Let's take that part out of the equation for a moment: hunting cameras are a headache. Batteries go bad, SD cards go bad, settings get screwed up, and squirrels trigger thousands of useless images. So why would you want to complicate your trail camera strategy by adding a cell phone camera? A cell phone camera that requires an internet connection and pairing with an app? Quite simply, it's because once you finally get the best cell phone trail cameras connected and set up correctly, they will provide you with constant, real-time scouting information to help you identify deer.
With that in mind, L-SHINE spends time each year testing the top hunting cameras. We test them in the field with standardized backyard roaming tests. Our results will help you choose the best cell phone trail camera for your hunting style and area.
How cell phone tracking cameras work
All of the unit cameras in this test have a similar basic setup process. First you download an app from the company. Then you create a plan, load the camera with batteries, a sim card, and an SD card, and set up the camera settings. When set up in an area with cell service, the camera sends photos (or video) to the app.
The settings we used to test the tracking cameras.
Each mobile tracking camera was set to the fastest shooting mode and highest sensitivity. Markers were placed at 20-30 meters each. The testers then walked past the cameras at a moderate speed (left to right, then right to left) for each given distance. The walkthrough test was then repeated at night. The test was designed to measure the camera's detection range, trigger speed, shutter speed, and flash range. We looked for blank photos, trigger failures, blurry images and overall photo quality.
From there, we set each camera up in the field to see how it performs in the real world. We set up cameras in areas with reasonable cell phone service. In the field, we evaluated the cameras for photo quality, reliability, and ease of setup. This included the ability to view and sort photos using an app for each camera.