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iPod nano 7th generation (2012) review

Andrew Williams



Our Score


User Score


  • Slim body
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Easy to use interface


  • A bit expensive
  • Fairly low screen res
  • Limited features

Review Price free/subscription

Key Features: 2.5-inch screen; Bluetooth; Nike+ support built in; Capacitive touchscreen; 16GB storage; Lightning connector; Apple EarPods

Manufacturer: Apple


Out of all of Apple's mobile ranges, the iPod nano has featured the most diverse array of incarnations. It was long and thin, then it was squat and cute, it shed the pounds again, became the size of a postage stamp for a bit and now is back to being a long, thin rectangle under its latest guise as the 7th generation, 2012 iPod nano.

The iPod nano may be suffering from a seven-year identity crisis, but that doesn't mean it's not a fantastic little music player in most respects.

iPod nano 7th Generation Video Review


The preceding sixth-generation iPod nano was the first to feature a touchscreen, and a touchscreen was pretty much all it was. Tiny and able to be worn as a watch, it was a bit of a strange device. The 2012 iPod nano 7th generation, however, reverts to a more traditional nano design.

iPod nano 7

It's a slender rectangle 76mm high and just 5mm thick. Like the iPod nano 6G, it's mostly screen, but now there's an iPhone-like 'Home' button underneath the screen, giving the iPod nano 7th Generation a healthy bit of bezel.

Like the new, 2012 iPod touch and iPhone 5, the shell of the iPod nano 7th generation is aluminium. It comes in eight different colours, including dark grey and silver for those who like the sober look. The sole interruption of the iPod nano's bodywork is a small bit of white plastic on the rear.

iPod nano 10

This is to ensure solid Bluetooth performance, as a full-metal body can cause serious wireless connectivity problems with things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. You only get Bluetooth here, though. The iPod nano 7th generation is a pretty simple device compared to the iPod touch.

Such simplicity is what lets the nano get as small as it is. It's dinky enough to hold comfortably while out on a run, and yet has the screen and memory capacity to let it function well as a main MP3 player. However, as there's no clip, those after a pure exercise music buddy should also consider the iPod shuffle or Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip.

iPod nano 6

The iPod nano 7th generation inhabits a curious middle ground that may make people ask who it's aimed at. Storage is stuck at 16GB, with no way to expand this, it doesn't play apps or games and at £129 it's hardly cheap. It's a good job, then, that it's a delight to use.


Unlike the iPhone and iPod touch, the iPod nano 7th generation doesn't use iOS 6, or indeed any of Apple's iOS software iterations. It features a similar visual style, but is far more stripped-back.

iPod nano 14

The home screen here is a selection of circular icons that represent the player's core features, split into two pages you swipe between with flicks of the touchscreen. Running them down tells you pretty much everything the iPod nano 7th generation is capable of.

There's Music, Videos, Podcasts, Photos, Radio, Clock, Settings and Fitness, which is the app for the iPod nano 7th generation's Nike support. The beauty of the nano is quite how easy it is to use.

It uses a relatively low-powered NXP ARM processor, but as there's not much to challenge its operation is superbly quick and smooth. There are neat, snappy animated transitions that tie together each part of the interface, making many cheaper MP3 players like the Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip seem a bit shonky. Let's not forget, though, that the nano is several times the price.

iPod nano 15

Aside from the home button, all menu navigation is handled with the 2.5-inch touchscreen, which is capacitive and highly responsive. Flick left-to-right and you'll skip back within the menu system, and the layout of each sub-section of the iPod nano 7th generation is highly intuitive.

Music navigation is executed in standard Apple style. It's clean, it's quick, it's simple and the only visual embellishments are supplied by the album artwork, used throughout.

Video files are arranged in a similar style. As with any Apple mobile product, though, you'll have to get onboard the iTunes train to load up the new nano with music or video files. There's no drag 'n' drop action here, just iTunes syncing. There's no wireless synchronisation either, just wired transfers through Apple's new 8-pin <a href="http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/iphone-5-adapter-revealed-lightning-to-30-pin-for-25">Lightning connector</a> cable.


Within the little plastic coffin that the 2012 iPod nano ships in, you get a Lightning cable and a pair of Apple EarPod headphones. These replace the Apple earphones that have accompanied every Apple player for years, and they have been in development for almost half a decade.

iPod nano 3

They are a significant improvement in terms of sound quality over their longstanding predecessors, but their fit is a bit of an acquired taste. The hard plastic bodies of the new Apple EarPods rest by the entrance to your ear canal, and if you fiddle with them too much they can irritate your ear cartilage. What you miss out on with an iPod nano 7th generation is a power adapter, which only ships with Apple's smartphones and tablets such as the iPhone 4S and iPad 3.{/h}

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October 23, 2012, 11:31 am

I'd be keen to know what the battery life is like please.

I think there is still a market for stand-alone music players. I don't like using my phone for music as it ends up being connected to speakers and therefore not in my pocket - I then walk away and miss calls. There is also the issue of GSM interference spoiling the music.

I don't think this player justifies the cost over the sansa clip. My ideal player would be an oversize clip with a bigger battery. We should be able to get a weeks worth of music by now. No need for "video" screens either!


October 23, 2012, 5:20 pm

@sengstaken>> I'd be keen to know what the battery life is like please.

30 hrs. Should be good for a week at about 4 hours a day.

The Sansa Clip seems to be about 11 hrs.

All things been equal, I think the extra £60 for this doesn't seem too bad.


February 6, 2013, 7:20 pm

I find battery life playing music not the greatest. I have yet to see close to 10 hrs. But 7 or 8 is pretty good. I use Hesh 2 Skullcandy headphones which require a healthy volume setting. So earbuds might get you better results. I find the volume output is marginally if you like loud music. Is this a design or simply a lacking headphone amp? What I really hate is the new power connector.

Villy Cabuag

February 16, 2013, 5:20 pm

does this have voice recorders?


March 19, 2013, 11:06 pm

I have a 2nd generation iPod Nano that I use primarily in my truck connected to a Pioneer AVIC-Z2 head unit with the iPod adapter (30-pin) but, wanted to increase storage capacity to load up more iTunes songs so, I bought the 7th generation iPod Nano. First off, the lightning connector required me to buy the 30-pin adapter which isn't cheap at $30 to interface with my Pioneer system. Unfortunately, with the adapter the 7th gen iPod will play but not charge like my 2nd gen. So, I thought wouldn't be a big deal because my older iPod Nano can run for about 2 weeks without a charge using it around 2 hours a day for my daily commute. The new iPod lasted about 5 hours until the battery exhausted. I charged it again to 100% thinking it may not have been fully charged the first outing. To my dismay, it ran out around 5 hours again. I only used it for playing MP3 and none of the other features like Bluetooth were enabled. I don't like the lightning-to-30 pin adapter due to its awkward connectivity and additional space it requires for use with a compact MP3 player.

I returned both the iPod Nano and adapter and plan to buy a used 2nd gen. iPod Nano with 8GB capacity that works with my Pioneer system and has longer battery life.

My opinion is Apple made a bad design choice to go with the lightning connector. Requires buying an expensive adapter to use with iPod 30-pin interfaces. 7th gen. iPod Nano battery life is terrible and for those that just want an MP3 player to play iTunes, the additional features of FM radio, Nike app., podcasts, Videos, & Bluetooth will only consume more battery.

Trick Step

April 10, 2013, 4:12 pm

I have it and it's extremely easy to use battery life up to 30 hours of music , 10 hours of video and you cannot install apps , but you can sync from itunes music , videos , podcasts , etc. But on the 2nd page where is clock and settings , you can sync ITunes U and Audiobook those two will appear on the second page or the 3rd page , or what page you select them to be . What is new for this ipod nano , as it says on the video , it has bluetooth wich allows you to connect to your car , your wireless headset and you can connect to the other devices from Apple. And exteremely rare for this ipod , if you keep charging your ipod , you will increase your ipod's battery life !!! I'm not joking because i have one of my own and i have done that and i increse my ipod's battery life , up to 38 hours of music and and 18 hours of videos !!!And now about photos you can now pinch to zoom and picture , wich the previous ipod nano , dosen't do that ! Only at videos you can sync movies only mp4 and you can double tap on the screan and voila ! The video's bigger it can support 1000 charges , and if you leave it 7 days at charging you can activate bluetooth , you can keep the screen on and the battery will not respond till the next charging , i mean it frozez . You know if you leave your ipod ( 7th gen) 30 seconds at charge the battery will increase "a quarter" of battery. I think is the best mp3 , mp4 , ipod from Apple looking at the increased battery life ! ( MY OPPINION )

Trick Step

April 10, 2013, 4:19 pm

yes , but not with the included earpods , only with earphones with microphone


August 17, 2013, 5:06 pm

I'm so disappointed in my Nano because it has no alarm. I need an alarm to wake me (yes, with ear buds.) Such a waste of money for me. :(


August 19, 2013, 8:15 pm

can you watch movies?


September 14, 2013, 7:31 am

why does it have photos if there is no camera?


September 14, 2013, 7:31 am

then sell it.

Decder Diamond

October 3, 2013, 6:54 pm

Does it have an internal speaker?

Peter riffin

October 5, 2013, 3:23 pm

To get games and apps on it insert the I pod into the computer and click on my computer then go onto your name I pod than make a folder and have happy gaming! I managed to get Gta vice city and Gta 3 on my 7G ipod Nano.

Eric Dalzell

November 8, 2013, 12:42 pm

Gone through two in less than a year. First one wouldn't charge after a few months. Apple replaced it. Second one now has no sound after two months. Nice that Apple replaces them but getting to be annoying.


January 5, 2014, 7:58 pm

How do you download the game after making the folder?


February 1, 2014, 1:31 pm

I am on my 4th 7th generation Nano and now heading back to
get the Apples store as this one (will
be my 5th device in less than year) has also broke and shown same fault issue
as the others that failed. Screen started flickering and jumping then end ups going
white and then fails and goes black. Typically
i can normally see in ITunes but device
screen just not working at all... If you leave hooked up via usb port it starts
to go white around top edge of screen. Has anybody experience any issues like

I typically use this for gym and running where this is when
it has failed

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