The Cell Phone Recon, priced at $169.00, is designed to be an easy-to-use and effective way to real-time track your Smartphone’s call and text data. It is built to be used primarily for Android and BlackBerry monitoring, but a full list of compatible phones can be found here. The packaging says that all you have to do is install the app to run in the phone’s background, and the USB stick will log all text, e-mail, GPS, and even phone book data. To access the information you simply have to visit the online platform, which is accessible from any Web browser.
When I first got the Cell Phone Recon, I was a bit confused about how it worked; as it looks like a shiny USB drive with no extra cable to connect to my phone or any other hardware. However, after just plugging the USB drive into my computer, the whole registration and installation process was simple, and I was tracking my phone in no time.
The Cell Phone Recon doesn’t come with too many bells and whistles. Instead, everything is stored online and the included USB drive has everything needed to get started. There is also a user manual that explains everything on how to get started; but from my experience, it isn’t necessary as the online directions explain everything as you go.
The design of the USB drive is pretty minimalistic and simple. It’s just a gun-metal USB drive with the picture of a cell phone on the front and a serial key on the back. If anyone found this lying around, they wouldn’t have a clue what it is.
As for the web platform, it is very simple to navigate and use. There are a lot of features such as reviewing all the calls, text messages, e-mails, GPS locations, and backing up all of your contacts.
Overall, the entire system is designed to be simple to use and gives you exactly what you need without any extra clutter.
Getting started is pretty simple. The first step is to going to http://www.cpr.cc from the Smartphone’s Web browser, which automatically downloads the Cell Phone Recon monitoring app. This app is designed to look like a photo viewer application to prevent it from looking suspicious; so there’s no need to worry when downloading the app . When installing, the app asks for access to many different features of the phone, to which all access should be granted so that everything works correctly.
After the installation was done, I had to restart my phone to make sure the Cell Phone Recon was working. Next, I plugged the USB drive into the computer’s USB port, which automatically opened up the Cell Phone Recon registration page in my Web browser. From this page I filled out all the required fields and created an account with a username and password that I’d need for future log-ins.
When creating the account, I needed to enter the IMEI of my phone, which I found by typing *#06# from the home screen. I also needed the serial key, which is on the back of the Cell Phone Recon USB drive.
At this point everything was set up, so I just had to wait about 15 minutes for my phone to start uploading my information to the Web platform.
I found using the Cell Phone Recon simple. Once I logged into the Web platform I was greeted with a menu on the right of the screen containing access links to:
- Incoming Call
- Outgoing Call
- Missed call
- Incoming SMS
- Outgoing SMS
- Incoming Email
- Outgoing Email
- GPS Location
- Contact Backup
If I wanted to see the call logs I would just click on the type of calls I wanted to see (incoming, outgoing or missed). The same went for the text messages and e-mails. I also liked how each call or text had other data displayed right next to it, like the address, GPS location, and even a point on a map of where the phone was for every call. It also showed the phone number, the name that it was saved under in the phone book, and the call duration.
Accessing GPS locations was just as easy to see and use. All information (address, map, date and time) are all organized on a logical chart.
One thing to keep in mind about the GPS locations is that the GPS feature has to be turned on for it to work. A lot of Smartphones give the user the option to turn off GPS, Bluetooth or WiFi to conserve battery life. So in the case that the GPS was off, the Cell Phone Recon wouldn’t be able to record the location of where the call or text was transmitted.
I was also able to access my contacts. It was interesting to watch as new numbers and names were added in real-time. I liked this feature a lot because it let me feel safe in knowing that I could always have my phone numbers saved even if I lose or break my phone. Normally I don’t worry about backing up my contacts until it’s too late, so the Cell Phone Recon is a great stress reliever.
- Easily navigable Web platform
- Installs in minutes without any hardware or cables
- Offers phone call, text message, e-mail, phone book contacts, and GPS information in real-time from any computer
- Runs in the background and is designed to look like a photo viewer app
- Only gives you phone call records instead of listening in or recording the call’s audio. However, listening in on the call wouldn’t be legal and would drain the battery too fast
- GPS location won’t be available if the GPS feature is turned off
- Doesn’t let you download photos or recorded video, which would probably slow down the phone and drain the battery fast
After testing the Cell Phone Recon I was surprised how much information it collects without slowing down the phone or making it act suspiciously. What I also liked about it was that it didn’t require any hardware to install the phone app and could be instantly downloaded from a very easy to remember Web link.
One thing that I did worry about was the battery being drained quickly. However, since the data being transferred isn’t too complex, it doesn’t use a lot of battery power.
Overall, I think this product is perfect for checking up on what a Smartphone is being used for and what kind of calls and messages are being sent. It is also great for locating a lost phone or backing up data if a phone’s been broken or damaged.