iPod Touch (5th Generation) review

Bigger is better, if your thumb can take the strain

iPod touch 5th generation
Is the iPod touch still valid in our smartphone-dominated world?

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There's no doubt that Apple has done the right thing by upping the display to 4-inches, the new iPod touch still feels like a modern, desirable device, but the question remains, with so many other full and medium-sized tablets, including the new 7.9-inch iPad mini on the market, is a 4-inch device still relevant?

We liked:

The new iPod touch colours are fun, the bigger 4-inch screen is a real improvement and the Retina display looks as gorgeous as ever. There's no compromise here – this is the exact same display that you get on an iPhone 5. We also prefer the flatter back to the device, and the new iSight camera is a huge improvement.

The camera is good enough to use as your primary camera and 1080p video recording is a great addition. The new strap is actually pretty handy to have as well. In terms of ease of use, iOS still has the edge over Android, especially once you start using the iCloud facilities.

We didn't like:

Using the new iPod touch one handed in portrait orientation can be hard on your thumb. The new Lightning connector looks better than the old 30-pin Dock Connector, and doesn't mind which way up you put your cable in, but it renders all your existing accessories useless, unless you buy the £25 adaptor.

And of course, you still have to use the bloated iTunes to transfer media across from your computer.


We'd say the iPod touch 5th Generation makes a pretty convincing argument for small form factor devices, especially for kids who might find larger devices cumbersome to hold. Even for adults, 7-inch and larger tablets are too big to pop into your pocket, so the touch has a purpose. It's small enough to take anywhere with you and discrete enough that you can use one without drawing unnecessary attention to yourself. It's safer than flashing a larger tablet about on the Tube, for example.

Of course, a price tag of £250 still makes the touch an expensive purchase, and puts it right up next to the iPad mini at £270, and given the choice we'd rather put the money towards an iPad mini.

So, assuming you have an aversion to an iPad mini, the question is can the touch compete with other handheld gaming devices?

Well, there are certainly enough serious gamers' games of the car racing/extreme sports/high-octane-blood-soaked-monster-mashing variety on the App Store to make the iPod touch valid as a gaming platform on its own, but the sheer volume of fun casual games and games for younger children that are available mean the iPod touch can appeal to a much younger demographic than the PlayStations of this world.

And once you're in 'Apple World' you can be sure that your little one won't get into too much trouble or view inappropriate content on the device – there are parental controls aplenty and troublesome features like in-app purchases can be turned off by the parent.

With its bigger screen and new iSight camera the iPod touch 5th Generation is certainly the best iPod touch ever, and a big step up; it's a much bigger jump from the iPod touch 4th Generation to this than it is from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5, for example. If only Apple hadn't just released the brand new iPad mini we'd be rushing to buy the new iPod touch. Now we're thinking it's looking a bit late to the party.