Spypoint Link-Micro-S-LTE trail camera review

Get wildlife photos transmitted straight to your smartphone or web browser with this cellular trail camera

trail camera
(Image: © George Cairns)

Digital Camera World Verdict

We enjoyed using the Link-Micro-S-LTE to transmit photos of wildlife straight to our smartphone moments after they were captured and thanks to the solar panel we didn’t need to keep feeding it AA batteries. This makes it an independent trail camera you can leave alone for days while still enjoying the images it captures via your smartphone. You can retrieve higher-resolution images from the camera’s memory card later. The main downside is its inability to capture video clips.

Pros

  • +

    Shoots for ages thanks to solar panel

  • +

    Photos transmitted straight to your smartphone

  • +

    100 free transmitted photos per month

Cons

  • -

    No movie recording option

  • -

    Need to subscribe to transmit Full HD photos

  • -

    4K color and mono footage

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The Link-Micro-S-LTE is one in a comprehensive collection of trail cameras from Spypoint, including the Spypoint Solar Dark (opens in new tab) and Force-20. Like the best trail cameras (opens in new tab), it is designed to capture stills of any animals that pass by its motion detection sensor during day or night. Although the marketing of the camera targets hunters who need to know the location and behavior of animals, a trail camera can also give you a fascinating insight into the animal activities occurring in your own vicinity, and as such, it is the perfect tool for eager wildlife photographers. 

The Spypoint Link-Micro-S-LTE has two key advantages over some of the other trail cameras in the Spypoint range, and it can send images via cellular connection like the best cellular trail cameras (opens in new tab). However, it also has several disadvantages. We’ll help you decide if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages as you read through this review…

Spypoint Link-Micro-S-LTE specifications

Transmission standard: LTE
Photo Type: Colour by day, infrared by night
Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.6 x 16.6cm 
External memory: microSD card
Photo Resolution: 10 MP
LEDs: 4
Detection sensor: 5-zone sensor (PIR)
Flash range: 24 meters 
Trigger speed: 0.4 sec
Thread: Standard 1/4 inch tripod thread
Power:  LIT-10 battery pack and solar panel

Spypoint Link-Micro-S-LTE features

trail camera

The antenna enables the Link-Micro-S LTE to transmit photos to your smartphone via a cellular network (Image credit: George Cairns)

As with all trail cameras, the Link-Micro-S-LTE has an LED that helps illuminate wildlife during the night. This helps it capture infrared monochrome photos of various creatures once they set off the camera’s motion detector. One of the disadvantages of other SPYPOINT trail cameras such as the Force-Pro or the Force-20 is that you need to replace their batteries every few days. The Link-Micro-S-LTE sports a handy solar panel that recharges the supplied Lithium battery pack, so you can leave the camera outside unattended for more days and nights than its siblings. 

The other advantage is the fact that the Link-Micro-S-LTE has a cellular aerial that can transmit photographs of wildlife to the Spypoint app so that you can view the shots them the comfort of your smartphone (instead of having to retrieve a memory card from the camera on a cold and wet morning). If you spend time flicking through social media feeds when you’re supposed to be watching a movie prepare yourself for the additional distraction of regularly checking your smartphone’s SPYPOINT app to see if it has captured new snaps of a nocturnal visitor. The SPYPOINT app also enables you to fine-tune the camera’s settings to make it more or less sensitive to movement. You can choose to shoot two consecutive photos instead of one which gives you a better chance of a well-composed shot. You can also change the interval between when it captures shots so that you don’t get dozens of snaps of the same animal. 

Because the Link-Micro-S-LTE transmits its photos via a cellular signal you need to set up a SPYPOINT account and register the camera’s serial number. This sets you up with a cellular transmission plan suitable to your part of the world.  This is quite a straightforward process and you only need to do it once. The camera ships with a built-in (and locked) sim card so there’s no need to worry about that side of things and you can transmit up to 100 photos per month for free (more on that later).

Spypoint Link-Micro-S-LTE Build & handling

A camouflaged (and water-resistant) casing means the Link-Micro-S LTE will be harder for animals to spot in natural environments (Image credit: George Cairns)

In build, the Link-Micro-S-LTE feels like most other trail cameras in the SPYPOINT range. Due to its plastic body, it’s light and easy to carry (and it comes with a carry strap that can also be used to fix the camera to a tree).  It is decorated with a camouflage pattern to help it blend in with its natural surroundings. A sturdy clip enables you to open the water-resistant housing but unlike most other SPYPOINT trail cameras there is no LCD screen or menu buttons to interact with when you open the Link-Micro-S-LTE’s casing.

This is due to the fact that you can view its captured shots and change settings in the SPYPOINT app on your smartphone instead. You can also view the shots in a web browser when you log in to your SPYPOINT account. The lack of a screen allows the Link-Micro-S-LTE’s camera body to be more compact (and more discrete) than the similar SPYPOINT Solar-Dark.  The Link-Micro-S-LTE also has a handy tripod thread at the base so you can mount and angle it for the best view of your animal subjects.

The solar panel keeps the supplied Lithium battery topped up so that you can capture stills for days and nights (Image credit: George Cairns)

Spypoint Link-Micro-S-LTE Hands-on

Spypoint Link-Micro-S-LTE Performance

The Link-Micro-S-LTE ’s strengths are its solar panel and cellular transmission abilities. However, the photos that it transmits to the SPYPOINT app are very small. They measure tiny 600 x 338 pixels which don’t even equate to the size produced by a 1 MP camera. You are also limited to 100 transmitted photos per month on the free plan. To transmit larger (full HD) shots straight to your smartphone you need to subscribe to a monthly or annual plan (such as $4 per month to transmit 250 photos). 

Fortunately, the photos captured directly onto the camera’s micro SD card are much larger. At 4096 x 2304, they equate to just under a 10-megapixel camera which will give you a decent-sized print. You can also shoot and capture as many images to the memory card as you like (until it’s full of course). If you want the convenience of solar power and the ability to capture video clips as well as stills then check out our review of the similar SPYPOINT Solar-Dark.

trail camera

To access the larger 10 megapixels versions of your photos you need to attach the micro SD card to your PC (Image credit: George Cairns)

trail camera

Low-resolution (600 x 338) images are transmitted straight to your smartphone’s SPYPOINT app so you can go on safari from your sofa (Image credit: George Cairns)

Spypoint Link-Micro-S-LTE Verdict

Initially, we were surprised that the Link-Micro-S-LTE would only capture photos and not video clips. However, we soon realized that as it’s designed to transmit low-resolution photos to a smartphone app the cellular data requirements for the video would be too high, hence the photo-only option. 

We loved the fact that we didn’t have to pay for a rolling supply of AA batteries thanks to the combination of the solar panel and Lithium power pack and the option to view animal photos from the comfort of a smartphone app is very attractive (and addictive) feature. However to see the high-resolution photos you still need to extract and download the contents of the micro SD card into your PC as you do with most other trail cameras.

If you're interested in spotting wildlife, then you might like our guide to the best portable hides for wildlife photography (opens in new tab), plus binoculars (opens in new tab) for spotting faraway subjects.

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George has been freelancing as a photo fixing and creative tutorial writer since 2002, working for award winning titles such as Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N-Photo and Practical Photoshop. He's expert in communicating the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as producing video production tutorials on Final Cut Pro and iMovie for magazines such as iCreate and Mac Format. He also produces regular and exclusive Photoshop CC tutorials for his YouTube channel.