Cherry Mobile releases its second action cam with the Explorer 2. Priced at a sub Php6,000 mark, the new Cherry Mobile Explorer 2.
Apart from having a number 2 on its name, the Explorer 2 sports a slightly larger screen, a better MediaTek processor, a larger RAM, and 8GB internal storage with microSD expansion of up to 64GB compared to the first Cherry Mobile Explorer. It also has an Android 5.1 OS, with a slightly bigger battery power of 1050mAh than the its predecessor of only 1000mAh battery.
Design and Construction
Cherry Mobile’s Explorer 2 comes in a tall packaging similar to GoPro’s own packaging. The package already includes a waterproof case, a dashboard mount, a bicycle mount, frame cover, different sets of tripod mounts, a bunch of plastic thumbscrews, a microfiber cloth, an extra waterproof lock, USB cable and power adapter.
You can also find a 1/4 thread adapter inside, which would prove useful if you’ll be using a conventional tripod for your action cam.
A rectangular shaped action cam, the Explorer 2 is made of plastic with a shutter button and shutter LED found on top. While the Power button, mic and mode button is found in front just beside the lens, the WiFi button is located left side of the camera and the uncovered USB and SD Card port on the opposite side. At the back a 2.4 inch touchscreen display is found, and if you are an Android user, the UI will be so familiar that no time for learning curve is needed. Battery drawing is found at the bottom of the camera.
If you were a fan of the replaceable face on the first iteration of the Explorer, Explorer 2 will disappoint you as this feature is no longer present. Instead, a fixed brushed steel plate is found on the front which should add minimal protection and unique characteristic to this action camera.
UI and Usage
The Cherry Mobile Explorer 2’s design is straight forward, it only has 3 buttons and everything seems to be labeled properly for simple usage. I had problems accessing/ pressing the buttons with the waterproof case that came along with it, but physically pressing the shutter button, power button or the WiFi button had no problem. So guys using poles or consumers bringing the Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 to beaches and pool should be a bit worried with this problem.
The great thing about this action cam is it runs on Android OS. If you are on an Android phone, The Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 would be a breeze to use and navigate. Like any Android device, the Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 is capable of apps like Instagram and Facebook. You could also add and install new applications like games if you wish to, as well as browse the internet, browse the photos you’ve taken with your gallery, listen to music, and even directly save photos to apps like Dropbox, OneDrive etc.. If you wish to send the photos or videos you’ve taken to your mobile phone, you may send it through applications like Xender or ShareIt, but the Explorer 2 has its own Bluetooth so sharing photos can also be easily transferred through Bluetooth.
Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 application is a bit buggy. The UI though is pretty simple to use, but it gave me a hard time switching modes remotely. It terribly lags, it gets stuck on simple switching and sometimes can’t connect to your phone.
I have used a GoPro action cam, and I must say that the battery life for the Explorer 2 is better. The main difference is that to conserve battery power, you have to turn of your GoPro or your WiFi or else it will drain your power in no time. Meanwhile, The Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 lasts 3 days, 3 DAYS on standby with my WiFi turned on for around 6 hours in a day. I have not fully stress tested the camera, but from my usage – it could last more than your GoPro in standard usage.
The Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 is currently my choice of action camera. Although it lacks the high end features, specifications, image/audio quality and branding that GoPro, Xiaomi and SJCAM have, it still wins our vote. This is because having its own processor, RAM and a storage space gives you the capability to install your favorite social media apps and editing tools to immediately share your adventures right from the action cam.
Apart from the convenience, the Android OS is a great feature. It cuts off the learning curve you need to use the device and it lets you download applications that you are already familiar with for sharing and editing. Unfortunately, the Cherry Action Cam Explorer 2 app is still buggy. I found it lagging and getting stuck when I had to switch from video mode to photo mode. It happened several times that I needed to release the device from the waterproof casing just to switch the modes.
The Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 is priced at Php 5,999. It might not be the cheapest action camera available in the market, but it sure is worth the buy as it already includes multiple accessories for any usage.
Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 specs:
2.4-inch touchscreen display
12MP camera with 170-degree wide-angle lens
1080p video recording
1.3GHz MediaTek processor
8GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD up to 64GB
Android 5.1 OS