Apple iPod Nano Fourth Generation, 16GB Review


28.05.2009

Apple manages to always keep one step ahead of the competition. Whenever you might think device is close to gaining up on the features and quality provided by an iPod, Apple steps up and brings new improvements. This is the case with the fourth generation iPod Nano: a visual upgrade, the new Genius playlist feature, tilt sensor are being introduced. Another thing we appreciate is the suite of accessibility features that make the device operable by the visual impaired.

One thing that might cause problems is that you will have to use the new Apple iTunes software. The eight version has hardware requirements that might pose serious problems to your older computer. In addition, the sound quality is not the best, while it is decent.

It is light, it is slender and it is offered in nine colors, with the price varying from about $150 for the 8GB model to $200 for the 16GB model.

Buy Apple iPod Nano 16GB

The Design

The dimensions are 3.5 inches tall by 1.6 inches wide by 0.25 inch thick. And you will get the feeling that it is the thinnest iPod… and it is. The design is based on light curves, following the design line of the iPhone 3G and that of iPod Touch. iPod Nano 4G features a curved glass screen meant to provide better protection against scratches.

The 2 inch screen has been flipped on its side to narrow the player and provide a better experience. Under the screen you will find the 1 inch wide scroll wheel that is basically the Apple iPod trademark. The bottom of the phone hosts the headphone and dock jacks while the hold switch reappears on top of the player (as it was placed on the second generation Nano).

The menu has been changed to make full use of the new positioning of the screen. Bigger fonts, full screen album art and a quick navigation is provided by the menu.

Buy Apple iPod Nano 16GB

Features

Because it is an iPod, you get all the features you would expect: music playback, video playback, podcast support, photos, games, calendar, stopwatch, clocks and notes. But there are a couple of new features that you will enjoy with the fourth Nano generation.

The first of all is called the “Genius” feature. This feature will create playlists of 25 songs by analyzing a single song. If you have a big enough music collection, the results are really fun. We did not understand why you have to activate the feature in iTunes to be able to use it on the device, but it is definitely a feature that adds extra fun to your experience.

Borrowing the tilt-sensor from its cousins iPhone and iPod touch is a great decision for Nano 4G. This way you will be able to control the player by shaking your phone, while the display will rotate itself depending on how you are holding the phone. The wheel control can become awkward in some situations, but you will get used to it after a while.

Another interesting feature is the ability to record voice through the headphone jack (you will need a compatible headset since the one that comes with the device lacks a microphone). In addition, the device can read the menu and playback information for you. This is a great feature for the visual impaired.
The Performance

iPod Nano 4G comes with an increase in speed and usability while the sound quality and the rated baterry life are the same as with the precedent generation (24 hours of audio playback and 4 hours of video playback).

The audio quality is not as good as the one you hear in iPod Touch but it is still decent. A nice feature would of been the ability to edit the EQ settings more than just by selecting a preset. The list of supported audio formats remains the same as with all the iPods: MP3, AAC (including protected files), Audible, WAV, AIFF, and Apple Lossless.

Video quality is good but not great, limited by the small screen. You can view movies at a maximum 320×240 resolution. The images are bright and clear, but if you want an iPod to view movies, than you should Touch your pocket a little deeper.

Buy Apple iPod Nano 16GB

iTunes

The thing with the fourth iPod Nano generation is that you will have to upgrade to iTunes 8. If you get more features than it eats your resources or it’s the other way around. If you love it or hate it, it does not seem to care as you can use your Nano only with an upgrade to the eight version of iTunes.

The fourth generation of Nano is a great player and it is not that expensive. In return, you get probably the best quality for the amount you are spending. If you currently have a second generation and want the new features and more storage space, it can be the right time for an upgrade.

Buy Apple iPod Nano 16GB

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