10 Best

Cellular Trail Cameras

of September 2023

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A Guide for Selecting a Cellular Trail Camera

Mark Schwarz

In general, a trail camera is a neat little device. They’re typically a favorite of hunters, who use them to get insight into where game animals visit the most. Alternatively, you can set them up just to observe wildlife in a particular area, without scaring away animals who detect a human’s presence. Or you can even use one as a security device, to see what’s going on in your yard! But, among trail cameras, a cellular trail camera can offer features that can’t be beaten!

Some rudimentary trail cameras will just record footage on internal storage or a removable memory card. But then you have to go to the camera and retrieve the information every so often. Wireless trail cameras will be able to send footage to your computer or cellphone in real time. But they depend on having a WiFi signal in the area, and you can’t always expect that in the woods. A cellular trail camera will have a SIM card, much like your cellphone. It will be able to send footage to your phone, tablet, or computer over a cellular network like Verizon or AT&T, using LTE or 4G technology.

But even if you decide on a cellular trail camera, there are still lots of different features that can help you decide, such as night vision ability, range, its field of vision, weather resistance, and more. We’ll go through some of the things this amazing little piece of technology can do, to help you decide!


What is a cellular trail camera?

A cellular trail camera is a camera that uses cellular technology to send images wirelessly to a user’s cellphone. This type of camera is often used by hunters and wildlife enthusiasts to remotely monitor game activity.

What types of cellular trail cameras are there?

There are two main types of cellular trail cameras: GSM cameras and CDMA cameras. GSM cameras use a SIM card to connect to a cellular network, while CDMA cameras connect directly to a cellphone carrier’s network.

What are the benefits of using a cellular trail camera?

Cellular trail cameras offer a number of benefits over traditional trail cameras. First, they allow users to remotely check images from their camera without having to physically retrieve the device. This can save a significant amount of time, particularly if the camera is located in a remote area.

Second, cellular trail cameras typically have longer battery life than traditional trail cameras. This is due to the fact that they only need to power their cellular connection, rather than also powering a Wi-Fi connection.

Finally, cellular trail cameras often offer more features than traditional trail cameras. For example, some models allow users to receive alerts when the camera detects motion, and some even offer live-streaming capabilities.

Types of Cellular Trail Cameras

We can distinguish between cellular trail cameras that can take only photos, and those that are capable of HD video as well.

  • Single photo and multi-shot: There are trail cameras that are only capable of individual photos, either single shots or multiple shots. An example is the Skypoint Link-Micro-LTE Cellular Trail Camera. It can take photos at a 10-megapixel resolution and has an impressive 0.5-second trigger speed.

Skypoint Link-Micro-LTE Cellular Trail Camera

  • Video recording cellular trail camera: Most cellular trail cameras will offer video recording features as well nowadays, even being able to record video in HD (1080p) or even 4K (Ultra HD) resolution. An example is the Stealth Cam DS4K Hunting Game Camera.

Stealth Cam DS4K Hunting Game Camera

What reviewers say

We went over some customers’ impressions of the cellular trail camera that they bought:

  • Can set up an array of cameras: These cellular trail cameras can be configured using the camera company’s cellphone app. If you buy several cameras, you can keep track of the footage from all of the cameras on your phone at once!

  • Preactivated SIM card: Some cellular trail cameras come with a preactivated SIM card, meaning that it’s already set for a particular phone provider, such as Verizon. So, it won’t work in locations that don’t have Verizon service. (There is no connection between your cellphone provider and the provider you use on your trail camera.)

Important Features

Here are some tips and features of different cellular trail cameras, which may help you make a decision when shopping:

  • Cellular plan: A cellular trail camera will need a SIM card for a particular phone service, such as AT&T or Verizon, for a monthly fee. Also, there is a data package that the camera company provides to store and download photos. This will allow you to receive photos and video from your trail camera, even from areas where there is no WiFi available–as long as there is cellular coverage there. The camera will send the pictures to your phone, tablet, or computer, usually with a delay of 30-60 seconds.

  • Battery power: Many of these cellular trail cameras will use “AA” batteries, and that could very well add up over time since some models require as many as 12 batteries to work! But there are also trail cameras with a solar-powered option, such as the Moultrie Mobile Delta Base Cellular Trail Camera.

  • Night vision feature: These trail cameras will be installed with passive infrared (=PIR) sensors. Take note of the sensitivity of these IR sensors. The IR sensor on the Stealth Cam DS4K Hunting Game Camera has an impressive 100-ft detection range. Since infrared light is not in the visible range, the animals will not be aware that they’re being filmed!

  • Weather resistance: It’s good to take note of the IP rating of the cellular trail camera since it’ll be exposed to extreme temperatures and precipitation. For instance, the Yellowstone.ai 4G LTE Wireless Cellular Trail Camera has an IP66 rating, meaning that it’s hermetically sealed against dust, and can withstand powerful jets of water. It can also survive temperatures as cold as -13 ℉.

  • Data storage: There will be a number of options for storing the pictures and movies that your camera records. Some cameras have internal storage, but you’ll have to transfer the content to another storage device from time to time. There are also cameras that use SD cards. But there are also options for cloud storage of the footage, depending on the trail camera manufacturer. These cloud storage services will usually involve a monthly fee.

Final Verdict

We went through some of the features of cellular trail cameras, and how they differ from wireless trail cameras. Assuming that the area in which you want to observe wildlife is covered by a phone provider, you should be able to benefit from the file storage and transfer capabilities of a cellular trail camera. There are also issues common to all cameras, such as resolution, shutter speed, and sensitivity. Whether it’s for hunting purposes, or just to get breathtaking up-close photos of wildlife, a trail camera is a great choice!

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