According to Apple, the iPod Nano has been 'completely renanoed'. Let's take a closer look and see if there have really been enough changes to call it a clear break with the last generation...
DESIGN & BUILD
While the iPod Nano is certainly the slimmest portable MP3 player on the block, it's 2.5 inches long with a widescreen display, which makes the overall dimensions close to the last generation.
We should mention that the previous iPod Nanos were never the best products on the market, but they had the advantage of being small, compact, coloured and relatively effective. However, we would have preferred more physical buttons and this year Apple has delivered on our wishes with a new PLAY/PAUSE button in addition to the good old home button.
The only drawback is that you lose the whole concept of extreme compactness. Maybe Apple's idea was to offer a more coherent range of iPods with a Nano that doesn't encroach on the Shuffle's turf.
We won't mince words—video playback on the iPod Nano is far from extraordinary with a tiny display that is anything but high quality.
It has all the same functions as before, such as shake-to-shuffle and pausable FM radio that lets you re-listen to up to 15 minutes. But the Bluetooth is new, allowing you to connect to other wireless Bluetooth devices. The Nano will also connect to devices such as the Nike+ FuelBand (see inset).
The battery lasts up to 30 hours with audio playback and 3½ hours with video playback and charges quickly (up to 80% of the battery in just 1½ hours).
The sound quality of the radio is just as perfect as in the previous models. It's effective and the function is easy to use.
In fact, little has changed at all in the audio department. This year's Nano gives good performance with high volume, accurately rendered sound and zero distortion.
The earphones that Apple used to include with its iPods have been criticised every which way, and the new EarPods certainly deliver better sound, but they're still far from providing an exceptional listening experience. We recommend getting a better pair of headphones along with the Nano.
Our biggest problem with the Nano is that there's no equaliser, which is a handy addition that most other portable MP3 players have.