The new fifth-generation iPod touch is the thinnest, most advanced iPod touch yet, boasting a 4-inch display, an A5 chip and an incredibly small form factor, but it’s not an upgrade in every way from the models that preceded it.
In fact, in one key way, it’s a serious downgrade from previous iPod touches: the new iPo touch no longer has an ambient light sensor, meaning that it can’t adjust screen brightness depending upon the brightness in the room around you. That could mean you’ll spend a lot more time manually juggling brightness in the new iPod touch.
GigaOm reports on the lack of ambient light sensor, noting that on the new iPod touch, there’s no auto-brightness setting under “Brightness & Wallpaper” in iOS 6.
Apple’s own iPod touch product specs page seems to confirm the problem: Apple did not pack an ambient light sensor into their new iPod touch, presumbly to save space and cut costs.
That’s a bummer. iOS 6 finally fixed Apple’s kind-of-broken auto-brightness algorithm so that user settings for different brightness levels were saved, which to me has made the setting a lot more useful than ever. If the iPod touch doesn’t support that, it means a lot of manually juggling brightness to be better for battery life and to be less of a strain on the eyes. It must be an issue of keeping the form factor svelte, because ambient light sensors cost mere pennies.