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Apple iPod Nano Review (2010) Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 September 2010
Article Index
Apple iPod Nano Review (2010)
Performance and Conclusion

ImageSince 2005, the iPod Nano has been the mid range portable audio player for Apple.  It’s always been targeted at consumers looking for more control and versatility over the Shuffle, but with increased portability over the iPod Touch.  Over the last five years, its classic design has included a full color screen and a click wheel to navigate through songs.  Apple went in a completely different direction with the release of the new Nano; ditching the click wheel and opting for a small touchscreen instead.

It looks radically different than previous models, closer to a Shuffle in size.  This is a player that could easily get lost if you aren’t keeping up with it.  It’s also more appropriate for people into fitness or simply want to attach it to their clothing for their daily commute.   The player is about .35” thin and measures just 1.5” in length and width.  It also weighs nearly half of what the previous model weighed.

iPod Nano Angled View

The majority of the audio player is a 240 by 240 resolution LCD screen that has 220 pixels per inch (covered in glass).  It feels just as bright as the new iPod Touch display, just in a tighter package.   If you have ever used an iPhone, you will notice how responsive the touchscreen can be.  It’s incredibly simple to flick through the screens and the animation is superbly fluid.  Along the sides of the casing, you will find volume buttons as well as a button to turn the screen off, basically into a sleep mode.   There’s also the headphones jack and the 30-pin dock post for Apple’s proprietary connection cord.

Volume buttons on the side of the player are really fantastic compared to the previous Nano.  Having direct tactile feedback buttons beats altering the volume with the click wheel after unlocking the player.  There are some actions that are more time consuming though, namely having to look at the screen to change the song rather than moving a click wheel.  Also, the menu can be confusing for people how have been used to several generations of the Nano.   There’s no Home button obviously and getting back to the main screen requires a couple screen swipes with the finger.


The core functionality of the Nano is a music player, ideal for all your lossless format tunes.  It comes with a built in FM radio that has the ability to pause / rewind up to 15 minutes of a live broadcast and you can use the same genius mixes that you create in iTunes.  You can also use it to listen to your daily podcasts or audio books as well.  There’s also a built in clock (likely to spawn wristband cases to emulate a wristwatch), stopwatch, voice recorder, the aforementioned pedometer and a photo gallery function for browsing photos.  I really don’t see the point in browsing photos on such a tiny screen when there are plenty of mobile devices around, but Apple thought it was important enough to include.  The Nano sports a 24 hour battery life for audio and that mark definitely held up.  I didn’t charge it for a few days and it always seems to have battery life.

Top View

Interestingly, Apply removed tons of features that were building up over the years, specifically the ability to play / record video.  I can see why the form factor of the device is too small to include a camera, but it seems ridiculous that the Nano doesn’t come with the native ability to play video.  Granted, the screen would be tiny to watch video on, but they invested lots of time / manpower in adding video functions to the Nano in previous years. Other features that didn’t make the cut were gaming support (likely due to the tiny screen), the alarm clock, calendar, contacts and notes.  I never used many of those latter features on the old Nano as their usefulness was limited at best.


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