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

Review

Review: Apple iPod nano (Sixth-Generation)

B
Recommended
iPod nano 6G Version 1.2

B-
Limited Recommendation
iPod nano 6G Versions 1.0/1.1

Company: Apple Inc.

Website: www.Apple.com

Model: iPod nano (sixth-generation)

Price: $129 (8GB), $149 (16GB)

Compatible: PC/Mac

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Jeremy Horwitz

Pros: A smaller touchscreen revision of Apple’s mid-priced flash RAM media player, available in seven colors. Twin user interfaces include one optimized for the 1.54” display, and another that mimics the iOS operating system of the iPhone and iPod touch. Swipe and tap gestures are used for most of the device’s controls, while using album art and wallpapers to nicely fill the screen with color. Integrated FM radio, pedometer, and accelerometer components carry over from the prior-generation iPod nano, along with sufficient 8GB and 16GB storage capacities. Includes an integrated clip that renders it instantly wearable. Superior audio battery life and volume to predecessors; remains compatible with Dock Connector accessories, including the Nike + iPod Sport Kit. Version 1.2 software update reduces need for the Nike + iPod kit by utilizing pedometer hardware for simple run tracking. Dramatically enhanced Clock features enable the nano to be used as a watch, albeit with certain practical limitations.

Cons: Feels like a first-generation version of a new product line rather than a sequel to the iPod nano. Video, gaming, camera, speaker, and microphone features are amongst a laundry list of capabilities dropped from the new model, precluding it from being used as a complete or even substantial replacement for its three most recent predecessors, primarily by users with video needs. New glossy body colors are weaker than ones introduced in last two years. Multi-Touch screen has only one multi-touch gesture, lacking for others that might have made the device more interesting. Use of rear clip, as well as connection and disconnection of some accessories, can be a modest challenge while the device is being used.

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In October, 2011, we updated the pricing and Pros and Cons from the original sixth-generation iPod nano review to address the changes Apple made in version 1.2. Our original details are preserved here for archival purposes.

Original price: $149 (8GB), $179 (16GB). Original rating: B- (Limited Recommendation).

Pros: A smaller touchscreen revision of Apple’s mid-priced flash RAM media player, available in seven colors. New user interface mimics the iOS operating system of the iPhone and iPod touch, using swipe and tap gestures for most of the device’s controls, while using album art and wallpapers to nicely fill the screen with color. Integrated FM radio, pedometer, and accelerometer components carry over from the prior-generation iPod nano, along with sufficient 8GB and 16GB storage capacities. Includes an integrated clip that renders it instantly wearable. Superior audio battery life and volume to predecessors; remains compatible with Dock Connector accessories, including the Nike + iPod Sport Kit.

Cons: Feels like a first-generation version of a new product line rather than a sequel to the iPod nano. Video, gaming, camera, speaker, and microphone features are amongst a laundry list of capabilities dropped from the new model, precluding it from being used as a complete or even substantial replacement for its three most recent predecessors, primarily by users with video needs. New glossy body colors are weaker than ones introduced in last two years. Multi-Touch screen has only one multi-touch gesture, lacking for others that might have made the device more interesting, while the lack of physical Home and track control buttons complicates the device’s ease of use; plenty of swiping is necessary. Use of clip, as well as connection and disconnection of accessories, can be a modest challenge while the device is being used.

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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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