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Blink Outdoor 5 Cam kit bundle with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) review

Blink Outdoor 5 Cam kit bundle with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) review
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Does Blink camera pair with Amazon Echo Show 5? A wireless, battery-powered outdoor camera with an IP65 weather rating, this camera lasts up to two years on one set of AA lithium-ion batteries and records based on motion for up to 60 seconds. It features 1080p Full HD video, night vision, customizable motion-based recording, two-way audio, and live view through the Blink app. It requires a Blink Sync Module 2 to operate, which comes with the camera. Find more in Blink Outdoor 5 Cam kit bundle with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) review.

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In the box

  • Blink Outdoor camera with Echo Show 5
  • Mounting hardware
  • Sync Module 2
  • Camera tool
  • USB cable
  • Power adapter
  • Four AA Energizer batteries

Pros & Cons

FOR

  • Local storage option
  • Records good quality audio and video
  • Long battery life
  • Works with Alexa and IFTTT
  • Sharp 1080p video
  • Local and cloud storage
  • Easy to install

AGAINST

  • No free cloud storage option beyond initial trial
  • No person/package detection
  • Requires a hub
  • Doesn’t support HomeKit or Google Assistant

Specs – Blink Outdoor 5 Cam kit bundle with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)

  • Connectivity Wi-Fi
  • Integration Amazon Alexa, IFTTT
  • Notifications Push
  • Field of View 110 degrees
  • Two-Way Audio Yes
  • Mechanical Pan/Tilt No
  • Night Vision Yes
  • Alarm No
  • Wire-free design
  • IP65 weather rating
  • -4º to 113º F (-20° to 45° C) operating temperature
  • 110º field of vision
  • 2-year battery life
  • AA battery-powered
  • Cloud storage and local storage
  • 1080p HD resolution with 30 fps
  • Night vision
  • Adjustable motion zones
  • Up to two privacy zones
  • Amazon Alexa integration
  • 2.4 GHz network compatibility

Price

The Blink Outdoor camera first went on sale in the fall of 2020, when this review was originally published. An individual camera plus its base station costs $99.99. If you want more than one camera, a two-camera kit costs $179.99, a three-camera kit is $249.99, and a five-camera kit is $329.99. Add-on cameras are $89 each. 

Blink Outdoor 5 Cam kit bundle with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) review

Build

The camera itself feels sturdy and well-made, while its weatherproof design promises to fend off downpours (though it’s not rated for underwater submersion). During our few weeks’ worth of testing, the Blink Outdoor comfortably shrugged off some of the biggest British summer downpours we’ve ever seen, filling us with confidence in its outdoor durability. 

Design

The Blink Outdoor system comes with a small 2.7-by-2.7-by-1.2-inch (HWD) camera and an even smaller 0.7-by-2.3-by-2.5 inch Sync Module (hub) that connects to your home Wi-Fi network. The camera is black, has an IP65 weather-resistance rating, and is powered by two AA batteries.

Camera

The camera offers video motion detection and captures 1080p footage at 30fps. It has a 110-degree field of view and uses an infrared LED for black-and-white night video, and it contains a speaker and microphone for two-way audio and a temperature sensor. A pair of status LEDs on the front of the enclosure let you know when the camera is active and when night vision is enabled.

Apps

The Blink Outdoor uses the Blink Home Monitor mobile app for Android, Fire OS, and iOS devices. It opens to a home screen with panels for each installed camera. Each panel contains a still image of the camera’s field of view and has a button for taking a snapshot and a button for launching a live stream. You can view the live stream in full-screen mode by turning your phone sideways, and initiate two-way talk by pressing the Talk button. A motion icon appears in the upper right corner when motion detection is enabled, and next to that is a settings button.

Good image quality

The Blink Outdoor records in 1080p HD resolution, which is high enough to show you crisp details on your neighbor’s shirt or the expressions on your kids’ faces. Its night vision, on the other hand, is not so great.

This camera has a bad habit of washing out faces in night vision mode, so you can’t tell your spouse from a burglar. The Blink Outdoor’s night vision also doesn’t stretch very far. Everything starts to look extra fuzzy when it’s more than about 10 feet away from the camera.

Good two-way audio

Two-way audio lets you talk to people in your yard and hear what they say back to you. The Blink Outdoor’s two-way audio is decent—it doesn’t sound like a robot is speaking to you through a tin can.

But, if it’s windy outside, the Blink Outdoor’s incoming audio suffers. This camera doesn’t have noise cancellation, so you’ll hear every gust of the wind running across the microphone.

Motion detection sensitivity

We kept getting alerts when there were particularly strong gusts of wind, which was annoying and unnecessary. But wait; once we looked deeper into the Blink Home app, we found that we could adjust the motion detectors’ sensitivity so we could avoid these types of alerts, which worked well. Since the camera lacks person detection, this was a decent way to make our notifications matter more, although we still wish the camera could tell people apart from moving inanimate objects or animals.

Blink cloud storage

If you prefer to store video in the cloud, you can subscribe to one of Blink’s Cloud Storage plans. The Basic plan will cost you $3 per month or $30 per year and gives you 60 days of rolling storage for one camera. It also gives you access to Blink’s Photo Capture feature, which has the camera take a still image every hour. The images are then assembled into a short video clip, allowing you to see what transpired right before a motion-triggered event. The $10 per month/$100 per year Plus plan also offers Photo Capture and provides 60 days of rolling storage for an unlimited number of cameras.

How to setup Blink Outdoor 5 Cam kit bundle with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)?

Setting up and installing the Blink Outdoor camera was quick and painless. I downloaded the app, created an account, and followed the on-screen instructions to install the Sync Module. Using my phone’s camera, I scanned the QR code on the module, created a system name, and plugged in the module. After 15 seconds or so when the LEDs were blinking blue and solid green, I tapped Discover Device and connected the module to my Wi-Fi network. I entered my Wi-Fi password and the module was immediately connected to my network.

Blink Outdoor 5 Cam kit bundle with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) Performance review

the Blink Outdoor’s motion tracking feature works very well too. During our time away from home we used it to keep tabs on our garden, mostly using it to follow our cat’s comings and goings, letting us know he was back for the night rather than having an impromptu sleepover at a neighbor’s house. Given that our garden backs onto an alley, it was also reassuring knowing that any unauthorized entries would be automatically captured (not that there were any).

The only improvement we’d like to see is a geofence that would automatically arm or disarm the motion tracking when we’ve entered the home, to save us from having to remember to manually do this.  Also, it would be great to have person-specific motion tracking available, for people who’d prefer to be alerted only when people are detected, rather than animals and other sources of motion.

Blink Outdoor 5 Cam kit bundle with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) customer review

A decent system – Biggest plus is ease of install

I wanted to put in an easy outdoor camera system that was affordable. And this mult-camera system fit the bill when it was on sale! I have mixed emotions about the entire system. The devices themselves are great. But for every feature I like about the system, there is a system/application limitation that I don’t like.

The Good

Very small cameras, each take 2 AA Lithium batters, and pair easily to the provided hub.

They provide a mounthing bracket and an angle adapter to allow for a vertical and horizontal mount. Mounts are held in with a couple screws, and were easy to install.

Image quality is pretty good. They have a wide angle of view, and allow you to hear and talk through the live stream.

Local storage option (micro SD card) will allow you save your videos locally, and you don’t have to have their subscription service.

The timeline is pretty easy to use in the app, and it’s easy to download videos if you want to save them. Oddly enough, the app blocks taking screen shots and I’m not sure why.

Night vision is pretty good. It doesn’t see very far on infrared, but, I suspect that is due to it being battery based, and they don’t have a ton of IR transmitters on each unit.

Motion clips can vary in length, but the app warns you about batterty life if you go much beyond the default. If it’s a high traffic area. You probably want to keep them short for high-traffic areas, or plan to replace batteries more frequently.

The Bad

First, the mounts. Attaching the mount without the adapter was virtually impossible. The plastic was soo hard, and the tolerance was so tight that attaching just the mounting bracket was so hard, I am not sure I could do that when the mount was on the wall. Now, with the horizontal adapter attached, it was no problem at all. so I made sure I picked horizontal mouting locations. I understand previous versions had mounts that were too weak, so perhaps this pendulum swung too far the other way.

Where a subscription is no required (yay), they do have application limiations that push you towards the subscriptions, like, when you run out of local storage, you have to delete the videos one by one. You cannot select multiple to delete. But you can with the cloud storage. 😐

The biggest annoyance is that, where you can arm and disarm the entire system, or enable/disable individual cameras, there is no built-in capability to arm or disarm based on location, only based on a schedule. To do it, you have to use a 3rd party service called IFTTT, which seems like overkill.

The subscription plan isn’t horribly expensive, at $10/month or $100/year for an unlimited number of cameras and unlimited storage. That being said, it would be really nice if I could have just one subscription for all of my amazon-owned systems, including Bling and Ring. Or maybe if they rolled it into a Prime membership… or an add-on to Prime even.

Summary

In summary, the system as some pros and some cons, but overall, I’m pretty happy with it. My biggest goal was not to have to wire my house for cameras, and this system fits that goal really well. If you can wire everything up, there’s probably better systems to use (Amcrest, Reolink, etc.).

The biggest test will be to see how long I actually get out of battery life. My cameras range from low traffic to occasional traffic, to “higher” traffic, so, it will be interesting to see what the various battery life will be. Plus Winter is coming, which will probably affect battery performance as well.

By Dave at Best Buy

Alternate of Blink Outdoor 5 Cam kit bundle with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)

Ring Security Camera

Amazon-owned Ring initially gained popularity for its doorbell cameras, but it also sells indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, an over-the-peephole camera, and other home security equipment. We valued having the option to choose between so many cameras, including wireless and hardwired models, all at competitive prices.

Other Ring camera models include motion detection, two-way voice, and Amazon Alexa and Echo integration like the doorbell cameras. Smart integrations let us control our home alarm system with voice commands and send our security video to various in-home displays of our choice. Ring DIY monitoring costs only $2.99 per month for one camera. For $9.99 per month, professional monitoring can connect all Ring devices on an account.

What We Like
  • Wide-selection of indoor/outdoor cameras
  • Easy DIY installation takes only minutes
  • Crisp and clear HD video image quality
  • Integrates with third-party smart platforms
What We Don’t Like
  • Some Ring cams are too large
  • High-end Ring cameras are expensive
  • Ring Pro cam requires hardwiring
  • Can be prone to trigger false alarms

For most climates, the Spotlight Cam, costing $199, is one of the best weatherproof cameras for scaring off prowlers. Highlights include a motion-activated LED floodlight, a 110–decibel siren, and two-way audio. This battery-powered security camera is available in black and white. Most people can install it with just five to 10 minutes of work, and this camera’s one-year warranty allows operation from negative five to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

As for Ring door cameras, the wire-free Door View Cam, costing $199, is an exciting addition to the line. It behaves like other Ring doorbells, but users can easily install it over a peephole. In fact, our installation and connection to home Wi-Fi took only seven minutes. After setup, the camera’s motion sensor let us know via a mobile alert when someone was at our door. Ring automatically stored our video in the cloud, and we even interacted with our visitors in real-time with two-way talk.

Editor’s recommendations