Terrific media player and portable computing device
Functionally, the new iPod touch models are identical to the second-generation models we reviewed last year, especially when updated to version 3.1 of the iPhone OS. What we said then still goes: the iPod touch is a terrific media player and portable computing device that doesn't require any of the commitments or ongoing costs of the iPhone. The new high-end models add the blazing speed of the iPhone 3GS, making them even better for games.
All Apple could really have done to make the 3rd generation iPod touch significantly better was to add a camera or something else impossible like the ability to make your dinner. There's a temptation to slate the device for not being different enough but, at the end of the day, it's a decision that needs to stand on its own. The question is should you buy it and the answer is whole-heatedly - yes.
A stray thought of comparing the iPod touch with all other media players out there had crossed my mind, but then I realized the futility of it. There is no doubt that the iPod touch, as an overall device, is far beyond the reach of any of its rivals and there is nothing in the market that could compare with it right now.
Faster app loading times - particularly games
With the new third-gen iPod touch, Apple have opened the same gap that's between the iPhone 3G 8GB and the newer iPhone 3GS in their touchscreen PMP line. For Apple it makes sense: the older products allow them to hit the price sweet-spots required to squash the competition, while the flagship models then step in to satisfy those who demand the bleeding-edge or high-capacity storage.
Lots of new features
The candybar design and colours will undoubtedly sway many teetering on the edge of to Nano or not to Nano, and the addition of an FM radio and pedometer will go down well with those looking for a lightweight device to take jogging or to cart around as their primary media player. We doubt the video camera alone will entice that many people to upgrade, but with a range of useful features the fifth generation is the sleekest and most enticing version yet. For the price it will be hard to beat.
Popular iPod now more capable thanks to video and radio
The 4G iPod nano was an incremental update to the 3G nano that preceded it-new form, new colors, better storage, Genius playlist support, Spoken Menus, and an accelerometer. A fine, but hardly earthshaking, update. The 5G iPod nano is different. A video camera, built-in microphone, and buffered FM radio make this iPod nano a far more functional, flexible, and entertaining iPod than its predecessor. It won't replace your full-sized camcorder (or even last year's pocket camcorder).
Luxurious, compact looks
So, the new nano does everything it did before, and does it a little bit better. When you also consider the other new additions, like a pedometer, voice recording, and a great sounding FM radio with live pause, as well as old qualities like great usability and software (iTunes 9.0 is the best yet), it's easy to see what makes the Nano so lovable.
Excellent little machine
To judge the 5th generation iPod nano as an MP3 player alone would be easy enough. It's still an excellent little machine. It's strong, beautifully crafted and just a real pleasure to own. The sound quality is as good as we've come to expect from the iPod family and the screen, although too much to watch an entire film on, is fantastic given its size.
Fifth-generation refresh will likely keep the nano neatly ahead of its competition.
Yes, there's no zoom or still-photography, and no the quality isn't great, but it's another string to the iPod nano's bow and given it would be hard to identify one are of the music experience Apple could address without treading on the toes of the rest of their range neatly differentiates the nano 5G from its predecessor. Not a PMP you buy for its video capabilities, no, but the fifth-generation refresh will likely keep the nano neatly ahead of its competition.
The main selling point of this nano, apart from the music playback, is the video recording
We have no hesitation in recommending the latest iPod nano, especially with prices starting at £115. If we were in the habit of giving out half-star ratings, we'd award the nano with a 4.5 out of 5. However, we don't, so we're going to drop it down to a 4. The main selling point of this nano, apart from the music playback, is the video recording and until Apple fixes the lens real estate (and chucks in still-photo taking), we just can't award it perfect marks.
vibrant OLED screen Cons
After making appeals to moms and tech neophytes everywhere with its ultra-simplistic SlotMusic and SlotRadio players, SanDisk returns to the land of real, full-featured MP3 players with the Sansa Clip+. Like its popular predecessor, the Sansa Clip, the Clip+ runs against the iPod Shuffles of the world with a compact and clippable (duh) profile, but makes an extra play toward practicality with the addition of a microSD slot that allows for expansion by up to 16GB.
Best low-end mp3 player
It's the best low-end mp3 player on the market, without question. And did I mention it costs $50 for 4GB? That's $20 less than the iPod shuffle and the Clip+ has the shuffle handily beat on features and sound quality. I recommend the 4GB version - it's worth the $10 upgrade from 2GB, and 8GB is really more music than the little guy is built to handle. The UI's a little dated, but it's totally serviceable, and the player's strengths more than make up for its drawbacks.
Decent sound quality
Sony's NWZ-W202 MP3 player uses a combination of the novel Zappin shuffle technology and a unique form factor to set it apart from the crowd. While this approach may gain some fans, it also alienates those who want to use different earphones or who want more control over their music.
The fourth-generation iPod Nano is more attractive and colorful than its predecessor and includes Apple's new Genius playlist tool, a tilt sensor, and accessibility features for the visually impaired..
The bottom line: The fourth-generation iPod Nano is easy on the eyes and the wallet, and you can't beat its hardware and user interface design. Just be sure to give iTunes 8 a spin before committing.
Incredibly thin color-screened iPods with audio and photo performance virtually identical to full-sized fourth-generation iPods, but at 1/4 the weight.
With iPod mini and iPod shuffle, Apple showed the world that the right design at a low bottom line price can outsell a substantially more fully-featured design at a slightly higher price. Less conspicuously, it has demonstrated that there are ways to functionally differentiate multiple inherently similar products beyond their different price levels, giving each an advantage that may lead one person to own two or three of them at once.
Value For Money
Is the new Nano any good? No, it is very, very good indeed. There are one or two players that have better audio quality but nothing approaches Apple's ease of use, quality, style and now, for the first time, value for money. That's right; not only is the Nano a superb player but it is also competitively priced.
Lovely colour screen
In comparison to our current flash player of choice - iRiver's Clix 2 - Apple's latest nano has fallen behind the times a little. It does have a lovely colour screen but it can't play video, its sound quality isn't up there with the best and, though I haven't mentioned it up until now, its music sound file support still only extends to MP3 and AAC, not OGG or (obviously) WMA.
the design feels invisible; there's a whopping 4GB of storage; and VoiceOver technology lets you control playback without taking your eyes away from what you're doing.
The bottom line: The third-generation iPod Shuffle is the next best thing to an invisible MP3 player, but the quirky controls and microscopic design make it a limited recommendation.
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