Apple iPod touch (5th gen) review
Now that smartphones are so often used to handle music and video, few would think of buying a dedicated media player. Yet Apple has stuck steadfastly with its iPod touch, which this month receives a major update.
It’s a very similar design to the iPhone 5, with a tall, thin 4in screen and aluminium rear. It has the same Retina display, with a resolution of 640 x 1,136, and the IPS screen’s measured brightness of 525cd/m2 is virtually identical.
Quality is exceptional, and games and videos leap off the screen. Like the iPhone 5, the touch runs iOS 6, and also boasts dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.
It isn’t entirely identical, though. With a depth of 6.1mm and weight of a mere 88g, it’s significantly thinner and lighter. And the core horsepower is closer to the iPhone 4S than the 5.
As a result, the dual-core A5 processor scored 1,823ms in the SunSpider benchmark, which lags a long way behind the fastest mobile devices of today. There was no sluggishness in games, however.
The last iPod touch was saddled with an awful camera, but Apple has fitted a much-improved 5-megapixel shooter this time around. It isn’t as good as that of the iPhone 5, but images are sharp, colours are vivid, and high-quality 1080p video is smoothed out with digital image stabilisation.
There’s the easy-to-use panorama feature we first saw on the iPhone 5, too, and our only gripe is the slight grain visible when you look closely.
The iPod touch’s sound quality hasn’t dipped – music retains plenty of punch and clarity – and Apple includes its new EarPods. They’re a marked improvement over Apple’s previous bundled earbuds, which were leaky and lacked bass, but they still aren’t particularly brilliant.
Overall, though, the iPod touch fulfils the twin roles of handheld gaming device and media player with aplomb. The loss of the 16GB model leaves the price looking extravagant – but with the iPod touch squeezing a cocktail of music, video and games into a mere sliver, many will still be willing to pay the premium.