New Apple iPod nano (2010) review

The new nano goes on a diet, gets mutli-touch, but loses video playback

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new ipod nano touchscreen

Syncing the new nano with iTunes was a pretty typical experience. People tend to either love or hate iTunes, so don't expect anything different here.

One thing we noticed was that while the nano won't play video, it won't stop you syncing and playing the audio from video podcasts.

The battery life is a healthy 24 hours of audio playback and charging is done through the dock connector.

There's no doubt about it – navigating menu items using multi-touch is a lot easier than using a click wheel. The multi-touch display frees you from the constraints of the click wheel and also feels fast and responsive. It's also bright and colourful, meaning photos really stand out.

new ipod nano touchscreen

In typical Apple fashion it even adds a bit of Ken Burns-style magic to your slideshows. It's little touches like this that continually surprise you (in the best way) about the nano.

The nano's minimal approach to physical buttons means that you can't pause or skip a track without actually looking at its tiny screen, which is a big drawback for any exercising endeavour.

As you can imagine, flailing about jabbing at the screen can only bring frustration on a treadmill, or if you simply want to skip a track while walking down the street without bumping into a lamppost.

It comes as something of a relief then to discover that if you plug in a pair of headphones with a clicker on them (like the ones that come with the iPhone) they function perfectly well with the nano, enabling you to pause and skip tracks without having to look at the screen.

new ipod nano touchscreen

Given this, why on earth has Apple only included the bog-standard clicker-less white iPod earphones in the box?

To make matters worse, two features of the new nano actually require headphones with a clicker to work at all! Plug in some earphones with a built-in microphone and a new app called Voice Memos appears, enabling you to record... yes, you guessed it, voice memos.

new ipod nano touchscreen

VoiceOver is also available as an option for visually impaired users who want to be able to navigate the menu system, but it will also tell you the name of the currently playing song if you click and hold on your headphone's in-line clicker button. Without the clicker button this feature simply isn't available.

It's no secret that Apple's earphones are of dubious audio quality, so we'd always recommend investing in a better pair, but make sure you buy some with an in-line clicker, because without it your nano experience will be seriously hampered.


Tech Specs

Product TypeFlash MP3 Player
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Product FunctionsPhoto Viewer, FM Tuner
Product FamilyiPod nano 6G
Brand NameApple
Audio FormatsAAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, Audible, WAV, MP3, AAX
Screen Size3.9 cm (1.5")
Battery Built-inYes
Height37.6 mm
Width40.9 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Battery Run Time24 Hour
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product ModelMC696Qlla
Product NameiPod nano 16GB Flash MP3 Player
Product LineiPod nano 6G
Manufacturer Part NumberMC696Qlla
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Your greatest hits. And taps. And swipes.
The best things in life have a soundtrack, and that's where iPod nano shines. The Multi-Touch display lets you experience your music in a new way. Tap to play anything you want to hear. Swipe the Home screen to browse your music by songs, albums, artists, playlists, genres or composers. You can even rearrange the icons on your Home screen so your music is organised just how you like.

Package Contents
  • iPod nano 16GB Flash MP3 Player
  • Apple Earphones
  • Dock Connector to USB Cable
  • Quick Start Guide
Weight (Approximate)21 g