Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip Ultra?

Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip Ultra?

Summary: The super-popular Flip Ultra's incredible success has inspired plenty of competition that wants to ride the cheapo camcorder tsunami that the Flip set off. So less than a year after the Flip Ultra's September 2007 release comes Pure Digital's latest Flip, the Flip Mino.

SHARE:

Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip Ultra?[Updated: June 4, 2008 @ 5:01 pm] The super-popular Flip Ultra's incredible success has inspired plenty of competition trying to ride the cheapo-camcorder tsunami that the Flip set off. So less than a year after the Flip Ultra's September 2007 release comes Pure Digital's latest Flip, the Flip Mino. Priced at $179.95 (the same price the 2GB Flip Ultra was launched at), the Mino is an incremental update to the Ultra (which has been dropped to $149, and is now only shipping in 2GB versions). So what does the 2GB Mino offer in comparison to the Ultra?? A short list:

* Built-in rechargeable Li Ion battery (vs. two AA alkalines or removable NiMH) = better battery life

* Pure Digital Video Engine 2.5 (vs. v2.0) = slightly better image quality

* USB connector flips straight (vs. out to side) = more compact footprint

* Direct upload to MySpace too (vs. only YouTube and AOL Video) = more sharing

* Only available in black and white (vs. black, white, orange, pink, and green) = fewer matching outfits

* New interface with touch-sensitive buttons (vs. "easy-press" buttons) = slightly easier to use

* Includes playback pause, fast-forward, and rewind (vs. just play and stop) = pause, fast-forward, and rewind

* 3.3 oz, 3.94 x 1.97 x 0.63 inches (vs. 4.9 oz, 4.17 x 2.16 x 1.25 inches) = even more pocketable

* Wide-range, omnidirectional microphone (vs. just wide-range) = better sound

* No underwater case available (vs. $49.99 underwater case) = no swimming

* Optional $15.99 AC adapter (vs. none) = quick and easy charging

Bottom line: The Mino is a slightly better (and sleeker) product, but unless you're posting on MySpace all the time, there's not much that's a must-have. I might even opt for the Ultra and put the $30 toward the underwater case.

Topics: Hardware, Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

11 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Is this camcorder any better that cellphone?

    $179 is not cheap for only 2GB of memory. You can get 4GB memory card and cellphone for much less. We are not talking about quality here though :)
    paul2011
  • RE: Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip

    Pardon me if you included the info and I missed it, Ms. Chen,
    but what is the storage capacity: 2 GB?
    DannyO_0x98
    • It's 2GB

      Took me a while to find it, too:

      "So what does the 2GB Mino offer in comparison to the Ultra??"
      art6
      • Maybe I missed, Maybe that was added.

        There was an update made after my post, either it was to insert
        the 2GB or to make bold the pre-existing text. I swear I looked
        three times and just couldn't find that number before I posted.

        I do prefer when bloggers flag their updates and explain what got
        updated and why.
        DannyO_0x98
        • I added that as an update

          I bolded it to show that it was what I updated--sorry if that wasn't clear.

          Thanks for the heads up on that omission!

          --Janice
          Janice Chen
  • RE: Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip

    Are those improvements worth $30.00?
    IMHO, yeah, sure.
    But: how about adding the ability to 'swap'
    memory cards as in some video cameras of the
    competition?
    2G isn't all that much for recording video.
    Also: the 'Flip' records in the ".avi" format; i.e.:
    huge files. How about a 'Flip' which records in
    ".mp4", or ".mov"?
    Or is that out of the question?
    Misha35
  • RE: Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip Ultra?

    see video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHbh7dbAOw0
    emiliom1
  • RE: Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip Ultra?

    It is not worth. After a few months of sporadic use, it got dead. It even does not let me to extract recorded videoclips. It does not turn on, it is no longer recognized by PC, it does not recharge battery - it is dead dead :-(
    jbyczkowski
  • RE: Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip Ultra?

    Update: Here is what worked, following the advise from Flip Support: "...To reset, simply take a pin and insert it into the reset hole within the camera?s tripod mount, wait five seconds before powering on, and then power on without touching any of the buttons on the back of the camcorder for an additional five seconds. Then, keep it for 3 hrs in USB port.
    jbyczkowski
  • Not only Black & White

    It's available in an infinite number of colors and/or/designs because you can design your own or buy one designed for you on CafePress. That makes it a little more fun, doesn't it? ;)

    Still is it worth it?? My camera takes good videos and was cheaper.
    Cheryllion
  • RE: Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip Ultra?

    Flip Mino Hd has great ipod design,simple to use, no fuss approach , fun to use,great for kids to use, fits into a pocket. My verdict the flip mino hd is not designed to compete with a larger camcorder, like a samsung HMX20C or Cannon HF 100, but as a stand alone fun unit, it scores

    http://flipultravideocamcorder.com/index.php
    J. Herbert