iPod touch 5th generation (2012) Review - Accessories, Screen and Video Review


iPod touch 5th Generation Accessories

The new iPod touch benefits from Apple’s redesigned earphones – the Apple EarPods. Apple claims these were in development for four years, and they use a design that’s a sort-of hybrid between earbuds and the IEM style.

Sound quality marks a great improvement over the previous Apple earphones, but they’re an acquired taste. They feel like they’re forever falling out of your ears and the hard plastic bodies can irritate your ears if you fiddle about with their positioning too much. But they are better than the old type. For more, read our full Apple EarPods review.

Two other bits come in the iPod touch 5th generation’s box. There’s the Lightning connector cable and the Loop lanyard. As usual, you don’t get a power adapter here. The official power adapter costs an additional £15 at your local Apple Store.

iPod touch 5th Generation Screen

Like the iPhone 5, the 5th gen iPod touch changes the screen size for the range. All previous iPod touches used 3.5in screens, but this latest stretches the display to 4-inches.

It does so without widening the device, skewing the aspect ratio for a more widescreen look. There’s very little not to like in this change. It gives more room for touchscreen gaming controls, is a better size for movie-watching and allows more app icons to be displayed onscreen at once. The redesigned bezel reduces the amount of extra phone length too – 123mm up from 111mm.

Looking further into the iPod touch 5th generation screen, it features the same resolution as the iPhone 5, 1,136 x 640 pixels, supplying 326dpi pixel density. The panel type is similar to the iPhone 5’s too, using an IPS display.

IPS stands for in-plane switching, and is a screen architecture that’s designed to offer a wide viewing angle. Previous-gen iPod touches suffered from significant contrast shift, where the picture becomes clouded in shadow if viewed form the wrong angle. There are no such issues here, making this one of the very best PMP screens available.

However, the iPod touch 5th generation screen still doesn’t quite hold up when compared directly to an iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S. Contrast isn’t as good, resulting in less punchy-looking images, and our review sample has a slight yellow (or “warm”, if we’re being charitable) cast to it. This may vary between batches, though, and previous iPod touches have frequently showed a blue or yellow skew.

Another slight drawback to the iPod touch screen is that it does not allow for automatic brightness settings. Switch from inside to outside and you’ll have to manually change brightness from within the settings menu. Apple’s Phil Schiller says that it’s because the iPod touch is just too slim for an ambient light sensor.

iPod touch 5th Generation Video Playback

The latest iPod touch does not stray from the iOS norms in its approach to video. Out of the box, it natively supports just a few formats, and you’ll have to hook up to iTunes to get those videos transferred.

Formats on the guestlist from the off include H.264, MPEG4 and motion JPEGs. Transcoding software is readily available, but depending on the source format it can take a while.

Get HD-quality videos prepared, though, and they look superb on the iPod touch screen. Detail is excellent thanks to the pixel-packed screen and colours balance vividness and a natural look well.

There are alternatives to transcoding your video library too. Apps for movie streaming services like Netflix and LoveFilm are available for free from the App Store, and there are apps that can handle other formats such as MKV, Xvid and DivX without transcoding. Most of the best dedicated media players cost a pound or two, but are well worth it if you want to use the iPod touch as a video player as much as a games/music device.

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