Amazon has now launched a follow-up to its Blink XT called the Blink XT2 with brand new features, a more power-efficient design, and at an even lower cost than before. Now 25-percent less out-of-pocket, Blink XT2 brings motion detection and operability both indoors and out. It also incorporates new monitoring and interactive features, the same Alexa integration as the previous device, and cloud storage without the annoying subscription fees often associated with smart cameras.
Keeping it consistent on the outside
Despite all of the updates the Blink XT2 brings to the table under the hood, it remains almost identical to its predecessor on the outside. The matte black external shell, housing the camera lens and other hardware, keeps a familiar squared-off look with a slim cross-section. Amazon's site lists the dimensions at just 2.8 x 2.8 x 1.4 inches with a weight of under 90 grams.
Under that shell, the new device moves beyond its predecessor with an IP65-rating that ensures it's weather resistant and compatible for use outside. Night vision in HD has been added thanks to infrared too, as have a mic and speaker for two-way communications.
Improvements to the motion detection features have been included in the new build on top of the new features alongside the addition of micro-activity zones that can be customized to prevent false alerts. Ball mounts are included so that the cameras can be easily mounted and angled appropriately.
The same batteries will last longer in spite of improvements
Just like the original Blink XT, Blink XT2 doesn't require any wires either. Instead, home or business owners install two AA batteries that should last a minimum of two years, thanks to a brand new proprietary quad-core 200 MHz chipset.
The new component not only enables the above-mentioned features and optimizations while maintaining the same battery life as the previous Blink-branded camera. It also ensures that customers can get as much as double the battery life using only the motion-activated recording or Live View modes.
Conversely, that enhancement is despite the fact that the Blink XT2 features a better camera sensor than the gadget it's replacing -- able to record 1080p HD video with a viewing angle of 110 degrees and at up to 30 frames-per-second. That's compared to the 720p original Blink XT cameras.
In-app features to spare
Coupled with the associated Blink app, the new cameras only get better. To begin with, the company is providing cloud storage for captured footage at no extra cost but the app supports real-time alerts, live streaming, temperature monitoring, and Alexa integration too.
With smart home integrative features, users are able to access the live stream, record on demand, view previous recordings that can also be shared and all of that is available via voice command. After naming the individual cameras, users just need to tell Amazon's AI assistant to "show me" that camera and it will be displayed on compatible devices. That includes Amazon's own Echo Spot, Echo Show, or Fire TV-enabled devices.
Pricing and availability
Users can easily integrate the new cameras with existing Blink setups or start from scratch. A new kit including the sync module needed to connect and enough batteries and mounting kits to get everything moving. Pre-orders are open now in both the US and Canada from Amazon directly but each will be available at Best Buy at an unspecified future date.
In the US, the device will become available as of May 22. A single camera kit costs just shy of $100 while a standalone camera will set users back around $10 less. The two and three camera kits go up from there at a penny under $180 and $250, respectively. Finally, a five-camera kit will set consumers back $379.99.
For Canadian buyers, the cost of a standalone camera is set at $119.99 compared to the single camera kit at $129.99. Two, three, and four camera kits cost $239.99, $329.99, and $499.99, respectively. Amazon will sell the Blink XT2 in Canada starting "later this summer."