My Review - iPod Nano 5G 16GB

Discussion in 'iPod' started by VanNess, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. VanNess macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2005
    Bought the Nano and the Touch 64 GB on Friday. I'll save the review on the Touch - whatever is worth mentioning - for another review in the Touch board.

    Also, I'm going to skip features that are already well covered, i.e., the camera, which I could care less about (and why it doesn't import clips to iMovie automatically when synced with the Mac is beyond me).

    Well, since it's an iPod after all, I'll start the review with something that's ironically almost rare in iPod reviews nowadays - the sound.

    In short, yes it does sound different than the Nano 4G, and the good news is that it sounds better. The 4G Nano seemed to have difficulty with midrange and upper base frequencies for the most part. It's high end response was good, but not having enough lower mids and upper base frequencies made it sound too shrill overall on some material. This has been rectified in the 5G. It sounds more balanced, punchy, and warm based on sampling a variety of styles and recordings from current to the 70's and just about everything in between. Needless to say sound quality is a subject topic and your milage may vary. The milage for those who are using standard Apple-issue white earbuds will not vary however - those earbuds are just way too lo-fi to tell any difference worth mentioning.

    Odds and ends:

    - A shuffle selection has been added to the list of songs for albums (with more than one song) and playlists a la the iPhone and Touch

    - Setting the volume to the lowest setting almost shuts it off. It's really really faint. You can barely hear anything and you have to be in a quiet room with no ambient noise to hear anything at all. The 4G had an issue where sound could be easily heard when the volume was backed all the way off. All in all, I'd score this a win.

    - The earphone jack and dock connector are reversed from where they were on the 4G, presumably to make room for the camera lens.

    - It has a radio. It works. Seems to me one of the reasons I got an iPod in the first place was to get away from the radio, bozo DJs, and incessant commercials. Once banished, now they're all back...

    - The larger screen is noticeable and not only just by setting the 4G and the 5G side-by-side. Watching video on the tiny - but now slightly larger - screen is actually almost acceptable when you use the option to fill the entire screen (no letterbox). Noticeably better then the 4G, where even filling the screen (the only way to stomach any video on the 4G) was, at best, like watching a movie on a standard TV...a really tiny standard TV.

    - Speaking of the screen, apparently the 5G is using a different backlight. Whites are slightly brighter and blacks are somewhat darker on the 4G. It's very subtle, and you do have to each screen side by side to see any difference. (Primarily some graphics and video, generally.) But the contrast ratio looks ever so slightly better on the 4G.

    - It seems like the volume is generally louder on the 5G, but that may be more of an impression than a fact.

    - The somewhat smaller clickwheel on the 5G seems very well tuned and more precise - so that I don't find myself overshooting a selection as often as with the 4G. Seems very smooth, deliberate and predictable on the 5G.

    - Speaking of smooth, the screen transitions in general are as smooth as the 4G, which is pretty amazing considering all of the extra junk Apple packed in this thing.

    - With about 3/4 of the memory full, I haven't had a single crash yet. Fingers crossed.

    - As with the 4G, the 5G ships with acceleramotor-based coverflow switched on. Unintended, battery eating changes to coverflow mode are a given, and it's as annoying as ever. Luckily the switch to turn it off is still there. You know, like a lot of people, I almost always use my iPod(s) on the go. How this feature ever made it past any usability study is, once again, beyond me.

    - Icons for album covers, games, and so on, appear almost instantly. The 4G had a slight delay and you would usually see placeholders quickly followed by loading of the actual icons. The 5G is almost instant. You usually don't see placeholders.

    That's all I can think of for now. Bottom line - sound. The improvement on the 5G seals the deal as far as I'm concerned.
  2. conmay macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    Ipod Nano 5thG 16gb

    I think I have the opposite problem to you in that, having just bought an Ipod Nano 5thG 16gb I find the sound to be very 'tinny' compared to the full and rich sound I had on the Nano 4thG.

    I listen mostly to opera and classical and am using the same earbuds. Incidentally the sound when the new Nano is used used on a sound dock is very good.

    As a fairly non-technical person I wonder if I have adjusted the sound settings properly, as I am having a problem actually using those settings. I do notice that the earphone jack in the new Nano stands slightly proud of the casing, whereas in the 4thG it fitted flush to the casing. I wonder if you have any ideas?

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