The new iPod touch that Apple launched this week is a significant update over its predecessor (and considering the last model launched in 2012, it had better be!). Let's compare the 6th-generation and 5th-gen iPod touches.
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The 6th-generation iPod touch has identical dimensions to the 5th-gen Touch, and a nearly identical casing.
Ditto for weight, as both devices weigh a mere 88 g (3.1 oz).
The two iPod touches' aluminum builds are nearly the same, with the next category standing as the only major exception.
Remember that little button on the bottom corner of the 5th-gen iPod touch? The one that you could attach the (bundled) lanyard to? Well, Apple left that on the cutting room floor with the 6th-generation model.
Many of the color options are the same, but Apple swapped out yellow for gold in the new iPod touch (and the blue model is also a more blue-ish, less teal, hue).
No mobile data for you! The lack of a cellular radio is the biggest thing that makes an iPod touch an iPod touch, and not a slightly watered-down iPhone.
No differences here – you get the same (tiny by today's standards) 4-inch display in both models.
The new Touch stands pat with Apple's 326 PPI Retina Display (the same pixel density found in the iPhone 6).
This is one area, however, where both devices' displays are inferior to the latest iPhones. The Touches have 800:1 contrast, compared to the iPhone 6's 1,400:1 and the iPhone 6 Plus' 1,300:1 contrast.
Both iOS devices have IPS panels (in fact, the Apple Watch is the only Apple mobile device that uses anything but).
Sorry, iPod touch buyers: Apple left the Touch ID fingerprint sensor out of your budget media player.
This is one of the two biggest upgrades in the new iPod touch. It matches the iPhone 6 with a 64-bit Apple A8 SoC – a huge step forward from the 2011-era A5 found in the old model.
The 6th-generation iPod touch also doubles the 5th-gen Touch's RAM.
According to iFixit's teardown, the new model has only a slightly higher-capacity battery.
This is the other big upgrade in the new iPod touch. Its rear camera has the same 8 MP resolution that the last four iPhone flagships (starting with the iPhone 4s) have had.
The rear camera's aperture didn't, however, get an upgrade. This puts it behind the iPhone 6's (and 6 Plus') shooter, which come in at ƒ/2.2.
No Touch ID means no Apple Pay support.
The new model adds a 128 GB storage tier that you could never enjoy with the old-timer.
The old iPod touch is still up-to-date on software – and will remain so when iOS 9 launches later this year. Don't be surprised, though, if that's the last full-number iOS update for the 5th-generation iPod touch.
With that 64-bit A8, the 6th-generation Touch should be getting updates for years to come.
Apple waited nearly three years in between iPod touch updates – a sign that the device's existence may only be hanging on by a thread.
Given the choice at US$200, which do you buy? That's right! You buy the 6th-generation model!
But as retailers clear stock, we may see some price drops on the 5th-gen. model. The deals you see, though, aren't likely to be big enough to make that a wise purchase. As much as the two devices have in common, the 6th-gen. model's chip (especially regarding its ability to play current games for years to come) and camera upgrades put it far ahead.
For more, you can read Gizmag's full review of the new 6th-generation iPod touch.