Trail cameras are solid tools for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. They track game in the area, provide you with updates, and enable you to keep up with places even when you aren’t there. However, as great as they are, you still need to be in the area to retrieve your data.
If you like the idea of a trail camera but don’t want to go out to the wilderness whenever you want an update, a cellular model is the way to go. The handy device will text or email you photos as you need, allowing you to gain information without breaking from your routine. We’ll analyze the best ones below.
- The trail camera from Creative XP is a solid device for those who want a lot of features in a simple package. This model is easy to use. It also comes with premium features like a wide lens and 32 GB memory card.
- The Spartan GoCam is for hunters who value functionality. This camera is easy to both use and set up. Not only that, but it has great resolution and comes with a tough, water-resistant shell.
- The Moultri Mobile XA7000i is a cellular camera for users who want to easily access their images anywhere, at any time. This model captures 20MP images and then transports them to whatever device you need.
Who Should Get This?
These cameras are useful for hunters or anyone who wants to keep tabs on game trails. Being able to see what animals are in a region without needing to go out to that specific area is incredibly helpful. If you’re someone who wants to keep track of animals in a certain region or hunting spot, especially one that’s almost completely off the grid, the below models will give you the best bang for your buck.
Best Cellular Trail Camera: What to Consider?
As with any camera, you want your trail model to capture high-quality shots. Many animals blend into the environment. Rather than trying to pick them out among trees or foliage, you want a device that will give you great contrast right away. That includes one that works in a range of different lighting conditions. It’s important to consider night vision options as well. While you may only be awake during the day, animals like to roam at all hours.
Anytime you’re leaving a device outside for extended periods of time, it has to be tough. You never know what your camera might encounter while out in the wild. Stationary devices can be jostled around from animals, branches, or wind. Water-resistant or waterproof cameras also go a long way. Even if you aren’t putting the devices somewhere with a lot of rain, you never know how dew or general moisture might affect them.
Ease of Use
Not all trail cameras are created equal. Some are simple to set up, while others can take quite a bit of time and energy. Your goal should always be to get a model that you can quickly get up and running with the least amount of hassle. If you do want something a bit more advanced, just know that it might not be as easy to operate as it first seems. Functionality should always be your first priority.
Best Cellular Trail Camera: Our Picks for 2020
1. Creative XP
The camera from Creative XP is all about making your life easier. Whereas many models require a lot of work to reach your specifications, this device comes with a special time-lapse function that allows you to receive images in set intervals. If that doesn’t work for you, it also has a timer function that enables you to set specific recording hours. That means you don’t have to waste your time recording empty space.
As for the camera itself, it’s fully equipped with a range of video and photo settings backed up by a wide dynamic lens and quick 0.4-second trigger. This is able to capture 1 to 5 photos per trigger, and they all get sent to your device in crisp, clear resolution. On top of that, there is also a free 32 GB memory card as well as the unique SD cycle that ensures you’ll never run out of memory no matter how many photos you take.
What We Like:
- Simple to use
- IR night vision
- Cheap data plans
- Multiple uses
- Time-lapse function
- Wide dynamic lens
- 32GB memory card
- Four-second trigger
What We Don’t Like:
- Could be more intuitive to set up
- Battery life could last longer
Ready to put up right out of the box, the Spartan GoCam is one of the easiest-to-use cellular trail cameras on the market. The device, which only requires one quick service activation, saves you money through its simple pay as you go model. Not only that, but it can transmit your pictures with or without encryption (based on your preferences). That means you get the exact amount of security you want.
One of the best features here is the GoCam’s memory settings. Not only does it come with quite a bit of space, but the device can be set so the oldest photo on the SD card gets overwritten by the most recent if there’s no room. That prevents you from losing more recent images and keeps everything up to date. This device is also quite sturdy, being both water-resistant and capable of handling the elements.
What We Like:
- Pay as you go model
- Includes six edgeless microfiber towels
- Pictures can be transmitted with or without AES 256 encryption
- High photo resolution
- 2-month battery life
- 2-year warranty
- Easy to set up
- Affordable price
What We Don’t Like:
- Night flash could be better
The Moultri Mobile XA7000i is an affordable cellular trail camera perfect for shooting at different times. This model utilizes a special illumi-night 2 sensor for excellent nighttime resolution and also gives you better visibility in low light conditions. This model runs on 12 AA batteries, which provides you with over three months of battery life. You’ll never get caught with a dead camera or be worried about missing a shot ever again.
Another reason this device excels is that it instantly transfers its images to either your tablet, phone, or laptop. You can also instantly access your images through the Moultri website, giving you more versatility and enabling you to see your pictures at home or on the go.
What We Like:
- Instantly transfer from camera to phone or laptop
- Invisible flash
- Access images through the Moultri website
- High nighttime resolution
- Great mobile app
- Long-lasting battery
What We Don’t Like:
- Images could be sharper
Useful Tips and Information
Using a trail camera, cellular or otherwise, is not as intuitive as it first might seem. There are several different factors your need to consider. One of the most important is placement. This video gives a comprehensive breakdown of different ways to make sure you’re putting your device in the right place.
If you want to go beyond simple placement, and break down other ways to use your camera, there are many handy tips that can increase your experience. The tricks in this article will all go a long way.
Any hunter knows that tracking animals can be quite difficult. While you can try to do it on your own, that’s more effort than it’s worth. You can also use a non-cellular camera, but that comes with the hassle of having to go into the woods yourself. Cellular options avoid both of those issues, and it’s hard to find any models better than the ones listed above.
What type of trail camera do you use? Why do you like it above other options? Let us know below!
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.