Apple iPod touch (5th generation)

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Reviewed by bivalve (Currently owns)

Coming from a first-generation iPad and iPhone 3GS, this review is written by someone who doesn't buy new tech often, so it's aimed at a similar person too. My intended use-case for the iPod was as the beginning of a new chapter in not being tied to phone contracts while getting mid- to high-end technology and latest software updates in a cheaper-than-iPhone package.

First, the display. I'm blown away by it each time I switch this thing on. Reading and gaming is such a different experience. Comparing to the 3GS, this thing feels like a totally different device. Reading gives me no eye strain and my concentration is much higher. I play the likes of Sonic and GTA; the wide screen is much more immersive and makes for a more relaxed experience. Again, comparing to the 3GS, the screen alone moves the software features on these devices from 'things they can do' to 'things they're great at'.

Coming from the ~600mhz/256MB RAM to the A5/512MB is also damn good. Playing audio in Safari is no longer accompanied by the back-of-the-mind concern that it'll cut out if other pages are opened, switching apps is quick and smooth. Again, a different experience.

Other features new to me are Siri, voice dictation, FaceTime and a good camera (I'd say the 3GS camera gets a positive, nodding, raised-eyebrows "It's OK"). As with the display, each of these features has been much more than I thought they'd be. Panorama photos are great, voice dictation is going to take over a lot of typing, FaceTime will be useful and fun - one of those things that's there in the background but when the opportunity to use it arises you're delighted it's there, and Siri is proving to be useful and full of potential too.

After having the iPod for only a few days, my use-case is adapting and growing; it's replaced my iPad for reading, browsing and gaming. With voice dictation, it may also replace it for writing. Basically, I'm considering selling the iPad, although it's worth noting that I'm someone who likes as few possessions in as small a package as possible. I've written essays and done other university work on the 3GS when it was all I had so my use cases are perhaps just a little niche.

iOS is looking pretty awful to me now but with the upcoming iOS 7 redesign and the iPod getting all the update's features, the software score will be increasing. It'd still be great if spotlight could search documents within apps though.

The physical design is solid and feels great in hand. I reckon Apple have got me into the thinner-is-better camp. And, being totally vacuous, the white bezel will look dandy with iOS 7.

An all-round solid multi-purpose device.

The Breakdown

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  • Design 9
  • Display 10
  • Software 8
  • Speakers 8
  • Performance 9
  • Battery life 8
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