The Touch is thinner than the iPhone 5, with good looks and a long battery life. So what’s the catch?
The fifth-generation model of the Apple iPod Touch music player finally fixes a long standing problem that plagued previous versions. The shiny, reflective but easily scuffed and scratched metal rear has finally been replaced with a far more scratch-resistant but still lustrous surface. It's still made of aluminium, but now comes in a number of eye-catching colours and feels great in the hand.
The new Touch is thinner than the already slender iPhone 5, but barely flexes under pressure. Among the few protrusions from the minimalist design are the lens for the 5-megapixel rear camera and a pop-out hook for the included wrist strap, which is a neat design touch. Battery life when playing music is exemplary at a staggering 53 hours and 36 minutes. It's not quite as impressive when playing videos though – it lasted just under six hours whereas the fourth-generation Touch could last as long as nine hours.
The new Touch is better suited for widescreen videos than its predecessors since it now has a 4in screen with a 16x9 aspect ratio. The black bars in most widescreen videos should be considerably less noticeable. The screen has the same 1,136x640 pixel resolution as the iPhone 5. Text looks crisp and images look bright and vibrant, but the screen is still compact enough to be used single-handed for all but the tiniest hands.
Since the iPod Touch has a Wifi connection, it can use cloud-based music services such as Spotify and Amazon Cloud Player as well as playing music copied from your computer. Audio quality using the bundled earphones was surprisingly listenable, but you'll still get better sounding music from other earphones.
The Touch has a five-megapixel camera rather than the iPhone's 8-megapixel model. Its image quality is very similar to that of the iPhone 4 – shots in bright sunlight are crisp and detailed, but low light shots are so noisy as to be unusable.
Whereas the iPhone 5 uses the latest A6 processor, the new Touch uses the older A5 chip used in the iPhone 4S and iPad mini. It might not be the latest technology, but it's still more than fast enough for running the latest apps as well as Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant. It can be surprisingly useful once you stop feeling conspicuous about using it, but it needs a Wifi connection to work.
We are taken with the new iPod Touch, but it doesn't come cheap. Only two capacities are available: 32GB and 64GB at £249 and £329 respectively. The older fourth-generation 32GB Touch is still available at under £200 for those on a budget. If you can afford it though, the new Touch is a great portable media player.
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