iPod touch reviews. What’s the verdict?

25Sep07

The reviews are in. The iPod touch is… well, not so good.

Reviews have finally come out as iLounge held back theirs. Initial reports indicated that there were some iPod touch screens were not up to par with the iPhone’s. Apple have owned up to this and have said that some iPod touches have defective screens. Walt Mossberg’s iPod touch wasn’t one of those affected with the faulty screen. In his review, Mossberg mentions that the iPod touch, unlike the other iPods, had poorer than advertised battery life.

The company claims that the Touch can play music for up to 22 hours and video for up to five hours on a single battery charge, even with Wi-Fi turned on. But in my tests, using factory settings, music playback lasted just under 17 hours and video playback lasted just over four hours. Nearly every other iPod I’ve tested, including the new Nano, handily beat Apple’s battery claims.

in conclusion, however, Mossberg says:

Despite these downsides, the Touch is a great media player, and the iPod remains the best end-to-end portable solution for playing and purchasing music and video.

MacNN also have published their iPod touch review. Jonathan Fingas gave it four out of five stars. Fingas’ iPod touch was also free of the problems that plagued some units but he did note that the viewing angle for the iPod touch was shallow. He also took note of the removal of the mail application and the crippling of the calendar. It would seem that some are thinking of making the iPod touch as a replacement for their PDAs. Personally, I don’t mind the ‘missing’ features. In the first place, the iPod is an iPod first and foremost. It’s meant to play music and videos. Then it is also a internet communicator device. It was never billed as a PIM or PDA. So I suggest some folks out there to get it in your head: the iPod touch is not a PDA. It’s an iPod.

Another point of contention is the chrome back of the device. Again, here is the case of people thinking of the iPod touch as something not like an iPod. Though the iPod touch may share some functionalities with the iPhone and may look like it, the iPod touch is still an iPod. It should look like an iPod.
Battery life, according to Fingas was acceptable. He netted 21 hours from Apple’s claim of 22 hours.
His conclusion is:

That said, after days of use it feels virtually necessary to give the iPod touch a solid four-star rating. As much as it occupies an uncomfortable gap between the iPod classic and the iPhone, this is the best iPod yet for photos and videos, a well-executed first wireless iPod, and a very capable music player. The touch is undoubtedly going to take over from the classic within the next few years, and makes for a superb alternative to the iPhone in countries where the latter just cannot be an option. Apple just needs to be sure that its storage and hardware quality measure up when the iPod classic finally fades away.

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