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Best cheap cellular trail cameras (2022 Update)

Whether you’re a hunter or you’ve recently become interested in nature, some of the best cheap cellular trail cameras provide invaluable surveillance to aid you.

Rather than frequently sneaking into the woods to watch your game or keep up with their happenings, you can set up your wireless game camera. It’s even better to choose a solar-powered one with a rechargeable battery. You can enjoy benefits like having photos sent to your specified frequency so you can stay in the loop without lifting a finger. This will also save you money on gas and batteries.

Take a look at some of the top-ranked options for the best cellular trail cameras for elk, big game, deer hunting, and home security below.

The best and most affordable cellular trail cameras

Moultrie Mobile Delta Base

Moultrie Mobile Delta Base

Moultrie Mobile Delta Base
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Pros

  • Automatically detects specific animals.
  • Activity charting within the app
  • Flexible subscription plan options
  • High photo clarity
  • Powerful antenna

Cons

  • Requires a subscription to take full advantage of features

This is an ideal trail camera for dedicated hunters as it offers many handy features. It is a 24-megapixel camera with an 80-foot range. Also, the smart identification feature can differentiate between a buck and a deer. Sync up data with your other Moultrie cameras.

It also provides analytics on animal movements, detailed info on the happenings on your hunting grounds, and weather reports.

Although it offers a free app, you will need to subscribe to a cellular plan through Moultrie to optimize some of the app and camera’s capabilities fully. For example, you need to subscribe to access the photos taken by the camera remotely.

This camera offers three subscription plan options and the ability to pay monthly or annually. Also, there is no activation or cancellation fee. You won’t be surprised by any extra premium features in the app.

Another great benefit is that Moultrie does not delete your files even if you decide to cancel your plan, unlike how other trail camera companies might. It is the perfect option for you if you’re interested in a fleet of trail cameras that work together like a spy net.

Moultrie Mobile Delta Base Cellular Trail Camera - 24MP Resolution Photos & Videos with Sound |… List Price:$99.99 Price:$69.99 You Save:$30.00 (30%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Yellowstone.ai 4G LTE Wireless

Yellowstone.ai 4G LTE Wireless

Yellowstone.ai 4G LTE Wireless
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Pros

  • Superior customer service
  • Easy to use cell hook up
  • Works on international cell carriers
  • Long battery life of up to 20 weeks
  • Compatible with solar panel and bear cage

Cons

  • Blurry photos at night
  • It can take a few minutes for the photo to arrive on the phone

Despite being from a small American company, this trail camera offers incredible features, especially if you want outdoor gear. It is very rugged and offers IP66 waterproofing, which protects it from rain, snow, and dust. It can withstand most climates within the continental US. This also distinguishes itself with a wider than average operating temperature, between -13 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yellowstone stands out compared to other trail cameras, thanks to its customer service. The camera is responsive and decently detailed, so it does a good job for day photography. However, this camera might not be your best option if you’re prioritizing night photography. Aside from that, the Yellowstone trail camera is outstanding.

Yellowstone.ai 4G LTE Wireless Cellular Trail Camera with App for Deer Hunting & Security - Pic… Price:$249.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Bushnell CelluCORE 30

Bushnell CelluCORE 30

Bushnell CelluCORE 30
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Pros

  • Great photo and video quality
  • 100ft No-Glow LED
  • Transmit video over LTE 4G

Cons

  • High power consumption
  • Cheapest data plan is $10p/m

The Bushnell CelluCORE 30 has unbeatable picture quality and can capture highly detailed 30-megapixel photos. It also has a high video quality as it takes 1080p video at 60fps, compared to other trail cameras that are limited to shooting 30fps at 1080p.

It has an extremely fast 0.2-second trigger speed and 100-foot night vision No-Glow LED flash. Although it is a great trail cam that offers comprehensive benefits, it is steep.

Its cheapest data plan starts high at $10p/m, while the $15p/m plan gives you unlimited access to photos and videos. Its solar panel accessory also costs over $100.

Bushnell 30MP CORE Trail Camera, Dual Sensor, no Glow_119977C Price: Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Spypoint LINK-MICRO-LTE-V

Spypoint LINK-MICRO-LTE-V
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Pros

  • Free app option for up to 100 photos a month
  • Paid subscription services are cheaper than some of the competition.
  • 80-foot detection range with multi-shot mode

Cons

  • Low megapixel count
  • Poor customer service
  • Requires multiple subscriptions for multiple cameras

It is a compact, versatile trail camera that compliments its solid hardware with a robust mobile app. With LTE, the camera sends photos directly to you through an app service, which is far more affordable than some. It offers a free plan with 100 pictures. But you can also add priced plans that deliver amounts of 250 to unlimited photos.

The camera has special features like species recognition, mapping, and weather. It can also stamp photos with app-included info, such as temperature and moon phase.

Meanwhile, its main features are a built-in solar panel, a solid camera protection case, a 10-megapixel camera with a .5 trigger time, and an 80-foot range. Overall, it is a trail camera that capitalizes on reliable service and is easy to use with your smartphone.

SPYPOINT LINK-MICRO-LTE-V Cellular Trail Camera 4 LED Infrared Flash Game Camera with 80-foot D… Price:$78.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Spypoint LINK-S-DARK Solar

Spypoint LINK-S-DARK Solar
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Pros

  • Fast trigger speed
  • Solar panel included
  • Free plan with ten image downloads a month

Cons

  • Average build quality
  • No video downloads over cellular

This trail camera may not be as cheap as the others, but it is packed with amazing features. Its mobile app includes advanced features that most other ones lack. This gets a lot right.

Its image quality is excellent, even across the whole spectrum of lighting conditions. It also takes videos and photos. It can comfortably manage up to 1080p Full HD video. Two features that stand out from this camera are its industry-leading 0.07-second trigger speed and Hybrid Illumination Technology flash system that reduces infrared flash to no-glow.

Also, it has a Buck Tracker Antler Recognition Technology that makes it possible to quickly get to the photos containing bucks, making it a good camera for capturing images of deer. In addition, you will enjoy the benefits of an onboard solar charging system. It can be powered for months without you needing to replace the battery.

SPYPOINT Link-S-Dark (V) Cellular Trail Camera 12MP Photos and HD Video, 4G/LTE Photo Transmiss… Price:$289.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Covert Blackhawk LTE

Covert Blackhawk LTE

Covert Blackhawk LTE
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Pros

  • Extra quiet operation
  • 60-LED infrared night flash with a 100-foot range for extra precise night shots
  • Decent plan pricing for most needs

Cons

  • Poor video at night
  • App is clunky

This Covert-built cellular camera has a larger-than-average visual range, a strong multi-burst mode, and a better-than-average resolution for its price.

Its impressive 12-megapixel feature, which can take up to ten-exposure burst shots, makes it easy to maximize the odds of capturing the exact action you want. It has a special infrared delivery and uses multiple LEDs for up to 100 feet of visibility at night.

Although with flaws like a clunky app, low video quality at night, etc., the camera shines with photo bursts, is better than the average night photo field of view, and has 12-megapixel video. It also has a two-year warranty and can accept up to 32-gigabyte cards.

Covert Blackhawk LTE - Verizon Realtree Price:$289.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Stealthcam DS4K Transmit

Stealthcam DS4K Transmit

Stealthcam DS4K Transmit
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Pros

  • 4K video and decent overall specs
  • Transmit video over LTE 4G

Cons

  • Expensive
  • 4K is kind of pointless

This cellular game camera beats all odds and can record at 4K, producing clear images with its 32-megapixel camera sensor. However, uploads are limited to 720p or 1080p resolutions. It also has a 0.2-second trigger speed, 100-feet detection range, No Glare Matte PIR and IR array for invisible flash, and 1-9 images per triggering burst mode.

Its data plan is quite flexible and starts at as low as $5p/m for 600 photos and rises to $20p/m for unlimited photo downloads. Unlike other cameras’ data plans, the Stealth Cam DS4K can download videos at $0.25 per video.

Stealth Cam DS4K Transmit Cellular AT&T OR VERIZON 32MP Photo & 4K at 30 FPS Day & Night Video… List Price:$299.99 Price:$221.99 You Save:$78.00 (26%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Creative XP GlassRaven

Creative XP GlassRaven

Creative XP GlassRaven
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Pros

  • Transmit video over LTE 4G
  • Wide angle lens captures more

Cons

  • Pricey

This trail cam is the only one that uses a SimHero SIM if you’re interested in sampling other service provider options. With its 56 LEDs with no glow technology, you are bound to get some of the best night shots on the market.

Although it is sold as a hunting and monitoring tool, it is also a viable security option, cemented by its 110˚ PIR angle and 0.35-second trigger time. With its Wi-Fi connection, you can look at your photos and videos whenever you want and send any media stored on the inclusive SD card to any United States email or phone number.

It also has a standard battery life as other trail cameras. Still, an optional Creative XP Solar Panel can be bought separately and used to charge the camera during the day for a constant power supply.

CREATIVE XP Cellular Trail Cameras - Outdoor Waterproof Security Camera w/ Night Vision for Hun… Price:$110.32 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Spartan Ghost 4G/LTE

Spartan Ghost 4G/LTE

Spartan Ghost 4G/LTE
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Pros

  • Low power consumption
  • Transmit video over LTE 4G

Cons

  • Low detection range

With its futuristic and envelope-pushing look, this is the ultimate invisible cellular trail camera that hunters can add to their toolkit. It can take impressive shots due to its reliable motion sensor and fast 0.4-second trigger time.

Owners can easily download the Spartan mobile app to view the camera’s storage anytime, using Spartan’s dedicated cellular network service with a preinstalled SIM card.

It has rugged housing that lets it withstand whatever weather conditions. It has a key in-built anti-theft GPS feature that allows it to be tracked remotely even if its external lithium battery is removed.

Spartan New GoLive2 Wide-Angle Leading Live Streaming Hunting Trail Camera (GoLive2 Verizon Mod… Price:$459.95 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Covert Scouting Code Black 20LTE

Covert Scouting Code Black 20LTE

Covert Scouting Code Black 20LTE
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Pros

  • Good field view
  • Invisible flash technology
  • Mossy oak country design
  • 20MP resolution camera sensor
  • Supports 32GB memory card
  • Turbo Shot Burst feature
  • Silent image capturing

Cons

  • Not for foggy weather conditions
  • Only sends 5-sec videos

This cellular trail camera is developed by Covert Scouting and possesses a 20MP sensor. It can really deliver good performance in the dark and, on top of that, its color outlook can also camouflage well, due to its mossy oak country design.

It features an inbuilt flash technology, a good flash range of 100 feet, and can provide you with a field view of 64 degrees. The Code Black 20 runs on 12 AA batteries but it also tends to consume batteries extremely fast, so you might need some backup.

Its picture shot aspect ratio is 16:9, and it can take up to ten photos with its turbo shot burst feature. It also comes with a two-year warranty.

Covert CO8076, Code Black 20 LTE AT&T 2021 Price:$249.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Benefits of a Cellular Trail Camera

Compared to standard, non-cellular options, cellular game traps give hunters a better advantage in their game.

Here are some of the main benefits you can enjoy with cellular trail cameras.

  • Reduced pressure on animals: If you’re a hunter, the last thing you want is to scare game. This is exactly what going in and out of your hunting location does to animals. Once the pressure becomes too much on them, they begin to change patterns and may stay away from your traps. The good thing about cellular trail cameras is that they help you avoid this.
  • Faster feedback: Another fantastic benefit of a cellular trail camera is the ability to transmit photos over a wireless network. You will be able to get data feedback even faster than you would if you physically retrieved SD cards. This makes surveillance far easier as you know exactly what is happening at a given time.
  • Reduced traveled time: You might have a hunting lease far away from where you live. It could even be in the next state, which would mean you have to travel from time to time. However, with the right trail camera, you can eliminate travel time as you will be able to check your cameras remotely. This will give you more time to focus on other aspects of your life and increase productivity.

Types of Wireless Trail Cameras

  • Short-range: These are cellular trail cams equipped with wireless and Bluetooth features. They are the perfect fit for you if you don’t intend to spread your camera network on acres or only need them for short-range applications like wildfire watching or close surveillance. They have strong signals but are limited up to the signal range of your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection.
  • Long range: These trail cameras are the best option if you want surveillance for a large area, and they work just as well as your cell phone. They come with cellular technology and use SIM cards for data transmission. Also, they have great coverage and are better suited for hunting and surveillance. However, you must have many cameras in your network to enjoy better communication.

Factors to consider before you purchase a cellular trail camera

Even with the best affordable cellular game cameras listed above, you have to consider certain things before deciding on your desired option.

Some of the technical and connectivity considerations to be made are as follows:

Ease of Setup

Is the best cellular trail camera you intend to go for user-friendly? While it is easy to dismiss the need for handy and clear instructions, not everyone was born with a smartphone in hand. This makes it necessary for these devices to have clear instructions on how to program them and get them running.

However, if you have experience handling devices like this, you don’t need to worry about this.

Price

Most game traps with high-end specifications and the latest technology take better pictures but can be too expensive and out of your price range. This is something to consider before making a purchase. You can also go for affordable ones that will offer amazing features.

Size and packability

The size of your trail cameras matter, especially if you plan on packing them in and out at the beginning and end of the year. This is because a smaller device is easier to pack up and won’t be easily spotted to attract thieves.

Also, wireless antennas should be considered, and while most trail cameras use foldable antennas, you should look out for those that don’t and avoid them if they aren’t convenient for you.

Coverage

Just as a normal cellphone gets coverage or works well in a particular place and doesn’t in another, cellular trail cameras also have the same issue. Therefore, pick a wireless provider that works best in the area where you plan to place your camera.

Some devices use AT&T or Verizon, and a few use T-Mobile. But you can check out the Spartan GoLive M if you are interested in one that uses multiple networks.

Customer service

The need to get your cameras fixed might arise in the future. Driving to them, especially if you aren’t close to your hunting grounds, can be quite inconvenient. However, you wouldn’t need to worry about this if the trail camera company you go for has great customer service.

A good customer service team can resolve your issue over the phone and have your camera working again in no time. You can check out Yellowstone.ai for the best customer service experience.

Cellular connections

This feature varies among trail cameras, and many cameras require a monthly cellular subscription, usually under ten dollars. With a solid plan, you can ensure that a camera will be able to transmit photos of whatever wildlife it captures.

Some cameras will allow you to pair with your phone through an app that can adjust certain features. This kind of efficacy plays an important role in getting the best wildlife experience.

Cellular carriers

Verizon and AT&T offer the most common coverage for cellular trail cameras in the US. Some trail cameras might allow you to switch out SIM cards while others wouldn’t, so be sure to pick out the best service for your needs before purchasing.

Data plan pricing and quality

This is another thing you need to consider when shopping for a cellular trail cam. Several of these devices often require ongoing subscriptions that cost over a hundred dollars per year, and subscription plans usually cost between five to twenty dollars.

Ensure you’re getting all the services the data plan delivers, e.g., lunar phase and GPS data.

Rugged build quality

A trail camera with rugged build quality will be able to withstand harsh or severe weather conditions, holding up to snow and drenching rain. This is especially important if you live in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions from time to time.

Some trail cameras even have optional weather shields you can install for particularly gnarly terrain.

Megapixels (MP)

Although the more pixels a cellular trail cam has, the more detailed the photo or video will be. But that doesn’t be easily deceived by simply picking a camera with the most megapixels. This is because manufacturers advertise large megapixel sensors into their gear just to boost the number on the package. What matters most when choosing a camera is how much light the sensor can capture.

You might have a gadget with a large megapixel sensor, but it doesn’t matter if it isn’t getting enough light. So, before making your decision, try and read people’s reviews about the camera that catches your interest.

Picture quality

Another important thing to consider is the picture quality you’ll get from a trail cam. While this factor can be related to the price or cost of the camera, it is not always the case.

Thankfully, other affordable trail cams offer amazing picture quality and save you from the annoyance of blurred and grainy images.

Resolution

A camera sensor with enough power to deliver high-quality images even in low light conditions is the perfect choice if you want to avoid visual noise in your pictures and video. You’ll benefit from great photo quality from a camera with high megapixels and high resolutions.

However, these two features add to the overall cost. Finding a combo that works for you is the goal. For long ranges, choose the 1080p option and for short ranges, choose 720p.

Detection Range

Detection range is the distance measured in feet that a sensor can detect an animal or whatever is out there that you need to survey. It measures the difference between an animal’s body heat and the surrounding area.

Cameras like the Bushnell CelluCORE 30 have large detection ranges and will allow you to see beyond where they’re placed. However, you don’t need something like this if you just need to monitor something minor.

Trigger Speed

Trigger speed is the measurement of how long it takes for the device to detect motion and then snap a shot, and it is one of the most crucial trail cam factors to consider. You’ll need a camera with a fast trigger for a picture of an entire animal and not just an image where only part of the animal is in the frame of view.

Spypoint’s Link-S-Dark Solar boasts a .07 second trigger speed and has the fastest marketed trigger speed available for its price.

Notifications

This is a feature that is related to the network and area coverage, which means that you will be frequently notified by your camera when it takes a photo if you have a good cellular network.

If your trail camera notifies you on your phone or computer within one minute after taking a photo, that is considered good enough. Still, you can decide to change the notification settings to an option that suits your needs the best.

Flash

A trail camera with a flash feature might not be the best idea if you intend to use it to keep animals near your hunting grounds. Some of the most common types of flash you’ll encounter when making inquiries for camera traps include:

  • White Flash: The familiar white flash of a camera will spook whatever wild game you’re hunting in the middle of the night, causing the animals to steer clear of your hunting grounds.
  • Low-Glow: On the other hand, the low-glow flash emits red light and can go unnoticed if you set it up at a proper distance away from your target. Be sure to strategically position your device to avoid scaring away your game and to remain stealthy.
  • No-Glow: This is probably the best option as devices with no-glow flash do not emit a visible flash. Instead, they make use of infrared light to illuminate a subject. Whatever you might be surveying will be clueless to your camera flash, enabling you to ensure your stealthiness.

Battery life

If your trail camera has a poor battery life, you’ll end up making more trips to your trap than required, which defeats the whole purpose of getting a cellular trail camera. Be sure to go for lithium batteries to avoid this issue.

Also, set your camera up so you won’t send more pictures and videos than necessary. This is because transmitting HD videos to your phone all the time will burn through your camera’s batteries quickly.

Batteries or Sunlight

Even with perfectly good batteries, you might still be required to make trips to your hunting grounds every three weeks for a change of batteries. This is something that can be avoided with a solar panel.

Not only will it save you the stress of making frequent trips to the woods and sacring off your game, but you will also save a lot on batteries with a solar panel.

PIR Range

This means Passive InfraRed Range, and it’s used to take photos or capture videos in dark or gloomy conditions. With this feature handy, you won’t need to rely on LED flash and can remain stealthy to pull off your surveillance.

Special features

Some special features like GPS location and moon phase printed can be added advantages to your trail cam. Some cameras even use daisy chain connections to deliver photos from multiple cameras over one transmitter.

It’s better to prioritize trail cameras with working special features than those with less useful features.

Cellular trail cameras are a great investment for many reasons. There are quick triggering night vision cameras. The rugged builds are ready for myriad biomes. Cellular connections allow you to enjoy comfort while surveying nature.

Coupled with their affordability, these cellular trail cameras reviewed in our article guarantee the best nature experience you could dream of.

FAQ

Which cellular trail camera has the best plan?

The Browning Pro Scout Verizon or the Browning Pro Scout AT&T cellular trail game camera has the best plan. They are $199.95, take great photos, possess great battery life, and are easy to use.

Are cellular cameras worth it?

Absolutely. Rather than frequently visiting the woods to retrieve your SD card and scaring off the game, cellular trail cameras are easy to rely on for the best hunting, wildlife watching and photography, or home security experience.

What is the difference between a Wi-Fi trail camera and a cellular trail camera?

The simple difference between these two is that wireless cameras rely on a steady Wi-Fi signal to transmit images to you, and cellular cameras use 4G cellular networks and data plans.

Do you have to pay monthly for a cellular trail camera?

This is dependent on the cellular service of the camera you purchase. For example, Covert’s cellular trail cameras operate via Verizon or AT&T connectivity, and they come with a subscription plan.

Is Moultrie mobile free?

The free Moultrie mobile app allows you to receive trail camera images on your smartphone or computer. You can get a fully working version of the Moultrie Mobile app for free.

Do you have to pay monthly for Spypoint?

Spypoint offers three paid data plan options and you can decide which one to choose depending on your requirements. You can pay monthly or annually, and there are special discounts for an annual payment if you’re a member of the SPYPOINT Insiders Club.

What is the difference between a game camera and a trail camera?

They both mean the same thing: a battery-operated camera that captures images with lightning-fast speed.

More coverage: See our guide to the best action camera flashlights.

Toby Grey contributes as a How To expert for BGR. Typing away like a keyboard super hero, he covers just about anything you can think of. If Toby isn't writing, he's probably reading a book or playing video games.