2019 Covert Blackhawk LTE Review
The 2019 Blackhawk is a 4G/LTE cellular camera that operates on Verizon towers. The Blackhawk takes good photos, has exceptional battery life, detects quickly and is relatively easy to setup if you follow the instructions step-by-step. The biggest downside to this camera is the detection angle being much wider than the field of view and blurry night photos on moving animals. Other than that, this is an excellent cellular trail camera that is among the most reliable we have tested. - TCP Staff
Model #5465-19 | Blackhawk LTE Owner's Manual
Blackhawk LTE FAQ's
- Good picture quality
- Excellent battery life
- Solid case design
- Detection angle is much wider than the field of view
- Average trigger speed
The Covert Blackhawk 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.
Photo resolution: 20 mpxl (interpolated)
Video resolution: 1920x1080 w/ audio
Flash Type: No Glow IR
Day pictures are really good as the pictures have solid clarity, good color, and overall depth on each image. Night pictures appear to have plenty of flash range but also show significant blurring on animals that are moving. Overall, the day pictures are excellent and the night pictures are well above average but struggle with movement.
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): 2.43 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 28.7 Ws | 31.4 Ws
If this camera took 15-day pictures and 15-night pictures every 24 hours, it would last 5.1 months on a set of lithium batteries.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.83 s. | 33.0 s.
Video Trigger Speed: 3.24 s.
Detection Range & Angle: 90 ft. @ 60.5° Detection Angle (40.3° Field of View)
This camera has an average trigger speed but an excellent recovery time for a cellular camera. The video trigger speed is insanely slow. The detection range is an impressive 90 ft., however, the detection and and field of view are over 20° off. This will result in many false triggers.
Quality of Design:
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 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.
SD Card Storage Examples
With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 3 mpxl photos (this is our recommended setting as it is closest to the native resolution), this camera could store 15,183 pictures on the SD card.
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.
Durability on Covert cell cameras has been above average and we have had relatively few connectivity issues. For that reason, we believe this is one of the more reliable cell cameras on the current market. We will update this review if anything changes.
Here are a few issues on the app we have noticed so far:
- The camera does not report back weather conditions, temperature or wind
- The packaging claims it will accept up to 64 Gig SD cards but we believe it only goes up to 32 Gig
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.
2019 Covert Blackhawk LTE Review Conclusion:
The 2019 Blackhawk is a 4G/LTE cellular camera that operates on Verizon towers. The Blackhawk takes good photos, has exceptional battery life, detects quickly and is relatively easy to setup if you follow the instructions step-by-step. The biggest downside to this camera is the detection angle being much wider than the field of view and blurry night photos on moving animals. Other than that, this is an excellent cellular trail camera that is among the most reliable we have tested
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: Covert Blackhawk 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. 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.
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.
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