ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera Review

This ADT wireless camera has many features, but it doesn’t deliver what counts: clear video quality.
ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera
ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera
3 out of 5 stars
3
  • Uses facial recognition
  • Installs easily
  • $188.49

*Amazon.com price as of 03/16/2021 at 5:01 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Alina Bradford
Senior Staff Writer, Safety & Security
Read More
Published on March 16, 2021

Though we like Blue by ADT DIY security systems for their simplicity and trustworthy parent company, the ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera didn’t dazzle us.

It comes with night vision, two-way talk, motion detection, a siren, adjustable motion-detection ranges, and facial recognition—a volume of goodies we’ve come to expect from Blue.

What we didn’t like is its poor video quality, slow connection, and some customers find the battery just doesn’t last. We unfortunately can’t heartily recommend the ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Facial recognition
Pro Bullet Local storage
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Slow connection
Con Bullet Poor night vision
Con Bullet High price tag

Compare ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera to other outdoor cameras

ADT Blue Outdoor CameraADT Blue Outdoor
Ring Spotlight Cam
Arlo Pro 3Arlo Pro 3
Blink Outdoor Wireless Security CameraBlink Outdoor
Price
Resolution1080 p1080 p 2 K1080 p
Field of view130°140° horizontal, 78° vertical160°110°
Power sourceBatteryBattery, wired, solarBattery, solarBattery
Night visionInfraredColor/infraredColor/infraredInfrared
Learn more

*Amazon.com price as of 03/16/2021 at 5:01 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

What's in the box

  • ADT Blue Wireless Outdoor Camera
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
  • Charging cable
  • Starter guide
  • Mounting hardware
  • ADT sticker

Tech and equipment

When choosing a camera, there are a lot of different factors to consider. Don’t let that worry you; we’ve done the research. Here’s what you need to know.

Video quality

The ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera’s video quality isn’t as good as it should be. The primary purpose of having a home security camera is to identify and record people who approach your home. If someone steals something out of your yard, and the video of their face is pixelated, that won’t help you much.

This ADT Blue device has the standard 1080p HD resolution found on many security cameras today. Its images tend to have great color, but they’re a bit fuzzier than we’d like. There isn’t much lens distortion that gives videos that fishbowl look, though.

Let’s talk night vision. The ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera can “see” at night objects that are around 15 to 20 feet from the lens. The footage tends to be washed out and somewhat blurry, unfortunately. The images are also in black and white. You may be hard-pressed to identify intruders caught at night with this camera.

Thumbs Down
Poor night vision

We didn't like how hard it was to see faces at night on the video footage. 

With a 130° field of view, you see a decent amount of your yard in the video footage, but it could be better. Several other great cameras in the same price range have a wider field of view, like the Arlo Pro 3 or the Ring Spotlight Cam. To add a little more yard coverage, we would probably pair Blue with a doorbell camera like the Ring Video Doorbell.

Pairing cameras and other security devices that are from different brands can be a hassle, though. The Ring and Arlo cameras, for example, must be linked to the ADT Blue camera through Alexa, Google, or IFTTT for home automation, since you wouldn’t be able to use the Blue by ADT app to control them. You’ll also need to use separate apps to view video footage.

Essentially, this Blue by ADT camera doesn’t cut it for us on its own, and supplementing it with other camera brands might not be worth the hassle.

Storage

The ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera stores its footage in the cloud for 24 hours. If you’d like a little more storage time, you can get an ADT cloud subscription for $2.99 per month. This will get you 60 days of cloud storage.

The camera also has an SD card slot for local storage, which we think is ideal. With local storage, you can decide how long you want to keep footage without paying any fees. It supports a micro-SD card of up to 128 GB. That’s about four days worth of videos. You can always switch out SD cards as they fill up if you need to.

Audio

Like Ring cameras, the ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera uses a noise-cancelation feature to make two-way talk much easier to understand on both sides.

Facial recognition

The ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera’s facial recognition uses AI to save images of your friends and family and sends ADT-app notifications when they approach your home.

While this feature sounds nifty, it doesn’t seem to work that well in real life. Users report that it has trouble identifying faces on a consistent basis, even at close range. Some customers have had success with it, so its accuracy may be due to where the camera is placed and how much light is around it.

Durability

The ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera isn’t for those living in colder climates. It can withstand temperatures of 14° to 122°F. So if it falls below 14°F in your location, you’ll need to find a hardier home security camera for your smart home. It is water-resistant, though, and can operate well in climates that typically have 0% to 80% humidity.

Smart home compatibility

The ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera plays well with home automation.  It’s compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT, so you have plenty of security system automation possibilities.

For example, you can set up a routine to turn on the smart lights in your living room when the camera motion sensor catches movement by your front door. You can only view video from your camera using the Blue by ADT app, though.

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Integration

The ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera can be used by itself or with other ADT Blue or LifeShield devices. Using the camera with other ADT Blue devices, as opposed to other brands, grants you the simplicity of using one app to monitor and control them all. If you do add a Blue or LifeShield security system to your home you’ll also have access to ADT monitoring services as well.

Battery life

The battery typically lasts around two to three months. This can vary depending on how often the camera is used. Some customers report that the batteries needed charging after only a few days.

This can be a pain because no one wants to add charging their security camera to their to-do list every few days or even every few weeks. ADT recommends purchasing the Blue Extender + Chime to make the battery last longer, so that may help.

If you live by a busy street or sidewalk, you can adjust the sensor’s range so that it won’t detect movement on the street or sidewalk. This will make the camera record less often, saving you some precious battery juice.

Installation

Like other ADT Blue equipment, installing the ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera is easy and practically foolproof. If you can use a screwdriver, you can install this security camera.

How do I set up my ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera?

  1. Disconnect the battery from the camera and charge it using the charging cable until the light on the battery turns green.
  2. Log into the Blue by ADT app on Android or iPhone.
  3. Select the camera.
  4. Name your camera.
  5. In your phone’s Wi-Fi settings be sure you’re using a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network, not a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network.
  6. Connect to your Wi-Fi by holding the QR code that comes up on the app in front of the camera. The camera’s light will blink blue while it scans the QR code.
  7. Place the battery back onto the camera and disconnect the charging cable.
  8. Use the screws that came with the camera to attach the mounting bracket to where you want to mount your camera.
  9. Place the bottom of the camera onto the mounting bracket and twist to secure it.

One hang-up during installation is that this camera only works with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks.

This means that if your phone is connected to your home’s 5 GHz Wi-Fi network, you won’t be able to finish the connecting-to-Wi-Fi step of the process. You’ll need to switch your phone over to 2.4 GHz in the Wi-Fi settings.

Customer service

We wanted to ask customer service a quick question, but unfortunately, they don’t offer live chat as one of their help options. You’ll need to email them or call their help line. Luckily, the support center on their website offers a lot of information that might answer your questions.

Final word

While the ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera has a lot of great features, the night vision video quality, narrower field of view, limited 2.4 GHz connection, and the battery life keep us from recommending this camera wholeheartedly.

We’re usually impressed with ADT, but this camera just doesn't provide the quality you need for the price. Take a look at our list of best outdoor wireless security cameras to find picks we enthusiastically recommend.

How we reviewed the ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera

While reviewing the ADT Blue Outdoor Wireless Camera, we examined how easily the camera is installed, how well the camera compares to others on the market, and how well the company interacts with customers. We also researched how current customers feel about the product and company to get a broad scope of insight.

You can find out more about our review process on our methodology page.

ADT Blue Wireless Outdoor Camera FAQ

Yes. It uses an IP network to send and receive data.

No. It only works with other ADT Blue security systems and devices or LifeShield home security systems.

All you need is a screwdriver in most cases. If you need to make pilot holes for the screw anchors, you’ll need a drill.

To charge this battery-operated home security camera, grasp the front of the camera with one hand and the back half of the camera with the other hand. The battery back should disconnect from the camera.

This camera uses the Blue by ADT app.

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Disclaimer

*Amazon.com list price as of 03/16/2021 05:01 (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina has been reviewing the latest tech for more than a decade and has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. She specializes in smart home and security technology, working to make gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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