Apple iPod Nano (5th generation)

The Good It's got radio, finally!. Video camera is pleasingly good. Ridiculously thin and light. Lots of new features make it worth the upgrade.

The Bad Placement of the video camera is not ideal. Where's the option for still images?. Sound quality and EQ still average.

The Bottom Line Not sure which new iPod to choose? The Nano's fifth incarnation wins hands down, with FM tuner and video camera being more than just cheap gimmicks.

Editors' Rating
8.6 Overall

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Apple iPod Nano (5th generation)
Apple iPod Nano (5th generation)
SanDisk Clip Jam (Orange)
SanDisk Clip Jam
Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision
Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision
X-mini II Capsule Speakers
X-mini II Capsule Speakers
Monster Beats by Dr Dre Beatbox iPod Dock
Monster Beats by Dr Dre Beatbox iPod Dock
Price $199 Typical Price $199 Typical Price $199 Typical Price $199 Typical Price $199 Typical Price
Design ...
7
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Features ...
7
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Performance ...
7
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Review

Apple iPod Nano (5th generation)

I'm seeing double!

Don't let its appearance fool you. There's a lot that's new about the Nano fifth generation despite its similarities to the previous incarnations, not the least being the addition of a video camera at the back of the device. The screen has also had a boost to 2.2 inches (up from 2 inches) and though it looks a little odd on first inspection it certainly grows on you — no pun intended. It's still ridiculously thin and light, hardly tipping the scales at 36.4g.

Available in a kaleidoscopic array of nine colours, the capacities are still 8GB (AU$199) and 16GB (AU$249, a price drop of AU$30 from the previous Nano at launch). The glossy surface also adds another layer of interest to the exterior configuration, and is pleasingly scratch-resistant. After a few days of having it rustle up next to a collection of keys and other domestic accoutrements that wreaked havoc on something like the silver back platter of the iPod Classic, the Nano came away mostly unscathed. The minute hold switch is still at the top left and all other connections (headphones and iPod dock) are at the base, though the configuration has been swapped from the 4th generation, with headphone and dock changing sides.

Features

An upgrade to iTunes 9 is required to use this version of the Nano, but it enables a few new features like Genius Mixes, which makes its debut here. Essentially, the Nano creates custom mixes based on a loose appropriation of the genres present on your pod thanks to the alchemy of the Genius logic — such as Alternative & Punk, Hip-Hop/Rap or Electronic to name a few. These are fully automated so there's no extra work on your part to activate them, but do note that the iPod does need to be synced with iTunes to use this feature.

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