Customer Reviews: Apple iPod touch 32GB White (5th Generation)
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon October 16, 2012
The iPod Touch 5th generation has come a long way since the launch of the first generation iPod a few years go. There are several features that I love about this new Touch. My quick impressions so far after having used it for just under a week.

FORM FACTOR - The Touch is thinner than iPhone 5 though still has the same 4-inch retina display. The overall experience is significantly better using this device compared to the Touch 4. I was pretty happy with my Touch 4, but now looking at it after playing with the Touch 5, it just seems small! The 5 is thinner and lighter than even the iPhone 5. Very slick.

BODY - The back is anodized aluminum finish in amazing colors. The matte finish makes it less scratch-prone (at least so far it seems that way) compared to the steel-backed Touch 4. The body is slightly more rectangular and less curved than the 4, making it easier to use the side volume buttons. I honestly don't think a case is necessary for this device given its beautiful colors and fairly scratch-resistant body, but that again would be entirely a personal decision. Some folks are prone to dropping devices in which case a case is a must. My 2 cents - a transparent case would probably be best which at least allows the beauty of the device to come through. Putting on a thick black case on this would be doing it severe injustice!

CAMERA - The camera is in my opinion one of the best features of the Touch. The Touch has a 5MP camera, which I think is the same as the iPhone though I could be wrong on this. It gives 1080p recording in this slick device, makes me think back of the loaded camcorders we carried and converted tapes to DVDs, and that wasn't so long ago! The camera, same as the iPhone camera, gives the panoramic option which lets you capture a pretty wide angle shot. I tried this feature only in the house, but due to different lighting in the different areas that I was shooting, the picture didn't come out so well. I'm sure if taken with correct lighting or outdoors, the panoramic pictures would be spectacular. I wonder if the camera is meant to be the main feature of the Touch that Apple wants to push, given that they included a hand strap with the touch, just like most cameras come with.

A5 PROCESSOR - The difference in speed because of the A5 processor is quite noticeable, for the better. It makes the device much faster - for apps, loading videos, etc. For the few apps that I use often, the speed is remarkable.

EARBUDS - I don't use the Apple earphones because they have been uncomfortable for me personally. I tried the new earbuds and these fit much better. Sound quality maybe just about the same, at least I didn't notice any significant difference. I'm happy using my Bose or Sony headphones with the Touch. The speaker on the iPod is decent for light listening or watching videos. It's really not meant to give surround sound, but the speakers do their job fine.

CONNECTOR - The lightning connector is probably better for charging speeds and data transfer (I guess), but the only good thing that I find about this is that the cable can be inserted either way into the Touch. Unlike the previous 30-pin connector that could only be inserted one way up. One thing to note - and this might have just been me but I did see some reviews earlier to this effect - the USB end of the adapter is probably the same as all USBs. But, for some reason, when I plugged it in to my car charger, it got stuck in it. I struggled for a good 5 minutes to get it out. I had no problems with my 30-pin connector cable with this charger. I later read reviews for the car charger and other folks had mentioned the same thing. Not sure what the issue was, maybe just a few isolated events. But for now I am not using any non-Apple approved charger, even if it is just a USB charger. Another problem I have faced is that when I connect the iPod to the USB jack in my car, there are times when the sound comes through the iPod instead of the car speakers. The iPod is connected and shows "Accessory Connected". I then have to unlplug the device and plug it back in, and then it works fine. This has happened 2-3 times over the past few days. I'm not sure if this has to do with the lightning cable or the car's USB port.

SOFTWARE - It runs on iOS6 and the speed is amazing. Note that it doesn't have Google Maps which I sorely miss, but that's an issue more with iOS6 rather than the ouch itself. Hopefully Apple's maps will get better :) It has built-in Siri but I don't use Siri myself so can't comment on that.

It's hard to compare this with the iPhone because this is not a phone, though you can download Skype or Vonage Mobile and use these apps to turn the Touch into a makeshift phone. I guess it could be compared to other tablets which do pretty much the same thing as the Touch for the most part. A lot of the tablets are cheaper in price, though have less storage capacity and can't be used so efficiently as a camera, or an MP3 player while working out.

All in all I am very impressed and pleased with the Touch 5 so far. Whether to buy or upgrade to this device is entirely a personal decision depending on what you're looking for.
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on October 13, 2012
I've had some time to use my 5th Gen iPod Touch (I got the silver) and I like it. On the surface it doesn't seem like much improvement over my 4th Gen model except it is longer, but after playing around with it I can explain the differences.

The 5G is definitely lighter than the 4G. The steel back of the previous model feels archaic compared to the sleek aluminum casing on the 5G. The extra 1/2" of screen real estate does not sound like much, but being the owner of a Samsung Galaxy S2 I'm accustomed to using a larger screen and I can say that the 4G iPod Touch's screen was definitely too small. The 5G seems about right, not too big or small. It can be used for one handed operation in portrait mode.

The retina screen is better than the 4G Touch which would suffer from yellow discoloration when viewed off angle. The 5G Touch screen does suffer when viewed off angle, but just becomes dimmer and the color does not lose integrity. Looking at other reviews I've noticed others have complained about a yellow tint but I have not experienced this. I had pre-ordered the Silver model.

The screen actually feels much more responsive and accurate than the 4G. It almost feels like Apple increased the touch sensitivity. Knowing what kind of improvement in technology Apple made, I know that the increase in sensitivity is likely due to improvements in hardware, not software. The layer that receives your touch input is now much closer to the surface, I think this is why the screen feels more responsive.

The camera is much improved over the 4G. I can honestly consider using the 5G iPod Touch as a cheap replacement camera. The functionality has improved as well. iOS 6 offers a foolproof Panorama feature that allows you to take Panoramic pictures. My previous phone (HTC Amaze) also had this feature but it was not implemented nearly as well.

As you operate the panorama feature, the app will tell you to slow down, move up or down, in order to make the picture. It even shows you in a smaller picture, where the camera is in the process of making the panorama so you can see if you are half way done, or are almost done making the picture. I would say the panorama is close to 270 degrees, not quite a 360 degree panorama.

Also improved is the ability to share pictures on the fly (if you have wifi connection). You can click on the picture, then share, then compose the email. A window will pop up telling you how large the email message is and give you options to scale down the image so that it will not take up so much space, a very nifty feature indeed. Another nice touch is you can use the Vol Up/Down button to take the picture which is much more ergonomically friendly.

The faster processor has been a blessing. I like to play Virtua Tennis and the 4G iPod Touch was unable to play this game without slowing and freezing up. The 5G Touch has no problems running this game which is a relief. I feel like this device can pretty much take anything I throw at it. I am playing a game of 'Words With Friends'. I downloaded it for my Galaxy S2 phone and my iPod Touch. The iPod Touch's version looks much better, the tiles are actually transparent so you can see if a Triple Letter or Double Word was used or not. The tiles for Android system are solid so you can't see anything underneath them.

The Lightening connector makes it easier to plug and recharge. It doesn't matter which way you plug it in, it will work. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the other end of the cable which is a USB interface. That interface can only be plugged in one way.

The included earbuds are not so good and I'm going to Ebay mine. They are definitely an improvement over the previous earbuds. At the end of the day, I still prefer my Sony's in-ear headphones. They (the Apple earbuds) sound a bit hollow to me I think because they don't fit quite right in my ears. Of course your ears are shaped differently from mine, so you might have a completely different experience.

As an mp3 player this iPod Touch excels. I just need to order an armband from Ebay. I have compared the sound quality between this one and the 5th generation iPod (not Touch) as well as my Galaxy S2 phone. The iPod Touch 5G sounds much stronger and detailed across the music spectrum, there is no comparison. I don't know what they put inside the iPod Touch to make it sound better, but it definitely sounds better than any other portable device I currently own.

I have purchased an inexpensive wireless bluetooth adapter and connected it to some portable Bose speakers. I listen to music, play games, and watch movies through my iPod Touch in my bedroom because I find the small built-in speaker to be lacking in oomph. The sound quality is very good and satisfying and being wireless is awesome.

The built in speaker for the 5G iPod Touch is decent, don't get me wrong. It's just one speaker on the bottom and it won't blow your socks off, but it's not offensively bad either. When I'm outside, it's better than nothing and I appreciate having it when headphones are not available.

There's a lanyard that comes with the phone, feels like leather in construction or maybe it's faux leather. It's very lightweight, soft, and strong. It is attached via a flexible plastic ring, which doesn't feel as reassuring, but probably is.

Is the 5G iPod Touch worth $300? I think it is. It's a massive upgrade in so many ways from the 4G. The camera lens is the same as the 4S but has better algorithms so it takes better low light photos. I wish I could change the aspect ratio to 3:2 (like a DSLR) but there's no option for this. The ability to do panoramas quickly and easily and send them off to friends and family will really be neat.

The overall package of having a lighter weight aluminum casing and attractive bezel makes the 5G Touch feel like a smaller iPhone 5. No doubt in my mind, Apple has really worked hard to put a lot into your hand with this little device. I own a Samsung Galaxy S2 phone and I prefer the iPod Touch 5G for my home web surfing and fun. The screen is much better and it's just a much better constructed device, hardware and software included.

If you've never owned an iPod Touch and are considering it, iOS is part of a much larger eco-system. There are many good quality apps available as well as third party support. Bose makes a high quality Sound Dock that really makes the Touch shine for music. Of course there's the added Passbook feature which allows easier booking for certain airlines and purchases like Walgreens and Target. If you own a Nest, electric thermostat, you will be able to control it remotely. If you have Airplay (wireless data transfer), or Apple TV, you will also be able to use your iPod Touch to control those devices. You also get Facetime which is Apple's video chat feature, making it easy to connect with family and friends with another idevice.

***Update 11/1/2012***

I'm loving my iPod Touch more and more each day. I took several pictures during our Halloween office party and made some nice collages using the apps from the app store. My boss really liked them and gave me compliments!

There are many quality apps for making nice pictures including Instagram which seems to be integrated with many of the other picture editing apps. The camera is proving to be quite useful. I have Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop, Elements, and an old version of Photoshop. After playing around with the photo editors in my iPod Touch I don't feel like dealing with any of those softwares anymore because the apps make life so much quicker and easier.

Because collages are so easy to make and share, I plan to make future collages of vacations and trips, even though I have much nicer cameras at my disposal (Panasonic GX1 and Panasonic ZS7 both expen$ive cameras!). I feel like I'm just scratching the surface of what I can do with the camera. I am also ordering a tripod mount to take videos. Hopefully iMovie will help me make a nice video. Lots of high quality apps available.

The games I've downloaded are very much enjoyable and run great. Now I am not afraid to arrive early to an appointment, nor do I mind waiting in line at supermarket because I can play games to kill the time. I went farther than I ever did playing Jetpack Joyride while waiting in line at Top Foods yesterday.

***UPDATE AUG 17, 2013***

I did it. I bought an iPhone. I sold my iPod touch to help pay for some of it. It's the app ecosystem that is attractive and keeps me coming back for more. Because of the iPhone, I can use apps that I could not use before because the iPod touch does not have a compass.

I feel like I simply moved up the ladder. If you like the iPod touch, you'll like the iPhone. Now I see why people simply opt for the iPhone and don't bother with the touch. The iPhone 5 definitely feels more upscale compared with the touch.

The Home button fits better (there isn't quite the ledge between button and top surface. The speakers are louder and things seem to move along quicker. The camera takes pictures that are just as good but may look better.

iP5 is a freaking work of art. It's so small and lightweight. No wonder people drop it all the time. Every smart device I've ever owned needed to be treated gingerly, but iP5 takes it to a whole other level.
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on August 27, 2013
My review is about my purchasing experience. Since this is the third time this has happened to me, I want others to be aware of some seller practices. I purchased this item at the new item price. However, when setting up my Touch I noticed pictures on the device that were not stock photos from Apple. I took the device to my local Apple Store and they confirmed they were not photos that came with the device (should there be any?) Although the two pictures were innocent enough, the Apple Store employee's reaction to this revelation only confirmed my suspicions that the item had been returned to Apple, repackaged, and advertised on Amazon as new. In all instances Amazon has been wonderful confirming they are a certified Apple reseller and have resolved my issues to my satisfaction - thank you very much Amazon. However, what I would like to ask of Amazon is to hold sellers accountable. The threat to a seller not selling their mdse on Amazon should suffice. I have a healthy purchase history with Amazon. How many other purchases were sold to me used, but I could not confirm? Since this is the third time this has happened to me that I could confirm, I want others to be aware of some seller practices.
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on December 3, 2012
It's been nearly two years since the release of the last truly new iPod touch, but has that two years been worth the wait? The answer is a resounding YES! The iPod touch is still not perfect though. Where it could see some improvement is in Apple's native camera and photo apps. (See section titled "Camera and Photography" for details.)

I'm no Apple fanboy, just a gadget fan in general. I retain fandom of a wide range of mobile devices, not just Apple's, but I have to admit, when it comes to non-phone touchscreen media devices, Apple still takes the cake ...and the Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). The handful of iPod touch competition simply cannot compare, even after a two-year hiatus prior to a newer, even more spectacular model.

I'll take you hands-on with the new iPod touch, plus I'll share from my past four years of iPod touch ownership altogether, especially for those who haven't yet owned (or been slave to) this 'vice.

My review tends to run long, so I've organized information by section, with headings, to make it more helpful for those just looking for specific info. I've tried to cater my review towards both those familiar with technology like this, as well as those not too technically savvy, but sometimes tech-speak is unavoidable. If there's anything you don't quite understand, or if there's something you want to know about that I haven't covered, I encourage you to participate in a discussion by asking any questions in the comments for this review.

Finally, in hopes of making this the most helpful iPod touch review on Amazon, I'll also reveal a treasure trove of info on how you can legitimately download tons of quality apps and games for free! (See "Downloading Apps and Games" for details.)

Now, let's quickly cover what's new, and what each means for you.

===== What's New =====

+ Faster dual-core A5 processor (1GHz) - twice as fast; 7x faster graphics processing for gaming
+ 512MB memory - double the memory for maximum fun and multitasking
+ Taller 4" Retina display - 1136 x 640 resolution packed into a 326ppi pixel density for near-widescreen viewing (in landscape orientation)
+ 15% larger battery - 3.44 Whr/930 mAh plays 7 hrs of video & 40 hrs of audio
+ 5MP iSight camera (rear) - take 20x higher-res photos, or 1080p video, now with LED flash & image stabilization
+ 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera (front) - 4x higher-res photos or 720p video
+ Wireless N (dual band) - connect faster to a wider variety of routers with 802.11n support
+ Lightning dock cable - smaller, more versatile connector to charge your iPod and transfer data with
+ Siri included - now speak your iPod touch to life with this beloved virtual assistant (over WiFi)
+ 5 New Colors - personalize your iPod more than ever with new color options
+ Thinner, lighter than ever - barely noticeable in any pocket, but especially shirt pockets
+ New 'EarPods' - hear your tunes, videos and other audio in unmatched comfort and quality

Apple has once-again revolutionized the iPod we have grown to love. In exchange for these new features, you do sacrifice the option of a smaller 16GB capacity (and associated smaller price), but what's new is well worth the cost, in both price and sacrifice.

If you're new to the iPod touch, and are debating whether to buy old or new, the previous model is certainly a viable lower-cost alternative, but not by much (if comparing by capacity). If you want a 16GB model, you'll have to stick with the prior model. However, the new 32GB model is well worth the couple extra presidents you'll spend, plus 32GB is really the minimum iPod touch capacity I can comfortably recommend.

===== The Lines are Still Blurry =====

Two years ago, the lines began to blur between the iPhone and the iPod touch (frequently called an iPhone without the phone), when a new iPod touch was introduced with a Retina display, two cameras (rear and front-facing), 3-axis gyroscope, wireless-N and a faster processor to boot. Two years later, Apple is confirming their dedication to keeping the iPod touch relevant and in step with its iPhone counterpart, by giving the new iPod the same 4" retina display and 512MB of memory, along with a higher quality iSight camera and native support for panoramic photos. Just a few iPhone features remain missing in the iPod touch, besides the obvious phone: true GPS hardware, a magnetometer (compass) and matching processor and rear-camera quality (8MP instead of 5MP, though 5MP is far superior than the prior model's 0.5MP!).

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

Apple has held the top spot for non-phone multitouch mobile media devices since the iPod touch first arrived with iOS, the iPhone's operating system (OS). Other non-phone mobile devices do exist running other operating systems like Google's Android OS, but you don't often hear about them.

Apple's iOS is popular because it was first to revolutionize smartphones with its streamlined interface and multitouch display that you could navigate and interact with by simply using your finger, rather than a stylus that most smartphones before it had required. Plus, iOS has garnered support from leagues of app developers who remain firmly grounded on their decision to stand behind Apple's mobile platform, though a handful are slowly starting to port their apps over to Android as well.

The iPod touch has really made iOS what it is today. It does a lot of what the iPhone does, without a contract, as is the case with the iPhone and the iPad (3G models). 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 carrier exclusivity, because you could only get an iPhone through AT&T for several years.

Meanwhile, Google's Android platform has seen en explosion of growth in the past couple years, mainly because Android 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. People who couldn't have an iPhone have also taken a liking to it. Now, tons of Android devices have been released, and there's no end in sight. Furthermore, manufacturers want a piece of the iPad pie, too. So, there is now a glut of Android tablets.

Yet, to my surprise, one thing remains the same as it was two years ago: the competition remains quite lukewarm in the arena of non-phone mobile devices. These so-called 'Android Players' are really few and far between. The fact remains: there are plenty of reasons why the iPod touch is still untouchable.

===== Look and Feel =====

The new iPod touch has certainly improved aesthetically over the prior model. It's resoundingly thinner, lighter and sexier--smaller in every way but one: screen size. The new taller, yet equal-width iPod touch gives you more room to surf the web, read emails, watch videos, play games, you name it!

Did it need to be any lighter? Indeed! Ever try to stick one in your shirt pocket? Until now, its weight was noticeable. Now it feels barely there, but the truly remarkable thing is how they crammed all that technology into a thinner, lighter form factor.

The previous iPod touch model came in just black or white fronts, both with an easily-scratched chrome back. The prior lack of color customization goes against that of non-touch iPods. The iPod nano and other iPod lines have offered a variety of colors for years. Apple now extends that generosity to the iPod touch with 5 rear colors. The only color featuring a black front is Slate. The remaining colors all feature a white front: Silver, Pink, Yellow and Blue. Unfortunately, no Orange.

The sleek and refined new iPod touch has a truly refreshing new feel to it, yet it's tough enough to withstand the brunt of all that mobile devices have to deal with. Each new iPod touch model is crafted out of a single piece of silky-smooth anodized aluminum that feels phenomenal in the palm of your hand. It's the same peculiarly soft, yet durable metal used in Apple's MacBook line. Genius!

===== 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 can't 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
( a few years ago, who's functionality is now 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!

Note: 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 can't honestly say the same thing about Android, though I do still tote my EVO 3D around with me. Admittedly, the EVO's mobile hotspot comes in handy for providing the iPod touch with a WiFi connection when on the go.

===== 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. Enter your password once per App Store session, and voila! You've 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!

Now for the juicy money-saving secrets of the App Store! With the proper resources, you can legitimately download thousands of high quality apps for free. I do it all the time and it's perfectly legal. You see, Apple allows developers to temporarily put their apps on sale (and even drop the price to free). Usually they do this in hopes that you'll write a rave review for the temporarily-free app. The secret to your success here is having the resources to help you spot these special app sales--so you know when and where to get them during these often 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 and temporarily-free apps for yourself!

There are several resources you can use, both on the Web and on the iPod touch itself. I prefer to use an app called "AppShopper" which lists all apps that recently went on sale or dropped to free. You can filter out "iPad" apps (which don't work on the touch) and show just "iPhone" apps instead, which are the ones that work on the iPod touch, and you can also filter just the free apps, just the sale apps or show all price-dropped apps. But so many apps go on sale, making it hard to cut through the clutter, which is where AppShopper truly shines: the "popular" tab shows only the most popularly downloaded free/sale apps. If several other people aren't downloading an app, you won't see it listed there!

AppShopper is a phenomenal little gem, and it has gotten me tons of apps FREE! It also has a companion website that lists the same apps. You can even create an account and track the apps you own, so you don't end up accidentally trying to redownload an app if it goes on sale again. It also supports "watch lists" via an AppShopper account you create, and the app can send you an alert whenever an app you're interested in goes on sale. It's a thing of beauty! There are other apps such as Free App a Day, AppZappPush, AppSniper, AppAdvice, Apps Gone Free, and more, but none of them leverage the power of the masses to help you filter out the unwanted apps by letting you optionally hone in on just the popular ones. Feel free to check them out if you like, though!

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

Alongside spending lots of money on 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 few years, 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 still 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 at least 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 tabs). Also yet to be seen is support for 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's buggy because Flash doesn't play well with touch interfaces. Flash based video players don't work right, and I even run Android 4, 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, which is poised to take on a lot of Flash's most popular abilities.

===== Media =====

Despite all the things the iPod touch can do, audio and video are still one of the its greatest strengths. And with the near-widescreen resolution of the new iPod touch's 4" retina display, black bars are less pronounced when watching widescreen videos.

For those interested in watching live TV (even cable channels) on the go, 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 were pretty much nil up to this point.

On top of that, Netflix's 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.

===== Camera and Photography =====

Apple continues to bring the iPod touch close to the realm of iPhone-quality photography. The thought of photography with a media player was once laughable. Along came the Instagram app, and now everyone thinks they're photographers! I'll admit, I'm no photographer, but I'm no less obsessed with taking perfect photos. My wife tells me I take too many, but I'm just trying to make sure I've got at least one good shot, you know? With that in mind, I really wish the iOS camera had a BURST MODE--the ability to snap full-res photos continuously in rapid-fire succession. The thumb is simply not fast enough! More on that and other shortcomings in a minute though.

The new 5 megapixel camera on the iPod touch is something we were all hoping for two years ago, with the initial introduction of a camera to the iPod. However, when what we got wasn't even a full megapixel (rather, just half), it was a little disheartening. Nevertheless, the quality of the photos were still half way decent, so I tried not to complain. Now, we've got a camera that is on par with the iPhone 4 resolution-wise, yet sporting some improvements in the actual technology behind said camera. If that weren't enough, users can now shoot panoramic photos natively. Awesome!

With the more powerful dual-core processor and double the memory, I'm holding out hope that the speed of photography will not be affected by other bottlenecks in the hardware (such as the flash storage). It was pretty fast when I thoroughly inspected the review model, pretty much taking new pictures as fast as you could tap. However, realistically speaking, the camera is always fast on any device when it's brand new. Just like how computers are always fastest when they're new. Everyone knows, things begin to slow down after you install apps and fill your storage space with media several times over, but I wasn't given enough time to thrash it like that, as is expected once a user gets it into their hands for keeps.

For me though, there are some honest downsides to photography with the iPod touch, but these same issues plague just about every other camera-toting smartphone and portable media device out there, even the mighty iPhone and the popular Android. Still, that's no excuse for the best mobile OS to slack off. Pick up that slack, Apple!

As I said, the first gap that needs filled is the lack of burst-mode. This gap can be filled to a certain degree by apps from the App Store, most notably Camera+. However, the quality and resolution of photos taken with non-native apps like Camera+ shot with burst mode all pale in comparison to those shot with the native camera app. The reason? In order for a non-native app to take photos fast enough, they have to take smaller-sized low-res photos. Those kinds of low quality photos are undesirable.

All Apple needs to do is allow their camera app to buffer full-res photos shot with that burst-mode to memory while each is waiting to be saved to the slower flash storage. This would overcome the flash-storage bottleneck that is the cause of any camera app slowness. Apple can tout having the fastest camera around, but let's see them put their money where their mouth is when users start cluttering their device with 20,000 photos, all sorts of media and apps, and their storage space gets filled and fragmented. The camera will undoubtedly slow down, especially if you transfer photos to your computer without iPhoto, leaving those thousands of thumbnails and photo data to clog your camera roll. I don't like iPhoto, so I use software called iExplorer that lets me browse the device as if it were a USB drive.

The second area where Apple absolutely must improve is with the poor state of media organization in the Photos app. Screenshots get saved to the 'Camera Roll' album when they have nothing to do with the camera at all. Videos should also be excluded from the 'Camera Roll' album, so they'll be easier to find and easier to separate from the millions of photos an obsessive point-and-shooter like myself takes. Instead, screenshots and videos should all be saved to their own separate albums called 'Screenshots' and 'Videos' respectively. Screenshots should also use a filename different from those used for photos, preferably something that identifies the date, time and app that they were taken in, especially since the resulting PNG files have no date metadata in them. Videos might also benefit from separate filename patterns too.

Furthermore, we need to have the ability to actually *move* photos out of the 'Camera Roll' album and into their own albums, instead of the current ability to only *copy* photos into their own album, while leaving the original back in the 'Camera Roll' album too. Being able to move instead of simply copy photos between albums would greatly declutter the 'Camera Roll' where all freshly-shot photos are stored. Additionally, when photos are transferred off the iPod touch via a file explorer rather than iPhoto, their thumbnails should also be removed from the iPod's 'Camera Roll' album.

===== Videography =====

Shooting video or making FaceTime calls, on the other hand, remain on the up-and-up. Video quality on the back side improves from 720p to true-widescreen 1080p, and looks phenomenal on the new 4" screen which is nearly 16:9 ratio when watching videos in landscape orientation.

The ability to also connect with friends face-to-face via FaceTime has been a futuristic dream come true, and now the iPod touch can make those FaceTime calls in 720p high-definition, and you can still switch to the rear camera during a FaceTime call. FaceTime also handily rotates along with the iPod when flipped between portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) orientations. Still, you'll have to be on WiFi to make those FaceTime calls, even though the iPhone can now make said calls over a cellular connection. Regardless, video calling is a long-time dream come true. We're living the future!

After shooting your videos, the Photos app (ironically, where you view your videos, not via the video app) offers basic video editing support. Apple also has an "iMovie" app: an advanced video editing studio right on your iPod touch. It's just five bucks on the App Store. Apple makes it hard NOT to make great videos. Why not shoot a whole movie on the thing?

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

Unless any of us have been living under a rock, we're all well-aware that the iPad has been Apple's heavy hitter when it comes to reading eBooks and the sort for a couple years, 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 regardless, there are some really great apps out there for reading media on iPods, so there's no reason not to use it for that? With the Retina display, all text and content appears extremely clear, even when zoomed out (so long as you don't mind reading tiny text, else feel free to zoom in as much as you like).

The only downside to using it for reading is if you like to read outside. Granted, backlit screens have never really been that clear outside, unless on full battery-gulping brightness. However, the new in-cell technology behind the new 4" retina display has better visibility and reduced glare outside. Between that and having more real estate on the new display, you can read more with less effort. It's a beautiful thing!

===== Gaming =====

If you're like me, you probably don't have much time for games. Well, quit spoiling your fun! There's a child within us all, just waiting for the opportunity to be set free. The iPod touch makes it so easy, there's no excuse not to enjoy yourself. I most enjoy racing games (like Need for Speed) and strategy games (like Tower Defense style games, including the stunningly-designed Carrot Fantasy), but I do play Angry Birds on occasion. Solipskier is quite addictive as well. However, if you like games that take serious advantage of the 3-axis gyroscope, check out the not-so-angry Bird Strike as well as Dark Nebula, a phenomenally-themed labyrinth-style game series on steroids!

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 when it first came out, it goes without saying that the iPod touch is, and will continue to be, one of the best platforms for mobile gaming. It's simple, convenient, and pretty much instant. Whenever you have a few moments of free time, wherever you are, just turn it on, find your game, and bam! You're gaming. Simple as that.

===== Productivity =====

It's so hard to get things done when there are so many distractions afoot, and the iPod touch offers plenty of those, so how can it possible be any effective at boosting productivity? The answer is simple: focus! While iOS offers the ability to multitask, and is known to offer the occasional 'Squirrel!' moment* with its hard-to-ignore notifications, the nature of the one-app-visible-at-a-time paradigm still makes the iPod touch a concentration powerhouse. Since the screen is small, that tends to force you to focus on the task at hand.
* (See Pixar's movie 'Up!')

With iOS 6, it can be made even more effective at times by employing the Do Not Disturb feature that disables audible alerts when active, or during a daily scheduled block of time if desired. Nice! Though, more advanced scheduling would be ideal for silencing the device automatically at different times on different days, especially Sunday mornings.

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 iPod touch and its new 4" display. Because of the aforementioned "focus factor" of the iPod touch, I have found myself to be surprisingly productive when working on documents with it. iWork has 3 apps: Pages lets you edit word processing documents. Numbers lets you edit spreadsheets. Keynote lets you edit slideshow presentations (including PowerPoint files).

These apps are useful if you have work to do, but don't feel like being at the computer to do it. Another great app for that is "iTeleport" which lets you access a computer remotely. LogMeIn Ignition and TeamViewer are similar apps that are 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 (such as from another room in your home or office).

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 is makes staying in touch convenient. Whether it's reading or composing email, instant messenging, or social networking, you've got plenty of options here.

Instant messaging is easy with channels such as AIM, Yahoo, Gtalk, MSN, Skype. Some apps handle multiple channels: IM+, Fring, Nimbuzz, BeejiveIM and Fuse Messenger. There are plenty of apps to help you interact with social networks like Facebook & Twitter, too.

However, with the new iOS 6, posting content to Facebook and Twitter has become native (no need to open an app). Just open Notification Center by swiping your finger down from the top edge of the screen, then tap either the Facebook or Twitter button. Voila! Off you go, posting a status update, albeit natively. And now, since Siri is included in the new iPod touch, you can ask for her help in posting those status updates too. Muah!

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. Other email accounts that support POP3 or IMAP connection types will work with the Mail app too.

===== Location Services =====

Location services such as the built-in Maps app can help you find your way around, but only to a certain extent, at least in the case of the iPod touch. This is one of the areas where the iPod and iPhone significantly differ.

The iPhone has true GPS hardware that uses satellites in the sky to accurately provide your location to apps that need it. When the sky isn't visible (e.g. indoors), it falls back on cellular triangulation which measures the signal from three nearby cellular towers to locate you.

The iPod touch can only use WiFi-based location, which uses your internet connection's IP address to roughly approximate your location. This works fine some of the time, but WiFi-based location is often inaccurate and can't be always be used on the go, rendering the iPod touch useless as a mobile atlas/GPS device. True GPS hardware has no fee to use but is admittedly a bit costly, but tons of high cost GPS apps are in the App Store now to offset that cost a bit for Apple.

===== Praise =====

+ Apple continues its trend of creating the best multi-touch experience around. Android doesn't even come close.
+ 4" Retina Display - more room to get your gaming and media multitasking on
+ Dual-core 1GHz A5 processor - the high performance of the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, a win for gaming and multitasking.
+ 512MB memory - finally we can enjoy more of the multitasking love that iOS now grants us!
+ Multitasks like a dream with iOS 6 and the powerful processor, and double the memory. Someone pinch me!
+ 20x more megapixels - I'm not going to complain here, as it's still on par with the iPhone 4.
+ Thinner design - This is the more-squared design I've been waiting for! It's easier to grip, handle and press the power button.

===== Disappointments =====

+ No GPS - Location service in the new iPod touch are still WiFi-based, which is often inaccurate. Especially with Apple's new Maps app and the iPod's higher price, at least give us REAL GPS.
+ Still no 120GB model - Useful for higher-res videos that look great on the new 4" Retina display.
+ No burst mode for camera - despite the faster processor, and faster snapping of photos, the speed of photo capture still slows way down after you tend to load up the device with all kinds of software and other media, including the photos and videos you've taken with the device.
+ Poor photo organization - Apple needs to stop saving screenshots and downloads to the camera roll, and instead put them in their own folder, with a better filename than IMG_XXXX.
+ Still no vibrate capability
+ No orange color - now I'm just being nit-picky, but seriously... why tease us with only 3 real colors, but not orange? Pink, but not purple?Yellow, but not green or lime? A special Red version is slated to arrive though.

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

It's absolutely clear: the sleek and highly-refined new iPod touch simply cannot be touched... by its competition! It's in a league of its own when it comes to mobile entertainment and gaming for non-phone multitouch devices. Can you live without it? Good luck with that, unless you have an iPhone, which has a few undeniable perks beyond the iPod touch. If you don't need the phone or location features, the iPod touch is more than sufficient, and will continue to fill most gaps where the iPhone remains unavailable.

Could you still benefit from having an iPad too? Perhaps. After all, it does have unique qualities that sets it apart from the iPod touch. But unless you specifically see the need for one of those unique qualities, then no, you don't necessarily *need* both.

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

I hope you've found my hands-on review helpful. Feel free to join the discussion via the comments link below. :)
3232 comments| 1,007 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 13, 2012
I pre-ordered the 5th generation 32GB PRODUCT RED iPod Touch directly from Apple and got it from the FedEx man just yesterday (Friday October 12th 2012). For the past 2 years I have been the proud owner of a 4th generation iPod Touch, which, until now, I thought was a near-perfect product; I thus had the luxury of doing a head-to-head comparison. Here is what I discovered.

SIZE/WEIGHT/DESIGN: The first thing I noticed is that the new iPod Touch is significantly thinner and lighter. It weighs only 88 grams according to Apple, and it is only 6 mm thick. Its edges are not curved/tapered like the 4th Gen Touch. At first this felt strange, but now I prefer the feel of the new Touch. The Touch also, obviously, comes in colors. With the disclaimer that I've only been using it for a day, it seems like the new anodized back is much more durable and scratches much less easily than the chrome on the back of the 4th generation.

CAMERAS: The one place that I thought Apple really messed up with the 4th generation was the cameras. They were added to the 4th generation as an afterthought. The new iPod Touch, however, has a 5 MP iSight camera with a sapphire crystal outer cover (prevents scratches). The image quality is exponentially better than the camera on the old touch. The front camera is also much better than the front camera on the old Touch and is now 720p compatible.

SCREEN: As you all probably know, the screen is about a half an inch taller. Apple has been heavily marketing this, as it included the same bigger screen on both the iPhone 5 and the 5th generation iPod Touch. The extra .5 inches allows one to watch widescreen content that encompasses the full screen area. It also allows one to see more emails and whatnot. However, the really cool thing about the screen is that it is far more vibrant than the screen of the old Touch. According to Apple, it is 44% more vibrant, and it covers the whole sRGB spectrum. In layman's terms, that means the iPod Touch can accurately reproduce EVERY color that Hollywood movie cameras can capture. The old iPod's screen couldn't. In real-world usage, I've found that the new Touch's screen is far more vivid than my old Touch's screen, which appears to have a blueish hue and doesn't accurately reproduce some colors. The new screen also seems to perform better when looked at from extreme angles.

A5 PROCESSOR / FASTER WI-FI: In the 5G iPod Touch, Apple upgraded the processor chip from the A4 to the A5 and the Wi-fi chip from single-band N to dual-band N. Theoretically, Apple claims that the processor will be two times faster, graphics up to 7x faster and that the wi-fi will be twice as fast. In my real-world test of the wi-fi speed, I found that the old Touch had a download speed of about 12 Mbps with a 15 ms ping on my school's wifi, whereas the new Touch reached speeds of 36 Mbps with a 10 ms ping. I tested this using the SpeedTest App for iOS. Web pages definitely load faster, IMO. The faster processor means that apps load faster too. Naturally, that means that the largest speed increase will be found in processor and graphics-intensive apps that also use Wi-Fi. In other words, Facebook, Twitter, News Apps, etc. I tested how fast it took the Facebook App to load and update on both devices. The 4G Touch took 10.4 seconds. The 5G Touch took 2.4 seconds. If I did the math right, that means that the 5G touch opens the Facebook App 77% faster than the 4G Touch. The CNN App loaded and updated in 2.7 seconds on the new Touch, as opposed to 5.4 seconds on the old one, a 50% difference. The faster wi-fi chip and processor should also allow streaming of 720p HD content onto the new Touch, a feature that really wasn't available on the old Touch.

ODDS AND ENDS: The new Touch includes a new power-cable connection, called Lightning. The Lightning Port is considerably (>60%, I'd wager) smaller than the old Dock Connector Port. This is a welcome change, as I found that the old dock connector port would get all crusty and dirty on the inside - it just seemed to attract the dirt from the inside of my pocket. The new Lightning Connector is also reversible, which means you will never have to worry about plugging it in right side up. The faster processor and wi-fi of the new Touch allowed Apple to enable Siri on the iPod Touch. This feature is NOT available via upgrade on older iPod Touches. I really like Siri and find her useful, so this was a welcome addition though please note that Siri ONLY works when you have an active wi-fi connection. Apple added a small LED flash for the camera - this was a nice touch and seems to work well as long as the object you are trying to photograph is fairly close to you. They also added a little "hidden button" that you can press to attach an included wriststrap to the Touch. This is really quite useful, as anyone with a propensity for dropping their iPod Touches (like my younger sister :) can tell you. Finally, Apple included a new type of earbuds - called EarPods - with the new iPod Touch. These both sound and fit my ear MUCH BETTER than the old Apple Earbuds. Honestly, they sound well enough that I've been alright with wearing them for light usage (i.e. - walking to the mailbox) when before I would have worn my Beats by Dre Studio headphones. The Beats are much better, don't get me wrong, but sticking in the EarPods is quicker and easier if I just want to take a quick stroll around the neighborhood.

CONCLUSION: The new iPod Touch is not an incremental upgrade. It is a giant leap for iPod-kind. The iPod has long had a lock on the MP3 Player market. Even though it is now two years old, the iPod Touch 4th Generation still is a great product and arguably the second-best MP3 Player on the market. However, the iPod Touch 5th Generation has dethroned its predecessor as the BEST MP3 Player on the market with gusto. It is a far and away better product. Apps load twice as fast. Internet content loads twice as fast. The interface is far more fluid and responsive. The screen is far more vibrant; According to Chris Heinonen, AnandTech's resident screen geek, the screen on the iPhone 5 and the 5th generation iPod Touch has better color accuracy and grayscale-reproduction than ANY monitor or TV of ANY SIZE that he has EVER tested, save for one $20,000 projector. Before I got the 5th generation iPod Touch, I was perfectly content with the screen on my 4th generation iPod Touch. Now, as I look at them both side-by-side, the screen on the old Touch looks like a piece of garbage (keeping it PG-13 here :). The cameras on the new Touch blow the old Touch's cameras OUT OF THE WATER. In addition to being thinner, lighter, and available in six different color options (Pink, Yellow, Blue, Silver, Black, Product RED), the new iPod Touch is made out of more durable and scratchproof anodized aluminum and just looks and feels like a higher-quality more professional product. The degree of refinement in this product makes me feel like my old 4G iPod Touch is a cheap kid's toy inferior in every way - speed, build quality, and feature-set. I am really impressed that Apple, a company that has had a virtually uncontested corner on the MP3 Player market for almost a decade, continues to innovate at such a high level. I'd give this product 6 out of 5 stars if I could!
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on October 26, 2012
Why buy an iPod Touch, and not the iPad or iPhone?

I have owned every gen iPad. I would use it enthusiastically for a couple weeks, then slowly lose interest, and I would end up selling it. But I have never been long without an iPod Touch. I think it's because I enjoy the form factor of a pocket device more than a tablet. If I am at home, I use my iMac for web, HDTV for movies and shows, and my Xbox 360 for gaming. When I leave my house, I always have my iPod Touch in my pocket. I rarely ever brought my iPad on the go with me. The size and weight make it inviting to use. I can hold it in front of my face with one hand when I am lying in bed, watching a youtube video.

I thought, maybe the iPad Mini would be the tablet that could change my mind, but after the announcement, I have no plans to make the switch. The iPod Touch is less expensive, and it comes with twice the storage (which is much needed), it has the retina display, and is more portable.

People ask me, "Why dont you just get the iPhone?". Well, first of all, I am on a family plan, and I only pay $10 for my cell phone. Granted, it's a dumb phone, with no data, but I have owned a 4G smartphone with unlimited data, and I discovered, I really don't use it that often at all. Not enough to warrant the cost of an iPhone plan. I also got freedompop, and so I have 500mb of free 4G data a month, so I can use my iPod Touch like a poor mans iPhone when needed.

So those are my reasons why I use the iPod Touch, now on to the device itself...

I've owned every generation iPod Touch. Some generations improvements were mediocre. The 5th generation is in my opinion, the biggest improvement so far in the products life cycle. Apple pulled out the stops and improved just about every major aspect to the device.

You hear about how thin and light it is, but once you actually have it in the palm of your hand, you will still be impressed, despite knowing what to expect. It feels impossible. Alien technology? Witchcraft? I'm a cyclist, and I use it on my rides, and weight is a huge factor for cyclists. We spend a lot of money just to shave a few dozen grams. So I appreciate it's light weight. It almost feels TOO light. I just hope I don't forget it's in my jeans pocket before I throw it in the washing machine.

The larger screen is definitely welcomed, and does not compromise the portability. What struck me about the new display is how rich the colors are. They seem more vivid. It's just a beautiful display, and that's really cool how the Touch gets the same screen as the iPod 5, considering the touch usually gets the previous iPhone gen's hardware. The screen can go brighter than many other smart phones screens I have seen.

Since I am a techie, one of my favorite upgrades, is the doubled RAM (512MB). Having more memory improves performance with just about everything. Combined with the A5 processor, the iPod Touch executes tasks very quickly. Along with the improved wifi, surfing the web is noticeably faster. The loading time on apps is much improved.

The next improvement I like the most is the camera. It has a better lens, higher resolution, flash, and a panorama feature. Since the device is always in my pocket, it is my primary point n shoot camera, and I use it for everything, from photographing an item to sell on eBay, to taking a scenic picture to post on facebook, this camera can handle all the regular photo tasks. See my panoramic photo I posted with this review.

Lastly, is Siri. It's not a mere gimmick that you will get bored of after 10 minutes and never use again. Siri does many basic tasks, and executes it faster than doing things the old way. From setting alarms, and timers, to finding certain businesses and information, using Siri is just a lot faster and easier. I do like testing Siri and see what she can/cant do. I've been surprised a few times. I'll ask something obscure like, what's mick jaggers astrological sign? And i'll get an answer. Also, related to Siri, is voice dictation. When I send a text that's more than one sentence, I use the voice dictation. It's surprisingly accurate, and a big time saver.

I think the internal speaker is louder this time around, which is nice. Also, the anodized aluminum backing feels nice. It does feel like it might slip out of my hands easily, so the attachable wristband is a welcome feature. Also, I like the smaller size of the lightning adapter, and how it plugs in either side.


The higher cost entry point. No more $199 model. It would have been nice to see a $199 8GB version, or a $250 16GB version. But in my case, it doesn't affect me, because 16GB isn't enough for my needs. Also, the highly publicized Maps app. At the time of this review, it's still messed up. I wish Apple would show Google Maps some love. Or at the least, fix their own maps asap. And the included earpods are still barely average at best as far as sound quality goes.

Overall, the device is fantastic. Wether you are upgrading from an older touch, or it's your first one, this is the best non cellular pocket device on the market.
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on October 18, 2014
I had a Classic 160 GB iPod that I loved, but it fell out of my pocket on I-91 North in Holyoke, MA while riding my motorcycle so I decided to buy another one, only to find out it was discontinued so I bought this iPod 64 GB Touch. The ear buds are better than they were before, but I still don't care for them, so I'll continue to use after-market ear buds. My first time using a touchscreen, and it was okay, but I preferred the simpler design of the click wheel as I could use it quicker and without looking at what I was doing. Also, as I bought this for music playback, I could care less for all the preloaded apps, most of which require internet service. All these apps are good on a smart phone, but I really just wanted mainly a music player, which is what the IPod classic was. But I must admit, I like that it has a camera (takes good pictures) and HD video capability (have not tried yet). I did buy a case for it. Overall, I am happy with my purchase. My 8GB Nano iPod that I have had for years still works fine, so the Touch having a flash drive like my Nano will hopefully give me years of trouble free service.
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on November 17, 2012
Forget all of the statistic comparisons - this device rocks. I used AMEX points (hence no "Amazon verified purchase") and received it shortly after the other first batch owners.

This thing is *incredibly* fast and unimaginably thin (I got a clear hard plastic case because nothing else was available). The screen is excellent (same as iPhone 5 - IPS and Retina), the form factor is good/great (clearly a step beyond earlier models, but top/bottom of the screen is a reach), and the main difference is speed. Wi-fi is amazing, and better integrated than any iOS device I have ever used (I own an iPhone 4, iPod 3rd gen, iPad, and for comparison, a MacBook Pro 13" early-2011, and a MacBook Pro Retina 13").

Device speed is another boon. The A5 might benchmark 1/3-1/2 speed of the A6/A6X, but it doesn't matter one bit. This this is *QUICK*.

On the apps side, Siri is very usable. I've grown to like it for multi-step operations ("What is the Kentucky basketball score" or "what is the five-day forecast"). Apple Maps is 3D with fly-by, but is not turn-by-turn navigation (for that you need an iPad 3 or 4, iPad Mini, or iPhone 5).

The improved screen real estate has made Apple apps much better. Music, Movies/Video, and Podcasts (now a standalone app in iOS 6) use the screen a lot better than my iPhone 4 on iOS 6.

In summary, this iPod Touch is excellent. My only complaint is that - after owning a 64GB 3rd gen model - I went cheap on the 5th gen (32GB). That's my fault...
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The 5th Generation Touch is so superior to the 4th Generation that those who purchased the 4th simply because it was running the latest iOS can only regret their decision. With the Touch 16GB, Apple has simply added a 3rd, low-capacity, low-priced version model to entice more users to discover the technical excellence and brilliant nano engineering of the Apple 5th Generation. The 5th generation is lighter, thinner, faster; moreover, it has a larger screen and greater storage capacity than any previous iPod. Still, if you can afford it, consider the 32GB model for the following reasons: 1. The camera is likely to become your most used shot-take, always at hand and ready; 2. Even without the camera, the ever-proliferating number of useful apps will require the extra space for storing on the iPod; 3. the 32GB does not add extra weight and width like the 64GB model.

The new 16GB 5th Generation has only one advantage over the 32GB and 64GB models. That darn (useless) hand-strap along with the pop-up post has been eliminated. First, it's wasteful technology, and the plastic strap is gaudy and childish; 2nd, the strap does not adhere tightly enough to the post to make use of it safe or advisable.

Original review:

By now the attributes of the radically redesigned iPod Touch 5 have been well documented ("Consumers Reports" hasn't reviewed it as yet, but has assigned separate articles to its separate features as well as provided a most comprehensive, exhaustive review by Scott Stein of the device as a whole.) But reading about it is completely different from actually handing it. After spending the past four days with a Touch 5, I'm sold.

Reasons for Purchase:

The Touch 5 is no mere "upgrade": it's a revolutionary product--a sophisticated, versatile and powerful "computer" that's the size and weight of a credit card! If the entry-level price seems too high, that's understandable. $300 still represents a lot of working hours for some of us. But consider this: the entry-level Touch 4 costs $200 and is not only thick and heavy compared to the Touch 5 but offers a mere 8gb of storage space. The Touch 5 offers four times the storage space (32gb), which in itself would be worth the premium price. But more importantly the Touch 5 features innovative, industry-leading nano-engineering that, in addition to a dramatic reduction in the size and weight of the Touch, increases processing speed and increases the viewing area of the screen (up by ½" to 4")!

Arguments Against "Upgrading":

I can already hear a loud objection: "But 8gb is all you need when you have Apple's iCloud and Match service backing up all of your audio-visual files, apps, mail, etc. whenever in range of a wi-fi." Experience has shown me otherwise. I have a Touch 2nd gen (32gb--enormous in weight and size compared to the Touch 5th gen) and a Touch 4th gen (stylish white and convenient, and it connects to iCloud). The problems: the Touch 2g (and earlier) has no access to iCloud or Match; as for an 8gb Touch 4, who among us has the time and patience to go through a resynchronization process every few days (like when my grand-kids visit and want to play all of the available games)? Moreover, the downloading and app-activation time of the Touch 4 is noticeably slower than that of the Touch 5, which exhibits speed and zip beyond that of any preceding Touch. In short, for a hundred more, the Touch 5 (32gb) is a screaming bargain! When comparing the current iPod Touch 4 with the Touch 5, it's doubtful Apple has ever offered a more irresistible value (as one of the Presidential candidates would say, borrow the extra hundred from your parents if necessary).

Many Tablets: Which One is Right for You?

The CNET reviewer concedes that products such as the iPad as well as competitive tablets from makers like Samsung all have their respective strong points. But the reviewer goes on to insist that, after using each tablet for a week or longer, all-around versatility and advanced engineering make the iPod Touch the device to own, which is "as close to a phone-less iPhone 5 as you can get"--and without the subscription fees. (And if you can persuade friends and family to pick up a Touch 5--or any Apple device with "Face Time"--you can use the Touch 5 like a phone.)

Customizable (What's Your Preference?)

I wouldn't be writing this review if doing so required "texting." But since even an IPad would require texting, and since the iPod 5 fits so easily in a shirt pocket, the decision is fairly easy. The Touch 5 easily wins. Admittedly, I'm a long-time camera bug, attached to a Canon S95, so the slightly superior specs of the iPhone's camera to the Touch 5's (8mp vs 5mp), strike me as insignificant. Moreover, my Garmin GPS makes the controversy over Apple's MAP a non-issue. And while SIRI is an impressive built-in feature in the Touch 6, it's largely a novelty, imo, far from essential. Other owners will no doubt select their own favorite features based on personal priorities and interests.

The larger retina display is sharper, though on a screen this small the definition of images is not, at least to my eyes, sufficiently noticeable to be a "wow" factor. As mentioned above, speed is impressively enhanced. Immediately upon opening my "TuneIn Radio" app, I'm able to pull up and play, without buffering, my favorite 24/7 jazz stations (including an elusive local HD channel). And with an amazing app called "Shazam," I'm able to identify the most esoteric recordings by obscure musicians, mid-stream, and within seconds.

One additional word to those who still use their iPod primarily for music: audiophiles will want to keep and use their preferred ear-buds even though the present ones are a slight improvement over the previous models Apple typically throws in with their iPods. And before considering a Classic, a Nano, or a Shuffle, stop and reconsider. Only the Touch allows the user to access new or stored online musical content from the iPod itself, no computer required-- even resynchronizing the contents of all devices with an iTunes wi-fi-connection is no problem with a Touch 5.

Caveats and Alerts: 1. Durability and Repairability; 2. That Darn Strap; 3. The Obsolescence of the Dock Connector:

In closing, just a couple of small caveats. The durability and "fixability" of the iPod Touch 5 have yet to be tested. Repair shops that have made a living disassembling and fixing iPods may have a new challenge on their hands with a device this small and "fully loaded." Also, Apple's "stylish" (mine is plain black) hand strap impresses me but only in a negative sense. The nearly invisible, little post on the back of the Touch eagerly pops up in response to finger pressure on the spot. However, snapping the loop of the strap into place on the post strikes me as anything but the safe and secure attachment Apple claims it to be. Simply push the strap in reverse, toward the post, give it a slight twist, and watch it slide off the post--a one-handed operation I was able to perform in a matter of a few seconds. it would only make sense to plan on going loopless--at least until the loop tests out or Apple releases an improved, more secure version. Finally, the new lightning connector is going to change the game for the industry of ancillary products built around the iPod. For example, the many FM transmitters requiring the 30-pin dock connector for playing iTunes music on car radios are now largely obsolete.

Unwrapping the Touch 5:

Finally, it should be noted that setting up the new Touch 5th gen is now a user-friendly, step-by-step process much like that of installing a new iMac. The included, typically brief, paper instructions imply the Touch will arrive fully charged (mine was fully discharged). But it's no problem to attach the included cable with the new "Lightning" connector (no longer the Apple 30-pin dock connector) to the USB port of a computer (eventually, you'll want to get some adapters permitting charging of the device away from the computer--and don't forget a protective cover-case Evecase TPU Gel Cover Case for Apple ® iPod Touch 5G for a device whose ruggedness, or shock-resistance, is far from proven). Next, simply follow the directions, one screen at a time, and within seconds you'll be in possession of your tunes (all 15,000 of them), mail, photos and apps--that is, if you choose "back-up"--but it might be better to choose the option that allows a fresh start, which is definitely what this latest iPod is all about!
22 comments| 93 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 11, 2013
I have the red one and I just absolutley love it. I upgraded from the ipod 2g , so it is a major improvement. The camera is fabulous, the retina display is gorgeous, and the ipod is super light weight.
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