We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 
MP3 players Reviews
15,103 Reviews

Apple iPod touch (4th generation) review

8GB: £189 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Apple's iPod touch has had a radical makeover, with the fourth-generation Touch coming in the wake of the widely praised iPhone 4 and offering some of the same features. It is Apple's best iPod to date and can be considered a triple threat: a gaming console, multimedia player and internet device.

Apple's iPod touch has had a radical makeover, with the fourth-generation Touch coming in the wake of the widely praised iPhone 4 and offering some of the same features. It is Apple's best iPod to date and can be considered a triple threat: a gaming console, multimedia player and internet device.

The Apple iPod touch retains a similar design to previous models, including the curved, stainless steel back and a sleek glass front. At just 7.2mm and weighing 101 grams, the Touch is very light and extremely thin. It is considerably slimmer and shorter than the iPhone 4 and the curved design means it fits in your hand comfortably while still retaining a 3.5in multitouch display.

The sleep/power button has been moved to the right-hand side on the top of the iPod touch (just like on the iPhone) and there are volume buttons on the left. The curved back means the sleep/power button sits at a slight angle. At the base of the iPod touch is a speaker on the left and 3.5mm headphone jack on the right, with the standard Apple dock connector sandwiched between them.

Like its predecessor, the new iPod touch has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, an accelerometer and ambient light sensor. The most noticeable upgrade is the addition of both front and rear cameras. Unfortunately, the rear camera only takes 0.7 megapixel photos and lacks an LED flash, so the pictures it produces are noticeably inferior to those shot with the iPhone 4.

A built-in microphone is located directly alongside the rear camera, and the iPod touch can run Apple's FaceTime video conferencing application. Unlike with the Apple iPhone 4, iPod touch owners can only make FaceTime calls using a valid e-mail address and recipients must have iOS 4.1 installed (the iPhone 4 can make FaceTime calls to phone numbers as well). Skype calls can also be made using the camera, and during testing this worked without any issues. The quality of calls is surprisingly good but this will ultimately depend on your Wi-Fi connection. Apple says FaceTime is an open standard and therefore other manufacturers can integrate the feature into their devices, but at this stage it will only work with the iPod touch and iPhone 4.

Although the iPod touch only takes 0.7 megapixel photos, it can record 720p high-definition video. You can also focus using the tap-to-focus method (the same used when taking still photos). It was hard to eliminate shaking from footage, even when holding the iPod as still as possible. A real advantage of video recording on the iPod touch is that you can download Apple's iMovie app ($5.99), which enables you edit videos shot on the phone by adding themes, transitions, music and photos.

Like the iPhone 4, the iPod touch incorporates a 'Retina' display, albeit without IPS (In-Plane Switching). Although there is not a big difference, viewing angles on the iPod touch are slightly diminished compared to the iPhone 4's display. However, with a resolution of 960x640 at 326 pixels per inch, the screen remains crystal clear.

The new iPod touch is also equipped with Apple's A4 processor which makes multitasking and general use of the device a breeze. We didn't experience any lag or applications crashing during testing and Apple's interface remains effortless to use. 3D graphics in games from the App Store (such as Sandstorm and N.O.V.A) look superb, and the iPod touch is equipped with the same three-axis gyroscope used in the iPhone 4. Apple iOS 4 also comes with Apple's Game Center, allowing multiplayer gaming.

It is easy to forget that the iPod used to be a music playing device first and foremost, but the iPod touch remains one of the best MP3 players on the market. An excellent interface, good sound quality and impressive battery life — Apple claims the touch will provide 40 hours of music and seven hours of video playback — all contribute to this, though the included earbuds could use an upgrade (and their lack of in-line microphone is a downside).

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Apple iPod touch 4G [PCA] Expert Verdict »

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£190
Apple iPod Touch 32GB 4th Generation Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 1070 reviews
Stereo Audio
0.7Mp camera, Video mode: 1280x720
3.5in 960x640 3:2 capacitative touchscreen, retina display
GPS
Voice recorder
Video playback
Music playback
Text-to-speech
Rechargeable battery
101-111x58.9x7.2mm
Apple iOS
Internal storage: 64GB
CompactFlash
AAC, AAC+, AAX, MP3, WAV
JPEG
H.264, MPEG-4
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi (wireless networking)
Wireless 802.11b, Wireless 802.11g, Wireless 802.11n
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

The new iPod Touch is the best dedicated music player that Apple has released to date. The 'Retina' display, iOS4 and the faster processor mean that listening to music, playing games and surfing the Web are easier and more enjoyable than with its predecessors.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£190
  • iPod touch review (2012)

    iPod touch (2012)

    The new iPod touch is a brilliant and good-looking gadget. Here's our fifth-generation iPod touch review.

  • Apple iPod touch

    Apple iPod touch

    When writing about the multimedia capabilities of the iPhone this summer, we called it "the iPod that's really a phone". You could say that the iPod touch is the iPhone that's really an iPod.

  • Altec Lansing Octiv 102 review

    Altec Lansing Octiv 102

    Altec Lansing's Octiv 102 is a sleek black iPod dock. Its unusual shape helps it to fit snug on a bedside cabinet.

  • Apple iPod touch (2011) review

    Apple iPod touch (2011)

    The iPod touch is now even slimmer, at 7.2mm, comes with iOS5 and supports iCloud - a neat way of accessing your music and Photostream from anywhere via the web. The iMessage feature now lets you send secure messages over Wi-Fi too.

  • Apple iPod touch (3rd generation) review

    Apple iPod touch (3rd generation)

    The late 2009 update to the Apple iPod touch is puzzling, to say the least. But the iPod touch remains a great portable computing device.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date, price and specs 2014

IDG UK Sites

What's the best smartwatch? 11 iWatch rivals compared in our wearables round-up

IDG UK Sites

App cloning: the mobile software industry’s hidden shame

IDG UK Sites

Developers get access to more Sony camera features