Battery Life

Apple rates the new iPod Touch at 7 hours of battery life playing video and 40 hours of audio, this is down from 10 hours on the iPhone 4 (the 4 is still rated at 40 hours of audio playback). I’m still working on battery life tests but I’ll update this section once the results are in :)

Update: At 50% brightness and volume set to 50% I measured 8 hours and 10 minutes of video playback battery life on the iPod Touch. 

Final Words

I was extremely curious about the new iPod Touch simply because of the pretty big leap Apple made with the iPhone 4. I suspect many of you may have had the same questions - whether the new iPod Touch really could be a contractless iPhone 4. While the new Touch is a nice iPod, it’s not an iPhone 4.

The size and dimensions of the new Touch are wonderful. This is one aspect of the iPhone 4 that I don’t miss. I long for the day when we’ll see all smartphones this thin and light.

For what could ultimately be a great FaceTime platform, I am very disappointed that Apple dropped the ball with some obvious shortcomings. Not shipping earbuds with a mic is very unfortunate, and the external speaker is too quiet for a comfortable FaceTime conversation. The rear facing mic worked in my experience but it seems like an odd place to put it.

The new Touch is pricey. In fact, Apple’s entire updated iPod lineup struck me as more expensive than they should be. At $229 for an 8GB player, it actually costs you more up front to get into an iPod Touch than it does to get you into an iPhone 4. If all you need is an MP3 player, you’ll want to look elsewhere. The appeal of the iPod Touch is really the App Store. So if that matters to you, the price is easier to swallow but still noticeably higher than I’d like.

The pricing guarantees Apple is going to continue to have incredible quarters going forward. Apple found sneaky ways to reduce the total BOM (bill of materials) cost on the new iPod Touch. A cheaper chassis compared to the iPhone 4, no GPS, less DRAM on package (256MB vs. 512MB), a cheaper screen and a worse imaging sensor. Granted the iPod Touch is significantly less expensive than the iPhone 4, particularly if you take into account the AT&T contract you need for the latter. At least the new iPod Touch was on par with the iPhone 4 as an MP3 player, which is important given this is an iPod.

The bottom line is that the new iPod Touch is not an iPhone 4 without the phone, it’s more like an updated iPod Touch - maybe even an iPod Touch 3.5. It’s not bad but it's not great either. You have to set your expectations accordingly.

Good Audio Playback Quality, no GPS


View All Comments

  • coldpower27 - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    I agree to some extent, though it is refreshing to see a review not praise the iPod touch as the second coming again.

    It's the previous generation that is for sure, but not without limitations..

    Using CDN pricing.

    iPod Touch 32GB - $319
    Weak Camera (960x720)
    Lower RAM (256MB)
    no Phone
    Earbuds w/Mic Sold Seperately

    iPhone 4 32GB - $779 (Unlocked)
    Better Contrast, Better Blacks
    Better Viewing Angles
    -RAM 512MB
    -Protective Hardened Glass Back
    -Has Phoning Capabilities
    5.0 MP w/HDR
    HD Video Recording
    Earbuds w/Mic Included
    Phoning Capabilities
    -MUCH more expensive

    Though each is intended for different markets, at least Apple gives us a choice...
  • Watwatwat - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link


    the other issue i have was about the microphone. Sure it only works in quiet environments, on the other hand, its inadvertently a good thing. The last thing we need are more people barking at their phones in public places...add children shouting at ipod touches face time and its just obnoxiousness. i can understand them not including it, its just not something i see myself using much at all in reality.
  • yjagota - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    ...but the question is, is this device enough to switch from the old iPod to this new one? I think there isn't too much difference from the last generation so there is hardly any incentive for upgrading. I am giving this one a miss! Reply
  • coldpower27 - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    Depends on which Gen your coming from.

    iPod Touch Gen 1 (Definitely)
    iPod Touch Gen 2 (Good Upgrade)
    iPod Touch Gen 3 (Not so much..)
  • DLeRium - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    Would this then negate the need to rely on the rear mic?

    I do have my own better earbuds (Ultimate Ears with the .vi cord which has a built in mic), so I would probably use that for Facetime. If this means I can just set my iPod on my desk or not worry about that terribly positioned mic, then I will be satisfied.

    Remember the price bump isn't that bad. We're back to the 2nd gen iPod touch price (introduced at 8gb for $229), but let's not forget the iPod Touch 3rd Gen 8gb, while priced cheaper at $199, was really a marked down 2nd gen iPod. While this new iPod is at the same price point as we saw 2 years ago, we get a far faster processor that is 1 generation ahead, double the RAM, a better display, Facetime, and near-iPhone features with two cameras now.

    I think it's sufficient to say that this price bump was necessary. If anything the dropping price of the Touch was hurting the Nano. And now with the Nano losing its camera that it previously gained, I can see why Apple needs to maintain this differentiation between the two lines and keep some sort of price disparity. After all, the iPod Touch is the "elite" device.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    Correct, the apple earbuds + mic works fine on the new iPod Touch.

    The pricing makes sense in Apple's stack, but it feels too expensive for what you're getting :)

    Take care,
  • Calin - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    I think it's wrong to compare its price versus the iPhone subsidised with a contract. If you compare it with the "no strings attached" price for the iPhone, it's looking much better (even though it might still not look good enough) Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    If you're going to be limited to wifi, and you're going to be carrying around a phone plus some device, then why not just use a netbook? Other than facetime there are many better apps for a PC than for an iPod Touch. The only reason iPhone has killer apps is because they are usable on the road where you only have a cellular connection. Reply
  • Sanada - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    I personally carry a cell phone plus an itouch. Addtionally carrying a laptop/netbook is much less portable and comfortable than carrying an itouch. Itouch is just convenient to get the most basic tasks done since it's small and goes into a pocket. Reply
  • futurepastnow - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    Can an external mic be used for audio during video recording? Reply

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