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iPod touch 5th Generation review

Bigger is better, if your thumb can take the strain

Our Verdict

For

  • Better screen
  • Five colour options
  • iOS 6 improvements
  • Very thin and light
  • Better earphones

Against

  • Apple Maps!
  • Lightning port is a reset
  • You still need iTunes

The coloured new iPod touch 5th generation is a very different looking beast to the previous model, which had a metallic silver back with tapered edges. While the metallic back initially looked nice it was a magnet for smudges and fingerprints.

The aluminium back of the new touch is the only part that's coloured (the front is always white no matter what colour back you choose) and seems to be extremely fingerprint resistant – the only parts that attract smudges on the back are the small Apple logo and the word 'iPod', which are both made of glass.

ipod touch 5th generation

There's a little rubberised pad at the top right of the back, which covers the Wi-Fi antenna, since the aluminium covering would impede signal reception.

The flat back on the 5th generation model has genuine advantages over the previous tapered-edge design – now the sleep/wake and volume buttons are on a flat edge your fingers can find them more easily and it's possible to change volume using just one hand when the touch is lying flat on a desktop.

ipod touch 5th generationLEFT TO RIGHT: iPod touch 4th Gen, 5th Gen, iPhone 5

The iPod loop strap (whose colour matches the back) feels like it's made of leather and snags onto a little button on the back of the touch that protrudes from the surface when pressed. It fits snugly enough and we didn't have problems with it becoming detached. It's a good idea if you're using your touch as a camera because it gives you that extra level of security against dropping it.

ipod touch 5th generation

The new 5th Gen is a millimetre thinner than its predecessor, and 12mm taller. The larger screen means it can fit an extra line of icons on your Home screen and you can see more of web pages and apps that are designed to take advantage of the new screen size.

We found that we had to change the way we held the new iPod touch in portrait mode if we wanted to reach the top left corner with our thumb though. While so far we've been used to resting the iPod touch on our little finger, you now have to grip the sides with all four fingers if you want to get your thumb all the way to the top corner of the screen (which is where a lot of 'back' buttons are located in apps, like Mail for example).

ipod touch 5th generation

It takes a little bit of getting used to but you can still use the touch with one hand, at least in theory. In practice we found ourselves resorting to using two hands more often than we used to relieve some discomfort on our thumb.

As with the iPhone 5, the touch's 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the bottom of the device (which is where it was in the last generation model, too) and the 30-pin Dock connector has been replaced by a new more versatile Lightning connector.

While the new smaller connector has enabled some great improvements in terms of the size and thickness of the device it means that all your existing iPod accessories won't work with your new device, unless you buy the £25 'Lightning to 30-pin adaptor'.

ipod touch 5th generation vs ipod nano

It also means that you'll initially only have one charging lead that will work with your new device. Like most iPod touch owners we found we'd acquired a few iPhone cables over the years and suddenly going back to only having one cable that worked was a shock to the system, and we had to keep remembering to take it around with us everywhere we went.

ipod touch 5th generation

With the iPhone 5 you get a wall charging plug in the box with your Lightning to USB cable, but no such luck with the iPod touch 5th Generation, so just bear that in mind.

Inside the box you'll find some of the new Apple EarPods earphones – while still not comparable with noise-isolating in-ear solutions these new earbuds are still a huge improvement over the previous Apple earphones, with much better bass frequencies.

Tech Specs

Product TypeFlash Portable Media Player
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
TouchscreenYes
Battery Built-inYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Product FunctionsAudio Player, Photo Viewer, Video Player, Camera, Video Recorder, Voice Recorder
Maximum Audio Battery Time2 Day
Maximum Video Battery Time8 Hour
Product FamilyiPod touch
Music Service CompatibilityiTunes, YouTube
ColourBlue
Brand NameApple
Image FormatsJPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PSD, PNG
Audio FormatsAAC, HE-AAC, MP3, Audible, Audible 2, Audible 3, Audible 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, AAX+, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, AAC-LC
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Video FormatsH.264, M4V, MP4, MOV, Motion JPEG, AVI
Display Resolution727040 Pixel
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Battery RechargeableYes
Display Screen TypeColour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
HeadphoneYes
RecycledYes
Height123.4 mm
Width58.6 mm
Depth6.1 mm
Operating SystemiOS 6
Colour SupportColour
Effective Resolution5 Megapixel
FeaturesVolume Limit, Calendar
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product NameiPod touch 32GB Flash Portable Media Player
Product LineiPod touch
Manufacturer Part NumberMD717BT/A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

You can never have too much fun.

The new iSight camera lets you take your best shots. Facebook integration gives you plenty to post about. (Or you can just ask Siri to post for you.) And, of course, there are endless games to play and endless music to listen to. All on the thinnest, lightest iPod touch ever.

Brilliant new design. It's OK to stare.

When you see the new iPod touch for the first time, you won't believe your eyes. But when you hold it in your hand - that's when you get how unbelievable it is. It weighs next to nothing, yet it's no lightweight: it still does all the gaming, surfing, messaging and everything else you love, more powerfully than ever.

Platform SupportedPC, Mac
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • iPod touch 32GB Flash Portable Media Player
  • iPod touch Loop
  • EarPods
  • Lightning to USB Cable
  • Quick Start Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone
Weight (Approximate)88 g