Editors' note: Several of the design, features, and shooting options are identical between the Flip UltraHD 1 Hour and the Flip UltraHD 2 Hour we reviewed earlier, so readers of the earlier review may experience some deja vu when reading the same sections below.
You may have heard that Cisco will no longer be producing the Flip camcorder products. However, as long as they're still available on the market, you may want to consider buying one anyway. If so, here are some issues you should consider, and if not, here are some alternatives.
Cisco's Flip Video UltraHD comes in 1-hour and 2-hour versions, though there's more than just recording time that separates the models. The $149.99 1-hour version reviewed here is basically the same as 2009's UltraHD, but with a smaller storage capacity. The UltraHD 2 Hour (2H) gets all the new features including improvements to video quality and a proprietary port for adding third-party accessories made specifically for Flip's cams. In the end you get your money's worth for the $50 extra you'll pay for the 2-hour.
However, the only reason to get the UltraHD 1 Hour (1H) is if you need the simplest way to shoot and share videos online. Otherwise there are similarly priced models from other manufacturers that offer better video quality. And if you aren't interested in accessories and would like things such as a mic or headphone jack, expandable memory, more than one shooting resolution, or the ability to shoot still photos or play with creative video filters, this and the rest of Flip's lineup are not for you.
|Key specs||Flip UltraHD 1 Hour|
|Dimensions (HWD)||4.3 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches|
|Weight (with battery and media)||5.7 ounces|
|Storage capacity, type||4GB, internal flash|
|Resolution, sensor size, type||1.6 megapixels, 1/4.5-inch CMOS|
|LCD size, resolution||2-inch LCD, 76K dots|
|Lens||Fixed focus, f2.4|
|File format (video, audio)||H.264 video, stereo AAC audio (.MP4)|
|Resolution||1,280x720 pixels at 30fps (8.8Mbps; progressive)|
|Recording time at highest quality||1 hour|
|Image stabilization type||None|
|Battery type, rated life||AA (two, alkaline included)|
With the exception of a small Cisco logo on its back at the bottom, the UltraHD 1H's body follows the same look as the previous model. It's available in white with silver, blue, or magenta trim, or it can be personalized when purchased on Flip's Web site.
On front is the lens flanked by a mic and a red recording indicator light. On the right side is a small power button, and on the left is a switch for flipping out the USB connector and a Mini-HDMI port for connecting directly to an HDTV or monitor. On the bottom are a threaded tripod mount and a lock for securing the battery compartment cover. Missing is the new FlipPort that gives third-party manufacturers the ability to create accessories specifically for Flip devices, such as add-on microphones or a portable pico projector.
Speaking of accessories, all that's in the box with the device is a pair of AA-size batteries. If you want to take advantage of the Mini-HDMI output or need to connect to a hard-to-reach USB port, you'll need to pony up for the cables. Also, the battery life is brief when running on alkaline batteries; it would be wise to invest in rechargeable AAs or get the $24.99 rechargeable pack from Flip.