MGCOOL Explorer 1S Budget 4K Action Camera Review (Video and Photo Samples)

Today we want to show you MGCOOL Explorer 1S 4K Action Camera review. For those who have not had a chance to familiarize themselves with MGCOOL’s brand, the company has a large portfolio budget 4K action cameras, at very affordable prices and with many features (like models more expensive). Is MGCOOL Explorer 1S camera is worth the interest you will find out in this review. We encourage you to read the Explorer 1S review.

I want to say thanks to MGCOOL for sending us an Explorer 1S (silver color) 4K action camera with accessories to review. Explorer 1S camera is available on:


MGCOOL Explorer 1S

MGCOOL Explorer 1S 4K Action Camera specifications:

  • Chipset Name: Novatek NT96660
  • Camera Sensor: SONY IMX 078
  • Display: 2.0inch TFT Screen (320*240)
  • Lens Angle: 70°,110°,140°,170°
  • Compression Mode: H.264
  • WiFi: 10m
  • Image Format: JPEG
  • Video Format: MP4
  • Image Resolution:20M/16M/14M/12M/10M/8M/5M
  • Video Resolution: 4K 24fps(QuickTime player required), 2K(2560*1440)30fps, 1080P(1920 x 1080)60fps/30fps,720P(1280*720) 120fps/60fps/30fps
  • Battery: 1050mAh Li-ion battery/1080P working time 80mins
  • Charging: 5V/1A,2 hours.
  • Extended Memory: 64GB TF card(Class 10 or above)
  • Interface Type: USB,HDMI
  • Waterproof: Waterproof case,30m depth
  • Language: English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Korean, Russian, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Polish
  • Product Weight: 58g
  • Product Dimension: 59*41*29mm

The box included everything that you need to get started:

  • MGCOOL Explorer 1S camera
  • Waterproof case + Screw + Mount
  • Camera Bracket
  • Clip
  • USB data cable
  • Bicycle stand
  • 2xHelmet base
  • Adaptor
  • User manual
  • Warranty card
MGCOOL Explorer 1S
MGCOOL Explorer 1S and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more MGCOOL Explorer 1Sbundled accessories, and also additional accessories.

First impressions, settings, overview of features

Taking the Explorer 1S camera to the arm also with a waterproof case is quite light. The quality of the housing and the camera removed from the housing is good (not very good). Holding the Explorer 1S camera, you get the impression that it is a toy, not a camera. The camera has a plastic case with not very high quality plastic (after 2 weeks of use on the housing was seen traces of use, you will see on other pictures).

MGCOOL Explorer 1S

MGCOOL Explorer 1S

 At the front of the camera is a mode button (video mode, photo mode, menu (settings)) and lens. On one side (right side when we look at the 2.0 touch screen) we find: Up / WiFi button and Down button, MIC.
MGCOOL Explorer 1S
On the next side (to the left, looking at the back screen) we find: HDMI port, slot for microSD card, Micro USB port
MGCOOL Explorer 1S
At the top of the camera is a shutter release / OK button with LED.
MGCOOL Explorer 1S
On the bottom of the camera is a battery (1050mAh).

Below is a typical waterproof case with external buttons.

MGCOOL Explorer 1S

MGCOOL Explorer 1S does not have a touch screen, but it is not a problem. Operation via the housing and without the housing is not a problem, the mode button and the other buttons (up and down) and the accept / OK button enough to select the preferred settings. Here are some overviews of the settings that show some of the key features.

The MGCOOL Explorer 1S 4K action camera which we received for testing has thed 20170401V1.0 version . During the tests, we also used selfie stick Apeman ST180. The camera works with a dedicated MGCOOL application via WiFI.

The big plus for MGCOOL for dedicated application to Explorer 1S camera (other MGCOOL cameras also have dedicated apps). The application allows you to access most of the settings in the camera and is very helpful. Below several screenshots from MGCOOL Explorer 1S app (Available for iOS, Android).

Below picture taken by MGCOOL Explorer 1S app and selfie stick.

Video Samples

The most important of course are video and photo samples, so below we want to show you some of them. The camera can record video in [email protected] max resolution and .MP4 format and also capture in JPEG file. We start from the video. More details in movie descriptions.

Timelapse 1 Second

Timelapse 5 Seconds

Slow motion

Underwater mode

Dash cam mode

Video at night

Video with Gyro ON (walk and run)

Other video samples

Pictures Samples

Below you will see pictures (original size without correction, click to enlarge) made Explorer 1S camera in maximum resolution 20MP (5120×3840) and most 16MP (4608x3456px). Photos and videos underwater were made using a floating bobber.


MGCOOL Explorer 1S

Although the MGCOOL Explorer 1S camera is quite light and feels more like a toy than a camera it is a full legal 4K action cameraMGCOOL Explorer 1S has many settings that will suffice for most people using this camera. The set also offers a lot of accessories. Big plus for MGCOOL team for a very good application dedicated to MGCOOL Explorer 1S, which makes it easy to work with the camera. The Explorer 1S records very well the audio, also in the waterproof case. If you look at video samples, photos, and operating modes in which the Explorer 1S camera was used, then you can safely say that it is good enough for its low price. We lacked a more realistic colors, and also, some photos are not enough, and sometimes too much illuminated (no additional settings, default mode). Considering the price of the Explorer 1S camera (about $70) it is not excessive, and at this price offers satisfactory results / results. If you have a limited budget and want to buy a 4K action camera you should consider purchasing MGCOOL Explorer 1S camera.

MGCOOL Explorer 1S










Video & Photo Quality



  • Adequate quality for money
  • Good audio
  • Great remote app
  • Easy to use


  • Color rendering could be better
  • The quality of the camera body could be better


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