Covert Blackhawk 21 LTE Review
Overall, the Blackhawk 21 LTE is a solid Verizon cell camera. The no glow flash makes this versatile as both a wildlife and security camera, plus, the camera gets good battery life and takes good pictures. - TCP Staff
Model # CO8083 | Covert Blackhawk 21 Owners Manual
Covert Blackhawk FAQ's
Trailcampro Comprehensive Score:
Mpxl Rating | Video Resolution
Battery Life:4.9 Months
Resting Power(on) | Daytime Power Consumption | Nighttime Power Consumption
Trigger Speed & Detection:74/100
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed | Video Trigger & Recovery Speed | Detection Range
Quality of Design:88/100
Dimensions | Battery Type | External Battery Jack
Covert Blackhawk 21 LTE Trail Camera Review
- Good day photos
- 4+ months of battery life
- Great case design and usability
The Covert Code Black 20 LTE Verizon uses a 4G/LTE Quectel EC25-V module that allows this camera to operate on Verizon 4G/LTE towers. It is backwards compatible and should work on 3G towers while they are still active.
Picture Quality: 81/100
Photo resolution: 20 interpolated mpxl
Flash Type: No glow IR
Picture quality is good during the day. The pictures have decent color, good clarity and depth. It seems to stop motion well too. They can get a little dark in shady areas (underexposed), however, overall these are great pictures.
Night pictures are decent. They have good flash but have some graininess as well. Overall, they are above average.
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.
Battery Life: 80/100
Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 2.21 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 29.5 s. | 31.5 s.
If this camera took 15-day pictures and 15-night pictures every 24 hours, it would last 4.9 months on a set of lithium batteries. This is very good for a cellular trail camera.
Detection Circuit: 74/100
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.85 s. | 34.2 s.
Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 3.51 s.
Detection Range & Angle: 90 ft. @ 57.4° (47.3° field of view)
We continue to wish Covert would place more of an emphasis on trigger speed as a 0.83 s. trigger is below average and a 3+ s. trigger in video mode is terribly slow. The recovery time is fast and the detection range is very solid. However, the detection angle is once again much wider than the field of view, this will result in false triggers if animals are hanging out just outside the field of view.
Quality of Design: 88/100
Dimensions: 6" x 4.75" x 3.5"
Battery Type: 12 AA
External Battery Jack: 6-volt
Not surprisingly, the case design on the LTE is fantastic. The outer plastic case feels really solid and durable to the touch, the latch is huge and easy to open/close, and the case has all the accessories we like. There are two threaded inserts for Slate River Mounts (one on the back and one on the bottom) along with a built-in bracket for a Python Cable Lock on the back of the camera. The obvious difference in this case design from previous cameras is the double antenna on the top.
The built-in viewer makes aiming the camera very simple and the large buttons make scrolling through the setup easy as can be. Overall, case design is impressive.
Getting the camera's basic functions up and running is very easy, just use the screen to set your date/time, picture mode, and so on. the large setup screen makes this easy to see and should only take a minute or two.
Cellular Setup Instructions
The ONLY way to set up this game trail camera is through Covert, do not contact Verizon to set up this camera. You CAN'T use an existing sim card you already have. Please, please, please follow the instructions that come with the camera or our own instructions below.
If following simple instructions is your jam, you won't have problems setting this camera up. If you try to deviate from these steps, you will have problems. Here are the steps to get the camera setup properly:
- Go to secure.covert-wireless.com.
- Create an account if you are a new user or login to an existing account.
- Select the data plan you want to use under the "Purchase Additional Subscription Plans" heading
- Enter your personal information and billing information in the appropriate areas
- Enter your ICCID number (this is on the sim card that comes with the camera) and the IMEI number (this is on the top-inside of the camera, on a sticker)
- There is a warning during this step that it could take up to 24 hours for your camera to become active. So, if it doesn't start sending photos right away, this could be the reason.
- You can refresh your browser in a minute or two to check the status of the activation. On the cameras we did, it was active immediately after refreshing.
- At this point, you can load 12 Lithium Batteries, an SD card, and the sim card into the camera and turn it to "Setup."
- The screen will turn on and it will start looking for the network. It will give you the status in the top-right hand corner.
How to send a Test Photo (to ensure the camera is active)
- Press the "Shot" button when on the live preview screen.
- Press the "Ok" button, then press the "Menu" button. Highlight "Send" and press "Ok."
- The display will show you the progress of the photo being sent. At the end, it should say "Sent Successfully."
- You can now view this picture on the main menu of your Covert-Wireless Account
We recommend downloading the Covert Wireless App to your smartphone so you can view pictures on the go, check the camera's status, and change settings remotely. From the app, you can choose to have pictures emailed or texted to you (or have this function turned off and just check on the app). The only thing we would change is the ability to do the initial programming of the camera via the app on your phone and not have to use a computer. Other than that, this camera was very easy to setup.
Data plan costs are complicated and offer a million different plans. You can find them below (this is a screenshot from Covert's website and subject to change).
This camera does have the ability to remotely send pictures AND videos. The videos are 5 seconds in length and must be "requested. If you set it to video mode, it will send you a picture of the beginning of the video. If you like the picture and want to see the full video, you can "request the video." This is an additional $0.07 per video you request. It will then send you the video and it can take up to 24 hours for the video to send.
We currently do not have any durability concerns, Covert cell cameras have been quite reliable to-date. If anything arises, we will update this review.
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.
Overall, the Blackhawk 21 LTE is a solid Verizon cell camera. The no glow flash makes this versatile as both a wildlife and security camera, plus, the camera gets good battery life and takes good pictures.
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 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: 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.
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