Wyze Cam records 12-second motion clips for free, and the camera has a MicroSD card slot for free 24/7 continuous recording. Blink Mini, on the other hand, requires a $3/month paid subscription to operate.
What You Get For Free
When Wyze detects motion or noise within 30 feet of the camera, it automatically records 12 seconds of video and audio. It also sends a push notification to your phone with a still thumbnail from your camera’s point of view. Because these budget cameras shouldn’t be used for serious surveillance, 12 seconds is probably enough time to get the gist of what happened and enough for things like checking in on your kids or pets.
Wyze has a MicroSD card slot on the bottom of it, which lets you record 24/7 continuously. You’ll still only get 12 seconds in the events tab, but you can use the events to mark the time of the motion, then scrub through the timeline to see the entirety of the action. A 32 GB MicroSD card is $9.
Unlike Wyze, Blink only alerts you if it detects motion, and nothing is recorded. But if you owned the previous generation Blink Indoor or Blink Outdoor previously, you’ll get cloud recording for free forever.
For those that want “free” recordings, Blink is releasing their new Sync Module 2, which comes with an additional purchase cost. With this setup, you get motion recording of up to 30 seconds, and you can store these clips locally on a USB drive. You’ll have to buy a 64 GB drive because it isn’t included. So you’re looking at purchasing a Blink Mini, the Sync Module, and a USB flash drive for “free” 30 second recordings.
Free winner: Wyze
Wyze’s subscription plan is $24/year, but frequently goes on sale. With the plan, you’ll get unlimited cloud recordings, which will be saved in the cloud for 14 days before they’re automatically deleted. Instead of just recording 12 seconds, the subscription plan records motion until the motion stops.
Blink Mini’s subscription plan is $30/year. With the plan, you’ll get 30 seconds of motion recording and these clips will be stored in the cloud for 60 days. If I’m paying for a subscription service on a plugged-in device, why is it capped at 30 seconds? It doesn’t make sense.
Subscription winner: Wyze
Blink and Wyze start recording once motion or sound is detected, but neither of these cameras are perfect.
They both missed motion and didn’t record during some of my tests, but overall they both do a reasonable job considering the price. You can toggle with the sensitivity and you can block out zones where you don’t want motion recorded. Both of these should have a setting that works best for your situation.
Wyze and Blink don’t have official desktop or web interfaces. You have to use them exclusively inside of their respective phone apps.
They both work with Alexa and IFTTT. Wyze also works with Google Assistant and Chromecast (Blink does not). Neither of them work with Apple’s HomeKit.
Neither of these systems has native geofencing to schedule recordings, but you can arm and disarm your system based on your location if you use IFTTT.
Both have scheduled recordings, but Wyze’s app interface is much nicer and their app has an awesome ‘rules’ feature. For example, if you don’t want to be distrubed between 12–1 AM, you can mute notifications between that time period.
A great IFTTT recipe for both cameras is to “turn on push notifications when I leave home,” because you probably don’t care about them when you’re home.
With Wyze and Blink, “Alexa, show me the kitchen camera” will bring up a live feed on Echo Show and Fire TV devices.
Software winner: Wyze
Both of these cameras require being plugged into power at all times, which means you won’t have to worry about charging batteries, but you’ll need to use it near an outlet.
They both have the build quality that you’d expect from a budget camera. It’s good enough but nothing special. Wyze Cam has a slight edge in the hardware category because you can record locally and it has a better mount. The Wyze is also IP65 rated, meaning that it can stand up to dust and water. So, having the ability to use it outside or at the front door is an advantage also.
Blink’s base/mount feels cheap and doesn’t swivel as nicely as Wyze’s. You’ll need the two included screws to mount it.
The Wyze Cam has a terrific mount and stand that can swivel almost 360 degrees. Wyze’s base is magnetic and the kit includes a magnetic plate with double-sided tape. You can place the plate on any wall and the camera’s base will latch onto it. It’s a great mounting system and there are no screws involved.
Wyze doesn’t require a base station or sync module and you can record locally by plugging in a MicroSD card up to 32 GB directly into the camera.
Hardware winner: Wyze
Video & Audio Quality
The Wyze Cam v3 has a 130-degree field of view, which is improved from previous versions, and is a step up from the 110-degree field of view on the Blink Mini. Both cameras shoot in 1080p, but the Wyze Cam looks cleaner. It has a better dynamic range and the video is crisper.
Neither of these has great night time recording, but Blink Mini’s is easily the worst that I’ve ever tested. It blasts too much infrared and makes the footage hard to see. I recommended turning Blink’s “IR intensity” to low, but it still makes for poor footage.
Wyze’s night time footage isn’t perfect, but you can at least see who is in the picture. The night vision mode has improved from previous Wyze models, and no comes in color. My biggest complaint with the night vision on the v3 is that the light sensitivity seems to be so high that any light appears blinding.
Blink’s audio and video are usually synced up well, while Wyze’s video can sometimes lag behind the audio.
Both have a live feed that can be watched when you’re home or away, but Wyze Cam works better for live viewing. Wyze can even be used as a webcam if you want to.
Blink lets you record on-demand, but only for 60 seconds, while Wyze can record for an unlimited amount of time.
You don’t want to rely on two-way communication with either of these because there is significant lag and you have to hold down a button to talk, which means that the other person can’t talk. It creates a messy situation, but Blink works slightly better because there’s less lag.
Video & Audio winner: Wyze
I don’t like having cameras in my house and if I wasn’t reviewing tech for a living, I wouldn’t own one.
I buy security cameras exclusively to test them for a few weeks, then I sell them after I write the post. I live in a safe neighborhood and I don’t have kids, so my needs are limited. But there’s undoubtedly a huge market for security cameras and there are people who have legitimate use cases for them.
There have been many privacy breaches with smart cameras over the last 12 months. I’m not trying to dissuade you from buying either of these devices, but I’ll provide the facts so that you can make an informed decision.
Blink is Amazon-owned. The good news is that Amazon has lots of resources to put behind their security. The bad news is that it’s still not immune to issues. In December, it was found that the Blink XT2 camera had multiple security vulnerabilities. These were fixed quickly by Blink.
While not directly related, the Amazon-owned Ring was in the news multiple times, last year, for security breaches. And to make things worse, Ring employees were watching user videos without the consent of the user. Even if their employees were just trying to get more data and improve the system with no malicious intent, it’s still not cool.
Wyze is a Seattle-based startup that was started by former Amazon employees. Last December, they had a server leak that exposed the details of 2.4 million customers. And a couple of years ago, users noticed that some of the cloud storage was hitting servers in China and from all over the world. But this turned out to be a non-issue and Wyze only uses U.S. servers now.
Privacy winner: Tie
Smart Home Compatibility
When considering these budget smart cameras, it’s crucial to not overlook their compatibility with other devices and platforms you might already own. The aim here is to ensure seamless integration of your new camera into your existing tech ecosystem.
The Wyze Cam has an upper hand in this area, with its excellent compatibility with major smart home ecosystems such as Google Assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT. It is also Chromecast friendly, meaning you can easily cast your camera’s feed onto your big screen when you want to keep an eye on things from your living room. However, if you’re deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem and prefer using Apple HomeKit, Wyze might fall short as it currently doesn’t support this platform.
Blink Mini, on the other hand, is compatible with Alexa and IFTTT, but misses out on Google Assistant and Chromecast. This lack of broad compatibility might be a dealbreaker for some, especially those who utilize Google’s smart home suite. Given that Blink is owned by Amazon, its synergy with Alexa is unsurprisingly well-executed.
Remember, the more a device can “play nice” with other gadgets and platforms you own, the more value you’re likely to get out of it.
When dealing with gadgets, the importance of reliable customer support cannot be overstated. It is comforting to know that help is readily available when needed.
Both Wyze and Blink offer support through email, phone, and online forums where you can connect with other users. However, it’s worth noting that Wyze, despite being a relatively small startup compared to Amazon’s Blink, has garnered a reputation for impressive customer service. Their support team is reportedly quick to respond and eager to help resolve issues.
Blink’s customer service is also quite good, though some users have reported longer wait times for issue resolution. Nevertheless, the benefit of being under the Amazon umbrella gives Blink a degree of credibility and reliability, so you can rest assured that there’s an established support system in place.
I don’t recommend Blink Mini to anyone because you have to factor in the price of the subscription. It’ll be $30/annually even after paying for the device. Or if you buy the new Sync Module 2, you can get rid of the monthly fee.
I recommend Wyze Cam to anyone who needs an indoor camera. You should buy yourself a 32 GB MicroSD for $9. You’ll get 12-seconds clips in the cloud and be able to scrub through the timeline to find the footage that goes over the 12 seconds.
If you want a camera that’s more privacy-focused, I recommend EufyCam. Eufy cameras record locally on a MicroSD card. The footage is never sent to the cloud and it should never leave your house.
Can these cameras work without WiFi?
Both cameras require a WiFi connection to operate and cannot function offline.
What happens if I exceed my cloud storage limit?
For Wyze, once you exceed your storage limit, the oldest footage will be automatically deleted to make space for new footage. Similarly, Blink also removes the oldest footage when storage is full, assuming you have a subscription plan.
Can these cameras be used without a subscription?
Yes, both cameras can function without a subscription. However, some features may be limited. For instance, Wyze offers 12-second motion clips for free, while Blink requires the additional purchase of their new Sync Module 2 for local video storage.
Do these cameras support two-way audio?
Yes, both Wyze and Blink cameras support two-way audio, allowing you to communicate through the camera. However, both have a significant lag, and Blink operates slightly better in this aspect.