In recent decades, we've seen enormous strides in trail camera technology. Instead of loud, bulky units, manufacturers can now create sleeker, faster and more efficient trail cameras than ever before. Hunting cameras send pictures to your phone. When paired with a rechargeable battery box or solar panel, they require minimal servicing. The best cellular game cameras also include things like low-light flash settings, HD images and video capturing for crisp thumbnails.
Why choose a game camera that will send pictures to your phone instead of a Wi-Fi or standard SD-card device? Because they offer superior performance that saves you time and makes it easy to capture the high-resolution images you need.
Consider these reasons cellular trail cameras reign supreme.
Unmatched reliability: Wi-Fi trail cameras only work in areas where internet access is available, and even when connected, you may still experience transmission delays or quality issues. Cellular cameras operate via cellphone network coverage, which reaches more areas on the map than Wi-Fi alone. It turns your game camera into a more versatile unit, allowing you to set up in places you've never been able to access before.
Eliminates manual inspections: The best wireless trail cameras connect to your cellphone through an integrated app, which allows you to retrieve, sort and view images directly from your device. That means no more traveling to and from your trail camera to inspect SD cards, only to find you've run out of storage or there has been an issue with the files. No manual inspection also means you no longer have to worry about leaving your scent behind.
Best Trail Cameras 2021
When you're ready to experience life-changing versatility and reliability, these are the best cellular game cameras of 2021.
1. The 6000 and 7000i Series Cameras From Moultrie Mobile
Image clarity, storage options and network coverage are three essential factors to consider when shopping for a trail camera that sends pictures to your phone. With Moultrie Mobile, you enjoy all these benefits and more. Fast trigger speeds, after-dark clarity and motion-sensing features ensure crisp images sent straight to your app's cloud storage for you to access anywhere, anytime. All our cameras operate on either a Verizon or AT&T 4G network for expansive, reliable coverage.
Some of the best cellular trail cameras on the market come from Moultrie Mobile's 6000 and 7000i series.
XA-6000 and XV-6000: These two models offer the same powerful performance, but on two separate networks. The XV-6000 is one of our Verizon trail cameras, while the XA-6000 is an AT&T trail camera. Both models have a lighting-fast 0.9-second trigger speed, HD video capabilities and 16MP image resolution. Detection and flash ranges are 80 and 70 feet. Like all Moultrie Mobile cellular cameras, you can pair your camera with whatever network carrier is best for you, regardless of your existing cellphone plan.
XA7000i and XV7000i: Like the 6000 model, our 7000i series offers two different variations of the same wireless deer camera. Both the Verizon XV7000i and AT&T XA7000i come equipped with an industry-leading invisible flash function, rendering them virtually undetectable at night. They capture clear 20MP images and 1080p video footage taken at a 0.3-second trigger speed. Both the flash and detection range span 80 feet.
In addition to these superior performance cameras, you get access to Moultrie Mobile's flexible, no-contract plans and unlimited cloud storage with interactive mapping for all your images. Each tier of the data plan includes coverage for one camera, but our Pro Series Unlimited plan lets you connect additional cameras for a single monthly fee. Our advanced image recognition software will also analyze and tag your pictures for you, saving you hours of manual sorting time. You can even download high-definition photos on demand — perfect for getting a crystal-clear look at your next prize buck.
2. Spypoint's Link-Micro-S-LTE Trail Camera
Spypoint's Link-Micro-S-LTE boasts a long-lasting rechargeable lithium battery with a built-in solar panel for interruption-free connectivity. Pair it with Spypoint's app to view and sort images, monitor data usage and change your transmission settings from your phone. The Link-Micro-S-LTE doesn't capture its 10MP pictures quite as fast as Moultrie's XA7000i and XV7000i, but you can still expect a 0.4-second trigger speed and 80-foot detection and flash range.
Spypoint photo transmission plans include a fixed number of photos each month unless you choose the unlimited plan, and HD images are available for purchase. You'll need to enroll in the Spypoint Insiders Club if you want access to additional features and discounts.
3. The 4G/LTE GoCam by Spartan
The Verizon 4G/LTE Spartan GoCam uses blackout flash and a 0.6-second trigger speed to snap 3MP, 5MP or 8MP images within 80 feet of range. With a premium-level subscription, you also gain access to video files. Similar Spartan GoCam models are available for AT&T, Cellcom and US Cellular networks.
Spartan data plan specifics vary depending on the network provider, but their Verizon plans charge for monthly data usage up to 12GB.
While the Spartan GoCam has the same image capture range as Moultrie, pictures are in fewer megapixels. The pricing model is also different — instead of charging per image, Spartan uses a data plan.
4. The Browning Defender Wireless
After Moultrie Mobile, Browning is another customer-favorite brand. The Browning Defender Wireless trail camera shoots 20MP images and video with 120 feet of long-range infrared illumination and 80-foot invisible infrared illumination after dark. Trigger speed is adjustable, ranging from 0.3 to 0.7 seconds. With the mobile app, you can choose whether to upload images immediately when taken or on a schedule. Additional features include mapping and GPS-tagged images.
Pair up to six trail cameras with a top-tier Browning data plan and get a fixed number of standard images each month. Some plans also include HD uploads.
Because you can adjust the trigger speed, the Browning Defender can give you a similar trigger speed to Moultrie's XA and XV7000i models, but Browning's image and data plan will cost you more each month.
5. The Bushnell Impulse
The Bushnell Impulse pairs with Verizon or AT&T to take one 20MP image per second, with 100 feet of night vision flash, a live view, a 60-second video capture option and GPS-enabled anti-theft alerts. You can also set up weather and wind data image tags to add more context to your thumbnails and track movement patterns.
With a Bushnell data plan, you get a fixed set of thumbnails each month, with full-resolution images available at an additional cost. Monthly costs are higher and for fewer thumbnails than Moultrie Mobile's data plans.
6. Stealth Cam's Fusion Wireless Game Cam
With a streamlined QR code setup process, the Stealth Cam Fusion Wireless offers advanced performance. View up to 26MP images taken at a 0.8-second Reflex™ Trigger speed — not quite as fast as Moultrie's XV and XA7000i models — complete with Retina™ Low-Light sensitivity and an 80-foot flash range. The camera is battery-operated, though you can connect a battery box to the external power jack. The Stealth Cam Fusion Wireless is compatible with AT&T, Verizon and Global cellular networks.
Monthly and annual data plans depend on the number of images taken, with optional add-ons available for an extra cost.
7. The CuddeLink Powerhouse IR Cell Cam by Cuddeback
The CuddeLink PowerHouse IR Cell camera is available for AT&T and Verizon coverage, each one complete with Cell Mode 2. Cell Mode 2 allows you to connect up to 16 CuddeLink cameras on one plan, with a fixed monthly fee for images. Instead of app integration and cloud storage, CuddeLink requires a "home camera," where all other game cams will send their captured footage. Once your home camera receives the thumbnails, you can either manually retrieve them or have them sent to your inbox. For many, this means the CuddeLink Powerhouse is not as usable or convenient as Moultrie Mobile, which allows you to receive thumbnails on your cellphone.
Cuddeback's CuddeLink PowerHouse IR Cell camera takes 20MP pictures in one-fourth of a second, with an impressive 100-foot flash range and low glow flash.
8. The Covert Blackhawk 20 LTE Trail Camera
As one of the more expensive cameras on this list — nearly double what a Moultrie Mobile game camera costs — the Covert Blackhawk 20 LTE packs an array of features into one device. Most notable is the option to capture up to five seconds of video with audio footage. Other features are fairly standard, including a 20MP image resolution and a 0.4-second trigger speed. The flash range extends to 100 feet, with GPS functionality and ultra-quiet image capturing.
Covert Wireless boasts easy activation and Verizon or AT&T network coverage. Subscription plans depend on the number of images captured each month. Payment plans allow you to pay monthly, quarterly or annually. You can add cameras for an extra monthly fee.
How to Choose the Best Cellular Trail Camera
In the market for a trail camera that connects to your phone? With so many options, the best wireless game camera for you comes down to your budget and what you want out of your investment. If you're interested in a specific manufacturer, research cellular trail camera reviews for that particular model and seek additional feedback from friends and fellow hunters.
Consider the following factors.
Network coverage: When selecting a cellular deer camera, look for one that operates on a network with an extensive range in the area where you plan to install it. Verizon and AT&T are two of the best-known carriers providing nationwide coverage. Most cameras, including those from Moultrie Mobile, don't require your cellphone network and trail cam network provider to be the same. For a better signal, avoid installing your camera in a deep valley or an area surrounded by obstructions, including dense forest and mountains.
Data plan: Some cellphone trail camera manufacturers measure plans in terms of data transferred, while others measure it in a fixed number of images per month. When shopping for a data plan for your game cam, look for one that allows you to add extra photos or data if necessary. Some plans also allow you to add multiple different trail cameras for even more convenience. Ideally, your data plan shouldn't force you into a contract or have any hidden monthly fees to contend with.
Flash options: Cellphone game cameras with bright or loud flash settings can spook game away from your camera or feeding area. Look for a cell game camera with features like invisible flash and an Illumi-Night 2 sensor, which capture crisp, clear images in low-light and after-dark settings without a harsh flash. As an additional preventive measure, place your camera above deer eye-level whenever possible.
Battery life: The better the battery life, the fewer service interruptions you'll experience. Because cellular cameras are battery-powered, look for a model that includes an option for rechargeable batteries to keep your monthly costs low. Moultrie Mobile offers a weather-resistant, rechargeable 12-volt battery or a connectable PowerPanel for continuous power.
Additional features: Extras like image recognition, simple setup and the ability to remotely check your camera's settings and status will help you make the most of your new camera.
Memory and storage: There's nothing worse than tracking a buck near your favorite trail, only to find your trail cam has run out of image storage. With unlimited cloud storage, you don't have to worry about retrieving or managing limited-storage SD cards. Instead, photos upload automatically to a virtual storage database that you can access right from your smartphone.
App usability: A trail camera with app integration is a great way to keep up with your captured images and take control of your camera from the convenience of your cellphone. Unlike email-only data plans, apps house everything you need to know about your camera in one place, including status and settings. Ensure the camera you choose has easy-to-use app compatibility, with remote settings and helpful customer service options.
Quality and durability: Reliable camera performance is essential, but don't make the mistake of overlooking construction and durability. We craft Moultrie Mobile cellular game cameras out of long-lasting, outdoor-safe materials with sleek camouflaged styling and secure attachments.
Customer service: Cellular trail cameras are an investment. For many hunters, the footage your camera captures could make all the difference during hunting season. That's why it's crucial to buy your camera from a company staffed by people who understand the value of high-quality cam footage. Moultrie Feeders founder Dan Moultrie is an avid deer hunter who sought to build a business that offers innovative feeders and cameras for equally dedicated hunters. That's why you'll always find industry-leading technology and helpful customer service when you shop with Moultrie. For even more peace of mind, all Moultrie Mobile data plans include a "just-in-case" warranty.
The best trail cameras should never make you choose between clear images or stress-free data plans. All our monthly and annual payment options include unlimited cloud storage for no additional fee, and you can add, change or cancel anytime. With certified Verizon and AT&T coverage and an easy-to-use app, you have limitless possibilities.
Take your hunting game to the next level and try our free Moultrie Mobile demo to see why our 6000 and 7000i cellular cameras are market leaders.