iPod touch 5 vs. iPhone 5 vs. iPod touch 4 gallery

iPod touch 5 vs. iPhone 5 macro gallery

The iPhone 5 is the thinnest, lightest iPhone ever, but the iPod touch 5 is almost 2-dimensional. Everything comes at a price, however, and so while the iPod touch 5 is even thinner and lighter than the iPhone 5, it doesn't have anywhere near as good internals. If you don't care about that, however, if all you want to do is scratch the surface and find more surface, then here's how the iPod touch 5 compares to the iPhone 5 is close up. And for good measure, we'll throw in some iPod touch 4 and iPod touch 3 action as well.

While the iPod touch 4 had a decidedly worse display than the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, the iPod touch 5 received the same 4-inch, 16:9, 1136x640 326ppi IPS (in-plane switching), in-cell display as the iPhone 5, and that's remarkable.

As you'd expect, the iPod touch 5 looks every bit as good, bright, clear, crisp, and colorful as the iPhone 5 even at macro.

Compared to the iPod touch 4, the difference is far more noticeable. Even at the same 50% brightness level, the iPod touch 4 display has far more "pop" (that's the technical term, I swear!) and IPS really improves the viewing angle. (It's more dramatic on videos than it is on the Home screen, so we'll add some of those shots in soon.)

While the iPhone 5 has a two-tone back made necessary by the large, glass, radio-transparent panels at the top and bottom, the iPod touch goes for edge-to-edge aluminum, albeit with a black, plastic radio panel in the top corner. That's unlike the iPod touch 4 but similar to the iPod touch 3.

The iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S both have 8 megapixel sensors for their rear-facing iSight cameras. The iPod touch 5 has a 5 megapixel sensor, the same size as the iPhone 4. Lenses like depth, however, and the iPod touch 5 has very little of that, so it's impressive Apple got as good a sensor in there as they did.

The iPod touch 5 iSight camera, of course, dwarfs the 720p (as in peashooter) found on the iPod touch 4. (The iPod touch 3 had an even worse camera -- none.)

The iPod touch 5's front-facing FaceTime HD camera, however, is the same as the iPhone 5's, capturing 720p video. (Yes, the front camera this year is as good as the back camera of the last two years...)

And it absolutely embarrasses the the iPod touch 4's embarrassing VGA (480p) FaceTime camera.

Close up, while the iPod touch 5 lacks the phone mic and the same grid design as the iPhone 5, they both now share similar layouts thanks to the iPhone 5 headset jack moving.

Like the iPhone 5, the iPod touch 5 uses the new Lightning connector at the bottom. This lets it be even thinner than the previous, ridiculously thin, iPod touch 4 and iPod touch 3.

It's hard to really tell because of the amount of curvature on the iPod touch 4 and iPod touch 3 -- The iPod touch 5 has a flatter form factor, more reminiscent of recent iPhones than iPods.

But it makes the iPhone 4S look positively chunky.

All shots taken with a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM and an EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro lens, embedded at HiDPI for iPhones, iPad 3, and Retina MacBook Pro.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPod touch 5 vs. iPhone 5 vs. iPod touch 4 gallery


"if all you want to do is scratch the surface and find more surface". Lol. I had to laugh a little, considering all the "scuffgate" talk. No more scratches, please! :)

I think after awhile the scratches my 5 gets will give it some personality an make it different from the next guys, so I'm cool with the "scuff gate"

I agree. While I think it's a bit ridiculous to have a scratched phone out of the box, the whole issue is blown way out of proportion as far as wear and tear.

That's like saying a car coming straight off the assembly line should have scratches in the paint... Apple knows they messed up with anodized coating over aluminum. It's still a solid device, but it's good they got called out on it. It's what keeps the company humble. Stuff like Antennagate, Scuffgate, even the maps fiasco is what makes Apple, Apple. It keeps them on their toes not to repeat the same mistake. You can guarantee for the iPhone 5s, this easily scratchable coating will be a non-factor.

And yes, to those of us who buy a new $600+ device, having it come scratched before we even open it, is a big deal.

Apple is humble???????
please look up the meaning in a dictionary
I can't imagine a more arrogant / fu company

When you say "anodised coating over aluminium" it becomes apparent that you don't know what you're talking about.

My wife has a 2 year old Toyota Prius that she's damaged.. scratches, dents, etc... it definitely has some personality... if you are interested let me know..

Re: "Even at the same 50% bright­ness level, the iPod touch 4 dis­play has far more "pop" "

Don't you mean iPod Touch 5?