Feedback + experience + feature request — TL;DR below
Some background on my reasons for getting these cameras and for the features I’m hoping to see … I need to catch a suspected mail thief. I was looking for small, discrete battery powered cameras with IR and motion sensing as the main issues I was facing were that the mailbox is 100’ away from my house so no wifi, nowhere to mount cameras in a way that will work well and no power. The camera features, size and battery fit my needs after I upgraded my network with some high-powered directional range extenders.
I purchased two XT cameras and have one sitting on a hidden platform in my yard giving a wide-angle view of the mailbox and street. The other is inside of my mailbox (speed tested @ 30/6 Mbit sustained connection from inside).
Overall, I think they work pretty well however I really think the hardware/firmware needs to be tweaked as they must either have very low-grade antennas or the wifi chip is doing some kind of power modulation with them. With my network, there is zero overlap in wifi channels and even with the camera and sync module close to any of the antennas I have, one minute the status is full-green/full-green and then next 1-red/4-green or 2-yellow/2-yellow, etc. It makes no sense and seems to be the cause for a lot of hiccups with updating settings, live-capture and upload/notification delay. I’d rather have to replace the batteries twice as often to maintain consistent connection.
I would really love the ability for one camera in a system to trigger all cameras in that system. I have the wide angle to get a recording of if the person was on foot or in a vehicle and the direction they came and went however I can not have the motion sensor enabled as it will go off every 20 seconds. If however, the motion sensor on the camera inside the mailbox goes off, it can only be caused by someone opening the mailbox in which case I absolutely want a wide-angle recording to go with it. Unfortunately this is impossible. Even if the camera notified me the exact second it was triggered and and I didn’t have to wait for the recording/notification delay, I still can’t immediately start a manual recording (probably the most widely requested feature) on the wide-angle.
Unfortunately, the way I had the camera mounted in the mailbox wasn’t perfect and the mail carrier yesterday inadvertently caused it to fall face-down when opening or closing the mailbox and I wasn’t able to deal with it right away. At 5:18am this morning I got a motion alarm and mail was taken but nothing visible on the recording because it was face-down. Not the the camera’s or Blink’s fault there, just an unfortunate coincidence. That being said, if one triggered the other, I’d still have the wide-angle recording of the person and/or vehicle.
I did call the support line to talk to tech-support about if this was possible and some other questions.
I work in tech so my bias aside of call-center locations and expected product knowledge of people answering, I think the staff there need more training. I’ll just say while they were nice and tried to be helpful, the call was unproductive and in the end, I was told I could initiate manual recording anytime from the live camera viewing.
TL;DR – Allow for one motion alarm in a system to trigger all cameras to immediately start recording. And I do mean immediately, not after the upload is complete.