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Blink XT Smart Home Security Camera System Review

by LaurettaCWright
Blink XT Smart Home Security Camera System Review

There was a very good reason for deciding to do a Blink XT Smart Home Security Camera System Review.

I had been lusting after a smart home security system for a while now – something that I could just tap into on my smartphone to check that everything is as it should be. 

But more than that, there was another reason for me wanting to get a camera…

Our house doesn’t consist of open-plan living. We have a separate lounge area where we relax (and watch the TV) and a separate kitchen area. Every morning I wake the kids and after they’ve got dressed they normally head to the lounge ready to be called in for breakfast. Most of the time, I have no idea what they’re doing – if they’re watching TV, playing on their phones or iPads or winding each other up, which is the norm.

In the early evening it’s worse. While I’m preparing dinner, all I can hear from the other room are shouts, screams and protests, usually followed by “I’m telling mum!” – and of course, the occasional bouts of tears.

Now, you try cooking a family meal for four while acting as a mediator between a tween and a teen that don’t get on 90% of the time. It’s exhausting, it’s frustrating and it’s exasperating!

So while VIP hasn’t arrived home from work to help me, I’m in desperate need of a third eye to watch what's going on, so that when the accusations start flooding in, I know exactly who is in the wrong and where blame should lie.

So, I decided to give Blink’s Smart Home Security Camera System a try to help me monitor the kid situation – with just a few taps on my mobile.

The Blink XT 1 Camera System

So here’s a run down of what is included in the 1 Camera System Box and what specifications Blink’s Smart Home Security Camera System has.

The Blink 1 Camera System includes:
Sync Module Box:

  • 1 Sync Module
  • 1 USB cable
  • 1 power adapter

Camera Box(es):

  • 1 Blink camera
  • 2 AA 1.5v lithium batteries
  • 1 mounting kit (consists of a mounting bracket and a mounting screw)

First of all, you will need either: an iOS mobile device with a software version of 10 or higher; an Android mobile device, running the software version 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher; a Fire OS mobile device, running software version 5.0 or higher; and a valid email address.

The reason you need the email address is in case you need to reset the password or to notify blink of any issues (plus you need to confirm your account within 24 hours when first setting up).

You will also need a Wi-Fi network (name and password) and high speed Internet connection (DSL, Cable, Fiber) to set up the Blink XT Smart Home Security Camera system.

Blink XT is capable of recording up to 1080p, meaning it offers super clear images and video quality. It also records audio (an absolute godsend for me!)

Blink XT Smart Home Security Camera System Review

Once it’s set up, the camera is accessed via a mobile app, which can handily be downloaded on more than one phone so the whole household can see what’s going on (well, the parents/carers can anyway!)

You can use the system indoors or outdoors and, as I found out, it was really simple to set up – you just follow the instructions in the small booklet provided with the box set.

The Blink XT Camera System is wireless (hallelujah!) and the cameras are easy to install. I just popped mine on a shelf, but you can also mount them on a wall, which I guess is particularly useful if you are putting it up outdoors.

When the device detects motion, it sends a push notification alert and a HD quality video straight to your smartphone, which can record for up to 60 seconds.

While I’m using it to spy on my kids, I turn off the motion detection as my phone would be constantly sending me alerts, but this is a really useful feature if you are relying on the Blink XT security camera to protect your home from intruders.

The system can also be accessed remotely and watched from anywhere – this is really handy for me if I’m out and I want to check if my son got home from school – he usually heads straight for the lounge to chill out!

I can opt to receive a notification to my phone (for things like motion, temperature changes, low battery and offline modes) and I can adjust the settings within the app, such as motion detection settings – retrigger time (how long it waits to re-notify you after the previous trigger notification), sensitivity settings (for motion detection), clip length plus audio and video settings.

Setting up the Blink XT 1 Camera System

When I’m setting up any sort of tech or gadgets I usually leave it in the capable hands of VIP to set up. However, as the box stated it was ‘Simple Installation’ – and the fact that I wanted to get it up and running before the kids got home from school, I decided to give it a go.

First of all, I downloaded the Blink app and fitted the supplied batteries into the camera. You can also charge up the USB pack if you don’t want to rely on batteries, but given that the batteries were said to last up to two years, I thought I’d rely on them to get the job done.

I then connected my Sync Module (the lights flash on the front to show that you’ve done this correctly) and then add the camera, following the instructions on the app (which included me scanning the QR code on the back of the device) for speedy installation.

It was really straightforward to set up (if you have any problems you can also contact support through the app or via the company's site.

Once my iPhone and the Blink camera system were paired, I could start to use it straight away.

Before the kids got home, I played around with it to get used to it on my phone (and make sure the device was in a good position for capturing what the kids got up to without it being obvious).

Blink XT Smart Home Security Camera System Review

The Blink XT Test

Having set up the camera and knowing exactly how it worked (you can take a still picture using your phone or can go in to the live feed to see what’s going on), I was willing the day to go quickly so I could get the kids home and start my observations!

They both went into the lounge while dinner was cooking and I started to watch them – and would you believe it, for the first 20 minutes, they didn’t argue once! It’s always the way, right?!

However, after they’d eaten and while I was sitting in the office doing some work, I heard raised voices coming from the lounge. I quickly tapped into the Blink app and watched what was going on.

Name calling – that’s what was going on – names like ‘chipmonk’ and ‘moron’ were being branded around and I got to see the instigator of the arguments – as I suspected, it was my son.

I watched as he threw one of my cushions at my daughter and it took everything not to go in there and tell him off. This was fascinating viewing and I didn’t want them knowing that I was secretly spying on them – not yet anyway!

I heard him say to my 11-year old “You just said the word ‘shit’, that’s not very nice” – perhaps the one thing he got right all evening!

Later on that evening, I asked him not to throw my cushions around. His response was “she threw it first”. She didn’t as I’d been watching, but he clearly felt that it was okay to try and pin the blame on someone else.

“I was watching Luis and she didn’t throw it first” I told him.

“What do you mean?” he asked. Fearing that I had started to arouse suspicion, I told him that I was watching him through the door (luckily the top half of our doors are made of glass!) and he believed me. Phew.

Blink's Smart Home Security System: Overall impressions 

The Blink XT Smart Home Security Camera System really saved the day. I can confidently leave the kids alone together in the lounge knowing that I can keep an eye on things when they get heated.

The only change I’d make would be to make the live feed a longer time. Currently, the live feed gives you 60 seconds to view it, after which a button pops up on the screen asking if you want to continue. So, every 60 seconds you have to tap ‘continue’ to carry on watching.

Having said that, arguments escalate pretty quickly chez Wright, so 60 seconds is usually long enough for me to make out what is going on – and if it’s not, I just click on ‘continue’ watching. The reason it does this is to save space on recording the feed – to watch as evidence later!

What I liked most about the camera was that it was really quick to access via my phone, there is no contract that you have to sign up to and it’s all wire free, meaning that I can easily move the camera from room to room.

And while I’m working at home during the day, I point the camera out of the window so it’s facing the front door. When the doorbell rings I can check who’s there – and whether it’s worth opening the door.

At the time of writing, the kids still don’t know I’ve got a secret weapon to spy on them – and long may that continue. And even though the device lights up with a green light when you’ve tapped into the live feed, they are too engrossed in the TV or their screens to notice it! Plus there is also the option to disable the blue recording indicator light.

The only thing is, sometimes they go upstairs to play in their rooms, so I might need to add on more cameras to the system (you can add up to 10 cameras per sync module) to keep an eye on them up there. Or maybe that’s just a step too far…after all, we all need our privacy don’t we?!

And something I learned just recently is that Blink integrates with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices including Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap. This is music to my ears as it now gives me the option of controlling my Blink system using my voice alone – really handy when I’m up to my eyeballs in washing up!

The Blink XT Home Security Camera System costs from £129.99 and is available online from Amazon.

*I was gifted the 1 Camera System from Blink in return for an honest review.

Now watch both BLINK XT and my kids in action…(and see how they misbehave!)

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A Pin For Your Home Board

I review the Blink XT Smart Home Security Camera System to see if it's any good at spying on my kids!

27 comments

noman 2nd January 2020 - 5:37 pm

Hi there.i was searching on the Best Security Camera Systems For Home and i found your site. very nice site..very nice site design and layout.information is very useful. The author has done very good research in writing.it helped me a lot.thanks for writing.keep up good work.

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Elizabeth Morgan 12th March 2019 - 11:31 am

Wonderful review for your home and office security devices. A helpful article you share. When I travel remote from home active these fabulous devices for home security.

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Smartwatch 26th February 2019 - 3:35 pm

Hiya!
Lauretta,

Very nice article published on your “HOMEANDHORIZON” Internet site. You really wrote well concerning Blink Xt Smart Home Security Camera System Review. Thank you again for the well crafted post…. I’m ready to do this thing!

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Lan 21st December 2018 - 12:44 pm

I love to spy on my kids too. You have put a lot of great ideas in my head 😉
Thank you, Lan

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LaurettaCWright 21st December 2018 - 12:59 pm

Ha ha – thanks Lan – glad I inspired you! 🙂

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Louis Wood 8th December 2018 - 3:29 pm

Once you get hooked on security cameras it hard to go back. If you start adding multiple cameras consider going with PoE hardwired cameras to keep the video traffic off your WiFi network, noone wants their netflix to suffer 🙂

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LaurettaCWright 8th December 2018 - 10:30 pm

That’s good to know – thanks Louis!

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Victoria 1st December 2018 - 9:08 am

I would love to have one of these to spy on our cat when we are out or in bed. He is such a mischievous little thing. £129 is quite reasonable too.
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LaurettaCWright 1st December 2018 - 4:39 pm

Thanks Victoria – I think pet owners would enjoy spying on their four-legged friends!

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Anosa 30th November 2018 - 11:57 pm

Being able to see everything happening in your home from the comfort of your phone is very appealing.

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Kelly Meaker 30th November 2018 - 7:19 pm

What a fantastic way of keeping a sneaky eye on your kids! I’m always wondering what she gets up to when I choose to sit out in the garden for a while, leaving her alone in the lounge – instead of checking on her every 5 minutes maybe this is the answer! Great review Lauretta. x

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LaurettaCWright 30th November 2018 - 8:14 pm

Ah thanks Kelly – this could well be the answer to get a bit of peace and quiet! ha ha.

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Sally Akins 28th November 2018 - 9:21 pm

What a brilliant idea, I’d never thought of using a security camera like this and it sounds like it’s pretty easy to use too.

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LaurettaCWright 29th November 2018 - 12:06 pm

Ha ha! I was being a bit sneaky wasn’t I Sally? But I thought that while I wasn’t being burgled, I’ll put it to good use!

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Kirsty 28th November 2018 - 6:43 pm

I love how the system is easy to set up as technology can be a bit of a nightmare at first. It’s great that you can watch through your phone and keep an eye on the kids when you’re in a different room! Hopefully your son will soon learn that mum always knows what going on even if it’s with the help of the camera system!
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LaurettaCWright 29th November 2018 - 12:07 pm

I think he’ll be a tad annoyed with me once he finds out I’ve done this. And even more so when I’ve put it on YouTube! But there you go – hopefully his annoyance with me will be short-lived!

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Kacie Morgan 28th November 2018 - 12:27 pm

This must help to give you great peace of mind when you’re not at home.

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LaurettaCWright 29th November 2018 - 12:07 pm

Absolutely – it’s great to have something in place for when I’m out and about. The fact that you can set up alerts on your phone when it detects motion is brilliant.

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Laura Dove 27th November 2018 - 9:51 pm

Oh what a great idea! We’ve had a few break in’s locally to us lately and it’s left me feeling on edge. This would be just the security I need!

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LaurettaCWright 28th November 2018 - 11:50 am

Sorry to hear that Laura – I think with gadgets being a lot more affordable these days, we should all help protect our homes and crack down on crime.

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kerry 27th November 2018 - 8:40 pm

Ohhh this looks great! I love the idea of seeing what my cat and dog get up to while I am not around. I love that its quite compact, and can be linked to the phone. Simple. Thats what I like in my gadgets! Nothing too hard to work. I like the look of this Lauretta.

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LaurettaCWright 28th November 2018 - 11:51 am

Thanks Kerry & glad you like it – I was a fan when I saw it. I’ve really enjoyed spying on the kids. In fact, another friend was saying how she’d like one to see what her dog gets up to! ha ha

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Kaz | Ickle Pickles Life and Travels 27th November 2018 - 7:15 pm

I would love one to keep an eye on my front door, it looks a great system. Kaz

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MELANIE EDJOURIAN 27th November 2018 - 5:50 pm

This sounds fantastic!!! It’ great to be able to see whose at the door isn’t it. I avoid opening mine to people unless I have too.

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LaurettaCWright 5th December 2018 - 1:14 pm

Thanks Melanie – I always open the door when it rings, but at least I can be prepared now 🙂

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Kelsey 27th November 2018 - 4:14 pm

This sounds like a great gadget for your family! My flat is open plan but I’m still interested in it to spy on my cats when I’m at work haha.

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LaurettaCWright 28th November 2018 - 11:51 am

Pets and kids – it’s a great spying machine! ha ha….thanks Kelsey! xx

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