I have never had an iPhone or an iPod Touch and this was my first foray from my iPod Classic to the Touch. Figured it was finally time. This is such a cool device! Downloaded all my favorite apps that I used to play on my friends' devices. The screen is sharp, I mean amazing sharp! The buttons are nice and square, better in design imho compared to the Touch 4. Wasn't able to find any color other than yellow, but at least I got it in time. Other colors are all delayed it seems.
The iPod Touch 5th generation has come a long way since the launch of the first generation iPod a few years go. There are several features that I love about this new Touch. My quick impressions so far after having used it for just under a week.
FORM FACTOR - The Touch is thinner than iPhone 5 though still has the same 4-inch retina display. The overall experience is significantly better using this device compared to the Touch 4. I was pretty happy with my Touch 4, but now looking at it after playing with the Touch 5, it just seems small! The 5 is thinner and lighter than even the iPhone 5. Very slick.
BODY - The back is anodized aluminum finish in amazing colors. The matte finish makes it less scratch-prone (at least so far it seems that way) compared to the steel-backed Touch 4. The body is slightly more rectangular and less curved than the 4, making it easier to use the side volume buttons. I honestly don't think a case is necessary for this device given its beautiful colors and fairly scratch-resistant body, but that again would be entirely a personal decision. Some folks are prone to dropping devices in which case a case is a must. My 2 cents - a transparent case would probably be best which at least allows the beauty of the device to come through. Putting on a thick black case on this would be doing it severe injustice!
CAMERA - The camera is in my opinion one of the best features of the Touch. The Touch has a 5MP camera, which I think is the same as the iPhone though I could be wrong on this. It gives 1080p recording in this slick device, makes me think back of the loaded camcorders we carried and converted tapes to DVDs, and that wasn't so long ago! The camera, same as the iPhone camera, gives the panoramic option which lets you capture a pretty wide angle shot. I tried this feature only in the house, but due to different lighting in the different areas that I was shooting, the picture didn't come out so well. I'm sure if taken with correct lighting or outdoors, the panoramic pictures would be spectacular. I wonder if the camera is meant to be the main feature of the Touch that Apple wants to push, given that they included a hand strap with the touch, just like most cameras come with.
A5 PROCESSOR - The difference in speed because of the A5 processor is quite noticeable, for the better. It makes the device much faster - for apps, loading videos, etc. For the few apps that I use often, the speed is remarkable.
EARBUDS - I don't use the Apple earphones because they have been uncomfortable for me personally. I tried the new earbuds and these fit much better. Sound quality maybe just about the same, at least I didn't notice any significant difference. I'm happy using my Bose or Sony headphones with the Touch. The speaker on the iPod is decent for light listening or watching videos. It's really not meant to give surround sound, but the speakers do their job fine.
CONNECTOR - The lightning connector is probably better for charging speeds and data transfer (I guess), but the only good thing that I find about this is that the cable can be inserted either way into the Touch. Unlike the previous 30-pin connector that could only be inserted one way up. One thing to note - and this might have just been me but I did see some reviews earlier to this effect - the USB end of the adapter is probably the same as all USBs. But, for some reason, when I plugged it in to my car charger, it got stuck in it. I struggled for a good 5 minutes to get it out. I had no problems with my 30-pin connector cable with this charger. I later read reviews for the car charger and other folks had mentioned the same thing. Not sure what the issue was, maybe just a few isolated events. But for now I am not using any non-Apple approved charger, even if it is just a USB charger. Another problem I have faced is that when I connect the iPod to the USB jack in my car, there are times when the sound comes through the iPod instead of the car speakers. The iPod is connected and shows "Accessory Connected". I then have to unlplug the device and plug it back in, and then it works fine. This has happened 2-3 times over the past few days. I'm not sure if this has to do with the lightning cable or the car's USB port.
SOFTWARE - It runs on iOS6 and the speed is amazing. Note that it doesn't have Google Maps which I sorely miss, but that's an issue more with iOS6 rather than the ouch itself. Hopefully Apple's maps will get better :) It has built-in Siri but I don't use Siri myself so can't comment on that.
It's hard to compare this with the iPhone because this is not a phone, though you can download Skype or Vonage Mobile and use these apps to turn the Touch into a makeshift phone. I guess it could be compared to other tablets which do pretty much the same thing as the Touch for the most part. A lot of the tablets are cheaper in price, though have less storage capacity and can't be used so efficiently as a camera, or an MP3 player while working out.
All in all I am very impressed and pleased with the Touch 5 so far. Whether to buy or upgrade to this device is entirely a personal decision depending on what you're looking for.