Our pick

Nokia 4.2

If you need iOS

iPod Touch 7

For under $200, you'll be hard-pressed to find a phone better than the Nokia 4.2. It's got a crisp display with a small notch, a high-end design, and more than enough specs to keep you entertained. Unlike the iPod Touch 7, it's an actual phone and has all of the benefits that come with owning one.

$190 at Amazon

Pros

  • Premium glass/metal construction
  • Larger, sharper display
  • Dual rear cameras
  • NFC for Google Pay
  • Clean software
  • It's an actual phone

Cons

  • Less capable processor
  • No iMessage, FaceTime, AirDrop, etc.

The iPod Touch 7 is the most affordable way to buy into the Apple ecosystem, and while we appreciate what it does, you get more bang for your buck with a budget Android phone. The iPod Touch has weak cameras, no GPS chip, lacks a fingerprint sensor, and can only connect to the internet when it's near Wi-Fi.

From $199 at Apple

Pros

  • Very compact
  • A10 Fusion chip is speedy
  • Available in a lot of colors
  • iMessage and FaceTime
  • Will be updated to iOS 13

Cons

  • Can't make phone calls or send texts
  • Requires a Wi-Fi connection
  • Weak cameras

This is a clear-cut comparison. If you value getting the most for your money, you'll want to buy the Nokia 4.2. It has a bigger and higher resolution display, better cameras, can be used to pay for things that accept NFC, and its functionality isn't limited when you get too far away from a Wi-Fi network. On the other hand, if you already have a phone and want a device that can run iOS while spending as little as possible, the iPod Touch 7 is the way to go.

The Nokia 4.2 makes more sense for most people

We have a preference for Android at AC, but we also understand why some people prefer iOS and really like a lot of what Apple's doing with it. For this comparison, however, the Nokia 4.2 is easily the better choice over the iPod Touch 7.

From a design standpoint, the Nokia 4.2 actually looks like it belongs in 2019. The metal frame is sturdy, its glass back offers a nice touch of pizazz, and the display with its slim bezels and waterdrop notch looks fantastic. Speaking of the display, it's also larger and has a much higher resolution so that your games, movies, and apps will look as crisp as possible.

Comparatively, the iPod Touch 7 looks like it was released in 2015. In fact, it uses the exact same design of the iPod Touch 6 that was released during that year. That means you have a tiny 4-inch screen with gigantic bezels by today's standards and a resolution that's not even HD. You're also missing out on a fingerprint sensor, GPS, NFC, and are can only connect to the internet when you're near Wi-Fi. You can certainly use the Nokia 4.2 like an iPod of sorts and not buy a SIM card for it, but if you ever want to make calls, send texts, and have mobile data — you know, like a phone — you at least have that option. With the iPod, you're limited to Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi only.

The Nokia 4.2's Snapdragon 439 processor isn't nearly as impressive as Apple's A10 Fusion chip in the iPod Touch, but it's more than capable of running all of your favorite apps and games. You also have the option of expanding the base 32GB of storage with a microSD card, can pay for things with the phone using Google Pay at stores that accept NFC, and there's a fingerprint sensor on the back to keep your information secure.

Cheap Android phones usually get a bad rap for crappy software, but that's not an issue for the Nokia 4.2. It's running a clean build of Android 9 Pie out of the box with no unwanted bloat or gimmicky features. Even better, since it's part of the Android One program, the Nokia 4.2 is guaranteed to receive two years of major software updates for the next two years and critical security patches for three years.

Rounding things off, the Nokia 4.2 has some really unique features not found on a lot of flagships. There's a dedicated Google Assistant button to quickly access the AI whenever you want, and if you look closely at the power button, you'll see an LED notification ring that lights up around it. That's cool.

Nokia 4.2 iPod Touch 7
Operating System Android 9 Pie
Android One
iOS 12
Display 5.71-inch
LCD
1520 x 720
19:9 aspect ratio
4-inch
LCD
1130 x 640
16:9 aspect ratio
Processor Snapdragon 439 Apple A10 Fusion
Storage 32GB 32GB
128GB
256GB
Expandable Up to 400GB
RAM 3GB 2GB
Rear Camera 1 13MP
f/2.2 aperture
8MP
f/2.4 aperture
Rear Camera 2 2MP
Depth sensor
Front Camera 8MP
f/2.0 aperture
1.2MP
f/2.2 aperture
NFC ✔️
GPS ✔️
Fingerprint Sensor ✔️
Battery 3,000 mAh Unspecified
Up to 40 hours of music playback

Making a case for the iPod Touch 7

As much as we urge you to consider the Nokia 4.2 over the iPod Touch 7, there is one big reason why a lot of people might still choose the iPod instead: iOS.

While Android is our mobile operating system of choice, there are some things iOS offers that you can't get on Android. iMessage, FaceTime, and AirDrop are all big draws to the platform, not to mention Apple's industry-leading commitment to keeping its devices up-to-date with all of the latest software.

The iPod Touch 7 offers a great software experience by default, but when it's updated to iOS 13 later this year, you'll get features like a system-wide dark mode, an excellent voice dictation accessibility feature, significant performance upgrades, and much more.

The best value is still had with the Nokia 4.2, but if you want to live in the Apple ecosystem for whatever reason, the iPod Touch 7 is the way to go.

Our pick

Nokia 4.2

Easily the best phone you can buy for under $200.

Unless you really, really need a device that runs iOS, the Nokia 4.2 is the better choice. It has a surprisingly premium design, great display, capable processor, and dual rear cameras. We also love the addition of NFC for Google Pay, the dedicated Google Assistant button, and LED light that wraps around the power button. There's a lot going on here.

If you need iOS

iPod Touch 7

The cheapest way to get into Apple's ecosystem.

While the iPod Touch 7 is weaker than the Nokia 4.2 in a lot of ways, there's one area that keeps it worth considering — iOS. iOS comes with a host of features you won't find on Android, including iMessage, FaceTime, the App Store, and AirDrop. Both devices can be used with Wi-Fi only, but unlike the Nokia 4.2, you can't pop a SIM card in the iPod.

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