As we already mentioned, the Flip Mino HD captures video at 720p. It has 4GB of internal memory which allows it to store up to 60 minutes of video with sound. There's no way to expand this though so it's probably not ideal for those backpacking trips or any situation where you'll be needing more than an hour of recording time.
The built-in Lithium Ion battery will keep the Flip Mino HD fired up for two hours which, given the 60 minute recording capacity, should be ample for most situations and as there's an auto power down function, you don't need to worry about leaving it on either. Charging is possible either via the included power adapter which takes two hours or three hours using the built in USB 2.0 interface.
There is one function that may solve the capacity issue somewhat and that's the fact it has a built in flip-out USB arm which springs out when a release switch on the side is moved. Combined with the fact that the software is located on the device itself, means it's incredibly quick easy to upload video.
You could, in theory get away with taking the Flip Mino HD on long trips if you took a netbook or laptop with you to dump them on to each day. It literally took seconds to upload our test sample MPEG4 videos using the bundled Flip Video program. There's also a TV-out socket which can be used to output the display or recordings to a TV using the supplied cables. Also supplied is a soft case, wrist strap and quickstart guide.
The lens, which is situated next to the speaker/microphone, is a fixed type so there's no optical zooming or aperture adjustment although there is a multi step 2x digital zoom. It uses a 1/4.5" HD CMOS sensor and an aperture of f2.4 which is comparatively low for a camera of this type and means that it will typically fare better in low light conditions than higher apertures - particularly useful for indoor shooting. The Flip Mino HD has a fixed focus too but is able to produce sharp video as close as 1.5m.
To keep things simple, the Flip Mino HD takes control of practically all the adjustments. It has automatic white balance, black level calibration, low light detection and exposure control with dynamic exposure compensation. Despite this though, it's a nippy device to use. A slight quibble we had is the power button, which isn't the easiest thing to activate but once pressed, the Flip Mino HD powers up in less than four seconds and quickly adapts to changes in light levels.
As you may have guessed by now, the big red button in the middle is the primary control for video recording, starting and ending a recording session. The only things you need to do are set the date and time. Due to the mainly automatic control, there's little else to fiddle with except for the zoom and playback options.
The buttons for these are touch sensitive and located beneath the main display. They're quite responsive, although we occasionally had difficulty activating the zoom whilst filming. This issue was compounded by the lack of a stabilised lens which often made the video a little bouncy, especially when using the 2x digital zoom.
The touch sensitive buttons are back-lit so filming at night or in low light conditions shouldn't be too much of a problem. There's also a standard tripod mount located on the underside of the Flip Mino HD which will definitely come in handy if you're filming yourself or you need a fixed view of a subject when you yourself will be moving around.