Trail cameras are one of the most important inventions to come out of the hunting gear market. They make scouting out a potential (or existing!) trail much easier. Furthermore, beyond just acting as hunters’ remote eyes, they are also favored by homeowners who are looking for easy surveillance solutions.
Most trail cameras today are wireless; there wouldn’t be much point otherwise. But between Wi-Fi and cellular options, the best cellular trail cameras are usually thought to be the latter type. A higher connectivity range is the main appeal of a cellular trail camera, amongst other benefits.
So today, we’ll be looking at some of the best ones currently on the market, along with a comprehensive buying guide. Let’s get started!
Best Cellular Trail Cameras Review
After hours of research, analysis, and discussion, we have come up with the 5 following cameras that we think are the most worth your consideration. We hope you find the right fit!
1. CreativeXP 3G Cellular Trail Camera
Our first pick is a highly-rated 3G cellular trail camera from CreativeXP. It comes loaded with all specifications and features necessary to begin your remote scouting endeavors.
Equipped with the ability to connect to the reliably fast AT&T 3G network, you’ll always be connected with the goings-on in your hunting grounds. With your purchase, you’re receiving a free SIMHERO card, which is activated right away after you purchase a data plan.
This camera allows you to take vivid HD photos, whether the sun is up or has begun its descent. With a 65 feet range, this camera is capable of capturing 12MP photos and recording 1080p videos. In low-visibility conditions, the camera makes use of infrared night vision to keep taking valuable photos and videos.
You’re also bound to appreciate the wide-lens, which makes use of a 110° PIR angle and a low trigger of 0.4 seconds, during which time the camera can take up to 5 photos. The time-lapse feature can be enabled, in which case you will receive photos every 4 minutes. The timer can also be made use of when you want to take photos only at a certain time.
And it can do this in all kinds of conditions! With its durable body, this trail cam is not only waterproof but will put up an admirable fight against snow and dust as well. So no matter the climate, you can depend on this guy.
2. Spypoint Link Micro 4G Cellular Trail Camera
Our next pick in cellular trail cameras is this rugged little cam from Spypoint. One look at this camera, and you’ll know that it’s not messing around! With its sturdy steel casing and impressive features, this camera will act as the perfect scouting aid or stealth surveillance device.
What makes this trail cam unique is its size. Measuring only 7.2″x4.8″x2.6″, it’s one of the smallest trail cams on the market. Add to that the camouflage print on its body, and you have a perfectly stealthy device. We also appreciate that the camera comes with a pre-activated SIM card, with which you can enjoy 30 days of free service before you have to buy the data plan.
The 10MP photos will give you a clear insight into your hunting grounds. Unfortunately, the camera does not have video capabilities, but not everyone needs that! Besides, the .05 trigger speed and 80’ flash range are truly impressive, as are the infrared LEDs that the camera utilizes for the purpose of taking low-visibility photos.
Undoubtedly what’s best about this trail cam is the nearly unbeatable price at which it’s available. Sure, you’ll have to cover a few additional expenses such as the subscription fee and SD card, but on the whole, it’s easy to see why this is such a highly-rated cellular trail camera.
3. SPYPOINT Link-EVO Cellular Trail Camera
Our next pick is also from Spypoint, and it’s a very impressive little machine, to be sure. When we considered the 4G LTE connectivity, high-quality photo capturing specifications, and integration of Buck Tracker technology, putting this trail camera with its durable grey body on our list didn’t require a second thought.
This camera has the capability to capture 12MP photos and HD video, which it does with the help of a number of impressive features. It utilizes a 90′ flash range, 42 heavy-duty LEDs, and an 80′ detection distance. Furthermore, it can take clear photos in low-visibility conditions, making use of infrared technology. The 0.3-second trigger speed also definitely stands out!
Now, this is, without a doubt, one of the most high-tech cellular trail cameras on our list. Not only does it use the Verizon 4G network, but you can also easily connect to the Spypoint link app and receive crucial information thanks to the AI-powered Buck Tracker.
4. BIGFOOT 3G Trail Camera (Affordable Data Plan and Easy Setup)
Our final pick is for those of you who are searching for a great cellular trail camera on a budget. Not only will this camera not leave a hole in your wallet, but it also utilizes a 3G network and comes with a highly affordable data plan.
This camera comes with a pre-installed SimHero SIM card, which is loaded with 30 complimentary days of data (which translates to 350 free pictures!). Once you run out of those, you’ll marvel at how low the data plan pricing is, with a year of data costing only about $40.
So how does it perform in terms of capturing photos and videos? For a trail camera that costs so little, the answer is: remarkably well! You can expect crystal-clear photos of up to 12MP and videos of 1080p.
And that’s to say nothing of the low, low trigger speed of 0.4 seconds and 56 integrated infrared LEDs for perfect night-vision low-visibility photos. Furthermore, the camera is also waterproof with a rating of IP66; what more could you ask for from a trail camera?
So whether you’re using this camera for hunting, scouting, research, or home surveillance, it’s a safe bet to say that this camera has you covered, and it’s not demanding that you empty your pockets for it!
Buying Guide For Cellular Trail Cameras
Game cameras are undoubtedly expensive and can be complicated for those who aren’t tech-savvy. So before you buy your cellular trail camera, keep the following factors in mind.
This is the total area that your wireless trail camera can accommodate in its frame. Your camera will sense movement either with the help of a motion sensor, or use sound. This activates a signal, which triggers the mechanism to capture an image.
It’s important to select a camera with high sensitivity capabilities. For example, if it uses a recording system to capture sound, then it’s good to look into the recording specifications.
No one ever wants to buy a camera that produces images of poor quality, and this is even truer in the case of cellular trail cameras. In fact, for those who undertake their remote scouting with dedication, the image quality can be considered more important than trigger speed and battery life.
The megapixel count is the first determiner of the image quality you can expect from your cellular trail camera. Furthermore, see if you can find sample shots taken by the camera—even better if you can find low-visibility examples. The lens type and sensor size should also be considered.
In our books, any cellular trail camera worth buying is one that has a dependable and long battery capacity. For starters, this will allow the camera to stay functional for longer wherever you set it up.
The trail camera most worth the money is one with a battery life that allows it to run unhindered for about a week, at least. The overall life of the battery should also be considered: how long can the battery serve you before it has to be replaced? 6 months is the benchmark; any lower is a sign of a camera not worth buying.
3G vs. 4G Network
While some cellular trail cameras make use of a 3G network, others use a 4G LTE network. As you may know, the latter is the latest in cellular technology and offers higher speeds in a larger range. Accordingly, 4G reception can sometimes be found in areas where 3G does not reach. At the same time, 3G is cheaper. If you’re not hunting in remote locations, you can opt for a 3G device to save some money.
By this, we mean features that enhance the functionality of your trail cam. These features, among many others, will greatly determine how satisfied you’ll be with your trail camera in the long run.
Consider the user interface, as it will determine the ease with which you can use the camera. Also, some cellular trail cameras come with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (apart from cellular) capabilities to allow you to transfer photos in case the cellular reception is unavailable.
Furthermore, cloud capabilities should also be considered. Is there a web portal where all your photos and videos can be accessed? Can the camera self-sync to your other devices, e.g., smartphone or tab?
Frequently Asked Questions For Cellular Trail Cameras
Q: Why are cellular trail cameras preferred over Wi-Fi trail cameras?
Ans: Since Wi-Fi trail cameras need constant Internet access to stay connected, they are much less reliable than cellular ones. Furthermore, the connectivity range is larger for cellular trail cameras.
Q: Why do I need to pay a subscription fee to be able to use a cellular trail camera?
Ans: Well, no telecom company is going to let you use their service for free, are they? Thankfully, many cellular trail cameras come with affordable existing data plans that are included in their price.
Q: How long will do the battery last in a cellular trail camera?
Ans: Most batteries in cellular trail cameras have a life of up to 7-8 months.
Q: How does a cellular trail camera store photos and videos?
Ans: It makes use of an SD card. Depending on the model, it can receive SD cards of 8, 16, 32, or 64 GB. In most cases, you will have to buy the SD card separately.
Q: Can a cellular trail camera take photos in darkness or low-visibility conditions?
Ans: Yes, thanks to the integration of infrared technology. This might be in the form of red or white light, but it's meant to be invisible; it creates exposure when photos are being captured in low-light settings.
We’d be hard-pressed to pick just one best cellular trail camera, but the Spypoint Link Micro 4G Cellular Trail Camera definitely stands out with its high-functioning features at a low price.
But if you’re specifically looking for something budget-friendly without compromising on performance, the BIGFOOT 3G Trail Camera is a great choice.
And if you’re still confused, why not head back to our buying guide? Good luck!