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What is an iPhone 5 that doesn't make phone calls? An iPod Touch -- a terrific stocking stuffer
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What is an iPhone 5 that doesn’t make phone calls? An iPod Touch — a terrific stocking stuffer

P1040941The iPod Touch is a snazzy little device that comes in a classy looking clear box that doesn’t hide the clean lines of this powerful media player.

 

IMG_0024The iPod touch is not just an iPod anymore. While Apple still sells the old fashioned iPod Classic and has just launched the iPod nano 7th Generation…and don’t forget the iPod Shuffle, the iPod touch has taken over as the big gun of the iPod brand – it’s essentially a great media player that has become a handheld gaming console thanks to the sheer number of excellent, and very cheap, games available in the App Store.

The iPod touch 5th generation for 2012 doesn’t radically change anything, but gives the player some of its own new design tweaks, without ruining what was so great about the device in the first place. The most important design change is screen size…it now features an elongated widescreen display, just like the iPhone 5. It’s a little taller than the last generation at 123mm long, but just about the same width…and of course there is the new Lightning connector that renders any of your existing accessories obsolete.

Still there are some solid improvements both in terms of design and performance: a dual-core A5 processor replaces the last version’s A4. A 5-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording isn’t as good as the iPhone 5’s camera, but it’s far better than the one on the last Touch.However, the new Touch has many features in common with the iPhone 5: that same crisp, longer 4-inch IPS Retina Display; an improved front-facing HD camera; and iOS 6, including support for Siri, panoramic photos, Passbook, and AirPlay.  Here are the basic specs:

  • A5 processor
  • 4.86 x 2.31 x .24 inches
  • 3.1 ounces
  • IPS Retina screen with 1136 x 640 pixel resolution
  • 32GB or 64GB internal memory

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IMG_0006Running iOS 6, the iPod has many of the same features found in the iPhone. That fact also brings the iPod touch just that much closer to being an iPhone 5 that can’t make calls. It supports Find My iPod using Wi-Fi), FaceTime over Wi-Fi and texting between iPods and iPhones using iMessage. The iPod touch even gets the same dual-band 802.11N Wi-Fi radio, which made browsing zippier than previous iPods. It also improves FaceTime performance.

All the email, calendaring and contact features you find in iOS 6 on the iPhone 5 are there and work just as well as they do on the iPhone. Having that information on your iPod touch comes in handy now that Siri, is on board. She worked fine for local data and the Internet, as long as she was connected to Wi-Fi. Without a connection, Siri is useless.

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The Touch’s 5-megapixel camera takes great outdoor shots, but has difficulty in low-light situations. This is noticeable in the evening and indoors. It can take panoramas, and with enough light, they look pretty good. In general, photos looked good, though not always great. The 1080p video in good light is excellent and the 720p resolution produced by the the front camera improves what recipients of FaceTime calls see.

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The iPod touch really shines in gaming and video. Gameplay looked amazing on the Retina display. Developers have yet to roll out widescreen updates for all games, and some are still letterboxed.

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The fifth-gen iPod touch is also a great video consumption device. Movies look great on the new wide screen.  Netflix, with the new interface, is a pleasure to use. Streamed movies look great and are stutter free even on a busy WiFi Hotspot.

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And of course we can’t forget that the iPod Touch is also a music player..and by far the best portable player you can buy. While Apple still doesn’t have a custom equalizer, the presets, such as Bass Booster and Dance do the job. While the new earbuds sound pretty good, audio is truly impressive on quality headphones

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P1040949The iPod touch is available in five cool colours with a matching wrist loop to keep your device safe. My red one is a special version, A percentage of gross profits from the sale goes to the Global Fund to help fund AIDS programs in Africa. Available wherever Apple Products are sold, the price is $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB version.

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Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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