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Almost anytime I notice a camera in a friend’s place, it is a Blink Mini. I myself have found them super useful—inside, that is. That was the headline on the Mini, a small, affordable, easy-to-install indoor cam from Amazon. You could mount them on a pan and tilt base, free stand them, or hang them on a wall. They just worked without a lot of frills or fanfare. What they didn’t do was go outside, which wasn’t a real problem, since Blink has a wealth of outdoor cameras for that purpose—and they worked well, too. But yesterday, Amazon announced the new Blink Mini 2, and unlike its predecessor, it can go anywhere, indoors or out. 

According to Amazon, the team rebuilt the Mini from the ground up, but promises it kept everything customers love. The price certainly remains stable: the Mini 2 is an affordable $39.99, although the price jumps to $49.99 if you add on the weather-resistant adapter. This is comparable to the original Blink, which has dipped to $29.99 and is still, in my opinion, a great buy, particularly when paired with the pan-tilt mount. 

The new Mini 2 includes a computing overhaul and now uses a custom-built chip. Using on-device computer vision, new functions are now possible, like smart notifications and person detection. This allows the user to know, via notifications, whether the camera detects a person, pet, or package, so long as you have a Blink subscription plan

On previous Blink models, you could avoid the subscription plan by using the Blink Sync Module ($49.99) with a USB stick for local storage, and the same is true with the Mini 2, making it a lot more appealing. I generally prefer cameras without cloud storage or subscription fees, but you do get AI features with the Blink subscription, so you might find it worthwhile. Plans start at $3 per month for one device and go up to $10 per month for multiple devices. 

The video quality has also gotten an upgrade, which is nice, and that includes low-light performance. The new Blink model also has a wider range of view than the original and a built-in LED spotlight for color video at night, even in the dark. I’m excited to see this in practice, as I’ve found seeing color instead of black-and-white in nighttime video to be very pleasing. 

The ability to have a reliable camera under $50 that is weather resistant appeals to me. It can go in places larger cameras can’t, and since it’s a plug in, you just need access to electrical, rather than a hardwire. To me, this feels like it will serve specific situations really well, but most people’s outdoor camera needs might be served better by other cameras on the market.

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