Review: Apple iPod nano (with video, 4GB/8GB)
Pros: A massive upgrade to Apple’s smallest-screened media player, adding very good video- and game-playing capabilities to the previously music- and photo-only, popular iPod nano. Achieves better than promised battery performance, as well as nearly equivalent video and audio performance to the iPod classic, making better use of its smaller components. Though shape is different, and screen is bigger and more detailed, volume is not dramatically increased over prior nanos. Available in
six colors and two storage capacities at very reasonable prices.
Cons: Screen and flash memory sizes aren’t ideal for video. Prior iPod Games, and iPod video accessories, are generally not compatible with this model. Mirror-finished rear casing returns, ready to scratch and smudge.
Whereas the iPod classic’s Photos menu was a step backwards from the 5G iPod it replaced, the new iPod nano’s identical feature is a step forwards from the last generation nano. Here, you lose little and gain a lot, including for the first time the ability to output photos to a television set—assuming, once again, that you’re willing to use one of Apple’s authorized video accessories.
Previously, the nano placed three rows of four miniature photographs on a white screen as thumbnail images of your library. The new nano has three rows of five photographs that are larger and more detailed than before, against a more attractive gray background. Last time, the words “Photo Library” alternated with the date of the current photo; now, the library’s name appears at the top of the screen, with a tally of the photos below it to the left, and the full calendar date to the right. Pictures optimized for the new screen are bigger and more detailed than before, too.
The iPod classic lost a number of the 5G iPod’s photo-to-photo transition effects, but the iPod nano still has only five: cross fade, fade to black, zoom out, wipe across, and wipe center. The prior nano had push across, push down, wipe across, wipe down, and wipe from center; the new ones are generally better. You also continue to have the option to use them at random, or none at all. These aren’t the same five effects as are found on an iPhone, and we’d like to see more transition options, but for a device the nano’s size, these are fine.