At night, in color
Wyze Cam v3
Indoor, smart home
When you start to devise a smart home, one of the first items probably on your shopping list, aside from a smart speaker to serve as a hub, is a security camera. While you might want to pick up one of the best wireless security cameras for your home, not everyone has the budget or need for such an expensive option. And not everyone needs a security camera that can connect to everything else in the home either. Maybe you just want something simple to keep an eye on the driveway or back door or check in on pets or teenagers who are home alone. Whatever the case, two options worth considering are the Wyze Cam v3 vs. Blink Mini. You can’t get much more affordable than these two cameras that can do a lot, even without a subscription for monitoring. And with either, you can opt for additional features for a small recurring fee if you desire. But how do the two compare? Let’s have a look.
|Wyze Cam v3||Blink Mini|
|Camera Resolution||1,080p HD||1,080p HD|
|Frames-per-second||20 fps||30 fps|
|Colors||White with Black Accents||White|
|Subscription Option||Cam Plus||Blink Subscription|
|Dimensions||52 x 51 x 58.5mm||50 x 49 x 36mm|
|Compatibility||Android 5.0+, iOS 9.0+||Android 5.0+, iOS 12.5+, Fire OS 5.1+|
These two security cameras are pretty similar in price. Still, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, some notable differences will sway you in one direction versus the other depending on your needs and where and how you want to use it.
Wyze Cam v3 vs. Blink Mini: How they look and where to use them
Both these security cameras employ a similar look, finished in white with a small, cube-shaped design, though the Blink Mini is indeed very miniature: it’s much slimmer and a tad smaller than the Wyze Cam v3. You can mount the Wyze Cam v3 in several ways: using the magnetic mount, secure screw mount, or 1.4-inch mount onto an existing support. The Blink Mini comes with a stand and a pair of mounting screws.
They both come with power cables for connecting to an outlet, but the most significant difference is that the Wyze Cam v3 has an IP65-rating for outdoor weather resistance. With that said, you will need to buy the outdoor power adapter separately if you wish to place it outside, so factor that into the cost. However, it does come with the indoor power adapter, a 6-foot flat USB cable. The Blink Mini, meanwhile, comes with a USB cable and power adapter.
Given the fact that the Blink Mini isn’t rated for use outdoors at all, if you plan to set up a camera on your porch, doorway, or side of the house, you’ll have to go with the Wyze Cam v3. It can operate in temperatures from 5°F to 113°F, so it’s safe to use in various climates. If you use it indoors, it has neat Near-IR lights that are invisible to the human eye, so you won’t be distracted by a red dot (Far-IR lights are used outdoors). The Blink Mini has an optional blue LED, so you know when it’s active.
Not surprisingly, since the company is owned by Amazon, the Blink Mini is a smart camera that can work with Alexa-enabled devices in the home (more on that later) and other cameras to create a whole-home set-up. It comes in packages with one, two, or three cameras, which is a bonus if you want to have security cameras in various rooms in your home, like the garage, nursery, and basement.
Wyze Cam v3 vs. Blink Mini: What can they do?
Two features are of critical importance when it comes to a security camera: video quality, including in all types of light, and the ability to access footage, whether it’s via motion alerts or scrubbing back to find an incident or timeline.
In terms of video quality, these two cameras are on par with one another as they both capture 1,080p HD video. They can both detect motion and send an alert to your phone when something is going on through the respective apps. But with the Blink Mini, you need a subscription to start motion-activated and live view recording with a 60-day unlimited video history. Both also allow for customized motion detection zones so you can tell the camera only to alert you if someone steps on the driveway, for example, and not for every person who walks by on the sidewalk.
They both include two-way audio so you can not only see someone but also talk to them. This feature is more useful with the Wyze Cam v3 since it’s outdoors safe, so you can speak to someone at the door or try to scare away a thief or animal. In fact, it even has a built-in siren you can activate to scare away a pesky raccoon or someone walking onto your property. It also has smoke and CO alerts that will notify you as soon as it hears the alarm and immediately begins recording video.
With the Blink Mini, however, the two-way audio feature can still come in handy as an in-room intercom to tell the kids it’s time to go downstairs for dinner or that screen time is over, or for you to talk with pets or teenagers inside while you’re away at the office.
Both cameras give you access to a live view at any time. But if you want to see more, this is where they differ. With the Wyze Cam v3, you get 14 days of cloud storage for 12-second motion and sound events, but you have to buy a separate microSD card (up to 32GB) to get 24/7 continuous recording and enjoy time-lapse videos. In addition, you can opt for a Cam Plus subscription ($1.25 a month, billed annually) to add person detection and full-length motion recording that captures everything from vehicles, pets, and even package detection coming soon. At the time of this writing, the camera does come with a free first month of Cam Plus, so you can try it before committing.
With the Blink Mini, you get a free 30-day subscription for cloud storage, valued at $3 per month or $30 per year for a single camera or $10 a month or $100 per year for an unlimited number of cameras. Indeed, since this camera connects to Wi-Fi, you can connect multiple cameras and manage them all in the app, and access footage on devices like an Amazon Echo smart display. Once connected to Alexa, you can also use your voice to arm or disarm the camera or call up a live view on the big screen. You can also purchase a Sync Module 2 and a USB flash drive separately for local 24/7 continuous recording, but keep in mind that the Sync Module on its own costs as much as the camera. That said, you’re still spending well under $100 for both.
The Blink Mini records video at a faster frames-per-second (fps) rate of 30 fps versus the Wyze Cam v3’s 20 fps, though the Wyze Cam v3 records a wider 130° field-of-view versus the Blink Mini’s 110°. This makes sense since most people will likely be placing the Wyze Cam v3 outdoors, where they’ll want to be able to see as much of the surrounding outside area as they can. With that said, the Blink Mini will presumably give you slightly better overall video footage since the higher the numbers of frames per second, the smoother the video.
Wyze Cam v3 vs. Blink Mini: It’s all about the night vision
What really sets the Wyze Cam v3 apart from the Blink Mini is its advanced night vision capabilities. Because it is designed for outdoor or indoor use, it excels at providing a favorable view, even in pitch black, late-night conditions.
Using its Starlight CMOS sensor, the Wyze Cam v3 illuminates the outdoors in full color when needed, even in very low light. This is extremely useful since it’s in those dark wee morning hours when nefarious things might happen, whether it’s someone trying to break into your car, rebellious kids defacing property, or a pesky raccoon rummaging through the garbage. The low light amplifier can show dark areas in vivid detail so you can see what is going on in environments that are up to 25 times darker than usual. The f/1.6 aperture, says Wyze, can capture twice as much light at night versus other cameras. The Starlight ISP, meanwhile, works to reduce noise in low light to sharper the image so you won’t just see a grainy mess you can’t make out.
The Blink Mini does offer built-in infrared night vision, which will come in handy to be able to see if someone has entered the home if your toddler has made it out of their crib (again!), or what the pets are getting up to while you are asleep. But when it comes to night vision, the Wyze Cam v3 wins the race.
Wyze Cam v3 vs. Blink Mini: Which should you choose?
It’s a pretty simple decision when weighing the Wyze Cam v3 vs. Blink Mini. If you’re looking for a security camera to use outside, go for the Wyze Cam v3. If you want something to use inside, the Blink Mini is your best bet.
The Blink Mini offers useful features for indoor use, most notably the ability to connect to Alexa-enabled devices so you can view a live feed on a smart display, for example, as well as use voice commands to control the camera. It’s often on sale so that you can grab it for a steal. And the Blink subscription that provides cloud storage is not expensive, particularly when you factor in how cheap the camera itself is. You can decide over time if you want to expand and, if so, invest in the Sync Module 2, then use one of those old flash drives you’ve had lying around for local storage or do this from the get-go instead of opting for the recurring subscription. It’s a great camera for a baby’s nursery or for pet owners who want to keep an eye on their furry pals while they’re away.
For outdoors, however, the Wyze Cam v3 is far superior. First, the Blink Mini isn’t even rated for outdoor use. Second, the Starlight Sensor means you can keep an eye on your property and neighborhood in brilliant color and light, no matter what time it is. The wide field-of-view means you can capture all around you and the free 14-day cloud storage of short clips is a bonus. MicroSD memory cards are affordable these days, so even investing in one of those along with the camera still won’t set you back much. The Cam Plus subscription provides additional benefits, and at $15 a year, it’s totally worth it if you want to be able to tell when the dog walker arrived, your kids are home safely from school, or that package you ordered was dropped off. Remember you will need to buy the outdoor power cable if you plan to use this camera outside.
If you’re looking for something more powerful and are willing to invest a bit more, you can check out our picks for the best outdoor security cameras you can buy right now. And Google’s new Nest Doorbell and cameras don’t require a subscription for their top-line features, which is something you might be willing to pay a bit more to get.
But if you’re really looking for something on the cheap to test out, see how you like, then move to a secondary location once you decide to upgrade to something more expensive, both of these cameras are solid options that won’t break the bank.
Best for outdoors
Wyze Cam v3
I can see the light!
Of these two, the Wyze Cam v3 is the only option suitable for outdoor use, and indeed, given its stellar night vision capabilities, it makes more sense to use it outside versus inside. You’ll get a wide view and see in vivid detail, no matter the time of night or day.
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