Mobile Technology

Apple iPod touch (6th generation) vs. iPod touch (5th generation)

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new 6th-generation iPod touch (left) with the older 5th-generation model
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new 6th-generation iPod touch (left) with the older 5th-generation model
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Camera aperture
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Camera aperture
Apple Pay
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Apple Pay
Battery
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Battery
Build
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Build
Camera megapixels
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Camera megapixels
Cellular
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Cellular
Color options
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Color options
System-on-a-chip
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System-on-a-chip
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Display contrast
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Display contrast
Display size
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Display size
Display type
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Display type
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new 6th-generation iPod touch (left) with the older 5th-generation model
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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new 6th-generation iPod touch (left) with the older 5th-generation model
Loop button (for attaching lanyard)
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Loop button (for attaching lanyard)
Starting price
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Starting price
RAM
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RAM
Release
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Release
Software
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Software
Storage
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Storage
Touch ID
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Touch ID
Weight
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Weight
Display resolution
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Display resolution

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.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

The 6th-generation iPod touch has identical dimensions to the 5th-gen Touch, and a nearly identical casing.

Weight

Weight
Weight

Ditto for weight, as both devices weigh a mere 88 g (3.1 oz).

Build

Build
Build

The two iPod touches' aluminum builds are nearly the same, with the next category standing as the only major exception.

Loop button

Loop button (for attaching lanyard)
Loop button (for attaching lanyard)

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.

Colors

Color options
Color options

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).

Cellular

Cellular
Cellular

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.

Display size

Display size
Display size

No differences here – you get the same (tiny by today's standards) 4-inch display in both models.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

The new Touch stands pat with Apple's 326 PPI Retina Display (the same pixel density found in the iPhone 6).

Display contrast

Display contrast
Display contrast

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.

Display type

Display type
Display type

Both iOS devices have IPS panels (in fact, the Apple Watch is the only Apple mobile device that uses anything but).

Touch ID

Touch ID
Touch ID

Sorry, iPod touch buyers: Apple left the Touch ID fingerprint sensor out of your budget media player.

Chip

System-on-a-chip
System-on-a-chip

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.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The 6th-generation iPod touch also doubles the 5th-gen Touch's RAM.

Battery

Battery
Battery

According to iFixit's teardown, the new model has only a slightly higher-capacity battery.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

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.

Camera aperture

Camera aperture
Camera aperture

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.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay
Apple Pay

No Touch ID means no Apple Pay support.

Storage

Storage
Storage

The new model adds a 128 GB storage tier that you could never enjoy with the old-timer.

Software

Software
Software

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.

Release

Release
Release

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.

Starting price

Starting price
Starting price

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.

Buy now on Amazon

2 comments
SandDevilJack
The iPod Touch is so much more than a toy. There are people around the world making amazing photo art with these devices. With iMessage, Facetime, and email, I have almost completely replaced my cell phone--on a contract that costs far less than yours. Touch users can look up anything and everything, stream whatever, etc. without worrying about overage charges. And if I don't have wifi? Well, I'm probably doing something that doesn't require wifi, and I'll find it at my destination. And there is security in unbundling this way: if either device stops working, I have an alternative. If your iPhone stops working, you're screwed. And you're paying over $5.00 per day for the privilege. So I guess we have a gauge for the value of imagination.
SteveKruckheimmer
The iPad Touch gen 5 was actually updated July 2014, and this review describes this updated gen 5 model, rather than the initial gen 5 model that was released in 2012. The initial gen 5 Touch was only available in 2 colors (silver and space gray), to which were added 4 colors in 2014. Also in July 2014, the rear-facing iSight camera was added to the gen 5 model, and the price was dropped $50 for the 3 models (16, 32, 64GB). The big breakthrough with the initial gen 5 Touch was Retina Display and its spectacular resolution – this makes the smallish 4-inch screen much more useful. For anyone who owns the updated gen 5 model (manufactured after July 2014) the only immediate benefit of the gen 6 is the larger, 128GB memory. Whether going from the A5 to the A8 chip is an improvement is a matter of opinion, and is just another example of how little Apple needs to do to justify picking our pockets. It's just more of the unending and predictable game of one-upsmanship. I own the Touch gen 5 (July 2014 version) and consider it relatively future-proof. It’s basically an even more portable version of the iPad mini 4, I have this too. Apps on the 2 devices stay in sync, somehow, it just happens – the two devices complement each other more than I would have expected. But I couldn’t make this comment using my iPad mini alone, logging in was a mess, so I had to use my PC, which gave me no problems. I did however type this comment on the iPad mini (with an aux keyboard) and it was easy enough to email this note to my PC from the iPad mini. Some websites don’t work on the iPad mini 4, other than simple reading, if logging-in is necessary, as with posting this note, and with websites that involve a lot of keyboarding and selecting options, for which the PC continues to be indispensable.
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