July 16, 2024

11 Best Cellular Trail Cameras in 2023: Guide & Reviews

Cellular trail cameras are, arguably, the best invention for nature lovers. When you go for a hike or trail, what is the most annoying problem to solve when you see a beautiful animal? Capturing the essence of your journey. And cellular trail cameras can bring about the solution to that. They help users take incredible and spontaneous pictures of the animals and birds in their natural habitat.

But what exactly is a cellular trail camera, and how to use it? In our guide below, we summarise its functionality, features, and the characteristics you need to focus on while choosing a new cellular trail camera. We also include the best cellular trail cameras for outdoorsy people in 2023, with reviews based on personal experience.

Continue reading our article to find out!

What is a Cellular Trail Camera?

What is a Cellular Trail Camera?

It is a type of camera equipment specially designed for photography in isolated locations. How does it function, you ask? Its communication system is somewhat similar to a cell phone, needing outbound and inbound signals. How it works is relatively simple. When any animal or wildlife passes through the camera’s field of view, its motion detector will capture images and transmit them automatically to another server.

This server can be cloud-based or directly connected to another device. Since trail cameras are typically used in woody areas or remote locations, getting a solid signal is quite rare. In such instances, it will function like a regular digital camera and store the pictures in its memory card. Additionally, trail cameras can be used for safety as they can signal you about another animal’s presence around your camp or sleeping area.

List of Best Cellular Trail Cameras

1. Spypoint Link-S

Spypoint Link-S

Prominent features:

  • Still resolution: 12MP
  • Video resolution: 1280*720p
  • Video length: 90 seconds
  • Night vision: Low-Glow LED
  • Storage: SD or SDHC card, 32GB
  • Cost: USD 129

The Spypoint Link-S is one of the best cellular trail cameras with the highest ratings. It includes an audio recording feature and needs 8 AA batteries. Another exciting characteristic is that it has solar lithium-ion batteries. These are rechargeable and save you the cost and effort of repeatedly exchanging new batteries.

SPYPOINT Link-S-Dark (V) Cellular Trail Camera 12MP Photos and HD Video, 4G/LTE Photo Transmission, Fastest Trigger Speed Available 90’ Flash Range, 110’ Detection Range, LCD menu and Viewing Screen
  • TOP OF THE LINE: The LINK-S-DARK VZN Network camera is the most complete trail...
  • CONNECTIVITY: With 4G/LTE network connectivity, the VZN carrier model connects...
  • PERFORMANCE: The LINK-S-DARK is leading the industry in multiple categories,...
  • SAVINGS: Save on gas by not driving to your camera to get photos, save on plans...

2. Reconyx Hyperfire 2 Cellular

Reconyx Hyperfire 2 Cellular

Prominent features:

  • Still resolution: 1080p or 3MP
  • Video resolution: 720p HD
  • Range: 150 feet
  • Trigger Speed: 0.2 seconds
  • Cost: USD 599

As the specifications state, the trigger speed of this camera is incredibly short, which is a great advantage. Reconyx Hyperfire 2 Cellular has a wide range of detection and amazing picture quality. However, it cannot transmit videos to the connected server. Also, if you’re a beginner merely exploring the field, this camera might be too expensive.

RECONYX HyperFire 2 Cellular IR Camera ATT/T-Mobile OD Green
  • AT&T 4G LTE Cellular Enabled
  • 0.2 second trigger speed
  • 150 foot (45 m) NoGlow Covert Infrared Flash Range
  • 1080P or 3MP Image Resolution, 720P HD Video with Audio

3. Browning Defender Pro Scout Max

Browning Defender Pro Scout Max

  • Still resolution: 20MP
  • Video resolution: 1600x900p HD
  • Range: 100 feet
  • Trigger speed: 0.25 seconds
  • Recovery time: 0.35 seconds
  • Storage: 512GB memory card
  • Cost: USD 89

Although you might face problems in terms of the signal, Browning Defender Pro Scout Max has an impressive battery life and storage facility. It is also rather easy to set up. It requires 8 AA batteries to function for as much as a year. You also get multi-shot and rapid-fire characteristics to snap your subjects.

Browning Pro Scout MAX Cellular Camera
  • 22 Mega Pixels;Pre Installed ATT and Verizon SIM cards;120ft infrared flash;100...

4. Bushnell CelluCORE 30

Bushnell CelluCORE 30

  • Still resolution: 30MP
  • Video resolution: 1920x1080p
  • Video length: 30 seconds
  • Storage: SD or SDHC card, 32GB
  • Trigger speed: 0.2 seconds
  • Recovery rate: 0.6 seconds
  • Cost: USD 188

With one of the best trigger speeds and recovery rates in the market, Bushnell CelluCORE 30 has many attractive features, which make it one of the best cellular trail cameras, especially its No Glow infrared night range. The only catch is that the 32GB SD card and 6 AA batteries must be purchased separately.

Bushnell 30MP CORE 1080p Trail Camera, Dual Sensor, no Glow_119977C
  • Accepts up to a 32GB SD Card (not included) and operates on 6 AA batteries (not...
  • 30 MP Images 1080p 60fps Video
  • 80' No Glow Infrared Night Range
  • 0.2s Trigger Speed and 0.6s Recovery Rate

5. Moultrie Mobile Delta Base

Moultrie Mobile Delta Base

  • Still resolution: 24MP
  • Video resolution: 1080p
  • Range: 80 feet
  • Trigger speed: 0.75 seconds
  • Storage: SD or SDHC card, 32GB
  • Cost: USD 59

One leverage that Moultrie Mobile Delta Base has over the others is the option to review videos and settings through the mobile app. It also has free automatic species recognition. To store your pictures and videos, the manufacturers offer free cloud storage. All in all, it’s one of the best cellular trail cameras for beginners!

Moultrie Mobile Delta Base Cellular Trail Camera - 24MP Resolution Photos & Videos with Sound | .75s Trigger Speed & 36 invisible IR LEDs | Game Cam for Hunting with App Control | Verizon Nationwide
  • STRONG CELLULAR CONNECTION virtually anywhere you place your camera through...
  • INDUSTRY-LEADING APP - Together with the Moultrie Mobile app, the BASE cellular...
  • STOP GUESSING; TAG YOUR TARGET BUCK with the ultra-reliable BASE cellular trail...
  • Activity Charting lets you see which camera locations have the highest traffic...

6. Stealthcam DS4K

Stealthcam DS4K

Prominent features

  • Still resolution: two lenses of 16MP
  • Video resolution: 4K at 15FPS, 2560×1440 at 30FPS
  • Range: 100 feet
  • Trigger speed: 0.2 seconds
  • Storage: SD card, 128GB
  • Cost: USD 206

As you can see in the specifications, this trail camera provides excellent resolution and top-quality pictures. You can select the settings to take 1 to 9 images per burst, where each snippet is stamped with the time and date of capture. Pair it with the Stealthcam Solar Battery Pack, and you are good to go!

Stealth Cam DS4K Transmit Cellular AT&T OR VERIZON 32MP Photo & 4K at 30 FPS Day & Night Video 0.2 Sec Trigger Speed Hunting Game Camera - Supports SD Cards Up to 128GB
  • HIGH RESOLUTION - The DS4K Transmit hunting game camera features a 32-megapixel...
  • TOP QUALITY - This hunting trail camera boasts a 100 ft Detection & IR range for...
  • VERIZON OR AT&T CELLULAR PROVIDER - The DS4K Transmit trail camera operates on...
  • FEATURES -This trail camera for hunting features 1-9 images per triggering burst...

7. Muddy Manifest 2.0

Muddy Manifest 2.0

  • Still resolution: 16MP
  • Range: 80 feet
  • Trigger speed: 0.8 seconds
  • Storage: SD card, 32GB
  • Cost: USD 82

If you’re ready to compromise with the relatively slower trigger speed and absence of the video feature, Muddy Manifest 2.0 offers reasonable compensation for its price. It is easy to set up and delivers the snippets to the phone directly. We would refer to this camera to enhance the camping experience as an amateur.

Muddy outdoor Manifest 2.0 Cellular Trail Camera - 720p, 16 Megapixel: AT&T
  • MUDDY MANIFEST 2.0 TRAIL CAMERA - This Muddy Manifest 2.0 trail camera can...
  • REMOTE CELLULAR CONNECTION - Access your Muddy Manifest 2.0 trail camera from...
  • WATERTIGHT & STURDY DESIGN - Your Muddy camera is safe against the elements with...
  • EASY MOUNTING - With the included mounting strap, you are able to mount your...

8. Spypoint Flex

Spypoint Flex

Prominent features

  • Photo resolution: 36MP
  • Video resolution: 1080p
  • Range: 100 feet
  • Trigger speed: 0.3 seconds
  • Storage: microSD card
  • Cost: USD 86

Not only is the Spypoint Flex camera cheap, but it also offers excellent picture and video resolution, range of detection, and trigger speed. The trail camera is also GPS enabled and automatically searches for the best provider in range to keep the connection intact. The only con is that it needs an adapter to connect to a card reader.

9. Covert 2021 Blackhawk LTE

Covert 2021 Blackhawk LTE

Prominent features

  • Still resolution: 20MP
  • Video duration: 5 seconds with audio
  • Flash range: 100 feet
  • Trigger speed: 0.65 seconds
  • Cost: USD 132

The Covert 2021 Blackhawk has an effective No Glow feature, which complements its image resolution well. Although the trigger speed is a constraint, it delivers great pictures. To maximize the battery life of your trail camera, you can buy the Covert Solar Panels here and never fall short of anything!

10. Wildgame Terra Cell

Wildgame Terra Cell

  • Still resolution: 16MP
  • Video resolution: 720p HD
  • Range: 80 feet
  • Trigger speed: 0.7 seconds
  • Cost: USD 92

Wildgame Terra Cell comes with an adjustable tree strap to increase the convenience of your experience. Although it needs only 8 AA batteries, do you wish to increase its battery life? Worry not, since it’s compatible with a solar panel-based power supply. The app includes image recognition software. However, it doesn’t always capture the best nighttime images.

Wildgame Innovations Terra Cell 16 Mp 0.7 Sec Trigger Speed Hunting Wireless Verizon Cellular Trail Camera
  • GREAT HUNTING TRAIL CAMERA - Thanks to Wildgame Innovations Terra Cell Cellular...
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY - This trail camera for hunting features twenty-one 850nm LEDs...
  • VERIZON PROVIDER - Since it's compatible with Verizon wireless provider, the...
  • HUNTSMART APP - HuntSmart App provides information detailed out by species,...

11. Exodus Render 4G LTE 2023

Exodus Render 4G LTE 2023

Prominent features

  • Still resolution: 16MP
  • Video resolution: 640×360 at 15FPS
  • Range: 80 feet
  • Trigger speed: 0.7 seconds
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Cost: USD 335

As the product name implies, the Exodus Render trail camera has wide 4G coverage for quick transmission of images and videos. It has a simple set-up system, impressive resolution, and absolute control over the camera remotely through the mobile app. However, the major disadvantages are its slow trigger response and high cost.

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How to Choose the Best Cellular Trail Camera?

Narrowing down the vast range of cellular trail cameras can take time and effort. Which features should be on your priority list? We have listed the top six here.

1. Screen

As mentioned above, cellular trail cameras can be used as normal digital cameras too. In that case, check the available screen. This way, you can also take a few practice snippets of the surroundings before setting up the camera. Hence, double-check the screen size and quality.

2. LED

Trail cameras use infrared LEDs to shed light on the subject before taking the picture. Two types of LEDs are usually used – No Glow LED and Low Glow LED. As the name suggests, Low Glow produces a small amount of flash, while No Glow gives out none. Ensure to choose the more suitable one.

3. Trigger Time

Trigger time is the duration taken by your camera to click the picture after it detects movement of any kind. Buying a camera with a quicker trigger speed will help you capture images of fast-moving subjects with greater precision. It is possibly the most crucial feature of a trail camera.

4. Recovery Time

As the name implies, recovery time is the duration taken by the camera to recover from the previous capture and get ready to snap the next one. If your camera has a faster recovery time, you can capture more pictures in a shorter period. Similar to trigger time, this is essential for capturing fast-moving subjects.

5. Resolution

Some of the best cellular trail cameras have a high resolution since they will capture better pictures. Several times, the camera’s resolution can be adjusted by compression or interpolation in the sample pictures. Hence, remember to check the true sensor resolution to get an accurate idea of the quality offered.

6. Hybrid Mode

Lastly, hybrid mode is another crucial feature. It allows you to capture video and pictures simultaneously, which is great for analyzing the behavior of wild animals as they pass through your trail. However, if you are interested in noting only the presence of the subjects, a hybrid mode may not be important for you.

Final Words

To conclude the article, we summarise the main attributes you need to check while buying a cellular trail camera – the trigger speed, recovery time, screen, picture and video resolution, battery, hybrid mode, and network coverage. If you also get quick transmission and device control through the app remotely, it’s probably one of the best cellular trail cameras in the current market.

We have taken care to include suggestions for beginners, amateur campers, and even professionals who like to capture wildlife in their natural habitat. Companies like Skypoint, Bushnell, Covert, and Stealthcam manufacture some of the best cellular trail cameras, which are highly recommended by experts. Before you buy any equipment, remember to compare the configuration, features, cost, and other specifications with its counterparts in the market to get the best deal.

Which is the craziest thing you captured on a trail camera? Let us know in the comments section!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Cellular Trail Cameras Require Wi-Fi?

Cellular trail cameras utilize cellular connectivity to send the captured images to the mobile device, app, or server. Hence they do not need Wi-Fi. However, to get the shots as soon as possible, select a camera that offers strong connectivity over a wider range.

Are Cellular Trail Cameras Expensive?

The cost of trail cameras depends on their functions and different features. Some of the most professional cellular trail cameras are rather expensive and may require other accessories. But if you’re an amateur trying to explore the field more, you can opt for a cheaper one.

How Long Does a Cellular Trail Camera Last?

Cellular trail cameras usually last 8-12 months. Their life depends on various factors like the extent of use, external conditions, and overall quality. Often, costlier devices of higher quality last longer. You can pick a product with a sturdier body design to combat this problem.

Do Cellular Trail Cameras Work in The Dark?

Cellular trail cameras usually work in the dark since they have an in-built flash mechanism and infrared LED feature, which is triggered as soon as the camera detects movement. Although most cameras will work in the dark, sometimes, they might fail to do so.

What Is the Difference Between a Cellular Security Camera and a Cellular Trail Camera?

Cellular security cameras are specially designed with security and surveillance in mind, whereas cellular trail cameras are typically used to capture wildlife and detect motion. While a trail camera will only capture pictures or video when it detects movement, a security camera will send constant feedback without interruption.

Olivia Smith

Olivia Smith, who holds a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT, has been the backbone of our equipment review section since 2020. Her expertise is backed by over 15 years of experience in the engineering sector, specifically in equipment design and testing. She is known for her detailed and practical reviews. Before gracing our platform, Olivia was an editor for a major industrial magazine. In her leisure time, she enjoys mountain biking and experimenting with DIY robotics projects.

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