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Gadget review: STK Explorer, the all-weather camera

Go biking, snorkelling or on a road trip. This camera goes anywhere. Now, if only it produced better results

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Mar 31, 2016 21:43 IST
The STK Explorer disappoints with its poor picture quality
The STK Explorer disappoints with its poor picture quality

Quick specs

What: STK Explorer

At a glance: Waterproof casing, 58g, 900mAh battery, 12MP camera, 1080p video

USP: Extreme weather camera

Best buy: Rs 11,690 on ebay.in

Rating: 1/5

Remember the good old days when you could boast of a holiday where all you did was eat and walk about? While still extremely popular, images from the lazy man’s holiday no longer wins social media props. Now, you must go cycling through hamlets or become a pro at snorkelling for people to marvel at your exploits. Of course, where you go, your camera must too.

Therefore the market for all-terrain cameras with incredibly long battery life. The most popular option is, of course, the GoPro. Well, they’ve got competition. Enter the STK Explorer, at a fraction of the price. Too good to be true? Well, it kind of is.

The gadget looks promising, but leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to performance

What’s good: The STK Explorer looks like a nifty little toy camera (just 58g), with black rubber-finish surfaces, a cute little lens and, most importantly, a display screen. It comes bundled with a waterproof case, and enough mounts and accessories to attach itself to pretty much anything. At a little over Rs 10,000, it is tremendously well-priced. In comparison, a GoPro equivalent of the STK Explorer will set you back by Rs 30,000, and you must purchase a lot of the accessories separately. The little mounts are sturdy, and inspired confidence. So much so, we strapped it on to a radio-controlled helicopter. So far, so good.

What’s not: We love all the bells and whistles. But the Explorer falls way short of even acceptable quality when it comes to photos. The stills the camera produced (at a promised 12MP) looked almost VGA phone quality.

Also read: Tech review: Oppo F1 ‘Selfie Expert’

The videos (1080p, apparently), which played at good frame rates, turned out all dull and washed out. The Explorer’s output is nearly unusable. The controls — via four physical buttons — are also rather complicated, leading us to switching the device off when all we wanted to do was exit the playback mode.

Verdict: We went looking for the perfect rival to the GoPro, the king of adventure cameras. Unfortunately, this is an unworthy challenger.