Blink Mini Review
Pros: Inexpensive, 1080p video, night vision
Cons: No local storage, requires a subscription, poor video and sound quality
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|Pros||Inexpensive, 1080p video, night vision||Inexpensive, most features available without subscription, color night vision||Vertical/horizontal panning, color night vision, no subscription required||Great audio and video quality, color night vision, in/outdoor rated||Sufficient live and download video quality, good onboard microphone|
|Cons||No local storage, requires a subscription, poor video and sound quality||Plug-in power source, no remote panning, no backup battery||Indoor use only, no back-up battery, so-so sound quality||No local data storage, requires paid subscription to record, battery power only||Poor night vision, relatively slow frame rate, no onboard speaker|
|Bottom Line||This camera performed poorly across the board and requires a subscription to boot — it's not worth the money||A high-performance camera at a low price that allows access to most of its features without a subscription||A top-performing, remote panning camera at a low price with no hidden charges||Good camera if you don't mind having to pay for a monthly/yearly subscription||An all-around decent quality camera that cuts a few corners to keep the price low|
|Rating Categories||Blink Mini||Wyze Cam v3||Wyze Cam Pan v2||Ring Stick Up Cam B...||YI 1080p Home|
|Recorded Video Quality (35%)|
|Monitoring Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Specs||Blink Mini||Wyze Cam v3||Wyze Cam Pan v2||Ring Stick Up Cam B...||YI 1080p Home|
|Camera Type (Indoor or Outdoor)||Indoor Only||Indoor and Outdoor||Indoor Only||Indoor and Outdoor||Indoor Only|
|WiFi Type||2.4 GHz
|Encryption Types||AES||AES 128-bit||AES 128-bit||TKIP, AES, TKIP + AES||Yes, type N/A|
|Wired or Battery||Wired||Wired||Wired||Battery||Wired|
|Smart Device Compatability||Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa
|Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Blink Mini is a subpar camera even when considering its low cost. The camera has poor audio and video quality, limited alerts and features, terrible night vision, and you have to have a subscription to record and store data. We recommend looking at the higher-ranking products in our review instead.
Recorded Video Quality
The Blink Mini has extremely poor recorded video quality despite claiming 1080p resolution. The video is easily overexposed in bright light resulting in a whitewash effect. We struggled to make out facial features, too. Additionally, blurring occurred whenever the in-frame subject was moving at a decent rate of speed. Finally, there is a paywall for recording. Given the limitations of the Mini, it's no surprise that its evaluation scored far below average.
The Mini claims to have night vision functionality. However, we found it to be pretty ineffective. The background tends to be blurry, and the subject's facial features are not as clear as we would have liked. The camera also produced an eerie glowing eye effect when subjects looked directly at the camera. Lastly, the camera has a fairly narrow field of view at just 110 degrees.
The Blink Mini did even worse in the monitoring performance assessment, garnering one of the lowest scores in the class. The camera has a latency of ~1.8 seconds between real events and their appearance on screen. While the video isn't too bad, the sound is terrible. Voices were very difficult to discern due to the amount of feedback that rendered speech fuzzy and staticky.
Another issue we encountered with the Mini is its continuous monitoring — or lack thereof. When trying to watch a live feed as you would do with children, pets, or workers in your home, the Blink only allows you to watch for 30 seconds at a time. In order to continue, you have to select "continue" in the app and repeat that action every 30 seconds. As if that wasn't annoying enough, the camera lacks an alarm despite having an onboard speaker.
Ease of Use
Most cameras do pretty well in the ease of use analysis because they are pretty simple, to begin with, so you have to go out of your way to make them hard to use. However, the Blink Mini manages this feat by hiding its limited functionality behind a subscription paywall.
While the Mini's app is easy enough to navigate, this is largely the result of it not having much to offer users. There is only one type of alert that can be set up (motion), and aside from that, you can turn the camera on and off. The camera lacks local storage unless you buy a separate base to accomplish this basic task, and you can't record any videos without paying to do so. The camera does come with a stand attachment and hardware if you want to mount it to the wall.
Despite this camera's low cost, we do not find it to be a good deal. The camera has minimal functionality as well as a paywall to unlock basic features. As such, we deem this camera to be of poor value.
The Blink Mini is an all-around low-grade camera. Compared to other models in the class at the same price point, its performance is dismal. We struggle to find anything redeeming about this product and strongly suggest looking at the higher-performing products in our review.
— Nick Miley
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