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Flip MinoHD 2nd Gen review

Seth Barton
13 Apr 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
180
inc VAT

Flip's excellent UltraHD packed into a sleeker casing. It's a great little camcorder, but doesn't do enough to fully justify the price rise over its lardier sibling.

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Specifications

1/4.5in CMOS sensor, 1,280x720, 0.0x zoom, 116g

We've been consistently impressed with Flip's ever growing and evolving range of mini camcorders. Its latest model is a revision of the MinoHD we reviewed back in April last year, and if you're looking for a beautifully designed camcorder then look no further.

While other mini camcorders can feel lightweight and plastic, the 2nd generation MinoHD has a reasurring heft and feels incredibly sturdy. Its rear has a sylish brushed metal finish that doesn't pick up fingerprints. Even the minimalist all-metal USB connector that flicks out form the top of the device manages to look stylish.

It's not just a new skin, however. The most obvious change is the larger, and more detailed, display. At 2in across it's far easier to see what's going on than its predecessor's 1.5in display, and though it's not the biggest display on a mini camcorder, you certainly couldn't squeeze a larger screen on a device this size without flipping it on its side.

With the MinoHD charging via USB, the only other port is a mini HDMI output tucked away on the bottom (beside the tripod screw). On the plus side the addition of HDMI means you only need one neat cable to output your video to a HD TV, on the downside this cable isn't included and so most people will have to buy one.

The lack of any other ports means you can't add a microphone for superior audio quality, or listen to clips via headphones (both possible on Creative's Vado HD 3rd Gen). Audio quality from the built-in microphone is acceptable, you can hear what people are saying but don't expect subtle ambient noise. The small speakers have been moved to the sides of the device to make way for the screen, but this hasn't seemed to have affected the audio output.

We were infuriated by the Vado's move from sensible buttons to touch sensitive controls. The MinoHD also uses such controls, but we didn't find ourselves accidentally pressing buttons nearly as much with it.

Inside there's twice as much memory as the previous models, with 8GB in total. There's no memory card slot for adding extra storage, but as it can hold around two hours of footage that shouldn't be a problem. We found that the battery couldn't quite match that two hour figure, but at one hour and 43 minutes, it's still a lot of recording between charges.

The 9Mbit/s H.264 video is identical to that produced by the larger and cheaper UltraHD. Quality from such camcorders is usually based around avoiding problems rather than blowing you away. With its accurate colours, well-balanced exposures and reasonable low light performance, Flip continues to lead the way. It's only 720p video, but 1080p models we've seen haven't produced video with any more discernible detail. There are limitations, however, with no standard definition option or still photography.

If ease-of-use and decent video are all you need from a mini camcorder then a Flip is still the best choice. Only those in need of stills, additional inputs, or memory card storage should look elsewhere. This MinoHD is essentially a posh version of the UltraHD, it's smaller and sleeker but costs around £50 more. Take your pick.

Basic Specifications

Rating****

Recording

Optical zoom0.0x
Digital zoom2x
Sensor1/4.5in CMOS
Sensor pixels921,600
Widescreen modenative
LCD screen size2.0in
Viewfinder typenone
Video lampNo
Video recording formatH.264
Video recording media8GB flash memory
SoundAAC 44KHz mono
Video resolutions1,280x720
Maximum image resolutionN/A
Memory slotnone
Mermory supplied8GB internal
Flashno

Physical

Digital inputs/outputsUSB
Analogue inputs/outputsmini HDMI
Other connectionsnone
Battery life1h 43m
Battery charging positionUSB
Size99x49x21mm
Weight116g

Buying Information

Warrantyone-year RTB
Price£180
Supplierhttp://www.play.com
Detailswww.theflip.com

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