Review: Pure Digital Flip MinoHD (Second Gen)

We love being right. Despite all the hype for Pure Digital’s cheap pocket camcorders, the first iteration of the the MinoHD colored us meh: The 1.5-inch screen was too tiny for playback, the HD quality wasn’t up to snuff compared to cheaper devices from the company’s price-gouging competitors, and the MinoHD’s 4 GB of onboard memory didn’t quite justify the $230 price tag.

Although the upgraded MinoHD is far from picture-perfect, we found fewer hairs to split: The added bottom-side HDMI jack lets you broadcast clips on an HDTV. By the same token, the 2-inch screen isn’t ginormous, but it’s more reasonable for showing off videos on the go (i.e., when a cable and HDTV aren’t handy). The new MinoHD also packs twice the memory (8 GB). OK, that’s not all that impressive considering sub-$200 pocketcams with microSD slots offer up to 32 GB. But hey, at least Pure Digital is heeding Moore’s Law.

The most noticeable fine-tuning is with the camera body itself. Pure Digital swapped out the smudge-prone plastic front panel for a considerably cooler, heartier brushed metal. Likewise, the pop-out USB drive feels much more robust: When we plugged the camera into a computer, we noticed much less give.

As for picture quality, the camera doesn’t yield the all-time crispest pocket videos we’ve seen. The resolution (1280 x 720) is the same as the previous MinoHD. You’re still capturing 30 fps at 720p. And although your grandma will be satisfied with the color saturation and video quality, we still can’t fathom why you’d shell out $230 for a Flip when other devices still deliver better optics and footage (60 fps at 1080p) for $50 less.

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