The Flip UltraHD gets high marks for simplicity, but experts now prefer the Kodak Playsport (Discontinued) for its fuller features and sharper high-definition video. The Kodak Playsport shoots in 1080p HD, while the Flip UltraHD shoots in lower resolution 720p HD. Flip offers two versions: the UltraHD 4 GB can hold an hour of footage, and the UltraHD 8 GB can hold two hours. The cheaper version includes two regular AA batteries, or you can buy Flip's rechargeable AA battery pack (*Est. $25). The slimmer UltraHD 8 GB includes a rechargeable battery pack but can't accept standard batteries. It adds an image stabilizer, higher frame rate (60p versus 30p for the cheaper version) and a FlipPort to plug in Flip's proprietary accessories. Flip's easy on-board editing/sharing software works with both PCs and Macs (unlike Kodak's), a fact that both experts and users appreciate.
CamcorderInfo.com usually concentrates on more expensive camcorders, but reviewer Jeremy Stamas does a good job testing a few pocket camcorders -- including the Flip UltraHD -- and explaining their pros and cons. CNET and Laptop Magazine also test and compare several pocket camcorders. The Washington Post conducts a head-to-head test between the Flip UltraHD and the Kodak Zx1. CreativeMac.com does a more limited comparison between the Flip UltraHD and the Flip Mino. Note, however, that most professional reviews are older and don't take newer pocket HD camcorders into consideration, such as the very well received Kodak Playsport (Discontinued). For some more up-to-date feedback, we found helpful owner reviews at Amazon.com.
CamcorderInfo.com subjects a few pocket HD camcorders to its usual rigorous testing. The Flip UltraHD produces a slightly better video than some of the others, reviewer Jeremy Stamas says. Other differences, such as size and memory capacity, are more important.
Review: Pure Digital Flip UltraHD Camcorder Review, Jeremy Stamas, May 12, 2009
Like other sources, CNET finds that the Flip UltraHD's footage looks slightly better than most other pocket camcorders', although editors say the Kodak Zi8 has surpassed it. Reviewer David Carnoy does like the fact that the Flip UltraHD can use regular AA batteries, although that makes the UltraHD bigger than the Flip MinoHD.
Review: Flip UltraHD, David Carnoy, April 29, 2009
3. Laptop Magazine
The Flip UltraHD is an Editor's Choice pick here. Tester Dana Wollman praises its plentiful built-in memory, bigger screen and excellent sound quality.
Review: Pure Digital Flip UltraHD, Dana Wollman, April 30, 2009
4. The Washington Post
This test pits the Flip UltraHD against the similar Kodak Zx1. The Kodak shoots slightly better video, but the Flip's simpler design and much better software give it the edge.
Review: Do-It-Yourself HD Video, Rob Pegoraro, May 17, 2009
5. Creative Mac
This website is aimed at videographers and other creative professionals who use Mac computers. Reviewer Ko Maruyama finds the Flip UltraHD so easy to use that his daughter, who is in the first grade, is able to conduct the video part of the review. Maruyama calls the UltraHD "easily the must-have camera for your summer vacation fun movies."
Review: Flip Video Delivers New Flip UltraHD, Ko Maruyama, May 1, 2009
The latest Flip UltraHD achieves a rating of 4 stars (out of 5) with more than 50 user reviews posted. This listing covers the 8 GB (two-hour) version, which includes more features; the 4 GB had very limited feedback when we checked.
Review: Flip UltraHD Video Camera (8 GB), Contributors to Amazon.com