Release Date: 9/8/2010
MSRP: $219.99 (8GB Model)
Didn’t the 3G touch just come out last year? It did, but this new iPod reflects the next-generation hardware of the iPhone 4. With the Retina Display (more on that later) and a new 1GHz processor, it trumps the 3G in every way. The addition of two cameras and a mic, this brings the iPod to a whole new level for Apple.
The new model is actually a bit smaller than the 3G, but just slightly lighter despite having more parts inside. There is one camera in the front at the top and once in the back. The touch screen also feels smoother and sleeker and seems a bit more responsive. Also, thanks to iOS 4 you can now multi-task, so pulling up a walkthrough for your game in Safari won’t require you to completely shut down your game so this alleviates having to save constantly. You can also just hit the home button, pull up your music, watch a video, or even jump into Facetime then go back into another app. Multi-tasking has come quite a bit late for Apple, but at least they’re catching on.
Under the hood, the device has the same GPU as the 3G, but the processor is a whopping 1GHz which is unseen on a phone let alone an MP3 player. If you just listen to music you won’t care, but this is what allows you to multitask and swap between apps without much slowdown. It makes surfing Safari faster and game loads are quicker. It also shares the same amount of RAM which is a huge 256 MB. The resolution has also been doubled at 960×480 but is still lower than most high-end phone models, but for an MP3 player, this is amazing. It allows for 720p video, so HD video watching has finally come to your iPod. The Retina Display is actually how the screen displays its graphics to you. Apple’s research showed that 300 PPI is the max amount the retina in the eye can see from about 12 inches away, and bumping the resolution up any higher wouldn’t make a difference to your retina.
The camera is pretty decent, but you have to have a lot of light or you will get grainy pictures. The video looks great though, so this is perfect for people who don’t have high-quality phones or cameras. Despite these features, the iPod can also play next-generation iPhone games that have higher texture resolutions, better lighting, and just overall look really close to current generation consoles.
There aren’t too many complaints about the device except for the power button. It used to be nestled right on top of the edge of the device on the left side, so it was just an index finger away. Now it’s on the right side and nestled on the curve so it’s a pain to get to and you have to kind of contort your hand to get to it. Was it because the camera is on the other side? Probably, but this was a poor design choice. Overall the 4G is an amazing device and adds a ton of new options to make it well worth a new purchase.