iPod Nano Hands On

Apple announced the 5th Generation Nano on the 9th at the “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” event. The new device was given an anodised outer coating, and equipped with a video camera, speaker, FM radio, pedometer, larger screen, and a few more goodies. I’ve managed to get mine in the post from Apple (only 5 days after the event… not bad for European postal service) and I’ve taken some pictures and done a quick write up about it for you guys on iPod Touch Fans. If you want to see any picture in a bigger size, clicking on them will open the full sized image in a new window! So let’s begin:

The front of the Nano looks similar to the 4th gen model. You probably wouldn’t be able to tell, but that size is 25% bigger than last year’s model. Also if you look closely, you can see the mirrored and beautiful outside coating – That REALLY makes the colours pop, and it does look tacky on the website, but up close and in real life, it looks amazing (I want someone to take me a picture of the red one so I can see what that’s like too!)

The back of the iPod also has that beautiful coating, and the Apple logo – But the bottom left corner holds a little extra – The camera! (Which also has a small microphone next to it too.)

From underneath, you can see how thin the device really is. And the new speaker is located in the same place as the iPod Touch 2G, just in the lower back, and sound comes out through those two bottom ports above.

And side on, which also shows you the thin-ness of this thing, and how it boasts to be the thinner and better camcorder (compared to the Flip Video series)

The main menu holds all those above. Music, Videos, Photos, Podcasts, iTunes U, and then the newbies – Radio and Video Camera. If you go into the extras menu…

You get all these too! Selecting Fitness will open up Nike+ and the new pedometer setting. Unfortunately, you still need the Nano Kit in order to use the full Nike+ capabilities, but I have an iPhone which has it all built in anyway. (Surprised they haven’t done the same for the Nano). The Games on this Nano are good too. For someone whose first iPod was a 1st Gen Mini and then has had Touches and iPhones ever since, the 3D Pong style game on the Nano is surprisingly addictive, and although you can buy extra games for the Nano, I don’t think I will… Especially when I can use that money to buy iPhone Apps. Voice Memos is also a new feature, which takes advantage of the Nano’s new camera/microphone combo.

There’s also an accelerometer which is used to activate Coverflow on the device. You can also use it in the Video Recorder (more later) and also when looking at photos and watching videos!

The Radio is an excellent addition, and the main selling point for me. You can scroll through using a dial and get any FM radio station in your country, and can even change the frequencies dependant on which country you’re in. The star you can see on my picture above, is due to me favouriting a station, so I can access it from a menu and scroll to it immediately if I need to. The Live Pause feature is also something which I’ve never experienced before and works great! You can pause live radio and scroll back (up to 15 minutes ago), incase you wanted to re-hear a song or if you missed a news bulletin. But no radio recording, which is a bummer, because that would be a very nice feature to have.

And finally, the camcorder – Which can be used portrait or landscape and has a plethora of live effects for you to try out. I’ve uploaded a video (below) showing some footage from my Nano’s camccorder – It’s very clear and the microphone is excellent, but lack of features like Auto Focus (which I’m so used to using in my 3GS) will mean I will be using my Nano as less of a video camera.. more of a listening device.

Overall, if you’ve already got an iPhone or iPod Touch, you’re going to need to put some consideration into it like I did. The iPod Touch and iPhone do everything this Nano can do (except video recording unless you have a 3GS) but with the App Store too. The Nano’s cheapest model is £115 which is only £45 away from the same sized iPod Touch. So if you’ve got the money and like the gadgets, I’d recommend it. But if you’re content with your iPod Touch or iPhone, it’s not worth the extra money – Wait for that Apple Tablet!

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