Top critical review
Disappointing weaknesses and not a potential replacement for my bug ridden Arlo Pros
June 13, 2018
I've owned Arlo Pros and Go's for over a year now. I gave both of those cams a 1-star review but kept them because they're better than nothing and really haven't found a good wireless replacement yet. I bought 5 Blink XT's and placed them in the place of 5 of my old Arlo Pros for comparison. I was really hoping I could permanently replace my Arlos with them. I've been using them for a month and I think I have plenty of experience with them now. While Blink XT fixed many problems Arlo has, unfortunately overall Blink is a big disappointment for the following reasons:
1. The Blink Cams have a very short range to their base station. I'd estimate that I can place my Arlo Pros at least 3 times the distance from their base station and they're still within range. You have to keep the Blink XT cams very close to their base station.
2. The motion sensor in the Blink XT is far wrose than in the Arlo Pro. If you raise the sensitivity in Blink XT above 5 you start getting too many false positive alerts. If you leave it at 5, it will only trigger when someone is very close to it. Arlo Pro's however have a much better motion detection range.
3. The attachment that comes with Blink is flimsy. Wind can easily move the attachment and the cam which triggers false positive alerts. You can however pretty solidly attache Arlo Pros outside and they have never triggered a false positive alert due to wind blowing them. Let me also reiterate that I put the 5 new Blink XT in the same spot 5 of my Arlo Pros were. So it's really an apples-to-apples comparison.
The above reasons really make it a no brainer that Blink can't replace Arlo Pros. But there are still more weaknesses in Blink XT:
4. You can only have a total of 1 cam live-view at a time with Blink. Arlo allows you 5 live-view cams per base station. If you have multiple base stations, multiply the number of base stations by 5 and that's how many live-views you can have with Arlo. I'm not sure why Blink had to have this restriction.
5. Blink XT cams require a connection to both your Wifi and its own base station. Why? Arlo cams only require a connection to their base station.
6. There's no web interface with Blink. Again, why? When I'm at my computer and want to check out what triggered the cam, I prefer to use my computer. I only resort to the cell phone when I'm not near a computer. Blink always forces you to use your phone.
7. Blink doesn't display your batter percentage left unlike Arlo. Blink just says "OK" for battery so you don't know how much batter is still really left. Based on some research I did, Blink's batteries won't last more than a couple of months despite their 2-year claim.
Let me me also mention that Blink XT is better than Arlo for the following reasons:
1. Blink XT runs on standard batteries you can easily replace or buy your own rechargeable batteries. Arlo Pros however run on their own proprietary batteries which go flat fast, often go dead, and replacing them cost a whopping $50.
2. No subscription cost with Blink
3. Other than the motion sensitivity issue and the poor range, the software with Blink XT appears pretty solid. Arlo has a lot of bugs which they don't bother to fix.
4. Blink is pretty solid. It's always up. Arlo cams and base stations and even their service often go down. Arlo is also dishonest about their down times. They have lots of them and usually either don't admit it or blame it on a third party. Once my entire library disappeared and they blamed it on wrong use of filters. I never used filters for library search. I also saw other users complain about the same issue on the discussion forums, yet Arlo blamed me.
5. I haven't had to call Blink customer service yet. But Arlo's customer service couldn't be worse and they treat their customers like idiots. I contacted them many times and it's just a useless run-around each time.
6. Blink is really smart when it comes to recordings. You can delay successive recordings (not with Arlo) and you can also set much shorter recording times with Blink than Arlo. This can help save a lot of battery.
Update as of August 4, 2019:
I'm leaving the 1-star review as the software improved not one bit over the year. What we're still missing is a web-based interface, being able to live-view more than 1 cam, the wifi range remains abysmal, and the motion sensor is still awful (lots of false positive alerts). One positive thing I must mention though is the original batteries are still in after over a year. I'd say the blink XT is still more for recreational use than security.