iPod touch (2015)
The iPod saves itself from becoming a footnote in Apple’s history
Apple’s music player lives on…
From £159 Manufacturer Apple, apple.com/uk Capacity 16/32/64/128GB Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 Cameras 8MP iSight, 1080p HD video recording, 1.2MP FaceTime (720p HD video)
To some, the iPod brand is a dead one, superseded in every way by the iPhone. It reminds us of when iTunes music was everything and apps were just on the cusp of a revolution. Fast forward to now and the iPhone swallows up all the uses you once had for an iPod and so much more. In a battle to stay relevant, it’s no wonder this is the first iPod touch refresh for three years – it’s hardly a mainstay of the modern Apple ecosystem, and has been removed as a category on the Apple website. But with Apple Music now launched, the focus of ‘music in your pocket’ once again becomes a market worth exploring. Yet in a surprising turn, the sixth-generation iPod touch takes some giant leaps from the 2012 model, while leaving other areas more or less untouched.
The entry point of £159 for a sixthgeneration iPod touch with 16GB storage is significantly lower than the fifth-generation’s launch price of £249. However, the 2012 model was slashed to this price in 2014. But look under the hood and you’re getting something quite different here.
Whereas the 2012 iPod touch relied on the A5 processor found in the iPhone 4S, the 2015 upgrade skips a few iterations and puts it on a par with the current iPhone 6 (well, current until we see a new one in September). For a device that seemingly doesn’t really need that level of power, Apple could have easily stuffed older chips in there with little complaint. But to have an iPod touch that’s once again an iPhone without the phone makes it relevant once more, and young gamers will delight in the A8’s capabilities. Just be warned – this iPod gets very hot under load!
Alongside the 64-bit A8, there’s an M8 motion co-processor, meaning your iPod touch is a much better fitness device too. It’s a halfway house sadly, as Apple’s deliberately not included support for the Apple Watch. It wants that to be an exclusive feature of the iPhone, helping to drive sales for its most important iOS device. There’s also no GPS in an iPod touch, so some of the things that the M8 is supposed to assist with (distance and altitude) can’t be quite as accurate.
The next major bump found in the 2015 offering is, of course, the camera. It’s 8MP but it’s not quite the iPhone 6’s camera. It’s essentially the same as the camera found in an iPhone 5c with its f/2.4 aperture. Yet that camera is very good, and considering the younger demographic at which the iPod touch is largely aimed, it’s absolutely fine for general use and posting to social media. Even so, we feel that the True Tone (rather than LED) flash of the iPhone 5s would have been a nice addition for night shooting.
When it comes to battery life, the 2015 iPod touch will continually stream a video for almost the eight hours that’s claimed, and we actually topped 40 hours music playback by nearly 20 minutes. It’s good, and given the very slim profile of the iPod we weren’t expecting more. In fact, the chassis here is identical to the 2012 model, apart from the removal of the dreadful loop button for adding a strap – it looks far nicer without it. The iPod might not be the darling of Apple’s gadgets any more, but the iPod is back from the digital doldrums with a place in people’s lives. Christian Hall
An ideal iOS device for kids or for those looking to replace an ageing iPod that acts as a family music hub.
Finally, a 128GB iPod touch!
Better camera, CPU and battery
No silly loop button
Lacks Touch ID
Thanks to Apple Music, the focus of ‘music in your pocket’ once again becomes a market worth exploring
With a maximum capacity of 128GB, there’s plenty of space for all your tunes on the iPod touch.
The new iPod touch may have an 8MP camera, but it’s not quite as good as the one found in the iPhone 6.