The Amazon Cloud Cam is one of the affordable home security cameras out there. It looks good, is compact, and priced reasonably. Plus, it falls in the sub-$100 price bracket, which makes it a great choice for those on a tight budget. Another affordable security camera is the new Blink XT2, which is capable of recording and streamings videos at 1080p.
The highlight of the Blink XT2 is its portability. Instead of a continuous power source, it is powered by two AA batteries which have a lifespan of around two years. And unlike its competitor, this camera also does not cost much.
So, is the Blink XT2 an apt competitor to the Amazon Cloud Cam? Well, that's what we are going to find out in this comparison.
Let's get started.
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Design and Portability
Gone are the days when security cameras used to be huge and bulky. Now, they easily fit on top of shelves and door frames and even blend beautifully with the rest of the home decor. The idea is to hide them and make their presence discreet. Take the case of the tiny Amazon Cloud Cam.
This one measures 4.1-inches and well and looks adorable. Talking of numbers, it has a diameter of 2.4 inches and the base measures about 2.7 inches.
But, this camera is not portable. Though you can prop it up anywhere — just make sure you have a power source nearby to hook it up. Secondly, the Cloud Cam is indoor-only. It doesn't have any known ingress protection from harsh weather conditions.
As opposed to it, the Blink XT2 is a small rectangular security camera that has two modules — Camera and the Sync Module. They are light & small and fit easily into the palm. Both of these factors make it convenient to move around.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is to keep the camera and the sync module within 100 feet of each other.
Do note that it's not one of the prettiest cameras in the market. The camera module and the motion sensor rests in the middle of the rectangular body.
Since the Blink XT 2 is a battery operated security camera, it's convenient to move it around your house or porch. Plus, its IP65-rating means you can also use it outdoors as well. Just remember to place in a safe location, for it's very easy to detach this little guy from its mount.
When it comes to the new-age security cameras, 1080p video has become the unsaid industry standard. As we mentioned above, both the Amazon Cloud Cam and the Blink XT2 offers 1080p resolution. Also, the Cloud Cam offers a 120° field of vision (FOV), while the Blink XT 2 has a slightly narrow 110° FOV.
Now, speaking of the video quality, the Cloud Cam's streaming quality is great during the day. Though it may not be as sharp as its pricey counterparts like the Arlo Q or Nest, it gets the job done. When it comes to low-light setting, it dishes out an equally good performance, thanks to the infrared lights swinging into action.
The night-vision is one feature which many users on Amazon praise a lot. The device kicks into action even if it detects a small harmless fly buzzing into the scene. And the best part is that this feature works even when you don't have Amazon's cloud service subscription.
The new Blink XT2 packs plenty of updates, and the ability to stream and record at 1080p resolution is one of them. The video quality is good for the price, and the good thing is that the image is sharp, with no visible fishfeye distortion like its predecessor.
Along with that, several users highly commended the night vision on Amazon. Again, it isn't great as its pricier counterparts and has a bit of rough edge, but it gets the job done.
But on the downside, this camera emits a small blue light when the infrared lights switch on. And that potentially reveals its presence easily.
The Blink XT2 promises a 1080p resolution, and it comes with a small caveat. The battery tends to run out faster if you record in full resolution. It warns you when you switch over to the full-resolution video from the default Saver mode (360p) or Best mode (720p). This is a bummer because this camera is advertised as a 1080p camera.
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Sensors and Motion Detection
It's 2019, and a motion detector is an integral part of any security camera. When it comes to the Amazon Cloud Cam, you can tweak the sensitivity of the sensor to suit your needs. At the time of writing, you can also adjust the sensor’s sensitivity (paid). You can choose between the following,
High (person-sized object up to 20 ft away)
Medium (person-sized object up to 10 ft away)
Low (person-sized object up to 5 ft away)
Other than that, the cloud cam also lets you tweak the notification settings when the camera detects motion. For now, you can set it to receive alerts every 10 minutes, every 30 minutes, hourly, every 4 hours, daily, or never. And to add to it, the camera is consistently fast while sending alerts. Furthermore, it doesn't guzzle up network bandwidth when going about its work.
Apart from that, Amazon's affordable security camera lets you set alerts for Dog Barking, Glass Breaking, Smoke Detectors, and Person, among others.
The Blink XT2 works in a slightly different manner. This security camera starts recording as soon as it detects motion in its peripheral vision, and keeps on recording for a stipulated time. The good news is that pretty much everything can be customized as per your preference. For instance, you can set the retrigger time as well as the length of the clip and the sensor's sensitivity.
You can also enter an activity zone where you can point out the areas where you want activities to be ignored.
However, this security camera doesn't have facial recognition or person detection. And well, when it comes to the user reviews, they paint a pretty grim picture of the motion detection.
At times, the camera fails to record significant events while at the same time recording small events like mosquitoes buzzing perfectly.
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Two-Way Audio Quality
Both the Blink XT2 and the Amazon Cloud Cam comes with two-way audio, meaning you can talk to the person on the other side of the camera through the app. The question now is how good the quality is?
Sadly, the reviews regarding the Cloud Cam for its 2-way audio aren’t that great, thanks to the low sound output of the mic. Plus, the audio also tends to clip off abruptly after 2-3 seconds.
Thankfully, the reviews of the Blink XT2 are pretty decent, with users praising its clear output. Yep, it has a bit of a rough edge, but it gets the work done and manages to put your voice to the other end. That comes in use if you have placed the camera near a door or a gate.
Storage: Local or Cloud
Well, when it comes to the Amazon Cloud Cam, the name pretty much spills the beans. On the free plan, you can save clips for 24 hours only. The good news is that you'll receive all the motion detection alerts.
If you subscribe to the cloud service, you get your hands on features like Person Detection, Zones, and Unlimited Sharing. What's more, you can opt for a 30-day trial plan to gauge if you need the extras.
As opposed to the above, the Blink XT2 works in a rather unusual manner. It has no fancy monthly subscription service. Instead, you get a free access to its cloud services. Well, there's a small catch.
The cloud storage stores only two hours of motion-activated video. Yep, no mantra of file size or priority. Whenever you hit the 2-hour finish line, the older recordings will get deleted, and new recordings will be added.
However, if your camera regularly and frequently kicks into action and starts recording at the slightest pretext, you might end up consuming this 2-hour slot faster than your anticipation. So, you may want to be vigilant in monitoring your video recordings should you choose to but the Blink XT2.
Blink and Miss
So which is the better option? Well, if you're looking solely for a portable camera which can double up both as an indoor and outdoor camera, you should give the Blink XT2 a shot. All you need to do is mount it in a secure place, and you'll be sorted. It's weatherproof, and you needn't worry about its power source. Plus, it integrates well with Amazon Alexa.
Though it offers a beautiful balance of features for its price, the limits regarding the video quality and the rather unpolished app interface can be an issue for some.
On the other hand, if you on the market for a tried-and-tested entry-level indoor camera with a polished interface, you can give the Amazon Cloud Cam a shot. And features like person detection and zones significantly add to its value.