Apple iPod Nano 16GB review
Apple's latest iPod Nano is impressively slim, but audio quality and battery life could be better, while some of the extras feel gimmicky.
Review Date: 13 Nov 2009
Price when reviewed: £135
Reviewed By: Alan Lu
Apple's latest iPod Nano weighs just 34g and is no thicker than a pair of £1 coins, but Apple has squeezed in an FM radio and a video camera alongside its media playback features.
The video camera records in H.264 format at a resolution of 640x480 pixels. Video recorded in bright daylight looked reasonably detailed, but it turned grainy in low light. In our tests, the Nano's battery lasted one-and-a-half hours recording video. The only way to hold it without obscuring either the lens or the screen is by its sharp edges, which is uncomfortable. Surprisingly, the camera can't take still photos.
The integrated FM radio is a first for any iPod. Finding and bookmarking stations is simple. A 15-minute buffer lets you pause and rewind broadcasts, which is useful when listening to live sports, for example. It can't record entire broadcasts, though. On stations that support RDS metadata it can even identify songs being played and save these details so you can buy them later from the iTunes Store.
Beyond these new features, the Nano looks and feels almost identical to the previous model. The interface is as slick and easy to navigate as ever, although there's still no way to adjust the equaliser quickly.
Its battery lasted just over 32 hours playing music, which is a couple of hours less than the previous model. The included earphones are too quiet, lack bass and sound muddy. Even with quality headphones, music didn't sound as rich and warm as we'd expect and the bass wasn't quite as thumping as we'd like.
The 2.2in screen is too small for watching films regularly. It's very bright, though, with good contrast. Disappointingly, its battery lasted just over four hours when playing video, an hour-and-a-half less than the previous Nano.
Despite all its extra features, the 16GB Nano costs no more than most other 16GB MP3 players. The FM radio is a welcome addition, but the video camera feels gimmicky. We were also disappointed that the battery life and audio quality don't match the standard set by the previous-generation Nano. It's a good MP3 player, but Philips' Muse is even better.
Find a review