Cellular Game Cameras Compared: Bushnell, Spypoint, Tactacam

By Randy Wakeman

Above: Tactacam Wins Big

Bushnell CelluCORE 20

Some of the older, more traditional game cameras I've used from even a few years ago are not comparable to the latest cellular cameras. For starters, I bought a bargain-priced Bushnell Cellucore 20 https://amzn.to/3xB6bE4 . As I write this, you can pick one up for $54.80, SD card and batteries not included. It takes 12 AA batteries and the base plan runs $9.99 per month, the “unlimited” plan $14.99 per month. You get your first month free with purchase.

I see no discount if you add multiple cameras and no annual subscription discount, either. If you used four cameras, with the unlimited plan, that's $719.52 per year. The Bushnell App is excellent. The battery life seems quite good. Bushnell claims up to six months, but that will vary widely based on use. Image quality, both day and night, is just average. If you wanted just one camera, say for three months use in the fall, I'd call it a good value. Used as a three or four camera system, it isn't competitive.


Next, I bought a Spypoint Flex G-36 https://amzn.to/3VRSgDL . I have very little positive to say about it: poor images, poor battery life, false triggers, and so it goes. The app is decent, you can get a free plan (100 pictures per month), and the unlimited plan is $120 per year. Whenever I review a product like this, the sample size is often one, but this Spypoint Flex G-36 was so very poor all I can say is don't bother. This is one trail cam to happily avoid.


The TACTACAM Reveal X PRO https://amzn.to/3TShZJz is easily the winner of this little comparison with clearly better photos, day and night, with a better than advertised triggering range. The starter plan is $5 a month (250 images) or $4.58 a month if you sign on for a year. The “Pro” plan is $13 a month (unlimited) or $120 per year. There is a small amount of savings on monthly plans if you add another camera. Regardless, running four TACTACAM Reveal X PRO units (unlimited) is $480 a year vs. the $719.52 mentioned above for the Bushnell Cellucore 20. Estimated battery life is 3.6 months. I ordered and installed a Tyrone rechargeable lithium power bank https://amzn.to/3PUzxDK that should bump up the battery life significantly vs. AA alkaline batteries. Note that a 20 pack of disposable lithium AA's can hit $52.  I'll update this review as time goes on.

Finally, I ordered another TACTACAM, a TACTACAM Reveal X Gen 2.0 https://amzn.to/43PiAAk . You lose the GPS and LCD front screen, but also lose $30 of initial purchase price, but gain about twice the battery life and Wi-Fi. The TACTACAM Reveal X Gen 2.0 came in, I activated it for $4.67. Alas, no SIM card was included in the box, so the unit was returned. TACTICAM has excellent customer service and refunded the princely sum of $4.67 immediately. Another TACTACAM Reveal X Gen 2.0 is on its way, so a very brief review of it follows.

The second Tactacam Reveal X Gen 2.0 arrived and yes, this one had a SIM card in the box. I (eventually) set it up via Wi-Fi, but the procedure is non-intuitive and ponderous. In set-up mode, AA alkalines drained very quickly during this sequence, dropping from 100% to 80% in just an hour. I'll speculate that this was due to the constant Wi-Fi search in set-up mode. Image quality is essentially the same as the Reveal X Pro. For the extra thirty dollars for the Reveal X Pro, you get the LCD screen, the no-glow IR flash, and the GPS making the Reveal X Pro still the very clear winner.The Reveal X Pro also has a faster trigger.

After the initial comparison of these cameras, I decided to buy a third Tactacam: another Reveal X Pro, of course. This one came in with two SIM cards, but the Verizon card was not recognized. A call to Tactacam customer service and it was quickly manually added. My understanding is that the glow-type LED flash found on the Reveal X Gen 2.0 is supposed to have a greater range compared to the black or 'no-glow' LED array on the Reveal X Pro. The difference, to my eyes, is not greatly significant.

Supposedly, the Reveal X Gen 2.0 has a greater battery life, but based on running these three cameras at the same time, that is not readily apparent. Supposedly, you can get 4000 pictures or so with lithium batteries. Loose, disposable batteries are too expensive and clumsy for my tastes. That's why I bought a total of five rechargeable lithium packs: https://amzn.to/3QCILFl . I also picked up a total of six of these SD cards: https://amzn.to/4bpyJ2j . When needed, I can swap battery packs and SD cards in moments.

Sometimes, brief comparisons can be a close call. This time, it is anything but-- the Tactacam Reveal X Pro wins going away. I'm quite happy to be able to highly recommend it: https://amzn.to/3JusT3p .

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