Unboxed – Apple iPod Nano 5G

The new, video-recording iPod Nano 5G hit stores this afternoon – and after hotfooting it back from the Apple Store and taking a few videos on the way

The new, video-recording iPod Nano 5G hit stores this afternoon – and after hotfooting it back from the Apple Store and taking a few videos on the way, we've put together this in-depth unboxing to show you its new skills in action.

As you can see below, the only obvious physical change from the Nano 4G is that tiny lens on the back. It adds nothing to the Nano's girth, which remains 6mm thick.

This is amazing, but also a slight handicap – the Nano was never designed to be held like a video camera, and it's inevitably easy for your fingers to make pink, blobby cameos in your videos. Maybe we just need a bit more practice.

There is one other minor change from the Nano 4G – the screen has been boosted from 2in to 2.2in. Video playback was the big improvement on its predecessor, and the Nano 5G is now a surprisingly watchable companion for video snacking:

The other new additions to the Nano 5G are an FM radio and Pedometer. The former uses your headphones cable as an aerial – we were concerned this would mean it would only work with Apple's infamously tinny bundled buds, but our Monster Beats worked fine and coaxed some mostly clear reception from the Nano. You can also do Live Pause, and rewind up to 15 minutes back.

The pedometer is a slightly gimmicky new toy. While the menus adopt Nike+ colours, it doesn't mean built-in Nike+ support like that found on the iPhone and Touch – you'll still need to plug the cumbersome receiver into the dock port for that. Instead, the pedometer counts and logs the number of steps you take using the accelerometer – something we haven't yet found a use for.

Shooting and editing video

But enough of the sideshows – the iPod Nano 5G is all about shooting video, and this feature is surprisingly well realised. Like the Flip Mino, it shoots 640x480 VGA footage at 30fps – easily good enough for YouTube – and starting/stopping filming is just a case of pressing the centre button.

The Nano doesn't shoot stills, but there are 16 live video effects, including X-ray, Sepia and, our current favourite Cyborg, which gives films a Predator-like feel:

When it comes to transferring your videos onto a computer, you have two options – set the Nano up as an external disk so you can just drag and drop the H.264 files onto your desktop, or import them into iPhoto.

As you can see below, iPhoto includes some handy links to Facebook, Flickr, MobileMe and email. Once you've linked iPhoto to these accounts, it's a cinch to fire your vids round your social networking sites – but it's a real shame there's no link for quick uploads to YouTube:

You can also add a soundtrack to your vids by clicking the 'edit' button in iPhoto – this opens up a Quicktime window, then it's just a case of importing the track and adjusting the speed to match your masterpiece.

We'll be adding the videos we've shot on the iPod Nano 5G to this blog very soon, so check back to see how they fare next to rivals like the Flip Mino – and stay tuned for a full hands-on video and review.

iPod Nano sample videos