When Apple first announced the new line of iPod Nanos, I was quite impressed by the size of the device. Shortly after, I tried looking at one at a nearby store, but there were no display units. Only last week did I finally get a chance to play around with one at a larger Apple store at a nearby shopping mall. Here are my thoughts and some nice visuals. I chose a red one to play with because red’s a nice colour
Size & Weight: Tiny I should say. It is not as small as the iPod Shuffle, but certainly a lot more compact than its predecessor. It seems that Apple’s going for the touch screen design nowadays and why not if it allows them to shrink their devices. It feels as though you are holding a feather in your hand, weighing only 21 grams according to Apple, it certainly isn’t any excess baggage to carry around given the amount of songs you can stuff into it (largest model has 16GB of space).
Screen & Layout: Once you awaken it from its slumber, you are greeted with a very crystal clear and sharp screen. At 1.5inch and 240 x 240 pixel resolution, what you once probably thought was tiny is surprisingly easy to work with. Four icons are displayed at a time and in comparison to the iPod Touch or iPhone where the screen is occupied by Apps, you will find the iPod controls as individual icons to press. The screen is customizable so you can place a Genius icon next to your Playlists and Library and leave the rest on other pages. Also note, the screen will rotate depending on the angle you hold it so that you’ll always be able to read what it says!
Navigation & Device Features: Navigating through the device is quite simple. Compared to the iPhone where you had to press the Home Button to get back, all you need to do here is slide the page to the left (i.e. slide backwards to get back, pretty simple). As usual, files are managed with iTunes, but we knew that already. You’re also given the option to put photos on the device in case you want a mini 1.5inch digital picture frame. A radio is also included so if you’re sick of your playlist, tune in to your local station.
Pedometer: Welcome to lightweight, welcome to sports. The pedometer “functionality” allows you to assess your laziness. Train yourself to take the minimal number of steps through your house or to work, can you set a new minimum record?
Physical Handling: There are three buttons, the sleep/wake button and the volume adjustment. The clip at the back of the device allows you to attach it to your clothing so that you’ll never lose it. Let’s face it though, given its weight, you can probably let it dangle and it will not detach itself from those earphones stuck in your head!
Battery: The built-in battery offers up to 24 hours of non-stop music once fully charged. Given the size of the device, you’d probably be able to expect that if you don’t play around with the screen for 24 hours. It is certainly a lot easier to design batteries for such devices compared to smart phones!
The general impression I got from playing around the device is overly positive. Would I myself buy one? I’ve been doing a lot of swimming lately so unless it’s waterproof and I’m able to listen to music underwater, probably not at this stage (not to mention, I have enough iDevices for music that are compact (although I wouldn’t want to take my iPod out for a jog again, that wasn’t a good day…). Would I recommend it to anyone who wants a small compact music player that they can take with them? I certainly would. The iPod Nanos are offered in seven colours, more information is available at Apple’s site.
Seriously looking forward to what else Apple can offer us. It’s always exciting to wait and see what new innovations they bring to us!