iPod Touch 7 vs. Cheap Android phone: Which should you buy?

Nokia 4.2

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.

Nokia 4.2

Our pick

Premium glass/metal construction
Larger, sharper display
Dual rear cameras
NFC for Google Pay
Clean software
It's an actual phone
Less capable processor
No iMessage, FaceTime, AirDrop, etc.

iPod Touch 7

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.

iPod Touch 7

If you need iOS

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

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Nokia 4.2iPod Touch 7
Operating SystemAndroid 9 PieAndroid OneiOS 12
Display5.71-inchLCD1520 x 72019:9 aspect ratio4-inchLCD1130 x 64016:9 aspect ratio
ProcessorSnapdragon 439Apple A10 Fusion
ExpandableUp to 400GB
Rear Camera 113MPf/2.2 aperture8MPf/2.4 aperture
Rear Camera 22MPDepth sensor
Front Camera8MPf/2.0 aperture1.2MPf/2.2 aperture
Fingerprint Sensor✔️
Battery3,000 mAhUnspecifiedUp 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.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.