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5 Best Wireless Trail Cameras

We've got wireless motion activated cameras covered in today's massive StealthyNinjas.com guide!

infrared-wildlife-camera

Wireless trail cameras have become an essential tool for the modern hunter, researcher, and general outdoors aficionado.

Whether you’re hoping to catch a rare bird on camera, the mating rituals of spotted genets, an unwelcome intruder or whatever deer get up to at night, trail cameras that send pictures to your phone or email in real time can be the difference between speculating about Bigfoot’s existence and actually corroborating that he does indeed shyly populate the woody mountains of North America.

Whatever your motives - from scouting, hunting and wildlife research to surveillance - the current sports marketplace for trail cameras is flooded with high-performance devices with an array of new tools and specifications that not only provide much better quality than previous generations but also have become way more user-friendly, convenient and effective.

But... at what cost?

Probably at one much more affordable than you think, especially taking into account that our selection of highly resistant cameras will last you a lifetime.

The latest generation of wireless trail cameras uses much the same technology as an ordinary mobile phone. The two main things that these new wireless trail cameras models introduce as opposed to a standard game camera are that 1) much like a cell phone, they require a SIM card to receive and send information and 2) they require you to download a mobile App to your smartphone. Some models offer access through the web as well.

We have selected the best cellular trail cameras for different budgets and needs, but first, remember to check out these features when purchasing a wifi trail camera.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.


Bigfoot Cellular Camera 3G

Our Top Pick

Bigfoot Cellular Camera

Covert Wireless Trail Camera

Covert Scouting Camera

Vosker-Trail-Camera

A Great Alernative

Vosker V200

Papake Wireless Trail Camera

Papake Wireless Trail Camera

SPYPOINT Link-EVO-V Cellular Trail Camera

SPYPOINT Link-EVO-V


Buyer's Guide

Wireless trail cameras are pretty new to the world and there may be lots that the first time buyer may not know about. In this section, we break down the key features that you should be looking at.

camouflage-trail-camera

1. Wirelessness and Connectivity

The best new feature of these cameras is the wireless and cellular technology that eliminates the need to actually retrieve the camera to see the images it is capturing.

No more walking out into the field to retrieve the SD memory card to check what it has been capturing. Analog technology is long gone and these cameras send images to your phone or email account through a SIM card or inbuilt transmitter, depending on the technology they use.

Images will take from a few seconds to up to 90 seconds to get to your phone or email account, so you should take keep this in mind when selecting the best camera for your needs, as taking a wildlife picture might not be as pressing as finding out who is trespassing your property. 

One requirement for a cellular game camera is a minimum of 3 bars of reception in the area you plan to position your camera. Remember you don’t need to be on the same network as your phone – you can be on a different network and you can still contact your wireless game camera.

Cellular game camera plans are currently available through AT&T, Verizon, and US Cellular whether or not you currently use their service.

trail-camera

2. Choosing the Right Camera for Your Carrier

Wireless trail cameras transmit information similarly to the way smartphones do: through digital signals which your laptop, smartphone or tablet then turn back into image or video on your display screen. This is why you will need a SIM card with an activated data plan to receive the photos and videos it sends straight to your phone or email account.

First of all, you will have to look at what sort of mobile company signal the trail camera you are thinking about buying requires. You will also need to check what type of signal (3G, 4G) is available in the area where the camera will be set up.

This point cannot be emphasized strongly enough. In the US, you may find signal coverage maps by checking your carrier’s website or contacting their tech-support. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are the ones with the best coverage.

Once you have checked that the carrier your camera requires is supported in your area you will need to install a SIM card and acquire a data plan for that carrier. Keep in mind that each cellular camera model is restricted to use by specific cellular service providers and will only work with the specified ones.

wildlife-camera-with-infrared

3. Smartphone App 

It is not possible to operate a wireless game camera without first installing its corresponding app on your smartphone or another device. Wireless trail cameras are made to be used in conjunction with specific cellular carriers too.

If you are not in an area where AT&T has a strong signal, you are going to need to stay away from a wireless game camera that needs this carrier. So, the very first step when shopping for a wireless game camera is to know what your choices are for the cellular carrier reception you get in your area.

You will also need to download and install an app to your smart device or laptop in order to receive photos from your wireless deer camera. We recommend that you find out how easy a particular app is to use; you can do this by checking some app reviews on the app store or specialized websites. Some of them offer YouTube tutorials so you may want to check some before buying.

In any case, installing the app will be necessary to remotely control your new trail camera and get access to the images or video it takes. To set it up just follow these simple steps:

  1. Search for the manufacturer of your wireless game camera in the app store (most models support Android while only a few will be available on iOS).  You can download the required app from there. You may also be able to download it in a tablet or laptop.
  2. Once you have done that you will need to pair it to your trail camera. This will depend on the cellular signal in your area but there should be no problem in urban areas. You will need a compatible data plan for your camera: it does not need to be from the same carrier as your phone, but do check that the carrier you choose is supported as some cameras only work with specific carriers.
  3. Your camera is now operational and now you need only to learn to navigate the app and add the phone number and email address where you wish to receive photos and videos.
man-looking-at-phone

Recommended Next: Our guide on the top performing nanny cameras is worth checking out!


4. Battery Autonomy

Another feature to take into account is the battery autonomy. These cameras usually need to be equipped with AA batteries (usually have to be purchased separately).

Autonomy can range from a few weeks to months at a time, so do keep this in mind. Some of them even feature an alert system to let you know if the batteries are running low and need to be replaced.

Weather conditions may also affect their performance as extremely hot or cold temperatures can affect the battery life, so make sure your selected camera is suitable to work in your climate area.

Usage will also affect battery durability - amongst our selected models, the Papake wireless trail camera is amongst the most efficient models with batteries lasting up to six months at normal usage.

Recommended Reading: Don't miss our guide to special hidden spy cameras!


5. Shooting at the Exact Right Time

Finally and most importantly, the number one feature of any wireless game camera is its ability to know when and at what specific moment it needs to take a shot.

Old school aficionados will sometimes be able to still use hand triggers, but the latest generation of cameras have made a great effort to improve their sound and proximity sensation triggers. You will also be able to set a self-timer built into the camera if you wish to take pictures at a specific moment in time.

wildlife-trail-camera

6. Memory Space

Unfortunately, cloud storage is not yet available with WiFi trail cameras: photo and video files are stored on SD memory cards.

Our models support from 8GB to 64GB SD memory cards in the superior versions, allowing for a few hundred photos to several thousand depending on resolution.

In any case, as technology is quickly advancing in this field, we expect to be able to store our trail camera photos in the cloud in the upcoming years.


7. Image Resolution: Photo & Video Quality

These new models are capable of capturing at least 720p HD/VGA video and 12MP photos - do not settle for less.

More expensive models may be able to even improve those specs. Night time mode has also hugely improved, now offering clear and sharp images thanks to the development of an invisible LED flash in stealth mode that does not scare game away. The video comes with good quality audio as well.

trail-camera-on-tree

8. Appearance

While some are bigger than others, all of these cellular game cameras have been designed to blend in with their environment and be completely ignored by game and other wild animals. They come in all sorts of camouflage so be sure to select the one that best fits the environment you wish to place it.

Recommended Reading: We review the top digital peephole cameras currently available in our new guide.


9. Extras

Some of these wireless game cameras come with additional attractive features:

Real-time wind and weather information: some models such as the Covert Wireless Trail Camera Code Black AT&T/Blackhawk Verizon are capable of sending you local weather information. This is an important feature so that you can turn off the movement sensation trigger as trees that are moved by the wind, rain or hail may trigger the camera. It is also important to know if the camera is able to withstand extreme weather conditions: humidity, ice, and hot dry weather can seriously dampen or damage the lens.

Stealth mode: some cameras are provided with LED technology that allows them to take pictures at night without projecting any light or flash, allowing them to take pictures or video without disrupting the animals in their natural habitat.

Guest access: some models such as the Covert Wireless Trail Camera Code Black AT&T/Blackhawk Verizon allow for guest access which can be remotely activated.

Accessories: sellers sometimes add some useful accessories to attract customers. While SD memory cards and batteries are not usually a good extra, others like lockboxes or manual triggers can really help to make up one’s mind. In any case, wireless trail cameras offer a good chance of customization and add-ons such as extended antennas, solar batteries, and added storage space.


In any case, whatever your trail camera needs are, we have gone and checked the best wireless trail cameras for you currently available on Amazon.

Keep in mind that, despite huge leaps in smartphone technology, wireless trail cameras are relatively new.

We are aware these models may do not yet benefit from cloud technology, but for now and a few years to come, these are the best out there:


The Top Wireless Trail Cameras Reviewed

In this section, we take a closer look at each model and see what makes them tick.

Bigfoot Cellular Camera      *** Our Top Pick ***

This model from Bigfoot takes high quality motion-triggered and time-lapse photos that can be sent to your cell phone or email account.

This is an awesome basic trail camera for beginners or those not wishing to spend a fortune yet get a decent piece of gear.

It is extremely easy to set up yet offers a wide range of features. One of its most interesting features is that it does not work exclusively with a particular carrier: it can be operated with most SIM cards and connects to any network within range.

Its app also supports both iOS and Android. It takes decent photos and videos at night thanks to its invisible flash on stealth mode. If you are willing to sacrifice video quality over a cheaper price, this sturdy model is the one for you.

While the photo resolution is decent but not exceptional, the video quality is only 720p HD/VGA which may put some off.

Its sensation trigger is also so sensitive that it may need some adjusting if you don’t want to end up with a bunch of pictures of leaves moved by the wind.

It also has a very wide field of vision which makes things seem rather far away. This has the positive effect of getting more in a picture too though.

The balance setting could also be improved as well as the IR dispersion, but it is extremely easy to set up.

Battery life is acceptable and it can be connected to a 12v solar charger if needed. Overall it is a great camera that ticks all the boxes and offers great value for money.

Specs: 

  • Photo Resolution: 5/8/12 Mega Pixels
  • Video Resolution: 720p HD/VGA
  • Time-lapse mode
  • 65' Night Flash Distance (stealth mode)
  • Wide Lens, 56 IR LEDs
  • Supports up to 32GB SD memory cards (not included)

Best for: scouting and game hunting. Works particularly well with small animals as it detects even the slightest and most minimal movements in its environment.

Price: low cost.

The box includes: camera and antenna.

Extras: this model only works in areas where you can get at least two AT&T bars. There is a reasonably priced extended antenna package that can be used in areas such as National Parks or deserts where there is only one bar signal - however, it is not included and needs to be purchased separately.

  Verdict: An excellent entry level trail camera that's really hard to beat on value.




Covert Scouting Camera

This LTE Wireless Trail Camera model from Covert Scouting Cameras can be remotely triggered in just 0.7 seconds thanks to its passive infrared motion sensor.

Photo and video quality are similar to the previous model but enhanced with Covert’s MaXimum Silence technology that allows taking pictures in complete silence.

At night, its invisible flash offers the chance to take pictures in the dark without disrupting the environment or spooking animals. It includes basic features such as time-lapse mode and temperature readings, and photos are stamped with information such as date, time, moon phase and battery status.

It is also extremely user-friendly with a 2” color viewer screen that allows previewing pictures.

Specs:

  • Photo Resolution: 12 Mega Pixels
  • Video Resolution: 1280x720p
  • Time-lapse mode
  • 60 LEDs invisible flash (stealth mode)
  • 0.7 trigger speed
  • 100ft range
  • Powered by 12AA batteries
  • Supports SD memory cards up to 64GB (specific models - not included)

Best for: game scouting. It’s a rather small model that can be easily concealed that offers decent quality and a whole lot of information that can be accessed from a distance without needing to physically check the camera.

The box includes: a camera and two antennas.

Extras: this model is available in a range of colors and camoflage patterns.

Price: average.

  Verdict: This wireless game camera provides average photo and video quality, a lot of different settings that can be managed remotely and easily by inexperienced users through a phone and web App available for iOS and Android.

The range is not an issue as it works flawlessly even in places with low signal, but batteries seem to need to be changed around every month and a half, although their performance may be affected by usage and weather conditions.




Vosker V200 LTE Wireless

The Vosker V200 is designed as a security camera but is equally at home out on the trail. It's a quality piece of kit that is backed up by an outstanding 2-year warranty.

Unlike a lot of these types of cameras it's remarkably easy to set-up. Vosker estimate it should only take 5 minutes to get it ready and it comes with a one month complimentary plan for their unlimited network subscription.

The subscription plan is tiered and plans range from the free service (limited to 100 photos per month) up to $20 per month for the unlimited service. There are 10 and $15 intermediate services too.

It normally runs off 8 AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack, but also features a built-in solar panel for excellent performance in remote areas. The solar panels will recharge the system as it depletes. It's also fully weatherproof to withstand harsh conditions out in the field.

It can record directly to an on-board SD card or transmit directly to your phone via the Vosker network.

The wide angled motion detection features AI Image Recognition to detect movement at 100’. It will also record time lapses and records audio too. 

Specs: 

  • Time-lapse mode
  • Built-in solar panel
  • Free subscription available
  • View images remotely or with SD card
  • 100 feet range
  • 2-year warranty
  • Supports SD memory card (not included)

Best for: surveillance and security.

Price: High

  Verdict: This camera is a quality piece of kit, perfectly at home out in the countryside or on a property as a surveillance system.

The built-in solar panel is a masterstroke that means you never have to worry about running out of power.

It's reasonably expensive but a two year warranty is a great touch.



Papake Wireless Trail Camera

This impressive camera meets all the specifications you could ever ask of a cellular game camera: a faster trigger speed of fewer than 0.4 seconds, ensuring every detected movement is instantly captured at a high quality.

What is best about this model, however, is its energy-efficient operating system, that can last up to 6 months in standby mode.

It also offers a wide range of useful features such as multi-shot, password protection, time stamp or a low battery alarm and can be mounted into a tripod - the bracket on the back is also designed to fit a strap so it can be attached to a tree or pole.

Unfortunately, it cannot connect to your phone in real time, so to look at photos and video you will need to remove the SD memory card from the camera and load it into a laptop.

An interesting feature is that this trail camera works with most carriers if their signal is in range of where you place it so it offers more freedom in selecting a carrier than other models.

Specs:

  • Photo Resolution: 12 Mega Pixels
  • Video Resolution: Full HD 1080p video
  • Time-lapse mode
  • 120-degree wide-angle detection
  • Waterproof design (IP66)
  • 56 LED flash
  • 0.4 trigger speed
  • 75 feet range
  • 2.4” TFT-LED screen
  • Supports up to 32GB SD memory cards (not included)

Best for: wildlife research. This camera’s quality is excellent and allows for superb wildlife research, especially at night: its larger range (120-degree wide-angle detection) permits scanning a wider area, its high speed can capture even the shortest interactions and its waterproof design together with its sturdy frame makes it resistant to rain, moisture, dust, and corrosion, making it perfect for long stays outdoors in extreme weather conditions.

The box includes: just the camera.

Extras: it comes with a free 8G SD Card and a 24-month warranty.

Price: high.

  Verdict: This camera is pretty simple to set up and has an easy start guide that walks you through the entire setup.

The overall quality is top-notch in every aspect, rendering high-quality pictures and video, although it does drop a little for night shots which can be expected as it features only a 56-LED invisible flash.

Pictures taken through the app are a lower resolution but still allow you to easily make out the subject - pictures saved on the SD memory card are clearer and at a better resolution.




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SPYPOINT Link-EVO-V

This premium brand trail camera is understandably one of the most expensive of all the models listed here - it incorporates an AI tracker in its technology and features the some of the best possible specs in most categories.

Its long-range cellular antenna is compatible with the LINK series and also with most mobile cameras currently available.

It displays an external omnidirectional antenna (passive) and it does not need external power: a 15ft cable is provided that works with an RP-SMA male connector and a pre-drilled bracket.

It also comes with a 2-year warranty. Unfortunately, it only works with Verizon 4G/LTE SIM cards and plans, although they come pre-activated but makes for the need to get a data plan with them.

As for cons, it only works with a Verizon 4G/LTE SIM card so you will need to take out a Verizon data plan, which may not be amongst everyone’s wishes. It should not cause any problems although we have noted a slight decrease in quality in the photos that are not saved to the SD memory card.

Another issue that it may cause will probably be due to a manufacturing defect for which you will need only to reset it. Unfortunately, according to tech support, there is no way to reset it manually: the only way to reset it requires waiting for at least 24h, which may be inconvenient.

In any case, if problems persist you can always use the guarantee - tech-support is rather effective. Set up is also fairly easy and the App quite intuitive, so both setup and using are quite straight-forward.

Specs:

  • Photo Resolution: 12 Mega Pixels
  • Video Resolution: Full HD 1080p video
  • Time-lapse mode
  • 2 multi-shots
  • IR boost tech
  • 42 high power LED flash
  • 90’ flash range
  • 0.3 trigger speed
  • 2” view screen
  • 80' detection distance
  • Supports up to 32GB SD memory cards (not included)

Best for: anything, however its top-notch performance and specs make it ideal for use in remote areas or situations when a more precise and high-quality images are needed. It may be used professionally such as in documentaries, scientific data collection or research.

The box includes: Camera, Antenna, USB-12V Cable, Mounting Bracket, Quick Start Guide, pre-activated Verizon 4G/LTE SIM Card, Strap.

Extras: it comes with a long-range cellular antenna ideal for remote places where the signal is not optimal, such as National Parks.

Price: Average to high

  Verdict: This camera is hard to beat: ideal parameters in every category. Price is high but if you have the money to spend, you will find no better trail camera that sends pictures to your phone

It works flawlessly across long distances and places with a bad signal using the long-range cellular antenna, image, and video quality is one of the best and counts in all the cool extra features such as time-lapse or invisible night flash plus some additional ones like multi-shots.

This is also one of the few cellular cameras that operates using a 4G cellular signal rather than a less powerful 3G.


Final Considerations

Trail cameras have different uses that range from scouting a field for game, saving you precious time and strength to do the actual hunting, to checking trespassers in your property or wildlife research.

It is the perfect tool for hunters and researchers as well as for the cautious property owner - that is why they have recently become so popular. They are here to stay and will quickly become an essential tool for the seasoned hunter.

It is true that their development is still in its infancy and that we can expect great new features in the near future, such as the incorporation of iCloud technology, but the cameras hereby reviewed do an excellent job, allowing you to know what is going on in front of the camera in almost instant time and, most importantly, hassle-free.

They also come with an array of interesting features such as the no spook invisible night flash or local weather information. In sum, you can not go wrong with any of these models - despite advances in technology they will not become obsolete and will still render a great service in years to come.

Let us know what you think down in the comments!

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