While this camera may not have the best video quality of all the cams I’ve tested recently, it certainly has some of the best hardware, with a metal front plate and handsome orange accents. The camera feels well built in comparison to other cheap action cameras. Since this cam is based on the OV4689 4MP image sensor, it is not capable of real 4K.

I’m sure I called it the S7 several times in this video by accident. This cam looks very promising – I’m very fond of the user interface tweaks they’ve made. We’ll see how video quality holds up after more extensive testing. I only got to run it quick once last night before it was too dark out. Full review to come soon!

So many cams are based on the NT96660 processor, which results in fake 4K. The results are often less than stellar. The camera I used is the MGCool Explorer 1S (because it has pretty sharp video for Novatek). This is versus the ThiEYE T5e (real 4K). In order to get real 4K you need at least 8MP sensor, and many of these cams are advertised as 12, 14 or 16 but really have more like 4MP. This comparison shows a cam with a real 12 MP sensor. I’ll do another Novatek one with a 4MP cam later.

The Explorer 1S is your standard run-of-the-mill Novatek action cam without many improvements done to the default firmware. The video quality is decent in most situations but the gyro doesn’t seem to work. The cam has the potential to live up to other cameras that are a bit more expensive but that would require firmware updates on MGCool’s part (which I don’t currently expect).

have some high hopes for this cam but can it hold up? You’ll find out in the full review in a few weeks. I have so many things to review and so little time (going away for a trip soon and want to get done before that!). This cam was provided to me by Gearbest for review.

I saw this on AliExpress as I was buying a mic adapter. And, well, yeah. It does actually turn on. But I can’t really get it to recharge unless it’s plugged into a computer. If anyone who knows circuit boards better than me can take a look at the circuit board pic (starting at 9:10) and has some feedback I’d appreciate a comment!