Anyone looking for a video doorbell for their smart home has one more option: The Amazon subsidiary Blink now also combines a WLAN security camera with a doorbell function. For the comparatively low price of 60 euros, the hybrid device films in full HD, sends a message if someone rings the doorbell and allows newcomers to be contacted via the intercom. Unlike widespread, the videos can not only be stored in the manufacturer’s cloud, but also locally. The latter, however, requires storage hardware that will appear next year at the earliest.
Operation with battery or power cord
When the Blink Video Doorbell itself will appear, the manufacturer has not yet announced at an Amazon event. With the features announced there in addition to the Echo Show 15 and the market launch of the Eero Pro 6, Blink probably wants to buy time because its own product is not ready in time for the dark season. Interested parties can now choose between many smart video doorbells from Arlo, Eufy, Google, Netatmo and Ring. In terms of functionality, Blink’s range can certainly keep up.
It offers a free choice of installation method. It can be operated wirelessly or wired. In the former case, two AA lithium batteries should provide a runtime of up to two years. When connected to the existing doorbell wiring, the Blink Video Doorbell also triggers the in-house doorbell. According to Blink, the video doorbell is “weatherproof”. However, the manufacturer does not name an IP protection class.
The built-in camera films the entrance to the house in 1080p. At night or when there is little light, it switches to infrared mode. If someone is at the front door, the Blink app sounds an alarm via push message. A push of a button on the bell is not necessary. A recognized movement is sufficient as a trigger. Using two-way audio, it is then possible to have a conversation in picture and sound without having to come directly to the door.
Live access and local storage with Sync-Station
Without a specific reason, the current camera image can only be called up in certain scenarios. This option is always available if the Blink Video Doorbell is installed using a wired connection. If you operate it exclusively on battery, you have to store the video files on external storage hardware called Blink Sync Module 2 instead, in order to be able to link to the live feed.
If you want to watch video snippets not only after an alarm but also later, you need the cloud or storage hardware from Blink. The manufacturer’s cloud is used as standard to save video clips for a longer period of time. This requires a paid subscription of 3 euros per month or 30 euros per year. These running costs do not apply if the Blink Sync Module 2 with a connected USB memory stick is used instead. The station costs 35 euros and, according to Blink, will hit the German market in 2022. Regardless of the storage location, the Blink Video Doorbell requires a personal user account to operate. So it doesn’t work entirely without the cloud.
Get along with Alexa
As part of the Amazon group, Blink adjusts its own technology to the Alexa ecosystem. Matching echo and fire TV devices as well as fire tablets can be used as alarm transmitters, loudspeakers and video displays for notifications and video connections to the smart doorbell.
Restrictions also apply to battery operation: All functions can only be used if the Video Doorbell is coupled with a Blink Sync Module 2 or installed by cable, i.e. streaming live videos and two-way audio on a compatible Alexa device for no reason use.
Floodlights and solar panels for security cameras
The Blink Video Doorbell is the manufacturer’s first model in this product category. So far, he has focused on WLAN security cameras that are used outside and inside the house entrance. For this purpose, Blink presented two additional accessory options as part of the Amazon event.
A frame with battery-operated 700 lumen LED lights adds a floodlight mode to suitable outdoor cameras, which can be activated when there is movement. Furthermore, a new solar panel holder can continuously supply outdoor cameras with solar energy so that they are not dependent on batteries or the house electricity network. Both accessories will appear in the course of the year at a price of 40 euros each.