Today, Cyber Monday, is the last day to get a $20 Blink camera—but you shouldn't

Blink Mini review
(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

A security camera for $20? Seems like a pretty good deal, though if you're completely amazed then you've probably not been looking for the whole of Black Friday, or the Prime Day before that, because Amazon are very good at drawing attention to discounts on Amazon-owned Blink cameras.

And the thing, is they're exciting-looking deals – enough to get you to click buy while you're shopping for something you actually need (who doesn't need to pick up an extra memory card during Cyber Monday?). Here's the classic example:

Blink Mini | was $34.99 | NOW $19.99Save 43% at Amazon

Blink Mini | was $34.99 | NOW $19.99
Save 43% at Amazon The Blink Mini is an indoor camera which captures 1080P HD video of events in your home, day or night, has two-way talk, and comes with a 30-day free trial of the cloud subscription scheme.

But my advice to you is to think a bit harder about any security devices you are adding to your home. Systems like Blink and Ring (another Amazon-owned company), and many of their competitors, don't offer their best functionality unless they are able to store their video to the cloud. The Blink Mini comes with only a 30-day trial of this ability, after which it can only really be used to watch live view unless you start paying a few dollars a month.

That kind of money isn't so bad if it is part of a planned expense on a security system, but if it's something you end up paying because you buy a camera just because it looks like a bargain then it feels a bit unreasonable.

My advice? I'd rather pay more at the point of installation on a system which stores the video locally. You can still have all the benefits of an app to review clips and view cameras live (and talk through them, if you choose – though I do that a lot less often than you might expect). One system I reviewed and liked at full price is the EufyCam 3 S330 system which has a base station it records to with AI, and 4K cameras with solar panels (so you don't need to go and charge the battery every month or so). 

EufyCam S330 2-Cam Kit | was $549.99 | now $359.99SAVE $190 at Amazon$20 coupon

EufyCam S330 2-Cam Kit | was $549.99 | now $359.99
SAVE $190 at Amazon This 4K security system works day and night and, thanks to built-in solar panels, can be installed with forever power without drilling cables through walls. The base station has 16GB storage, expandable to 16TB, so no subscription is needed. Remember to click on the $20 coupon in the listing to get this price

That's just my take, and one I've already laid out this weekend. I'd also say, though, that if you do feel like treating yourself to a camera for live view, you might as well get a better percentage deal than the standard Blink Mini and get the Pan-Tilt version which is, well, a bit more fun (you can re-aim the camera remotely).

Blink Mini | was $59.99 | NOW $29.99Save 50% at Amazon

Blink Mini | was $59.99 | NOW $29.99
Save 50% at Amazon The Blink Mini is an indoor camera. With the Pan-Tilt base it is motorized, and you can tell it where to point using your phone, whether you're in another room or another country. It captures 1080P HD video, day or night, has two-way talk, and comes with a 30-day free trial of the cloud subscription scheme.

It's not that these are not capable devices, but my advice is to look at the discounts on real, more powerful security systems and think about how quickly those subscriptions add up and decide whether you want a toy (in which case get the panning one, obviously – it's much more fun) or the real thing.

Personally, my home is currently protected by the Eufy system, so I'm practicing what I preach – so for Black Friday I checked the main deals page and looked at memory cards!

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook