Review: Apple iPod nano (Seventh-Generation) | iLounge


Review: Apple iPod nano (Seventh-Generation)


Company: Apple Computer


Model: iPod nano (seventh-generation)

Price: $149 (16GB)

Compatible: PC/Mac

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Jeremy Horwitz

Pros: A return to the tall and thin form factor that was most popular in past iPod nanos, including eight different color options, the first 2.5” screen on an iPod nano, and a touchscreen interface. The first nano to include Bluetooth, with excellent wireless range, audio and limited non-audio accessory compatibility, and support for new Bluetooth 4 devices. Once again capable of playing videos and usefully rendering photos on its display, with small audio and radio improvements, plus newly packed-in EarPod earphones. Includes Nike+ Sensor support without the need for a dongle. Improved audio playback time versus predecessor.

Cons: Despite small resolution improvements, screen quality is mediocre by comparison with other screened iPods and iPhones, and multi-touch functionality is extremely limited. Apart from Bluetooth support, most features were executed just as well if not better in 2009 fifth-generation model; battery life for video playback is now markedly lower. Loses prior watch-ready size and shape that were popular with some users, as well as many clock faces, while omitting a number of features found on the fifth-generation nano, apparently including TV-out functionality. Use of Lightning connector breaks compatibility with some past accessories, and nano sits unusually on Apple’s Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter, which isn’t included.

The following photos show the seventh-generation iPod nano next to its older siblings, as well as same-colored iPod shuffles. While the new nanos are the same tones as this year’s shuffles and iPod touches, there are very substantial variations between today’s “yellow,” “purple,” and “green” models—amongst others—and the ones that Apple has released in the past. Look for the white or black bottom stripe to locate the seventh-generation nano in each of these pictures.


Apple’s old standby color is effectively unchanged here.



This year’s red is very close to the neutral but super-saturated tones Apple has used in the past.



Surprisingly like a faded version of red, this year’s pink looks like a failed attempt at muting the red tone, and far afield from past pinks.



Blue-tinted, this green is far from the richest green tone Apple has produced.



Very similar to Apple’s classic blues, without richness or intensity.



Nearly pink due to additional red tones, this color is again well short of the intense purples Apple has used in earlier products.



Called “Slate,” this nearly black gray is akin to charcoal metals Apple has used in some (but not all) past nanos. Slate was discontinued in September 2013 in favor of “Gray” (below).



Gold and yellow have been oddball colors for Apple, reaching their apex during the fourth- and fifth-generation nano era. The current color is a little less intense and leans a little closer to green without crossing over that line.

Updated September 13, 2013: Gray


Slightly darker than silver but markedly lighter than past slate and black nanos, gray (aka “Space Gray”) is akin to gunmetal and preserves the black accents of the slate iPod nano it replaced in September 2013. It’s a handsome new color, and could as easily have replaced silver if Apple made a brand-wide shift away from the brighter aluminum color it has used for years. Apple repurposed the silver iPod nano’s wallpaper for this gray model, slightly darkening all but one of the background images; the prior flat gray wallpaper is now jet black.


Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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