Android Central Verdict
Blink is Amazon's budget line of home security products, but this latest model breaks out of that mold. The new Outdoor 4 camera and its floodlight accessory work well together and do so with a very long battery life. As a relatively basic security camera setup, the pair do a fine job. However, the requirement for a subscription to access less than advanced features is annoying. Also, you'll need that subscription to store recordings, or you'll need to pay for a Sync Module to do so locally.
Excellent battery life
Floodlight gets quite bright
Image quality is acceptable
Easy setup for both parts
Capped at 1080p resolution
Person detection is locked behind a monthly subscription
Have to pay extra to save videos
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Blink has been offering security cameras for quite some time now and is kind of viewed as Amazon's option for budget-minded individuals who don't need a lot of bells and whistles with their cameras. However, some of that sentiment becomes somewhat of an issue with the newest model in the lineup — the Blink Outdoor 4.
It is still easy to use and set up, and the new Floodlight accessory works beautifully with it. But the camera alone is $120 at full price, and when adding in the Floodlight, it brings the total to $160. At that price, the Blink Outdoor 4 is heading into a different competition where other cameras are offering more features and not putting them behind a paywall, unlike Blink.
Everything is easy
If there were only one standout feature to point to for the Blink Outdoor 4 and Floodlight combo, it would be how simple it is to set up. While this camera doesn't use rechargeable batteries as many of the best wireless security cameras do, you will get batteries in the box for both devices — two AA lithium batteries for the camera and four D cells for the Floodlight. With the batteries installed, all that is needed next is to scan the QR code in the Blink app, and the devices show up. Easy.
The camera snaps onto the front of the Floodlight and then connects via a cable with a USB-C connector. There are a couple of ways to mount the set — with the included screws and mounting plate or with the vinyl siding clip, which is what I did. It's a clever metal piece that attaches to the back of the Floodlight, and then the curled end slides between the seam of your siding.
With the camera and its accessory mounted, powered on, and added to the Blink app, you can adjust settings to your preferences. You can change how long the motion clips are, the video quality up to 1080p, night vision, how loud the speaker is, Floodlight brightness and duration, and more. One of the more important settings you'll want to adjust is in the Motion Settings tab.
Here is where you can choose the type of motion that the camera will watch for. Because for the first time, Blink has added on-device person detection. This means you can cut out all of the alerts that come from cars or tree branches and only get notified when the camera notices people moving around within the area you specify you want the camera to watch. You can also set up Privacy Zones to restrict parts of the camera's view.
But there is a downside to this part of the settings: to use the new Person Detection feature, you'll have to pay at least $3/month for the Blink Subscription Plan. You'll get access to more than just Person Detection with your subscription, but more on that later.
The Blink Outdoor 4 Flood is rated for up to two years of use from the included AA lithium batteries and four D batteries. Two years! This means you can skip worrying if your camera is charged up and just let it work as intended. This kind of wireless power freedom is very rare.
As for the Floodlight accessory, you get up to 700 lumens of brightness from the dual LED lights. Once you aim the two lights to where you want the added light, you can forget about the device. Since it connects directly to the Blink Outdoor 4 camera with the USB-C cable, the light operates as part of the camera.
When the camera detects motion at night, the floodlights will come on and illuminate the area well enough so that you get a clear video of what's going on. While the Floodlight is far better than many built-in spotlights for cameras, like the ones on the Tapo Wire-Free MagCam, don't expect it to completely turn night into day.
The Blink Outdoor 4 has a 1080p resolution sensor, and the video quality is fine. But at the $120 price point, it could be higher. The lack of clarity starts to show when you zoom in. Because there isn't a dedicated zoom lens, you'll be doing so digitally, and the quality quickly deteriorates when you pinch in. I don't know that I'd call this a major issue, but it's not great either.
Keep paying for what you bought
I don't know about you, but when I pay the total asking price for something, I expect to be done paying for it. While you don't have to keep paying for the Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight after purchase, if you want to get even a third of the possible use from it — be prepared to fork over more cash.
You'll have to pay in at least one extra way after you purchase the camera and its accessory. First, if you want to store your video files locally, you will need to buy a Blink Sync Module, which will run for about $35 on Amazon, plus a USB flash drive. If you have multiple Blink cameras, you can use the Sync Module for all of them.
Next, if you don't want to buy an extra piece of hardware to manage or you want cloud storage as well and access to extra features, like Person Detection, you will need to pony up for the Blink Subscription. Plans start at $3/month for a single device or $10/month for all of your Blink cameras. There is a yearly option that will shave a few bucks off your total cost.
By adding the subscription to your Blink camera setup, you get more than just cloud storage. You also get expanded clips and longer live streaming. Without the plan, you are limited to five continuous minutes of live streaming. You will get a 30-day Blink subscription trial to decide if you like it.
I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of a subscription, but not allowing easy local storage, such as getting any number of great microSD cards to handle the task, is annoying, as is hiding a single feature, Person Detection, behind the paywall. All camera features are available, but the new one is debuting on the Blink Outdoor 4.
That Tapo Wire-free MagCam I mentioned before starts at $90, stores clips locally, and has AI detection for people, pets, and vehicles right out of the box. You'll also get 2K video resolution, color night vision, and up to a year battery life. All without a subscription. Now, it isn't quite as easy to get up and running and isn't going to integrate with Alexa as well as Blink does. But it may be worth it for you.
Should you buy the Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera?
The new Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight security camera combo is a solid option for those who want an easy-to-set-up and easy-to-use wireless security camera. With a rated two years of battery life, you get to put recharging batteries out of your mind. While the 1080p video resolution is fine, at $120 for the camera alone, it could be better. But at the price, I also don't like that you have to pay for a monthly subscription for video storage and to access a single, useful feature in Person Detection.
On the topic of paying, you'll need to pay again for the Blink Sync Module if you want local storage. Making consumers pay extra to use features that are becoming more and more basic isn't cool when you charge as much as Blink is for this camera. I do love how easy it is to use the Blink app for the camera and Floodlight. So, if you already have Blink devices you are paying for or have the Sync Module already, this is a solid option to add to your setup. Otherwise, there are plenty of other excellent security cameras to pick from.
Simple to use and set up, the Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight combo offers good features, and the added benefit of more light at night helps the camera do its job better. There aren't a lot of high-end features, but it's a fine overall package. The added cost of local or cloud storage and hiding features behind a paywall is less than favorable though.