I really didn’t need it. I couldn’t completely justify it. But I absolutely love it. I’m talking about the new iPod nano with built-in video camera, FM radio, pedometer and more. I already own an iPhone, which I (used to) use all the time to listen to music and podcasts, including in the car and exercising. So, the nano seemed superfluous.

However, after using the nano for the past two weeks, my iPhone is back to being a great phone and essential PDA, but only occasional iPod. I find it easier to browse music on the nano versus the iPhone, especially while driving in the car. The nano’s clickwheel interface and big screen is snappy and direct. This is also true while walking or running—not to mention the smaller size of the nano is more manageable while exercising.

I am also really enjoying the little goodies in the nano. The video camera has decent quality, and I’ve used it to capture some funny scenes I’d otherwise have missed. I let people play with the new nano at a party last week, and while people were impressed by the video quality, they were more impressed by the technical accomplishment of squeezing a camera into an iPod nano. They found the camera easy to use, and more than a few people commented that the new nano would be perfect to use while skiing or snowboarding.

Next week a few Small Dog Electronics employees are putting together a 3-minute movie to be recorded on the nano. It’s a crime picture with lots of action. We’ll post the link when it’s up. In the meantime, if you haven’t already seen it, I created a brief video comparing the quality of the iPod nano video to the FlipHD, which you can see by clicking here.

I also enjoy the nano’s built-in pedometer. While I generally use Nike+ to track milage and fitness, it’s fun and useful to activate the pedometer on casual walks. The FM radio is a nice bonus. I’ve mainly used it to listen to the news while on the go.

With an excellent interface geared to playing, browsing and selecting music, a few useful “extras,” and a lightweight (and cool-looking) design, the new iPod nano is easily my favorite new Apple release since the introduction of the iPhone 3G. Click here to learn more about the iPod nano at Smalldog.com or drop into one of our stores to see them in person. As people learn about the new nano, I bet it will become one of the biggest gifts this holiday season!

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