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Apple iPod nano 5th Gen 16GB review

Does the world's most popular iPod really need an FM radio and a video camera?

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Our Verdict

For

  • Good value
  • Sleek design
  • Good quality playback

Against

  • Video camera & FM radio are pointless
  • Scrollwheel feels archaic

ipod nano

If all this sounds like we have a real downer on the 2009 iPod nano, then you'd only be half right. Strip out the video camera and the radio and you're left with brilliant little music player that really makes you appreciate why it's the world number one.

Music playback is excellent, once you abandon the crappy stock headphones, and there are lots of features to play with – including games and a new pedometer – and the cute animated menus are fun.

ipod nano

Even watching movies is tolerable on its tiny widescreen display. Our only slight frustration lies with Apple's iconic scrollwheel – in the age of the iPhone and iPod touch whizzing that wheel around to get around menus seems both archaic and tedious - we kept wanting to pinch, slide and touch stuff on the screen using our fingers instead.

It's tempting to argue that the Apple has jumped the shark with the 2009 iPod nano.

Its tub-thumping new features aren't really worth a whole lot, while their shoddy implementation actually detracts from the nano experience as a whole.

We wouldn't be surprised if these new 'features' were quietly dropped at September 2010's iPod revamp. We'd certainly like to see some genuine innovation next time around.

Verdict:

The iPod nano is a ragbag of features. Its strengths as a small, compact and user-friendly portable media player shine through, but the video camera and FM radio are plain daft.