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What are the differences between the iPod nano 5th Gen models? What are the differences between these models and the iPod nano 4th Gen models they replaced?
Please note that all iPods mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued. The iPod nano 5th Gen was replaced by the iPod nano 6th Gen on September 1, 2010.
At first glance, a casual observer might not notice much difference between the iPod nano 5th Gen models and the iPod nano 4th Gen models that they replaced as they share a similar "thin and tall" design. However, upon closer inspection, there are notable external differences as well as significant feature differences between each series.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (iPod nano 5th Gen)
Both the iPod nano 4th Gen and 5th Gen have a wraparound aluminum and glass case offered in nine colors -- silver, black, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, and (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition -- but the 5th Gen models have a "glossy" finish -- rather than matte -- and a slightly smaller clickwheel. The displays are different as well -- the iPod nano 4th Gen has a portrait-oriented 2-inch (diagonal) color LCD display with a blue-white LED backlight (240x320, 204 ppi), whereas the 5th Gen has a larger, higher-quality 2.2" TFT display (240x376, 204 ppi).
The iPod nano 4th Gen and 5th Gen both use either 8 GB or 16 GB of flash memory, capable of supporting 2000 or 4000 songs, 7000 or 14,000 photos, and 8 hours or 16 hours of video, respectively. Both capacities are offered (or were offered for the 4th Gen) in every color, but the iPod nano 5th Gen models in yellow -- likely due to lower demand -- and (PRODUCT) RED only are available direct from Apple. The 16 GB configurations of the iPod nano 5th Gen models are US$20 cheaper than the 16 GB 4th Gen models as well (US$179 compared to US$199).
But a glossy finish, better and larger display, and reduced price are only the beginning of the improvements offered by the iPod nano 5th Gen. It also packs an integrated microphone and speaker, a video camera -- capable of shooting H.264 VGA 640x480 at 30 FPS with AAC audio (it cannot take still photographs) with a variety of basic real-time effects -- a built-in FM Radio with "live pause" (allowing one to pause and rewind up to fifteen minutes) and "iTunes tagging" (tag a song on the radio for later purchase on iTunes), an integrated pedometer that tracks steps and calories burned, VoiceOver technology to speak the name of tracks and artists to you, and "Genius Mixes", which makes an effort to "find songs that go great together".
Battery life for music is 24 hours for both the iPod nano 4th Gen and 5th Gen, but the iPod nano 5th Gen provides an estimated 5 hours of video playback, one hour better than the model it replaced (and equal to that provided by the "fat" iPod nano 3G).
Differences between iPod nano 5th Gen models are extremely modest -- and since all colors are available for both capacities -- can be summarized simply by capacity and price. For your convenience, the variations are summarized below:
|Flash Memory Size:||8 GB||16 GB|
|Song Capacity:||2000 Songs||4000 Songs|
|Photo Capacity:||7000 Photos||14,000 Photos|
|Video Capacity:||8 Hours||16 Hours|
Differences between the iPod nano 5th Gen and iPod nano 4th Gen models are far more substantial:
|iPod nano 4th Gen||iPod nano 5th Gen|
|Display Size:||2" (240x320, 204 ppi)||2.2" (240x376, 204 ppi)|
|Display Type:||LED-Backlit LCD||TFT LCD|
|Flash Memory Size:||8 GB, 16 GB||8 GB, 16 GB|
|Song Capacity:||2000, 4000||2000, 4000|
|Photo Capacity:||7000, 14,000||7000, 14,000|
|Video Capacity:||8 Hours, 16 Hours||8 Hours, 16 Hours|
|Battery Life (Music):||24 Hours||24 Hours|
|Battery Life (Video):||4 Hours||5 Hours|
|Colors:||Silver, Black, Purple
Blue, Green, Yellow
Orange, Pink, Red
|Silver, Black, Purple
Blue, Green, Yellow*
Orange, Pink, Red*
|Integrated FM Radio:||No||Yes|
|Dimensions (Inches):||3.6 x 1.5 x 0.24||3.6 x 1.5 x 0.24|
|Weight (Ounces):||1.3 oz.||1.28 oz.|
|Price (As Introduced):||US$149, US$199||US$149, US$179|
* These colors only are available direct from Apple, so unfortunately, one was required to pay sales tax.