Maybe a new point-and-shoot camera and a new portable FM radio aren’t the most scintillating of tech products these days.
But what if the camera also let you conduct video chats and play games, while the radio allowed you to view movies on a color screen? What if both of them could store thousands of songs? And what if they were so nicely built and easy to use they might have been made by Apple?
Actually, they are made by Apple. They’re the newly redesigned iPod touch and iPod nano, and they show there’s still some life in the humble music-player segment, even in an era of more potent smartphones and tablets.
The iPod touch has always had a close kinship with the iPhone, and this latest version borrows liberally from both the iPhone 5 and 4S. The 4-inch Retina display is the same found on the 5, while the new 5-megapixel camera is terrific — as good as the one on the 4S, and much better than previous touches. It also becomes the third device, after those two phones, to support Apple’s cool panorama picture mode.
Toss in a sleek new body, Apple’s redesigned EarPod headphones and even a wrist strap, and what’s not to like? Maybe just the price: $299 with 32 gigabytes of storage and $399 with 64 gigabytes. For that much, they could have at least included a power adapter.
The iPod nano’s screen, like the touch’s, has gotten bigger — 2.5 inches — and the device now provides not only widescreen video but Bluetooth for streaming to a wireless speaker or headphones.
Then there are the little goodies packed in, like the FM radio tuner, which uses the EarPods as an antenna, and a pedometer that syncs with Nike+. And it’s all in a package roughly the size of a credit card that weighs all of 1.1 ounces.
At $149 for 16 gigabytes of storage, it may be a little too dear to serve as a holiday stocking-stuffer. (The $49 iPod shuffle probably serves that purpose.) But it works nicely as a multipurpose pocket entertainment and workout buddy.