A few months back, I reviewed the Explorer Pro. I remembered it was a very good camera for its price and because of this, I am expecting the same if not better for the Explorer Pro 2.
The main key feature of the Explorer Pro 2 in my opinion would be the touch screen capability. Furthermore, it costs under $50, which is something never seen before at this price range.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Content of Review:
- Camera Specs
- What It Comes With
- Interface(Main Screen, Charging Indicator & Up/Down Buttons)
- Unique Features(Touch Screen & Sharkeye Lens)
- App(Explorer Pro App)
- Image Quality(Video and Photo Quality)
- Explorer Pro 2 Vs Explorer Pro
- Best Place To Buy
CPU/Chipset: Pega S350: This is a new chipset that has only been used by this camera so far and not much specs have been known about it.
Sensor: 8MP Sony IMX179
Lens: 6G 170° “Shark-eye” HD Lens
Screen: 2.0″ Touch Screen
Video Resolution: 1080p native
Image Resolution: 8MP is native
Battery: PG1050 1050mAh
What It Comes With
- Explorer Pro 2 Action Camera
- Waterproof Case,
- Camera Bracket
- USB Cable
- Bicycle Stand
- 2 x Helmet Base
- User Manual
Camera Body & Functions
Charging Indicator: Blinking Red – Charging; Sold Red – Fully Charged
Up/Down Button Dual Functionality
Up button: Press to switch wifi on; Press and hold to zoom in
Down button: Press to toggle audio recording; Press and hold to zoom out
There are 4 main modes video, photo, playback and settings. This can be easily changed by pressing the mode button or swiping the screen left or right (more on touchscreen below).
Quick Mode (Minor Bug)
Other than modes, there are quick modes, which can be accessed by tapping on the quick icon symbol.
The quick modes consists of multiple shooting modes which you can easily select with a tap:
- Timelapse video
- Photo mode
- Slow motion
- Burst photo
Something that I noticed is that in the manual, the middle tab of the bottom row shows self-timer while on the camera, it shows time-lapse.
The one on the camera is wrong, so when you tap on the time-lapse tab, it’ll just bring you to the self-timer mode.
However, if you wish to access photo time-lapse, you’ll have to go to Settings>Continous Lapse and select the duration, which will then bring you to the photo time-lapse mode
For the settings, as it is mostly the same as other action cams, I have chosen only the important few to highlight.
Video Resolution: Native resolution is 1080p 60fps
Slow Motion: 720p 120fps (slows by 4x) / 1080p 60fps (slows by 2x). This is the resolution for slow motion mode, which automatically creates slowed down video for you.
Photo Resolution: 8MP is the native resolution
Self-timer: 3, 5, 10, 20s. It is used in self timer mode and is the duration of countdown before taking a picture, similar to a smartphone timer.
Timing Photo: 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30s. Captures a series of photos at set intervals, which can be used to create photo-timelapse.
Driving Mode: Very useful for dash camera. If camera is powered on and charged at the same time, it will automatically record. Once charging is stop, it will stop recording and turn off.
One of the key selling points of this action cam would undoubtedly be the touch screen capability as rarely do action cams have this.
After playing around with it for some time, I found that the touch screen plays an integral role especially in the navigation of the camera. The reason is that some settings can’t be accessed (quick mode menu) if not for the touchscreen (buttons can’t access it).
As for performance wise, I’d have to say that it definitely performs better than my expectation. The feedback was good and there was barely any lag at all. However, the only drawback of this I could see would be that it can’t be used with the waterproof case
Overall, I felt it was a nice addition to the camera as it allows for easy navigation through the different settings.
The gestures are mostly intuitive for those who use a smartphone which is the majority of us. But just to make sure, I’ve listed down some useful ones.
Swipe left/right to change mode (photo → video → playback)
This app used is exactly the one used in the Explorer Pro (first version) and connects via Wi-Fi to your smartphone.
To connect, all you have to do is press the up button on the camera and Wi-Fi name and password should appear.
Afterwards, go on your smartphone and select the wifi name, “Explorer Pro 2” and by default, the password should be 12345678 ( I have changed mine by adding a ‘9’) .
Interface & Navigation
As far as the app goes, there is nothing out of the ordinary. Like other apps, you can change some basic settings (can be changed in camera as well) and use your phone as a remote control.
However, although the connection and app is reliable and stable, a minor drawback is that when the pictures are downloaded to your phone, you can only access it via the app but not through your photo roll, which makes it hard to transfer the photos to your PC through your phone.
The Explorer Pro 2 can take up to 8MP natively.
For the quality, it was generally very sharp and the colours were decently saturated.
Overall, the quality of the video is for sure better than most action cams at this price point. The colours are vivid and image was generally sharp.
Does the proclaimed Sharkeye Lens improve the quality?
I decided to compare it with the SJ4000 to see which performs better in terms of the images captured.
As you can see from the samples, the Explorer Pro 2 performs better as the colours seem to be more saturated and sharper than the SJ4000.
However, in low light conditions or dark settings, the SJ4000 surprisingly performs better.
Hence, they both have their pros and cons.
Comparison with Explorer Pro
As the Explorer Pro 2 is very similar to the Explorer Pro, I have decided to do a side by side comparison to show you the differences.
|Explorer Pro 2||Explorer Pro|
|Chipset||Pega S350||Allwinner V3|
|Image Sensor||8MP Sony IMX179||8MP Sony IMX179|
|Best Price||50 USD||40 USD|
So which is more worth?
Well, for now as I realised that the app for the Explorer Pro no longer works after the release of the Explorer Pro 2 (I have contacted them about this). Because of this, I’d definitely recommend you to go for the Explorer Pro 2 as with an extra $10, you are getting a touch screen and some improvements overall.
I initially honestly thought the idea of a touch screen at this price range was absurd because I felt the quality of the camera would be compromised with the addition of the touch screen. However after reviewing this, it really looks like it proved me wrong because the touchscreen made the navigation very natural and effortless. Because of this, I felt that MGCOOL had done a great job.
Hence, if you are looking for an action camera with a good touch screen at yet at the same time not costing you a bomb, I’d highly recommend you buying this. At the time of writing this review, I can’t find any other touch screen action cams even remotely close to this price point, and even if there is, I doubt there would be one that it’s this good.
As for the photo and build quality, I’ll say that it’s definitely better than most action cams at this price range but at the same time, don’t expect too much as it has limitations too.
At the end of the day, I feel this camera is unique mainly due to the touch screen. It also offers tremendous value for the price you are paying. Thus, if you are thinking of an action camera at this price range, I’m definitely recommending this!
That comes to the end for the review! What are your thoughts on the Explorer Pro 2? If you have any questions or doubts about it, be sure to leave a comment down below! I’ll definitely reply to you ASAP!
Lastly, thanks for dropping by and have a great day! 🙂
MGCOOL Explorer Pro 250 USD
Video/Image Quality1.7 /10
Build Quality1.7 /10
User Experience1.8 /10
Bang For Your Money1.9 /10
Audio Quality2.0 /10
Touch Screen1.9 /10
- Great value for money
- Simple to use interface
- Slow motion and timelapse all built in for convenience
- Responsive touch screen
- Touch screen doesn’t work with waterproof housing
- No anti-shake
- Not capable of real 4k