2019 Bushnell Impulse 4G LTE (Verizon) Review
The Bushnell Impulse is incredibly fast and detects over 100 feet. While it detects extremely well, the battery life is average and the unorthodox case design is confusing. Bushnell has done several firmware updates to improve the functionality of the GPS function and connectivity. Overall, the Bushnell Impulse performs fairly well. - TCP Staff
Trailcampro Comprehensive Score:
Mpxl Rating | Video ResolutionSee Breakdown ▼
Battery Life:2.3 Months
Resting Power(on) | Daytime Power Consumption | Nighttime Power ConsumptionSee Breakdown ▼
Trigger Speed & Detection:91/100
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed | Video Trigger & Recovery Speed | Detection RangeSee Breakdown ▼
Quality of Design:77/100
Dimensions | Battery Type | External Battery Jack See Breakdown ▼
- Extremely fast detection circuit
- 100+ ft. of detection range
- Below average day photos
- The detection zone is significantly wider than the field of view
This is a Verizon LTE cellular trail camera.
Photo resolution: 20 mpxl (interpolate)
Video resolution: 1920 x 1080
Flash Type: Red Glow IR
Day pictures have average color and below average clarity. There seems to be a lack of crispness and focus on the photos we have collected.
Night pictures are very solid. It has ample flash range and good clarity. However, it doesn't stop motion very well.
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): 17.09 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 26.4 Ws | 29.7 Ws
Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 49.0 Ws | 126.2 Ws
If this camera took 15-day pictures and 15-night pictures every 24 hours, it would last 2.3 months on a set of lithium batteries.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.18 s. | 14 s.
Video Trigger Speed: 1.39 s.
Detection Range & Angle: 120 ft. | 57° (38.9° F.O.V.)
The Bushnell Impulse is incredibly fast at detecting anything with motion and heat. Trigger and recovery speeds are top-notch. Recovery speed can be tricky as the camera will continue taking pictures as long as there is movement. When the movement stops is when the camera sends the photos. This is different from other cell cameras, so this is an important note that may or may not affect you.
We don't list a video recovery time as it doesn't take and send a video. It sends you a thumbnail of the video and if you want the video you request it (via the app). From there, the camera would send the video next time it connects to the network.
Detection range is outstanding on the surface but has an issue with the detection zone being significantly wider than the field of view. Expect to get some empty pictures. However, in our recent Detection Shootout, the Impulse had an impressive 89% efficiency rating so it may not be as apparent as it appears on the surface.
Dimensions: 8.25" x 5" x 4"
Battery Type: 12 AA
External Battery Jack: 12-volt
The Impulse has an unorthodox case design. If you are used to the normal shape and design of trail cameras, you will find that you constantly have the camera upside down. On the Impulse, the latches are on the top of the camera (inverse of most trailcams) and the camera opens downward.
The latches are functional but do not have the positive clamping mechanisms we are used to from previous Bushnell cameras. The camera has an internal antenna, which is a positive from the standpoint that there is nothing extra for a squirrel to chew on (or a thief to see), but this does mean there isn't an external antenna option for this camera.
Once the camera is open, you can easily load 12 AA lithium batteries in the battery compartment. The SD slot is easy to insert and retrieve from and is located right next to the setup screen.
The camera has a python cable bracket on the front of the camera and a 1/4" x 20 threaded insert on the back of the camera for a Slate River Mount.
- Install the Bushnell Wireless Trophy Cam app on your smartphone.
- Open the app, then sign in, or create a new account.
- Once the account is active, log in, click the camera icon (on the bottom of the screen), then click the "+" to add a new camera. You can then scan the QR code on the inside of the camera with your phone or manually enter the serial # (it is easier to scan). We found that you may have to scan it twice.
- Install 12 AA lithium batteries and an SD Card (up to 32 Gig) in the camera. You can then turn the camera on.
- Go to your Bushnell account and add data (you get the first 30 days of service for free)
- We have found that after turning the camera on, it can take several hours before the camera becomes active and starts to send pictures. So, if it doesn't happen immediately, just turn the camera on a walk away for several hours and let it activate. Also, please check to ensure you have data applied to the camera.
Bushnell Data Plans Data Monthly Thumbnails Price per Month No Data 0 $0 Maintenance Mode* 0 $6.99 Economy 1,500 $9.99 Basic 3,000 $19.99 Deluxe 7,000 $29.99 Elite 15,000 $59.99
* Maintenance Mode - Data plan enabling the consumer to remotely monitor the camera battery level as well as update the settings on the camera such as PIR, Field Scan, Camera Name, Image Resolution, etc. No thumbnails are wirelessly transmitted, they are exclusively saved to the SD card.
You can request high-resolution images (the pictures that are saved to the SD card) on a picture by picture basis. Here are the costs:
Options Images Per Image $0.99 10 Image Pack $7.99 25 Image Pack $16.99
The menu screen and setup functionality takes some getting used to. Push and hold the power button to turn the camera on (or turn it off). From there, the camera will power on and connect to the network. You need a minimum of 3 bars of service for the camera to work and, unfortunately, there is no booster antenna to help your reception if you are below 3 bars. This camera runs on Verizon towers. You do not need a Verizon phone, it will send to any phone.
Once the camera has booted up, you can hit the menu button to access your settings. As you flip through the settings (using the left and right arrow to scroll and the up and down arrows to change individual settings) the screen will show two setting options at a time. The setting that is on the top of the screen is the option you can currently change. It can be rather confusing the first few times you attempt this.
SD Card Storage Examples
With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 8 mpxl photos (this is our recommended setting as it is closest to the native resolution 7.2 mpxls), this camera could store 11,971 pictures on the SD card.
With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 1920 x 1080 video resolution, this trailcam could store 3,000 10-second videos.
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.
On the initial production run, we saw multiple defective cameras attributed to being runaway defects (takes nonstop photos). Since then, Bushnell did a firmware update that adjusted the sensitivity of the PIR detector and has since corrected that problem. We will continue to monitor the durability of the Impulse and update this review if new data arises.
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.
The Bushnell Impulse is incredibly fast and detects over 100 feet. While it detects extremely well, the battery life is average and the unorthodox case design is confusing. Bushnell has done several firmware updates to improve the functionality of the GPS function and connectivity. Overall, the Bushnell Impulse performs fairly well.
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!
Enjoy our reviews? Please consider purchasing your next trail camera from us.
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. They also send the photos to the Bushnell app on your smartphone. 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.
A: This is a low glow trail camera, meaning it has an extremely faint red glow when taking pictures or videos at night. We rate cameras as low glow if we can see the glow within 15 ft., but have a much harder time seeing it at a greater distance.
A: Yes. This is a red glow trail camera, meaning it has a faint red glow when taking pictures or videos at night. Humans and animals can see this if looking at the camera. This does not "light up" the woods, though.
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.
Read Reviews From All the Game and Trail Cameras
- 12-Volt External Battery Jack
- 7.2 mpxl native resolution
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.
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Trail Camera Accessories
Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the trail camera.
- There is no downside to using lithium batteries. Long battery life, extreme durability, and better night pictures. You will be happy you did.
- Use this with the security case, or just the camera itself. The M8000 has brackets on the back specifically for this lock.
Start at $9.95
- SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the M8000, 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.