Historically Apple’s flagship ‘features-light’ iPod model, the iPod Nano, just got ‘features-heavy’, and with a price point that defies the number of features that have been crammed into such a small package.
The new iPod Nanos still boast the slender form factor of the traditional model. At 90.7mm by 38.7mm and a depth of 6.2mm, the device should slip comfortably into most pockets. Perhaps the most noteworthy inclusion with the new models is the video-capture camera. It allows you to record video in up to 30 frames per second with audio – as much as the Nano’s flash-drive capacity allows. The video looks great on the device’s 2.2-inch display, but recorded clips don’t translate so well to larger formats. The quality of videos when uploaded to YouTube isn’t half bad, but it’s certainly less desirable than other similar video capture devices. Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t allow for still-image capture either, even though you can store photos on the device. Nevertheless, there’s almost certainly going to be an increase in amateur filmmakers doing the rounds this Christmas season.
The display is relatively impressive for such a small device, and the on-board accelerometer means that you can view a number of applications in either landscape or portrait orientations.
Also included this time around is an on-board FM radio tuner (which uses the accompanying earphones as its antenna). One really nifty feature with the tuner is its ‘live pause’ functionality, allowing the user to effectively ‘pause’ a radio broadcast and resume or even rewind at their leisure. If you want to skip back to the current live broadcast, however, you can simply fast forward to the current point using the click wheel.
Pros: Fairly inexpensive, nice and slender design, portable video capture, live-pause-enabled FM radio.
Cons: Cannot capture still images, video does not translate so well to other formats.
Verdict: With all of these great new features and a price point of around $300, the new iPod Nano is likely to fill many stockings this holiday season, and for good reason. There’s virtually no competition when it comes to value for money in the mp3 player market.