Hunting is one of the most popular pastimes across the US, but along with your weapons, clothing, kit and knowledge, you need a trail camera to really enhance your experience.
A cellular trail camera will not only save you time and money as you won’t need to travel to check your camera every week, but it will provide an experience so great, that you won’t be able to believe that you were ever without one.
However, with so many cellular trail cameras on the market, it can be hard to know which one is the best for you!
Whether you're just starting your game tracking journey or you’re already an avid hunter, we’ve got the 5 best trail cameras that will allow you to send pictures on your phone.
What Are Cellular Trail Cameras?
Cellular cameras work on the same basis as home/security cameras in that they are completely wireless. The real difference between them is that these ones rely on cellular networks to send you the captured photos to your phone or email.
So while all wireless trail cameras rely on a network, others may need wifi or radio frequency to connect properly.
Cellular cameras operate by connecting to the supported cellular network. This means you will need to work out which network carrier works in your particular region, then you can get the ideal camera to match.
While looking at what’s on offer on the market, it is good to note that your cell phone doesn't necessarily have to be on the same cellular network with the camera.
Cellular cameras often come with chargeable plans through Verizon, A T & T and US cellular. These network providers don’t really mind if you use another network as you send and receive your various pictures through Email or a trusted App usually.
It is common knowledge that normal cameras can now function almost perfectly using wifi/radio wireless networks.
Wildlife cameras are often referred to as game cameras, they are cameras that are strategically placed on the hunter or around a property to take pictures and videos of wildlife while you aren’t around.
These cameras are typically triggered by motion and store the pictures internally for you to view later on.
How Do Game Cameras Work?
When used for hunting, game cameras are usually mounted to a tree. When a deer or any other animal comes into the area, the camera's motion detection sensors go off and the camera takes a picture or video of the animal.
These pictures or videos are time stamped, so you will know exactly when the game comes into the area.
Game cameras are another form of wireless camera that currently can be used through cellular networks. Game cameras have unfortunately not reached the level of cellular cameras just yet and still cannot operate solely through wifi or radio wireless networks.
Designers from major game camera companies are working on this but optimal success has not been reached quite yet. This is often because the radiofrequency game camera system will require you to be close to access the actual video feed.
However, this will usually ruin the odds with your hunt as once the game detects you, they will swiftly run away.
With a cellular trail camera you are able to monitor your hunting zone while miles away from it. You may even forget the exact location where you mounted your camera until you're about to relocate it.
The Benefits Of Using A Cellular Camera
The main benefit of using a cellular trail camera is that you are able to access the captured pictures right to your phone. It doesn’t matter where you are, which guarantees you a very lengthy range.
The other benefits of these cameras include:
- Not having to visit your hunting site daily.
- Constant/daily location monitoring.
- All cameras listed are water resistant and waterproof, ensuring maximum longevity and optimum usage.
- Most of the smartphone apps you’ll use will give you extra scouting tools and abilities.
There are also certain trail cameras that will have recognition software to help you manage your photos properly. This photo recognition software usually works by detecting objects in a photo and giving them labels with great accuracy.
Depending on your specific preferences, you can use the system to sort the photos into categories like ‘animal, wildlife, trees’ etc.
The 5 Best Trail Cameras That Send Pictures Right To Your Phone
OUR TOP PICK
This particular camera has a host of incredible online reviews and ratings and thus, has to come top of the list! It was designed superlatively to guarantee the best hunting spree as you will know exactly how to stalk and hunt your prey.
The camera is incredibly easy to install and operate, you shouldn’t even need any additional assistance to set it up. With the CreativeXP 3G, you get a free SIMHERO card that connects directly with AT&T.
Once the card has been activated, you can then proceed to purchase a data plan, which will allow you access to all your pictures on the phone or via Email.
With the data plan that the SIMHERO card offers, you should be able to access up to 1500 photos per $8.
This is an excellent plan when you factor in the amount of gas spent driving 2 hours to check on the collected pictures every week, if you were to do this manually instead.
In order to view the captured images you can use Email or any US cell phone.
In order for the CreativeXP 3G to record, the camera uses a PIP sensor, which turns the camera on once any motion is detected.
The camera lens has a wide angle lens and lets you view all 110 degrees without obstruction. To add a more interesting element, the camera also has a quick 0.4 second trigger feature, that allows you to capture up to 5 photos per trigger.
The Best Features
- Comes with a completely free SIMHERO card.
- Guarantees excellent wireless service at any range.
- Very easy to both install and operate.
- Has a high 0.4 second trigger speed, which allows you to capture 5 photos per trigger.
- The system features incredible photo/video features that give you optimal functionality.
The Spartan HD GoCam is a piece of wireless technology that any user will fall in love with. It’s one of a kind in that it not only sends pictures to your phone but videos too.
Any transmitted file has incredible clarity and the color resolution is unmatched. This camera offers 8MP photo resolution and 1024 x 576 video resolution.
When the conditions are darker, like when the weather is bad or at night, the Spartan Go Cam still gives excellent and highly impressive footage using the no-glow IR flash which has a range of approximately 80 feet.
Any pictures of moving animals are unfortunately not as clear in definition and can sometimes look a bit blurry.
The trail camera has a 0.6 second trigger speed and a 44.6 second recovery speed.
You are also able to access the captured photos and videos via your Email address or the very user- friendly Spartan app, that comes free with the camera, from your smartphone or tablet device.
In order to have access to your recording, however, you will need to have an active data plan set up on your phone with your AT&T carrier.
Though these plans are highly affordable as you can get 50MB of data for just $9.99 per month or even 30GB for $35.99 a month. For any further information on their plans, speak to your local AT&T carrier.
- Comes with a free Sim card, though you are limited to AT&T towers and plans only.
- Allows for rapid transmission of photos and videos.
- Will run with 12 AA lithium batteries and lasts up to 4 months.
- Has a 6 Volt external battery jack.
- Has an IR blackout flash that gives excellent clarity to footage in the dark and up to 80 feet away.
- Convenient wireless access via the app, Email or exclusive web portal.
- Comes ready to use, out of the box, with a simple HCO set up.
Though Bigfoot is a brand that is not as well known as some of the others on this list, it is just as deserving of a place as they create high performance game cameras that leave every user with a sense of great functionality.
With this piece of equipment, the only requirement is to be within range of an AT&T cellular device, the rest of the hunting videography, you can leave up to the camera.
The Bigfoot 3G is extremely affordable and easy to set up to boot. The device comes with a free SIMHERO data card.
With a preloaded sim card, you don’t have to worry about topping it up as it comes with a superb yearly plan that allows you to enjoy your captured photos and videos without frequent charges and gives you the ability to send them straight to your phone or Email.
Before you pay for your subscription, it is worth noting that Bigfoot gives you a 30 day free trial that gives you access to 350 pictures.
Of course, once your trial period is over, you can go ahead and choose your favorite plan from the selection that SIMHERO offers.
These plans range from 1,500 to 16,000 pictures. The right plan for you really depends on what your budget is like and how much you plan on using your device.
As for the functionality, the Bigfoot trail camera comes with various lens size options. Some of the lenses give a picture of 5MP quality, others offer 8MP and some even 12MP.
The device also comes with a 100 degree field of view, for the perfect wide angle coverage and a trigger speed of 0.4 seconds.
This means that the trail camera can not only cover a wide field of view, giving you more space, but also can capture several photographs in just one trigger.
- Affordable, easy to use and set up requires minimal effort with no outside assistance.
- Has a quick trigger speed of just 0.4 seconds
- Has a wide angle lens that gives a full 100 degree view.
- Features an impressive 56 IR LEDs for night vision and supports up to 65 ft for long range footage.
- IP66 and weatherproof.
Another piece of high performance equipment from BigFoot, the 4G Hunting camera is a great alternative to the common trail cameras on the market as it also sends photos directly to your phone.
This camera, like most of BigFoot’s products, is both easy to use and easy to set up.
This camera is definitely worth the money and luckily is fairly reasonably priced, just a little more expensive than the previous Bigfoot 3G camera that was featured on this list!
Using the same set up as a home security camera, this trail camera uses motion detection to trigger the camera to record. You can even send time lapse pictures to yourself via Email.
The device comes with a handy 4G SIMHERO card free and will connect you, once activated, automatically to your local AT&T network.
With the cameras impressive 4G specs, you should receive rapid transmission, which will speed up your ability to access pictures too.
The BigFoot 4G has a photo resolution of either 5MP, 8MP or 12 MP, depending on the plan that you opt for, and a video resolution of 1080p with full HD.
The device can take up to 5 pictures per trigger as it has an impressive trigger speed of 0.35-0.4 seconds. This feature also works a t night time as the camera has built in IR LEDs and it works at up to 65 feet.
The idea behind a cellular trail camera is that it is much more convenient as it saves you multiple trips up to the camera site and reduces the cost long term for you.
This BigFoot trail camera uses 6 AA batteries or 12 AA batteries and has a standby time of 5 - 8 months.
- Very easy to use and has a quick set up time.
- Has an impressive trigger speed of 0.35-0.4 seconds, which allows for 5 photos per trigger.
- Provides full picture size of up to 12MP and full HD video resolution at 1080p.
- Operated on AT&T network with 4G which provides much higher transmission speeds and better quality game camera photos.
- IP66 waterproof and resistant to temperatures of between 17 degrees and 140 degrees fahrenheit.
The final camera on the list is the Spypoint Link-Evo Trail Camera, which operates, as the other trail cameras on this list, by sending high resolution, motion captured pictures straight to your phone.
The camera has a 12MP resolution alongside a pretty remarkable trigger speed of 0.3 seconds (the fastest on this list).
This high resolution and fast trigger speed almost guarantees the ability to capture high quality game pictures, with multiple photos being captured each trigger.
For night time use, the camera has 42 powerful LED’s to provide night scope, which works at up to 80 feet.
The Spypoint trail camera comes with a free pre-activated sim card, which allows the speedy transmission of pictures straight to your cell phone.
Both the card and the camera have 4G, so sharing your images will be super fast and highly efficient. In order to access these features you will need to set up an account with Spypoint.
The plan that you decide to use is entirely up to you as they range from a basic package, with access of up to 250 photos, all the way to the premium package, which will give you unlimited photo access.
This allows you to customize your package and choose the one that meets your trail camera needs.
Once you’ve received your trail camera, Spypoint will usually give you a free pack of 100 photos to try out their service and decide whether you would like their basic, standard or premium package.
- A 4G transmission rate, for fast download and transmission straight to your device.
- Has a 12MP image resolution and a fast trigger speed of 0.3 seconds.
- Comes with 42 high powered LEDs that allow for high resolution in dark weather conditions or at night, with a detection rate of up to 80 feet.
- Comes with a free sim card and a selection of different monthly packages.
- Functions with 8 AA batteries.
- Can support an SD card of up to 32GB.
- Camera comes with a ‘buck tracker antler recognition’ feature that will sort images of bucks.
Which Trail Camera Is Best For You?
We’ve looked at 5 impressive trail cameras in this article but the real question is which of them is the perfect camera for you?
Ultimately, the answer will come down to a number of different factors, including:
- What kind of game are you hunting/exists in your location? If you know the type of game you’re looking to hunt, you can choose a camera suitable to that specific animal. For example, The Spypoint Link-Evo Cellular Trail Camera has a ‘buck tracker antler recognition’ system and would be perfect if bucks are your game of choice!
- What are the weather conditions like in your hunting location? If you tend to get bad weather in your location, for example lots of clouds and rain or even snow, you may want to invest in a camera that has a higher LED count and better night vision functionality.
- Your price range/budget - You will also need to consider what you are willing to, not only spend on the camera itself, but the cellular package you are going to need to buy. If hunting is not a regular hobby, you might want to go with a more affordable plan. Or, if you are an avid hunter, a more expensive plan will allow you to capture and store more photographs and better quality video.