Should Your Wish List Include the iPod Touch 5th Generation?

iPod Touch

So you’re planning to buy a fifth-generation iPod Touch. But before you whip out your credit card, check out the good and bad things about this device.

Apple iPod TouchWhen you’ve got a spiffy smartphone, you may not see the appeal of buying a separate MP3 player like the iPod Touch. But then again, you can make the argument that the iPod Touch hasn’t exactly been a dedicated music player for years. To be more accurate, it’s basically a phoneless iPhone or a pocket-sized iPad. In which case, if you don’t have a “smart” enough phone, and all you want is access to the thousands of apps offered by Apple’s App store, then the Touch may be your cheapest entry.

The Magic Touch

iPod TouchDesign-wise, the fifth iteration of the iPod Touch has improved compared to the previous model. Now, it’s mostly fingerprint resistant with its aluminum backing, save for “the small Apple logo and the word ‘iPod,’ which are both made of glass.” The new Touch has also been described as feather-light (it weighs in at just 88 grams) to the point that it makes the iPhone 5 look like a brick. It’s also the thinnest iPod Touch to date; it’s a millimeter thinner than its predecessor, measuring at just 6.1 millimeters. But don’t let this device’s lightness and thinness fool you. With the fifth-generation Touch, you get a larger screen, which means more icons on your Home screen, better gaming experience, and yes, a superior interface to view your favorite web pages with.

As for the battery life, you’ll be happy to know that its 1030mAH lithium-ion battery has enough juice to last a day or two if you just use it to stream videos, listen to music, and do some minor game playing. You can get a full charge in around four hours, and if Apple’s claims are to be believed, a single charge is good “for up to 40 hours while playing music and up to 10 hours while playing videos.”

In terms of performance, the 5th gen iPod Touch features a dual-core 1GHz A5 processor, similar to that of the iPhone 4S. There are, however, some games that won’t run as quickly on this iPod Touch as on the iPhone 5 but unless you’re a hardcore player, this wouldn’t be a big deal. In fact, some have even praised its near console-quality visuals, citing how it greatly exceeds the performance of earlier iPod Touch iterations.

Other features that this iPod Touch has going for it include a better camera, fantastic Retina display similar to that of the iPhone 5, improved earphones, and of course, faster iOS.

Touch Me Not

Given the device’s thinness, something has to give; and in this case, it’s the ambient light sensor. Some have also noted the seeming “priority on overall thinness rather than ergonomics,” which could turn off users who prefer gadgets that are comfortable to hold. And while audio volume and quality have not dipped compared to its previous incarnations, we find it interesting that the new Touch features just five audio ports for the internal speaker compared to the iPhone 5’s 16. Now this isn’t to say that the internal speaker is bad per se. For audiophiles, however, this may be the factor that would push them to buy an iPhone 5 instead of a gadget that’s supposed to be a media player first and foremost.

With regards to the price, the 32GB iPod Touch 5th gen is currently selling at Amazon for $284.95, while the 64GB version is being sold for $379.00. And if your reaction to this is “Whoa!” all we can say is “Ditto.” To be honest, we really feel that at those prices, these babies should come with their own business phone systems or at the very least be assembled like a Swiss Army knife. Kidding aside, the price is definitely not going to win fans, especially those who already own an iPhone 4 or 5. Maybe for parents who want to give something to their children or young school-age kids, but even for gaming purposes, there are better and less expensive alternatives like the 3D-ready Nintendo 3DS or Google’s Nexus 7.

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