2/12/2024 UPDATE: This past Saturday, I finally got out to the local WMA where my Spypoint camera was located. The batteries had died weeks ago, and for the last couple weeks I got pics, some of them were pretty fogged up. When I opened the access door on the camera to turn it off, I discovered why.
It was completely saturated inside, with about 1/8-inch of water standing in the bottom of the access tray. The batteries were all wet, and the microSD card was unreadable. I haven’t put new batteries in it yet to see if it still works, but regardless, I no longer recommend purchasing this camera.
For the record, it was mounted 10 foot up in a tree for security purposes, so it did not flood. The water damage was the result of normal rain activity. So, if you’re looking for a new cellular trail camera, I would not recommend Spypoint!
Prior to the 2023 deer season, I decided to pick up a Spypoint Flex G36 cellular trail camera and a Tactacam Reveal X 2.0 to do a head-to-head comparison. If you’re interested in how that turned out, I’ve embedded the YouTube video at the bottom of this article.
For the purpose of this article, however, we’re just going to look at the Spypoint. I’ll discuss its features and performance, pros and cons, available data plans, and ultimately whether I’d recommend it to a hunting buddy.
Spypoint Flex G36
For those of you who just want the bottom line, the Spypoint Flex G36 is a decent camera for the money. It has a couple of great features not found on other cameras in the same price range, including GPS tracking and the ability to switch between AT&T and Verizon to choose the best signal for a given area. On the flip side, battery life is pretty poor, and I experienced frequent false triggers when using it on a field edge. Overall it’s a decent camera for the price point.
|Class 10 microSD card, 2-512GB
|8AA (lithium recommended)
|ATT & Verizon
- Decent image and video quality
- Fast trigger speed
- Can use either AT&T or Verizon cell service, depending on which is best, without switching SIM cards
- GPS-enabled so you can track the phone via the Spypoint app
- Free data plan with 100 free photos per month
- Frequent false triggers under certain circumstances
- Battery life is not great
- Company doesn’t have the greatest reputation for quality and support
Setting up the Spypoint Flex G36 was a very simple four-step process, and should only take you a few minutes to get up and running.
- Download the Spypoint app and create an account
- Add your camera by clicking the + button in the cameras tab
- Follow the instructions, which includes scanning the QR code inside your camera.
- Turn the camera on
Spypoint Data Plans
One of the biggest perks of Spypoint’s cellular trail cameras is the availability of a free data plan that includes 100 monthly photos.
Obviously if you’re planning on running the camera over a bait pile, then you’ll quickly exceed that number. But if you’re a public land hunter like myself, setting the camera up on a trail or scrape, then you may be able to get by with the free plan.
Here’s a look at their full lineup of data options:
|$4/mo annually$5/mo monthly
|$7/mo annually$10/mo annually
|$10/mo annually$15/mo monthly
If you want to be able to receive HD photos or videos, it’s an additional $5/month for 50 photos, and $5/month for 20 videos.
Image and Video Quality
The quality of the images you get through the app are fair. Good enough to get an idea of what’s in the photo, but if you try to zoom in to see details, you’ll be disappointed. The photos captured on the SD card are much higher quality, but don’t be fooled by the 36MP rating.
While technically the photos are 36MP, they get that large through “digital enhancement”. So the camera basically takes a smaller image natively, and the software "blows it up."
The end result is you’re not getting true 36MP quality, and if you try to zoom in on the photo, it’s going to look very pixelated.
This isn't just a Spypoint issue, though. Most trail camera manufacturers do the exact same thing these days, so be very leary of high megapixel camera ratings.
Spypoint advertises a 0.3 second trigger speed, and I have no reason to doubt that. In my head-to-head comparison with the Tactacam Reveal X 2.0, which advertises a 0.5 second trigger speed, the Spypoint consistently triggered before the Tactacam. I was impressed.
Sensor and Flash Range
The sensor and flash range of the Flex G36 is 100 feet, and it seemed to hold up to that spec, catching deer at a variety of distances during my testing.
One con regarding the sensor was that it was over-sensitive, often sending me multiple false triggered photos every day. It was only an issue when I was running it on a field edge. Evidently, it was the sun and shadows that seemed to trigger the camera. When I moved it more to a wooded setting, the issue resolved itself.
This was the other key area that was disappointing with the Spypoint. Full disclosure, I was using cheap Alkaline batteries, but even in comparison to the Tactacam, the batteries didn’t last near as long.
My recommendation, if you decide to go with the Spypoint, would be to invest in a solar panel. That will eliminate the battery life issue, and it will pay for itself over time by eliminating the need to replace expensive batteries on a regular basis.
The Flex G36 offers a couple of cool features you typically only find on higher priced cellular cameras:
- The ability to use either AT&T or Verizon cell service - whichever provides the strongest signal - without changing out SIM cards.
- The camera is GPS-enabled, so you can track the location of the camera.
Who’s It For?
If you move your cameras around to different areas and would benefit from being able to use both AT&T or Verizon service without having to swap out SIM cards, then the Spypoint is a great option. Also, if you’re concerned about theft and want the ability to GPS track your camera, that’s another reason to choose the Flex G36.
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have high expectations for the Spypoint based on feedback I’d read on social media. But I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of the Flex G36. It’s not perfect.
And in the head-to-head comparison with the Tactacam Reveal X 2.0, I give the win to the Tactacam due to battery life and overall performance. But I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Spypoint to someone who moves their camera around and could benefit from the ability to work on both AT&T and Verizon cell towers.
Also, if you need your camera to have GPS, then the Spypoint is an affordable option.