Apple 4G iPod Nano
Getting it right on the fourth attempt?
Review If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That's why most of the iPod range has received only relatively minor changes in the run-up to this year’s Christmas spending spree.
Apple has almost 75 per cent of the market for portable music players, so minor tweaks to the iPod Classic and Shuffle were all that were needed to update those models.
The iPod Nano, however, was clearly a problem. In fact, it’s been a problem ever since it was introduced three years ago as the replacement for the iPod Mini, which was one of the best-selling iPods ever. This is the fourth Nano design that Apple has come up with in just three years – but this time it does look as though it's got the player right.
Apple's 4G iPod Nano: eminently touchable
It may not have been ‘broke’, but by Apple’s own admission the last version of the Nano – the third-gen model 'fat' model - wasn’t as successful as its predecessors. We’re rather fond of the squat little Nano, but you can’t argue with the sales figures, so this new 4G model is a return to the stick-like design of previous models.
The design is sleekly impressive. Looked at from above, the iPod nano is an extremely thin oval, measuring just 6.2mm at the thickest point. It weighs a mere 36.8g - that’s less than a tenth of a tin of beans - so it’s certainly easy to hold in the palm of your hand or to carry around in your pocket. The look of the unit is further enhanced by the shiny aluminium casing and the eye-catching colours that Apple is offering for this model, which range from a relatively restrained silver or dark grey to quite lurid shades of orange, red, pink and purple.
There’s a total of nine colours to choose from, and each colour is available in two sizes: 8GB for £109 (£13.63 per Gigabyte) and 16GB for £149 (£9.31 per Gigabyte), doubling the capacity of the 3G models. Battery life is about 24 hours when playing music and four hours for video, Apple claims.
Nice gadget but 2 things...
One, I've got a 3 year old 20GB iRiver that came with Sennheiser earphones which still has better sound quality and cost about 300 quid (I think, was a while ago) at time of purchase and I can see it for $140. It looks good, although it doesn't have a colour screen or many of the features, but hey, I'm very happy with it.
Two, could you accidentally turn on shuffle while jogging?
I would like to confirm that the new nano and the new touch suffer the same poor sound quality inherent to the change of DAC as the Classic (6G)?
I tried the new touch in Apple Store this weekend, but even with my own (proper) pair of earphones and my 5G, the settings doesn't really allow a proper test:
- No similar file on both device
- Noisy environment (even if the Shure SE530 took a good care of that)
- Probably more important: the Touch battery was nearly dead (hey another great side-effect of putting the earphones jacks at the bottom.... and it's hard to charge it upside down)
So the sound sounds very metallic, a bit of distortion and frankly quite unpleasant. I'm not sure if it's (only) linked to the discharged battery or the cheap DAC.
So, of course it's a flashy gadget, with a great browser (the Touch) but it's still supposed to be a music player.... so sound quality is still for me a important factor!
Do you think....
That given the older generation of iPod tocuhs and iPhones have acclerometers that they'll do a firmware upgrade to filter these features down to the old models?
Re: Decisions, decisions ...
"Correction: An extra £20 buys you an 8 Gb Touch. The 16Gb Touch is a hefty £70 more than the 16 Gb Nano."
Oops ... my bad. <slaps forehead>
For some reason, I thought the 8Gb Touch had been canned. Storage capacity aside (I've got a 1Gb shuffle which is rarely more than 75% full but I still have adequate tunage for when I'm out and about) I think the 8Gb Touch may be a better buy, for me at least. Roll on payday :-D
Paris, 'cos she'd have got it right ...
@ sir toxteth of gravy
my only comment is that the apple standard headphones may be good enough for you, as the intended listener (i won't go into details, but you are wrong - you get what you pay for in the low end, i.e. sub £100, audio area, headphones are no exception) but they sure piss off the people in your locality - they are horrendously audistically leaky - you can hear a very bad tinny redition of the latest and not so greatest pop tunes from any white earlobed applite.