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Mobility Digest Review: Apple iPod nano 5th Generation 8GB Review

The word iPod seems to have become a generic term anymore for MP3 player, and I’ve also noticed that the term MP3 players means iPod to many people. Even my two oldest kids who are only 8 and 9 know what an iPod is and they think any MP3 player is called an iPod. I have a limited edition Gears of War 2 120gb Zune that my kids call an iPod, it drive me nuts seriously… Apple has good marketing plain and simple..

Today for review has sent me over the Apple iPod nano 5th Generation. This new nano comes complete with a larger screen, video camera and a few other differences to the software when compared to the previous nano 4th. The one I got from Geeks is a refurb or used unit but it looks like new.

It’s categorized under camcorders on their site where you can find several refurbished camcorders for cheap, but it’s also categorized under MP3 players, but it’s an iPod, so at Geeks you can now get cheap iPods too! They carry pretty much everything, an no I’m not paid to say that, I’ve been shopping at Geeks from many years myself…

Author: Kristofer Brozio


Price: $119.99

Overall Rating: 4/5

Apple iPod nano 5th Generation 8GB Digital Music/Video Player w/Digital Video Camera, FM & 2.2" LCD (Black)

This 5th generation MC031LL/A 8 GB nano  has all the features of 4th generation nanos, improves them and provides even more features to fit your lifestyle.  The curved aluminum and glass design is built for the  person on the go.  Measuring in at a slim 3.6 x 1.5 x .24-inches and weighing only 1.28-ounces the MC031LL/A  is perfect for travel, workouts, students…and everyone in between.

The MC031LL/A has been improved with a 2.2-inch LCD with 240 x 376 resolution for clear, vibrant images and video.  The built-in accelerometer allows you to "shake to shuffle" your music, alternate between portrait and landscape views and play movement responsive games.

Take 640 x 480 videos with the built-in video camera.  These videos can easily be shared on network sharing sites or YouTube.  A suite of special effects allows you to express your creative side.

General Features:
– Charcoal black color
– Curved aluminum and glass design
– Enjoy TV shows, movies, video podcasts, music and more
– 2.2-inch (diagonal) color LCD with LED backlight
– 240 x 376 pixels at 204 ppi
– 8 GB storage capacity
– Stores data via USB flash drive
– Click Wheel navigation
– Holds up to 2,000 songs in 128-Kbps AAC format
– Holds up to 7,000 iPod-viewable photos
– Holds up to 8 hours of video
– Skip-free playback
– 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response
– Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery
– Up to 24 hours music playback when fully charged
– Up to 5 hours video playback when fully charged
– User configurable maximum volume limit
– Genius Mixes
– FM Radio with Live Pause and iTunes Tagging
– Built-in pedometer – sync data with
– Shake to shuffle
– Built-in accelerometer to switch screen display from vertical to horizontal

– 3.6 x 1.5 x 0.24-inches (H x W x D)
– 1.28 oz

Price: $119.99


What’s in the Box?

Let’s start with a video unboxing:

Then here’s the product shots:

No headphones come with it when bought refurbed/used.

Here’s a comparison of the iPod nano 4th and 5th:


You can see the 5th has a larger screen, and of course it has a camera and few other little tweaks inside the software as well.


Impressions / Review:

To use the nano you’ll of course need iTunes, at least to make full use of it.

You’ll need to plug it in and charge it most likely for the first use, Windows 7 recognized it and installed it with no issues.

The nano I got for review came with a surprise bonus:

So after I took care of that I synced it with iTunes and added some music and videos to it so I could play with it.

Here’s the main menu and then the settings:


Under Extras you’ll find quite a few things like a pedometer, calendar, clocks, contacts etc.

This stuff is I guess nice, but personally I don’t want all this stuff on my media player, I want to be able to play music and maybe watch videos as well, and listen to the radio. I don’t need a calendar nor do I need my contacts on my media player, for that matter I don’t need notes or voice memos either. The other things can be useful, an alarm, a pedometer and a stopwatch sure fit well with this as it will most likely be used while exercising.

There are a few games that come with it, the same as the nano 4th, I would have expected to see more new ones actually.

I hadn’t realized the nano 5th has a built in speaker, a nice surprise, but it’s very low, to utilize it you’ve got to be in a silent room really and it’s not that good, especially for music,

Playing videos is fine, small but fine.

One of the big features of the new 5th gen nano is the addition of the video camera and it surprised me, it’s not that bad.

Here’s the sample video:

As far as battery life is concerned, I seemed to get the rated life, but I mixed everything and not just listening to music.

The build quality is fine I guess, but personally I would slap a screen protector on it and get a case as well. I’ve already got a nice Speck Products PixelSkin case on it, now I just need to get a screen protector and I’ll be set.

As far as price is concerned, $120.00 isn’t bad at all, though you can get them refurbed right now through the Apple store for $99, but that’s a promo or limited time price and not the normal price for the refurb iPod nano 5th which is normally more than the $120 that Geeks is selling them for.


Despite the whole virus thing the new iPod nano 5th isn’t bad at all. I was truly surprised by the decent quality of the video camera, and the larger screen is nice as well. The additional stuff tossed in there I guess can make the nano 5th worthwhile, they are useful if you’re going to use them.

If you own a nano 4th and are thinking about getting the new nano 5th it’s not a bad upgrade but you’re not getting much more really. how often will you actually use the other stuff in there and the video camera really?  The biggest difference I think is the larger screen, though it’s not much bigger really..



+Simple and easy to use
+Seems well made
+Lots of features
+Video camera is actually decent

-Comes with virus! (at least mine did)
-Rather small capacity
-No still camera