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.
Though no one gets excited about such changes, Apple has visually updated each of the iPod nano’s Extras applications to take better advantage of the 320x240 display. They’re identical to what’s on the iPod classic, and as a result, steps up from what used to appear on the iPod nano.
Clock now fits three nice-looking transparent clocks on screen at once instead of the second-generation nano’s two black and white ones. They’re displayed on top of a gray map of the Earth, and add the words “today” or “tomorrow” to let you know what day it is, as well.
Alarms has now been broken out into a separate Extra. You can now set alarms to go off once, every day, weekends, weekdays, every week, every month or every year. Each can be labeled with one of a handful of names picked from a list. Multiple alarms can be set up for your current location.
Stopwatch now has an image of a stopwatch on the screen alongside a digital timer. You can peruse past records, with computed total, shortest, longest, and average times kept in a log. Multiple timers can be run at once, as well.
The Calendar interface has been taken from the 5G iPod, offering the same monthly on-screen display, but much better detailed numbers and day separators than before. A predominately gray color scheme is used instead of the brighter blue and gray one from the prior nano. Blank days now say “No events for this day” rather than appearing blank when you click on them. They’re not editable on the nano; you need to update content on your PC or Mac.
Contacts are laid out with slightly different fonts and all-white backgrounds; you now get icons, though small ones, for each of the contacts you’ve set up with photographs or other pictures. The layout is also better on screen. Again, contacts are not editable using the iPod nano.
Screen Lock works the same as before to prevent others from accessing iPod nano’s contents. There’s now a nice new brass lock icon, but it’s otherwise the same four-digit system.
Notes are mostly the same “light HTML documents” as before, only with smoother font edges and more characters per line than on the prior nano. The perceived height of characters appears to be smaller, but the text is still readable.