Hands-On With The iPod Touch 5

We've had the chance to play around with the new redesigned iPod Touch 5 for nearly a week now, and our impressions of Apple's most fun gadget thus far are thoroughly positive with very little negatives. Our impressions start off on the negative side, but quickly turn into sweet goodness below:

Apple decided to scrap the affordable 16GB storage capacity in favor of 32GB as an entry-level starting point which brings up the initial price of the iPod Touch 5 up to $299. Not cool. The iPod Touch 5 is only available in 32GB and 64GB capacities for $299 and $399. And while we like the new camera design, the metal lens protrudes making the iPod unbalanced on a flat surface.

This might be considered nitpicking, but the included EarPods don't have a simple remote to control music and volume. $300 and Apple couldn't toss in a proper set of EarPods with a device that focuses on music and multimedia? Nonetheless, we tested the EarPods and found them to be better than your average pair of earphones bundled with competing devices. Lastly, Apple neglected to include an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the screen brightness because of how thin the device is. It is ridiculously thin will give it that. Not a deal breaker though.

Apple's new and beautifully groundbreaking redesigned iPod Touch 5 is full of awesomeness. We never thought past generations of the iPod Touch could compete against the iPhone for various reasons, but that has now completely changed. The 2012 iPod Touch is noticeably snappier and responsive this time around. Loading photos, apps and general web browsing is up to par with the speedy iPhone 5. iO6 runs silky smooth on this thing and that goes without saying.

includes a large 4-inch display and a usable 5-megapixel back facing camera with LED flash plucked right from the iPhone 4 and upgraded with a sapphire crystal lens, 5-element optics and better low-light performance. Another much needed improvement was done to the front facing camera which now shoots 720p HD video and 1.2-megapixel photos for FaceTiming and self portraits. That alone is an enticing feature that could replace your old point-n-shoot camera from a few years ago.

  • Price: $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB
  • Dimensions: 4.86 × 2.31 × 0.24-inches
  • Weight: 3.10 ounces
  • Connections: Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Display: 4-inch Retina IPS display (1136×640), 326 ppi
  • Cameras: Autofocus 5-megapixel iSight f/2.4 five-element lens, LED flash, 1080p video recording; front FaceTime HD, 1.2-megapixel
  • Battery: 40 hours of audio, 8 hours of video
  • Processor: A5, dual-core
  • Memory: 512 MB
  • Internal Storage: 32GB and 64GB
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • Bluetooth: 4.0
  • What else?: Includes EarPods with no remote, color matching touch loop - available in 6 colors (slate with black display, gray, pink, yellow, blue and red with white display

This is without a doubt the best iPod Touch model ever made, and we think it should also win the award for best portable multimedia and gaming device. The 4-inch display is dead gorgeous. It's in fact the same amazing, entirely reachable with your thumb IPS Retina display with the resolution of 1136x640 the iPhone 5 has making it a much respected opponent when faced against the iPhone. No matter what angle you view it from, the iPod Touch 5's display looks super sharp, very bright and contrasty to the point where you won't want to take your eyes off of it. The new taller display is perfect for watching movies now, and as soon as app developers updates their apps to take advantage of the extra screen real estate, gaming on this will be amazing. There's more iPod Touch 5 awesomeness after the cut!

Around the back is where a lot of the change takes place. Gone is the shiny aluminum back that would scratch, attract fingerprints and would look dreadful after a couple of days. The new aluminum back is designed with a matte anodized finish that's smooth and comes in beautiful colors like this blue one we have here. If you thought you wouldn't need a protective case, think again. While the new colored metal back seems more durable than the shinier iterations, it's still susceptible to scratching just like the black iPhone 5. Unfortunately every scratch made to the colored aluminum will reveal a shiny silver layer underneath. Your best bet would be to go with the natural silver colored iPod Touch 5 if you hate using a case and still want to feel and use the device as Apple intended. So far we have not a single scratch and we didn't baby it either.

The iPod Touch 5 is incredibly thin and light, and the solid constructed body feels very nice in the hand and of course bares the high quality build and materials you'd expect from Apple. It almost feels like holding a piece of tech that's ahead of its time. You really need to hold one yourself to understand how amazing this device really is.

We couldn't help but notice that the edges of the glass display and chamfered aluminum bezel feel slightly sharp when holding the device in the hand compared to the iPhone 5. It's not at all discomforting, but does make you think about it until you get used to the sensation. 

The over-engineered hand strap, or what Apple calls the touch loop works like a charm. The touch loop is a polyurethane-made strap with a cinche and a layer of smooth velvety interior lining. It's the easiest to attach and the most elegant hand strap we ever used. Since the iPod Touch is more of a kid-friendly gaming device, this will come in handy when giving it to your kids to play with so that they don't accidentally drop it.

The fifth iPod Touch has come a long way since its inception. It was always considered to be an iPhone without the phone part, and in many ways a perfect clone for those who always wanted to get an iPhone but were incapable of purchasing one for what ever reason. The iPod Touch 5 just got the biggest bump since Apple put a back facing camera in the earlier version. 

If you're thinking about picking one of the two iPod Touch models currently available, don't hesitate and go with one of the fifth iPod Touch generations. Although it's $100 more than the earlier 16GB iPod Touch 4 Apple kept around, the iPod Touch 5 is a much better device that easily rivals the iPhone 5's key features and offers a big bang for you buck. Check out the full gallery featuring the blue iPod Touch 5 including the unboxing down below.