late 2012, Apple introduced its new line up of iPod devices, including the new 7th generation iPod nano. Having recently moved from a 1st generation nano to a 6th generation nano, I did not think I would have the opportunity or need for the new nano. But when one of my other portable music devices failed, the 7th generation iPod nano was my first choice for its replacement.
Although the nano has been around since 2005, it has gone through many design changes, mainly in color choices and size. But the 6th generation underwent a major technology update with the addition of a touch-screen interface, and it’s present in the 7th generation nano, too. Let’s see how the newest generation nano stacks up.
The nano comes in a minimal, plastic package designed to show off the product, not hide it.
When you open the package, you will see that you get the new Lightning syncing/charging cable and the new EarPod headphones with the nano. You will also receive the obligatory user guides, safety manuals, and one of my favorite items, the Apple stickers.
Before I go any further, let me bring up my biggest complaint with the new 7th generation nano. Although this is a personal issue, I have seen it mirrored by many reviewers; I don’t like the color design. While I like the color choices for the back of the nano, the white front does turns me off. In my opinion, it makes the new nano look feminine at best, and childish at worst. I imagine that the nano and the new iPod touch are being marketed more to a kid/teen crowd. That being said, I don’t think that would stop anyone from buying one, not even me.
The only color I do like is the slate color nano that is dark gray/slate on the back and black on the front. The slate nano is the one I decided to purchase.
Besides the color design, the most obvious change from the 6th to the 7th generation nano is the size. The new nano is 3.01″ tall, 1.56″ wide, 0.21″ thick and 1.1 ounces and has a 2.5″ Multi -Touch display. By comparison, the 6th generation was 1.48″ tall, 1.61″ wide, 0.35″ thick and 0.74 ounces and has a 1.54″ diagonal TFT display. One other difference in the latest nano is the lack of storage options. In previous models, there have always been at least two size options, giving the consumer two price options. The latest nano only comes in a 16GB model.
The new 7th-generation nano still retains the three external buttons (on/off and volume), but the on/off button has moved to the top of the new nano. The new nano also picked up a home button similar to those on the iPod touch and the iPhone.
Looking at the back of both nanos, you will also see that the new nano does not have a built-in clip like the older 6th generation does. The clip is one of the features I like on the 6th gen nano, and the clip, believe it or not, is a big selling point for me.
Another change that might not be evident to a new iPod device user is the new Lightning connector and the Lightning-to-USB charging/syncing cable. Older 30-pin cables and accessories cannot be used with the new nano without the use of an adapter.
One of the nice surprises with the new nano is the included Apple EarPods. The original earphones for the first through 6th generations were simple in design and did not fit a large number of users comfortably. In my case, they started to hurt my ears after about 10 minutes of use. The newly designed EarPods seem to fit a lot better and are designed to fit a wider range of ear sizes. Although they are still not the most comfortable headphones I have used, they are great to throw in a bag for backup purposes.
The pre-loaded software on the 7th generation nano includes Radio, Clock, Fitness, Music, Videos, Photos and Podcast.
While the operating systems for the 6th and 7th generation nanos are the same, the 7th did pick up Bluetooth and the ability to play videos. The Bluetooth integration, for me, is the most exciting aspect of the new 7th generation nano. With so many Bluetooth-compatible devices being made (headphones, speakers and even cars), you now have many more options and versatility for your music playback. As for the video playback feature, I tried it out and found it is nice to have, but with such a small screen size, I would not utilize this feature much. The resolution is nice for a small screen, and in a pinch, it is usable.
For you Nike+ fans, you can still use the Nike+ iPod Sensor without the need for the plug-in receiver. The Nike+ app also allows you to download the latest information from your nano to your Nike+ webpage. You will be asked if you want to download the information when you sync your nano.
Overall, the 7th generation nano has some nice upgrades and features. If you are in the market for a versatile portable music player, you won’t go wrong with this one. But for my taste, even with all the new nanos upgrades, I am still partial to the 6th generation nano.