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Blink Mini 2 review: A safer Wyze alternative

The Blink Mini, introduced in 2020, delivered 2K security video for only around $35, but it didn’t offer many smart features. That’s changing with the second generation model. The new Blink Mini 2 is still a compact, affordable camera, but it also comes with a water-resistant housing for outdoor use, incorporates a spotlight for color night vision, and even adds person recognition to allow you to customize alerts (with a subscription). Despite those additions, it’s not much more expensive, starting at $40 for the base model or $50 for a bundle that comes with a weather-resistant outdoor power cord.


Many knockoff brands have more lax security protocols. Blink encrypts data both at the connection level and while sitting in cloud storage.

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The best smart security cameras monitor your home’s interior and exterior using 3D motion alerts, night vision, and even Alexa integration.

Finding a security camera for under $50 isn’t hard to do, but many knockoff brands have more lax security protocols. Blink encrypts data both at the connection level and while sitting in cloud storage. The latter may entice former Wyze users looking to make a switch after a glitch sent footage to the wrong accounts. The added encryption and more intact reputation may sway budget smart shoppers towards the new Blink Mini 2 — though it’s worth noting sibling company Ring’s record isn’t as clean.


Blink Mini 2 Review-1920

Blink Mini 2

Great value

The Blink Mini 2 is a compact, sub-$50 security camera. Despite the price, it still includes person recognition. It can shoot indoors or outdoors with the weather-resistant power cord (sold separately). With multiple types of encryption for added security, the Mini 2 is a solid budget choice.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Versatile indoor or outdoor use
  • Wide 143-degree field of view
Cons

  • Face detection requires a subscription
  • No pet, package, or vehicle detection

Price, specs and availability

The Blink Mini 2 retails for $40, or $49.98 when paired with a weather-resistant power adapter for outdoor use. The camera is available in the US and Canada beginning March 14, 2024.

Blink Mini 2

Resolution
1080p HD video

Connectivity
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection @ 2.4GHz

Night Vision
Yes, color (with spotlight) or black and white

Field of view
143 degrees diagonal

Weather resistance
Yes, with use of the Weather Resistant Power Adapter

Dimensions
51 x 51 x 40mm

IP rating
IPX65

Blink Mini 2 Review-1920

Design

A tiny, adjustable camera

The Mini 2 is a cube-shaped wired camera. Its size sits somewhere between a golf ball and a baseball, excluding the base. Factor in the size of the white casing, and the camera isn’t going to stick out in most decor. The Mini 2 perches on top of a ball joint base that allows for quick and easy adjustment of the camera angle. That base can sit flat on a tabletop, or you can use screws to mount it onto a wall.

Blink Mini 2 Review-1918


The camera utilizes a minimalist design. Two LEDs on the front indicate when the camera is recording. A spotlight sits above the lens while an infrared sits underneath for night vision. A reset button, speaker, and port for the power cord sits at the back.

One of the biggest changes from the predecessor is that the second generation is weather-resistant with an IP65 rating. You will have to add a $10 weather-resistant power cord to use outdoors, however. I doused the camera with a cup of water, and it continued performing as expected.

Blink Mini 2 Review-1942

Software experience and performance

A simple setup, but a shorter list of features

Setting up the Mini 2 is straightforward. Inside the Blink app, you tap the plus icon, choose the Mini from the list of options, and then scan the QR code on the back of the camera. The app then walks you through the rest of the process, which is largely made up of connecting to Wi-Fi. Note that Blink supports 2.4Ghz connections only — so adjusting your router settings may be required.


Blink Mini 2 Review-app-screenshot

As a budget camera, the Mini 2’s list of features is a short one. Unlike its predecessor, Blink’s latest camera can recognize people, though this feature requires a paid subscription. For me, person detection is a must-have, otherwise I’m constantly getting pings whenever my dog or cat walks in front of the camera.

While the addition of person detection is an excellent one, the Mini 2’s list of AI detection features ends there. It can’t recognize specific faces. It also doesn’t offer pet detection, so you can’t turn person detection off to only receive notifications about your pets. It also lacks package detection.


Outside of person detection, the other options to reduce the number of unwanted alerts include limiting motion detection to just part of the camera’s view. You can also add privacy zones. The Mini 2 lacks a physical privacy detection feature. However, since capturing security footage is the singular purpose of the device — unlike, say, the Alexa Show — users can just unplug the camera for privacy.

The Mini 2 also supports local recording if you spend a bit more on par with the Blink Sync Module 2. This accessory also allows you to schedule when to arm and disarm the system — for example, turning off notifications when you typically return home from work.

Blink Mini 2 Review-screenshot

The Mini 2 uses an ultra-wide 143-degree lens that allows you to see the majority of a small room. Or, outdoors, more of your yard or driveway. The footage it captured was clear enough that I could recognize friends and family walking into the frame even from the other side of the room. Try to zoom in on a face, however, and quality falls off quickly.


The built-in light allows the Mini 2 to record color night vision. By default, the camera will use the IR light to record black and white. But if you jump into the settings and trigger the light to come on when motion is detected, you’ll get color, night vision. It’s a surprisingly bright light for such a small device and will let you see part of a room in person, not just on the recording.

The Blink Mini 2 was easy to use and had clear enough video for the cost. It’s missing many of the smart features you get on more expensive security cameras, but for $40, it offers a lot.

Privacy and security

Encryption in multiple places

No security camera is 100% free of privacy risks, but some devices have more prevention tactics in place than others. First, the data from Blink is encrypted both while at rest and in transit. Encrypting data at the connection levels is fairly standard, but not all security cameras encrypt the data where it is stored. In fact, that was one of the issues behind a Wyze glitch that sent footage to the wrong accounts. So having multiple levels of encryption is a big plus.


Blink also designs the chips inside its camera, a process that helps prevent malicious content or bad firmware from introducing security risks. This also helps the cameras consume less power.

The Blink Mini 2 isn’t the smartest security camera out there, but it is one of the best options for under $50. The Mini 2 is affordable, easy to set up and still features person detection and motion detection zones. If paired with a Sync Module 2 ($40), you can even store footage locally without a subscription. Otherwise, the subscription-free device is limited to just live videos without any access to recordings.

blink-subscription

If you want that person detection or cloud storage, you need to factor in either $3 or $10 a month for Blink, depending on the features you want and how many cameras you are running. Even with a subscription, the camera lacks the option to customize your alerts for pets, vehicles, or packages. If you want those features, our top pick for the best security camera, the Google Nest, doesn’t require a subscription to customize alerts to people, pets or vehicles and will also save videos for up to three hours without recurring costs. The Nest has a higher initial cost, however, at about $120, and that’s without factoring in subscription costs.


While the Blink Mini 2 has limited smart features, it’s a solid option if you don’t have more than $50 to spend. Budget cameras can sometimes be more lax with security features, but Blink uses multiple levels of encryption. If you only want to run a camera temporarily while on vacation, want to see who has been regularly egging your house, or simply can’t spend more than $50, the Mini 2 will do the trick. If you want a smart camera that sends a few unnecessary alerts, recognizes packages, or has 4K footage, you’ll have to spend a little more.

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