Blink XT2 Wireless Camera: A Cheaper Arlo Pro 2

What if you could take the Arlo Pro 2 1080p cameras, run on standard AA batteries instead of proprietary, significantly lower the price of entry, and potentially have a 2-year camera charge? You’d have the new Blink XT2! At least that’s the Blink sales pitch — and it could be close.

Amazon-owned Blink announced the new indoor/outdoor Blink XT2 camera back in early May, the successor to the XT. The XT2 has now been released and is available for purchase and I was able to snag one at our local Best Buy. I’ve never used the Blink camera system, so this is installation and configuration feedback of their newest camera from a first-time user vs a full-on Blink XT2 review.

Packaging for the Blink XT camera is minimal. It comes in a compact box containing the camera, Blink Sync module, mounting hardware, and power cables. Setup consists of using the Blink app to connect the Sync module to your WiFi network by scanning a QR code and then the app asking it to join my current network. The Sync module required a firmware update to allow the new XT2 to connect. What’s nice about the Blink system is that the Sync module can be used by any of the Blink cameras.

After the Sync module connected to my network, I was able to add the XT2 camera by using the same QR scanning method. Both the Sync module and the XT2 camera connected without issue. It seems that they both use a wireless network as eero informed me that 2 devices connected. Once the XT2 was connected, I was able to start a live stream immediately to the camera from my iPhone. Connection took about 5 seconds to start which is not bad. If I selected a notification from the Blink app, the app opened immediately to that video and it was very fast.

After adding the camera, I started to dig into the different settings. When looking at the XT2 settings, there is a lot to digest.  Starting from the top of the monitoring section, you can look at your battery status. There is not a lot there, and we’ll see how long the batteries last over time… including winter. Related, the XT2 also shows the temperature. Selecting the temp, you can then actually set alerts based on heat and cold which is kind of cool, especially if using this as an indoor camera.

Next is the motion detection section. You are able to enable or disable from here. You can also specify activity zones which allows the XT2 to only record based upon the zones you select. The app also allows you to set a retrigger time, sensitivity, and clip length, and video quality. Adjusting any of these can affect the battery life of the camera itself and the app notifies you of this.  Testing the motion, the camera was very responsive at the mid setting (5 of 10). Once the camera detects motion, a blue LED will light up indicating that it is recording.

One other nice feature is scheduling. From the main page, you can select your residence and a drop down will appear to allow for scheduling arm and disarm periods. But I’d like to see Blink also add native arm/disarm via geolocation. This can be accomplished via IFTTT, but I’d rather have it directly from the app.

Overall, I’m impressed with the Blink XT2 system. Having used multiple security cameras over the years, this was by far one of the easiest to setup with no issues. What’s also nice is that there is already a skill for Alexa so connecting your Blink account allows you to stream a camera feed to an Echo device.

I did notice at the top of the main screen of the app a “crime alert” section. Clicking this actually opens up the Ring app (also owned by Amazon). I suspect that if I didn’t have the Ring app installed, and only the Neighbors app, it would have opened that instead. Tt’d be nice to be able to hide this section, but there’s no option. And it leaves me wondering if eventually the Blink system will just be rolled into Ring.

13 thoughts on “Blink XT2 Wireless Camera: A Cheaper Arlo Pro 2”

  1. I am returning it
    Horrible Latency Time
    Once I got an Alert, the guy at the Door already left, so impossible to talk to him if you want to !!!!!

  2. Hi Marcelo,
    There is a small delay for notification (about 5-7 seconds), but clicking on the notification takes me directly to the video. Not sure how your network is setup, but the XT2 is very responsive for me.

  3. Nice write up and video. Thanks. I’ve already got my house outfitted with Arlos (although old ones, two Gen 1 and 1 Arlo pro). Do you see this as a compelling upgrade over those?

  4. Marcelo, battery-powered cams will also have more latency than hardwired. Is there something working better for you?

    Scarymike, Adam’s on the road so I’ll take a stab at this. If what you have is working and you’re satisfied, leave it be. That’s a general policy. :)

  5. Marcelo, I’ve had this happen with my Ring Doorbell pro also. Often depends on where you are. If I’m home and on my network, the latency is not bad. If I’m in my cell network, there is more latency. If I’m I’m my office, my cell network takes forever, so almost will never be able to communicate with anyone through my cameras or Ring.

  6. The problem with Arlo is that all cameras get armed or disarmed together.

    With Blink scheduling can I enable motion detection scheduling independently for each camera?

  7. I did my own testing on a few factors between Arlo, Ring, and Blink.
    I did a close up nighttime test with all three sitting side by side. The Blink had the best picture with no white washout, then ring and then Arlo.
    Then i took all three to end of my porch and did the same test for distance.
    The Arlo couldn’t even see my fence.
    With the ring i could see there was a fence but make it out clearly.
    The Blink i could see all my yard and all the fence.
    So nighttime the Blink was clear winner.
    Battery life the Blink was the worst. It said months on battery but i was lucky to get over a month.
    All three have a delay but Blink was the quickest. This is Blink one not the new one.
    Ring had the best setup as there is no module to connect too. Just connect to your existing wifi. I added the Orbi mesh (not true mesh) with satellites to cover the entire house and each ring camera connects to the closest sattelite Orbi.
    The Arlo module upstairs connected to the wifi just didnt have the range from end to end to make it back to module. (Base station)
    The blink is also limited due to the module needed.
    I sold the Arlo pro2 system and bought more Ring cameras due to solar panels and wifi connection.
    I still have the blink and may get another one to cover one more area but i wish they would do away with module and add solar panels instead of battery life.

  8. Exciting prospect for my initial system. However, battery life issues could cause me to look elsewhere. There should be a hard wire power supply option.

  9. Order the blink XT2 camera received it followed the instructions it never could find my Wi-Fi .I have three other blink
    cameras they work perfect, all through the winter this new XT 2 camera was nothing but a headache so I called Blink they are sending me out another one we will see what happens.

  10. Regardless of the lag time if the camera is in motion capture mode and recording you can’t get to live view and talk without first turning off capture mode. Just merge with Ring already!

  11. I’ve used the Blink camera system for a half year and been pretty happy with it. Sure, it’s not a huge professional system. But it’s the only one that is completely wireless. If you need a pro system, you have to spend a lot more money.
    I did a video about the new XT2 camera and the system overall:
    https://youtu.be/-CFZ_NjeEc8

  12. I have four Blink XT cameras in my back yard with no issues with Wi-Fi coverage at all. Bought the new and improved Blink XT 2 and using it for front door entrance as a stand alone camera, being much closer to Wi-Fi. Coverage is lousy to say the least. Will be using another alternative. The upgrade is not worth the money.

Leave a Comment