clips by default. With short usage comes energy efficiency. However, you can adjust the timing for each camera to record for up to 60 seconds. This is a great adjustment, but still not the most ideal setting because you never know how long the action will take place. The best solution would be setting up your camera to record until motion stops.
And this is exactly what the Arlo Pro does. You can set up the Arlo Pro to record videos until motion stops with 300-second limit. And if the motion hasn’t stopped when the recording reaches the time limit you’ve set, the camera will start a new recording.
Difference #4: Local Storage – What if the internet goes down? Where will the videos be stored? Well, if you have Arlo Pro, you don’t need to worry about missing a single video frame. With Arlo Pro you can store all your videos locally on a USB drive. All you need to do is connect a USB device to the Arlo Pro base station. Make sure to choose the USB device as a second location from the Arlo app. Once it’s all set, all your Arlo video recording will be stored to both the cloud and the USB device.
Unfortunately, choosing local storage as a primary method is not an option. But, as we mentioned above, in case the Internet goes down, the Arlo camera will continue to record to the USB device as long as there’s free space available.
Blink XT only offers cloud storage at the moment. Yet, it is capable of supporting a flash drive. So hopefully in the nearest future things will change, but for now, add it to the list of Blink XT features that are supported — but not yet available.
Difference #5: Field-of-view – The field of view between the Arlo Pro and the Blink XT isn’t significantly different, but those few degrees can actually make a big impact.
The Arlo Pro features 130 degrees of vision while the Blink XT only has 110. The drawback of the Blink XT can become readily apparent when you have to put a security camera on a corner, or you’re relying on a single camera to survey a large area.
20 degrees of vision may make the difference between catching someone in the act and being hung out to dry.
Difference #6: Pan & Zoom – Another benefit of the Arlo Pro is its Arlo™ Pan and Zoom feature. In addition to its 130 degree field of view, Arlo Pro lets you select an area, digitally pan it, and zoom up to 8x into that area — it’s perfect for getting details on intruders approaching or fleeing the scene! However, “pan” is a bit disingenuous; it’s more like “select any section of the camera’s vision” and pinch and zoom. You can read more about it in this Arlo Community question.
The Blink XT lacks panning, Arlo’s “digital panning,” and digital zoom, which is a definite drawback to this model — especially when combined with its lower field of view.
Difference #7: Design – While perhaps not the most imperative distinction to make, there are some differences in the way these products look. It’s important that your smarthome makes your life more convenient and looks good while doing it, so a surveillance system that doesn’t mess with the look you’re going for can be a nice plus.
The Arlo Pro is definitely the best looking camera on the market. It’s a glossy white and, for better or for worse, it’s eye-catching and beautiful. The downfall is that It might be a bit easy to spot. However, if you’re going for more discreet monitoring, Arlo does offer skins for the cameras, including camouflage.
The Blink XT on the other hand, while still classy, sports a much smaller profile and comes in black, which should blend in pretty well no matter where you place it (unless it’s on a white wall). But, like Arlo, Blink also offers covers for the cameras.
So, design-wise, they’re both relatively small cameras with two different shapes. Both devices will get the job done but, out of the box, the Blink XT seems much less apparent at a glance.
Difference #8: Temperature sensor – Although not necessarily a security feature, it’s always nice when a surveillance system adds other perks and conveniences to your home. In true comprehensive “home monitoring” fashion, the Blink XT features a temperature sensor with alerts you can set based on different temperature thresholds.
Instantly find out when your home is too warm or too cold and take action to fix the situation immediately rather than being surprised after the trip back from vacation. The Arlo Pro lacks temperature sensors, so the Blink XT wins this difference.
Difference #9: Push-to-talk feature – Like any good security system, both the Arlo Pro and the Blink XT record sound. What sets the Arlo Pro apart, however, is its push-to-talk functionality. Whether to scare off would-be robbers or let the pizza man know you’re on your way to the door, there’s no denying it’s a great combination of security and convenience.
Unfortunately, the Blink XT lacks this feature. While it’s not an aspect that’s super essential for home monitoring, it’s still another convenience feature that would add some allure to those who have a use case for it.
Plus, how cool is it that you can push-to-talk from your phone!
Difference #10: Cameras supported (per base station/sync) – Both the Arlo Pro and the Blink XT require a central hub: the Arlo Pro’s is known simply as a base station, while the Blink XT calls it a “Sync”.
Both hubs offer support for multiple cameras: 15 cameras per base station for the Arlo, 10 devices per Sync for the Blink. At first glance, it may seem like the Arlo Pro has the advantage with support for up to 15 cameras, but this support depends on your subscription. There are varying tiers you can pay for that range from 5 (free) to 15 cameras. So while 15 is greater than the Blink XT’s 10 devices, you’ll be paying a premium for that convenience.
Difference #11: Power – Powering your device is of course a concern. After all, what use is a security system if it’s not actually recording? Ensuring your camera has enough juice to alert you when things go bad is crucial to a comprehensive home protection plan.
Both the Arlo Pro and the Blink XT run on lithium ion batteries, but the Arlo’s are rechargeable. Plus, Arlo also sells a solar panel charger, saving you the hassle of running outside, grabbing the battery from the camera, recharging it, and then putting it back into the camera.
The Blink XT’s batteries, on the other hand, are not rechargeable. You’ll have to be on top of regular battery changes, no matter how infrequent they may be.
Difference #12: Siren – A siren is a plus when it comes to security systems. Being able to scare off intruders and alert yourself and your neighbors to a break in is useful, but with how many “false positives” seem to come off of alarms in general, it’s possible it won’t serve its full purpose.
Still, for many people it adds the confidence that they’ll be alerted immediately and avoid being caught off guard by an intruder.
The Arlo Pro Base Station features a 100+ decibel siren which is sure to alert everyone around to an intrusion. The Blink Siren is “upcoming”, but unfortunately hasn’t been released yet (like its 1080p support). So, for now, the Arlo Pro has the edge in this difference.
Difference #13: System expansion – Like many smart technologies, the utility of the Arlo and Blink extend beyond basic security cameras.
The Arlo Go is “the world’s first and only 100% wire-free, weatherproof, LTE mobile HD security camera,” while the Arlo Q is an easy add-on with a focus on nightvision, video quality (1080p), and customizable motion zones.
You can easily build your smart home system around the Arlo Pro cameras. Check out our take on Smart Home Starter Kits.
The Blink XT offers Blink Home Security, a comprehensive home security suite that does a decent amount more than Arlo’s extra cameras. Expand your home’s security functionality with great additions like a Smart Entry Keypad, cellular and battery backup, entry sensors, water sensors, and more!
It generally seems that out of the two, the Blink XT supports a more fully-featured security suite while the Arlo Pro opts for better cameras. Which aspect is more important will largely be a personal decision.
Difference #14: Smart Home Integration – When discussing smart home integration with these two models, it’s important to distinguish between the idea of a “hub” and a “voice controller”. A hub allows your devices to connect with each other for a more integrated home, while a voice controller — as the name suggests — allows you to control your products with your voice.
This is an important distinction, as the Arlo Pro features support for the SmartThings hub, IFTTT, and Amazon Echo Show, while the Blink XT features voice control only via Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, but no hubs.
Arlo Pro Blink XT Amazon Echo No Yes Amazon Echo Dot No Yes Amazon Echo Show Yes No
Though this may seem like an even trade off at first glance, the fact that Blink XT doesn’t support a hub is much more egregious. While being able to control your cameras via voice is a nice perk (“Alexa, ask Blink to arm my home system.”), the fact that the camera can’t easily integrate with the rest of your smarthome is a major drawback.
Without hub integration, you’ll be missing out on the ability to customize and tweak interconnectivity between devices and their schedules to your liking. Plus, without a hub connection, you kinda miss out on one of the benefits of having a smart home — controlling everything from one app. While that may not be an issue if you’re only using them on default settings straight out of the box, the Blink XT falls short of the Arlo Pro if you’re truly looking for an interconnected home.
Difference #15: Plans/subscriptions – Each system offers varying plans at different prices with different features.
The Arlo Pro allows you to use up to 5 cameras for free with all the features mentioned above. 10 cameras will cost you $99.99 a year while 15 will cost $149.99. The higher tier plans offer 30 days and 60 days of recordings respectively, as well as unlimited support. So for Arlo, the features come free and the number of supported cameras is tied to the subscription.
The Blink XT, on the other hand, allows up to 10 devices with no additional charges. If you’d like more comprehensive security features, however, you can opt for the $9.99 or $19.99 a month plans. These plans offer additional support for the list of products we mentioned in the system expansion difference above, while the more expensive plan features 24/7, third-party video surveillance monitoring.
Knowing that someone is constantly on alert to protect your home is a big plus with the Blink plan, but the fact that some features are pay-to-play feels off. And it’s the same with the Arlo Pro, but for number of cameras supported.
Storage is one thing, but cameras (Arlo) and features (Blink)? C’mon guys.
Difference #16: Price – While it may start to seem like this showdown is rather one-sided in favor of the Arlo Pro, it’s important to note the discrepancy in price.
Everything in this comparison and review should be taken with a grain of salt and looked at with the knowledge that there’s a significant price discrepancy between the two models. The fact that you can get two Blink cameras for nearly the price of Arlo’s one is a major consideration to take into account.
Arlo Pro vs. Blink XT — Comparison Table
|Arlo Pro||Blink XT|
|Video quality||720p||720p |
Capable of 1080p
|Base Station?||Yes, Arlo Base Station||Yes, Blink Sync Module|
|Number of cameras supported (per base station)||15||10|
|Requirements||1 Mbps internet upstream speed (recommended); |
available port on router
|2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi network; |
minimum 2 Mbit/sec upload speed
|Local Storage||USB Backup (not included)||No|
|Cloud storage||Yes, 7 days of secure cloud DVR||Yes, free cloud storage for up to two hours of clips|
|Records in color||Yes||Yes|
|Motion Detection Recording||Yes||Yes|
|Remote viewing||App and web||App only|
|System app||Arlo app||Blink app|
|Camera Size||3.1 x 1.9 x 2.8 in||2.8″ x 2.8″ x 1.3″|
|Wireless||Wired or Wireless||Wired or Wireless|
|Color||White, skins available||Black, skins available|
|Frames-per-second||30fps||7.5 – 30 (low light – good lighting)|
|Power supply||Battery, rechargeable lithium ion or MicroUSB + Power Adapter||2 AA Lithium Batteries or MicroUSB + Power Adapter|
|Push-to-talk, speaker capability||Yes||No|
|Siren||100+ decibel siren on Arlo Pro base station||Blink Siren (hasn’t been released yet)|
|Night vision distance||Up to 25ft||N/A|
|Operating temperature||-4° to 113° F||-4° to 113° F|
|Zoom length||Digital pan |
8x digital zoom
|Wink Hub 2||Yes, but it’s buggy||No|
|Wink Hub||Yes, but it’s buggy||No|
|Lutron Pro||Via IFTTT||No|
|Amazon Alexa||Only Echo Show||Only Echo and Echo Dot|
|Price for a 2-Camera Kit||$349.99||$229.99|
Arlo Pro vs. Blink XT — Our Thoughts
There’s no denying that the ever-evolving world of smart technology can quickly get confusing. Hopefully this no-nonsense comparison has helped you understand the differences between these two security camera models. Whether you go for the Arlo Pro with premium features, or the Blink XT at a more affordable price, you’ll end up with more peace of mind and a much safer home.