2020's Best Wireless Trail Camera Reviews
Trail cameras are cool. But you have to go retrieve the pictures and footage from the camera when you want to see what the camera has seen.
A cellular trail camera solves this. Cellular trail cameras have a data connection that enables them to beam new pictures and videos straight to your phone.
This makes your trail camera truly remote, entirely set-it-and-forget it.
Before we really dive into things, it’s worth noting that a cellular trail camera is not the same as a wireless trail camera.
A cellular trail camera connects to a mobile network, like your cell phone’s 3G, 4G, or LTE connection. A wireless trail camera is capable of establishing wi-fi connections with other devices.
We’re going to focus primarily on cellular trail cameras in this article. Because they’re the ones that are most capable of the remote operation most trail camera users need.
With that said, the best overall trail camera we’ve reviewed is the Kuool Trail Camera. When you look at all the factors that influence a purchase—including price—this trail cam offers the best blend of performance and value.
If you’d like to see all the options before you spring for a new cellular trail camera, stick around. We’ll cover the rest of the field, too.
We’ll give our winning trail camera space at the top. Then we’ll work through the competitors in order of price. The least expensive cameras get first dibs. The most expensive cameras are at the end. Happy hunting!
Editor’s Choice: Kuool Trail Camera
When you look at all the factors that influence a purchase—including price—this trail cam offers the best blend of performance and value.
Top 5 Best Cellular Trail Camera Reviews
The wireless technology tends to eat up most of the manufacturing cost of a cellular trail camera. The Kuool Trail Camera manages this cost, and delivers excellent connectivity without completely sacrificing image and video quality to keep the price down.
Since the wireless connection is the star, we’ll start there. This model offers a 4G/LTE connection, on the AT&T or T-Mobile network.
The connection is super fast, and enables you to retrieve images and videos from the camera quickly. However, the AT&T and T-Mobile networks have the best coverage in urban areas. So, check the signal where you intend to place your camera. Those using this camera for home security or surveillance likely won’t have any issues with the network.
If you’re not keen on adding another app to your phone, the camera can be controlled via text message. So, there’s no software to deal with, if you don’t want to. But, if you prefer the user interface of an app, there are a couple apps available on the app store.
The image quality and sensor are good, not great.
This camera captures 12MP images and 1080P video. The video quality is pretty standard. However, 12MP is only decent. For most hunting and surveillance tasks, the image quality is fine, but wildlife enthusiasts and anyone else who needs ultra-detailed images may want to opt for better image capture.
The daytime lens only offers a 90 degree field-of-view. However, the nighttime sensor takes in 120 degrees, which is about as good as it gets. There are also 52 infrared LEDs that provide illumination for the infrared camera, which enables it to capture images from up to 65 feet away.
Lastly, the camera will live for up to 8 months on standby using 12 AA batteries. The standby life is good. However, it requires a lot of batteries.
All in all, this camera boasts strong performance at a middle-of-the-road price. Most hunters, home owners, and observers will find that the image and video are fine for what they need. Only those who need the clearest images will find this camera inadequate.
The Spypoint Link-EVO-V Cellular Trail Camera sports the lowest price on this list. However, it’s still quite a capable model.
First, the connection is 4G/LTE supported by Verizon. Verizon has one of the best networks for remote operation. So, this is a good option for hunters and wildlife observers who need remote operational capabilities on a budget.
Spypoint kept the costs low with the picture quality. The video is 1080P. But the picture quality is only 12MP. So, if you need publishable photos, this may not be the camera for you. However, the picture quality is good enough for most hunting, home security, and surveillance applications.
Both the daylight and infrared cameras have a 90 degree field-of-view. It could be better. But it will work for you, as long as you’re not using this for observing a really wide area.
The detection and illumination distance of the infrared camera are solid, though. 42 infrared LEDs deliver a 90 foot illumination range, and the sensor will pick up heat signatures from as far as 80 feet.
Combine the nighttime range with a 0.3 second trigger time, and you’ve got a pretty solid infrared camera for capturing quick game after dark.
This camera is only controllable using the Spypoint app. The app is serviceable. It does the trick. But, it’s nothing to write home about.
So, even though price is the main selling point of this camera, it’s still a decent performer that will meet the needs of most hunters and homeowners.
Where most cameras are tied to a specific network, the Bigfoot Cellular Camera 3G comes with a SIM card that can transmit pictures over any network.
Although the network versatility is excellent for those who need assurance that their camera will connect, the network speed could be faster. 3G is best for those who only need to transmit a limited number of photos or minimal video.
As for image quality, this model offers 12MP image and 1080P video resolution. It’s good enough for hunting and home security. Not great to photography professionals.
The field-of-view for both the day and night cameras is 100 degrees. It’s a solid angle that will cover most urban environments well. But hunters who need to observe really wide-open fields might prefer something broader.
The trigger time is good as well. 0.4 seconds will satisfy most users. But, just like the field-of-view, it could be better.
Unfortunately, this camera requires an app for remote operation. The Bigfoot app is better than some. But, this camera still comes with a software requirement.
However, images and videos can be sent via email or text. So, you only need the app to control the camera.
Overall, this camera represents the middle-of-the-road option. The performance is good, but not great. The connection is versatile, but not the fastest.
It’s the best option for those who want to a reliable connection and an easy way to get their pictures, but don’t need industry-leading performance.
The CreativeXP 3G Cellular Trail Camera is built for simple operation, and their customer support team is more responsive than most trail camera manufacturers.
First, this model uses 3G network connectivity to send photos and videos. It’s not the fastest connection. But the camera packages the data up and sends it via MMS, which keeps the file size as small as possible.
The picture quality is 12MP, and the video resolution is 1080P. Both specs are solid for a cellular camera. They’ll work for all but those who need really professional-grade photos.
Trigger time on this camera is 0.4 seconds, which is decent. It’s less than half a second. So, you’ll catch everything except the most fleeting movements.
The daylight camera lens sports a 100-degree field-of-view. The infrared sensor takes in everything within a 110 degree field-of-view. Both these specs are above average for cellular trail cameras. This camera will cover all but the widest observation areas.
To help cover large areas, the effective range of this model is 65 feet, and the infrared illumination is good out to 75 feet.
Unfortunately, this camera requires an app. It’s a decent app, and controlling the camera is easy. But it’s not as lightweight as a text-to-control system.
This camera does the best job of simplifying the operation without sacrificing performance. Additionally, the data plan for this model is one of the most affordable. If you’re looking for a solid camera that you don’t have to monkey with, this might be your best option.
The Cuddleback Dual Flash Invisible IR Scouting Game Trail Camera is not a true cellular camera. However, the wireless capability enables you to use it like one.
The benefit of using a wireless camera is that the image quality is higher. Wireless technology is simpler and uses less energy. So the onboard camera can be more advanced.
This model captures 20MP images. This is the best among trail cameras. Videos are recorded in 1080P, which is pretty standard.
The nighttime infrared sensor is supported by 56 infrared LEDs, that deliver enough lighting for the sensor to detect heat signatures up to 100 feet away. This is also the best range among trail cameras.
Another industry-leading spec is the trigger time. This trail cam boasts a 0.25 second trigger time, and a 1 second recovery time. This camera can capture two images faster than some cameras can capture one.
So, all the specs are best in class. What’s the catch, right? Well, this isn’t a true cellular camera. It’s got an onboard wi-fi modem that can connect to your household wireless network. If you want it to function as a cellular camera, you’ll need to use Cuddleback’s proprietary cellular transmitter, Cuddlelink.
The good news is that Cuddlelink works just like a cellular network connection, and delivers images and videos to your phone. There’s just a bit more hardware and setup involved.
On the bright side, the wireless capability enables this camera to communicate with other Cuddleback wireless cameras. So, you can create a camera network with this model.
This camera is definitely at the top of the performance bell curve. But it’s at the bottom of the simplicity bell curve, if you want to use it as a cellular trail camera. Those who must have the highest quality images will be interested in this one.
A cellular trail camera is by far the best way to keep tabs on remote areas or conduct security and surveillance remotely. You get the most current images from your camera the fastest with a cellular trail camera.
If you’re after the best mix of performance and cost, pick up the Kuool Trail Camera. The performance is solid, and the cost is a tad below average when it comes to cellular trail cameras. You can’t go wrong.
So, now you know which cameras are going to deliver the best images, which have the best connection, and which ones will satisfy the broadest audience. It’s time to pick out the one that works for you, and start getting some pictures.