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

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new ipod nano touchscreen

The argument can be made that video on a small screen is a fundamentally flawed idea anyway. Indeed, watching a TV show or music video on a nano was never a comfortable experience, but the simple fun of being able to shoot a quick video of your friends and watch it back immediately was hard to beat.

As a strategy for Apple it makes sense to focus the iPod nano entirely on music and leave video to the more accomplished iPod touch, but the price difference between a low-end iPod touch and the high-end iPod nano is pretty narrow.

We liked:

As we've already mentioned, the multi-touch interface is well designed and accessible. The new clip on the back is also a useful addition, especially if you want to take your new nano to the gym – there's no need to stuff it into a pocket anymore.

Genius playlists are also a stand-out feature, enabling you to quickly and easily create a playlist of similar sounding music, which makes life easy when you can't decide what to listen to.

We disliked:

What the new iPod nano does, it does incredibly well. Putting multi-touch onto a device with a screen that's only 3.9cm on the diagonal, and making it work in a way that feels intuitive and natural, is an incredible achievement. Hats off to Apple for getting this right.

Our only real gripe with the way the nano performs is the lack of controls on the headphones supplied in the box.


Comparing the new nano to last year's model we can't help but feel that we're missing out on something. While Apple has given us multi-touch with one hand, it has taken away the ability to play and record video with the other, while charging is £21 more for the trouble.

A video-capable 8GB iPod touch is only £30 more expensive, and with an iPod touch you get access to the thousands of apps available on Apple's App Store.

If Apple wanted to convince us that taking video playback away from the nano in exchange for multi-touch was a fair deal then it needed to include some sort of nano App Store, or at least bundle a few more apps with the nano beyond the simple Clock, Radio, Photos and Fitness apps you get by default.

As it stands, the new nano performs wonderfully as a device purely for listening to audio, provided you invest in some new headphones, but it feels unnecessarily limited in other areas.