iPod Touch (5th Generation) review

Bigger is better, if your thumb can take the strain

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Our Verdict

While the more recent iPod Touch 6th Generation has the most capacity and fastest processor, its lack of a bright color-scheme makes the fifth generation touch the better looking device overall.

For

  • Better screen
  • Five colour options
  • iOS 6 improvements
  • Very thin and light
  • Better earphones

Against

  • Apple Maps!
  • Lightning port is a reset
  • You still need iTunes

Update: If you're looking for the latest iPod Touch, check out the iPod Touch (6th Generation) that came out in 2015. It packs an Apple A8 processor, 1 GB LPDDR3 DRAM and either 32 or 128GB of storage – making it the largest capacity iPod on the market. 

That said, the 5th Gen we reviewed here from 2012 isn't so bad all these years later. It's a bit more colourful than its successor, and cheaper these days, too.

Original iPod Touch (5th Gen) review continues below...

In an age where your phone can hold all the music you own you may be wondering why you might still need an iPod Touch.

The answer is that the iPod Touch is not just an iPod anymore. While Apple still sells the old fashioned iPod Classic and has just rebooted with the iPod nano 7th Generation, the iPod touch has taken over as the champion of the iPod brand – it's essentially a media player par excellence that has morphed into a handheld gaming console thanks to the sheer number of excellent, and very cheap, games available via the App Store.

It's this gaming and app angle that really gives the touch its raison d'être. If you can't afford the premium tariffs that the iPhone attracts and you still want to take advantage of the thousands apps that Apple's App Store holds then the iPod touch is your cheapest route to entry.

iPod touch 5th generation

The second-to-last iPod touch 5th Generation takes the best features of the iPhone 5, like the taller 640x1136 pixel, 4-inch screen and the latest iOS software update, and adds a few little quirks of its own, like a choice of coloured backs (black, grey, pink, yellow, blue and a sixth Product Red) and a new strap called an 'iPod touch loop'.

Along the way the camera has been upgraded to an iSight camera with a built-in flash that's capable of 1080p video recording and the processor has been upped to a dual-core A5 chip, giving it twice the processing power of the previous single-core A4 chip. Both the screen size and the faster processor are important for gaming, but more of that later.

ipod touch 5th generation

Memory configurations have been simplified. The 5th-Gen is available only in 32GB and 64GB flavours.

Finally, the new iPod touch runs iOS 6, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system in all its glory, which means that both Panorama – a new mode for taking panoramic photos, and Siri, Apple's intelligent voice-activated personal assistant, are available here.

Note: neither of these two features work on a iPod touch 4th Generation running iOS 6.