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2018 Covert Blackhawk LTE Review
All-in-all, this is a really solid Verizon cellular camera. The app has some functionality issues, but the camera takes good pictures, is fast, and has great battery life. – TCP Staff
Model # 5465
Blackhawk LTE FAQ’s
- Good picture quality
- 4.1 Months of battery life
- Easy cell setup and great case design
- Poor night videos
- Smartphone app has some bugs
This is an LTE Verizon cellular trail camera. It only works on Verizon towers but you can still use the camera regardless of what your current cell phone provider is. This camera does have the ability to remotely send pictures AND videos. The videos are 5 seconds in length and must be “requested. If you set it to video mode, it will send you a picture of the beginning of the video. If you like the picture and want to see the full video, you can “request the video.” This is an additional $0.07 per video you request. It will then send you the video and it can take up to 24 hours for the video to send.
Photo resolution: 12 interpolated mpxls
Flash Type: No Glow IR
Picture quality is really good during the day. The pictures have really good color, clarity and depth. It seems to stop motion really well too. They can get a little dark in shady areas (underexposed), however, overall these are great pictures.
Night pictures are decent. They have good flash but have some graininess as well. Overall, they are above average.
Video quality is what you would expect of a cellular camera. It isn’t great but we wouldn’t expect it to be at this point. The videos below are from the SD card. Night videos are fairly poor as they lack decent range and are quite dark. The video quality brings down the overall rating of the category.
What if you purchase from us and aren’t happy with the image quality?
This is a common question and we have a very simple solution. Call, email, or chat with us and we can take a look at the images and offer suggestions or immediately tell if something is wrong with the camera. If so, we will warranty the camera for you (with the free 2-Year warranty you receive from us) or return the camera for a full refund (within 90 days of purchase). You have control of the process, remember, we work for you.
In the past, many people get confused with the megapixel rating trail camera manufacturers advertise. Companies inflate the mpxl rating to attract eyes to their products. They do this through interpolation, which digitally adds megapixels to a photo without actually improving the picture.
The best way to judge picture quality is to look at actual pictures. You will notice this the most when you zoom in on a full-size image that a camera has taken. The details of the photo will appear hazy or even digitized. This is normal, and to be expected.
Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 2.3 Ws
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 36.2 Ws | 38.5 Ws
This camera is very efficient for a cellular trail camera.
If this camera took 15-day pictures and 15-night pictures every 24 hours, it would last 4.1 months on a set of lithium Batteries.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.79 s. | 41.7 s.
Detection Range & Angle: 80 ft. | 60° (42.1° F.O.V.)
Trigger speed is average but the recovery time is pretty decent. The 80 ft. detection range is very solid. Overall, this is a more than adequate detection circuit capable of catching nearly any animal.
Quality of Design:
Dimensions: 6″ x 4.75″ x 3.5″
Battery Type: 12 AA
External Battery Jack: 6-volt
Not surprisingly, the case design on the LTE is fantastic. The outer plastic case feels really solid and durable to the touch, the latch is huge and easy to open/close, and the case has all the Accessories we like. There are two threaded inserts for Slate River Mounts (one on the back and one on the bottom) along with a built-in bracket for a Python Cable Lock on the back of the camera. The obvious difference in this case design from previous cameras is the double antenna on the top.
The built-in viewer makes aiming the camera very simple and the large buttons make scrolling through the setup easy as can be. Overall, case design is impressive.
Getting the camera’s basic functions up and running is very easy, just use the screen to set your date/time, picture mode, and so on. the large setup screen makes this easy to see and should only take a minute or two.
Cellular Setup Instructions
The ONLY way to set up this camera is through Covert, do not contact Verizon to set up this camera. You CAN’T use an existing sim card you already have. Please, please, please follow the instructions that come with the camera or our own instructions below.
If following simple instructions is your jam, you won’t have problems setting this camera up. If you try to deviate from these steps, you will have problems. Here are the steps to get the camera setup properly:
- Go to secure.covert-wireless.com.
- Create an account if you are a new user or login to an existing account.
- Select the data plan you want to use under the “Purchase Additional Subscription Plans” heading
- Enter your personal information and billing information in the appropriate areas
- Enter your ICCID number (this is on the sim card that comes with the camera) and the IMEI number (this is on the top-inside of the camera, on a sticker)
- There is a warning during this step that it could take up to 24 hours for your camera to become active. So, if it doesn’t start sending photos right away, this could be the reason.
- You can refresh your browser in a minute or two to check the status of the activation. On the cameras we did, it was active immediately after refreshing.
- At this point, you can load 12 Lithium Batteries, an SD card, and the sim card into the camera and turn it to “Setup.”
- The screen will turn on and it will start looking for the network. It will give you the status in the top-right hand corner.
How to send a Test Photo (to ensure the camera is active)
- Press the “Shot” button when on the live preview screen.
- Press the “Ok” button, then press the “Menu” button. Highlight “Send” and press “Ok.”
- The display will show you the progress of the photo being sent. At the end, it should say “Sent Successfully.”
- You can now view this picture on the main menu of your Covert-Wireless Account
We recommend downloading the Covert Wireless App to your smartphone so you can view pictures on the go, check the camera’s status, and change settings remotely. From the app, you can choose to have pictures emailed or texted to you (or have this function turned off and just check on the app). The only thing we would change is the ability to do the initial programming of the camera via the app on your phone and not have to use a computer. Other than that, this camera was very easy to setup.
Data plan costs are complicated and offer a million different plans. You can find them below (this is a screenshot from Covert’s website and subject to change).
This camera does have the ability to remotely send pictures AND videos. The videos are 5 seconds in length and must be “requested. If you set it to video mode, it will send you a picture of the beginning of the video. If you like the picture and want to see the full video, you can “request the video.” This is an additional $0.07 per video you request. It will then send you the video and it can take up to 24 hours for the video to send.
SD Card Storage Examples
With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 3 mpxl photos (this is our recommended setting as it is closest to the native resolution), this camera could store 15,183 pictures on the SD card.
From this data, you can extrapolate out storage capacities of different sized SD cards and different resolution settings. We give you a 16 Gig SD card with the purchase of this camera through us. If you need additional or larger SD cards, you can shop all SD card options here.
Durability on Covert cell cameras has been average. We will update this review if anything changes.
Here are a few issues on the app we have noticed so far:
- Controlling the settings via the smartphone app is currently not working (we are unable to change settings remotely)
- The camera does not report back weather conditions, temperature or wind
- The packaging claims it will accept up to 64 Gig SD cards but we believe it only goes up to 32 Gig
Keep in mind, our 2-year warranty program is your free insurance program in case something goes wrong with a camera you purchase from us. This warranty protects you from any manufacturing defect the camera might experience for two years.
Covert Blackhawk LTE Review Conclusion:
All-in-all, this is a really solid cellular camera. The app has some functionality issues, but the camera takes good pictures, is fast, and has great battery life.
Since 2005, our mission has to been to provide consumers with unbeatable value, advice you can trust, and customer service that exceeds expectations. There are a plenty of places you can choose to do business with, if we are lucky enough to earn your support, we promise to give you our undivided attention. Trailcampro has grown each year not only by relying on your happiness but on the assumption that if we blow you away with customer service, you will brag about us to your friends (have you seen our referral/reward program?).
As always, if you have additional questions, feel free to call, email or chat with us. We look forward to helping you find your next trail camera!
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FAQ’s: Trail Camera
Q: How do I view the pictures?
A: There are a number of ways to do this. Pictures/videos are stored on the SD card you place in the camera. Here are some other methods for viewing images:
- View pictures on your computer. Plug the SD card in a desktop computer or laptop via the built-in SD card reader or use a USB reader if your computer doesn’t have one. This method works for most tablets as well. With this method, we recommend having two SD cards per camera so you can swap them in the field.
- View pictures on your smartphone. Buy the Stealth Cam IOS & Android Reader in order to view images on your phone. Phone readers require an app to access the photos, you can read more about these via the previous links.
- Trail Camera Viewers. While more expensive, handheld Viewers are useful if you don’t have a smartphone or run multiple trail cameras.
Q: Will this trail camera trigger on small animals (birds, rodents, etc.)?
A: Trail cameras detect on a combination of heat and movement, so, yes, small mammals will trigger the camera. However, if you are going after smaller warm-blooded mammals, we recommend getting the camera closer to your target. For best performance, place the camera in an area that would enable picture detection from 3 – 20 ft.
Q: Can animals see the infrared flash on this camera?
A: This is somewhat controversial. Humans can’t see the flash as the nanometer spectrum is above what the human eye can detect. It’s also much harder for an animal to see, but that could depend on the species of animal as different species see in different light spectrums.
Q: Where can I purchase this camera?
A: From us! We hope to woo you with our incredible charm, two-year warranty, 90-day returns, free continental U.S. shipping, and technical expertise. If that isn’t enough, we give you a 16 Gig SD card with this camera and you can call and talk our ear off anytime.
Seriously, though, we know you have plenty of options of where to spend your hard-earned money. The internet can be the wild, wild, west of too-good-to-be-true deals. If you choose to do business with us, we will go out of our way to make sure you are happy with the camera you select and the service we provide you.
We are passionate about testing and reviewing trail cameras, but most importantly, we are passionate about treating our customers the right way. We do things differently from what you have come to expect from other internet retailers and we hope you give us the opportunity to prove that to you.
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Read Reviews From All the Game and Trail Cameras
- Verizon LTE
- No Glow Infrared Flash
- 42° field of view
- Accepts up to 32 gig SD card (Covert’s packaging claims 64 Gig, but we believe this to be inaccurate)
- 2″ color internal viewer
- Requires 12 AA Lithium batteries
- Time, date, temperature, and moon phase on photo stamp
- 6-Volt External Battery Jack
Buy your next trail camera or accessory from us and we will protect your purchase with our 90-day return policy and our exclusive 2-year warranty.
Most manufacturer warranties are only one year. In our opinion, that isn’t good enough. Our customers get a two-year warranty, directly from us.
Trailcampro’s 2-Year Warranty
If the trail camera you purchase from us goes defective within two years of your purchase, we will quickly replace it.
We strive to make the warranty process as quick and easy as possible. Simply fill out our warranty form.
Trailcampro’s 90-Day Return Policy
We believe you have the right to return any game camera that does not meet your expectations within 90 days.
Our return policy lets you field test products, at no risk to you!
- Buyer’s remorse? Return the camera to us for a full refund (minus shipping).
- Purchased the wrong camera? We will ship you the right camera.
- Something wrong with the camera you received? We will replace it at no cost to you.
Want to talk to a trail camera expert? Contact our friendly staff.
Read our Customer Testimonials to find out what our customers have been saying about us!
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Trail Camera Accessories
Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the trail camera.
Energizer Ultimate Lithiums | 12 Pack
– There is no downside to using lithium batteries. Long battery life, extreme durability, and better night pictures. You will be happy you did.
6 Foot Python Cable Lock
– Use this with the security case, or just the camera itself. The Code Black has brackets on the back specifically for this lock.
Extra SD Cards
Start at $9.95
– SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the Code Black, but most people use two cards. If you have two cards, you can swap them out when you retrieve the pictures.
Verified Customer Reviews
We ensure that every customer review comes from one of our real customers and not someone who works for the competing trail camera manufacturer. These are verified customer trail camera reviews that you can trust.
We would love your feedback if you purchased this trail camera from us. We want your honest feedback, these reviews are a vital part in helping consumers choose the right game camera.