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Apple iPod Nano 7G review

The quest for the correct compact form-factor continues...

Compact disc-less

The screen also supports multi-touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom when you’re viewing photos. That adds something of an iOS feel to the new Nano, as does the new Home button just below the screen. It’s clear that Apple wants the Nano to look and feel like a member of the iOS family even though it doesn’t actually use iOS as its operating system.

Apple iPod Nano 7G

Colourful

I was also pleased to see that the Nano now supports Bluetooth. That gives it access to the increasing range of Bluetooth speaker systems that are now available – something which is especially important as its adoption of Apple’s new Lightning connector means saying goodbye to older docks and speakers unless you’re prepared to cough up £25 for one of Apple’s new adaptors.

The other big change on the accessory side of things is, of course, the inclusion of Apple’s new ‘earpods’, which were first introduced with the iPhone 5 last month. The iPhone earpods have received somewhat faint praise in the reviews I’ve seen, but I have to confess they sounded better than I expected. The bass output is fuller and stronger than before – though that’s not saying a lot – and higher frequencies also seem a bit clearer and sharper. They’re not great, but they’re definitely not as outright awful as the original Apple earbuds. The Nano puts out a decent sound with any other headphones you care to plug into to its 3.5mm socket.

Apple iPod Nano 7G

Battery life is improved too, up from 24 to 30 hours for music playback. Video playback is a mere 3.5 hours, but any longer on such a small screen would probably fry your eyes anyway.

There’s also some good news on the pricing front. The previous version of the Nano cost £129 for 8GB storage and £159 for 16GB. This new model is only available in a single configuration with 16GB for £129. It’s a shame that Apple didn’t keep the 8GB option and sell it for £100, as that’d make a great Christmas present – but then you don’t get to be the richest hardware company in the entire universe by being generous.

Verdict

Like millions of other people I now use my smartphone as my primary portable media player, and this redesign isn’t going to reverse that trend. Even so, this is still a pretty smart update, and the Bluetooth capability and slimline design of the new Nano make it a great option for working out at the gym or other occasions when you need a really lightweight and portable music player. ®

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Apple iPod Nano 7G

Apple iPod Nano 7G review

The return of video and the addition of Bluetooth ensure that the iPod Nano is still the best mid-range portable media player around.
Price: £129 RRP