So yesterday I went out and bought a Blue, 4GB second generation iPod nano. I am stunned.
The first thing of course was the packaging; dramatic change. The whole thing feels much more finished, much more professional and much more Apple than the really “nice”, but still cardboard, cardboard boxes of the first generation Nanos. The whole thing is encapsulated in a small transparent box which somehow brings to mind the 5th Avenue NYC store. It’s held out by two clasps (top and bottom) from a clear backing which “hides” a fold out cuboid of very silky card, in which the headphones, dock and USB cable reside. Overall the design of the packaging is much smaller (due to it not coming with an iTunes install CD), simple, more elegant, cleaner and more refined.
The Nano itself is wonderful. Harking back to the long gone days of only last year when we all crowded around the iPod mini. The exterior is again a refinement of the era. Rounded sides, white end caps, one piece all aluminum casing… Even the color choices are the same (silver, pink, green and blue). It feels much sturdier than before, much more like it won’t break, dent or squash too easily and the anodized metal doesn’t feel scratchy at all (not that that stops me from being cautious).
In terms of features, it’s fully packed too. Although, I don’t think I will ever use the ever pointless “search feature”. The main thing for me really is volume; the first generation Nano didn’t give good volume. This however does. The new Nano bursts ear drums at a thousand paces, providing the kind of volume at around one third the bar indication that the previous Nano achieved (my 1G was always on max and still I often couldn’t hear it).
Also bundled are the new headphones. I’m not sure if these play a part in the volume increase, but they are certainly more comfortable. While they are ultimately very similar to the original headphones I have been wearing them all day today and my ears are only just starting to hurt; that’s nearly 12 hours as opposed to 12 minutes. I don’t think I will need to buy more headphones for a while at least.
Not the most in depth review, but I will say that overall this is a massive improvement on the original Nano. If you liked the iPod Mini you will be blown away. Great price point, colors, design and features. All that is missing (forever I fear) is the FireWire cable (and of course a couple of small software upgrades). Very impressed, well worth the money and wish they had had the PRODUCT (Red) in stock because that’s what I went in for (couldn’t resist).
This is the personal music player for those who don’t need 2TB of songs at all times. Well done Apple.