This is a discontinued model
Spypoint Link-Dark (Verizon) Review
The Link-Dark is Low glow, fast, easy to setup, and has plenty of options for programming on the app. This is a big winner whether using for security or wildlife. - TCP Staff
Model # Link-Dark | Link Dark Owner's Manual
Spypoint Link Dark Cellular Trail Camera Review
- Outstanding detection circuit
- 4+ month battery life
- Easy cellular setup and great case design
- Does not send video
The Spypoint Link-Dark uses a LTE Quectel EC21-V module that allows this camera to operate on Verizon LTE towers. It is backwards compatible and should work on 4G/3G towers while they are still active.
The pictures can be retrieved by a smartphone using the Spypoint app or by connecting to myspypoint.com. You do NOT need a Verizon cell phone, any carrier's phone would work for retrieval. It is only important that the Link-Dark Verizon has 3 or more bars of Verizon reception.
If you have less than 3 bars of reception, we have had good luck with the Spypoint Booster Antenna. It currently enables a Spypoint Link camera to send in an area with 1 bar of reception. That does not mean it will work like that everywhere, but it certainly helps.
Photo resolution: 12 mpxl (interpolated)
Flash Type: Low glow IR
Day pictures look good and are in-line with all the other Spypoint cameras. They have good color but tend to have some blur in low-light conditions.
Night pictures are decent, for a low glow game trail camera. Animals that are close to the camera have a tendency of white-out, however, animals in that 20-45 ft. sweet spot are just what you would expect from a low glow trailcam.
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): 0.29 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 27.2 Ws | 26.8 Ws
If this camera took 15-day pictures and 15-night pictures every 24 hours, it would last 4.3 months on a set of lithium batteries. Keep in mind, this camera is accomplishing 4.3 months of battery life on 8 AA batteries rather than the typical 12 AA batteries all other cellular trailcams use
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.07 s. | 32.9 s.
Detection Range & Angle: 110 ft. | 40.6° (42.2° F.O.V.)
This is an outstanding detection circuit in every way. The trigger speed is great, the recovery time is well above average for cell cameras, and the Link Dark detected 110 ft. in our detection test.
Dimensions: 5.25" x 4" x 3.25" (w/o antenna)
Battery Type: 8 AA
External Battery Jack: 12-volt
The Link-Dark case design is similar to previous Spypoint cameras with a few notable improvements. The latch has been beefed up and is now one-piece construction. It opens and closes easily. The battery compartment on the back has an eject button that pops the cover open.
This camera has a built-in python bracket on the back of the camera and a 1/4" x 20 threaded slot on the bottom for a Slate River Mount. This camera has an internal screen for setup and for reviewing pictures. You can also do both of these functions via the Spypoint app on your phone.
Overall, the case design is very solid. The antenna seems a little flimsy, but we will keep an eye on it and if anything arises we will update this review.
Setup for the Link-Dark
Camera settings can be done from the camera but you will need to set up the cell options on your phone. Because of that, we would just recommend doing both camera and cell set up on the app. In the past, cell cameras have developed a reputation for being clumsy and finicky during this process. The Link-Dark couldn't be easier to setup, even for the folks that aren't "techie."
After you have turned the game trail camera on and loaded the app to your phone, simply follow the instructions on the app. You will need to set up an account and connect your new camera to the app. This takes no time at all. From there, you can select the camera settings, check battery status/cell reception, sd card storage, and view the pictures the camera has taken. The sim card comes with the camera and is located in the battery compartment. You can find the sim card number in the general settings ("About this Device"). You can manually type it into the app or scan it with your phone.
For setting options, the Link-Dark is one of the few cellular cameras that can be programmed to be on or off on certain days of the week. For instance, you can have the camera on from 5 pm to 8 am Mon-Fri., but on 24 hours a day during the weekend. This is an underrated feature.
This camera does not have an option to send a photo on command but you can set the frequency it connects to the network checking for other setting changes. The app is very easy to navigate and will not leave you confused.
This app is where you will set your data plan, your first month is unlimited photos for free. We LOVE the fact that Spypoint offers a free data plan (100 pictures a month), so you can run the camera for no cost, year-round. If you need more than 100 pictures a month, here are the costs of the other data plan options:
|Photos Per Month||100||250||1,000||Unlimited|
|Month-to-Month||Free||$5 per month||$10 per month||$15 per month|
|Annual subscription||Free||$4 per month||$7 per month||$10 per month|
Viewing pictures is super easy. You can scroll left or right on the images and they react instantly. Overall, setup on the Link-Dark couldn't be easier even if you don't consider yourself the most technologically advanced person in the world.
"The Spypoint Experience"
This is an additional cost on top of the data plans (if you choose to go with Active Hunter or Avid Hunter). If you have used a Spypoint Link camera in the past, you are familiar with many of these features and you used to get them for free. Unfortunately, Spypoint is now charging for many of these popular features. You can find the prices and information below.
|Casual Hunter||Active Hunter||Avid Hunter|
|Cameras qty allowed/account||Each camera||Up to 5||Up to 10|
|Photo view history for each camera/account||Last 30 days||Last 6 months||Last 12 months|
|BUCK TRACKER species (A.I. Image Recognition)||Buck only||Buck, Deer, Turkey||Buck, Deer, Turkey|
|Permanent cloud storage of favorite photo||-||-||500|
|Moose & Coyote||-||-||Yes|
|Specific notifications by species||No||Yes||Yes|
|Add-on||-||-||Camera add-on (5) $19.99|
Durability on the Link-Dark has been a roller coaster in 2019 with periods of stable warranty rates and then huge spikes in defects. By far, the biggest issue we have seen is the cameras not connecting to the app (and not sending photos). We do know that Spypoint has been migrating to a new platform which could have caused some of these issues.
We have also seen Link-Dark cameras send the user notifications of a new photo but no picture was taken. This spike in warranty rates has been in effect since the first of July through the time of this review update (9/17/19).
We will continue to update this review to reflect the most up-to-date information available.
The Link-Dark is low glow, fast, easy to setup, and has plenty of options for programming on the app. This is a big winner whether using for security or wildlife.
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 and lower resolution images are transmitted to your Spypoint Link App or their myspypoint.com web portal. 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.
Read Reviews From All the Game and Trail Cameras