Review: iPod touch is exactly what it needs to be in 2019

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited July 3
Apple finally updated the iPod touch for 2019, bringing with it a modest bump in specs. While it may not be what some were looking for, the 2019 iPod touch is exactly what it needed to be.

Apple's iPod touch and iPod mini
Apple's iPod touch and iPod mini

What changed -- and what hasn't

Apple took the this year to finally update the handheld device, which likely has more to do with iOS 13's launch schedule than anything else.






It has retained an identical form factor as the last generation weighing a hair of three ounces and less than a quarter inch thick.

The iPod touch still feels like a remarkable device. If you haven't held one in a while, when you pick it up, you are immediately surprised by how light and thin this device really is.

There are six colorful options to choose from and the only exterior change that you can note is the removal of some of the regulatory information on the lower back. Apple has been working with the requisite regulatory agencies to move this information to the Settings app for a number of years.

2019 iPod touch
2019 iPod touch


Touch ID and Face ID are still not present. The cameras are the same 8MP and 1.2MP shooters from the last generation. And the front is still made up of the same 4-inch LED Retina Display.

The changes with iPod touch are both internal, as well as software related. For one, maximum storage has increased from 128GB to 256GB. As many use iPod touch as a dedicated media device, more storage is absolutely welcomed.

Apple also upgraded the processor to the A10 Fusion chipset. This adds some much-needed performance improvements as well as brings support for iOS 13. The sixth generation device won't be supporting Apple's upcoming iOS update.

Apple Arcade will arrive this fall on iPod touch
Apple Arcade will arrive on iPod touch this fall with iOS 13


The iOS 13 update will bring along Apple Arcade, Apple's new subscription gaming service with countless exclusive titles, so support on iPod is necessary to take advantage of it.

Also attributed to that newfound speed is support for ARkit-based apps and games alongside support Group FaceTime with up to 32 participants.

Performance gains

As we mentioned, the new iPod touch gets the A10 Fusion processor, by name, the same found in the iPhone 7. It looks though as Apple is underclocking it here in the iPod.

2019 iPod touch Geekbench results
2019 iPod touch Geekbench results


When we ran a few benchmarking tests, we got single and multi-core scores of 2714 and 4706 respectively. Compared to the previous iPod touch, which earned and underwhelming 1237 and 2331, the new iPod touch blows it away. However, looking at the iPhone 7 which has the same processor, the 2019 iPod touch underperforms. The iPhone 7 earns a 2095 and a 5721 in single-core and multi-core tests which is much better in multi-core performance.

We also put the previous and current generations iPods through the Antutu benchmark. The 2019 iPod touch garners a 158191 cumulative score which blows away the 71685 found on the sixth-gen.

But... why?

That leaves us with a updated iPod touch that got modest performance gains, support for the latest software features and updates, and higher storage capacities.

Fortnite on iPod touch
Fortnite on iPod touch


Our previous coverage of the iPod touch has been ripe with criticisms asking who the device is for, why there is no Face ID, how come the cameras aren't better, and much more.

All of those can be answered when you look at who really needs, uses, and buys this device. We've already talked about the wide set of use cases for iPod touch, but it boils down to enterprise, dedicated media device, smart home controller, kids device, or a developer device.

Blue 2019 iPod touch
Blue 2019 iPod touch


In all of those use-cases -- which make up the bulk of iPod touch sales -- Apple's omissions start to make sense. Touch ID or Face ID isn't particularly needed, nor are ultra-powerful cameras.

The only area the iPod touch is lacking in is performance which would most impact those wanting a very powerful gaming device. Those users can opt for an actual console or go with an iPhone -- used or new.

All of this means that Apple's modest upgrade to iPod touch is exactly what is needed in this day and age. A moderately powerful entry-level device that is exceptionally thin and small with lots of storage that appeals to a wide variety of users.

And, that is exactly what Apple delivered.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy

Apple's 7th Generation iPod touch is available at a variety of Apple Authorized Resellers, including Adorama, Amazon and B&H Photo. For the latest deals and product availability, be sure to check out our iPod touch Price Guide, which is updated throughout the day.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    McJobsMcJobs Posts: 19member
    This design is so old that it has shiny chamfered edges from the 2012 era.
    edited June 15 williamlondonchemengin1
  • Reply 2 of 30
    jeffharrisjeffharris Posts: 551member
    It needs more capacity.
    Use it as portable music / video / media storage or player. Just plug it into whatever playback device you have.

    512GB would be nice. 1TB would be ideal.
    williamlondonchemengin1
  • Reply 3 of 30
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,448member
    It needs more capacity.
    Use it as portable music / video / media storage or player. Just plug it into whatever playback device you have.

    512GB would be nice. 1TB would be ideal.
    But isn’t Apples new business model focusing on services? Specifically streaming music/video and gaming subscriptions? It seems like more local storage misplaces the emphasis on ripped content and downloads rather than streaming and subscriptions.

    that said, I believe even with system software, 256GB now makes this iPod a direct replacement for the 160GB Classic in terms of storage.
    williamlondonracerhomie3terrence1019
  • Reply 4 of 30
    seankillseankill Posts: 477member
    Old iPhone 6+ services this purpose. 
    williamlondonchemengin1
  • Reply 5 of 30
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,158member
    It needs more capacity.
    Use it as portable music / video / media storage or player. Just plug it into whatever playback device you have.

    512GB would be nice. 1TB would be ideal.
    Apple, never good enough, always lacking, always failing.
    p-dogwilliamlondonracerhomie3terrence1019macxpress
  • Reply 6 of 30
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 652member
    seankill said:
    Old iPhone 6+ services this purpose. 
    Of course a lot of people don't have one of those handy. The 6+ only had up to 128GB of storage so if you need more space you'd be SOL. And a lot of people want new, with a warranty and such. So while it's fine to say that a 6+ would serve the purpose, in most cases it's not really an option.
    williamlondonracerhomie3muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 30
    M68000M68000 Posts: 79member
    lkrupp said:
    It needs more capacity.
    Use it as portable music / video / media storage or player. Just plug it into whatever playback device you have.

    512GB would be nice. 1TB would be ideal.
    Apple, never good enough, always lacking, always failing.
    Lkrupp,  maybe just maybe it's okay for somebody to look subjectively and objectively and have differences of opinion on what Apple should or should not do??   I am a huge fan of Apple and have used their phones since the original and go back to the G4 cube which would be super cool for them to update and release again.    For years before that I was anti-Apple until I realized how good their products generally are.  I support everything from windows to linux to Mac with my job.  I use Mac because I prefer it having used the others.  I am pretty technical with a lot of experience from the old "8 bit" days - like machine code stuff back in the day... hey I would even consider going out to California and working for them if they offered..  But now I will have a comment about this new iPod - it would be even better if they threw in an FM tuner. I don't think it has one and would probably have costed them pennies in mass production. If everything is always "rosy" with Apple, then where is the room for improvement ?
    edited June 15 williamlondonlkruppracerhomie3pscooter63muthuk_vanalingamchemengin1
  • Reply 8 of 30
    I haven’t seen a iPod in the wild for about 4-5 years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I never see one again.

    With all the “buy one, get one free” deals or “free iPhone with new line” the iPod is irrelevant.

    The only reason Apple bothers is because the margins are through the roof for the old tech...
    williamlondonlibertyandfree
  • Reply 9 of 30
    The lightness/size is perfect for the gym. For me, an iPhone in the gym is too heavy/bulky for a pocket, and I don't want an arm-strap. I'll finally be replacing my Nano, and I'll be gaining bluetooth, etc. but losing FM tuner.
    edited June 15
  • Reply 10 of 30
    clear sponsoring!!
  • Reply 11 of 30
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,186unconfirmed, member
    I haven’t seen a iPod in the wild for about 4-5 years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I never see one again.

    With all the “buy one, get one free” deals or “free iPhone with new line” the iPod is irrelevant.

    The only reason Apple bothers is because the margins are through the roof for the old tech...

    Which is why I prefer an iPod nano refresh. 
  • Reply 12 of 30
    apple2capple2c Posts: 33member
    So, where is the test of battery life?!

    The iPod Touch is the *ONLY* i-device that Apple doesn't provide Wi-Fi battery life specs for...

    Wonder why?!  Could it be that, like the IPT 6, the battery life is *dismal* when it's on WiFi?

    Please test and report a comparison for us.  The battery life for the iPod Touch 7 could even be worse given the faster CPU!

    The iPhone SE is a much smarter buy!
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 30
    mac_128 said:
    It needs more capacity.
    Use it as portable music / video / media storage or player. Just plug it into whatever playback device you have.

    512GB would be nice. 1TB would be ideal.
    But isn’t Apples new business model focusing on services? Specifically streaming music/video and gaming subscriptions? It seems like more local storage misplaces the emphasis on ripped content and downloads rather than streaming and subscriptions.

    that said, I believe even with system software, 256GB now makes this iPod a direct replacement for the 160GB Classic in terms of storage.
    There are times when "being connected" isn't an option or when the signal isn't constant.
    Or maybe you're trying to preserve battery life by activating Airplane Mode, or shutting off wi-fi and Bluetooth.

  • Reply 14 of 30
    I haven’t seen a iPod in the wild for about 4-5 years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I never see one again.

    With all the “buy one, get one free” deals or “free iPhone with new line” the iPod is irrelevant.

    The only reason Apple bothers is because the margins are through the roof for the old tech...

    Which is why I prefer an iPod nano refresh. 
    I bring my iPad to the gym for both reading, music, movies and use wireless earbuds.  

    I bought a new pair of the wireless earbuds for $15, and have watched 3 movies on one charge.

    I’m on the machines at the gym.  If I was at the track or hiking I used the iPod Shuffle, but haven’t in years...
  • Reply 15 of 30
    What it needed to be was something capable of ARKit3. 

    It’s a sub-$200 window into Apple’s Artificial Reality world.  


  • Reply 16 of 30
    What it needed to be was something capable of ARKit3. 

    It’s a sub-$200 window into Apple’s Artificial Reality world.  


    Does Apple make anything sub-$200?
  • Reply 17 of 30
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    Stunningly, with lPod Touch, Joni did it again !!
    Pairing the utmost in design and dedication, he completely redesigned iPodTouch into the bezel-less rectangle design with an optimal, modern 5.5” screen size.
    Loosely but courageously playing with its original lines, it took audacity and a firm stance towards lamentation - as sitting on his laurels could have been temptative with the decade old award-winning, classical design statement. 
    However, he resisted that and went into stunning detail: Every individual molecule not only became carefully reassessed but also meticulously redimensioned. Every atom got retrofitted and recommitted towards its inner essence, and evaluated in its main aim: to contribute to the overall concept‘s style and elegance. 

    Except that it didn’t happen: the project got killed by Tim the Clerk who decided the 10 year old design could be milked out further onto the extreme
    edited June 16 williamlondonjeffharrispscooter63
  • Reply 18 of 30
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,142member
    McJobs said:
    This design is so old that it has shiny chamfered edges from the 2012 era.
    It’s still a beautiful design. Good design doesn’t age. Even MacBooks & iMacs from a decade ago look excellent.
    williamlondonStrangeDaysjeffharrispscooter63
  • Reply 19 of 30
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,142member
    I haven’t seen a iPod in the wild for about 4-5 years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I never see one again.

    With all the “buy one, get one free” deals or “free iPhone with new line” the iPod is irrelevant.

    The only reason Apple bothers is because the margins are through the roof for the old tech...
    Your thinking is really shallow. The iPod Classic was very cheap for Apple to make. Why don’t they sell it for $100 ? The iPod Touch is not ‘old’ tech. Most android phones sold are much slower than the iPod Touch. 
    williamlondonStrangeDayspscooter63
  • Reply 20 of 30
    apple2c said:
    So, where is the test of battery life?!

    The iPod Touch is the *ONLY* i-device that Apple doesn't provide Wi-Fi battery life specs for...

    Wonder why?!  Could it be that, like the IPT 6, the battery life is *dismal* when it's on WiFi?

    Please test and report a comparison for us.  The battery life for the iPod Touch 7 could even be worse given the faster CPU!

    The iPhone SE is a much smarter buy!
    I remember when the AppleTV came out and all the gamer folks decried it a failure, because everyone should just buy a games console because it allows you to watch television programmes (fans blaring and all, what joy!). Just like your (and others') opinion that when you just want a simple device, buy something else entirely because it does that *also*, what a strange view.
    StrangeDaysjeffharrispscooter63
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