Blink vs. Blink XT — Differences Explained

Blink vs. Blink XT

Blink had a relatively recent entrance into the smart camera market, but they’ve already built a good reputation for providing accessible, easy video monitoring for your home. Blink XT is the newest release from the brand, but it’s actually not intended to replace the original Blink— instead, acting as a supplement. There actually aren’t too many differences between the two cameras, but the differences that there are make it clear that the Blink XT is a clear upgrade.

There is a wide range of smart cameras on the market with varying levels of features, and we’d consider Blink to be middling in the benefits that it has to offer. The Blink XT has definitely upgraded the brand to be more in line with some of their competitors, but the main draw of the brand remains the more affordable pricing and solid, albeit somewhat basic, coverage.

We’ll start off by describing what the two cameras have in common, before taking a look at the differences of Blink vs. Blink XT. Read on below for a full picture of what each camera has to offer, or use the navigation bar to jump right to the aspects you care about most.

Blink vs. Blink XT — Things in Common

  • Sync Module – The Sync Module is a hub that connects your Blink wireless cameras with the cloud. You’ll be able to connect up to 10 cameras per module, at which point you can access the system from wherever you are using the home security app. The Sync Module is available in both white and black to match your decor, with only cosmetic differences between the two shades.

  • Live View – At any time, you can access an on-demand live view from your cameras using the mobile app. However, one of the biggest drawbacks to the Blink and Blink XT is the lack of any ability to record live view. This puts it a good distance behind competitors like Ring, and especially Arlo which allows live recording for no additional cost.

  • Power – One aspect that Blink touts in their marketing is the battery life of their cameras. With just 2 regular AA Lithium batteries, your Blink or Blink XT will reportedly run for 2 years on a single charge. However, some initial research reveals that you shouldn’t expect much more than a few months with those AA batteries. Add to that the fact that you only see the words “OK” for battery rather than any sort of percentage information, and it’s pretty difficult to get a feel for when you’re going to have to replace the power source.

    Thankfully, you do have the option to power your camera with a Micro-USB AC Plug which cuts down on some of the variability. It’s definitely a bit of a disappointment, however, since the battery and the “proprietary chip technology” has had a lot of fanfare around it.

  • Audio – Both the Blink and Blink XT have a mic that they can use to record sound. However, unlike some other smart cameras from competitors like Ring or Arlo, there’s no speaker. This makes two-way communication an impossibility, so don’t expect to be able to scare off any package thieves or scold your cats for eating the plants.

  • Motion Detection – Both models include basic motion detection, and you can adjust the sensitivity as needed to avoid false alarms from your pets. There are no advanced features on these models like motion zones or person detection, so you’re essentially just dealing with a camera that will activate with any activity (with a simple slider to make it more or less sensitive).

    Currently, the motion detection features are the same regardless of whether you opt for the original Blink or the Blink XT.

  • Temperature Sensor – One rather unique feature common to both the Blink and Blink XT is the inclusion of a temperature sensor. This allows you easy access to temperature information at each camera’s location, and you can also enable alerts to be instantly notified when the temperature goes outside a certain range. This is great for keeping an eye on your home while on vacation or even just out and about running errands, as it will let you know when the temperatures get too cold for your pipes or too hot for your pets.

  • WiFi – The Blink and Blink XT are only capable of communicating with 2.4 GHz WiFi. This can potentially cause network congestion issues. So, if you’re looking for dual band WIFi support, we recommend checking the all-new Ring Stick Up Cam.

  • Cloud Storage – One of the better aspects of the Blink and Blink XT is the fact that both cameras come with a free 7200 seconds of storage. Once you reach that point, new footage will record over the old. It’s not a huge amount of space, but we never complain about free stuff!

    The 7200 seconds equates to about 1440 five-second “events” which should be enough to get the gist of any activity within a month.

  • App Support – Both Blink and Blink XT feature an Android and iOS app that gives you the ability to access and control your system while away from home. Unfortunately, neither camera supports web access, so you’ll be out of luck if you were looking to view the feed from your computer.

  • Voice Control – Last but not least, both of these cameras support voice control over Amazon Alexa, which is especially useful for viewing your live feed on the Echo Show or Echo Spot.

Blink vs. Blink XT — Differences

Blink - Extras - 02

  • Difference #1: Video Quality – The first main difference when comparing Blink vs. Blink XT is the video quality. Blink records in 720p HD, while the newer Blink HD can record in 1080p — a significant upgrade. The video feed on both cameras has a solid 30 FPS in both low light and good lighting, a 110-degree field of view and H.264 video compression to ensure that your cameras don’t put too much stress on your WiFi network.

    Additionally, both cameras have different settings that will adjust the quality of the video. Blink and Blink XT have “Saver” and “Best” while the latter also has the option for “Enhanced.”

    Saver, as the name suggests, is designed to help stretch out the battery life of your cameras. This setting downgrades the quality of the video feed to 360p, but in return, the company claims you’ll get up to 2.7 years of battery life with standard use. This equates to roughly 55,000 seconds of motion clips and live view sessions.

    Best is the default option, and will record in 720p. This should give you roughly 2 years with standard use of up to 40,000 seconds of motion clips and Live View sessions.

    Enhanced, available only on the Blink XT, is a 1080p setting that should give you around 1 year of battery life with standard use of up to 20,000 seconds for motion clips and Live View sessions. Keep in mind that this quality requires at least 5mbps upload speed, so make sure that your internet is strong enough if you’re investing in Blink XT for the better video quality.

  • Difference #2: Night Vision– Both cameras are technically capable of recording at night, but there are some pretty significant differences in their capability.

    The Blink XT has infrared night vision, which allows you to maintain clear video footage day or night.

    Unfortunately, Blink doesn’t have any night vision — instead relying on a small LED illuminator to record in the dark. Quite frankly, the results of this illuminator are pretty terrible and in no way compare to the infrared that comes standard on the vast majority of smart cameras.

    If you’re looking for a camera to monitor the exterior of your home, Blink XT is the way to go, no question about it.

  • Difference #3: Weather-Resistant – Another reason that the Blink XT is the superior option for outdoor monitoring is that it’s the only option. The original Blink doesn’t have any weatherproofing, and only works with a temperature range of 32 to 95 degrees F.

    The Blink XT, on the other hand, works from -4 to 113 F.

Blink vs. Blink XT — Comparison Chart

Blink IndoorBlink XT
Video resolution720p HD1080p HD
Frames per Second7.5 – 30 (low light – good lighting)7.5 – 30 (low light – good lighting)
Video FormatH.264H.264
On-Demand Live ViewYesYes
Record Live ViewNoNo
Field of View110°110°
Power2 AA Lithium Batteries2 AA Lithium Batteries
Optional Power SourceMicro-USB AC PlugMicro-USB AC Plug
Battery Life2 months – 2 years2 months – 2 years
Two-Way AudioNo, only micNo, only mic
Motion DetectionYesYes
Built-in Temperature SensorYesYes
Motion ZonesNoNo
Person DetectionNoNo
Facial RecognitionNoNo
Sound DetectionNoNo
Night VisionNoYes
WiFi2.4 Ghz2.4 Ghz
Requires a Base StationYes, Blink Sync ModuleYes, Blink Sync Module
Max # of Cameras per Base Station1010
24/7 RecordingNoNo
Local Backup StorageNoNo
Cloud StorageFree 7,200 SecondsFree 7,200 Seconds
Review, Share, & SaveYesYes
e911 Emergency CallNoNo
Instant App AlertsYesYes
App SupportAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS
Rich NotificationsNoNo
Weather-resistantIndoor use onlyIndoor/Outdoor
LED LightsYesNo
Amazon AlexaEcho Show, Echo SpotEcho Show, Echo Spot
Google AssistantNoNo
Operating Temperature32° to 95° F-4° to 113° F
Dimension2.8 x 2.8 x 1.3 in.2.8 x 2.8 x 1.3 in.

Blink vs. Blink XT — Accessories

Blink - Accessories - Wall Mount

There are a few accessories you might want to purchase to go along with your new Blink cameras, most of which are focused around mounting.

To begin with, the Solar Panel is an excellent option to keep your battery topped off without having to charge. The life of the batteries is already pretty good, to begin with, but having a small panel to keep it powered takes an occasional hassle out of the way. An Outlet Wall Mount for the Blink Sync Module is also a great choice to free up some space on your shelves or counters.

If you’re planning on installing your Blink XT outside, the Outdoor Wall Mount Bracket is one of our favorite options for installation. Either camera would also work well with the Adjustable Gooseneck-Like Twist Mount or the Camera Wall Mount Bracket as well.

Blink vs. Blink XT — Our Thoughts

Blink XT - Extras - 02

Overall, when comparing the Blink vs. Blink XT, it’s pretty clear that the Blink XT is the superior choice. It’s an upgrade in literally every metric, although it’s newer so it’s also a little more expensive.

However, despite being one of the cheaper brands on the market, we don’t feel like Blink is affordable enough to warrant a buy when you take its specs and features into account. We strongly recommend paying just a little bit extra and upgrading to the all-new Ring Stick Up Camera for a much more impressive video monitoring solution. It’s pretty great, check it out.

Our Score:
  • Blink
  • Blink XT

Let us know what you think!

Have you noticed other differences between Blink vs. Blink XT? Feel free to add them or share your experience with the products in the comments section below. Your input can help other people make the right choice!

Last update on 2018-12-13 at 19:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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