4.0 star rating

Pure Digital Flip Video Ultra Review

Pros: Improved video quality; Extraordinarily simple operation; Easy video transfer and uploading to the Internet; Light compact body design;
Cons: No optical zoom; Small low-resolution LCD display; No still-image capabilities;
The Verdict: This simple point-and-shoot camcorder does away with all the extras and lets users do what they really want: capture video.



The Flip Video Ultra from Pure Digital has won over consumers with its simple design and straightforward operation. It’s tailor-made for the Internet era: a no-frills camcorder that spits out easy-to-upload video clips for near-instant sharing with family and friends.

Article Continued Below


Just like its predecessor, the Flip Video Ultra has boiled down video recording to its fundamentals. Black or white with either silver, orange, green, or pink accents, the camcorder features only four buttons: Power, Play, Record, and Delete. A four-way directional pad is used to shuffle between clips and engage the slight 2X digital zoom. The 1.5-inch LCD display is somewhat cramped considering it’s the only way to frame shots, and in bright sunlight it becomes nearly impossible to use.

The camcorder’s slim, lightweight body (4.2 x 2.2 x 1.3 inches, 5 ounces) is a pleasure, and the rectangular shape is actually easier to deal with than the seemingly ergonomic pistol-grip body of the Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG9. The Flip Video Ultra comes with 2GB of internal flash memory. Although this is double the storage of the previous, high-end Flip Video model, the 60-minute recording time remains the same. Rather than allow for longer videos, Pure Digital has set aside the extra memory to provide higher overall image quality.


The quality of the Flip Video Ultra’s 640 x 480-pixel resolution video is definitely good, perhaps not as vivid or highly detailed as the footage captured by the Canon ZR950 or the JVC Everio GR-D850 MiniDV camcorders, but still capable of satisfying users with reasonable expectations. The flash-based Sanyo Xacti VPC-GC9 can take simple videos made for uploads like the Flip but also lets users shoot high-quality clips, as well as 9.1-megapixel still photos.

Those extra features add about $150 to the price tag and eliminate the unfettered charm that makes the Flip Video Ultra such an appealing alternative to over-complicated camcorders. And while it’s $50 more expensive and almost twice the size of the Creative Vado, the Flip Video Ultra captures better-looking videos.

Shoot and Share

The software that comes with the Flip Video Ultra is a major selling point. It’s a slick suite of tools that helps users get the most from the camcorder, making it easy to save videos to the computer, edit clips, and easily upload movies directly to YouTube or AOL Videos. The software automatically optimizes videos for the Web and handles all aspects of the uploading process. The Flip Video Ultra runs on AA batteries, which give it between 2.5 (alkaline) and 6.5 hours (lithium) of life. While disposable batteries may be wasteful, it is easier to find replacements if you find yourself far from an outlet.


In this day and age, most user-generated video ends up as YouTube clips, a role for which the Flip Video Ultra is perfectly suited. It’s low price, portability, strong software, and remarkably decent movie-making capabilities make this an ideal Web 2.0 camera.

Tags: Pure Digital Flip Video Ultra, Pure Digital, budget camcorders, Camcorders, reviews, Digital Cameras and Camcorders

Technical Specifications
Pure Digital Flip Video Ultra

Size4.2 x 2.2 x 1.3 inches
Weight5 ounces
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 3840 x 2160 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options