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Blink Mini Indoor Camera vs. Arlo Essential Indoor Cam

The Blink Mini Indoor Camera and the Arlo Essential Indoor Cam are two of the best indoor cameras of 2023. Both provide you with an easy way to keep an eye on your home while you’re away — but with two remarkably different price tags (the Arlo clocks in at $100, while the Blink Mini is just $35), you might be wondering if the Arlo Essential Indoor Cam is worth the added investment.

Before you rush off and buy either product, here’s a closer look at the Blink Mini and Arlo Essential Indoor Cam to determine which is best for your needs and budget.

Video quality

The Blink Mini on a countertop.

Both the Arlo Essential Indoor Cam and Blink Mini capture 1080p footage. They both also offer night vision, allowing you to pick up movement in the dark or record video even if the lights are out. In practice, both cameras look great when viewed on a smartphone, regardless of whether the footage was filmed in bright light or pitch black darkness.

Winner: Tie

Feature and spec list

Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera on table
John Velasco / Digital Trends

Two-way audio, motion detection, and the ability to sync with Amazon Alexa are features found on both Blink and Arlo products. Both products can also be mounted on a wall or ceiling using their included mounting brackets. The biggest difference between the two is the built-in privacy shield on the Arlo Essential Indoor Cam. This allows you to put a physical barrier in front of the camera, ensuring nothing is being recorded without your permission.

Winner: Arlo Essential Indoor Cam

Monthly fees and what you get

Blink Mini on a table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you want to make the most out of either camera, you’ll need to pick up a monthly subscription. For Arlo, this is Arlo Secure, which starts at $5 per month for a basic plan that offers 30-day cloud storage, smart notifications, and other useful features.

For Blink, the entry-level plan is called Blink Basic Plan. This offers support for a single device at $3 per month and provides access to features such as 60-day video storage, motion-activated notifications, and video sharing.

Arlo’s high-end subscription ($25 per month) is much more robust than the Blink Mini’s ($10 per month), as you can gain access to premium features like crash detection, alerts to emergency contacts, and professional monitoring. Blink’s premium plan doesn’t come close to competing with that offering — although its entry-level plan is a much better deal than Arlo’s.

Winner: Tie

Ease of use

Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera on table
John Velasco / Digital Trends

Thanks to intuitive smartphone apps, both the Blink Mini and Arlo Essential Indoor Cam are easy to use. Each app gives you a simple way to check in on your video feed, activate two-way audio, or peruse your footage library. And if you have multiple cameras, both Blink and Arlo give you a way to quickly flip between all your live feeds to get a full picture of what’s going on with your property.

Winner: Tie

Which is best?

The Blink Mini installed in the Pan-Tilt Mount.

Adding either the Blink Mini or Arlo Essential Indoor Cam to your home is a smart decision. Both products are at the top of their class and perform much better than most of the competition. Determining which one is best comes down to what you want out of our indoor security camera.

For most shoppers, the Blink Mini will likely be the better option. Not only is it more affordable, but its basic subscription plan is almost half the cost of a similar plan offered by Arlo. It also comes pretty close to matching the spec sheet of the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera.

If privacy is a big concern, or you’re looking to build a premium security system, then the Arlo Essential Indoor Cam is a better choice. Arlo offers one of the most robust subscription plans with the Arlo Safe & Secure tier — which is a great alternative to traditional security systems. Meanwhile, the built-in privacy shield is a huge selling point for folks who want to be sure their camera isn’t capturing footage at inopportune times.

Another aspect to consider is add-on items. Blink recently launched the Pan-Tilt Mount, allowing you to remotely swivel or rotate the Mini to cover 360 degrees of your home. And when you bundle this together with the camera, it costs just $60 — less than your standard Arlo Essential Indoor Cam that doesn’t offer any add-ons or the ability to swivel its base remotely.

In other words, the Blink Mini is the best option for most shoppers (especially shoppers on a budget), while the Arlo Essential Indoor Cam should be reserved for high-end setups or folks who want a true alternative to a traditional security system.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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