by Jim Lynch

iPod Touch 6: Is it worth buying?

Jul 22, 2015
Consumer ElectronicsiOS

Apple's new iPod touch 6 gets mostly positive reviews from critics for its A8 processor, 1GB of RAM and M8 motion coprocessor

The iPod touch 6 is the latest version of Apple’s venerable iPod. It includes an A8 processor, 1GB of RAM and the M8 motion coprocessor. In short, it’s a heck of an upgrade from the older iPod touch 5.

But is the iPod touch 6 worth buying? Reviews for the new iPod touch have started to come in and so far the critics mostly like what they see in the iPod touch 6.

Here’s a smattering of what’s being said about the iPod touch 6 from some prominent reviewers.

The Ars Technica review of the iPod touch 6

Andrew Cunningham notes for Ars Technica that the iPod touch 6 is perfect for certain kinds of users:

Though the new iPod looks the same, its improvements include more than the new processor: a better 8MP camera, upgraded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a new 128GB storage tier, and an M8 motion coprocessor are chief among them. The iPod will only matter for a few very specific audiences, but it now serves that niche extraordinarily well.

The days of yearly (or even regular) iPod refreshes are long past, and a big hardware update won’t shove this thing out of its niche. But if you’re one of the few people in the market for one, the new iPod Touch is going to serve you much better than the old one.

The good

Fast. It includes a fully modern SoC and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, both of which keep things moving. Well-built and sturdy feeling. At $200 (compared to $650 or $750 for an entry-model iPhone 6), it represents a good value for what you get. New 128GB storage option means this could replace some old iPod Classics out there. Much-improved camera. Battery life isn’t significantly worse than the fifth-generation model despite having a similarly sized battery and much faster components.

The bad

Missing a few iPhone niceties, including but not limited to TouchID, a vibration motor, a GPS, and an auto-brightness sensor. 16GB base model is a bit small. Where’s my battery life percentage indicator? No larger screen options, if that’s something you’re into.

The ugly

In a world that already has smartphones and tablets, very few people need iPods to be a thing anymore.

More at Ars Technica

The iLounge review of the iPod touch 6

Phil Dzikiy at iLounge thinks the iPod touch 6 is a solid upgrade but noted the lack of a larger screen and Touch ID:

Speaking broadly, the sixth-generation iPod touch is a solid — though not stunning — iOS device. The speed and camera improvements are leaps and bounds above the previous model, and some users will be excited for those upgrades alone … especially those who have been waiting for something — anything — to change. But there’s no doubt that Apple’s decision to stick with the smaller screen will sting a bit. A 4.7” iPod touch would have been more appealing, and/or a new iPod touch with Touch ID — this is the first recent iOS device released without the fingerprint reader.

Pros: A8 processor and 1GB of RAM make for a faster iPod. M8 motion coprocessor allows for fitness and health tracking. Front and back cameras have been improved. The price is still reasonable, and the 128GB model is much-welcomed, particularly by certain iTunes diehards. New colors are sharp-looking. The first iOS device with Bluetooth 4.1. Improved Wi-Fi, as wireless 802.11ac is now supported. Comes preloaded with iOS 8.4 and Apple Music.

Cons: Size remains the same, which feels stagnant — or feels like a setback to users accustomed to larger smartphones. No Touch ID. Video recording is grainy and noisy compared to iPhone 6 — the camera lags slightly behind that found in the iPhone 6. Surprisingly, some graphically demanding games may be a bit slow or choppy at times. The 16GB offers too little available space, and is a weak entry model. Still feels like a limited option compared to other iOS devices.

…the iPod touch is a reliable and fun device that delivers 80 to 90 percent of what Apple’s newest iPhones offer. For many, just the iOS ecosystem and App Store are still worth the price of admission, and here, that price is relatively low. The sixth-generation iPod touch earns our general recommendation.

More at iLounge

The iDownloadBlog review of the iPod touch 6

Jeff Benjamin at iDownloadBlog felt that the iPod touch 6 is a massive upgrade from the previous version and that it’s actually more powerful than some of today’s smartphones:

It’s safe to say that the new iPod touch runs circles around the old iPod touch. It’s faster in every way, because it has a current-generation processor, more RAM, and a better camera.

Games load way faster and feature more consistent frame-rates with the 6th-gen iPod touch. Since the A8 chip is compatible with Metal, developers can enhance their games to feature better graphics.

If you’ve never owned an iOS device before, the iPod touch is the perfect entry-level device. Not only is it cheap, but it’s got enough under the hood to last several years.

The iPod touch 6th generation is not without its flaws, but at its price-point, it’s good enough. It’s miles ahead of the previous version from a performance perspective, and has enough new features to be deemed a worthy upgrade.

More at iDownloadBlog

The Register’s review of the iPod touch 6

Adam Banks at The Register noted that the folks who claimed that the iPod touch was a dead product have been proven quite wrong:

The iPod is dead. The sales figures say so. The absence of updates to the range says so. The lack of concern about the absence of updates to the range says so. There are neither ‘Shock – new iPod!’ stories, nor are there “shock – no new iPod!” stories. It’s inert. It has ceased to be. The only thing it’s shuffling is off this mortal coil. It is an ex product.

Except here it is revitalised, with a three-generation processor jump, to reclaim its perch not as the world’s favourite music player – those days aren’t coming back, and nor is growth in the download market – but as the most powerful and flexible pocket computer you can buy.

In the opening scene of Gameloft’s Modern Combat 5, an exemplar of iOS 8’s Metal graphics API, the 5th gen Touch starts well in an underwater cut scene featuring thousands of rising bubbles. Emerge from the water into the first game sequence, however, and sparks flying from a broken lamp are absent, along with dust motes and a subtle plume of smoke. On the 6th gen these are fully rendered, just like on the iPhone 6. Any game with advanced visual effects should benefit.

Look again at that price tag, and compromising on the non-essentials suddenly feels pretty good. Even a 32GB model, the smallest you should contemplate unless you get a kick out of deleting and re-installing things, is only £199. For teenagers who don’t want the burden of an iPhone contract, casual gamers who don’t want to pay £30 per 3DS or Vita title, and anyone who just fancies a tiny, brilliant, do-it-all computer, the iPod Touch is back.

More at The Register

Everything Apple Pro reviews the iPod touch 6 on YouTube

And Everything Apple Pro felt that the iPod touch 6 offers a lot of value to Apple’s customers for its $200 price tag:

So the doomsayers were wrong about the iPod touch

As you can tell from the review snippets above, the iPod touch 6 is off to a great start. Most of the critics seem to think it’s a great upgrade to the aging iPod touch 5. And I agree with that assessment given the powerful A8 processor, 1GB of RAM and M8 motion coprocessor found in the iPod touch 6. If I didn’t have an iPhone 6 Plus, I’d definitely buy an iPod touch 6.

All of this makes me smile though when I think about all of the people who were saying that the iPod touch was a dead product, and that Apple would never update it again. I’m sure you’ve seen some of that negative sentiment in blog posts and comment threads from sites all over the Web.

With this upgrade it’s very clear that Apple remains deeply committed to the iPod touch and still considers it a worthy and important product. The doomsayers were wrong as usual but I expect they’ll start saying the same kinds of things all over again if Apple takes another couple of years to release the iPod touch 7.

Oh well, I guess there’s just no pleasing some people.

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