iPod Mini vs iPod Nano (3G)

04 June 2013 by Lincoln Ramsay

My iPod Mini’s battery is once again dying (it’s been replaced once already). I can replace it again or switch over to a newer iPod Nano (3G) we have hanging around. I’ve been trying out the iPod Nano to see how well it works as a replacement.

Ways in which the iPod Mini is better:

1. It’s form is superior. From the proportions of the unit to the rounded edges and flat top/base to the responsive clickwheel and easily-actuated lock switch. It’s a pleasure to hold and use. The Nano has a larger center button that causes the clickwheel to be a really thin strip so it’s hard to accurately scroll through lists with your thumb. And the lock switch practically needs nails to actuate due to its size and position.
2. The screen always shows the currently playing track, even when the backlight is off. I can always glance at the screen to see what is playing without having to unlock it first. Apparently, I did this all the time because it’s fast becoming a big annoyance with the Nano (which shows a clock and battery level instead, requiring you to move the lock switch in order to see the current song).

Ways in which the iPod Nano is better:

1. It is both thinner and lighter than the Mini. It doesn’t try to fall off the end of the headphone cable when I take it out of my pocket.
2. The battery seems to be double what the Mini gets when its battery is fresh. Not too surprising since this iPod was aimed at video playback so they had to ensure the battery was beefy. Mind you, the 2 hours or so the Mini could manage between charges was not often a problem because I spend most of my day next to a USB port but there was that time I went on a 4 hour flight and ran out of music half way through…
3. It does not forget where it was after being asleep for 24 hours (thanks to using NAND instead of a HD with a RAM cache). I would have to remember to wake up the Mini over the weekend to avoid the need to find my spot again come Monday morning.

I think I’m going to stick to the Nano. The Mini will take its place on the nightstand where its lack of battery can’t hurt anyone.