Apple outfits 5G iPod nano with video camera (September 11th, 2009)
Product Manufacturer: Apple
Price: $149 - $179
- Video camera
- Larger display
- FM with RDS and rewind
- Mic for voice recording
- Speaker for video playback
- Easy video uploading
- Camera lens smudges easily
- Camera position awkward
- No still pictures
- Weak speaker
- Prone to camera shake
Sound quality and battery life
With all of the new features, basic music playback is easily pushed to the back burner. It comes as no surprise that the included headphones are terrible, at least for the discerning listener. The headphone amplifier, however, is capable of driving most headphones and earphones built for portable devices. Sound quality is wonderful with a high-end pair of headphones, such as Etymotic's ER4P.
Despite its smaller size, the 5G Nano drives headphones with the same force as the iPod touch. The circuitry doesn't muddy the sound with excessive bass, nor does it struggle to deliver the low-end when the volume approaches the upper range of comfortable sound-pressure levels.
Users can expect similar battery endurance to the 4G Nano, with a claimed life of 24 hours for audio and an increase to 5 hours for video. Both Apple estimates are optimistic, especially if the brightness is set high when watching videos. Is the new Nano worth buying? Naturally, it depends on what the buyer intends to do with the device. Steve Jobs contends that Apple is essentially adding an entire camera for free.
With all of the new features, Apple has kept a competitive pricing structure that fetches $149 for the 8GB model or $179 for the 16GB variant. Compared to the Flip Ultra, also retailing for $149, the iPod captures the same video resolution but adds a slew of extra features in a compact size.
If buyers have no interest in uploading videos to YouTube or stashing 640x480 clips for other reasons, the 5G Nano might not be a first choice, although the iPod still represents Apple's smallest device with a display for navigating through content. Even aside from the rumors and leaked pics, it is still likely that Apple is preparing to add a camera to the Touch. If such a device is in the pipeline, it might be capable of higher quality video or still captures.
Overall, the latest Nano shows Apple's commitment to refining its product line with new features and functionality. While not all users have a need for a video camera or FM radio, the fifth-generation device builds upon the features of its predecessor without taking steps backward in quality or value. Integration of the camera can still be improved, however, with better placement and support for still pictures.