Flip MinoHD (Version 2) Images courtesy Cisco)
By Andrew Liszewski

It was announced, and has been available in the U.S. since last Fall, but the second generation of the Flip MinoHD will soon be available for all of us north of the U.S. border. (By mid-July for $239.) When compared to the original MinoHD the second generation model has a slightly thinner, considerably more rounded body with an aluminum housing featuring a brushed metal finish. Overall it’s a bit sleeker than the previous model, but is far more pocket-friendly and compact than the Flip UltraHD we reviewed last year. And if brushed metal isn’t your thing (what’s wrong with you?) you can order a customized version from the Flip website instead.

But the real improvements of the second generation MinoHD include a bump to 8GB of memory, twice that of the original model allowing you to record up to 2 hours of 720P ‘HD’ video, a mini-HDMI port on the bottom and a screen that’s now 2 inches in size compared to the 1.5 inches of its predecessor. That might not seem like a lot, but having played with it for a while, it’s actually a big improvement. Video quality is pretty much on-par with the previous model and the UltraHD, same sensor and all, and while some people have commented that its touch buttons don’t provide a lot of tactile feedback (there’s still a physical record button) I actually like that they’re easy to keep clean.

If you’re in the market for a compact camcorder the Flip line still remains at the top of the list when it comes to being easy-to-use, making them an ideal gift for the less than techno savvy. However, the lack of pretty much any options when it comes to video quality or shooting (it really only has a digital zoom) and the fact that certain reception-issue-plagued smartphones have already caught up and surpassed the Flips when it comes to functionality will hopefully see Cisco expanding the line and the camera’s capabilities in the very near future. You don’t think they bought Linksys and Flip for nothing did you?

[ Flip MinoHD ]