MGCOOL Explorer 1S Review: Affordable Killer With Powerful Features

MGCOOL Explorer 1S

MGCOOL is a popular company involved in the design and manufacture of action cameras, wearables, and other related products. The Explorer series action cameras are very much popular due to the unique design and budget-friendly price. Moreover, the company has established a strategic partnership with various e-commerce retailers such as Gearbest, Banggood, and Geekbuying in a bid to capture the huge market base globally. MGCOOL Explorer 1S is a premium action camera, which enables you to capture stunning 4K-enabled images and videos at a price you can afford. We have been continuously testing the camera since the last two months in various scenarios. Does MGCOOL Explorer 1S produce excellent images and videos than traditional digital cameras? or Is it a cheap Chinese stuff? Read the review to find out.


The MGCOOL Explorer 1S is packaged in a simple black box. You will find the following items inside the product package.

  • MGCOOL Explorer 1S with waterproof case
  • Camera Bracket
  • Clip
  • USB data cable
  • Bicycle stand
  • Helmet base
  • Adaptor
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

The camera is packaged inside a waterproof case, which is hard and durable. You can use the camera without the case. However, if you would like to have waterproof protection, you should enclose the camera inside the supplied case.


The MGCOOL Explorer 1S features a 2-inch display, which enables you to view the focused content clearly. Moreover, you can adjust various settings including the preview of the images with the display. The camera is capable of shooting 4K and 2K videos at 24fps and 30fps respectively. It is possible to shoot images up to 20M starting from 5M. Hence, you will be able to snap images for various purposes such as for the web, social media sharing and for the print.

Powered by a 1050mAh battery, the MGCOOL Explorer 1S is powered by a Novatek NT96660 chipset, SONY IMX078 sensor with the capability to shoot content up to 170-degree angle including 70, 110 and 140-degrees. Unlike expensive conventional digital cameras, the Explorer 1S provides support for Wi-Fi up to 10m distance with support for H.264 compression. The case is also water-resistant up to 30m depth provided the product is enclosed with the supplied waterproof case.

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You will be able to charge the camera within two hours using the supplied 5V/1A USB cable. You can charge the Explorer 1S camera either via your computer or by using the smartphone charger. We charged the camera using both methods and found that charging using the AC adapter is quicker than using the laptop. We used the charger supplied by Xiaomi with the smartphone. If you are not sure, then you have to use the cable supplied by MGCOOL along with the product.


To work with the MGCOOL Explorer 1S, you need to insert a memory card with Class 10 and above. The camera accepts storage up to 64GB. You should note that the camera doesn’t provide a default storage. Hence, you should insert a blank memory card before snapping your adventure.

Powering on

To switch on the camera, the mode button should be pressed until you view MGCOOL on the display followed by a mild sound. If you keep the MGCOOL Explorer 1S as such without doing any activity, the camera will start recording process. You can stop recording by pressing the OK button located on the top of the camera.

Image capture

The camera will be in standby mode. If you again press the mode button you will be able to capture images. You can zoom in and out using the up and down navigation buttons located on the right-side panel of the Explorer 1S.

Preview content

If you again press the mode button from the image mode, you will be able to preview the captured images and videos one by one by pressing the up and down keys located on the right side.

Manage your camera

You can modify the various settings by once again pressing the mode button. The settings page spans over several pages and can be viewed using the navigation arrow keys.

Capture images while recording

If you are not willing to shoot a video initially, you will have to press the OK button to stop recording. The advantage of MGCOOL Explorer 1S is that you can snap images while recording videos. While shooting a video, you simply need to press the OK button located on the top to capture images. The camera will save both the image and the video until you stop the recording process.

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Finally, if you press the mode button, the MGCOOL Explorer 1S will return to the video mode, which you will view after powering the camera. You have to repeat the above steps to perform a specific action. MGCOOL has integrated a uniform method to control and manage the various activities with the Explorer 1S.

Our Impressions

Initially, we faced few difficulties to work with the camera. However, we were able to work with the MGCOOL Explorer 1S without any difficulty after we learned the usage. The supplied user manual is very helpful. We now feel that working with MGCOOL Explorer 1S is easy than our conventional Canon digital camera. Moreover, the camera provides excellent grip during usage under any environment because of the ribbed edges. We carried the camera easily using one hand while climbing stairs without any fear of falling.

The quality of the images depends on the surrounding light. We captured images with direct sunlight and the output was excellent. However, the images captured using low-light conditions are only good but we could visualize the objects on the image without any difficulty. If you would like to snap excellent and stunning images, then you should try in a bright sunlight.

The camera easily captured long distance trees due to the ability to zoom upon 4x level. During our tests, we noticed that images captured without zooming extensively came out well than the one captured using the full zoom capacity. Moreover, the integration of the fisheye effect in images gives a professional touch.

Regarding videos, you have to adjust the setting because capturing videos with 4K resolution will consume plenty of storage. We found that the quality of the videos was excellent and it captured the surrounding sounds as well.

File management

To transfer the images and videos from the camera to the smartphone, you need to install MGCOOL Explorer 1S app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The next step is to activate Wi-Fi from the Settings page of your smartphone. You should also enable Wi-Fi mode on your camera by clicking the top arrow button located on the right-hand side. If you select the app icon, it will establish connectivity with the camera. You need to navigate through the content and download the images and videos to your phone. The content will be saved inside the Gallery section inside the MGCOOL folder.

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MGCOOL Explorer 1S is a decent 4K action camera, which provides the ability to capture accurate and detailed images and videos at a price you can afford. The camera is equipped with all the latest features and you can use it according to the situation. The Wi-Fi functionality is a huge bonus since you can easily transfer the captured content to your phone without depending upon the cables and wires. The company provides excellent support via e-mail. We highly recommend MGCOOL Explorer 1S if you would like to capture 4K-enabled images and videos below $60.

Gearbest provides excellent offers for the camera at regular intervals. As part of the Gearbest Falls Deal offer, you will be able to purchase the MGCOOL Explorer 1S at just $58.59. Hence, you will be able to save 23% on the retail price. You will not find any other camera with all the features at this price. You can select the button below and purchase the product at a great discount.

MGCOOL Explorer 1S

MGCOOL Explorer 1S







        Quality (Image and Video)




            User manual





                • Durable
                • Powerful grip
                • Easy to handle
                • Easy to carry
                • Simple usage
                • Wi-Fi support
                • Light weight
                • Plenty of accessories
                • Comprehensive user manual
                • Ability to snap images during recording


                • Storage only up to 64GB
                • Display not efficient under direct sunlight
                • Waterproof case hard to close
                • Mild heat during continuous usage

                Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at

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