Get a Sansa Clip/Clip+ instead - much better player, and one can Rockbox it. (The new Clip Zip is good, but it can't be rockboxed yet...)
Apple iPod nano
Apple’s second smallest iPod has some nifty new features
- Compact, smart design
- Bluetooth 4.0 is useful
- Missing features from previous nano
- Screen isn't great for video
Apple's constantly-reinvented iPod nano gets a video-friendly screen and Bluetooth in its latest update. It's a user-friendly device as portable media players go, although it's missing a few features we liked on previous incarnations.
Price$ 169.00 (AUD)
Apple’s iPod nano has had as tumultuous a life as the company’s iMac, changing its form factor regularly since its 2005 introduction. The latest iPod nano is the sixth iteration of the miniature music player (only the iPod shuffle is smaller) — over the years it has gained and lost a larger screen and camera, traded the venerable click wheel for a touchscreen iOS-like interface. We’re taking a look at the most recent software update unveiled at Apple’s Let’s Talk iPhone event at the start of this month.
The latest iPod nano 1.2 update adds integrated accelerometer support, making the Nike+ fitness software work seamlessly without requiring a third-party add-on. Combined with a watch band, this feature makes the nano a reasonable tool for tracking casual workouts. It’s not as accurate or as feature-heavy as using a specialised fitness tracker like the Garmin Forerunner 610 or the combination of iPhone and RunKeeper, but if you’re looking to keep tabs on the distance you’ve walked or how long you’ve run, it does an acceptable job. It gets more accurate with time as the inbuilt accelerometer calibrates itself to your gait, and after a few tries we found it almost as accurate as our iPhone app for tracking a roughly 6km run. It stores stats for your workouts for later access, including data on time, steps, distance and calories burnt — a nice little value-add.
Trading on the Apple iPod nano’s surprising success as a multipurpose watch — several third-party watch bands were released for the square nano a short time after its release, and Apple now stocks a wide range in its online store — Apple’s latest nano software update increases the number of watch faces available to 16, ranging from ‘formal’ traditional faces (we’re not sure you’d ever wear the iPod nano as a formal watch, though) to digital and novelty ones. We liked the nixie clock most on our orange-with-black-wristband nano, but from our examination it looks like there’s a watch face that will at least suit every colour of iPod. We’re not sold on using an iPod nano as a watch, but this update is good for anyone who would.
The ‘nixie’ clock face we used on our orange iPod nano.
The interface is a little friendlier and more customisable than before, with the option to switch Home Screen icons (the inbuilt ‘apps’) to either large or small sizes and also to remove icons from view entirely. Users move through open apps by swiping from left to right, which is intuitive but imperfect — when unlocking the device the clock is shown by default, so as many as half a dozen swipes are needed to return to the Home Screen and open a new icon. Similarly, accidentally swipe the wrong part of the radio screen and you’ve just changed the station. Any iPod touch or iPhone user will be instantly familiar with the system though, and new users should have little trouble picking up its eccentricities.
The new iPod nano update adds large icons for easier navigation.
As you’d expect, all the other features — y’know, like music playback, photos, the inbuilt radio, podcasts and the rest — are still easily accessible and haven’t changed. It’s also good to see accessibility features like VoiceOver and black-on-white. What we appreciate more is a drop of around $50 in the price of each nano in Apple’s line-up — the 8GB is $149 and the 16GB we tested is $169, and given the small price difference we’d choose the 16GB every time.
Since the price of the iPod nano has dropped slightly since the last model upgrade and a few new features have made it easier to use (and more useful), we have no problems giving the iPod nano our continuing recommendation as a simple multi-purpose MP3 and music player.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 2 Medion Akoya E4110 (MD 8239) desktop PC
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5) 4G review
- 4 Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series convertible laptop
- 5 Kogan Agora 4G review
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Amid dueling lawsuits, state needs Oracle's help with health-insurance site transition
- First mobile device with MIPS 64-bit processor coming in 2016
- AMD's new eight-core FX chips based on aging Piledriver architecture
- Uber vows to defy German ban on its UberPop ride-sharing service
- Namecheap says accounts compromised in hacking incident
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.