Apple iPod touch (4th gen, 32GB) review

£249
Price when reviewed

The nano takes the plaudits for most adventurous iPod update, but the touch runs it a close second. Cast your eye over it briefly and it doesn’t look as if much as changed over the previous version. It’s still largely the same form factor, with the same-sized 3.5in screen, curved corners and shiny chrome rear. It’s lost a little weight and has been slimmed down a little, measuring 7.2mm thin and weighing a mere 101g.

But these physical changes aren’t particularly dramatic. The maximum capacity hasn’t been boosted, and the prices are still high. The iPod touch is available in three sizes: the 8GB costing £189; the 32GB costing £249; and the 64GB costing £329 (all inc VAT).

Take a closer look, however, and you’ll notice plenty of new features to get your teeth into. The first and most obviously noticeable are the two small camera lenses, one on the rear and one on the front of the device. The former enables HD video recording at 1,280 x 720 and 30fps, although it uses a backlit CMOS sensor just like the iPhone 4, so don’t expect top quality. Footage isn’t nearly as punchy, crisp and deeply saturated, and looks very noisy in low light, but stick to well-lit scenarios and you’ll find it a handy extra.

Apple iPod touch (4th generation, 32GB)

Oddly, photos can be captured only at 960 x 720, which makes us wonder why Apple bothered at all, and the results look worse than that resolution suggests: photos are flat, lifeless and grainy. Another strange omission is you can tap the screen to adjust exposure for a particular area, but not to focus.

The front-facing VGA camera is fine for making FaceTime calls, however. Calls to the touch can be made using a registered email address, and work as well as your internet connection allows. In our tests we were able to connect easily, but video was a little on the choppy side.

The key update, however, is the introduction of Apple’s “Retina” screen to the iPod touch, which takes the resolution from 480 x 320 up to 960 x 640. Reading web links and headlines becomes easier while zoomed out, icons look crisper and cleaner and it’s a revelation for games and video playback.

Basic specifications

Media player storage type Flash memory
Capacity N/A
Screen size 3.5in

Battery life

Audio battery life 40hrs
Video battery life 7hrs

Other features

USB charging? yes
Data connector type Proprietary
Screen size 3.5in
Resolution 960 x 640
Wired remote? no

Dimensions

Dimensions 58.9 x 7.2 x 111mm (WDH)
Weight 101.000kg

Audio codec support

MP3 support yes
WMA support no
AAC support yes
OGG support no
FLAC support no
ATRAC support no
WAV support yes
ASF support no
AIFF support yes

Video codec support

DivX support no
XviD support no
H.264 support yes
WMV-HD support no
WMV support no
AVI support no
MP4 support yes

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