Bushnell Aggressor 14MP Wireless Trophy Cam Review

Bushnell Aggressor 14mp Wireless Trophy Cam

Aggressor 14MP Wireless Trail Camera

The Bushnell Aggressor 14MP Wireless Trail Camera by Bushnell takes the features of their Aggressor and Trophy Cams and combines it with the benefits of having a cellular connection.  In this review we are going to lay out what we have found out about this camera during our research.  We have dug into over a hundred different reviews and you’ll see the good, the bad and the ugly about this camera.

If you have a specific question about the camera take a look at the table of contents below to jump right to the area you need.  Or if you’d like a good overview of the camera scroll down while we cover all the important details about if you should make this your next scouting camera.

 

Do you Need a Trail Camera that Sends Pictures to Cell Phone?

Having a trail camera that sends pictures to your phone offers a lot of convenience in not having to manually check your camera to find out if there are pictures.  It can also be a lot of fun to get live updates on your smart phone about what is happening near your camera and then looking at the newest pictures taken.  But if it’s just for the quick thrill of getting an update, is it worth investing in a wireless camera?

While you can buy an Aggressor Wireless Trail Camera for a lot less than the manufacturer’s retail price of over $500, this camera is significantly more expensive than the non-wireless Bushnell models.  When doing our research we came across a few questions people had if they could just use this camera without the wireless abilities.

Yes, you can use this camera just like you would the 20MP Aggressor and the Trophy Cam models, but the question should be why would you want to?  You would be paying an unnecessary premium for a camera with no benefits.

You’ll know if you would benefit from a wireless trail camera.  The two big reasons to get one are if you are scouting an area that is inconvenient to regularly check the camera.  For example if you are looking to document an area, or preparing to hunt somewhere that would take you a couple of hours or more to drive to.  The second reason would be if you were using this camera for surveillance and knowing immediately that something has been detected.

About the Wireless Features

The Bushnell Aggressor Wireless Trail Camera sends you a notification, either through the Android or IOS (iPhone) app, a text message or an email whenever the camera has been triggered and a picture has been taken.  The cellular capabilities also allow you to remotely change the settings on your camera.

For the wireless features to work you will be required to purchase a data plan through Bushnell.  The data plan is through AT&T.  This has no bearing on who you use as a cell phone carrier.  You can continue to use whichever company you are currently using for your phone to work with the camera, but the camera needs to be set up with it’s own data plan.  The plans start at $9.99 per month, and allow you to get access to 1,500 thumbnail pictures.

You can get more information on the data plans through this link, or if you can see what the coverage area is.  The map will give you a good idea if you will have coverage in your area. Until you are out in the field though you won’t have a good idea of how good the signal strength is.  You will be able to see this on the phone, or if you already have ATT as a carrier you figure out if you are in a strong coverage area by seeing the signal on your cell phone.

It’s important to note, you will need a strong signal!  The Aggressor Wireless Trail Camera will only transmit the thumbnails and give you updates when there is a strong signal.  This means that if the signal is spotty, it could take awhile for the camera to transmit anything.  A weak signal could also decrease the life of your batteries.

The camera comes pre-installed with the AT&T SIM card, as far as we could tell it’s not something that you can easily get access to to switch out.  Which on the plus side means its not something someone could steal, but it does mean you can only use the specified data plan for the phone.

Managing The Camera Online

Once you get the camera you set up an account that is accessed either through the Bushnell website, or through their Android or IOS app.

You can do a lot with the camera through your account.

Probably what most people will use it for is to check on the thumbnails of the pictures the camera has taken.  With the data plan you will receive up to the number of pictures your plan allows.  The pictures you can see through you account are thumbnails of the actual pictures.  In order to get access to the high resolution pictures you’ll need to either access them directly from the camera’s
SD card, or download for a fee of 99 cents a picture.  Remotely, you can also delete any phone

You will also be able to see the status of your camera and change settings.  The current  battery level, storage space on the memory card and signal strength are shown.  Also you can see where your camera is with a Google Map that shows you the GPS corrdienates of your camera.  The longitude and latitude are updated once a day during a nightly check in your camera makes with your account.

Other settings available are:

  • Changing the cameras name
  • Choosing the communication frequency the camera makes with your account
  • Adjusting the night vision shutter speed
  • Adjusting the delay interval
  • Changing the image resolution
  • Setting the motion sensitivity
  • Selecting the LED flash intensity
  • Choose between camera and video mode
  • Turn on and program the field scan mode
  • Select the image resolution
  • Choosing the what time stamp and GPS information to include on each photo
  • Turn off the wireless mode
  • Turn on and off the image recycle images option which will automatically re-write new images over your oldest images once the SD card is full

Some of these settings will update instantly, and some will take up to 24 hours to take effect.

With the Aggressor camera you should use caution when turning off the wireless mode or setting the camera to shoot videos through your online account.  Both features will turn off your cameras wireless  capabilities and to turn the wireless functionality on again you will have to physically turn the wireless back on at the camera.

What You Can’t Manage

You might want to take note that the camera doesn’t send videos to your account, nor does it give you any kind of message that a video has been taken.  One way around this would be using the Hybrid feature, which will take a picture and video for each triggering event.  If you have the camera set to video mode, you will have to turn off the wireless mode.  This could be a hassle because you will need to manually turn back on wireless at the cameras location if you decide in the future to switch modes, or want to have access to the camera from your computer or smart phone.trail camera that sends pictures to your phone

The camera also doesn’t send notifications or a thumbnail of photos taken with the Field Scan mode of taking photos at a set interval. Depending on what you are using the Scouting Camera for these could be minor inconveniences, or major factors that will turn you away from this camera.

A Great Wireless Trail Camera When It Works

For the wireless functionality the camera is great, if it works.  It is very dependent on the At&T signal you have at your location, and how reliable that signal is.  When the signal isn’t reliable the camera can go quite a while without transmitting data to you, and some people report that not everything does get transmitted when the connections are sporadic.  People reported checking their SD cards and finding pictures that they had never been notified of, or gotten access to the thumbnails.

One disadvantage of the sporadic connections, or bulk uploading of thumbnails is that when the camera is in it’s wireless transmission mode it stops functioning as a camera.  During whatever amount of time that camera is uploading thumbnails to your account it won’t be able to take photos of anything that triggers the motion sensor.

The camera can get stuck in trying to send one picture and then it will just keep trying.  Sort of like when you try to upload something to a website and you see the progress bar just spinning on and on without anything happening.  When this happens there is a quick fix of restarting the camera, but if you aren’t physically near the camera this could be more than a minor nuisance.  This state could drain your batteries faster and while the camera is trying to upload that one photo over and over again it will not be taking new photos.

People using this camera for surveillance of their home or business generally seemed positive about Aggressor.  Probably the locations they were working from had better cell coverage than you might get out in the woods, and any small problems, like having to reset your camera is more just a minor inconvenience when you can readily visit it.

14MP Aggressor Wireless Trail Camera

Photo and Video Quality

The photos are taken in 14Megapixels.  The quality is fairly similar to the 20MP Aggressor Trail Camera.  Video is shot by default in 1280×720 HD, since in video mode the wireless gets turned off we didn’t pay too much attention to the video aspects of the camera.

The camera uses sensors to switch automatically between day and night mode.  At night the camera uses hyper night vision for improved clarity of the photographs and videos.  The flash the camera comes equipped with are 48 No-Glow Black LEDs with a range of around 60 feet. There is the option to switch the intensity of the flash, but in all the settings the flash will be invisible to any people or animals the camera is photographing.

Like other current Bushnell Trail Camera’s the camera uses hyper PIR for a fast trigger time, for this camera that is around .3s and there is a one second recovery time between trigger events.  Along with being activated by motion, there is a mode called Field Scan which allows you to choose up to 2 blocks of time for a day, and within those blocks of time have the camera take a photo at a specified interval.  For example, you could set up the camera to take photos every 10 minutes between 5 am and 8am, to get a bigger picture of what is happening in the area surrounding your camera in the early morning hours.  In our review of the Essential E3 Trophy Cam, we go over these functions in greater detail.

Durability

The Aggressor 14MP Wireless Trail Camera is durable.  This model has an improved latch system that makes opening the camera easier than previous models.  People report that it’s even easy to open in very cold weather when their fingers aren’t as nimble as they could be.  The casing is water resistant.  There should be no problem having your camera outside during snow or rain.  Bushnell puts in the operating specs that the camera works between -20 to 60 degrees Celsius (-4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit).

The strap comes with a metal clasp for increased durability over a plastic clasp.  You may wish to invest in a security box for your camera, but a steel lock box could possibly decrease the cell signal strength, and cause your camera not to function optimally.

What Customers Say

On-line, generally people rate this as an average camera.  From the ratings people either love the camera or they hate it.  One person said it was the best money ever spent on hunting gear and pointed out that the camera survived being in a forest fire (awesome Bushnell durability!), but for every glowing review there were an equal amount or more of people over frustrated with the camera’s performance.

On the camera side some people report that the pictures came out foggy and dark.  The darkness was fixable using a photo editing program, but if you don’t want to have to manually touch up your pictures this could be a problem.  It’s the kind of thing we think isn’t so bad the first time we have to touch one up, but after a while it becomes a pain in the ass extra step.

Another big complaint was the very short battery life.  In some cases people report only getting a couple of weeks use from one set of batteries.  And even on the high end, you will probably only get a month or so from them.

One review mentioned that they had a hard time getting the motion sensor to trigger when they were testing the camera by walking in front of it, and the camera only took pictures of about 1 out of every 20 events it should have triggered.

The wireless function also got mixed reviews.  We have a feeling that this is partially because some people have great coverage and other people are in a weaker AT&T area.  The camera does have a glitch that shows up sometimes, and quite a few reviewers pointed it out.  The camera can get stuck trying to send one photo over and over again.  When the camera does this, or other possible weird behaviors there is the old reliable technology fix, reboot it!  The only problem is if you are using the camera to scout an area a couple of hundred miles away, getting in your truck to turn on and off your camera might not be how you wanted to spend an afternoon.

Another complaint is that the website doesn’t allow you to batch delete photos, and the process can get tedious since you can only delete 20 pictures at a time.  This is something that is probably just outdated, and wouldn’t have been that big of a deal 5 or 10 years ago, but today could probably be done in a better way.

The last common complaint is about the signal strength and the lack of an external antennae option.  Other companies do offer this option, and it would probably be something that would really imporve the overall usability of the Aggressor Wireless Trail Camera.Bushnell Aggressor 14MP Wireless

What comes in the Box

In the Box

In the box you get the camera, the mounting strap and the instruction manual.  The camera comes preloaded with the SIM card you need to access the AT&T data plan.  Inside the camera is 64MB of storage, which will allow you to take a small number of photos without an SD card.

What you Might Need

Batteries

This camera needs batteries that aren’t included.  Bushnell recommends using Lithium AA batteries.  You will need 12 of them to run the camera.  You’ll probably only get about a month out of 12 batteries, so if you are looking at this camera budget in this extra expense.

SD card

You’ll need an SD card. Even if you are transmitting your photos regularly, it doesn’t take long to fill up the 64MB of internal storage.  And you don’t want to run into a signal issue and start having your photos being overwritten or your camera to stop taking pictures because there is no more room to save them.

Bushnell recommends up to a 32GB SD or SDHC Scandisk Memory Card.

Solar Panel

Even if you are setting up your camera in a spot that is convenient to access, you’ll probably want to invest in Bushnell’s external solar panel energy source.  This will save your batteries from always having to be working, and at 12 batteries a month, it will definitely save you some money.  If you can set up your camera where there is an adequate amount of sunlight you might want to use dummy batteries in your camera.  You’ll need to have something in the battery pack to complete the circuit to allow the solar panel to work but dummy batteries could save you from having any damage to your camera from batteries leaking.

Security Box

Depending on where you are setting up your camera, and how safe you think it will be, you may want to invest in a security box.  With a wireless camera though you’ll want to make sure you have an excellent signal if you are using a security box.  The box will most likely decrease the signal to some degree, so you want to be starting with as strong of a signal as possible.

Lock

Even without a security box, you will probably want to invest in a good lock.  The Bushnell Aggressor comes with a reinforced channel for a lock, and even if it might not be as secure as a dedicated lock box, just having a lock will deter most people from trying to steal your camera if they come across it in the wild.

Our Verdict of the Bushnell Aggressor 14MP Wireless Trail Camera

We can not recommend this camera to most people.

When it works it can be an incredible camera.  But there are just too many people giving the same list of problems.  When the same problems and buggy behavior is being said over and over again we have to worry that it’s too likely that we will experience the same problem.

For the price of the camera you don’t want to be taking a crap shoot at getting one that works perfectly.  Some of the problems are minor issues to troubleshoot, but if you are using this camera at a distance from your home, you don’t want to have to travel out to it in order to say restart the camera to get to signal to work.

We add these problems to questionable customer service that people report getting from Bushnell, and their limited warranty and we can’t recommend this camera to most people.

The one group of people who seem happiest with this camera are those who use it for local surveillance.  Setting this up on your property or at your business and being alerted with a fairly quick text message when a photo has been triggered is a huge benefit, and even at the full retail of around $500 this camera is less expensive and takes better pictures than most dedicated security cameras.  The only reason we would recommend it for this use is that you would be close enough to trouble shoot the camera , and assuming that your home or business is in an area with outstanding AT&T coverage.

If we didn’t deter you away from this camera click here to find out current pricing.

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