HCO Spartan GoCam NoGlow
- If you have good cellular reception, this cell camera is a no-brainer. It offers the most bang for your buck, whether you are photographing wildlife or the neighbor stealing from your shop. - TCP Staff
Read our full review below.
HCO Spartan GoCam No Glow Review
Model # GC-ATTb (AT&T Model) and GC-VZWb (Verizon Model) | Cellular Setup Instructions
- Low resting power
- Cellular setup is relatively easy
- Good picture quality
- Solid case design
- High day/night power consumption
- Slow trigger speed
The HCO Spartan GoCam No Glow is an infrared cellular 3G trail camera that does not emit any visible light when it takes a photo at night. For this reason, we would classify the Spartan No Glow as both a wildlife and a security camera. This model works on AT&T towers or Verizon towers (you will need to specify the carrier the camera will use when ordering), but can send emails/texts to any phone no matter what carrier the phone uses.
One of the biggest challenges for cellular cameras the last several years, has been the availability and hassle of getting the correct sim card. The Spartan GoCam has simplified the process and erased the need to go to a local AT&T or Verizon store and haggle over which sim card to get. The cellular setup for this camera can be done over your home computer, in just minutes. There is no contract and you can start/stop service at any time. We will talk more about cellular setup a little later, for now, let's see what else the camera has to offer.
Quality of Design 4.5 Stars
Dimensions: 6" x 5" x 3.25" w/o antenna | Battery Type: 12 AA Batteries | External Battery Jack: 6 Volt
Ease of use is our favorite category for this camera. Cellular setup has given us nightmares lately with some of the cellular trail cameras. The GoCam can be setup from your home computer, in just a few minutes.
HCO Spartan Gocam No Glow AT&T Reviews Setup Process:
Activate the service at www.att.com/buyasession. From here, you create an account and select your desired monthly plan. Here are the options for U.S. customers:
- 250 MB of data fir 24 hours - $5.00
- 250 MB of data for 30 days - $14.99
- 1 GB of data for 3 months - $25.00 (in our opinion this is the best value)
- 3 GB of data for 30 days - $30.00
- 5 GB of data for 30 days - $50.00
There is no contract with these plans, you can start and stop at any time all with the click of a button. As with any AT&T cellular camera, the Spartan GoCam needs good AT&T cellular reception. We recommend taking an AT&T phone to the area you will set the camera, taking a photo with your phone and texting it to someone. If the picture goes through quickly, the camera should work in that area. One or two bars of reception will not be good enough for this camera.
During our HCO Spartan Gocam No Glow AT&T Review, we found this camera is only capable of sending pictures to an email address, it does not text pictures to a phone. However, you can bypass that by entering the phone number as firstname.lastname@example.org for AT&T phones or email@example.com and it will come as a text message.
HCO Spartan Gocam No Glow Verizon Reviews Setup Process:
This is for the HCO Spartan Gocam Verizon reviews portion of this review. Activate the service at http://www.hcooutdoors.com/products/service/vzwservice.html. This is $25 per month.
As with any cellular camera, the Spartan GoCam needs good Verizon cellular reception. We recommend taking a Verizon phone to the area you will set the camera, taking a photo with your phone and texting it to someone. If the picture goes through quickly, the camera should work in that area. One or two bars of reception will not be good enough for this camera. You need a minimum of 3.
While conducting the HCO Spartan Gocam no glow Verizon review, we found the camera is only capable of sending pictures to an email address, it does not text pictures to a phone. However, you can bypass that by entering the phone number firstname.lastname@example.org for AT&T phones or email@example.com and it will come as a text message.
Setup is relatively simple, but we are available for consultation for our customers. Due to cellular setup taking quite a bit of time via a phone call, we do charge $30 to walk you through setup if you do not purchase from us. If you did purchase from us, we will spend any amount of time walking you through it free of charge.
HCO has a premium service you can subscribe to for $4 per month. Benefits include:
- Enables two-way communication from user to camera (remotely)
- Option of increasing thumbnail image to 1280 x 960 (which is up from 640x480). This makes objects/people easier to identify
- Up to 10 scheduled events per month. i.e. Tell the camera to send a status report or take a photo.
- Change or add email address' that the camera sends to .
- Check the battery status, signal level, temperature, SD card space, and number of photos taken
Since HCO charges for this service, we did not include these benefits in our rating of this camera. If they were to give it away for free (which we think they should do), then our ratings would reflect these added benefits.
Case design is pretty flawless in our eyes. The latch is big, sturdy and easy to operate (even with cold fingers!). There is a threaded insert on the bottom of the camera for a Slate River Mount and the back bracket is designed to fit a Python Cable as well.
This is a new camera so durability is unknown at this time. From the design and "feel" of this camera, we wouldn't expect any problems but we can't say that with any certainty.
Detection Circuit 3.2 Stars
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.02 / 64.6 s. (AT&T) - 41.1 s. (Verizon) | Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: No video in cell mode | Detection Range: 80 ft.
The detection range is 70-80 feet, which is very good. The detection zone is large enough to cover a big area, allowing you to monitor open areas whether you are using the camera for security or wildlife.
Picture Quality 3.9 Stars
Photo resolution: 8, 5 or 3 mpxl | Video Resolution: No video in cell mode | Flash Type: No Glow Infrared
The sample pictures you will see in this review are directly from the camera, via email. Any picture that is emailed from the camera is a compressed file, so the resolution and size are smaller. The full size image will be saved on the sd card.
Cellular pictures are always hard to evaluate because of the pixelation from the compression of the file. However, day pictures are solid and possess decent color. Night pictures have less flash range from the red glow Spartan GoCam, but the flash range is still good enough for most uses.
If you are wanting the camera for security surveillance, face recognition will be the toughest part for any infrared trail camera. Make sure you check out all our photos below. You will notice night pictures will greatly depend on how fast the subject is moving as to whether there will be blur or not. Overall, night pictures are good for a no glow infrared cellular camera, however, don't expect a perfectly clear picture to prosecute someone with. Cellular cameras are best for alerting you immediately when someone is in a place they aren't supposed to be, not for prosecution.
If you sign up for the premium service, the picture resolution can be set to 1280 x 960. This makes a huge difference in picture quality.
Battery Life 2.3 Stars
Resting Power (on): 0.84 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 71.96 Ws | Nighttime Power Consumption: 71.35 Ws
Resting Power is incredibly low and very impressive. This camera could sit inactive for a long time. When the camera takes a picture and transmits it, the power consumption skyrockets. The day and night picture consumption is exorbitantly high.
The camera operates on 12 AA batteries. We only recommend lithium batteries for this camera, as they deliver a high and consistent voltage that alkaline and rechargeable batteries simply can't maintain.
HCO Spartan GoCam No Glow Conclusion 3.5 Stars
The HCO Spartan GoCam No Glow is one of our favorite cellular security cameras. The big detection zone, picture quality and excellent case design makes this an excellent choice for anyone who needs a cellular wildlife camera. Most importantly, the cellular setup is extremely easy and affordable. This would be a good nighttime security camera as the no glow infrared flash would not give away the cameras location.
Enjoy our HCO Spartan No Glow Reviews? Please consider purchasing your next trail camera from us.