Released in October 2011, the newly squared-off sixth-generation iPod nano has a nifty fitness feature tucked inside its touchscreen. Just press the red Fitness icon, and you will find three options for charting your workout. Thanks to a built-in accelerometer, the nano can track both your walks and runs by calculating the distance and estimated calories burned. (Upgrading to the $29 Nike + iPod Sport Kit will provide even more detailed run information, but requires the additional purchase of special Nike+ running shoes, which accommodate the small sensor in the insole.) A history button lets you view your personal bests and workout totals.
While there aren’t any cool games built into the new nano, both the $129 8GB version as well as the $149 16GB model hold entire libraries of digital music that should keep you sufficiently distracted from your grueling workout. While you’re at it, spring for a $30 HEX sport watch band with a silicone strap that lets your wear your nano on your wrist like a watch, and makes it easier not only to log your workouts but also to skip to the next song.
While the nano is nowhere as full-featured as fitness gadgets like the BodyMedia Fit CORE armband, and it’s easy to forget to hit the start and stop buttons each time you go for a walk or a run (a couple times I left mine going for hours before remembering to hit the stop button), it’s the only device that doubles as a music player, digital photo album and wristwatch.
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