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blink

22

Review: Budget-friendly Blink XT2 smart camera reminds us you get what you pay for

Smart home shoppers have dozens of options when it comes to internet-connected cameras, with solutions available from Nest, Arlo, Eufy, and more. Those run the gamut in terms of hardware features, cloud connectivity, and ultimate cost — initial and ongoing. Can the cheaper systems hold their own against the big boys? Today we're looking at one of the more affordable indoor/outdoor wireless cams, the new XT2 from Amazon-owned Blink.

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Amazon announces Blink XT2 wireless security camera with two-year battery life

Amazon is deep into this smart home thing—it has Ring with video doorbells, cameras, and security sensors, but there's also Blink. Amazon scooped up Blink in 2017, and now it has revealed the new XT2 camera. It promises two years of usage on one set of batteries and includes more features than the previous Blink XT.

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12

Amazon purchases smart security camera company Blink

Home security company 'Blink' was founded in 2014, and currently sells a small connected security camera and a connected doorbell. We reviewed the camera a year ago, and while its ability to be powered with only AA batteries and low price made it an interesting proposition, the poor camera quality and lack of night vision hurt its usability.

In a surprise announcement, especially considering many companies are off for the holidays, Blink announced that it is being acquired by Amazon.

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2

Blink enables 3 video quality modes for its home security cameras, giving users battery-friendly recording options

In her review, Rita called the Blink indoor home security camera "an interesting proposition that falters in execution." In spite of its shortcomings, one of the Blink's virtues was its battery life. Both the original Blink and the outdoors-ready Blink XT run on two AA lithium batteries, with two years of battery life under normal use. Now Blink is doubling down on that strength without hampering its cameras by enabling three video recording modes: Saver, Standard, and Best.

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9

Blink security camera adds IFTTT channel for smarter arming, disarming, and more automations

When I reviewed the Blink security cam system a couple of months ago, one of the negatives I talked about was the lack of proper automation and integration in smart home systems. You could either manually arm/disarm the system, set a schedule, or ask Alexa to control it. There was no automatic option based on geofence, no way to consider irregularities, and no way to trigger things to happen based on detected motion or recorded events. One way to solve that issue is by adding an IFTTT channel and that's exactly what Blink has done.

There aren't lots of options available in Blink's IFTTT channel, but there's enough to open up plenty of integrations with different smart home devices.

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5

Blink expands its security camera with new paid monthly plans and "Seecurity" kits with 4G support, keypad, sensors, and siren

Blink, the company that makes affordable and portable home security cameras (see my full review), has been on a bit of a roll over the past few months. First, it added Alexa support to arm and disarm the system and inquire about the latest recorded videos, then it announced an outdoor camera, the Blink XT, with weather-proofing, 1080p video, and an IR night vision sensor. Now it's releasing a whole host of upgrades and gear to complement its system.

To begin, Blink's Sync Module, the one that connects to your WiFi and serves as the central hub for all the small wireless cameras, has an upgraded version with 4G Cellular support and battery backup so your system remains up and accessible even when WiFi is down and there's no power.

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8

Blink releases weatherproof outdoor Blink XT camera with 1080p video, night vision, 2 year battery life

Blink has an interesting proposition as a connected security system: one sync module that plugs into MicroUSB for power but connects to your network over WiFi, and 1 to 10 completely wireless cameras that you can place anywhere without worrying about power or connection cables. They only get triggered by motion and record short clips (max. 60sec) then go back to idling. When I reviewed the system last week, I found the idea promising but complained about the slow app and the missing hardware features: no weatherproofing and no night vision were big deal-breakers for me, and the 720p resolution was limited too.

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14

Blink home security camera review: An interesting proposition that falters in execution

When I first heard about the Blink security cameras, I was immediately impressed and intrigued. Having tried both the Piper and Canary in my pharmacy, to more or less mitigated results, the Blink seemed like the perfect solution.

Piper (full review) suffers from one major flaw: the camera doesn't turn itself back on after a power failure if the back-up battery is empty (and since we have lots of blackouts here in Lebanon, I got tired of buying new batteries every two or three weeks). It also doesn't have a native scheduled arm/disarm feature; I really shouldn't have to manually arm and disarm my cameras when a simple time-based schedule is easy to implement.

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26

Canary review: A connected security camera that nails the essentials, stumbles on the bonus features

You don't understand the feeling of violation that a theft causes until you open the door to your home and see everything moved, turned, tossed, and the muddy footprints of a stranger everywhere on your floor, your kitchen cabinets open, and even your bedspread removed and balled up in the garden. That happened to my family's mountain house many, many years ago, and I still remember the feeling of disgust over the scene as well as helplessness with all the police procedures that followed. The perpetrators were never caught, just like any minor theft that occurs in Lebanon — they only took small appliances — and we ended up installing gates and locks on all the windows and doors.

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61

Mozilla announces Project Quantum, an improved rendering engine for Firefox

I'm sure many of you, like myself, use Google Chrome as your main browser. Chrome was built from scratch, with the exception of its engine (which was WebKit at the time), to be for the modern web. The internet is no longer a series of text-only pages with images, and Chrome was built with modern web applications and security in mind.

If you don't know, a rendering engine is the part of a web browser that displays content. Chrome and Opera use Blink, Safari uses WebKit, and so on. Firefox's engine, called Gecko, has been around for ages. In fact, it was originally developed for Netscape Navigator all the way back in 1997 to replace their existing rendering engine.

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