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5,982 of 6,321 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lines Between iPod Touch and iPhone Have Started to Blur
Having had a chance to spend a little time with a review model gives me a chance to share the experience with you a bit early (before my own arrives). I'll take you hands-on with the new model, plus I'll share from my past two years of iPod touch ownership altogether, especially for those who haven't yet owned (or been owned by) one of these mobile gems.

I've...
Published on September 7, 2010 by Scott Showalter

versus
1,781 of 2,042 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great display but terrible rear camera
My wife and I have the 3rd generation iPod Touch and are very happy with them. The one thing that I have been missing/wanting is having a built in camera. I recently saw the photos taken by a friend's iPhone and was blown away by how good they were. Almost all reviews have said the iPhone built in 5MP camera is excellent. Like many others I watched Steve Jobs present the...
Published on September 1, 2010 by J. Austin


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5,982 of 6,321 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lines Between iPod Touch and iPhone Have Started to Blur, September 7, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Having had a chance to spend a little time with a review model gives me a chance to share the experience with you a bit early (before my own arrives). I'll take you hands-on with the new model, plus I'll share from my past two years of iPod touch ownership altogether, especially for those who haven't yet owned (or been owned by) one of these mobile gems.

I've also hidden a treasure trove of info on how you can legitimately download tons of quality apps for free. First though, let's quickly cover what's new.

+ Faster 1GHz A4 Processor - to keep up with the high demands of multitasking
+ Ultra high resolution "Retina display" - packs a 960 x 640 resolution at 326 pixels per inch
+ 15% larger battery - 3.44 Whr/930 mAh plays 7 hrs of video & 40 hrs of audio
+ Rear-facing camera - supports 960 x 720 sized photos (0.6 megapixels), plus 720p HD videos
+ Front-facing VGA-quality camera - VGA-quality is a resolution of 640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
+ 3-Axis Gyroscope - allows for higher precision and more motion gestures
+ Wireless N - Connect faster and go farther than ever, with this WiFi device (requires a router with 802.11n)
+ Built in microphone - but Apple reverted back to using the remote- and mic-less earphones
+ Game Center - Apple's own social gaming platform
+ Sleep/Power Button - it's been moved to the right, but not improved beyond that
+ Thinner, lighter than ever
* Note - Memory remains at the same 256MB despite several unconfirmed sources touting 512MB. There's also no vibrate module.

Unlike last year's iPod touch update, this one's a complete overhaul to the entire line. Last year, the new models didn't change in appearance. On the inside, faster processors and double-memory were added to the 32GB & 64GB models, but the 8GB got left out. Not this time. Buying the new 8GB iPod touch indeed gets you all the new goodies. You'll also pay thirty bucks more than before, so consider buying the 32GB model instead. You'll get 400% of the storage capacity for only 23% more coin!

===== Background =====

I'm a mobile app developer who's created a few apps and games for the iPhone, iPod Touch and now iPad. I was initially drawn to the iPod touch because of the popularity and capabilities of its mobile Web browsing--I was primarily a Web developer at the time and no other device could surf the Web so well. After I got one, I was hooked. I racked up over a hundred bucks in app purchases within the first month, and before long, I found myself learning how do develop native apps for the device.

Indeed, if you have never had an iPod touch before, you're in for a real treat. Of course, if you have, then you know first hand: it's is worth its weight in gold--no, in platinum. And now, with the latest generation, it may even be worth its weight rare gem stones! I digress.

===== Out With the Old =====

The iPod touch is frequently called an iPhone without the phone. However, until now there have been several other features also missing in the iPod touch besides the phone: a camera, GPS, magnetometer (compass), and some newer amenities from the iPhone 4: front-facing camera, high resolution "Retina display" as it has been dubbed, and the powerful 1GHz A4 processor--indeed a necessity to keep up with multitasking.

That all changes, now. The 4th gen iPod touch brings with it some new features and amenities, some of which have been anticipated by iPod touch fans and developers alike, including myself, for several generations of the device. From a developer's perspective, the more hardware features we can get our hands on, the better and more innovative apps we can create, and the more users that can download, use and enjoy them.

===== In With the New =====

The striking new design of the latest iPod touch is definitely a looker. Apple has made it even thinner (and I thought it was already too thin before) complete with a beautiful chrome back. While the super thin design is certainly attractive, I've found it slightly difficult to keep it well-gripped in your hands. The usual chrome back looks great too, but it's scratch-insistent. Yes, it's incredibly easy to scratch it all up, even after the first few days. For these two reasons, definitely get yourself a silicone skin (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042GVG5G?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8) alongside your new touch!

For ages, the feature topping everyone's wishlist for the iPod touch has been a camera. Check! It handles HD video too--bonus! Granted, its not the 5 megapixel camera that the iPhone 4 sports, but again, the new iPod touch is thinner than ever, making it a miracle that we even got a camera in the first place, let alone two! Yes, Apple went the extra mile so we could make video calls with our iPhone toting friends, via their FaceTime app. Brilliant! So, having not had any camera on the iPod touch before, and now having TWO cameras on it, we can't really complain can we? Nah.

I'll have details on the quality both cameras later, but what excites me even moreso is the new much-higher resolution screen--dubbed "Retina display". You may not think much of it if you haven't used an iPhone or iPod touch before, nor have an older model nearby to compare it to, but for those that have and/or do, the difference is clear! (pun intended)

Where this really comes in handy is in browsing the Web and reading non-mobile-formatted PDF e-books. Now, I can see things so much clearer at the default zoom level (which shows the full width of a Web page or document). My vision isn't spectacular by any means, I just don't mind seeing things smaller on the screen. It allows me to see more content without having to scroll. Indeed, the Retina display was the #1 feature I never knew I wanted (until I saw it in the iPhone 4 that is).

Other newness includes: 15% larger battery, HD video recording and editing, built-in mic, wireless-n for nearly double the WiFi connection speed and distance, Game Center: Apple's new social gaming platform (which seems to be Apple's attempt to kill-off third party social gaming platforms like OpenFeint and Plus+), 3-axis gyroscope sensor, which complements the existing accelerometer sensor, both of which handle the rotating, swinging and other motion gestures of the device (previously, rotation were roughly calculated from accelerometer data), and new placement of the sleep/power button on the right (but still as difficult as ever to press).

Features still missing include: 512MB of memory, vibration, 5 MP quality camera + flash (iPhone apps now support using LED flash as a flashlight, like Android does), magnetometer (compass), and the GPS. I'd happily trade the thinness of the latest iPod touch to have the GPS. WiFi based location is often inaccurate, and the GPS doesn't need a WiFi or cellular connection, it just needs to see the satellites in the sky.

===== iOS vs Android =====

So far, Apple has cornered the market of multitouch mobile devices that aren't phones, but things are slowly changing. Currently, the two hottest mobile and smartphone operating systems out there right now are Apple's iOS (formerly: iPhone OS) and Google's Android. Of course, iOS is popular because it runs on not only the iPhone, but also on the iPod touch and now on the ipad as well. Plus, it has garnered support from scores of app developers who've gotten behind Apple's slew of high-demand devices.

The iPod touch has really made iOS what it is today. It does a lot of what the iPhone does, without a contract, or carrier exclusivity, as is the case with the iPhone and the iPad (WiFi+3G models). So if it weren't for the iPod touch, a lot of the market share Apple now has in the industry would have been stifled by their carrier exclusivity. I think Apple will see the light soon, but that's another discussion.

Enter Android. Google has held a different stance on their mobile OS. It isn't tied to a select few devices, and it's open source, so it can be further developed by manufacturers who use it. Indeed, several mobile device manufacturers have now latched onto Android as a foundation for numerous devices. Wireless carriers that have been unable to carry the iPhone have also taken a liking to it. Now, tons of Android devices have been released, and there's no end in sight. Manufacturers have also seen the iPad's potential and now they want a piece of that pie, too. So, expect to see a lot more Android tablets and media-centric non-phone devices soon. The competition is heating up.

But not everything with Android, nor with iOS, is perfect. I own an EVO 4G, one of the most popular Android devices currently available. I've also used an iPod touch almost every day for nearly two years, so I'm pretty qualified to share my experience with each platform. Both certainly have their share of unique offerings, and neither of them are without flaws. For this reason, and because of the increasing competition between the two, I plan to dispel some of their key differences for you at various points in this review.

===== So What Can the iPod Touch Actually Do? =====

Well, what can't it do?

The iPod touch is like a magical little box, only it's flat. While it cannot cook your breakfast, yet (I'm sure someone is already working on that), it can indeed do some pretty extraordinary things. It's an amazing catch-all device that can provide hours of entertainment, give you the power of the Web in your hand, and it can even replicate the functionality of countless one-off products. Developers have been creating apps that take advantage of special hardware of the iPod touch to emulate some other product for less, and sometimes even for free.

Even expensive products have seen cheap iOS based clone apps. For just 99 cents, you can snag a special alarm clock app that monitors your sleep cycle and wakes you up when you're in an ideal state of wakefulness. I spent 350 bucks on an aXbo
(http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0014RDSSY?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8) a few years ago, who's functionality is easily replicated by several "sleep phase" alarm clock apps in the app store. When you do the math there, you see that it's easily a no brainer: buy yourself an iPod touch now!

I've listed more apps like this in the comments!

Plus, with the support of such a strong community of app and game developers, there's never a drought of fresh new apps and games. There's always something to do with the iPod touch, and I guarantee you'll never be bored with it. I honestly cannot say the same thing about Android, though I also tote my EVO 4G around with me. I do admit that the EVO's mobile hotspot comes in incredibly handy for providing the iPod touch with a WiFi connection while I'm on the go).

Now, with the proper resources, you can legitimately download thousands of high quality apps for free. I do it all the time and it is perfectly legal. See, Apple allows developers to temporarily put their apps on sale (and even drop the price to free). Usually they do this to get you to write some rave reviews for their apps. The secret to success is having the resources to help you spot these special app sales--so you know when and where to get them during their sometimes extremely-limited-time promotions.

In hopes of making this the most helpful review on Amazon for the iPod touch, here's how to obtain these special promotional-sale apps:

There are several resources you can use, both on the Web and on the iPod touch itself. I prefer to use the app called BargainBin that lists all apps that recently went on sale or dropped to free. It also supports watch lists with push notifications, and can alert you whenever an app you're interested in goes on sale. It's a phenomenal little gem, and it has gotten me a ton of apps and saved me a fortune! It also has a companion website that lists the same apps (Google: App Advice). There's also a website called AppShopper (Google it) that lists apps with recent price drops and new apps as well, and you can filter just the free products or just the sale products. The two sites don't always list the same apps. Sometimes one will miss something that the other will catch, so it's good to keep track of them both. Check them daily if possible. Several apps are duds, but you'll come across some really great ones from time to time. They'll all add up!

===== Web Browsing =====

Alongside spending lots of money on all those wonderful apps in the App Store, Web browsing is one of the most popular uses for the iPod touch. Browsing the Web with mobile Safari was my original attraction to the device. The experience hasn't changed too drastically in the past two years (since the days of iOS 2), and while it's still very powerful, there are some definite flaws. And no, I'm not talking about Flash. Just minor usability issues I'd like to see overcome, but first let's look at the positives.

Mobile Safari has a smart approach to zooming in on content. Double-tap on a paragraph of text or an image to cinch that content right up to the edges of the screen. The downside: some sites aren't mobile-friendly, so zooming in on a really wide block of text can leave you with tiny text. You can zoom further manually, by using the "unpinch" multi-touch gesture, but because the browser doesn't have an option to reflow the text to the screen width, you have to scroll left and right, as well as up and down, just to read the text. Android's browser doesn't feature smart zoom, but it does reflow the text to fit the screen when zoomed in. It's a nice feature, and Apple should add it as a preference for Safari.

Browser history can also vanish after a few days, and browser windows get overwritten by links from other pages sometimes (usually when I've hit the maximum of eight windows). Also yet to be seen is support for doing common things like searching for text on a page, or bookmarking a link by tapping and holding. That would be invaluable for adding bookmarklets--bookmark based scripts that help overcome browser shortcomings.

Flash is also a great debate, one I won't get into. I will just say that all is not as it seems with the Flash-support-touting Android platform. Flash does work, but it is buggy because Flash doesn't play well with touch interfaces. Flash based video players don't work right, and I even run Android 2.2, which is supposed to have the "full Flash experience". It doesn't, trust me. So you're not missing much by not having Flash on the iPod touch!

Indeed, we can just hope and pray that Web developers and Flash-fiends see the light and start replacing Flash content with technologies like HTML5's canvas element, which is poised to take on a lot of Flash's most popular abilities.

===== Media =====

Despite all the incredible things the iPod touch can do, audio and video are still one of the iPod touch's greatest strengths. And with the incredible resolution of the new iPod touch's retina display, to say that videos now appear much sharper, more vivid and highly-defined is definitely an understatement. Yes, videos were great before, but now they frickin' rock!

Just make sure your videos are at least 960 x 640. If you've owned an older iPod touch and used video conversion software to scale down your media to fit the old 320 x 480 screen resolution, definitely change your conversion settings, or look for a software update to support the new higher-resolution display.

For those interested in watching live TV on the go (over WiFi), Sling Media's SlingPlayer app, paired with one of their Slingbox devices is a phenomenal and freeing experience, especially considering your alternate choices for watching live TV on the go are pretty much nil up to this point.

On top of that, Netflix's recently released iPod touch version of their media streaming app has also been a much-welcomed addition to my ever-growing collection of apps. Netflix videos stream quickly, and even moving the play position back and forth in the timeline, the movie starts playing very quickly without much time rebuffering the video.

===== Photos =====

The latest iPod touch is also a game-changer for photography and video recording on an iPod touch. It's not mind-blowing by any means, but we went from having no camera right to having two cameras on the device. I probably would not be so thrilled with just a new back camera. I merely would have sighed, mumbling "finally" under my my breath (unless it were 5 megapixels). But despite the less-than-one megapixel quality of the rear-facing camera, I was taken aback by the rather decent quality, especially in low-light environments. Check the comments for links to sample photos!

Between that and the ability to connect with other iPhone and iPod touch toting friends via Apple's FaceTime app, yes... it's a game changer. Granted, I have been wanting front facing cameras on mobile devices ever since mobile devices started having cameras period. I got the first of such devices when my EVO 4G arrived in June, but as they say: the more the merrier. Friends, welcome to the future we've been dreaming of. Video killed the audio call!

The quality of my test calls were pretty good. Of course, it was over WiFi, but it proves the cameras are decent. You can switch from using the front camera to using the rear camera, too, in case something was going on in front of you that you wanted to share. Just tap the "camera swap" button in the bottom right corner of the screen. FaceTime also rotates along with the iPod when flipped on its side, nice.

HD video recording is the other half of the aforementioned game-changing equation. I didn't expect to see ANY video recording, considering the original iPhone camera was originally just a camera. But it's here, complete with HD quality (yes, the quality is indeed desirable), plus basic video editing support, as well as support for Apple's brilliant "iMovie" app: an advanced video editing studio right on your iPod touch. It's just five bucks on the App Store.

===== E-Reading =====

The iPad has been making waves in the genre of media reading for several months now, but that hasn't exactly been the same story for any generation of the iPod touch so far. Granted, it's not exactly marketed as an eReader like its iPad counterpart, but there are some really great apps out there for media reading on it, so there's no reason not to use it to read digital media. The obstacle to doing that, for me at least, has been the limited screen resolution, and so that may all potentially start to change, now that Apple has brought the Retina display to the iPod touch.

The 163 pixels per inch screens of past iPod touches were still pretty great, just not ideal for tiny text. For comparison, LCD monitors typically only have 96 pixels per inch, and CRT monitors only have 72 pixels per inch. TV's are even worse than that. What this means for you is that the iPod touch display has always been sharper than your own computer monitor.

However, despite being able to display content at a higher quality, I still found that in a lot of eBooks, especially PDFs that weren't mobile-formatted, the text was just not clear enough to be readable when zoomed out. However, zooming in meant having to constantly scroll side-to-side while reading. The app "Good Reader" helped ease that pain by doing the left-right & vertical scrolling for you with just a tap of the screen, as well as offering an additional view that re-flows the text to fit on the screen at a large enough size.

However, with the Retina display, all text and content in the aforementioned "zoomed out" state now appears extremely clear. That is a wonderful thing, so long as you don't mind reading tiny text.

Could you still benefit from having an iPad too? Perhaps. After all, it does have unique qualities that set it apart from the iPod touch, as my in depth iPad review portrays (http://www.amazon.com/review/R16U71KO7POLA2?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8). But unless you specifically see the need for one of those unique qualities, then no, you probably don't need both.

===== Gaming =====

If you're like me, you probably don't have time for games. Regardless, it may still be high-time to let the kid within you roam free from time to time, as I do. The iPod touch has made it possible. In fact, it is so easy, there's no excuse not to enjoy yourself. My favorite games are the racing games and, when I have a bit more time, strategy games.

With the iPhone and iPod Touch having taken on a clear role as a gaming console that has been as revolutionary for mobile gaming as the Wii was for living-room gaming, it goes without saying that the iPod touch is, and will continue to be, one of the best platforms for gaming. It's simple, convenient, and pretty much instant. Whenever you have a few moments of free time, wherever you're, just turn it on, find your game, and bam! You're gaming. Simple as that.

===== Productivity =====

Productivity carries numerous definitions. Usually its "getting something done" though some people tend to believe that it's the ability to focus without being distracted, which I see as one of the iPod touch's strengths, at least for me, primarily because the screen is small enough to force you to focus on the task at hand.

In the context of software though, Apple's own suite of productivity apps for the office, collectively called "iWork", has been further refined for the iPhone and iPod touch. Because of the aforementioned "focus factor" of the iPod touch, I have found myself to be surprisingly productive when working on documents with it. There are three apps in all: Pages allows you to work on word processing documents. Numbers allows you to work on spreadsheets. Keynote lets you work on presentations and slideshows (including PowerPoint files).

So far, I've found these apps to be highly useful when I have work to do, but don't feel like being at the computer to do it. Another great app for that is "iTeleport" which let's me at my computer remotely, when iWork won't work (meaning I'm not working on office documents). Log Me In Ignition is another similar app that is slightly easier to set up, but a bit slower than iTeleport, when you're just working over the same WiFi connection as the remote computer.

Furthermore, there's a whole category of iPod touch apps in the App Store specifically dedicated to productivity. Some of my favorite productivity apps include: Bento (info management), Things (project management), iTeleport (remote computing), and GoodReader (best PDF reader around). Search for them in the App Store.

===== Email, IM and Social Networking =====

The iPod touch has been, and continues to be an exceptional communication-machine. Whether it's reading or composing email, keeping in touch via instant messenger, or managing your life via social networks, you've got plenty of options here.

Instant messaging is easy with platforms such as AIM, Yahoo, Gtalk, MSN, Skype and apps that handle multiple platforms: IM+, Fring, Nimbuzz, BeejiveIM and Fuse Messenger. Finally, multitasking means you can truly remain connected to your IM platforms of choice, instead of relying on apps to keep you signed remotely, then push new-message notifications to your device. This is a much welcome addition to the new iPod touch.

As well, there are plenty of apps to help you browse and update your status on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Within the iOS development community, Twitter apps have often been a laughing stock, simply because there are so many out there on the App Store. They're almost as rampant as "fart" apps. So to say you've got countless options as far as social networking apps are concerned is probably a pretty accurate statement.

For email, you need not look any further than Apple's native "Mail" app. Even if you're using Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or Apple's own MobileMe, setup is a snap. It even supports Microsoft Exchange, often useful for corporate email setups. As well, any other email accounts that support POP3 or IMAP connection types will work with the Mail app too. Plus, new to the iPod touch with iOS 4 is the option to use a unified inbox--handy for those already used to that behavior on Mac OS X.

===== Downloading Apps and Games =====

Downloading apps on your iPod touch couldn't be easier. Once you set up your iTunes account with a credit card, all you need to do is find the app you want, tap the download button (usually it says the price rather than "download", which then changes to "buy" after you tap it), then tap again to confirm. Voila, you just bought an app. Behind the scenes, Apple then charges your card the amount of the app plus tax, while you're already off enjoying your new purchase. This ease of access is a blessing and a curse, because you can easily empty your wallet if you're not carefully considering each purchase.

All apps in the App Store range in price from Free and 99 cents on up, always incrementing in whole dollar amounts (1.99, 2.99, 3.99, etc). The maximum price for an app is set to $999.99, of which there are only eight currently priced so outrageously. And don't even think of toying with them. Apple does not allow refunds on apps you have purchased--all sales are final!

Contrast that with Android's more complex Android Market, and you'll find several more steps, especially for paid apps. For one, there're no fixed pricing tiers, and secondly, they allow multiple currency pricing, which only confuses its users. The good developers do keep their pricing similar to iOS apps, with the 99 cent base plus $1 increments, but I often see apps priced at ¥0.55 or 0.79 or $1 or £2.95 ...it's quite disorienting and unstructured. They have also set their price cap at $200, so you can't accidentally run up a $1000 charge on just one app--you'll need at least 5 apps for that. ;)

Meanwhile, to actually buy an app on Android, you must tap the BUY button, confirm that you want to buy the app, then get redirected to a Google Checkout link, where you must setup your Google Checkout account or choose an existing payment method if you already have an account set up. Once you confirm the purchase yet again, THEN you can finally download the app.

Google also makes selling apps a bit more complicated for developers than Apple, but I won't get into that. I'm just stressing how absolutely simple Apple makes the app buying and selling process. Contrary to Apple however, Google does allow users to "return" purchased Android apps within 24 hours for a full refund. That's nice.

===== Technical Specifications =====

Since Amazon's product descriptions tend to be lacking, I like to include all the technical jargon geeks have come to expect when researching new gadgets. Feel free to breeze on through!

In the box
+ iPod touch
+ Earphones
+ Dock Connector to USB Cable (for sync and charging)
+ Quick Start guide

Size and weight
+ Height: 4.4 inches (111.0 mm)
+ Width: 2.3 inches (58.9 mm)
+ Depth: 0.28 inch (7.2 mm)
+ Weight: 3.56 ounces (101 grams)

Capacity
+ 8GB, 32GB or 64GB flash drive/SSD

Wireless
+ 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
+ Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
+ Maps-location based service
+ Nike + iPod support built in

Display
+ Multi-Touch display
+ 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen
+ 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch

Cameras, photos, and video
+ Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still photos (960 x 720) with back camera
+ VGA-quality photos and video up to 30 frames per second with the front camera
+ Tap to control exposure for video or stills
+ Photo and video geo tagging over Wi-Fi

TV and video
+ H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
+ MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
+ Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
+ Support for 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable (cables sold separately)

Audio
+ Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
+ Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
+ User-configurable maximum volume limit with parental lock
+ Earbud headphones included in box

Earphones
+ Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
+ Impedance: 32 ohms

Input and output
+ 30-pin dock connector
+ 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack
+ Built-in speaker
+ Microphone
+ External buttons and controls

Sensors
+ Three-axis gyro
+ Accelerometer
+ Ambient light sensor (for proximity detection)

Battery, power and playback time
+ Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
+ USB sync cable is also used for charging
+ Fast charge in about 2 hours (80% capacity)
+ Full charge in about 4 hours.
+ Music playback time: Up to 40 hours when fully charged
+ Video playback time: Up to 7 hours when fully charged

System requirements
+ USB 2.0
+ iTunes 10 or later
+ Mac: Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later
+ PC: Windows 7, Vista, or XP (SP3 or later)

===== Praise =====

+ Apple continues its trend of creating the best multi-touch experience around. Android doesn't even come close.
+ The Retina Display - Phenomenal! Kudos for bringing it to the iPod touch as well as the iPhone. Now try it with IPS technology Apple!
+ Wireless-N, finally! - Faster and farther-reaching WiFi connections (if your router supports 802.11n)
+ High performance 1GHz A4 processor - provides all the power of the iPhone 4, a win for gaming and multitasking.
+ Multitasks like a dream with iOS 4 and the powerful processor, despite the same 256MB of memory as the third generation touch.
+ Rear camera - It's not the 5 megapixel iPhone 4 camera, but I definitely can't complain here. It shoots great photos, especially in low-light without flash, plus it can do HD video.
+ Front facing camera - What a pleasant surprise! Now it just needs to work with Skype.

===== Dissappointments =====

+ No GPS - IP based location just doesn't cut it at times. GPS has no subscription fee or contract to use. GPS chips are costly, but tons of high cost GPS apps are in the App Store now to offset that cost for Apple.
+ 256MB memory - iFixit has confirmed this disappointing flaw, putting to rest all the rumors of 512MB still littering several reviews.
+ Still no 120GB model - Useful for higher res videos that look great on the Retina display.
+ No USB 3.0 or wireless sync - Sync'ing can be slow or inconvenient over the cable.
+ Thinner design - I was hoping for a more squared design, like the iPhone 4, as it is easier to grip, handle and press the power button.
+ Power button - Yes, it hasn't changed much. It's been moved to the right side on this model, but it's still the tiny, hard-to-press button it's has always been, and if you take lots of screenshots like I do (by pressing power+home simultaneously) half the time you end up closing your app because the power button didn't work right.

===== The Bottom Line =====

It is absolutely clear: Apple has definitely blurred the lines between iPhone and iPod touch with its 4th generation of both devices. Since it has no contract or carrier exclusivity, this phenomenal device will continue to shine its light in the otherwise dark voids of the smartphone market where the iPhone cannot go, even without the phone. That's just smart!

Given all my tips, I think you'll find the iPod touch to be an extraordinarily useful, possibly even highly addictive device, with a price tag that is well worth it, especially the 32GB model. With all the things that the iPod touch can do, it will undoubtedly enhance your life and change the way you interact with the Web. It might even make a gamer out of you if it hasn't already, it sure did for me!

I hope you've found my hands-on review helpful. I do actively participate in any discussions via the comments, so feel free to drop me a line, or ask me any questions as well. :)
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558 of 608 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This thing rocks!, September 8, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
*This review is from someone who never owned any Apple products before, married, healthcare professional, blackberry and palm TX owner (yeah I know, belongs in a museum), I was looking for a handheld internet browser by wifi, no monthly fees for 2 years, with camera, video, and apps that i can use for my work, and put in my pocket and it led me to this device. This is therefore a completely un-technical, layman's review.

1. Delivery time: I was supposed to receive this September 10-14 with the regular shipping, but I got it today, maybe because I ordered it as soon as Steve Jobs finished presenting, so this deserves more than 5 stars!

2. Dimensions/looks: I actually prefer the "handling" of the bigger and heavier 3rd gen that I borrowed, its all smudge now without any cover, but boy! this is the most beautiful handheld device that I ever held, 4 stars for being smaller and lighter and smudgy.

3. Display: The retina display is amazing! Like reading from a glossy magazine, and yes you cannot see the pixels! 5 stars!

4. Wifi: Sync with ATT wifi - no problem, wifi in gym - no problem, monthly fees - no problem! 5 stars!

5. Internet Browsing: Hard to type in the addresses initially, but pages loads super fast (the longest was within thress-onethousand - all news channels), surfed the web with no problems,make pages bigger or smaller... this gets 5 stars as well.

6. Speed (Processor): this thing is super fast, web pages load within 3 seconds, downloading apps within 30 secs, youtube in a flash, the email attachment that opened in 1 minute in my computer took only 10 seconds! 5 stars indeed!

7. Camera: very grainy, will not use it for any important event, only for quick-I-need-a-camera moments, it will not replace my dSLR, but since it wasnt there in the previous gen, and I only use my dSLR and nothing else, this camera is still a bonus it gets 4 stars.

8. Apps for work/"work": I already downloaded 4 very useful apps for work for free! plus 5 other free games for me and my 3 year old kid, the fact that I can now have apps without an iphone/ipad is great, the fact that its free is sweet! 5 stars!

8. Video: 720p HD! And I bought a Vado HD that does nothing else! Quality is up to par! 5 stars!

Overall, I have a device that surfs the net very very fast, manages my email, has a camera, great HD videocam, great free apps for work, that looks beautiful, and is great to look at, that I got 1 week early, what more can I ask for?!!! Worth every penny and deserves 5 stars!

And it stores and plays music too?! And has facetime?! And maps?! I feel like I paid for a Toyota and got a Lexus!

Will buy another one for my kid so she doesnt have to borrow mine!
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670 of 743 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actual Owner of iPod Touch 4G, September 8, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Alright, so Best Buy got the 32GB iPod Touch 4G in stock so I drove an hour to go get one. I was not disappointed. I will run through the features I have come across so far.

Body: Aside from moving the sleep button to the right and making the back of the device slimmer and more flat, not much has changed. Yes, the chrome back is still there erg! It was so pretty for the first 30 seconds.

Ram: The Ram on the iPod Touch is only 256 MB, so do not believe the talk of 512 MB, it is simply not true.

Wireless: Fully supports A/B/G/N

Vibration: There is no vibration, so do not expect that.

Multitasking: Works real well and very smooth transition

Display: While the display on the iPod is not IPS like the iPhone do not think it suffers in anyway. This display is so beautiful and crisp to look at. I cannot even distinguish the pixels, and text on a website is like you are reading out of a book, it's so refreshing. I played a digital copy of "UP" on here and the colors practically jump off the screen, very nice. Apple's icons are so much more vivid and sharp, while 3rd party developer icons who have yet to make an upgrade for the new displays shows what a step up this new screen has to offer.

Speaker: I am not sure of the quality of the speaker on the 3G iPod Touch, but on my 2G iPod Touch it was very tinny and I only used it for game sound. Here on the 4G there is a new spot on the bottom left for the speaker and it has risen in clarity. Music is very listenable and clear, however nothing replaces a good set of earbuds, but when you're in a jam, you won't be gritting your teeth with this speaker.

Processor: The new Apple processor is a sure win for this device. Everything loads very fast and switching from one screen to another is very swift and smooth. Crash Bandicoot finally has a nice framerate to play with on this iPod and for once I did not regret buying that game.

Front Camera: This is the camera that is primarily used for Facetime. It's resolution is at 640 X 480. After taking a few pictures with it, you will notice how it is really not for taking stills, but works fine for videochatting (which I have not tried, but did run some video tests with it). Obviously Facetime will work better in well lit areas, but then again, doesn't any camera?

Rear Camera: Again stills are just so so. What really bugs me is when you go to take a picture, you see how crisp the preview is, then you take the picture and you can see it blur. The tap to focus works nice for adjusting exposure and well lit photos look very decent on the display. It's when you upload them to your computer when you notice how not so decent they actually are. While this may be a negative for many people, if you are like me, you want to just upload photos with this device to FaceBook and capture funny moments with the video camera. If I want to take a really awesome picture, I'll pull out my DSLR, but for me this iPod's capabilities are more than adequate for my quick shooting of certain events. The video captures quite nicely, while not superb like an actual HD camcorder does enough for me for again, capturing fun moments. Don't worry, you don't cringe while watching the video, it's more than adequate and produces vibrant colors and a fast framerate. Some may complain on this, and believe me those reviews will be here shortly, but then again why not buy an HD Camcorder that is made for HD content? (I'm not ignorant to HD quality either, I'm a huge fan of it. I run a 3D 65'' 1080p display with Blu-ray and Dolby Tru-HD decoding surround sound system)

Microphone: Testing out Skype my friend told me I was coming in loud and clear. I also played back a video I made on the iPod on my computer and the microphone captures top notch audio. Very crisp and clear, I was quite pleased.

Battery: While I haven't tested out Apple's claims of 40 hr. of music, let's be honest who really does that? I'm sure Apple's claims are quite credible in their battery life depending on how the device is used.

One note I should also make, my iPod Touch 2G accessories, (car charger, wall charger) work with my iPod touch 4G. Apple sometimes changes stuff like the charging pin on the iPod's to make a person have to buy new accessories. Anybody remember when the iPod Video A/V cables had the Audio and Video switched around so people couldn't use their cables with the iPod? Well they could, they just had to switch the audio and video cables in the port around. Anyways, away from this funny piece of marketing history.

Is the new iPod worth it? For me, upgrading from the 2G Touch, yes! The display is brilliant, the speed of the processor amazing, video quality is very much enjoyable and the rear camera is excellent for taking quick fun shots. If I had one word to describe this iPod, it would be fun! You can't handle one of these without feeling like a joyous kid, (I'm 22) and the business aspect is still there and quite useful. I would highly recommend this iPod Touch as a worthy upgrade to any generation of the iPod Touch you may own and if you don't own one, there has never been a more perfect time to go out and get one! Don't hesitate to leave a comment here if you have a question for an actual owner. I'll do what I can!
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201 of 220 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definite improvement over the previous generation., October 11, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I know what you're thinking while looking at these reviews: "Should I save fifty bucks and get the 3rd Generation iPod touch, or is the 4th Gen really worth the new price?"

I am happy to report that the improvements made from 3rd to 4th generation are worth your attention.

* Size/Shape: The new model is thinner and more narrow, but slightly taller/longer. What this translates to in real-world usage is that the device is slightly less bulky in your pocket once you put a case on it, but that it's a tiny bit harder to grip without a case, if you have big hands. Of course, since Apple continues to put that scratch-magnet shiny back on the iPod touch (PLEASE, Apple, STOP IT! Give us brushed aluminum or something!) you will probably need a case, so the thinness is a good thing.

* Microphone: No, you don't get the headphones with the in-line microphone anymore, but you do get a microphone built into the iPod touch. While most people focus on the Face Time, Skype, or other social uses for a microphone and lament the loss of one on the headphones, as someone who doesn't care about VOIP, I find the built-in microphone a lot better for my purposes. I use it for voice commands in the iPod ("Play artist 'The Beatles'") and for dictation (Dragon's free app is awesome) and voice memos. It also functions well for video recording. I don't miss the in-line earbud microphone at all.

* Video Recording/Photos: While the iPod touch won't replace a top-line video camera, and most definitely won't replace a decent digital camera, it works as a "I happen to have it in my pocket" substitute on both counts. I don't take a lot of photos, so the lower resolution on the camera doesn't bother me. The video, however, is quite nice, and replaces my Flip Mino HD without a hitch. Just remember to reserve some storage space if you intend to record videos.

* Retina Display: Wow. You have to see it to understand why it's a big deal. You don't notice it as much in the main screen, but when you get into text displays you really see the difference. Everything is crisp, there's almost no pixelization and nothing is "fuzzy". Games that support it look gorgeous. It really is worth it if you intend to use the iPod touch to do any reading, web browsing, or gaming.

* iOS 4: I love the OS changes they made since I owned a 3rd generation iPod touch. The ability to group apps into folders/groups is about the best thing they did since the iPod touch debuted. The ability to do multitasking is very handy, too. The Gmail integration is much better now that it supports IMAP, and the contacts are much more friendly to Windows users since they started providing decent support for Google Contacts. WiFi signals seem to be stronger, and the battery life is excellent. All told, the little changes make a big difference.

* Video Playback: Now that they've increased the screen resolution to 960x640, videos are not as limited. This means that if you have a collection of 720p m4v/mp4 videos already, they'll work with the iPod touch. You won't need to downscale them to make them work. This also means that if you choose to output to a HDTV screen, you'll get your full 720p video in all its glory. This is a great feature for media hounds like myself. If only Apple made a 1TB iPod touch..!

* Improved buttons: While the buttons are no longer metal (they're now plastic or polycarbonate), they are much better-designed in terms of placement. The volume toggle has been turned into two separate buttons for up and down, and they work quite well when you're not looking at the device (like when it's in your pocket). The standby/power button is smaller and to the right of the top of the device, and it, too is easy to find and use when the device is out of view. Response from the buttons is nice, with a good clicky tactile feedback. They seem sturdy and yet they're small enough to be unobtrusive and not be pressed accidentally.

* Speaker: They went from using the whole back panel as a speaker board to putting in a little speaker in the device at the bottom. This has the effect of making things sound a little better, but not without some problems (see below).

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THE CONS

* The new size means you will probably need a new case and screen protector. Old ones won't fit. Some exceptions exist (some slip-cases, for example) but anything that was an exact fit for the previous models is too big for the current model.

* No in-line microphone on the earbuds. This is not a problem for me, but for social networking types, this will be something they miss.

* Speed is, at this point, no better than the previous model in most cases, and sometimes slower in apps that have yet to update some features. This will no doubt change, but right now expect no major boost in speed or power with the upgrade to 4th Gen.

* Still camera is low resolution. As I noted above, it's not a crippling issue for me, as I don't take lots of photos and the video camera is so nice, but if you're a shutterbug looking for an alternate digital camera, you may be a little let-down by the current generation. You're probably better off with an iPhone 4 or waiting for the 5th Gen iPod touch and crossing your fingers.

* Dock connector doesn't sit flush with the device. It looks weird at first, but when you connect to the docking cable, the connector doesn't seem to go in all the way if you look at it from the back of the iPod touch. This is, apparently, by design. I can't say I like it, but this is the sacrifice you get with thinner devices. Apple didn't want to give up the tapered design, but they didn't want to redesign the dock connection, either. The compromise was to make the connector do what it currently does. This is not really a big deal, as it works fine and feels secure, but it does make you wonder how some third-party docks and devices will work with the current generation.

* Speaker gets blocked easily. I know this is more of a critique of App design than iPod design, but the iPod touch's speaker being in the bottom corner causes me to end up covering the speaker when I turn the device sideways (to the left) to play a game. Smart Apps make it possible to tilt the screen any direction, but some are set on making you tilt to the left, which leads to the speaker blockage. Again, no big deal, but it makes me wonder why Apple doesn't just put the speaker on the side of the device instead of on the bottom. There's little chance you'd block it on a sideways/widescreen App in that case.

* Stupid shiny back: I mentioned this earlier, but WHY, Apple? Why do you keep putting this horrible shiny back on the iPod touch? It was terrible back on the classics, and it's terrible now. Give us something that doesn't get scratched from the slightest touch, and something that isn't slippery! Brushed aluminum, rubberized metal, or anything else would be preferable to this stupid shiny back-plate. This, for me, is the iPod touch's #1 bad feature.

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SUMMARY

In my opinion the newer model is worth the new price. You get a lot of extra features and the best screen on any iPod to date, and the microphone being built-in becomes a must-have feature after you realize how convenient it is to not have to hook up the earbuds in order to record something. So here's the rundown on whether or not you should upgrade from 3rd Gen to 4th Gen:

* If you're a reader: YES. The Retina Display makes reading books and comics much easier on the eyes (although I still prefer e-ink for long stretches or reading outdoors).

* If you're a gamer: YES. The Retina Display, better speaker, and new gyroscope/accelerometer make gaming better.

* If you're a social networking freak: YES. The video camera, still camera, built-in microphone, and Face Time are a social networking fan's wet dream.

* If you're looking for a PDA: NO. It doesn't really matter unless you want to take advantage of the video camera for business meetings, or have bad eyes and want your address book to look more crisp. You could probably get by with the 3rd Gen, but honestly, you're probably already using iPhone 4 so this is a non-issue.

* If you're looking for a portable web browser and mail client: YES. If you're on the Internet a lot, you'll appreciate the Retina Display and better WiFi reception from 802.11n.

* If you just want to play music: NO. Don't bother to upgrade because the music/iPod functions aren't all that different from the previous generation, unless you want the convenience of the built-in microphone for voice commands.

* If you just want to play videos: YES. The higher resolution and Retina Diplay make videos much better, and the ability to output 720p is a great feature for videophiles.

Final verdict: For most users, the newer model is a much better value. Apple improved the iPod touch enough this time around to make it worth grabbing the 4th Gen, even if you do end up paying a little more for it than a clearance-model 3rd Gen.
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1,781 of 2,042 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great display but terrible rear camera, September 1, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
My wife and I have the 3rd generation iPod Touch and are very happy with them. The one thing that I have been missing/wanting is having a built in camera. I recently saw the photos taken by a friend's iPhone and was blown away by how good they were. Almost all reviews have said the iPhone built in 5MP camera is excellent. Like many others I watched Steve Jobs present the new iPod line today and was very excited to hear that it had all the features I was looking for. Retina display - awesome. Front and rear cameras - yes! Finally.

I was all set to order 2 from Amazon the minute Amazon had them listed. But .. while looking thru the Apple website I came across the specs for the rear facing camera. It is only .7 megapixels. Less than 1 megapixel. What? I thought that can't be right. I contacted Apple and the rep, who had gotten many such calls it seemed, confirmed that the iPod touch has a very different camera (.7 MP vs the iPhone's 5 MP) . Bummer. I looked around and found a hands on review of it .... and they said the sensor itself, besides being lower MP, is also not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. Not terrible but certainly not good and no where in the same league as the one in the iPhone.

The camera was one of the 2 main things people asked for. The other being the Retina display. My assumption is that Apple didn't want to affect iPhone sales and purposely dummied down the camera. Shame on them. They want us to pay $240 to $400 for an iPod with a terrible camera.

I first predicted that w/ the Retina display and the camera that this would be a smashing success, a huge seller coming into the holiday season. I suspect when people get them and see how bad the photos are, they'll be returning them to Apple. Or like myself, not upgrading.

I realize this review should be for a product I own, but I felt it was important for people to know about the camera before they ordered it. If photos aren't a big deal, and you'll only email them or post them on facebook, then .7 MP is probably fine. If you want to print any of the photos you take, or even have room to crop the photo, you won't get enough resolution to do that.

That being said, the Retina display does look awesome, but is it worth the extra dollars over the price of the 3G model? Only you can decide that.

I hope this helps all of you make a wise decision about your purchase.

08 Sept 2010 Update
Hello everyone. First, I am glad that my raising the above issues helped many of you. Second, for those who lashed out at me, perhaps you should take a look at why you get so angry at a stranger who simply encouraged you to look and think before you buy.

Here's an update.[...] has posted a hands on review of the new iPod Touch. You may want to google it or go to their site to read it.

In summary:
1. Retina display is darker and not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. "Definitely not an iPhone w/o the contract".
2. HD Video is actually pretty good
3. Size is a lot smaller than the 3g, bad if you have normal or large hands, ok for teens and those w/ small hands.
4. Photo quality is much worse than the iPhone. And their posted photos show how much worse. Forget trying to print them and I'd argue not even good for the web based on their samples. No focus or zoom capability either, you can only adjust brightness.

There you go. We are staying w/ our 3g models, there isn't enough here to justify taking a huge loss selling them and buying these new models. And given that the camera and retina display aren't nearly the quality of the iPhone, this is certainly a release we'll sit out.

I hope this has helped.
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94 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A joy to use, September 14, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I wanted an iPhone 4 as soon as it came out; I already had a 2G iPod Touch and loved it. But I can't commit to the contract right now and the full price (outside of contract) version is really beyond my budget. So I made a conscious decision to wait for the iPod Touch, aware that it would probably be a compromise. I pre-ordered it from Apple before it came out in stores. I was expecting to be less happy about some aspects (such as the camera), but knew I'd get used to those, and would probably love the improvements compared to the 2G iPod Touch. I wasn't disappointed. After only a couple of days use I definitely like it a lot.

The screen is glorious. It's so much easier on the eye than the old display. Yes it's not IPS (although this not obvious outside of steep viewing angles). It seems darker than the old display; this is probably because of the higher pixel density. It also has more of a blue tint (a cooler color temperature) but I've heard this is also true of the iPhone. But I got used to these things and it's a joy to look at every time. In spite of the better battery, I think the display sucks more juice, since you have to have it at a brighter setting than before to get the same perceived brightness.

General performance is very smooth. It's definitely faster than previous versions. Things still crash occasionally but that's true of any computer. The bugs from my 2G Touch that appeared after I upgraded to iOS 4.1, that caused Pandora and other audio apps to be unusable, are thankfully gone, as far as I can tell (I since seem to have resolved this issue on the 2G Touch by restoring to factory settings and upgrading to iOS 4.2). Heavy content (such as pdfs and large web pages) can slow it down but this is also true of the iPad.

You have to be careful to get good battery life. The battery has been upgraded so you supposedly get 40 hours of audio rather than 30 h. But if you're new to multitasking, you have to realise that you're going to pay for it in battery life unless you're careful. For example, you can have Skype running in the background and it will receive calls and messages, even if the iPod is locked in your pocket, which is great. However, this makes use of the 'Voice over IP' iOS service, which Skype is constantly running in the background. I think Pandora might do something similar (albeit with a different service). So your battery will drain noticeably (I saw 5-10% drain per hour using iStat with Skype and Pandora backgrounded and the iPod locked). Most apps you see in the multitasking bar do not use these services; Apple calls them 'recently used' apps for a reason; they mostly aren't running.

The volume and power buttons take a bit of getting used to but I ended up preferring them. They feel more solid and have a more definite click to them.

Seriously, for what it is, the back camera is not that bad in spite of the 0.7 MP resolution. In bright daylight it's surprisingly good. It just gets more grainy at night. But they're still quite possible; in a fancier camera you might have to manually increase the exposure time. Don't knock it just because of the pixel count, it's a pretty good camera; my 2 MP camera phone is not that much better. And for taking pics as a record of a fun moment that you can then upload directly to Facebook, I love it, and I use it a lot. That functionality is a big step up from the old iPod Touch, so I'm OK with the low resolution; it's a lot better than no camera at all. And I've managed to get it to read barcodes with apps like the AT&T code scanner. Also, Apple's HDR is not available but I think there are 3rd party apps that will do that.

The speaker is nicer than the old iPod Touch but it could definitely be louder. I tried using it like a phone (with Skype) and it's not really practical; you really need headphones unless there's minimal background noise. But if you're on your own in a room, it's actually fine. Listening to the radio (with ooTunes), it could easily get to a similar level to my clock radio so it was fine.

So, as a pocket computer the 4G Touch rocks. With the retina display and cameras, this feels like a mature product. You might like to wait for possible improvements (such as the camera) in the next version, but as it stands it's still a joy to use. And given you'd have to pay at least another $400 to get the extra features on the iPhone, I think it's a pretty good deal.
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433 of 502 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better In Every Way, September 2, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
---------------------------------Overview------------------------------------------------

The latest iPod Touch from Apple improves on the previous generation in nearly every single way. It does all this without increasing the price one cent (except the 8GB version which increased in price by $30 and is now no longer a hardware generation behind). Bottom line, the iPod Touch continues to be an irresistible device that has no peer on the market right now. Think back even three years and people would simply be amazed at everything the latest iPod Touch can do for only $229. Games in every category, some of which have graphics superior to the PSP or Nintendo DS, news and weather apps, streaming video from your computer or from services like Netflix and Hulu, exercise and weight loss apps, the list goes on and on (and on). While we are starting to see some Android based tablets enter the market, there is nothing in the portable market that comes close to what the iPod can do.

If you really have some problems with some of the iPod Touch's shortcomings (like the camera) and you want access to the Apple App store, you may want to consider just buckling down and getting an iPhone 4 (if you can afford it). However, once you consider the value proposition of the iPhone 4 (total cost of ownership over two year contract $75-85 x 24 + $299) vs. the iPod Touch at $299, you start to understand that some of these drawbacks are not so bad.

---------------------------------CHANGES-------------------------------------------------

Compared to the previous (and well loved) iPod Touch this device:

- replaces the previous processor with the more powerful A4 processor. Expect smooth and fast operation with support for even the most graphically intense iPod Touch games. All other applications will run at top speed, although not dramatically faster than the previous generation.
- is now even thinner. The Ipod Touch is now shockingly thin.
- added a microphone so you don't need a headset to talk to people or use voice control
- doubled the amount of ram so multi-tasking should be a breeze
- has longer battery life | extended audio life by 10 hours (from 30 to 40 hours) and video by 1 hour (from 6 to 7 hours).
- weighs less
- has TWO additional cameras (front facing for video and self-portraits and back for HD video) - the front camera is VGA quality (640x480) and the back camera is a 720P (1280x720) sensor (when used to take pictures that resolution is reduced to 960x720). Samples of the HD video show that this feature was not just "tacked on" and actually looks very good compared to some HD video available on other pocket devices (like the EVO 4G).
- 4 times as many pixels on the screen - Apple is calling this a "retina display" because it has the same dpi (dots per inch) as the iPhone 4. However, the iPod Touch is not using the same IPS display found in the iPhone 4 which means the viewing angles aren't as good. I doubt most users will notice the difference here.
- adds the gyroscope for extra precision with motion based apps (mostly gaming)
- adds support for the faster Wireless "N" standard, which should help when streaming video to your phone or using Facetime to make a video call
- adds a vibrator for alerts, force feedback in gaming, and notifications for voice calling

Cons:

- speaker still sucks - I let my two year watch videos on my iPhone. Thus a crappy speaker is a deal breaker for me because she is too small to use headphones. You can blame the extreme thinness on this one. There simply isn't enough depth to put an iPhone quality speaker in. If I didn't have a two year old I wouldn't consider this a big deal because I rarely use this function otherwise.
- no 5MP camera or LED flash - This is going to be a deal breaker for some who saw the iPhone 4 and started salivating at the thought of the possibility of the same high quality sensor in the iPod Touch. Read my thoughts below for more on this one.
- No GPS chip - you're still stuck with using WiFi signals to determine location, a la the original iPhone. Maybe Garmin or Tom Tom paid them money not to include this feature.

---------------------------Thoughts and Conclusions------------------------------------

Yes, I wanted the camera sensor from the iPhone 4 as well, but the unfortunate reality is that sensor wouldn't fit in the old iPod Touch body and this one is even slimmer! In order to fit the iPhone 4 camera sensor into the iPod Touch, Apple would have had to make this device significantly thicker, which loses one of the big advantages the Touch has had over the iPhone, its size. I might have been willing to make the tradeoff, but obviously Apple wasn't.

Keep in mind that the larger sensor (and LED Flash) adds to the cost of the device as well. Apple added a significant number of features to the iPod Touch and kept the price exactly the same. Something's gotta give here. The 32GB iPhone 4 sells for $700! (AT&T pays Apple the difference when you buy one on contract). I'm sure if people were willing to spend $400 more than the $299 the 32GB iPod Touch sells for they would have a mind blowing sensor in there. I'm actually surprised at how much of the functionality of the iPhone the iPod Touch now replicates, given the huge gap in cost.

Appreciate the fact that you can now record HD video and do video calling over WiFi for the same price as the last model. Or don't buy it. Consider how much you can do on this device compared to other portable gadgets, like the pocket sized Flip Video Camera, which costs more than $100+ and does nothing other than video, or even the ZUNE HD, which is a great device, but lacks compatibility with the hundreds of thousands of Apps that turn the iPod Touch into a pocket computer.

I'm waiting for something to come along to blow away the iPod Touch, but that device just doesn't exist. All things considered, this device is a 4.5/5, which I round up to 5 because Amazon doesn't do half stars. This device won't be for everyone, but then again, no device is. For a great majority of users, this is product is nothing short of gadget heaven.
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69 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does a lot Device, September 6, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
The iPod touch 4th generation was introduced on Sep 1 2010. There are a few substantial upgrades in comparison to the 2009 iPod touch detailed below.

UPGRADES

A 1ghz A4 processor - faster and more energy efficient than the 2009 model

960-by-640 resolution backlit 3.5 inch LCD ("Retina") display - 4 x increase in resolution over the 2009 model's 480 by 320 pixel resolution screen.

Three-axis gyroscope - useful for gaming and motion controlled applications.

Dual cameras
Camera 1 is a 640 x 480 resolution frontal camera for video chat (through Wi-Fi networks but limited to video chats only between iPhone 4's and the iPod touch 4th generation through the Facetime app)

Camera 2 is a 1280 x 720 resolution rear camera for recording 720P HD video - limited to 960 x 720 resolution for photos which is extremely low. However the 720P video quality is good enough.

In Built microphone - Useful for voice and video chat ("Facetime") and voice and video recording.

Longer battery life by 33% - it now lasts for 40 hours for listening to music and 7 hours for playing videos - (2009 iPod touch was 30 hours of music playback and 6 hours of video playback)

802.11b/g/n wireless (2009 iPod touch was only 802.11b/g capable)

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This is a capable upgrade, with the video chat capability "FACETIME" being the flagship feature of the 4th generation iPod touch. You can use either of the two cameras( rear or frontal ) to talk to people over a wi-fi connection. This makes it a great communication tool if you're sitting at home and want to talk to someone without having to go through the motions of turning on your laptop etc etc. The Facetime videochat app also allows you to video chat between other iPhone 4 and 4th generation iPod touch devices as well as Apple computer products.

The iPod touch as a portable audio player is still a great device. The sound quality output is good, when heard through earphones or speakers although it also depends on what bit-rate you encode your audio files at.

In terms of value for money, the 32gb iPod touch hits the sweet spot, for $299 (70$ more than the $229 8gb iPod touch), you get 4 times the storage capacity. The 64gb iPod touch costs $399 which is 100$ more than the $299 32gb but only doubles the storage capacity.

If you own a 3rd generation iPod touch, you could if you like, skip this years model , since the memory capacity of the 2010 models are the same as the 2009 models which is 8gb for $229(price increase by $30), 32gb for $299 and 64gb for $399.

For new users and potential buyers, the 4th generation iPod touch is is a great multipurpose device. You can do a lot with it such as

Listen to music
Record audio
Record videos
Watch videos
Video chat
Check your email
Manage your schedule
Check stock prices
Surf the Web
Use it as a mouse or remote control (after downloading Apple's remote app or Logitech's touch mouse app)
Play games

And much more. Various applications can also be purchased for it through the iTunes app store to expand it's capabilities. Some of the new upgrades are compelling features which definitely add value to the product.

Sure, the quality/resolution of the still camera is extremely low so you'll still need to carry around a dedicated camera with you if you want to take pictures, but then again, no one said it's a "do it all device" but it's definitely a "does a lot" device. Recommended if you're in the market for a new multipurpose multimedia device.

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Some points to be aware of before you purchase an iPod touch.

All three 2010 iPod touch models share the same technical specifications (1 ghz processor, "Retina Display", Dual Cameras, in built microphone etc.The only difference between the 3 models is the memory capacity.)

It's a great portable device for surfing the web. But it doesn't support Adobe Flash.

The still camera of the iPod touch captures extremely low resolution still photos

Apple also no longer includes the inline remote and mic headphones with any of the iPod touch models (they did last year with the 32gb and 64gb models) and now bundles the basic headphones with the iPod touch. So you'll have to spend $30 or more if you want earbuds with an inline remote and mic.

The price of the 8GB iPod touch has also gone up by $30 - from $199 to $229.

The iPod touch has a built in battery - as all iPod's do since the first generation. So only Apple can replace the battery when it is depleted. And they charge approximately $79 to do so which is 26% of the price of a 32gb iPod.

Apple also charges a flat price for any out of warranty repairs to your iPod touch - which ranges from $99 for the 8gb model to $149 (50% of the cost)for the 32gb model to $199 (50% of the cost) for the 64gb model. So if anything goes wrong with your iPod touch once the 1 year warranty is over, those are the repair charges you will have to pay, unless you have AppleCare Protection Plan for iPod touch/classic for the iPod - which extends your iPod touch warranty for one more year after the 1 year warranty ends.

I've posted the above points not to dissuade anyone from purchasing an iPod touch but to provide information that customers may not be aware of (such as cost of battery replacement or out of warranty repair prices)

Hope this helps!
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60 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wafer thin, 2 Cameras, better Wifi and better sound!, September 18, 2010
By 
Alan "Choklat Luvr" (Sanford, FL, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I got my 64G Touch 4G last week -- I finally got my wish, the Touch gets not one, but two cameras! That makes up for last year's disappointing 3G release.

First impressions: wow, this is so thin and small -- makes my 3rd gen look a bit like a bulky oaf in comparison. Second impression: hey, this doesn't look like my iPhone 4 at all!

A bit about me: I'm an MP3 diehard fanatic, I own or have owned almost every MP3 player of note. To name a few: iPod Touch 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gen, iPod Classic, iPod Nano, Zune HD, Archos Android, 5, 605, 604, and so forth. I have a broad basis for comparison as I write my review.

Down to brass tacks then, what do I love about my new Touch:

1) Retina display -- Wow! That's a lot of pixels in a small space, the crispness and clarity of text and video is simply awesome.
2) Slim form factor -- this is thinner and narrower than last years model. Its compact, easily fits in a pocket, while still having a little weight to give that quality feel.
3) iTunes and the App Store -- still one of Apple's strongest features. iTunes continues to be the best interface for music, video and app purchases. While Zune Marketplace and Android are strong contenders, they aren't quite there yet.
4) Easy upgrades -- the iOS upgrade system is as smooth as it gets, just plug it into iTunes and it happens smoothly and seamlessly.
5) Dedicated power and volume buttons.
6) Cool user interface -- possibly the best user interface although Zune and Android are also strong.
7) Apps -- without question the Apps are the Touch and iPhone strongest feature, the most Apps and the best Apps.
8) Accessories, accessories -- you just can't beat the easy availability and diversity of accessories available for iPod Touch. Its good to be at the top!
9) Multitasking (or multi-what?) -- finally we have multitasking on an MP3 player! Ok, maybe I'm just a geek and nobody else cares... just a little tip: double click your home button to see what has been running in the background and sucking up your battery!
10) External speaker -- improved quality since 3rd gen. Nice when you don't want to put on headphones to listen to a podcast or something.
11) Cameras -- the only MP3 player I've ever had that can do facetime, take pictures, and record videos!
12) Improved Wifi -- connects easily to my WPA secured U-Verse router, my 3rd gen can't do it. Makes this a good "small iPad" if that's what you're looking for.
13) Improved sound -- its getting pretty good now, still not the best available but definitely better than 3rd gen was. I would say the sound quality has moved from 3 star to 4 stars now.

And then the things I don't love so much:
1) Where is the Dedicated play button??? Does anybody else think that this is like the most important thing for an MP3 player? Makes it hard to pause the music when somebody comes up and wants to talk to you. The trick I found is to unplug the headphones which pauses the music automatically!
2) Removable battery? -- I'm just going to keep saying this til somebody at Apple hears me. It costs like $100 to get the battery replaced which is ridiculous.
3) A/V docking station? -- Again, why doesn't Apple have a decent docking station? Both Zune and Archos have very nice docks for their products.

All in all, my issues with the iPod Touch are pretty trivial. It continues to be the best all around MP3 player type unit available today -- hence the 5 stars. With the addition of Retina display, cameras, faster CPU, better sound and wifi, and slimmer packaging the Touch is still the one to beat.

Note: If what you really care about is sound quality I would recommend the Sony Walkman X. If you want something that sounds great on big speakers, has a bigger screen, and a high capacity hard drive, then I recommend the Archos 5 with Android.
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75 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT'S A MEDIA PLAYING DEVICE, NOT A PROFESSIONAL CAMERA!, September 19, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I am going to start off addressing some of the most common complaints that I have read about this device:

1. For those of you that are SO upset about the cameras not being pro-grade, please quit your whining and research a product before you buy it to make sure it's what you want. The iPod touch is a MEDIA PLAYING device and that is what it was created to do best (and it is very good at that). The fact that it now possesses cameras is a pure bonus.

2. Yes, the Retina display has to be viewed straight on rather than strange angles, but why are you trying to view it at strange angles in the first place? This isn't meant to be like a home theater device that people can view from around the room, this is meant for personalized use.

3. Awww, you can't use the built-in speaker to listen to music across the room in a busy room...IT'S LESS THAN A QUARTER OF AN INCH THICK and was meant to be used with headphones for a pure musical experience. People seem to be losing sight of the fact that the iPods are an MP3 player first and foremost. If you want to fill your room with music, GET A STEREO!

Now that I have addessed the complaints that have irked me the most, I will now discuss some of the pros of this device:

1. The Retina display is a definite upgrade over previous models. Reading iBooks and surfing the web looks very nice.

2. The processor is a MAJOR upgrade over previous devices. The combination of the new processor and the Retina display truly takes gaming on this thing to a new level. I play Madden quite a bit, and it hasn't lagged at all and the motions are a lot more realistic than they were on my last iPod touch.

3. Yeah, you can't take pro-grade photographs with this thing, but who cares! It serves the great purpose of taking photos and uploading them to the internet, or just taking fun little snapshots messing around.

In conclusion, there are 3 main points I would like to make while wrapping this up:

1. Use common sense and research this product before you blindly buy it so you are SURE it is what you want it to be. This is first and foremost a media consumption device and is great in that aspect.

2. If you want the quality of the iPhone 4 for less than half the price of the device without a contract, GET REAL! If you want that quality of a device, shell out the $700 instead of $300.

3. If you do buy this device, enjoy the best portable media player in existance.

Thank you for reading and I hope this review gave perspective and clarity.
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