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on October 14, 2012
The latest iPod Nano is an update to the current state of the art in ultra-compact music players and it represents incremental but important improvements over its predecessors with only a few minor trade-offs. I'm convinced it represents a substantial functional upgrade for most users.

Its major advantage, in my opinion, is actually its slightly-larger size in comparison to the 5th generation. Although the smaller form factor of the previous Nano was remarkable for its extreme compactness, it actually made the device somewhat cumbersome to use. Its touch-screen was too susceptible to unintended inputs and it couldn't be easily held in one hand while manipulating its controls. Attempts to control it via screen-input while clipped onto one's clothing tended to be futile: you'd need to un-clip the device, then hold it in one hand and manipulate its touch-screen with the other. While the tiny size and convenient clip made it practically disappear while in use, it could be an ergonomic nightmare to actually interact with.

The new Nano is still tiny but much better for one-handed use. My index finger comfortably sits on the three-way volume/play/pause button (itself a major improvement) while my thumb has easy access to the sleep/wake button, the home button and the improved, larger, multi-touch-enabled screen. This easy one-handed control has the significant practical advantage of not requiring the interruption of my activities to switch, for example, between podcasts, music playlists and FM radio.

Other improvements follow logically from the Nano's new shape. The screen's larger proportions allow all the main "apps" to show up on a single home screen, so less fiddling is typically required for switching. Videos and photos become practical on a screen of these proportions, so it's perfectly reasonable to load some viewable content in addition to the audio content that will no doubt remain the Nano's main reason for existence. With few pixels, photos take up very little memory. The screen has neither the stunning colors nor the retina resolution of the premium iDevices, but photos still show up crisply and become the modern equivalent of the now-obsolete "wallet"-sized photos people used to carry. Video content is surprisingly usable as long as you can set the Nano in a viewable position - for example, on a cardio machine at the gym. The Nano supports rotation, so displaying the beautiful panos you've made with your new iPhone is simply a matter of rotating the device to the horizontal and then looking very, very closely. Maybe bring a magnifying glass.

More important for most people, the new Nano is an improved device for playing music. The "Home" button is a good antidote to the common experience of getting lost in the old Nano's sometimes-inscrutable layers of touch screens, bringing you immediately back to the home screen without interfering with playback. An even bigger practical improvement is the addition of the play/pause button on the volume control, a feature lifted from the (now unfortunately absent) remote-equipped earphones of many previous iPods. It's worth a few minutes' time to familiarize yourself with this button's very clever functions: click to play or to pause, double-click for next track, triple-click for previous track (even when in shuffle mode), double-click-and-hold for cueing (great for skipping forward in podcasts), and so on. Most routine playback functions are accessible through this simple and very welcome interface and can be accomplished while diverting little attention from whatever you're otherwise engaged in.

The list of major upgrades doesn't end there. The inclusion of Bluetooth will make the Nano usable, for the first time, with many car audio systems and also with wireless Bluetooth headsets and remote Bluetooth speaker systems. The FM radio is much better than I would have imagined if I hadn't used the previous Nano, with legitimately excellent reception and a very nice interface that lets you select unlimited numbers of "presets." I've used small portable radios in the past, and maybe there are some other good ones out there, but the ones I've experienced have been terrible. I'm personally still attached to FM, and this level of FM quality would make the Nano a terrific device even if it did nothing else.

In general I find the new Nano to be a beautiful, nearly-flawless little piece of practical technology that can do things which, not that long ago, I would not have expected to be possible within my lifetime. While it's not inexpensive, it has real life-improving potential for people who love music or who want to remain portably connected to a world of podcasted information. Being smaller than a credit card in two of three dimensions, it fits easily into the smallest pocket. While jaded consumers of technology can claim it's a mere incremental improvement over its predecessors, I prefer to see it as an instance of exceptional, practical, functional design in a world full of cheap junk that too often disappoints or fails to function altogether. While I have a few nitpicks (below), none of them significantly diminish its overall excellence. It earns every star.


- There are a few disappointments and drawbacks:

--- The Ear Pods that come with the device sound good overall but don't have the remote function included with many iDevice earphones in recent years. While the new Nano has a hardware button that mimics that function, the corded remote is often more accessible, making pause/play and track-change functions instantly available even if the device is buried in a pocket. A decent set of Apple-compatible remote-equipped earphones would be a nice addition.

--- This latest Nano eliminates the useful integrated clip featured by the last (6th generation) Nano, making it more a pocket device. Its thin-ness and Bluetooth support compensates for this: the old Nano's clip made it slightly cumbersome in a pocket, as it could catch on things and added significantly to the device's thickness. Nevertheless the previous generation remains the ultimate for portability and, while thicker and slightly wider, weighs around 1/3 less than the latest model.

--- The white screen-surround on the colored Nanos doesn't look all that great in my opinion. It does give the Nanos a clean, friendly look, but to my eyes black would be a better choice and would contrast sharply with the bright colors and icons. I chose the boring but still attractive "slate" (black) model, which does have a black screen-surround.

--- I would like more flexibility in some of the settings: for example, the ability to keep the screen "on" longer, even indefinitely, before it sleeps. As it is, the screen goes dark so quickly I'm often still in the middle of fiddling with whatever I'm working on and have to re-wake the screen to continue. The previous-generation Nano was similar.

--- The previous 6th-gen Nano enjoyed an unintended popularity as a watch, mainly with kids, who seemed to love using it for this purpose. It had lots of clock faces to choose from and could be set to default to the clock when waked from sleep (as can the current model). The new Nano gives up the prospect of practical wrist-wearability. It also features fewer clock faces and only a few background options, all color-matched to the device, none of which is customizable. Perhaps this helps contribute to a lean OS and optimize the device's storage space. Whatever the case, the new Nano is not a watch, nor a clock, although it will accurately show you the time and it still has a useful stopwatch and countdown-timer.

- The Lightning connector is functionally far better than competing connector types such as Micro-USB and a clear improvement over the old style. The previous-generation Nano was nearly dwarfed by its connector, and it's easy to see that retaining that oversized monstrosity (as it will seem to have been, within a year or two) would have precluded the current positioning of the Home button on the new device, among other drawbacks.

- The Nano is still not an iOS device: internet connectivity and wireless- or Cloud-syncing remain in the future. This makes sense: a Nano is likely to be away from a wifi signal much of the time it's used, and cellular capability hardly seems reasonable. If you're looking for a do-it-all device, a smart phone remains a much more versatile (but cumbersome) alternative. The Nano is fundamentally optimized to function as a stand-alone audio player. Pandora will have to wait.

- Why not simply use a smart phone for music playback and podcasts? Well, you could - but the Nano has some significant advantages. Its size makes it much easier to carry while active, or while working around the house or in the garage. Its dedicated intelligent play/pause button makes interfacing with audio playback much simpler. And at least among Apple devices it is the only one to offer FM radio, which it does very well. These tend to be very important differences in day-to-day use and can easily justify its purchase price as a separate device.
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on December 29, 2012
I got the new Ipod Nano 7 to replace my Ipod Nano 4. (The 4 was getting pretty beat up, and the battery was going downhill after 3 years.)

I had an iPod Nano 6, temporarily before selling it off to my brother who put his Nano 4 through the washer/dryer.

Good things:

The screen on the 7 is a lot nicer/easier to use than the screen on the 6 because of the improvement of size.

The various combinations of ways to hit the Play/Pause button to change tracks is clever and easy to understand.

The lightning connect is very nice. It can be inserted either way, so there's no upside down.

The earpods have a nice fit. (I have smallish ears.)

The engraving offered on Apple's online store looks really nice. (I got my name so nobody can say it's not mine.)

Not as good things:

The volume/play/pause button may get pushed while in your pocket. I liked how the nano 6 had the volume button on the top, but that might not work as well with the larger button.

On the Nano 4, the setting allowed you to choose which things showed up on your Main Menu or Music menu, the 7 doesn't let you have that so you may have a bunch of pointless lists (I.e. composer, compilations)

As far as I can figure, you can't customize your background, it has a few options that match your ipod color.

You will have to buy a 30pin converter to make your nano 7 work with any speakers (or wait until Apple makes their own.)

There are earpods included with your ipod nano, but not earpods with a remote/mic. That's stupid. Clever, but stupid.

For some reason, my headphones don't seem to go in all the way into the port. You still have sound, but it sticks out more than the Ipod nano 4.
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on October 13, 2012
My new nano arrived with FedEx yesterday after a long grueling trip from China. This is my first new nano since my 2nd Generation unit -- which has a lot of miles on it and which still works great. The reason I purchased this one was because I know the clock's ticking on "old reliable". Candidly, I checked out generation numbers 3 through 6 as they were released and dismissed them all for a variety of reasons. I had hopes that this one would make the necessary change fairly painless. I've only had it for a day so, for the most part, the jury's still out. First, though, let me say that I use my nano mostly for working out. It would seem that Apple has finally admitted that most nanos are bought exactly for that specific purpose. Let the iPod Touch have all the bells and whistles for those who want them. Keep the nano task-oriented!

So far, I'm most impressed with the new earphones. They fit very well and I suspect I'll have no problem jogging with them in place. I'm concerned, however, that they're going to let in a lot of ambient gym noise as they don't fit snuggly. I do like the sound quality though.

The radio also impresses me. It works well and my favorite stations come in clear as a bell.

The new nano also supports videos. I can't address that feature because I know I'm unlikely to use it. (Who wants to watch a video on a 2.25" screen?)

The unit is light (perhaps too light), thin and attractive. It's surprisingly "slippery" to hold, however.

My biggest issue: There's almost nothing you can do with it that doesn't require both hands. Hence, the title to my review. Note to Apple: Go back to the 2nd generation unit, enhance its storage capacity, and give us back our click wheel. High quality, one-handed music is what this niche market really wants!
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on October 23, 2012
Other reviews did a good job describing other features which work super well, so I will only cover the Nike Fitness and Bluetooth to avoid redundancy.

Pros: This nano has all required Nike Fitness components in one unit. No more need for pods on or in your shoes. Yes it even works on a treadmill and tracks Very accurately. Starting out the Nike Fitness, You can select a run by distance, time, or calorie count. During your run, it pauses the music and with a sweet sounding easily understood friendly female voice, gives you a quick update on your distance, then continues to play your playlist. This I found very cool. If you press the top sleep button while running with Nike fitness, it gives you the time, distance and current pace. I tracked this feature and compared it with my Garmin GPS watch and they tracked fairly well out of the box and only improved with multiple calibrations after I completed my run. The more you calibrate it, the more it learns and gets closer to accurate.

1)There is one Huge Fail however. The manual suggests placing it at your waist to use the Nike Fitness. Most runners are waiting for a quality workable armband which I believe would compromise this feature based on the how it works. I will test it on my next run. It seems that the Apple engineers aren't runners. This I believe may be a fail for this feature since it is geared toward runners and runners infrequently wear their ipod at their waist, especially because this Nano lacks a clip. I, however, placed my iPod in my Spi-belt which is a small flexible runner's pouch wrapping around the waist. It is a tiny fanny pack for keys, ipods and such. Remember though, it needs to be at your waist, so finding that button while running when it is enclosed in a pocket proves challenging as well.
2)My other concern is that Bluetooth connected to a stereo headset wouldn't work when it is at the waist. Most reviewers and user manuals of higher end sport stereo Bluetooth headphones state that they were required to place their Bluetooth player on their sleeve in order to get uninterrupted playback. My question to the engineers is-since the iPod cannot be at the waist and sleeve simultaneously will i be able to wear a stereo Bluetooth headset and use Nike Fitness at the same time? I would love to get into the minds of the engineers on this one.

I was also successful with Bluetooth connection with my car. It works, but some features are lost compared to when I sync it directly to the radio via USB. With Bluetooth, I no longer can use my voice activated song or artist request which Ford vehicle SYNC systems have. I would instead have to search on my iPod for my favorite song while driving. That isn't a safe option, therefore not making Bluetooth syncing with my car stereo desirable for me. Also, tag information isn't displayed on my car's stereo while using Bluetooth. Perhaps, a car other than Ford has these features.

I am curious about the Bluetooth connectivity with stereo headsets while running. If anyone has success with this feature and where you placed their iPod to maintain connectivity, and quality of sound reply to this thread.
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on November 1, 2013
As a fanatic of all things Apple, it pains me to say that I vacillate between loathing and merely hating this device.

This replaced an iPod Nano 2nd Generation which performed flawlessly for many thousands of hours.

If one were physically inert, or had an iPod Porter to walk 10 paces behind while carrying the iPod with an extra long earbud cord in a crystal box, this might be a fine device. Unfortunately, neither of those conditions apply, and the device is subject to moderate movement. Given that one of the features is the Nike Fitness app, one might think the nano was designed to operate properly even while being jiggled a bit. One would be wrong.

There is no lock on the nano, and the touch screen is way too sensitive, which results in the it switching gears and playing whatever it wants, anytime it wants. (Yes, I know the button on top is supposed to turn the screen off as a pseudo lock, but there is nothing to prevent that from un-"locking").

I carry the nano in my front pants pocket, because that is what suits my clothes and my activities. About every third step or so, I will have apparently jostled the touch screen into activity, and jostled some icon other than what I was listening to. Sometimes it will start shuffling the chapters of an audio book; sometimes it will switch from the music playlist to some random podcast; sometimes it will switch to the radio; sometimes it will turn itself off completely. Etc., Etc. With only very moderate movement it will not continue playing what it was set to play.

I listen mostly to audiobooks. Given nano's propensity to randomize chapters of any given book, I spend a lot of time scrubbing the playhead to find where I was before nano decided I should listen to something else. There is a cluster of functions within about a millimeter of the playhead on the touchscreen. I have small hands, and I cannot adjust the playhead without inadvertently engaging at least one of the other functions. Somebody with big fingers would be totally out of luck. Inevitably I will spend several minutes re-finding my place in a book, only to discover that I've accidentally set it to play at double speed, or reset the shuffle option, or something. There is plenty of real estate available, and Apple should have physically separated these functions to make it possible to select only what is desired. As it is, the aggravation factor is off the charts for what should be very simple task.

The battery life is poor. I suspect this is at least partly a result of the ever decreasing physical size. Smaller units require a smaller battery. As I am able to charge the nano every day, this is a compromise I can live with. However, if one were traveling or otherwise disconnected from a constant charging source, this could be an issue.

The only thing preventing this from being a near perfect device is a lock ensuring it would play only what it was told to play, and when to play it. The need to scrub throughout the playhead would largely be eliminated. Without a lock, it is a major failure.
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on December 11, 2014
So far nothing wrong with the product. However when I called Apple for support and gave them the serial number I find it was originally purchased in 2006. So the warranty on it is no good. Where does it say that in the ad??? I actually purchased it through Amazon a couple of months ago. So what's the deal?
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on March 21, 2013
I use my iPod primarily for audiobooks. I thought this would be a great replacement for my broken iPod classic. What a mistake! The nano LOOKS awesome and appears slick and modern, but I found the touchscreen very difficult to use with my fingers and it did not handle audiobooks that well.

First, the setup. Like most iPod's transferring books and media is easy. You just plug it into a machine running iTunes and it syncs up. Sound quality was good.

Now, the bad news. After I hooked it up and began stroll I selected an audiobook and went walking. The interface for listening to audiobooks is not user friendly. The audiobooks show up in 'chapter' form, rather than as a continuous book I can fast forward and reverse through. There is a way to access a mini view of the classic ff/rew feature, however, it is too tiny. Annoying. Further, the touchscreen buttons to fast forward and reverse and pause are too close to the buttons for volume control and are easily clicked by mistake. It is tough to use the buttons without a stylus, which I refuse to use while hiking. For some inexplicable reason, the iPod would lose my place in the book, and finding it again, by using the reverse and fast forward feature took too much time. The battery drains quickly, and I was disappointed to notice that after less than an hour of use it had drained a lot of it's juice. Finally, the touch screen interface is not customizable, and somewhat redundant. There is both a touchscreen volume control and a manual volume control. I would prefer one or the other.

I returned mine to Target for a refund, and the clerk was not surprised, he said it was a piece of junk. Wish I'd known that before I bought it.


Looks attractive
Sound quality good.


Battery drains too quickly
Difficult to use with audiobooks
Fast forward too close to volume control
Found it lost my place with my audiobook
Difficult to fast forward, pause, and move about
Thumb was sore after single days use
Redundant on-screen buttons (there is already a physical volume control)
No classic audiobook interface
Difficult to access standard fast forward controls without stylus
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on October 7, 2014
Do not buy this particular product. I recently ordered this and received it. I believe it's a reconditioned Ipod, not new. It came with a message that it might need reformatted. Also, the usb cord that was included WAS NOT a genuine Apple product. It did not work...did not charge the ipod. The cable was noticably thinner than a genuine Apple cable. The Ipod itself did work fine for the short 2 day period that I used it, but who knows if I had kept it longer......
I love Apple products and won't buy another one without being very sure of authenticity!
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on November 18, 2014
Just got my nano and plugged it into my computer, it says it's micheal's ipod. New ipods dont come with the name "micheal's ipod."

The product description makes it clear that this product is supposed to be BRAND NEW but the ipod I received obviously isnt. This product is different from what is advertised. I recommend to anyone looking to buy a nano to buy it off the apple website. Its the same price more or less and will actually be new.

I am going to run some tests to see how old the nano I received is, and how much it has been used. If it is in relatively new condition I will most likely keep it. If I decide to return it I will update this review.

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on August 20, 2014
I had a Nano that I bought 8 years ago. The battery finally died. The seventh generation model has a lot of upgrades like the radio and the fitness app. I also love the compact size. This little gadget totally fits my needs.
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