First revealed in late 2012, the fifth-generation iPod touch ($199-$299 from the Apple Store) is Apple’s least-expensive iOS device. Thinner and lighter than its predecessor, it has an aluminum and glass body that paved the way for surprisingly similar designs in the iPad mini, iPad Air, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus families. Beyond its space gray and silver versions, it is currently the only metal iOS device offered in bright colors — a benefit if you like red, pink, yellow, or blue — and is similar to the plastic iPhone 5c in features, minus cellular data and phone calling support.
With the same 4-inch screen as the iPhone 5c, it also has the same Lightning connector, though it’s a generation behind in processing power with the A5 chip. It includes the first “good enough” camera system ever in an iPod: a 5-megapixel rear iSight camera with an iPhone 6/6 Plus-style protruding lens, and a basic FaceTime HD camera on the front. Apple’s Siri voice assistant is also supported, as are most of the great games available in the App Store.
There have been some changes to the 16GB version of this iPod touch over time; at first, there wasn’t one, then one appeared in silver with a black front but without a rear camera. That was replaced by the current version which comes in all six colors, each with a camera, matching the colors and cameras of 32GB and 64GB models. For $199 to $299, these aren’t bad deals, but under most circumstances we’d recommend the iPad mini or iPad mini 2 instead.