iPod touch 4 early review round-up

iPod touch 4 with FaceTime and Retina Display

The new iPod touch should be hitting US stores tomorrow and that means some early reviews are hitting the web tonight. What's the bottom line? Follow on after the break for the first batch and we'll add more as they go live.

  • Donald Bell of CNET says: "The Apple iPod Touch is arguably the last shot fired in the war of portable media players. There's simply no catching up to it in terms of quality and capabilities. In fact, we sometimes joke around at CNET about how many product categories have been unintentionally maimed by the Touch, including Internet radios, PDAs, portable gaming devices, and GPS receivers."

  • Joshua Topolsky of Engadget says "The new touch isn't magical or revolutionary, or even unfamiliar. What it is, however, is a product without a peer; a media player that does far more than media playing. Besides the smaller screen real estate, the touch might be better compared to a tablet or netbook -- it has many of the same functions (more, in some cases)."

  • Chris Breen of Macworld says: "Despite the cameras’ weaknesses, this is a very good iPod touch. If you have a third-generation iPod touch and lack an iPhone 4, this iPod’s FaceTime capabilities may tempt you to upgrade. If you’re unhappy with the performance or capacity of an even earlier iPod touch, this iPod is more compelling still. And if you’re without iPhone or iPod touch and have been holding out for a device thiiiis close to the iPhone—without the incumbent data plan and two-year commitment (and, of course, the phone features)—that realization has never been closer. It’s hard to imagine what more Apple could do to tempt you."

  • Tim Gideon of PCMag says: "The only real problem with the touch is its high price—especially if you want a decent amount of storage. But with an entry point of $229, you do get a camera, HD video recorder, music and video player, portable gaming console, Web browser, e-mail, and app device in one slick, pocket-size package. There's just no other portable media player that can do what the iPod touch can do."

  • Vincent Nguyen of SlashGear says: "Finally, the iPod touch, and if ever there was a device to overshadow the iPhone 4, this is it. It’s tough to imagine Apple being able to shave anything more from the touch, and a brief hands-on with the PMP is enough to convince most that the Apple premium is worth it."

  • MG Siegler of TechCrunch says "For some people, [720p video] alone will be reason enough to part with at least $229 for the 8 gigabyte version. But when you add in the fact that it has the same “Retina” display that Apple made for the iPhone 4, and the A4 chip which Apple included in both the iPhone 4 and the iPad, and of course, FaceTime support, there’s no question that this thing is going to be a massive hit for Apple."

  • Ed Baig of USA Today says: "Steve Jobs noted during last week's unveiling of freshly designed iPods that the iPod Touch has been called "an iPhone without the phone," and an "iPhone without a contract." Now that it's even more like the iPhone 4, it's sure to remain the most popular iPod."

If you didn't order yours already, do any of these make you want to stop by the Apple Store tomorrow and pick one up?

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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 4 early review round-up


If I didn't already have an iPhone 4, I would definitely pick up a new iTouch. I'm actually thinking of buying an iPod Classic to replace my venerable 60 GB 5G iPod.

100% disappointed that the still camera isn't the same 5MP camera from the iPhone 4. This alone will prevent me from buying the new Touch. :(

So sick of people complaining about the camera.
The iPhone 4 without contract is about $600. You can get the Touch for $229. Obviously it can't have every little thing that the iPhone 4 has. It's just not realistic.
Bottom line is that it's a phenomenal product and despite the "apple premium", it's a great deal for all the features you get, and letting a few megapixels stop you from getting it is idiotic.
Some people just always need to find something to whine about...

I still haven't gotten my shipping notification and I ordered a 32GB on Thursday to replace my 32GB 3rd gen. I'm a little pissed since every time I contacted Apple today and said that other people are getting notifications, they tell me it may be because they got expedited shipping. When I tell them that I payed $16 for next-day shipping (expedited) they tell me that those people must have ordered it before me. Still says the 13th is my estimated delivery and when I asked if it was possible I could receive it this week I was given a huge "NO SIR". Not sure why I payed $16 for one day shipping and I'll be receiving it the same time people who got free shipping are.

@MIKE Exactly, I have a 14MP camera for stuff I want to actually take pictures of. I'll just be using this as a point and shoot, it's not like I'll be doing a photo shoot with it. I'm fine with it being lower quality, I mean look at all the other awesome crap it's got. If only Apple could actually ship it to me in one day like I payed $16 for, instead I have to wait 4 days.

I would grab this up in a second....if I hadn't just bought a new 64gb iPod Touch. I spilled water on my old one which took out the wifi. I knew I should have waited!!

If I had enough money, I would immediately upgrade to the iTouch 4 from my current 32 GB 3rd Gen, but I just don't have $300 right now...

"So sick of people complaining about the camera."
Well if they had actually made an effort with the camera people wouldn't be complaining so much. 0.70MP? That's pethetic. Even Rene was expecting them to have a 3MP still camera for the back.

The camera is disappointing, sure. I'd love a 5 MP for the rear camera. Who wouldn't? But to call it a dealbreaker considering the much lower price point than the iPhone 4 and the significant upgrades made from the 2nd and 3rd gen models is just nitpicking to an annoying extent. Seriously, if you're in need of a legit camera for pictures/photo shoots/whatever, you've already got a real, full featured digital camera. And if you don't have a DC by now...you don't need one and you wouldn't use it on the Touch anyways.

.7 mp camera is just another way of apple drop feeding us yet once again. And they know they can get away with it. No other brand or product could come close to what an iPod touch has so why not leave a 3mp or better camera for the 2011 touch.

I never heard of an Apple product called iTouch, is so hard to type iPod Touch it is only three different keys and a space.

And of course here comes the whining about the camera.
Look, you have to sacrifice something for the price. The thing starts at $229 while an iphone starts at $599. If you really are complaining by all means go spend 599 and use it as an ipod.
Apple has to make a profit somewhere. They make probably $300 on an iphone, so why would they add more hardware into an ipod touch while keeping the price low? Where's the profit?
People would complain if they raised each capacity $50 to include more hardware, and people complain now about the camera being weak. You just can't win with some of you.

You guys really love Apple products. Moving on>>> financially I believe the new iPod Touch 4 with it's long awaited features will out sell the iPhone in the coming months/ years. I can't wait until they allow FaceTime to work with Macintosh iSight.
NOTE: Apple never fully load a product without already having the upgrade options in mind. Higher MP camera is coming. Camera Flash is coming. I believe pre paid data might be coming as well.

iPod touch is not an iphone without the phone. The iPhone as long as it's on AT&T is an iPhone without a phone. America's worst network. I'm buying iPod Touch TODAYYYYYY!!!!

Re: "I never heard of an Apple product called iTouch, is so hard to type iPod Touch it is only three different keys and a space."
It's certainly no more difficult than using the proper punctuation in a sentence, like typing a question mark after a question. And then there are the missing words, etc.
One of the first rules of criticizing someone else's online intelligence or writing habits is to make sure you make ZERO hearers, whole doing so.
Re: People who have a problem with someone being dissatisfied with the camera on the iPod Touch
Why would you expect other people's preferences to mirror yours? It's one thing to disagree with them. It's quite another for calling them idiots for saying that they don't think a product isn't worth spending THEIR OWN MONEY on.
Disagree all day long, but stop being such dick's about it.

I see both sides of the argument, re camera.
I wonder if Apple may consider different price points for different functionality, as they already do for memory on iPod touches and similar to their iPad pricing (where you pay extra for a 3G model).
Of course, this would add to the manufacturing cost overall, but I wonder if that would be off-set by consumers purchasing the better spec version.
I would love to see some Market research on this issue.

Here's hoping Archos' 2.8/3.2/4.3 "internet tablets" get it right and give the iTouch a real competitor so Apple stops trying to milk money out of the audience for the iTouch by delaying tech that is simple to implement like an auto-focus lens at at least a 2MP resolution.

This is a Classic of Apple:The .7 Camera, the lack of LedFlash, and the 16Gb model even the Screen is not the same as the iPhone 4, This is a Guaranty for apple that you are going to Buy the Next Gen of iPod next year with the "upgrade" of a 1.3 camera, then next year a 3mpx camara then next year the ledFlash and the circle never ends but still the are people buy it and making it a huge success.

@Erik. I looked at the Archos players. I am so interested in an Android device. I have an Archos from a couple years back and my only complaint was that they didn't keep their software updated and they are totally locked down. So, I'd paid for the upgraded video playback (it no longer works with current encoding) and I'd have to pay ANOTHER $20 for other video codecs. So, when I looked at these new Archos devices with their glorious Android - I found that Archos is still charging $20 per app and not allowing people to get to the Android marketplace.
I decided to buy one of these iPod Touches. Should be here next week. Why? Well, I really want it for the PDA functionality - not for a phone. Also, I want some level of support for software (lesson learned from the Zune HD) and there are just a ton of iTouch/iPhone users out there - so support should be decent.
This is my first Apple device. I hope it doesn't tick me off like those Zunes that I bought for the family (the Zune software is just awful).

Some of you people are sounding like corporate lickspittles, and I'm embarrassed for you. Yes, the camera is woefully inadequate, and there's nothing wrong in saying so! Apple could have done much better with the camera (even 2 MP) for such an expensive device.