Review: the new iPod touch vs. the previous model

Out of the blue, Apple delivered a seventh-generation iPod touch media player earlier this week, a repackaged version of the 2015 predecessor sporting an updated processor and double the flash storage rather than a thorough revamp with an edge-to-edge display, Face ID and so forth. The refreshed device still has a lot going for it so we thought we’d review the new iPod touch for iDB readers who might be in the market for an affordable iOS gadget.

The new iPod touch looks the same like the previous model, down to the existing Space Gray, White, Gold, Blue, Pink and (PRODUCT)RED color options.

Its four-inch LCD screen with a 1136-by-640 pixel resolution is paltry by today’s standards. Something else iPod touch still lacks: a fancy camera. You get an outdated 1080p shooter on the back and a terrible 1.2-megapixel selfie camera with 720p video recording out the front.

But these glaring omissions aren’t deal-breakers.

The black plastic bar in the top-right on the rear improves WI-Fi and Bluetooth reception.

It’s still very thin and light — and still rocks the headphone jack, how about that? — but now runs Apple’s A10 Fusion chip that smokes 2016’s two-core Apple A8 part from the previous model. Specifically, the updated model boasts two times faster performance and three times faster graphics vs. the sixth-generation iPod touch, allowing it to run apps it couldn’t before.

But first, watch our hands-on video walkthrough of the new iPod touch.

Subscribe to iDownloadBlog on YouTube

Originally billed as an iPhone without the phone part, Apple positioned iPod touch as an inexpensive App Store machine for children. Kids these days are given hand-me-down iPhones as their first smartphone, but that doesn’t mean the media player has no viable market.

As a music player combined with Apple Music, the new iPod touch is fantastic.

As AppleInsider’s Andrew O’Hara observed, the new iPod touch + the upcoming Apple Arcade game subscription service make for a solid combination.

Apple also touts the upcoming Apple Arcade which will allow access to several exclusive games for a monthly fee. The new iPod touch is a very clear, inexpensive delivery device for that service.

Indeed, both the press release and the micro-site position the new iPod touch as an affordable device for services like Apple Music and Apple Arcade.

Apple’s press shot promotes features made possible by iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion processor, such as group FaceTime (left), augmented reality gaming (middle) and Apple Music (right).

Thanks to the A10 chip, first found in the iPhone 7 range, the new iPod touch is fast enough to support not only augmented reality apps but other features that eat up lots of CPU cycles, such as group video calling with group FaceTime, gaming and so forth.

I liked this bit from Andrew’s review, too:

Somehow, people are under the misconceived notion that because they aren’t interested in iPod touch there is no market for it. If you can’t figure out who will buy the new model, you aren’t being thoughtful enough.

There are several key demographics that have continued to buy the new iPod touch with gusto, even lacking an update in four years. And, these same markets will undoubtedly jump on the upgraded model and won’t mind the few aspects that aren’t flashy such as the 1080P camera or the A10 processor first found in iPhone 7.

Starting at just $199, iPod touch remains Apple’s mosts affordable iOS device.

You still get the Lightning port and the good ol’ headphone jack.

And with the 128GB and 256GB models priced at $299 and $399, respectively, the new iPod touch is definitely  a good value for anyone looking for a perfect dedicated music player which also happens to be an affordable iOS device to download App Store apps, play games, dabble with augmented reality and use services like Apple Music and more.

Just don’t call it iTouch!

Share in your thoughts about the new iPod touch in the comments.