Most helpful positive review
319 of 347 people found the following review helpful
I love this little guy
on September 26, 2010
All anyone has to do is Google '6th Gen Nano review', and they will see a plethora of seemingly identical reviews blasting the newest generation of Nano for being so radically different from the previous models. I can sum up almost all of the negative reviews in one grammatically horrible sentence: features were removed, one has to look at the screen to operate the player rather than use the click wheel, no more camera/video recording, no more support for watching video, and yet it still costs the same as the older Nano. These are all pretty true statements, however, what people are failing to understand is that this is a completely new product- many of the so-called failings in these reviews are by comparison and really have little to do with the merits of the new Nano itself. I think it would be easy to counter most of the arguments that you see in these reviews, and it's amazing how so many of them are written by people who have not really used one of these Nanos, by suggesting that they spend the extra $50 or so dollars for the newest ipod touch which can take pictures, videos, has apps and games, all on a much bigger screen- albeit on a much larger device. Most of the negative reviews have made it clear that having a larger device is preferable to less features, and thus, I think the ipod touch would suit the critics much better than the tiny little marvel of technology that is this newest Nano. Besides, the line between the ipod Touch and Nano, with regards to both their price and size, have been steadily converging for years, and Apple must have realized this. So instead of another device that attempts to be the cheaper alternative to Touch, Apple has developed something new, the 6th Gen Nano. This new Nano is an extremely portable device which has attempted to combine some of the best audio features and touch screen controls of the Touch, with a form factor that is as small as the previous generation of shuffle. The result is a terrific combination of functionality and compactness that is unbelievably small, usable, and fun to use. And the sound is fantastic too (for an iPod).
So instead of making the same old review as the critics, please allow me to introduce the Nano from the standpoint of someone who has never used the previous generations of Nano. First of all, the things that attracted me the most were the size and the screen. The size is obviously perfect for heading out for a jog, and it's probably no coincidence that it has nearly the same size and shape as the previous Shuffle. I have an ipod touch, and honestly, I don't want to take a $400 device to the gym or into the classroom (I'm a teacher) only to have it disappear from my desk. The small size allows me to wear the Nano on a watchband, something that I would not do with the larger Touch and something that would've looked absurd with the 5th Gen. Nano. As a matter of fact, the Nano has a nice little clock display that makes for a nice watch if you wear it on the watchband. Additionally, I am one of those people who find small technology absolutely fascinating- the smaller, shinier and complicated it is, the more I love it. This Nano is a dream come true, it's a postage stamp sized touch, sans movies. But really, who would buy a media player to watch a movie on a 1.54 inch screen- in this respect I think Apple respects the intelligence of its customers by not trying to market this as a product that would obviously fail at that task.
The screen is great because of the controls- I love the touch controls on my Touch, it's what I'm used to, so I don't have this expectation of finding a scroll wheel on the front. The screen allows for a functional combination of display and control on such a small device. It has a very nice, bright display with high resolution and the touch control is very snappy with absolutely no lag or delay. Some people have stated that the screen is too small to be useful- I would have agreed had I bought this for watching movies or looking at pictures. However, as mentioned earlier, one could get a slightly more expensive Touch for those features and a much larger screen. Many of the critics have complained that in order to control the newest Nano, the user must look at the display- however, there is the Voice Over function which will literally tell you what you are touching. I can fumble around without looking, Voice Over tells me what buttons I'm touching, and then I double tap the button when I touch it. Really, it's not that complicated, at any given time there's only a maximum of 4 buttons on the screen. Oh, that's the right button- double tap, and there we go.
The audio quality is great for an ipod. To my untrained ear, it is louder than my Touch, and sounds just as clear or better through my Etymotics and Sennheisers. It has the same Equalizer presets as the touch, Genius playlists, playlists, well- pretty much all of the same audio features as the touch, including audio books. Oh, so now I don't have to carry a $400 device to listen to audio books! There's obviously the shake to shuffle feature too.
The little belt clip is nice, and like the Shuffle, keeps the Nano on securely. As a matter of fact, the Nano's case feels very sturdy and strong. The external buttons are easy to press and use- there are only 3 of them, and everything else is done via screen. Some people have complained that there isn't a 'home' button to take you back in the menu- however, when you first get started, the Nano tells you very explicitly that you need to swipe to the right to go back in the menu. Also, speaking of swiping, you can use two fingers to rotate the screen in any direction, meaning that the new Nano can be used in any orientation.
All in all, this Nano seemingly fulfills that niche in which function, small size and quality meet. I was looking for a small music player with some advanced features since I already have an ipod Touch that can play movies and games and apps, a Droid that can play movies, games, apps and make phone calls, a PSP and a DSi. I can use any of these devices for multimedia, but one thing they won't be is small. This is a device that gave up all the potential that comes from having a big screen to be a tiny and high tech music player. You won't be able to play games (yet) or watch movies (yet)on the touch screen, but that doesn't make the screen useless. The touchscreen is what allows for the impossibly small size, by combining the controls with the display.
Nano is a product for people who don't need or care about a movie player, but are instead looking for the Touch's music capabilities and Apple quality in a much smaller package. To that respect, I have to say that the new Nano hits the mark. It's already apparent that anyone expecting an updated Gen. 5 Nano with a new feature or two will be very disappointed. Judging by the reviews online and here in Amazon, and I think the criticism is fair- Apple has taken the smaller and more affordable alternative to the Touch and transformed it into something that is nearly a luxury item. If a user can accept the exchanging of features (some useful, some useless) for size and technology as a comparable trade-off, then the Nano will be perfect; as it is, the Nano is really a nice, nice little music player- it's fun to use, sounds great and is ultimately portable. At $179, some people would consider the Nano a little pricey (I bought mine for my birthday), then again, at $179 the 5th gen Nano was a little pricey, considering that a Touch was $50 more. That being said, I think many more people will try to justify to themselves the extra expenditure to upgrade to the touch, but that's probably what Apple is aiming for. I think this current incarnation of Nano represents a literal midpoint between the shuffle and the touch, both between function and price.
That's my review.
But just for fun I would also like to hypothesize for a second about what the critics would think, had Apple developed the Gen. 6 Nano last year and was now releasing the Gen 5. Nano.
Imagine that Apple has decided to release a new Nano that was twice as big and twice as heavy, with only 1/2 the battery life. This new Nano has a larger screen, a camera, and you can play games on it, however, Apple is going to do away with the touch screen for the simpler controls that ipods used 8 years ago. What would the critics think?
In case anyone actually reads this review, I understand that I've made a couple comments that don't seem to jive- for example, when I say that someone could buy a touch for $50 more than a nano, and yet my touch was $400. However, this is true, since I bought my 32 GB touch 2 years ago when it was $399 and today, someone can buy an 8GB touch for $229- exactly $50 more than the 16GB Nano.