I like the $100 Blink Outdoor and recommend it if you don’t already have a Blink system — and if you’re looking for a reliable, versatile outdoor camera with a long-lasting battery that doesn’t cost a fortune. That said, the last-gen Blink XT2 also cost $100 and had free cloud storage, unlike the new Blink Outdoor, which is moving over to Amazon’s Ring camera cloud model via a new Blink Subscription Plan. 

Like

  • The one-camera kit costs $100

Don’t Like

  • You have to pay for cloud storage

Customers do get a free trial of the Blink Subscription Plan through 2020, but after that, you have to decide if you want to only receive alerts and view the live feed — or if you’re fine forking over the cloud service fee to review saved clips, which will start at $3 per month. Blink has also said that existing customers with Blink accounts that were created on or before April 15, 2020 will continue to receive free cloud storage on the Blink Outdoor, Indoor and Mini cameras.  

Read more: More companies should offer free cloud storage (commentary)

The camera

The Blink Outdoor one-camera kit includes a Blink Outdoor security camera, two AA lithium batteries, a Blink Sync Module 2, charging cables and mounting hardware. A Sync Module is required for the Blink Outdoor camera to work; Blink says the module helps extend the camera’s Wi-Fi range and improves its battery life. 

If you already have a last-gen Blink system, your old Sync Module will work with the Blink Outdoor; standalone Blink Outdoor cameras cost $90. 

This Blink Outdoor is very similar to the Blink XT2, a model I’ve been testing for over a year to see how long its promised two-year batteries really lasts (so far, we’re at one year, three months). 

The main difference comes with the upcoming Blink Subscription Plan and with the Blink Sync Module 2. Unlike older Sync Modules, the new version has a USB port for local storage, an attempt to appease customers who don’t want to pay for cloud storage. 

While older Blink cameras, like the XT2, do work with the new Blink Sync Module 2, they will not support the local storage feature. (Local storage only works with the new Blink Outdoor, Indoor and Mini cameras.)

Setting up the Blink Outdoor and Sync Module 2 is simple. Download the Blink app and create an account if you don’t already have one — or login with your existing credentials. Hit the plus sign on the top right corner of the home screen and follow the instructions to connect your module and camera. It should only take about 10 minutes.

Once everything is set up in the app, you can put your camera anywhere within Wi-Fi range and start using it. There is a short delay between a motion event and the camera booting up to capture the activity (that’s a tradeoff of the camera’s low power mode to conserve battery life), but you can adjust some motion settings in the app.

You can adjust the range of your motion recordings from five to 60 seconds and the set delay between alerts from 10 to 60 seconds. Even so, I did miss the beginning of some motion activity in the saved clips due to the camera needing to boot up to record. 

This camera also works with Alexa and I was able to pull up its live feed on an Amazon Echo Show 8 with, “Alexa, show my camera.” Check out some of the other commands you can use with this camera and an Alexa-enabled smart speaker or display.

The verdict

The Blink Outdoor is a fine camera at a fine price, but I’m disappointed Blink got rid of one of the XT2’s most compelling features — free cloud storage. That said, the Blink Outdoor did retain the XT2’s decent performance and ease of use in the app. It’s a simple camera that works well and doesn’t cost a ton of money, although the Wyze Cam Outdoor does even more for only $50.

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