SpyPoint Flex-S (solar) Long Term Project

May 19, 2024 Update: The original SpyPoint Flex-S deployed for this project went silent on February 20. Some of the last pictures it took were of cattle, so it could be the camera was damaged by cattle. I also have photos that day of someone walking the fence line, so it could have been stolen. However, my other SpyPoint Flex-S went silent the same day (see below). Bottom line: The camera went “off line” and no longer shows up on my account. This is disappointing as it means I have lost access to the pictures taken to that date. One lesson learned is that the ONLY way SpyPoint can help is to have the activation code ready when you call customer support (which is on the camera). Since then I have taken pictures of all of the activation codes for my other SpyPoints in case of a similar failure. As with others, SpyPoint customer service is so-so. You will be talking to an agent in India or similar, and they will have no idea how the cameras are used.

SpyPoint Flex-S #2 is still working, but was moved to home due to a similar failure (going off line). SpyPoint was able to re-establish the account last fall, and it was working great until February 20. Then this camera went silent, and I had to bring it in, charge the battery and call SpyPoint to reactivate the account. However, once reactivated, the camera wound not maintain a signal. In this case, the antenna had failed despite no signs of critter damage. I replaced the antenna with a cheap Amazon replacement. With the signal restored, the camera is back in action and is taking pictures (see sample. I am using a low resolution setting).

Pros: They seal well—I’ve not had issues with ants or other critters. Picture quality is good. FREE cell service. 100 pictures per month are free, or with the $10/mo “membership” I get 250 free pictures per month for ALL of my SpyPoint cameras (eight) making the system similar in cost to my Cuddeback network.

Cons: Not reliable, Solar does not keep up, some advanced features (such as instant pictures) not ready for prime time, farmed-out customer support.

Recommendation: Don’t Buy: The SpyPoint Flex-S has not been a reliable camera. The solar feature does not keep the batteries up in semi-shaded areas—especially in winter. Both cameras have stopped sending pictures periodically, and required a call to customer support to re-establish the connection. While they have many features, such as remove firmware updates, GPS tracking and Instant Picture mode, those features only work if the camera is working. Instant picture mode kills the batteries in days. The feature is nice for new camera setup, but can not be used once deployed. The GPS location feature goes OFF LINE when the camera is turned off…not much good when trying to figure out if a camera has been stolen.

For a premium priced camera ($170), these have been far less reliable than my Cuddeback system. The only plus is that they seem to be “ant resistant” whereas the Cuddeback’s are not.

Alternative Recommendation: I have four previous generation SpyPoint Link-S models, and they are RECOMMENDED. While they do not have all of the features, they have withstood the test of time, with two of the four cameras running without issue for two years. Overall, the Cuddeback system has been more robust, but comes with a greater cost (camera plus solar panels).

Sample of recent SpyPoint Flex-S picture: