Sunday, January 09, 2011

iPod Touch 4th Generation Review and Photos

In this review, I’ll briefly outline the new features of the iPod Touch 4G and compare it to my old 2nd-generation iPod Touch. I also did some comparison shots of the exterior hardware. I bought the iPod Touch 4G last November 2010 so I had a very long time to play with this and this review will be based on my experience using it. So let’s get started.

Dual Cameras. Get ready for Facetime

The new feature of the iPod Touch 4G is it’s built-in dual cameras (front/back). This has been the most requested feature since the 2nd-generation and many were hoping that the 3rd-gen upgrade would bring. The front-camera can record high definition videos (720p HD at 30fps) but pretty crappy at taking still shots. (click on photo below)

Apparently the lens Apple used on the rear camera is inferior compared to that of the iPhone 4 due to lens space (and cost?) limitations. So don’t expect to shoot HDR quality with this thing. It’s like a VGA quality from your old dumbphone but with a larger 960x720 size. At least they didn’t cripple photo-taking like they did with the old nano, so I guess that’s good enough.

Testing Facetime and Skype video chat was very easy. I’m not even going to review or write anything about it because it’s so easy, it works. Facetime is currently available only on Wifi and OSX/iOS only while Skype is available anywhere.

HD video recording

Another major selling point for this version is the ability to record video in 720p HD. The quality is good enough but don’t expect it to be at par with those of professional dSLR cameras. At least I can now use those cool camera and video apps like iMovie to do on-the-go video editing. I now shoot videos with the intent of editing it later and adding sounds, transitions, effects. It’s fun.

See the sample HD video below I took at Enchanted Kingdom. Don’t forget to select 720p as the video quality.

Retina Display. 326 pixels packed per inch

Another iPhone 4 technology handed down to the Touch was Retina Display. This is Apple’s term for it’s high pixel density display with a resolution of 960 x 640 at 326 pixels per inch. A printed resolution is 300dpi, so Apple exceeded that by 26 more pixels per inch. You could just imagine the crispness and details that this upgrade would bring fore apps and games. The display unfortunately doesn’t use IPS panels found on the iPhone 4 but looking at it I don’t really mind the difference.

Below are a couple of comparison shots of the iPod Touch 2nd generation to the new iPod Touch 4th generation’s display. You can click all images to see a larger version.

You can clearly see the difference on the icons and the overall user interface. The icons are now much more detailed. Photos are now much more crisp. Browsing also is easier and you can even read the text without zooming in.

A4 1Ghz Processor. Faster of course

Another needed upgrade was computing power. The new iPod Touch 4G now has a gigahertz of processing power aside from the larger 256MB RAM (double that of the 1st and 2nd gen) but smaller than iPhone 4’s 512MB of memory.

The half-baked muti-tasking on the iOS also contributes to the slowdown sometimes but the speed bump gives the OS the needed boost to minimize the occasional lags and jitters while scrolling large websites or playing graphic intensive games.


If you are in for an upgrade of your old iPod Touch. Get this. You’ll really like it (well except for the crappy camera) If you are planning to buy your very first iPod Touch or can’t afford to  get the iPhone 4 then this is it. It has most of the features that you’d want on a your pocket computer. Very nice feature set for the price.

The market price of the 4th generation iPod Touch in the Philippines (Apple Philippines online store) are as follows: 8GB – P12,490  //  32GB – P15,990  //  64GB – P21,990. You can find a cheaper deal in Greenhills and some online sellers with the same 1-year Apple warranty so try canvassing first.

I went for the 32GB instead of the 8GB for practical reasons. Adding only 4,000 pesos to the 8GB price will give 4x the storage capacity. It would be foolish to get the 8GB model in my opinion since you’ll probably load it up pretty fast with those HD videos anyway. Better choice would be the 32GB.


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