Covert Blackhawk 12.1 Verizon Review

Trailcampro Comprehensive Score:

In Progress

This camera has been discontinued. Covert will have new 4G cellular cameras out in mid-February.

2017 Covert Blackhawk 12.1 Review Covert Code Black 12.1 review

This 3G Verizon cellular trail camera has outstanding battery life, good picture quality, and easy setup. This is a top Verizon cellular security/wildlife camera.

Model #5328

Blackhawk 12.1 FAQ's


  • Good picture quality
  • 4.2-month battery life
  • Simple, easy cellular setup


  • 1.2-second trigger speed
  • False triggers

Trailcampro Analysis

The 2017 Covert Blackhawk 12.1 is a 3G cell camera that works on Verizon towers only. It can send to any cell phone, regardless of what carrier the phone uses, however, it needs 3 or more bars of Verizon reception for the camera to work.

Picture Quality:

Photo resolution: 12 mpxl (interpolated)

Flash Type: No Glow IR

Day pictures are clear and colorful. There is a slight tendency to blur on movement, but overall, day pictures are very good.

Night pictures have tons of flash range, illuminating animals at great distances but overexposing animals/people close to the camera. It would be nice if the camera had the ability to self-adjust flash, but once again, night pictures are more than adequate.

The pictures you see below are full resolution images from the SD card. Pictures sent via cellular signal will be compressed in size and quality.

[powr-image-slider id=2dd58c05_1503000144]

Megapixel Ratings:

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.

Battery Life:

Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 2.5349 mW

Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 35.29 Ws | 36.69 Ws

The resting power is a tad high but the day and night picture consumption are outstanding. The Blackhawk 12.1 has some of the best battery life we have seen on a cellular trailcam

If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night pictures every 24 hours, you can expect the Blackhawk 12.1 to last 4.2 months in the field on a set of 12 AA lithium batteries.

Detection Circuit:

Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.2 s. / 38.6 s.

Detection Range: 70 ft.

The trigger speed is just slow and is in need of improvement. The recovery time is excellent for a cellular scouting camera. 38 seconds is 20+ seconds better than the average cell camera.

Detection range is 70 ft. This is a solid detection range. The cameras detection range is wider than the field of view and has resulted in a moderate percentage of false triggers.

Overall, the detection circuit is a bit sluggish compared to the gains in speed other companies have made. We hope that Covert puts some time into improving trigger speed in the future.

Quality of Design:

Dimensions: 5.75" x 4.5" x 3"

Battery Type: 12 AA Batteries

External Battery Jack: 6-Volt

The Blackhawk 12.1 has an excellent case design. It feels sturdy, the latch is sound, and it has a threaded insert for the Slate River Mount along with a bracket on the back for a python cable lock.

This camera uses Verizon data purchased from Covert's website to send the photos to an app or the covert website. The ONLY way to activate this camera is through Covert.

Please note: You must have 3 or more bars of Verizon reception for this camera to send photos. Anything less than that will be inconsistent or may not send at all. Please check the location for proper reception before ordering if you are unsure. Also, this camera will only work on Verizon towers but can send the pictures to any phone regardless of the carrier your phone is using. I.e. this camera will send pictures to an AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile phone just fine.

Data Plan Options/Costs:

500 Pictures 1,000 Pictures 5,000 Pictures 17,000 Pictures 250,000 Pictures
$9.99 / monthly $14.99 / monthly $19.99 / monthly $24.99 / monthly $299 / annually

Programming the cellular aspect of this camera is a breeze and only took a few minutes. We are big fans of the setup simplicity. Here is the complete setup process from start to finish.

Cellular Setup Steps

  1. Go to
  2. Create an account or login to existing account
  3. Enter the MEID number (on the inside of the camera)
  4. Access your new account at We'd also recommend downloading the Covert Wireless app on your smartphone
  5. Place lithium batteries, sd card, and sim card in the camera and turn to setup. Go to the "Net" tab and change send mode to Instant. You can go through settings and change time/date and other basic functions.
  6. Go back to the main live preview screen (by hitting the "Menu" button the appropriate amount of times) and wait for the camera to access the network (it will show bars of reception at the top of the screen).
  7. To test the camera on the live preview screen, point the camera at something and hit the button that looks like a camera. This takes a photo. Hit the play button (bottom, left). It will show the picture that was just taken. Hit the menu button once and then select send. The camera will say "send successful" if the picture goes through. Check the app on your phone or the covert website to make sure the photo came through.
  8. If everything works properly, the camera just needs to be turned to the on position when you are ready to use.

If you purchase the camera from us, we are happy to help you set the camera up via email or phone calls.

You can check the photos the camera has taken via Covert's website or their mobile app. We love the app interface and find it simple to use, easy to send camera commands, and have had no issues with crashing or malfunctions to date. You can also have the camera text or email you photos.

Durability on Covert cell cameras has been average. This is a 3G trail camera. There are 4G and LTE trail cameras on the market currently.

Enjoy our reviews? Please consider purchasing your next trail camera from us.

FAQ's: Blackhawk 12.1 Cellular 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. With the data plan active, this camera will send the pictures to the Covert app on your phone. You can also view the photos on the internal picture viewer. Here are some other ways to view the pictures.

  • 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.
  • 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 (that is where the 940 comes from in the Dark Ops name). 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 an 8 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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Manufacturer Specifications

  • Verizon Cell Camera
  • 6-Volt External Battery Jack
  • 12 mpxl interpolated photos
  • Requires 12 AA Lithium batteries
  • No glow infrared flash
  • Accepts up to 32 gig SD card
  • 1-10 image burst
  • 2" color viewer
  • Time, temperature, date, moon phase on image stamp

trail camera warranty

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!

    Ups Ground Shipping Times Domestic Shipping Options
    • Free UPS Economy Shipping on all orders over $99
    • Free shipping applies only to the lower 48 states and will be shipped via the most economical method.
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    • We are happy to offer expedited shipping options. Prices are shown during checkout.
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    Trailcampro L.L.C.

    3048 S. Clifton Ave
    Suite 108
    Springfield, MO 65807

    Covert Blackhawk 12.1 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.

    Covert Code Black Security Case


    - Use this to protect your new camera from bears and thieves. It provides much-needed peace of mind when leaving your camera out in nature.

    6 Foot Python Cable Lock


    - Use this with the security case, or just the camera itself. The Blackhawk has brackets on the back specifically for this lock.

    Extra SD Cards

    Start at $5.95

    - SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the Blackhawk, but most people use a second card. 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.