The Flip UltraHD is unlike any other pocket camcorder we've reviewed off late. It's simply a point-and-shoot camcorder and though it might not change the way we record videos it surely is one of the simplest “point and shoot” camcorders you can get your hands on.
At 2.19 x 4.25 x 1.17 inches the UltraHD is thick which makes it almost impossible to slip into one's pocket. That said the camcorder is quite light for its size and isn't as heavy as it looks. The reason it is more than 2-inches thick is it makes use of two AA batteries rather than the usual Lithium-ion. The only positive element is the fact that it is user replaceable and there’s absolutely no dearth of AA batteries.
The Flip UltraHD comes with a 2-inch screen and is decent enough to view recorded video. There are a total of eight buttons such as the Power, Play, Delete, Record and a four way navigation pad. The camcorder comes with a unique flip-out USB connector that springs out effortlessly when pressed. It's a well thought of design and the only drawback here is its rather stiff USB arm. You will also notice an HDMI out that allows you to hook up the UltraHD to a compatible HD TV.
Even with its bulky design the UltraHD actually has a feel good design. The overall finish has a rubbery feel that gives the user a rather good grip of the device.
The UltraHD comes with a total of 8 GB of built-in memory and can record 120 minutes of video. Sadly since the camcorder records only in HD there is nothing that you can do to increase the overall recording time.
Now if you look into the features of this camcorder you will find nothing much to fiddle around with other than the Language, Date, Time, Tones and Recording light. That is all there is to the Flip UltraHD and it cannot get any simpler than this. Irrespective of its simplicity the most annoying part is to access these settings. The only way to access this is by keeping the red button pressed when starting the device. Even though adding a shortcut is not absolutely necessary I personally would have preferred accessing whatever little there is with the device switched on.
Just like other pocket camcorders the Flip UltraHD comes bundled with the FlipShare software that basically allows you to import and upload videos to sites such as YouTube and MySpace. Moreover you can even add videos to a list of predefined frames for various occasions. You can even add an opening title and end credits to the movie that needs editing. But unlike other bundled software the FlipShare allows you to trim your videos eliminating the need to install third party software.
As far as the performance is concerned the overall video quality of the Flip UltraHD comes second to the Kodak Zi8. Reason being that the colors appear a little too oversaturated and bright. But nevertheless the videos are sharp with minimal amount of noise even under low light conditions. Low light recording on the UltraHD is exceptionally good and can be considered just as good as the Kodak Zi8.
The Flip UltraHD surely does have a few drawbacks that will make you think twice before investing in it. The reason is mainly due to its oversized body and fixed recording mode. Moreover with an asking price of Rs. 9,200 the Flip UltraHD is definitely cheaper and superior to the Creative VadoHD but falls short of overthrowing the Kodak Zi8.
Updated 21 May, 2013, 8:08 pm IST
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