Categories: MP3 & Audio Reviews   Tags: ,
We love
Apps, apps, apps, slim design
We hate
Weak file format support, no multitasking
Launch Price
3 Pages

Apple iPod touch

The iPod touch 3G crashed into the world more than six months ago, almost an eternity in gadget time. We’ve seen a ton of new screen tech, slim audio players and the arrival of Android media players since then, so can Apple’s flagship iPod still stay on top? Read on and find out in our full iPod touch 3G review.

Read the rest of our iPod touch 3G review:

Apple iPod touch: design, build and sound quality
Apple iPod touch: apps and media skills

While our love for the iPhone 3GS’ looks are beginning to wane, we still covet the iPod touch 3G. We can forgive the shortcoming of iPhone OS, the lack of multitasking, and the smudgy back, while it stays so absurdly slim and light. It’s fast, simple and crucially, fine to use in one hand while walking, helped by the remote on the headphones for track skipping. Combined with the option now for a massive 64GB of storage (Something iPod classic owners should really consider now), space for well over 100 movies, and the unmatched, speedy and simple web browser, it’s still the best all-rounder PMP out there.

What we love almost as much as the iPod touch 3G is the eco system around it that just continues to grow. The accessories are endless, with cases and docks for all vocations and tastes built specifically for it, and the iPhone App Store shows no sign of slowing down, with more new apps and games every day.

It’s the latter that has helped the iPod touch 3G actually improve over time. We don’t mind the lack of a camera when there are just so many A grade titles to play, and while we love being able to fire off the occasional email over Wi-Fi with the top notch touchscreen keyboard, it’s not essential. The Nintendo DS was once the go to handheld for casual gaming, but the last six months have seen the iPod touch 3G usurp it: in fact, it’s reaching the point where we find ourselves gaming on it as much as we listen to music.

Some new hardware changes help it stake its claim too: along with the storage bump, it’s got an improved processor and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics like the iPhone 3GS, so some new titles look better than on previous generation iPods and iPhones – although the cheapest iPod touch 3G lacks these, as well as Voice Control for ordering up songs.

The lowest end iPod touch 3G does have a major USP though: its price. For £152, we just don’t see the point in the iPod nano line anymore, especially considering the touch’s relatively slim size. It’ll still stay strapped to your arm in the gym, so we’d take the trade off in storage space (and the lack of a video camera) compared to a 16GB iPod nano for all the extra software skills any day – it’s only £14 more than the top end iPod nano 5G.

But there are rival media players out there to consider still: the iPod touch 3G doesn’t support all the video files of a larger Archos tablet (Nor do videos look as good on the 480×320 resolution screen), and true audiophiles will prefer the sound quality of a new Sony Walkman and Sony’s top notch digital amplifier. And then there’s the iPad: we won’t know its true potential for some time yet, but it’s yet another portable gizmo begging for space in your bag, and money from your wallet.

Which brings us to the real issue with the iPod touch 3G: do you need a media player at all? It’s been evident for years, but the last six months have only made it glaringly obvious: there are a ton of mobiles out there which are almost as good as the iPod touch 3G for handling media. Needless to say, there’s the iPhone 3GS, but other manufactures are catching up too.

Their handsets might be missing the in-line remote controls, but they’re packing sharper screens, stronger video format support, and even HD video output for connecting to a TV. Even the iPod touch 3G’s syncing isn’t a unique skill anymore, since you can automate file loading for many other phones with the free and excellent doubleTwist software.

It comes down to cost and convenience. The iPod touch 3G is the best all around PMP on the planet, and cheap now too, but the phones are catching up. If you’re sticking with your old candybar, buy an iPod touch 3G. If you’re planning on getting a new smartphone though, think twice, check how big your pockets are, and how avid a gamer you are.

Read the rest of our iPod touch 3G review:

Apple iPod touch: design, build and sound quality
Apple iPod touch: apps and media skills

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