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iPod touch 5th generation - Performance, Camera and Battery Life

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams


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Review Price £249.00

iPod touch 5th Generation Performance

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.

iPod touch sunspider

iPod touch browsermark

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.

iPod touch 5th Generation Camera

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.

iPod touch 5

iPod touch 5

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.

iPod touch 5th Generation Battery Life

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.

iPod touch 5th Generation Value

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.

iPod touch 5th Generation Verdict

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.

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ChrisC 2

September 13, 2012, 11:48 am

Surprised they didn't ditch the iPod name and just call it an iPad Nano.


September 13, 2012, 2:16 pm

When swooning over the new colour scheme and screen resolution in your forthcoming review; please don't forget to mention sound quality. That's always been Apple's weakest point so it would be nice to see if they've made any progress here.


October 20, 2012, 4:44 pm

Thanks for reviewing. I'd also like to hear a bit more about the sound quality though.


December 31, 2012, 7:17 pm

they put the headphone hole on the wrong side, its ALWAYS in the way,and loop isnt safe. my ipod fell out once

Perry Swan

December 31, 2012, 7:43 pm

as a first time buyer into the apple world I find the iPod 5 the most useful tool for my use while travelling. I wonder about some of the comments I've read that make me wonder if its really only just a toy such as "what's the best colour", the lanyard attachment, raised ring over camera lens etc. I'm just hoping it's user friendly, has excellent apps for maps or gps, good graphics, sound, is reasonably rugged etc. So far the cost in Canada seems reasonable.

Tracy and George

December 31, 2012, 10:50 pm

Can anyone suggest where I can get a cheap adapter to charge and play my 5th gen i-pod touch on my docking station?? Thx

Christian Auldridge

February 23, 2013, 4:36 pm

First of all just flip the ipod and the screen will go to that position second you obviously dont know how to use the loop as ive seen a proffesional youtuber play basketball with the loop attached and funy thing it stuck.

Christian Auldridge

March 2, 2013, 2:28 am

That doesnt make any sense...


March 20, 2013, 3:33 am

The colors listed aren't the colors, they come in: Blue pink/red yellow white and black. They shouldn't take pictures of a Gold one cause you can not buy that in the apple store... Sadly.

Luke J. Martinez

April 2, 2013, 3:24 pm

LOL that's the yellow one (if you look at the strap)... It takes on different shades in different lighting.

CounterCulture PC

April 13, 2013, 10:12 am

As long as you can live happily within the walls of the Apple ecosystem,, eh?
I just bought one of these, it came installed with 6.1.2 and I had it up and running the EvasiOn jailbreak in minutes thereby bypassing Apples 'ecosystem' altogether.
Once unleashed and jailbroken, this device-like all Apples devices became 100 x more capable and intuitive than the stock software will ever allow.
I have noticed that the battery life is not that great, but probably because I can't put it down.


May 15, 2013, 12:11 am

Can a digital device be overpriced and good value at the same time? Thats the $300 question. I think it awesome. It weighs 3oz with a retina display--how is that possible?
I always saw myself as a mini buyer--but now i think i can get by with an ipod touch and an ipad5


July 6, 2013, 7:23 pm

I've always preferred iPod touch to iPhone because I almost never use a phone and I have cellular router (MiFi). However one fact makes me to scratch my head- the price of 5gen is the same as the price of iPhone 5 with 2 years contract...


August 6, 2013, 12:36 pm

I would love to see a BABY IPAD TOUCH with a six inch screen and 128gb memory and all the qualities of the ipod touch married to the qualities of the ipad mini but as good as the mini ....only sizeably smaller than the mini...so that it is a more portable device and easily pocketable and purseable.... Please dont discard this idea.... I think it will give the ipod touch a life giving scope and allow apple to develope the concept of media players into the future.But 128 gb is essential and a very good battery and a lovely camera able to deal with low light picture taking.


August 29, 2013, 6:46 pm

When my camera failed on a recent trip to Europe I was so glad to have my iPod 4 th gen. Came home with lots of good pictures and didn't have to try to buy something. When full I emailed to myself & deleted to fill again. Used for mapping, watched movies while stuck in traffic ( purchased before we left). Did everything in comfort of hotel and did have lug a laptop. Rugged, I typically carry in small camera case in my purse and no problem. Enjoy your trip.


October 27, 2013, 12:44 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing


October 29, 2013, 3:00 am

good reveiw but there is actually a 16gb version


October 31, 2013, 2:33 am

its not as expensive anymore. you can get a refurbished version for $80 off($220)and the refurbished one and the brand new one look exactly the same.

Kathy Finn

November 8, 2013, 3:43 pm

DO NOT BUY THE 16g IPod touch 5. For $225.00 it is the biggest rip off there is. There is no camera on the back. Only face camera...I bought one for my son for his birthday yesterday and we both agree its an expensive piece of crap and I am returning it today! I do not recommend this to anyone.


February 8, 2014, 12:39 pm

Only the 32GB and 64GB have back cameras. Do some research before you buy a product.


May 7, 2014, 5:40 am

I just want one with a better battery, I don't care if it isn't the thinnest device on the planet. That and make the battery user interchangeable. It sucks that the battery degrades so quickly and you can only get it changed at an Apple store (they do that right?) but for the same small and rapidly degrading battery...


May 7, 2014, 5:45 am

The iPod Touch is supposed to be an inferior product compared to the iPhone. I also imagine that part of the reason the IPhone without a contract is so expensive, is to subsidize the price of the iPod Touch. I'm sure they sell more iPhones.


July 13, 2014, 9:54 pm

ok i was going to buy the 16 gig one for my son. He is turning 34 now and i was going to hang it above the basement door so when he woke up he would see it. Now i know i should buy the 32 gig one. Thanks!


July 15, 2014, 7:06 am

ebay or amazon.com

Steve Kruckheimmer

November 1, 2014, 5:41 pm

The author states, in his verdict, "as the years roll by, the iPod Touch becomes a tougher sell." I think that after a few years of growing stale that the Touch is worth rediscovering. The bigger screen, with its much improved clarity, and thinner design will put it in a sweet spot for some, since there are no other tablets of this size, which is particularly suited for music and podcast, internet radio, and even such things as the SiriusXM app, none of which would be served well by a tablet that was even slightly bigger (and heavier). I had purchased the first version of the Touch years ago, which has been sitting in a drawer for years, but recently purchased the Gen 5 32GB model, am quite pleased, and believe it may replace, in a single swoop, not 1, not 2, but 3 other devices I’ve been using (my Touch gen1, Zune, and 5” Galaxy player, although the Galaxy player does have a built-in GPS).

Also, as of June 2014, the 5th gen Touch line has been upgraded to include a 16 GB model, and which has the 5 megapixel rear racing camera. Apple also reduced the prices of the Touch models, so the 32 GB model is $249.

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