Wildly successful and a common knock-off target, Flip Video camcorders keep plugging along. The latest HD model, the NEW $230 MinoHD, was sent to me for review.
The ONLY differences I can determine are few. The new model is smaller and lighter weight, and this makes a big perceived difference. It also has smoother, more rounded lines strikingly similar to the now old minoHD model. Ah, but this new one has a 2-inch, up from 1.5-inch display that is on the old minoHD, but the same as on the UltraHD. The shrunken new model also boasts a 2-hour recording capacity. The larger model has a 2.5-hour battery life and the new one has “only” a 2-hour battery life. The larger one uses a rechargeable AA battery pack. The new, smaller one uses a non-replaceable rechargeable Lithium batter pack that recharged when connected to the computer or to any USB charger. The new MinoHD can focus as close as .8m, which is better than the UltraHD’s 1.5m close-up capability.
The new one uses touch-sensitive buttons whereas the old one has actual buttons
Videos look the same to me.
As with all Flips, transferring to a Mac or PC and then sharing is easy with their software. Share with friends or post to YouTube and Facebook effortlessly. Don’t look for easy editing beyond simple cuts, but these cameras are not designed for use beyond what is simple. Video can be edited with greater flexibility using Macs or Windows PCs and other software.
Now, in a product that is just about the same size and weight of the older Flip MinoHD, buyers get double the recording capacity, a larger screen and closer close-ups for $30 more.
An advantage to the internal Lithium battery pack on this and other models is that it holds a charge for a long while when unused, even months at a time. That makes this small HD camcorder ideal for those who would want to routinely carry it to never miss an opportunity. I’d keep it in a case to prevent damage and accidental activation.
Another nice feature on this and other Flips is the ability to personalize the camcorder by choosing from thousands of designs OR create a custom design to suit the user, ONLY when purchasing from the Flip Video Store online. These are fun products, so why not have fun personalizing the experience at no added charge! This is the good news, the great news, but . . . the personalization experience is not yet available for this new model AND, I was just informed when I called their helpful operators to inquire, they are not sure the service will be up and running in time for holiday shoppers! The choice is, therefore, to wait OR to just bite the bullet and get the currently available brushed metal model without personalization. At least the personalization or lack thereof will not affect performance.
Let me also offer a few words about the competitive models from others that may look similar or not so similar. Flip products are tightly integrated with their included software. Can the others deliver such ease-of-use and such an easy to use product? If you think so, go ahead and look at the other products in the category. With Flip products, there is nothing to wonder about. They all just work. No, they are not replacements for higher end, more expensive and even similarly priced cameras that can do great stills AND HD video, but these products more than meet the challenge to deliver fun and ease of use to the consumer.
I suspect they will sell a boatload of these this holiday season! I know I will be using and enjoying mine during my holiday travels and beyond.
That’s it. And that’s my simple report!