The gap between the iPod touch and iPhone is getting increasingly small, as the gap between Apple's iPod models gets wider. As the latest iPod nano has sharpened its focus on becoming a small, snazzy, music player, the iPod touch is adding more strings to its bow than many users might know what to do with.
That the latest iPod touch is thinner than its predecessor is impressive, but not surprising - when has a new Apple product not been? What is surprising is that the 111mm x 58.9mm x 7.2mm device feels thinner, probably because its edges taper away more rapidly to a flat back, whereas the previous iPod touch's metal casing was curved. We definitely like that this iPod touch doesn't rock about when placed on a flat surface.
Despite being thinner than ever, the new iPod touch continues the trend of packing more into its attractive frame than its predecessor. A quick peak around the back reveals a camera up in the corner, and there's a front-facing one above the screen, too. The rear camera can take 960 x 720 pixel stills and record 720p video, but the front shooter is a mere VGA affair.
Inside, the touch now has the same A4 CPU powering the iPhone 4, although clock speeds and how much RAM it's paired with are kept secret by Apple. Importantly, all three models - 8GB, 32GB and 64GB - are on the same platform now; the lower-end device is no longer left running older tech.
Stealing the show is the migration of the Retina Display from the iPhone 4 to the new iPod touch. Despite sharing the same name and 960 x 640 pixel, 326ppi resolution, the iPod touch's Retina Display isn't exactly the same as the iPhone 4's. For a start the iPod touch isn't as bright, presumably to help improve how long it lasts on its smaller battery, and it has noticeably worse viewing angles. Colours also look different between the iPhone and iPod touch, but strangest of all is how text is rendered in Safari - the iPod touch consistently shows the same text smaller.
Fortunately the differences aren't significant enough that you'd notice without a direct comparison. And the most important aspects, the resolution and pixel pitch, are identical on the iPod touch and iPhone 4, so we doubt anyone will have a problem with the quality of the iPod touch's screen; just know that the iPhone 4 is better. HD videos, web pages, eBooks and games still look absolutely brilliant on the iPod touch, though.