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Blink Mini Review: A Low-Cost Camera With Pan-Tilt Mount Now Available

Available in black or white, Amazon's Blink Mini sports many features for a reasonable price.

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Megan Wollerton David Anders
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Megan Wollerton Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton covers renewable energy, climate change and other environmental topics for CNET. Before starting at CNET in 2013, she wrote for NBC Universal's DVICE (now SYFY). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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David Anders Senior Writer

David Anders is a senior writer for CNET covering broadband providers, smart home devices and security products. Prior to joining CNET, David built his industry expertise writing for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. In his 5 plus years covering broadband, David's work has been referenced by a variety of sources including ArcGIS, DIRECTV and more. David is from and currently resides in the Charlotte area with his wife, son and two cats.

3 min read

At $35, the Blink Mini cam is one of the most affordable home security cameras to date. In addition to its reasonable price, this power adapter-tethered indoor cam has decent features and performance, but it's missing free cloud storage aside from a free 30-day Blink Subscription Plan. 

Like

  • Good price
  • Solid performance

Don't like

  • No free cloud storage

That makes the Blink Mini a fine choice if you don't mind paying a few bucks per month for cloud storage. Another initial drawback to the camera was the fixed position view, but full 360 pan and tilt is now available with the addition of a $30 Pan-Tilt Mount. The camera and mount accessory are currently available for $60, a $5 savings versus purchasing them separately.

The Blink Mini has a reliable 1080p HD live video feed, responsive motion alerts and two-way talk that was perfectly clear when my husband and I tested it out on day 3,982 of our home quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic

It also has motion-detection zones that successfully blocked out motion activity in the areas I designated and an extensive settings section in the Blink app with lots of customizability. Some of your options include adjusting the length of the recorded clips, customizing the intensity of the infrared LEDs for night vision -- and adjusting the sensitivity of the motion sensor. 

Smart device compatibility, Blink app and video storage

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You can adjust a number of settings in the Blink app to suit your home setup. 

Screenshot by CNET

This camera is supposed to work with Alexa-enabled smart speakers and displays, but I didn't test the display because we don't have any smart displays. In theory, you should be able to use a smart display to view a Blink Mini's live feed or saved clips -- but we confirmed you can use a smart speaker to arm and disarm the camera for motion detection. The Blink Mini doesn't support Google Assistant or Siri via Apple HomeKit

As you can see in the screen shot, the Blink app allows you to set Activity Zones to monitor, adjust the alert sensitivity and set to automatically switch between day and night views. The app is available on Apple and Android devices.

If you want cloud video storage on your Blink camera, you can opt in for a free, 30-day Blink Subscription. After that, you'll have to chose between no cloud service and paying for the subscription plan, starting at $3 a month (or $30 a year).

Pan-Tilt Mount accessory now available

Amazon Blink Mini Pan Tilt security camera
Screenshot/CNET

The Blink Mini comes with a little stand for placing it atop a shelf or counter, plus a couple screws if you want to mount it a wall or ceiling. Once it's set in place, you'll have a fixed view of the direction is facing. You can zoom and set Activity Zones to pay closer attention to specific spots, but there is no pan or tilt functionality. 

If you want to be able to pan or tilt the view on your Blink Mini, the Blink Mini Pan-Tilt Mount will help with that. The new accessory, now on sale for $30, upgrades you camera with full 360 view capabilities. 

It also complements the Blink Mini's design and -- what I consider best of all after testing a series of indoor cameras -- there's no swiping (and swiping and swiping) to move the view. The app features an up/down/left/right pad so you can press the direction you want the camera to move without swiping.

Overall, the Blink Mini is a fine camera that delivers on expectations, especially for its low price. It'd be nice if the camera came with ongoing free cloud storage and pan or tilt functionality, but those drawbacks can be overcome with a Blink Subscription and the new Pan-Tilt Mount. 

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Watch this: How to choose the right outdoor security camera for you
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7.2

Blink Mini

Score Breakdown

Features 7Usability 7Design 7Performance 8
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