New Apple iPod nano (2010) review

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

new ipod nano
The new touchscreen iPod nano is radically different from last year's camera-toting model

TechRadar Verdict

Though it's lost a few features and gained a few pounds, it's hard to fault what's there in the new iPod nano.


  • +

    Responsive multi-touch screen

  • +

    Handy clip-on design


  • -

    Basic headphones with no clicker

  • -

    No video recording or playback

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Somebody at Apple obviously hates the phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" because it has completely redesigned its best-selling iPod, the iPod nano, yet again.

This year's model is half the height of the previous generation and has the same clip-on design as the new iPod shuffle. The big change is that there's no click wheel, just a screen.

In fact, the only physical buttons found on the device are for sleep/wake and adjusting volume. Everything else is controlled by a brand new multi-touch display.

new ipod nano touchscreen

But don't mistake the nano for a scaled down iPod touch; the nano appears to run some version of iOS, Apple's iPhone, iPod touch and iPad operating system, but its a unique severely restricted version compared to the full fat iOS 4 found on the touch. You can't buy and install third party apps, for example, and there are far fewer applications, and no Wi-Fi.

new ipod nano touchscreen

In Apple's iPod line up, the new nano still sits squarely in-between the simplistic iPod shuffle and the all-singing, all-dancing iPod touch,with the traditional iPod classic now marginalised as a device reserved for people who need a lot of storage.

Historically the nano has always represented a good balance between price and features, but this time around we were surprised to find that the UK price has actually risen by quite a bit, with the 16GB version at £159 (up from £138) and the 8GB version at £129 (up from £118).

new ipod nano touchscreen

What's even more surprising is that the ability to play or create videos (one of last year's nano's most touted features) has been removed altogether, making the new nano an audio-only device.

But before we tackle that thorny issue, let's take a look at the intriguing new multi-touch display.

Graham Barlow
Senior Editor, AI

Graham is the Senior Editor for AI at TechRadar. With over 25 years of experience in both online and print journalism, Graham has worked for various market-leading tech brands including Computeractive, PC Pro, iMore, MacFormat, Mac|Life, Maximum PC, and more. He specializes in reporting on everything to do with AI and has appeared on BBC TV shows like BBC One Breakfast and on Radio 4 commenting on the latest trends in tech. Graham has an honors degree in Computer Science and spends his spare time podcasting and blogging.