Over the past several years cellular trail cameras have become the hot new trend in trail camera technology. Cellular trail cameras are a great way to keep track of game animals or monitor your property, as they send the pictures directly to your phone or tablet. This is very helpful because it can help you monitor things even when you aren’t at home or if your trail camera is posted in a remote location.
Cellular trail cameras can be too expensive for some people due to their significantly higher prices. They can cost anywhere from around $100 on the low end to $300 or more on the high end and that doesn’t include the cost of the data plan. This can be a lot of money for many people especially if they are spending this money on a hobby or leisure activity like hunting.
So wouldn’t it be would be great if there was something that could turn the trail cameras you already have into cellular trail cameras and put the cost of having a cellular trail camera with the reach of everyone, not just a small group of high-end customers? I am super excited to tell you that the SPYPOINT CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Trail Camera Adapter is a product that does just that.
Introducing the SPYPOINT CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Adapter
Lucky for us, the people at SPYPOINT also saw this need and created an adapter that can easily attach to a regular (non-cellular) trail camera and give it the capabilities of a cellular trail camera.
The SPYPOINT CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Trail Camera Adapter easily hooks up to your existing trail camera, allowing you to connect your non-cellular camera to a cellular network using one of SPYPOINT’s data plans, which in turn gives you cellular access to your trail camera remotely with your smartphone or other connected devices.
This means that, regardless of where your trail camera is located, you will be able to remotely view pictures from your trail camera using the using the SPYPOINT app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Low price
- Affordable and flexible data plans
- HD download of pictures are available
- Works with multiple trail camera brands
- Easy to set up and use
- Available Verizon and AT&T options
- Doesn’t transmit videos
- Doesn’t work with certain cameras (we have details about which cameras below)
- Could void the warranty of some new cameras
All of this sounds great, but is getting one of these adapters a good idea? Keep reading and we will answer the most common question people have about the SPYPOINT CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Trail Camera Adapter and give you the information you need to decide for yourself.
How Does the Adapter Turn Traditional Non-Cellular Trail Cameras Into Cellular Trail Cameras?
Connecting the SPYPOINT CELL-LINK to your trail camera is very easy. The CELL-LINK has an SD cable adapter that you insert into your camera’s SD card slot to connect the two devices.
Regardless of if the SD card slot is located on the side or bottom of the camera, the cable is then routed out the bottom of the camera’s cover, making sure that it doesn’t get in the way of the camera’s lens or detection sensor, with the cover being closed over the cable. The cable is not only designed to be shut (pinched) within the cover of a traditional camera without negatively affecting the camera’s weatherproofing or impacting the performance of the CELL-LINK itself.
It is advisable to put a small loop in the cable before routing it out from the bottom of the camera. Doing this removes tension on the SD adapter, which will accomplish two things. First, it will prevent the adapter from being accidentally pulled out from the SD card slot. Second, it will help to prevent the wires inside the cable from fraying or pulling away from the SD card adapter itself.
Does It Work With Other Trail Camera Brands or Does It Only Work With SPYPOINT Cameras?
The SPYPOINT CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Trail Camera Adapter was designed to work with trail cameras from other manufacturers, not just SPYPOINT cameras. If the camera you want to use the adapter with can accommodate a standard-sized memory card it should work with the SPYPOINT CELL-LINK just fine in virtually every instance.
Are There Certain Cameras The CELL-LINK Won’t Work With?
While the CELL-LINK refers to itself as a universal cellular trail camera adapter there are two types of cameras that it isn’t compatible with.
Cameras That Use microSD Memory Cards
It is important to point out that if you have a camera that only accepts microSD cards the SPYPOINT CELL-LINK won’t work with it because the SD cable adapter won’t fit into the microSD slot. There isn’t really any way around this problem. Thankfully, most trail cameras use standard-sized memory cards so in most cases you won’t have to worry about this issue.
Cameras 25MP or Higher
I reached out to SPYPOINT to clarify if this means that it won’t work at all with cameras that are able to take 25MB resolution pictures or great or if means that the CELL-LINK won’t work with those cameras unless they are set to capture pictures of less than 25MB.
The SPYPOINT representative told me that the CELL-LINK won’t work with cameras capable of capturing 25MB or greater pictures regardless of the megapixel setting you have selected for pictures on the camera.
Does the CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Adapter Send Video?
No. The CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Adapter will only transmit photos. This isn’t that surprising, since none of SPYPOINT’s own cellular trail cameras can send videos and none of the data plans mention the transmission of video files as an option.
Video files take up a lot of space, and over time they can quickly use up a lot of cellular data which can become expensive. By not allowing video files to be transmitted in their data plans, SPYPOINT is able to stretch the amount of cellular data used further, which helps to keep the cost of their data plans down.
I get it, I really enjoy watching videos from my trail camera too. However, if only transmitting videos can help keep the cost for my data plan from being outrageous, I am all for it.
Will My Trail Camera Still Be Able to Record Video and Save It to the CELL-LINK’s microSD Card?
When their passive infrared (PIR) sensor is triggered almost all modern non-cellular trail cameras can capture both pictures and video with Picture, Video, and Picture + Video modes.
I am someone who will often set my cameras to Picture + Video mode. If you are like me it is only natural to wonder that if the CELL-LINK can’t transmit videos, as we just discussed, if you could set your camera to Photo + Video mode and save both pictures and videos to the memory card with only the pictures being transmitted to me. That way when you occasionally check on the camera physically, you could swap out the memory card and view the videos at home on your computer.
So I reached out to SPYPOINT support about this prior to buying a CELL-LINK adapter and was clearly told that the “CELL LINK does not have an option to take video or store video in the SD card”.
How Much Do the SPYPOINT Photo Transmission Plans (Data Plans) Cost?
One of the great things about SPYPOINT cellular trail cameras and in this case their CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Trail Camera Adapter, are the affordable data plans. Not only are there multiple plans to choose from, but as of 2021, there is even a free option for cameras that are placed in areas where there isn’t a lot of activity. Information about the current data plans from SPYPOINT is listed below.
|Plan||Number of Photos||Cost Per Month if Paid Monthly||Cost Per Month if Paid Annually|
Note: High resolution image downloads are not included with the SPYPOINT data plans. However, for $5 you can purchase a package of 50 FULL-HD Photo downloads.
Like other cellular trail camera data plan providers, SPYPOINT sends you compressed (less detailed) copies of images to reduce the amount of data being used. However, instead of going out to your trail camera and risk disturbing game animals to retrieve the high-resolution version of the photos that are saved on your SD card, SPYPOINT allows you to have the option of paying $5 to have 50 full HD resolution versions of images, that you select, sent to you on your smartphone app.
Honestly, most of the time you will be just fine with having the lower-resolution copies sent to you, but sometimes you will run across situations where being able to see the extra detail in those full-HD photos will be very helpful.
Which Cellular Networks Can the CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Adapter Use?
Given this choice, you should choose the version that connects to the cellular network that has the strongest signal in the area you will be using the device. In case you are wondering, you don’t need to already have an account with AT&T or Verizon in order to use a CELL-LINK that connects to their networks.
Is the SPYPOINT App Free and How Does It Work?
The first thing you want to do prior to setting up and using the CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Trail Camera Adapter for the first time is to download and install the free SPYPOINT App on your smartphone or another compatible device. The free app is available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play app store.
Not only is the app free, but it is simple and easy to use.
The first thing you will do with the app is to activate the device. After selecting the device you want to activate from the menu in the app you will be prompted to scan the code on the CELL-LINK to activate the device. It’s as easy as that.
After activating the device you will insert the batteries and power up the device and connect it to your trail camera. At that point, you will be able to use the app to set up the CELL-LINK to your preferences, which is very simple to do thanks to the SPYPOINT App’s friendly user interface.
At this point, I want to point out that the apps for most cellular trail camera brands, including SPYPOINT, give you the ability to adjust the trail camera’s settings but remember that the camera you are using with this SPYPOINT adapter isn’t a cellular trail camera and doesn’t have cellular connectivity. Therefore if the camera you are has any adjustable settings you won/t be able to adjust them through the app. So you need to make sure that you have the camera’s settings just the way you want them before leaving the camera, especially if you are placing it in a remote setting.
Here is a video from SPYPOINT showing just how quick and easy the activation and setup process is.
After you have everything set up just the way you want it and the camera is successfully capturing and transmitting videos you will access them using the app where you will be able to view and quickly sort through your images.
Since the cable adapter fits into the SD card slot on your trail camera you will need to get a memory card for the CELL-LINK so it can save the pictures your camera captures. The CELL-LINK uses microSD cards and can accommodate SD or SDHC microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity. Class 10 cards are required. We suggest using the SanDisk Ultra 32GB MicroSDHC card, which is a good card at a fair price. If you want to shop around and compare different cards you may want to check out our article on how to choose the best SD card for trail cameras.
Unlike most trail cameras the CELL-LINK doesn’t have to option to format memory cards after they are inserted into the device. So you will want to remember to format the memory card before inserting it into the CELL-LINK.
The SPYPOINT CELL-LINK is powered by 8AA batteries, which are not included. It can also be powered by SPYPOINT’s LIT-10 Lithium Rechargeable Battery Pack.
So while SPYPOINT says that you can use alkaline batteries in this device, Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries are ideal, as they not only have the longest battery life but can provide power even in extreme weather conditions. You can check out an article we wrote on the best batteries to use in trail cameras if you want to learn why we recommend using lithium batteries.
The batteries used to power the CELL-LINK are in addition to whatever you are using to power your trail camera. So putting a new set of batteries in your trail camera as well as this SPYPOINT cellular adapter may feel kind of expensive, especially if you are using lithium batteries, but remember that since each device has its own set of batteries both should have pretty good battery life when compared to cellular trail cameras that have one set of batteries that are used to both capture pictures as well as transmit them over the cellular network.
Input for External Power Supply
If you want to save money on batteries you will be happy to know that the CELL-LINK has an input for a 12V DC external power supply. If you are interested in going this route you may want to buy the SPYPOINT 12V Trail Camera Power Kit, which includes SPYPOINT’s SP-12V Solar Panel and KIT-12V External Rechargeable Battery.
How Long Is the Warranty?
This device is covered by SPYPOINT’s “Know you’re covered” 2-year warranty. This warranty protects you from any manufacturer’s defects in material and/or workmanship. If you have a warranty-related issue during this 2 year period SPYPOINT will either repair or replace the adapter.
Most trail camera companies these days only have a 1-year warranty on their products. Knowing this makes SPYPOINT’s 2-year warranty that much more impressive.
The following items are included with the SPYPOINT CELL-LINK:
- Adapter cable
- SIM card
- Mounting strap
- Quick start guide
How Much Does the Cell-Link Universal Cellular Adapter Cost?
Since the SPYPOINT adapter is designed to be a peripheral device that attaches to an existing trail camera so it doesn’t need all of the components that a trail camera does, which keeps the price of the adapter low. I have seen the adapter available for as little as $39.98, which is equivalent to some of the least expensive entry-level trail cameras on the market.
This will not only save you a lot of money, but if you are like me and have multiple trail cameras, it makes the option of having multiple trail cameras super affordable.
I have always found the customer service from SPYPOINT to be great. Anytime I have ever reached out to them I have always received the help I needed in a prompt fashion. When you consider its affordable price along with the good customer service you will receive from SPYPOINT it makes the value of the CELL-LINK cellular adapter even greater.
Is There Any Reason Not to Use a SPYPOINT Cell-Link Universal Cellular Adapter?
Assuming that you have a trail camera that can accommodate full-sized SD memory cards and that your camera doesn’t take pictures that are 25MP or greater, there is only one situation where I might consider not using the CELL-LINK adapter and that would be if the camera I am thinking of using it with is new, expensive, and still under warranty.
If you have a new trail camera that is on the more expensive side you probably don’t want to do anything that might void the manufacturer’s warranty should anything go wrong with the camera. Despite SPYPOINT’s telling users to route the adapter cable out from the bottom of the camera’s protective cover and designing the adapter cable to not interfere with the camera’s weatherproof seal, some manufacturers, Browning being among them, will not honor the warranty should you make a warranty claim for moisture damage.
I get it and would probably make the same decision if I were in the manufacturers’ shoes. We are talking about electronic devices here and the moment you run the adapter cable through the bottom of the cover you are interfering with the cover’s weatherproof seal and using the camera in a way other than what it was designed for.
That said, look around the internet or read some reviews on Amazon and you will see that moisture infiltration isn’t really an issue for people who are routing the cable out the bottom of the camera as SPYPOINT instructs users to do.
In the end, I am not really too worried about moisture getting into the camera, but the fact of the matter is that other things could go wrong with the camera during the warranty period and I don’t want to do anything that could void the warranty should I need to make a claim. So my plan, or the best advice, to give to others would be to only use the CELL-LINK adapter with cameras that are out of warranty or to use it with new less expensive cameras that I wouldn’t feel bad about losing if something were to go wrong and I couldn’t make a warranty claim.
The easy-to-use SPYPOINT CELL-LINK is a great device. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and makes having cellular trail camera(s) extremely affordable for people who already own trail cameras. The CELL-LINK is a great addition to round out your game scouting or property surveillance needs.
See your photos without the time, cost, and disruption of going into the field or woods to physically check your trail camera. You can see the current prices of both of the SPYPOINT CELL-LINK Universal Cellular Trail Camera Adapters by clicking on the links below.
Last update on 2023-01-16 at 17:33 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API