Review Price £249.00
As is traditional for the iPod touch range, the latest 5th gen model is not quite as fast as the latest iPhone in pure processing terms. It features a dual-core 1GHz A5 processor, as seen in the iPhone 4S.
Let's not do the new iPod touch down - it has a lot of power on tap, and can handle games with near console-quality visuals. However, the benchmarks do show that it is significantly outperformed by the iPhone 5.
In day-to-day use, the lower processor power causes virtually no ill effects. As usual with any current iOS product, iOS runs super-quick.
The fifth-gen iPod touch features two cameras. On the rear is the main 5-megapixel sensor, supported by a dinky little LED flash. Its core specs are similar to those of the iPhone 4S, with backside illumination and an f/2.4 aperture.
However, performance doesn't seem to match up to iPhone 4S level. Images look heavily processed in anything but good lighting conditions, an attempt to keep noise at bay that makes zoomed-in photos look unnatural. However, it is a massive, humungous improvement over the camera in the 4th generation iPod touch.
Not only can it produce fairly decent photos, you also now have access to the Panorama and HDR modes. And it's just as easy to use as an iPhone camera in most respects. The autofocus is fairly quick, touch focusing is enabled and if you like you can use the Volume Up buton on the side of the device to take a photo.
There is one small annoyance, though. When held one way around, the camera lens is very easy to cover with a finger, perhaps more so than with an iPhone.
The main sensor is also capable of grabbing 1080p video, while the front sensor's main task is to take on FaceTime duty. This is Apple's take on Skype, letting you video chat with other iOS device owners.
Apple's fifth-gen iPod touch offers similar battery performance to the last-generation model. It's rated for 40 hours of audio playback or eight hours of video, up from seven in the 4G model.
Our testing showed that these figures aren't a great deal of use fore the majority of iPod touch owners, who'll probably indulge in a mix of game playing, web surfing and music listening. However, it is excellent performance for a device so small and light, and even heavy users should be able to go at least a couple of days between charges.
All this stamina comes from 1030mAh battery, roughly 100mAh up from the last iPod touch. It's significantly less than the 1440mAh battery of the latest iPhone, but the extra capacity isn't strictly necessary without power-sucking 3G mobile internet on-board.
Apple decided to get rid of the low-cost edition of the iPod touch this year. It's sure to make a lot of people sad, but it's a decision that does make some sense. The size of apps and games is getting bigger, and 8GB of memory would be sucked-up in seconds.
32GB for £249.99 makes the iPod touch the same price as the Cowon Z2, and just a little more expensive than the Sony NWZ-Z1060. As a pure audio device, the Apple iPod touch 5th Generation isn't going to set the world alight with its sound quality. But the notion that it is a bad one simply isn't true. And combined with the masses of additional functionality on offer here, we can only conclude this is by far the best personal media player device available.
As long as you can live happily within the walls of the Apple ecosystem, that is.
Now that the iPod touch range starts at £249.99, it isn't quite as accessible as it once was for cash-strapped folk that can't afford iPhones. However, the iPod touch 5th generation is doubtless the best iPod touch made yet. Strong design, and significant improvements in both screen and camera tech make sure of that. As the years roll by, the iPod touch becomes a tougher sell, but that doesn't mean it's not a great gadget.
Trusted Reviews is part of the Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Technology Network