Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD 68/100

MSRP: $139.99 Manufacturer: Browning Trail Cameras

Review

Published:
Updated:

Intro

The Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD is a cellular trail camera equipped with dual carrier technology, offering pre-installed ATT and Verizon SIM cards. It provides a 22MP image resolution and supports 1080p video recording with sound.

The camera features RADIANT6 night illumination technology and GPS-tagged image functionality. Other notable features include up to 110 ft. of infrared illumination at night, adjustable IR flash settings, a 0.35-second recovery time between images, and Illuma-Smart Technology for automatic IR flash adjustment.

The game camera can accommodate up to a 512GB SDXC memory card (not included) and includes a 1/4"-20 standard tripod socket. The camera boasts a battery life of up to one year. In terms of cellular functions, the 

The Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD operates on a nationwide 4G LTE network, giving users the option to select between ATT or Verizon networks. It uploads all pictures in HD resolution. Video uploads are limited to 10 seconds.

Users can activate email and text notifications via the app. Furthermore, they can arrange their footage into folders, set schedules for picture uploads, initiate instant uploads, and take control of camera settings and uploads through a dedicated smartphone app.

Camera picture: Browning Defender Pro Scout Extreme - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Browning Defender Pro Scout Extreme
Camera picture: Side View - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Side View
Camera picture: Side View 2 - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Side View 2
Camera picture: Latch View - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Latch View
Camera picture: Back View - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Back View
Camera picture: Back View 2 - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Back View 2
Camera picture: Front View - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Front View
Camera picture: Display View - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Display View
Camera picture: Open View - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Open View
Camera picture: Battery Slot - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Battery Slot
Camera picture: Battery Tray - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Battery Tray
Camera picture: New in Box - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
New in Box
Camera picture: Box Side View - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Box Side View
Camera picture: Box Back View - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Box Back View
Camera picture: Side 2 View - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Side 2 View
Camera picture: Subscription - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Subscription
Camera picture: Subscription Options - Photos - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Subscription Options - Photos
Camera picture: Subscription Options - Videos - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Subscription Options - Videos
Camera picture: Subscriptions with Video - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Subscriptions with Video

Pros

  • Battery Life
  • Detection Range
  • Can Operate Without a Subscription
  • Smart IR Recording (Daytime Only)

Cons

  • Visible Low-Glow Illumination
  • Narrow Detection Angle
  • Nightime Videos Limited to 20 seconds
  • Expensive Data Plans
  • Non-Locable Door Latch

Camera Setup

Browning cameras are renowned for their straightforward setup process, and the Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme model continues this trend. 

It features the typical Browning interface with its standard screen and buttons, a design highly regarded and often considered a benchmark in the industry. 

However, as with many cellular cameras, not just Browning models, there's an additional layer of complexity: the cellular service setup. 

This involves downloading a smartphone app, creating an account, making an initial payment, and activating the camera. 

Our experience with activating the mobile service was less than satisfactory. 

Despite Browning's customer tech support being accessible and eager to assist, they, too, struggled with the process, leading us to return the product. 

Although the camera was functional and we conducted basic tests in our backyard, we chose not to seek a replacement due to the subpar quality of the daytime video. 

Subsequently, Browning released a new model, nearly identical in name but with 'HD' added. 

This suggested an upgrade in image quality, presumably with a new HD sensor. 

However, the 'HD' model was essentially the same as our returned unit, except for HD quality in picture uploads. 

This upgrade, while appealing, has its drawbacks: larger file sizes and reduced battery life. 

Notably, HD uploads are restricted to Picture mode, and video thumbnails still arrive in low resolution. 

Since we primarily use video mode, the 'HD' upgrade was irrelevant to us. 

During the setup of the new model, we encountered the same cellular setup issues. 

Browning support was again contacted, and after an escalation to their higher-tier support and a 45-minute session, the camera was operational. 

We observed significant differences in video quality between the High and Ultra settings. 

Our initial tests were on the High setting, which yielded overly compressed and nearly unusable video quality. Switching to Ultra settings markedly improved the video quality.


Camera Ratings


Detection Range: 10/20

The Pro Scout Max Extreme HD has a far-reaching detection range, yet its responsiveness is predominantly centralized. It appears as though there's a hypothetical "laser beam" emanating from the camera's core, prompting activation only when a subject intersects with this central axis. Our extensive review of footage accumulated over several months revealed a consistent pattern: the majority of recordings were initiated when an animal approached the near-center of the frame. This occurred irrespective of the direction from which the animal entered the camera's field of view.

Mule Deer Far Out

Speed: 5/10

The extremely narrow detection angle of the camera affects its responsiveness significantly. In essence, the camera's performance seems sluggish due to its requirement for subjects to be nearly central in the frame to trigger recording. However, once a subject reaches this central area, the camera's activation is notably swift. This observation is evident from our footage of animals in motion; the camera activates almost instantaneously as they enter the central field of view.

Collared Mule Deer Buck
Mule Deer
Bobcat at Night
Mule Deer Doe
Running Buck

Accuracy: 8/10

The camera's exceptional trigger accuracy, evidenced by the absence of false triggers, is a direct result of its limited detection range and angle. However, it's important to note that while this specificity in activation helps avoid unnecessary recordings, it comes at the cost of a narrower field of capture. Many wildlife photographers might prefer a balance that allows for a broader and more distant detection range, even if it means tolerating occasional false triggers.


Battery Life: 9/10

Similar to other Browning cameras, this model exhibits outstanding battery life, which is greatly admirable for a cellular camera engaged in data transfers. In our case, its enhanced battery efficiency is probably aided by running a video mode, which only transmits a single low-resolution image. This efficiency remains impressive, particularly given the camera's data transmission capabilities. 


Daylight Images: 6/10

The daytime video quality of this camera is satisfactory, yet given the addition of 'HD' to its name by the manufacturer, one might anticipate superior performance.

The video settings offer two options: High and Ultra, both at 1080p resolution. The difference lies in the level of compression. 

On the High setting, the results are underwhelming, verging on unusable due to excessive compression.

The quality sees improvement in Ultra mode, but the colors appear somewhat faded and could benefit from enhanced saturation.

Additionally, a persistent grainy flicker in all videos detracts from the overall quality. While the aspect ratio of the videos conforms to 1080p standards, the overall output is merely adequate.

This raises questions about the appropriateness of the 'HD' designation for this camera. 

Mule Deer Buck
Spike Bull Elk
Mule Deer Buck
Grouse
Mule Deer

Lowlight Images: 8/10

As previously mentioned, this camera captures daytime images in color and switches to black and white for nighttime recording. 

Videos taken during low light conditions, such as at dawn and dusk, are predominantly recorded in monochrome black and white. 

This is a common feature in many cameras, necessitated by the need to operate at higher ISO settings during these challenging lighting periods. 

However, what particularly surprised us was the extent to which the camera remains in black-and-white mode deep into the daytime hours. 

Contrary to being a drawback, we actually applaud this approach. 

Browning's engineers have made a judicious decision here, as we have often criticized the overly grainy imagery resulting from cameras that switch too early into daytime color mode. 

This deliberate delay in transitioning to color mode helps maintain image clarity, avoiding the graininess typically associated with premature color mode activation.

Mule Deer
Young Buck

Night Images: 7/10

This camera model features six low-glow LEDs and incorporates "Illuma-Smart" technology, adeptly adjusting flash output based on the subject's distance from the camera.

This function effectively mitigates the common issue of "flash-burn" often seen in lower-end trail cameras.

However, it's important to note that the Radiant 6 low-glow LEDs may still startle certain wildlife, as evidenced by the apparent disturbance of coyotes in the provided videos.

The nighttime video quality is generally good.

Although these videos also exhibit some flickering, akin to the daytime recordings, this effect is less noticeable because the videos are captured in black and white.

Coyote Spooked by Low-Glow Flash
Mule Deer Buck
Young Bull Elk
Spooked Coyote
Spike at Night
Mule Deer
Coyote at Night
Running Coyote

Design: 15/20

The Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD boasts a sleek design, as its mobile network antenna is seamlessly integrated into the camera body.This eliminates the need for an external, removable antenna, a feature commonly seen in most cellular trail cameras. 

The camera comes pre-equipped with built-in SIM cards for AT&T and Verizon. Given the superior Verizon cell signal strength in our mountainous test area, we selected Verizon in the camera's settings menu. The built-in antenna demonstrates excellent performance, ensuring a strong and reliable signal.

In terms of construction, the materials used are both durable and of high quality, contributing to the camera's waterproof and weather-resistant properties. 

The camouflaged finish allows the camera to blend well into natural environments. However, as noted in our reviews of other Browning cameras, we would prefer a different color for the strap, as its green hue stands out noticeably.

A consistent concern with the current lineup of Browning cameras, this model included, is the need for more secure access to the memory card and camera settings. This design oversight means that the memory card can be easily removed or the settings tampered with by anyone accessing the camera.

Regarding storage capacity, the camera can support memory cards up to 512GB. This is a significant advantage for long-term, remote deployments where frequent card and battery changes are impractical. 

Additionally, the design of the battery tray, located at the bottom of the camera, facilitates easy and hassle-free battery replacement.

Camera Design: LTE Test - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
LTE Test
Camera Design: LTE Test - Error - Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
LTE Test - Error

Verdict: 68/100

The Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD trail camera from Browning presents a mixed bag of features, combining ease of use with certain limitations that might affect its appeal to serious wildlife enthusiasts. 

Starting with its setup, the camera upholds Browning's reputation for straightforward configuration. The intuitive interface with a standard screen and buttons makes it user-friendly. 

However, the process becomes more complex when setting up cellular service, involving app downloads and account creation, which proved to be less than satisfactory in our experience.

Despite the accessibility and helpfulness of customer support, even Browning's team was unable to resolve the cellular connectivity issues with our camera. Consequently, we were compelled to return the faulty product. 

With our replacement unit, we did not encounter connectivity issues; however, a new problem emerged: the temperature sensor is malfunctioning. All recorded videos consistently display an incorrect temperature of -135F, indicating a significant error in temperature measurement.

The camera's sleek design features a well-integrated mobile network antenna, eliminating the need for an external one. The built-in SIM cards for major carriers add to its convenience, with our preference for Verizon due to better signal strength in mountainous areas. 

The materials used ensure durability and weather resistance, though the conspicuous green strap color could be improved for better camouflage.

The camera's performance in different lighting conditions is varied. Daytime videos, while acceptable, don't quite live up to the expectations set by the 'HD' title. 

The High and Ultra settings at 1080p resolution offer different levels of compression, with the Ultra setting providing better quality but still suffering from somewhat washed-out colors and a persistent grainy flicker. 

Nighttime and lowlight performance is more commendable, thanks to the low-glow LEDs and Illuma-Smart technology, which helps avoid flash-burn and captures good quality black and white videos.

Regarding the camera's operational aspects, its narrow detection angle and central responsiveness are noteworthy. The camera triggers effectively when subjects are near the center of the frame, which, while reducing false triggers, also limits its field of capture. 

This design choice may deter wildlife photographers who prefer a wider detection range. 

The limited 20-second nighttime video duration and expensive data plans could be potential drawbacks for some users. 

The non-lockable door latch and limited warranty also raise concerns about security and long-term reliability.

On the positive side, the camera offers impressive battery life, especially for a cellular model, and the capacity to accommodate large memory cards up to 512GB is advantageous for extended remote usage. 

The Smart IR recording feature, functional during the day, enhances the camera's usability.

In summary, while the Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD has its strengths in ease of setup, battery life, and some design aspects, it falls short in terms of detection range and video quality. 

The challenges with cellular setup and limitations in night video capture might deter some users. Our experience, marred by the need to return a faulty unit and wait for a replacement, suggests caution in purchasing this model until further testing can confirm whether these issues are widespread.


Personal Note to the Browning Product Team:

I'd like to address a significant concern regarding the naming conventions of your camera products. 

The current naming system, exemplified by the full name of this model - "Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD" - is, frankly, overly complicated and confusing, even for seasoned users. 

The inclusion of terms like "Pro," "Max," and "Extreme" seems redundant and adds unnecessary complexity to what should be a straightforward identification process.

There is a noticeable trend of overlapping models where these titles are used interchangeably, yet they fail to convey clear, distinct meanings to the end users. 

Such complex naming can deter potential buyers who might struggle to differentiate between models or understand the specific advantages each name implies. 

This is especially problematic in a market where clear communication and ease of understanding are key to customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Furthermore, overly elaborate product names can detract from the product's perceived professionalism. 

In a field where precision and clarity are paramount, the naming of products should ideally reflect these values. 

A more streamlined, logical approach to naming would enhance user experience and align more closely with the high standards of quality and innovation that Browning is known for.

Therefore, I strongly recommend a reevaluation and simplification of your product naming strategy. 

This change would significantly improve customer engagement and make your product lineup more accessible and user-friendly. 

Simplifying the naming logic is not just a minor adjustment; it's an essential move towards better customer communication and brand clarity.


Pro Tip:

As previously mentioned, we do not recommend purchasing trail cameras and accessories directly from manufacturers due to the often complicated return process. This typically involves waiting in line at the post office and paying for shipping, with refunds or replacements taking several weeks to process. Instead, when possible, we suggest utilizing local retailers or online marketplaces like Amazon, which offer easy returns and refunds. In particular, local retailers can be advantageous as replacements can be picked up immediately rather than waiting for delivery.


Buying Options:


Disclaimer: Ratings and reviews on our website reflect our experience with the product at the time of the review. Therefore, our ratings and opinions may change as we continue to use and test the product's performance and reliability over an extended period. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more about us.

User Reviews

Sept. 28, 2023, 5:16 a.m.
GrayMan 1/10

I purched one from Tractor Supply. Unit would not power on. I returned it for another unit which worked. I bought a 2nd one today and again, the new unit would not power up. I am returning it tomorrow and switching to another brand. Very disappointing


Sept. 28, 2023, 5:18 a.m.
GrayMan 1/10

I purched one from Tractor Supply. Unit would not power on. I returned it for another unit which worked. I bought a 2nd one today and again, the new unit would not power up. I am returning it tomorrow and switching to another brand. Very disappointing


Dec. 7, 2023, 12:24 a.m.
Anonymous 8/10

I have 2, bought in the end of year bundle (2 for 1) work great for me! I have two of the HD all the time units as well. Not sure they are much better than this unit....except hd all the time.....


Feb. 3, 2024, 11:24 p.m.
Anonymous 2/10

If you don't have 5 signal bars on your cell phone at the location you're wanting to put this camera, forget it. This camera rarely has "service" here in my back yard where my cell phone normally has 3 bars.


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Specs

Official specs from the manufacturer.
Name:
Browning Defender Pro Scout Max Extreme HD
Manufacturer:
Browning Trail Cameras
Model:
BTC-PSMX
Model Year:
2023
Series:
Defender
Flash Type:
Low-Glow IR
Max Pixels:
20
Max Video:
1080p
No. of Sensors:
1
Detection Range:
100 ft
Flash Range:
110 ft
Field of View:
45 degrees
Trigger Speed:
0.25 second
Min Delay:
1 seconds
Max Delay:
60 minutes
Max Card Size:
512 GB
Cellular/Mobile:
Yes
WiFi:
No
Bluetooth:
No
Live View:
No
MSRP:
$139.99
Warranty:
12 months
Country of Origin:
N/A

Questions & Answers

Can you set it up where 3 people can view the images from different phones
Yes, you can access the same account from different devices, but you must all log in with the same username and password.

In my location we have AT&T and Verizon, but my cell carrier is T Mobile. Will this work in my location? Thank you, Jim

My cell carrier is T Mobile. Will this work in my location?
Your cell carrier, such as T-Mobile, doesn't affect the operation of trail cameras since these cameras aren't linked to your personal mobile plan. Instead, trail camera manufacturers have their own arrangements with mobile service providers. When you buy a trail camera, you'll pay a monthly fee directly to the camera company, not your cell carrier.


Photo & Video Samples

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