iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Apple iPod nano 3G

The popular player gets video playback capabilities.

January 14, 2008

<< Previous page

     Next page >>

Video playback

Strange as it may seem, there is little to say about video playback. The image is crisp and detailed. We have no gripes with it. As you touch the click wheel, there will appear two stripes with the file name (top), and volume/progress (bottom). Don't forget that in case of wide-screen movies you will have to choose -- either fit a movie to screen (there will be black stripes on top and bottom), or activate the full-screen mode (you won't see the left and right parts of the movie.)

Playing ABC News video podcast, interface, and settings.

A full battery will last 3.5 -- 4 hours of video playback with the maximum backlight level and 80% volume. The official video playback time is up to 5 hours. What concerns the charge time, the official value matches what we've got in practice -- a fully discharged battery will be charged to 100% for approximately three hours.

World time, calendar, display lock, timer.

Audio quality

In times of large iPods, all manufacturers of such devices had to use low-integration chips. Even chipsets. So there were big differences in circuitry resulting in audio quality differences. Besides, much depended on firmware, because almost everything (except for such basic features as digital analog conversions) were performed on the software level. MP3 decoder errors in iPods belonged to those times as well, they noticeably spoiled audio quality, if you used files of this format. But these are things of the past. In particular, the decoder was "repaired" in the nano 2G. In fact, now all manufacturers use highly integrated SoCs and SDK from their makers. Firmware is still important as far as service features and audio support are concerned. But it cannot affect audio quality in basic sound formats. It's not necessary. Striving for maximum audio quality is overkill, when most users are satisfied with stock headphones. They may upgrade them only for something inexpensive. It's vital to provide a reasonable minimum level of audio quality. It makes sense to adjust audio quality to your headphones with the equalizer.

General results (WAV)

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB +0.04, -0.25 Very good
Noise level, dB (A) -87.5 Good
Dynamic range, dB (A) 87.5 Good
THD, % 0.0058 Very good
Harmonic distortion + noise, dBA -79.2 Average
Intermodulation distortion + noise, % 0.015 Very good
Channel crosstalk, dB -86.5 Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, % 0.016 Very good
General performance   Good

General results (MP3)

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB +0.11, -0.42 Good
Noise level, dB (A) -86.9 Good
Dynamic range, dB (A) 87.0 Good
THD, % 0.0059 Very good
Harmonic distortion + noise, dBA -76.9 Average
Intermodulation distortion + noise, % 0.018 Very good
Channel crosstalk, dB -85.5 Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, % 0.017 Very good
General performance   Good

Configurations and prices

The iPod nano 3G comes in two modifications: with 4 GB and 8 GB of built-in memory. No breakthrough here -- both memory sizes were available in the iPod nano 2G, which couldn't play video. The 4 GB iPod comes only in silvery design (our sample was equipped with 4 GB of memory). The 8 GB player comes in all colors: silvery, blue, red, pale green, and black.

For real-time prices please see this page.


On the whole, we like Apple iPod nano 3G. Some users may dislike its new proportions -- but it will change, as they start using it. The player will be a good Christmas present both to men and women, especially considering various colors and low prices.

We can recommend it to those users who want to use this player for audio playback and sometimes watch videos, podcasts, or even movies. Cinemaddicts "on the go" that cannot live without many high-quality movies should decide whether they like the display size and possible black stripes in wide-screen movies (they make the movie even smaller). If they don't like it, they should consider more expensive solutions, such as Apple iPod touch (we'll review it soon) or iPhone.

When you choose between 4 GB and 8 GB, you'd better consider the more expensive model -- 4 GB is good for music, but it will be insufficient for video. Even the 4 GB iPhone was discontinued not long ago. Besides, the 8 GB player comes in all colors, not silver only.

Apple iPod nano provided by Apple IMC Russia

Write a comment below. No registration needed!

<< Previous page

Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, impressions

Page 2: New interface

Page 3: Video, audio, conclusions

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.