back to article Apple iPod Touch 5G review

It’s fitting that this is the fifth generation of the iPod Touch, because what you’ve got here is, in effect, an upgrade almost as ambitious as the recently launched iPhone 5. Like the iPhone 5, the new Touch has had a bit of a growth spurt, stretching just over a centimetre to accommodate a larger 4in, 1136 x 640 “Retina” …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple goes retro

    Geez that thing looks old fashioned, especially in white where the size of the wasted space round the edge is just so apparent. It ends up looking like a 70s tele.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple goes retro

      Ah yes, those were the days, when my tele was 6.1mm deep.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ffs


    2. Weirdy one

      Re: Apple goes retro

      Maybe I'm alone here then, but I think that it looks nicer than the iPhone 5. The coloured backs look fresher to me, if anything.

  2. fattybacon

    It spells disappointment for anyone hoping for a reasonably priced iPad Mini

    Having the entry level set so high now, it makes the iPad Mini a shoo in for £299 or £349, nestling between the iPad and the Touch (rename it iPad Nano?). Shame, the Touch was as they say in the Hudsucker Proxy "You know, for kids."

  3. JDX Gold badge

    when you can get a 7in tablet for £160

    Not sure about this argument. Portability is pretty important for a music device. When I pop into Starbucks I see people using laptops or tablets, listening to their iPods.

    1. Miffo

      Re: when you can get a 7in tablet for £160

      I don't think he's suggesting you use a 7" tablet instead. He's just saying if you can make a 7" tablet for that price, can't you make a 4" mp3 player/tablet (or whatever it is) for less?

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: when you can get a 7in tablet for £160

        Have to agree, most of the target audience will have a smartphone already which does most/all of what this offers although maybe slightly slower or at a slightly lower res but on a 4" screen are you really going to notice or even care? If you are going to carry a second device it has to offer something compelling which your phone doesn't and that just isn't the case here. At that price it really is fighting it out with 7" tablet which can at least offer more screen real estate so it is going to lose out at both ends, doesn't beat a smartphones and costs more than a 'real' tablet.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: when you can get a 7in tablet for £160

          Even the Nano reviewed last week appeared to be 'nice enough device, too high a price', for something that just played music. Presumably, this device is more geared towards video, but who wouldn't prefer a 7"+ device for that, even one with a less fancy screen? There just doesn't appear to be a niche for this iPod as a PMP.

          The only other use for it is as a games machine, computing against Nintendo and Sony's PSP. This might justify it as a Christmas present for teenagers... but whilst it has the computing grunt and iOS has enough users to tempt devs to create some high-end games, Apple have not created a reference control pad system for iOS game developers to support.

      2. hazydave

        Re: when you can get a 7in tablet for £160

        Forget about "can't you make it for less"... Apple's prices always reflect what they think they can sell the thing for, not that closely related to the cost of manufacture. Particularly given that at least some of their items start out life production limited -- they can sell all the make, at least for awhile.

        Plus, Apple gets huge financial benefits being seen as a luxury brand, and in fact, perhaps the world's only luxury brand that's still very popular among regular folks. Apple can't lower the price of anything they sell too much, or they risk erroding the meme that it's "okay" to pay more, because it's Apple. They're giving you a -- don't know -- something more for that price, beyond what's in the specs. Membership in a not-so-exclusive exclusive club, etc. The right to look upon the owners of "lesser" devices as if there's something wrong with them. The right to sit drinking $5.00 coffee drinks at a Starbucks (or the local version) and not feel out of place.

      3. JDX Gold badge

        Re: when you can get a 7in tablet for £160

        >>I don't think he's suggesting you use a 7" tablet instead. He's just saying if you can make a 7" tablet for that price, can't you make a 4" mp3 player/tablet (or whatever it is) for less?

        In technology, it's well known that the smaller you make something the less it costs?

  4. Richard 81

    Is it just me

    ...or does the black one look an awful lot like a Samsung Galaxy SII?

  5. Mage Silver badge

    Crazy price

    Even Archos is cheaper than that.

    No-name players 1/4 price.

    Either you are going to have a phone for music or a cheap one (or both). It's obviously for Apple fans with too much spare money.

    1. Mondo the Magnificent

      Re: Crazy price

      Can you honestly compare an Archos or other "No-Name players" to an iPod Touch?

      Not really, like anything in life, you get exactly what you pay for, even though sometimes it means paying a lot more than a little..

      I rarely use my "smartphone" as a media player while commuting by train, tube or bu foot, even though it offers the features, I'd rather preserve my battery for making calls.

      This is where pocket sized devices like the iPod touch fits in nicely. Yes, being an Apple product it does cost [quite a bit more] than most budget media players do, but I find features like iMessage and FaceTime are very handy indeed, plus being an iPod, my car's factory fitted radio is right at home with it..

      Rest assured I'd rather use the Google Maps on my smartphone though.. or at least until Apple Maps presents the world as an orb and doesn't guide me to the middle of the Thames when looking for a customer's address..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Crazy price

        Yours is a fair argument for carrying, say, an iPod Nano or other music-centred player in addition to your smart phone, but not so much for this larger and pricier iPod Touch.

        In the car, battery life isn't an issue 'cos its docked and charging - so use your iPhone- and nor is screen size an advantage -so use a cheaper, more portable Nano or cheaper and more capacious iPod Classic.

        If you watch lots of video on your rail commutes, it might just be worth it, but I think many people would prefer a larger screen, even if the screen isn't a fancy IPS number.

        Facetime and iMessage are all well and good, but is the Touch is limited to Wifi only, and assuming you already have more capable devices at home or in your office, the case for the iPod Touch gets thinner.

        Just based purely on what you've written, it looks like you might be better served by an external battery pack for your smmartphone and a cheap and cheerful music player.

  6. Silverburn

    Raised/proud camera lense = scratch-tastic, fancy lens material or not.

    Recess the lens please!

    1. Jedit

      "Recess the lens please!"

      How exactly do you think they can recess a camera lens in a device less than a quarter of an inch thick?

      1. pig

        Re: "Recess the lens please!"

        They could move it back a bit?

      2. cortezcortez

        Re: "Recess the lens please!"

        Hi. Please direct us to the law that says this device has to be 6mm thick and not 7mm.

        Maybe they could have used an extra millimetre to put in a larger battery that doesn't die as quickly as it does on the iTouch 4 (40 hours of music you say Jony? Not even if you have the device on permanent screen lock, EQ, wifi and bluetooth off. Yes, I tried it.) Ditto for the stupid loop.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Recess the lens please!

      You could employ a small washer and some adhesive to create a recess. If choose a glue that can be removed with a suitable solvent, so much the better.

      However, you do have to go out of your way to scratch sapphire, I can only imagine diamond dust (from using a disc cutter) doing it. People with expensive wristwatches suggest their partner's diamond rings are the chief hazard to their watch's sapphire crystal.

      I had similar feelings about the screen-lock button on my Samsung feature phone- it was far too easily pressed, and often I would pull the phone out of my pocket to find it on the cusp of deleting a contact or ringing Australia... I considered modifying the phone with epoxy resin, to raise the area around the button, or else filing it down.

  7. AndrewInIreland

    "I’m not entirely sure who it’s aimed at anymore..."

    App developers who want to develop for the Retina4 display but don't want to buy phone that's pretty useless at making and taking phone calls.

  8. stu 4

    popular with kids

    At least if my mates kids are representative - if too young for a phone, they get an ipod touch.

    Its really for the games, etc.

    Still it made sense for 150 quid - competing against playstation, etc but not at 300 quid.

    Still, someone must be buying em....

    1. adifferentbob

      Re: popular with kids

      I agree. The price is stupid. I have an ipad and an ipod classic so I'm not anti apple. However when you can get a fairly decent android phone for sub £100 apple's pricing looks ridiculous. It would only take amazon or sqmsung to bring out an android media player with a 4" screen and at a sensible price and apple could lose the segment.

      1. uhuznaa

        Re: popular with kids

        Funny enough they didn't lose the mp3 player segment at all, even with hundreds of much cheaper players in the market against the good old iPod.

        The iPod touch isn't a media player, it's basically a pocket-sized iPad nano. And for many people even iTunes support is a good thing (and judging from the interest in Android media players with some kind of iTunes sync support this isn't even limited to Apple fanbois -- dragging files around to manage your music is a bit like filling the tank of your car from pint-sized bottles you have to uncork first).

        Anyway, if the leaked pricing lists from Germany a few days ago are any indicator, there will be a WiFi-only 8GB iPad mini for LESS than the iPod touch.

        1. the-it-slayer

          Re: popular with kids

          >The iPod touch isn't a media player, it's basically a pocket-sized iPad nano.

          No... it's an iPhone without the phone that's a miniature media player. Smaller tech costs money and I'm sure that'll be the justification in price for this to be possibly more than iPad mini in comparison with certain models. However, the iPad mini may encourage people away from the iTouch which could be lethal to their sales.

          I thought they'd of brought back the touch-wheel on the touch-screen interface somehow. It's more effective to go in the circles than to scroll large lists of items.

          1. hazydave

            Re: popular with kids

            iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch have most of their components in common. There's no additional expense in making things smaller -- it would be more expensive to change components and lose the benefit of the volume manufacturing on the iPad. The screen on the iPad, particularly the iPad 3, is a big source of additional cost. It's also got way more battery (also one of the more expensive components) to light that high density display.

            The iPod Touch is a PDA -- we just don't say "PDA" anymore, but that's precisely what you get when you subtract a phone modem from a "smartphone". Which itself isn't so much a phone as a pocket computer/PDA/whatever with a phone modem peripheral.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: popular with kids

        >It would only take amazon or sqmsung to bring out an android media player with a 4" screen

        They have: Morgan Computers had the Samsung Galaxy Media Player for around £150, and that was about 18 months ago. Looking online now, the Galaxy S line of PMPs range in size- 3.6" 4.2" and 5.8"- and in price from just over £100 to around £200. The screen isn't as sharp as this iPod touch, and it obviously won't play nice with any iOS apps or peripherals, but the price and screen size of Samsung's offerings make them very competitive.

        Apple could be making a push at competing with the PSP and Nintendo DS with the Touch (it has the graphical power, screen, and iOS has the developers), but then why no Apple reference control pad system for manufacturers to clone?

        1. cortezcortez

          Re: popular with kids

          I've never been a fan of Apple products. Tried many in the past, but never bought one. My phone is Android.

          Recently I decided I wanted a good media player (I won't bore you with why I wanted one separate to my smartphone). Off I went to the shopping centre to try a number of devices including the iTouch 4, iTouch 5 and the new Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Player. I went home with the iTouch 4; the Galaxy player was poor - the hardware is relatively cheap and flimsy and the screen not as responsive as it should be.

          The iTouch 5? I would have bought one if it was £50 cheaper. No way it's worth £250.

    2. hazydave

      Re: popular with kids

      Yeah, I think that's it. Kids want smartphones. My kids get a phone to make phone calls, I'm not paying the extra data charges for a smartphone. So they get the iPod Touch for Christmas, and that's nearly as good. And that's just why Apple still has the iPod Touch. Ok, they sell some, but fewer every year. But they also get a first crack at your kids brains -- get them into the Apple Cult today, and there's a much better chance that, when they do get a smartphone, it's an iPhone.

      Here in the US, the Playstation Vita runs $250-$299; the Touch is comparable (ok, only half the performance: 4 CPU/GPU cores on the Vita vs. two on the Touch, and exactly the same CPU and GPU) in initial cost. But per-game, the Vita is crazy expensive compared to the Touch -- this is one reason iOS is the largest portable gaming platform on the planet right now. And another thing kids like.

  9. Haku

    £80 for an extra 32GB storage?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      That's cheap. You pay £100 for it on the iPad...

  10. ukgnome

    I don't get it

    It's a phone without the phone for the price of a phone. A sort of phoney phone without an RCA that should be a cinch to connect.

    So it's a phoney phone without a phono that should easily connect to phono with the rights leads.

    ***So it's a phoney phone without a phono that should easily connect to a phono with an auxiliary phono lead.

    (apologies, I was looking after the kiddies over the weekend and their literature has taken a hold of me)

  11. Joe K

    "Super, sexy media star about to be killed by cheap tablets?"

    What tablet, cheap or otherwise, can you carry in your jeans pocket?

    Come to mention it, what handheld/pocket computer even compares to an iTouch, both technologically, and appstore wise?

    Seems churlish to even compare it to tablets and phones, its something completely different, with no equal.

  12. Fihart

    Are they still making these things ???

    Surely not, and not at that price.

  13. Dogsauce
    Thumb Up

    A fan (but not a fanboi) writes...

    I do most of my browsing on one of two 4th gen touches that I own (I bought a bigger one and still haven't parted with the smaller version). They're good for taking to hotels and browsing on wi-fi while your aging, low-battery life smart phone is sat charging on the desk, or for sitting in bed browsing (and I feel quite safe sliding it under the pillow at the end of the night - not something I'd be confident of doing with a larger device). I could even tether one to my phone's internet connection via bluetooth on my last phone contract and use it on the move, browsing without eating away too much of the precious battery life of the phone itself (avoiding using its power-hungry screen). They're cheap second hand - paid £135 for my 64gb version from a shop, and imagine you could do better via online tat merchants or private sales.

    I predict I'll have a 5th gen when bored kids start selling them to crack converter shops about two months after Christmas....

  14. GBE

    iPod Touch 4g --> Nexus Galaxy

    I loved my iPod touch 4g, and carried it everywhere for a couple years. But, I absolutely hated the iTunes program (I have neither a Windows nor OS-X machine) and dreaded the chore of copying music/video files to my iTouch since it involved trying to get Windows booted on one of my test-boxes at the office, and then trying to keep iTunes from crashing/locking up.

    When I finally decided to try updating iOS, I had to replace the hard drive in that computer, since iTunes is too f(*&ing stupid to allow you to backup the iPod do anything other than the C: drive. I had hundreds of GB of free disk space, but not on C:.

    So, when my old-school dumb, no-camera, flip-phone finally wore out, I moved up to a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Copying files to/from it is a breeze, and I'm free of iTunes forever!!!

    And the Galaxy Nexus can also make phone calls (though it's not as good a phone as the old, dumb Motorola I had). I'm on a cheap pre-paid plan, so I don't even use the mobile data connection -- just WiFi and plain old GSM voice/SMS.

  15. Jim Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    I can get an android phone for this price

    I recently bought a Xperia P to replace an older android phone. At 259ukp it's only 10ukp more expensive than this iPod Touch. Ok, it has more modest memory, but the sound quality is better (for the same AAC files) plus it has all the extras - WiFi, GPS and compass in particular (and a cell phone of course). It also has a usable camera (8Mpixels FWIW). On the downside, Android apps are not quite a refined as Apple apps IMO. But with this sort of competition, Apple is now selling on name alone. The industry has moved on and Apple is in serious danger of pricing itself out with a device that is limited in the hardware department.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Why upgrade?

    Have to say, I have zero temptation to upgrade my old iPod 2G - works fine.

    This may be where Apple start to struggle. There's *plenty* of people with older iPods that are kicking along just fine.

    The upgrade just isn't enough to really shake the boat - heck, 64gb or 128gb at £249, I may be interested.

    All the apps, the camera, the screen? Well, there's the smartphone market with the higher end phones having 16 or 32gb of storage - plenty of scope for your music there.

    Finally, there's tablets if your not too concerned about something that won't fit in your pocket.

    If I were going to spend £249 on a device this Xmas, it would be a tablet.

    It's scary how quickly the market changes - and it will be interesting to see if the iPad mini puts a big dent in the iPod market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why upgrade? - all about the storage

      Oh yeah...

      You have to wonder why, at such a steep price, Apple didn't go with what iPod users really want in a portable device - more storage space.

      The cloud is all well and good, but if your out on the road, on holiday, doing whatever, you want as much music ON the device as possible.

      The old iPod classic devices were a huge success for people with large music collections.

      Why not skip the inclusion of a camera and other features more related to Smartphones and use the cost saved to shunt more storage into the device?

      Seriously, a 128gb iPod touch would be *awesome* - I don't give a monkeys if I can't take photo's with it.

      Heck, I don't care about apps, games - a device dedicated to *music* is surely where it should be at for the iPod?

      We've reached the crazy point where we're getting devices that include everything and the kitchen sink, instead of being dedicated to doing what they do best.

      For the iPod, better music processing, better headphones, more storage space - and heck, throw in £30 of free music too. I'm there for that.

      1. hazydave

        Re: Why upgrade? - all about the storage

        The cost of flash is the main reason -- Apple knows the price points that sell. Of course, they could offer an SD slot like most smartphones do... an extra 64GB of memory on micro-SD isn't all that expensive. But that would also be an issue on the smaller memory versions: why pay for the 64GB version when a 32GB model with a 64GB flash card costs less? Just not the Apple way to allow expansion like this.

  17. stefn

    Check the spex

    Worth mentioning that the 32G iPod touch I bought two years ago was the same price as the new one today. It was discounted later on. Apple sold a lot of them. So there must be a market for them. I will be getting one myself. It's sweet.

    "The only good computer is the one you have with you."

  18. Jay 2

    I was waiting for a 128GB iPod Touch (to upgrade from my pre-'Classic' iPod) and would have purchased one ASAP. But for whatever reason Apple have stuck to 64GB. Basically I was after the storage, the apps (as I've bought a few for the iPad) and some wifi.

    That didn't happen, and my work Blackberry is pretty stupid as far as smartphones go (not 3G, wifi never works, useless browser, lack of/expensive apps). So I took the (comprimised) plunge and got myself a 2nd hand iPhone 4S 64GB via eBay, as many people are upgrading to a 5 then there's a few of them about! It's nice to have a phone that is comparable with the missus, who has had a HTC Desire HD for a while.

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