iPod Touch 5G light sensor issues and tear-down comparison

Back in September at the iPhone 5 keynote speech Apple also unveiled a refresh to some of its iPod line of MP3 players. This included a new version of the flagship iPod Touch that the company promised to be the thinnest and most advanced yet, and today we are looking at the iPod Touch 5G light sensor issues and tear down comparison.

Owners of the new iPod Touch have begun to discover that Apple has decided to remove the ambient light sensor for the device, and as a writer over on GIGAOM has continued to enjoy his new iPod Touch since it arrived. Trouble is at first he thought the new device was broken when going out into daylight and not being able to read the screen.

The brightness on the device is kept at low levels to save the battery, which is fine on older versions of the iPod Touch, as soon as you step outside the light sensor would adjust the screens brightness accordingly, but not now with the iPod Touch 5G.

This in many people’s eyes is a downgrading of the device from the old model, and users will now have to go into settings and use the manual brightness slider instead of the device automatically adjusting itself.

An article over on Ars Technica sheds some light (no pun intended) on the matter as a reported email exchange between Apple’s Phil Schiller and an owner of the new iPod Touch, has revealed that Schiller said the device is too thin to have an ambient light sensor fitted.

Meanwhile the International Business Times are reporting of the tear down of the iPod Touch 5G carried out by the iFixit engineers, and on first impressions the device shares the same height as the iPhone 5. Along with a four inch display and five megapixel iSight camera the new iPod has a retractable post for ‘the loop’, which is hoped will prevent the display shattering when accidently dropped.

It was found that the iPod Touch 5G was much easier to get access to compared to the iPhone 5, which was down to the lack of external screws. There was also a lack of ribbon cables on the logic board that gained the device a reliability score of only 3 out of 10, which compares to the Phone 5 that achieved 7 meaning it’s easier to repair.

The device is powered by Apple’s A5 dual core processor, 32GB of NAND flash made by Toshiba, 512MB of RAM made by Hynix, and the touchscreen display is by Texas Instruments. A lot of the specs on the iPod Touch 5G are the same as the iPhone 5, and the pricing for the device reflects this.

Many potential purchasers of the latest iPod Touch will probably not be put off by the lack of an ambient light sensor, as the device has a lot more going for it since the update, but you would have thought Apple could have got one in there somehow.

Are you disappointed about this feature being left out of the iPod Touch 5G?


8 thoughts on “iPod Touch 5G light sensor issues and tear-down comparison”

  1. Umar Adnan says:

    I’m having second thoughts on buying the ipod touch 5g. I really need the ambient light sensor. It’s gonna be fussy to go to settings just to change the brightness.


  2. impressedby ipt5g says:

    not bothered by the lack of light sensor… it would just take a few taps to adjust the brightness, not really an issue..

    i am impressed by this device it has nice camera,it is more responsive, and looks stunning. i suggest they’d pack it with 3g though

  3. Amandeep says:

    I don’t use automatic brightness at all. Not with my 2nd Generation iPod Touch or with my GS2. I find it annoying as it changes brightness because it creates a change and distracts me most times. The ambient sensor will not be missed. And after a jailbreak is released for the new iPod, users can just install a tweak that puts a brightness adjustor in the multitasking tray or in the dropdown notifications area.

  4. This is the one and only reason i will not be buying the 5th gen ipod touch or the 6th gen ipod touch for that matter if it also lacks a light sensor.
    I’m sure even with the thinness of the device apple could have found a way to incorporate one into the IPT.
    As a matter of fact I think there should have been more than one light sensor.
    One on either side of the device !

    Even tho this might be a feature that I “turn off” (to save resources or whatever) It’s still a feature i want to have there and to use when i’m not using other apps that might not be necessary at that point in time.

    The sensors available now are so small and take up such a inconspicuous amount of space this was a unbelievable blunder by apple.

    For those of you who where not able to catch this lacking function in time I would suggest looking at the “.flux” project. It is not just for windows and linux any longer.
    The .Flux app changes the ambiance of the screen based on the time of the day. The app will also have more features in the future. Not only changing light ambiance based on time of day but also surrounding weather conditions based on your current location as well combined.


    That all being said, i wonder if the functionality could be re-added using both front and back cameras with THEIR incorporated sensors along with other data such as time of day and weather etc..
    It wouldn’t be worth going through the trouble if the camera hardware wasn’t able to be used in my mind anyways.

    EDIT II:
    This is the main reason i believe my old 3GS with old bootrom and 4s are still superior to any iphone out even the iphone 5. Just the feel of the devices blow away all the rest.
    Someone also mentioned that the iPhone 5’s sensor is not as good as the iphone 4/4s. Is this true ?

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