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

  • Taracta - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    Maybe instead of trying to compare a mini Tablet to a cellphone, a comparison to another tablet would be in order even if that tablet is larger?

    Screen issues? Compared to what? That screen is better than anything else other than the iPhone4!

    I would suggest that going against the iPad, the iTouch would compare much more favorable. If you want a iPhone4 without a contract, BUY ONE WITHOUT A CONTRACT!
  • SimKill - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    Better in resolution/dpi, but quality? Reply
  • Taracta - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    One in which you can see the individual pixels and one in which you cannot see the individual pixels, which one would you say is the better quality? Aside from that I had to ignore the video testing done because from the outset it obvious that they didn't even attempt to adjust the black level (Brightness)! Give me contrast levels, color saturation , etc. when you don't have the backlight at maximum so that you cannot get even close to black. Do you expect me to assume that iTouch 300DPI panel cannot do black? Or at least a better black than what was measured? Keep in mind that it is still better than that of the iPhone 3GS by their measurments. Reply
  • SadTouchLover - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Way to get off on a technicality, bub. Everyone in the world knows that the ipod touch is meant to mirror the features of an iphone. Buy an iphone without a contract? And pay 400 more dollars for a better camera and screen? You're not making any sense, man! Are you drunk? This ipod touch is a clear case of price gouging. They're hoping that clueless consumers outside of the geek elite will eat this thing up, which will probably definitely be the case. They left the buzzword features and snubbed the "below the surface" quality. BOOOOOOO APPLE BOOOOOOOO Reply
  • anemic - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    What's with all the Apple articles lately? I've heard enough about these disposable toys the last few months to last a lifetime. STOP IT ANAND! JUST STOP IT! Reply
  • B3an - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    Yep Anand, less with the shiny toys and more with the grown up stuff please.
    I know that you review far more hardware these days than you ever have, but theres too much time wasted on junk like this, which just seems to be for more page hits. It's a bit dumbed down as well, get more technical, you could also atleast take this stuff apart and mess with it/see what components are used.
  • manicfreak - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    I don't know what to say about Rightmark Audio Analyzer if it gives some of the ratings as "Excellent" for the iPod. *roll eyes* Reply
  • gunblade - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    It is a frequency/spectrum analyzer.
    Human ear is inherently deceiving and human brain is biased, so equipment is developed to help doing measurement, where human bias and prejudice is not part of the equation.
  • kmmatney - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    Since it shows the iPod is a good music player, it has to be a bad test suite, right? *rolls eyes*. Reply
  • Verve - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    I like the new iPod Touch since I'm upgrading from 1G (yes, it still lives with diminished battery life). I think the new iPod Touch is much improved in comparison. Besides, I'm not looking for it to be an iPhone substitute -- it just has to be my entertainment gadget that's easy to carry and last a reasonably long time. Reply

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