SPYPOINT LINK-DARK & LINK-DARK-V Cellular Trail Camera Review

Trail cameras are a great way to monitor game animals and to check your property, but they can present you with some headaches when deciding where to set them up. The first struggle is that they are not always in a convenient location and it can take a lot of time and money to check cameras in those remote locations. Another problem with many trail cameras is that they are equipped with low glow flashes, which prevents you from placing them in locations where you don’t want them to be seen at night.

The SPYPOINT LINK-DARK & SPYPOINT LINK-DARK-V are two trail cameras that solve both of these problems by combining cellular connectivity with a no glow flash that is invisible to the human eye.

Introducing the SPYPOINT LINK-DARK & SPYPOINT LINK-DARK-V Trail Cameras

SPYPOINT LINK-DARK & SPYPOINT LINK-DARK-V Cellular Trail Camera

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With their cellular connectivity, no glow flash, and a long list of great features, some of which are adjustable, the SPYPOINT LINK-DARK & SPYPOINT LINK-DARK-V cellular trail cameras are two of the versatile trail cameras out there.

Another thing to love about SPYPOINT cameras is that they have very reasonable and amazing data plans.

So let’s take an in-depth look at both the LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V to find out exactly what they have to offer you.

Pros

  • No glow invisible flash
  • Blazing fast trigger speed
  • Long detection range
  • Long flash range
  • Easy to use
  • Great mobile app
  • SPYPOINT offers affordable data plans (including a free plan)
  • Multiple recording modes
  • Geotagging – allows the camera to send GPS coordinates while it communicates accordingly with the chosen settings and plan.

Cons

  • Doesn’t send video (most cellular trail cameras don’t send video)
  • 12-megapixel camera
  • Doesn’t have a password protection feature

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Review of Key Features and Benefits of the SPYPOINT LINK-DARK & SPYPOINT LINK-DARK-V Trail Cameras

Camera

The camera on these trail cams has a photo resolution of 12-megapixels and records video at a resolution of 720p HD. These resolutions may seem to be pretty average quality or even low, but in reality, they will be just fine for most users. Remember that most cellular trail cameras, including the LINK-DARK and DARK-V, don’t transmit full resolution images. So to put a bunch of money into a camera capable of the highest resolutions when you will only see full resolution images when you pull the memory card. 

Both the LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V also have the photo first mode, where it shoots a photo before recording a video. This feature helps to diversify what the camera captures.

A thing to know is that you can only transmit photos via the cellular network and not videos. This helps to keep the data plans affordable. So if you want to see the videos that were recorded, you have to check them by physically retrieving the SD card.

Motion Sensor

The motion sensor is an essential part of all trail cameras, as it detects disturbances in the surroundings triggers the camera to begin capturing pictures and/or videos. The motion sensor on the SPYPOINT LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V has an impressive detection range of 100-feet. The detection angle is 45-degrees, which is about what you would expect.

The sensitivity on the motion sensor is adjustable with three settings; high, medium, and low. This can really allow you to customize the camera for its surroundings making sure that you capture all the activity in the area as well as helping you to minimize any false triggers.

Smartphone App

To use the camera remotely, you have to download its application, the SPYPOINT app. Get the app when you first get the camera, as it will aid you in setting it up. It is free to download and in addition to allowing you to see the pictures your camera had captured it give you the ability to remotely change the camera’s settings.

Other features of the app are live customer support, GPS geotagging, and cloud storage. It is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

Data Plan

You need to subscribe to a data plan to enable the transfer of photos to your phone and allow you to change the camera’s settings remotely through the app. Even though the LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V use different cellular networks, with the former using the AT&T network and the former using Verizon, owners of each camera have the same number of data plans to choose from and each is priced the same regardless of which network you are using.

There are four data plans to opt for. These are the Free, Basic, Standard, and Premium plans. For the Free option, you are not required to pay any fees and can receive a maximum of 100 images monthly.

You pay $5 per month for the Basic package and get 250 images during each monthly subscription period. The Standard plan will cost you $10 per month, giving you a 1000-image limit for the month. Finally, there is the Premium plan, requiring you to pay $15 per month. With the Premium plan, you can transmit unlimited photos.

If you are planning on running the camera year round you could save yourself up to 33%, depending on which plan you have, by getting an annual data plan and paying for the entire year upfront.

Trigger Speed

These SPYPOINT cameras have one of the fastest trigger speeds on the market at 0.07-seconds, helping to make sure that the camera won’t miss capturing any moment in the wild.

Flash

The no-glow flash is one of these SPYPOINT cameras’ most appealing factors. The flash has a range of 80-feet. Not only do the 42 low glow LEDs provide great illumination in dark conditions, but the LEDs won’t make the front of the camera glow when the flash is operating. so it won’t disturb the subject of your recordings and will keep the camera’s location hidden at night.

The flash can be set to one of the following settings: optimal, boost, and blur reduction.

Dimensions

The LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V each have dimensions of 3.8 x 5.0 x 3.2-inches., which makes it pretty comparable to other trail cameras in their class.

Time-Lapse Feature

The time-lapse feature is a great option to use if you need to monitor an area that is beyond the range of the motion sensor. While using the time-lapse mode is not my first choice for dealing with false triggers some people might resort to using the time-lapse feature when all else fails (you can click here to see tips on how to prevent false triggers). This feature only supports photos and will capture photos at intervals you select, which can range from 3-minutes to 24-hours.

When you enable the time-lapse mode, the Delay and Multishot options are turned off.

Hours of Operation

The hours of operation feature allows you to specify the times you want the camera to be in operation each day. When enabled it can help conserve battery life, save storage space on your memory card, and is also economical on your data plan.

LCD Screen

Both SPYPOINT LINK-DARK cameras have a 2-inch color LCD screen, which is helpful when setting up the camera and previewing photos and videos. However, after the camera is initially set up, most likely, you will rarely use the LCD screen as most of your time will be spent interacting with the SPYPOINT app.

Memory Card

To store your recordings, each camera needs a memory card. The LINK-DARK and DARK-V can accommodate SD/SDHC memory cards with capacities of up to 32GB. SPYPOINT recommends using Class 10 cards. A great choice for these cameras is the SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC memory card.

The cameras support continuous recording, where it deletes older recordings to make room to capture and save new files.

SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC memory card
63,552 Reviews
SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC memory card
  • Fast for better pictures and Full HD video (2); (2) Full HD (1920x1080) video support may vary based upon host device, file attributes, and other factors
  • Great choice for compact to mid-range point-and-shoot cameras
  • From 32GB to 256GB (1) to store tons of pictures and even more Full HD video (2); (1)1GB=1,000,000,000 bytes Actual user storage less
  • Exceptional video recording performance with UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) (5) and Class 10 rating for Full HD video (1080p). (5) UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) designates a performance option to support real time video recording with UHS enabled host devices
  • Quick transfer speeds up to 100MB/s. Up to 100MB/s [64GB-256GB; 90MB/s for 32GB] read speed; Write speed, lower Based on internal testing; performance may be lower depending on host device, usage conditions, and other factors 1MB=1,000,000 bytes

Batteries

The LINK-DARK models use 8 AA batteries. These cameras are pretty economical when it comes to battery usage, but the exact amount of time a set of batteries will last for you depends on the settings you choose, the amount of activity in the area, and the type of batteries you use. One big thing that impacts battery life for cellular trail cameras is the frequency at which you have the camera transmit images to you. Reducing the number of times it sends photos each day can really extend the battery life, especially for cameras that are in busy areas.

I know that rechargeable batteries are pretty popular with a lot of people, but SPYPOINT states that rechargeable AA batteries are not recommended due to the lower voltage they produce can cause operational issues. If you want to learn more about why rechargeable batteries are not a good fit you can check out our article on the best batteries for trail cameras.

For best performance and longest battery life, even in cold weather, lithium batteries are our top choice. We suggest using Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries.

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Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries
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Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries
  • 24 Pack of Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Batteries
  • Leak proof construction protects the devices you love (based on standard use)
  • Powers your most critical devices ideal for your smart home devices, outdoor surveillance systems, digital cameras, and handheld games
  • Holds power up to 20 years in storage for trustworthy backup energy, so you’re always prepared
  • Performs in extreme temperatures, from -40F to 140° F, for year round, indoor and outdoor use

Input for External Power Supply

The LINK-DARK or LINK-DARK-V have an input to allow them to use an external power supply. A DC 12V source will work with the SPYPOINT models.

Image Stamp

Image stamps show you important details about when pictures and videos were taken. Among the details included in the LINK-DARK’s and LINK-DARK-V’s image stamps are the date, time, temperature, and moon phase. These details can come in handy when you are sorting through pictures of game animals looking for patterns of behavior.

Signal Strength

Know that you don’t need to have an existing account with AT&T or Verizon in order to have a trail camera that uses their cellular networks. So when trying to pick between the LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V cameras, start by selecting the camera that uses the network that has the strongest signal in the area you plan on using the camera, you can improve its reception by purchasing the SPYPOINT CA-01 Long-Range Cellular Antenna Signal Booster with 15-Foot Cable and Mounting Bracket, which is shown below.

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SPYPOINT CA-01 Long-Range Cellular Antenna Signal Booster with 15-Foot Cable and Mounting Bracket Trail Camera Accessory for Almost Any Trail Camera to Improve Signal Adapter Included
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SPYPOINT CA-01 Long-Range Cellular Antenna Signal Booster with 15-Foot Cable and Mounting Bracket Trail Camera Accessory for Almost Any Trail Camera to Improve Signal Adapter Included
  • [Boost Signal Strength] It can’t get signal where no network exists, The CA-01 Long-Range Cellular Antenna signal booster from Spypoint can help improve signal strength in areas without the ideal cellular signal for your cellular trail cameras.
  • [Omnidirectional] The signal booster is omnidirectional, so there’s no need to mount it to face a particular way to get the best signal possible. As long as you are able to clear as many obstructions as possible it will try to improve your signal.
  • [Easy Installation] The booster comes with a 15-foot cable and attached mounting bracket for quick and easy installation. For permanent spots, install using the mounting bracket, or simply run the cable up to the highest branch it will reach.
  • [No Additional Battery Draw] The booster is passive, so there is no power source needed to improve your cellular signal and it doesn’t draw on the batteries in your camera. Let it improve your cellular signal without wrecking your battery life.
  • [Works on Most Cameras] The CA-01 comes with an adapter that will allow the booster to be used with virtually any cellular camera, not just Spypoint cameras. Improve your signal quality, no matter what camera you are using.

Warranty

In the event that you buy one of these cameras and they are defective, know that SPYPOINT has you covered with their 2-year warranty, which is longer than what most other trail camera manufacturers offer.

Included Accessories

The following are included with the LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V to help make the use and setup of the cameras quick and easy.

  • SIM card
  • Mounting bracket
  • Mounting strap
  • User-manual

Areas of Use

The SPYPOINT LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V allow you to monitor game animals or monitor property remotely. This saves you the time and expense of traveling to physically retrieve memory cards. Plus, thanks to their no glow flash you can feel confident putting these cameras in places where you might worry about a camera with low glow flash having its location being discovered at night.

Pricing

The price of the SPYPOINT LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V is quite a bit more than non-cellular trail cameras, which is true for all cellular trail cameras. but when you look at the features of the LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V V especially their no glow flash you understand that they are fairly priced.

When you consider the versatility of these cameras and think about the money they will save you, by not having to go physically check their SD cards, along with the affordable data plans you can really appreciate their true value.

Other Options

Do you want to look at what other options are available? If so, you might want to check out our free Find Your Perfect Trail Camera Tool, which shows you trail camera options based on the criteria you select. Otherwise, we have picked out a couple of trail cameras, which are shown below, that we think you might be interested in.

SPYPOINT LINK-MICRO-S-LTE Cellular Trail Camera

If you like the LINK-DARK and LINK-DARK-V, but wish they had a solar panel or came with a lower price tag, the SPYPOINT LINK-MICRO-S-LTE (AT&T) and LINK-MICRO-S-LTE-V (Verizon) could be just what you are looking for.

The main differences between the SPYPOINT LINK-MICRO-S-LTE cameras and the LINK-DARK cameras are that the LINK-MICRO-S-LTE cameras come with a solar panel that is incorporated into the design of the camera, but they DON’T HAVE NO GLOW FLASH. Other differences include SPYPOINT LINK-MICRO-S-LTE cameras coming with a shorter 80-foot detection range to go along with a 10MP camera (that isn’t set up to take videos). Beyond those differences, these are very similar cameras that offer the same affordable data plans and use the same smartphone apps.

If you want to discover even more about the LINK-MICRO-S-LTE & LINK-MICRO-S-LTE-V you can check out the full review we did on them. Otherwise, you can see the price of the LINK-MICRO-S-LTE (AT&T) here or view the current price of the LINK-MICRO-S-LTE-V (Verizon) here.

SPYPOINT SOLAR-DARK Trail Camera

If you like the SPYPOINT LINK-DARK cameras, but really don’t really NEED a cellular trail camera and would like to be able to leave the camera in the woods for extended periods of time, the SPYPOINT SOLAR-DARK trail camera could be just what you are looking for. Other than not having cellular connectivity, which brings the price down, there are basically two differences between the SPYPOINT SOLAR-DARK and the SPYPOINT LINK-DARK. One difference is the 90 foot no glow flash range on the SOLAR-DARK, which is 10 feet longer than the LINK-DARK. The second difference is the 1080p video resolution on the SOLAR-DARK, which is a step above the 720p resolution on the LINK-DARK. Beyond those differences, the SOLAR-DARK and LINK-DARK cameras share the same features and specs.

You can check the current price of the SPYPOINT SOLAR-DARK here.

Final Thoughts

The SPYPOINT LINK-DARK and the SPYPOINT LINK-DARK-V cellular trail cameras will save you time and money by allowing you to check your trail camera remotely, which means no worrying about spooking wildlife. Plus, the no glow flash lets you put the camera where you want without fear of it being seen at night.

If these cellular trail cams meet your needs you can check the current price of the SPYPOINT LINK-DARK here or you can check the price of the LINK-DARK-V so you can start saving money and stop spooking wildlife today.

Last update on 2021-08-30 at 05:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API