- Low resting power
- Cellular setup is relatively easy
- Good picture quality
- Solid case design
- Average battery life
- Slow trigger speed
- Can only send to one email/phone number
The HCO Spartan GoCam No Glow is an infrared cellular 3G trail camera that does not emit any visible light when it takes a photo at night. For this reason, we would classify the Spartan No Glow as both a wildlife and a security camera. This model works on AT&T towers but can send emails/texts to any phone no matter what carrier the phone uses.
One of the biggest challenges for cellular cameras the last several years has been the availability and hassle of getting the correct sim card. The Spartan GoCam has simplified the process and erased the need to go to a local AT&T store and haggle over which sim card to get. The cellular setup for this camera can be done with your home computer, in just minutes. There is no contract and you can start/stop service at any time. We will talk more about cellular setup a little later, for now, let's see what else the camera has to offer.
Photo resolution: 8, 5 or 3 mpxl | Video Resolution: No video in cell mode | Flash Type: No Glow Infrared
The sample pictures you will see in this review are directly from the camera, via email. Any picture that is emailed from the camera is a compressed file, so the resolution and size are smaller. The full-size image will be saved on the sd card.
Cellular pictures are always hard to evaluate because of the pixelation from the compression of the file. However, day pictures are solid and possess decent color. Night pictures have less flash range from the red glow Spartan GoCam, but the flash range is still good enough for most uses.
If you are wanting the camera for security surveillance, face recognition will be the toughest part for any infrared trail camera. Make sure you check out all our photos below. You will notice night pictures will greatly depend on how fast the subject is moving as to whether there will be blur or not. Overall, night pictures are good for a no glow infrared cellular camera, however, don't expect a perfectly clear picture to prosecute someone with. Cellular cameras are best for alerting you immediately when someone is in a place they aren't supposed to be, not for prosecution.
If you sign up for the premium service, the picture resolution can be set to 1280 x 960. This makes a huge difference in picture quality.
Resting Power (on): 0.84 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 71.96 Ws| Nighttime Power Consumption: 71.35 Ws
The camera operates on 12 AA batteries. We only recommend lithium batteries for this camera, as they deliver a high and consistent voltage that alkaline and rechargeable batteries simply can't maintain.
If this camera took 15-day pictures and 15-night pictures every 24 hours, it would last 2.4 months on a set of lithium batteries.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.02 / 64.6 s.| Video Trigger & Recovery Speed:No video in cell mode | Detection Range: 100 ft.
This model has a one-second trigger speed and takes 64 seconds to send a photo and recover, awaiting the next triggered event. These times are very middle of the road.
The detection range is 100 feet, which is very good. The detection zone is large enough to cover a big area, allowing you to monitor open areas whether you are using the camera for security or wildlife.
Quality of Design:
Dimensions: 6" x 5" x 3.25" w/o antenna | Battery Type: 12 AA Batteries | External Battery Jack: 6 Volt
The GoCam can be set up from your home computer, in just a few minutes.
HCO Spartan Gocam No Glow AT&T Reviews Setup Process:
Activate the service at www.att.com/buyasession. From here, you create an account and select your desired monthly plan. Here are the options for U.S. customers:
- 250 MB of data for 24 hours - $5.00
- 250 MB of data for 30 days - $14.99
- 2 GB of data for 3 months - $25.00 (in our opinion this is the best value)
- 3 GB of data for 30 days - $30.00
- 5 GB of data for 30 days - $50.00
There is no contract with these plans, you can start and stop at any time all with the click of a button. As with any AT&T cellular camera, the Spartan GoCam needs good AT&T cellular reception. We recommend taking an AT&T phone to the area you will set the camera, taking a photo with your phone and texting it to someone. If the picture goes through quickly, the camera should work in that area. One or two bars of reception will not be good enough for this camera.
During our HCO Spartan Gocam No Glow AT&T Review, we found this camera is only capable of sending pictures to one email address (only one recipient is allowed), it does not text pictures to a phone. However, you can bypass that by entering the phone number as firstname.lastname@example.org for AT&T phones or email@example.com and it will come as a text message.
Setup is relatively simple, but we are available for consultation for our customers. Due to cellular setup taking quite a bit of time via a phone call, we do charge $30 to walk you through setup if you do not purchase from us. If you did purchase from us, we will spend any amount of time walking you through it free of charge.
HCO has a premium service you can subscribe to for $4 per month. Benefits include:
- Enables two-way communication from user to camera (remotely)
- Option of increasing thumbnail image to 1280 x 960 (which is up from 640x480). This makes objects/people easier to identify
- Up to 10 scheduled events. I.e. Tell the camera to send a status report or take a photo.
- Change or add email address' that the camera sends to.
- Check the battery status, signal level, temperature, SD card space, and number of photos taken
Since HCO charges for this service, we did not include these benefits in our rating of this camera. If they were to give it away for free (which we think they should do), then our ratings would reflect these added benefits.
Case design is pretty flawless in our eyes. The latch is big, sturdy and easy to operate (even with cold fingers!). There is a threaded insert on the bottom of the camera for a Slate River Mount and the back bracket is designed to fit a Python Cable as well.
This is a new camera so durability is unknown at this time. From the design and "feel" of this camera, we wouldn't expect any problems but we can't say that with any certainty.
Enjoy our HCO Spartan No Glow Reviews? Please consider purchasing your next trail camera from us.
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HCO Spartan Accessories
Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the Spartan No Glow.
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.
HCO Spartan 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 Spartan 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 Spartan No Glow, but most people use a second card. If you have two cards, you can swap them out when you retrieve the pictures.