Apple iPod nano 8 GB Black (4th Generation)  (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Used & New from: $49.90
Is the 4th Generation Nano battery life really that bad? Was thinking of buying one for use on the airplane and gym (mostly for audio, not much if any video). I have gone through a Mini, 1st Generation Nano, 30GB Classic, and now wanted a newer 16GB Nano. But my big concern is the reviews with poor battery life. Any chance a newer firmware update has fixed or helped this "issue"? I had a 32GB Touch, but returned it unopened because of the size and cost. Plus I am planning on getting an iPhone late this year and figured it was almost redundant. So pretty sure I want the Nano, just concered about the battery life. Any ideas?
asked by Blade2000 on January 4, 2009
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I just got the 16GB for Christmas. After reading all the battery posts, the first thing I did was charge it fully, then play it until the battery died. I got 20+ hours. I think a lot has to do with how often the screen is "lit". If you're constantly shuffling through, picking songs, adjusting volume etc. i think one would get less life than just playing it like I did (the screen was black most of the time since I wasn't adjusting anything). And of course, i would expect video or games to kill the battery even quicker. That would be a good test, play a video straight through and see the life. I don't have any videos loaded, so I can't really test that.
R. Gaver answered on January 17, 2009
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Sorry to say, in my experience, yes, it really is! It is so bad, in fact, that even though I can not return it with my receipt, because more than 30 days have passed, I may try to plead with Apple to let me trade it in for some credit on a Classic, if Classic batteries are any better.
My 4th gen Nano is only a couple of months old, and I have not used it much. I have not tried to do any scientific testing, but it seems to me, that my nano needs more time charging, than the battery provides. It seems to take at least a couple of hours to charge the battery 100%, and when my battery is fully charged, I seem to have about 90 minutes of life, using the nano to play sudoku, and not even using earphones.
So in my experience, the battery is completely horrible, and even though I am pretty happy with everything else about it, the horrible battery is pretty much a deal~breaker, in that I am thinking I can not be happy with this nano, and I will need to find a player with much, much, much better battery life.
nanonano answered on January 6, 2009
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I received a 4th Generation for Christmas and have no trouble with batterylife. I often listen to audiobooks as well as listening at work. I don't have a charging station at work and can usually go at least 2 full working days (8 hour days) without charging.
D. Richards answered on January 10, 2009
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I just purchased a 16GB Nano (will post a full review soon), and I believe the battery issues have only affected a small number of users. My wife has had one for a few months and regularly can get over 20 hours on it before having to recharge it. When I got mine, two weeks ago, the first thing I did after a fully charging it, was to stick it in a drawer and play it until it quit (this was also to break in some new headphones).

I turned the brightness up on the screen, set the volume to the max, and turned off the energy saver feature. I got about 21 hours on it before it turned off. Since then, I have used it days on end without needing a recharge.

While owners with battery problems have my sympathy, I believe only a small number are actually affected. I would encourage any new owner that is worried about battery life, to run a similar test, and run it as hard as possible for a couple of weeks. If you're going to have problems, it will probably happen in that period, and it does have a one-year warranty on it! And if happens within a 30-day period (I think?), you can return it directly to Amazon.

But honestly, I think you will be okay. They sell too many of these for it to be a widespread issue.
Mac Tech answered on January 30, 2009
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Heres some sdvice because ive had back experiences with mine too. I had my ipod replaced for this reason, but with the same model. i love the device, but the problem with the battery isn't so much that it just can't go very long, its that its EXTREMELY, and i mean EXTREMELY, sensitive to activity. Yes it is a deal breaker and it sucks that it is that way, but the nano isn"t incapable of holding charge. The screen is most defenitely the biggest power hog, and because of that i find that the best way to resolve the issue is to not toy around with the nano so much. utilize genius on itunes and the shake to shuffle feature so the ipod can use its energy in the most efficient way it can, and thats with out interruption. if you have a list of songs that you can listen to without manually changing them every 4 minutes the ipod seriously will go hours on end. and another tip that always works no matter what the electronic device... lithium ion batteries always last longer when you give them the chance to run through a full cycle. use the ipod until it dies instead of sticking it on the computer every night to replenish the missing 25% of charge. the battery will never utilize its full potential if you never give it a chance after all
antibambi answered on March 18, 2009
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The battery may perform much better for audio only. It is great lightweight, and good for the gym, because its solid-state memory is unaffected by any movement or shocks as far as I hear. If you wait awhile you may be able to get a good deal on a used one, I don't know. It may be a good thing, if you can get one for a lower price somehow. I am thinking that maybe the battery works horribly for me, because I had been using it to play video games, with the screen on a bright setting. I was not using headphones, and thought that would help the battery, but I guess not. I should charge it up, and use it just for audio, to see how long it will last; maybe not too bad for audio only, I don't know yet. But for playing video games with the screen on a bright setting, for me, it is less than 2 hours battery life. I should look into other reviews. Where did you see the other reviews of poor battery life? I also should buy a wall charger, in case the Apple~supplied usb charging cable is somehow providing an inferior charge to the battery. But again, I am not sure at all if that will help, just something I may try.
nanonano answered on January 6, 2009
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fannie lou, sounds like you got a lemon. I'd return if it was me. And regardless would return it since you already have docking systems. The charging issue is a known one, if you have older docking systems, it may likely not work. New docking systems will most likely work. That does suck. My attitude is that the Nano 4th gen is great for first time ipod users like myself (who will buy new docking stations anyway), not so good for existing users.
R. Gaver answered on February 2, 2009
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Good test Mac Tech. It seems similar to what I and others have done. I agree that the battery issues are likely a small percentage of users.

I still think, regardless of turning the volume up, energy saver off etc. that it depends on how often people are actively adjusting the volume, pausing, fast forwarding, changing playlists etc. Putting it down (as you and I did) and not having the screen activate will likely give very long battery life. With those same settings, but making the screen brighten up every 15 minutes or so is probably going to decrease battery life.

Just using my personal experiments, it's much the same with cellphones. Calling someone and simply talking may give me e.g. 4 straight hours of talk time. But if I am constantly dialing, sorting through to find numbers, texting etc. (which all light up the screen), the battery won't make it 4 straight hours.

I'd be curious what you and my experiments would look like if we made the screen light up every 5-10 minutes or so. I'm pretty anal so maybe I'll do this some weekend when I have nowhere to go. Who knows.

Again, just my personal observations. I'm no A/V battery expert.
R. Gaver answered on January 31, 2009
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No, the battery life is only short when your messing around on the menu, but when your listening to music and NOTHING else, it's a whole different story. One time I was listening to music at night, fell asleep, woke up in the morning and there was only HALF the batttery life. It was fully charged at night, so there is about 20 hr. of music listening time, or whatever you call it. Anywho, there's to many kids on Amazon that treat there things poorly, get on the computer, and type a bad review about it. I think the new ipod nano is awesome and has good battery life.
Ian Monnin answered on February 25, 2009
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Many of the reviews here on Amazon mention poor battery life. I would use it for the gym and on the plane. My concern is I am often on the plane 2+ hours so a 2 hour battery life would not be good for me. Not sure how many games I would be playing so purely for audio purposes it might be OK. I would go with a 2nd or 3rd generation Nano, but I am repalcing a 30GB iPod and going down to 4 or 8GB is not preferred. I am OK with 16GB, but no less so I think I still might choose this model. I originalyl had the Touch but I am lookign to get an iPhone later this year so I decided to return the Touch.
Blade2000 answered on January 6, 2009
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