Nike SportWatch GPS Watches Reviews

Nike is one of the biggest names in sports equipment, but not necessarily in sports watches. While companies like Garmin naturally began offering GPS enabled devices based on technology they had already mastered with their navigation devices, building a GPS sports watch from scratch would be a daunting task for a brand more used to running shoes and workout clothes. Nike solved this problem by partnering with one of Garmin’s competitors in the navigation industry, TomTom, and began offering a GPS enabled Nike sportswatch several years ago.

Nike+ SportWatch in Anthracite/Blue Glow

Nike+ SportWatch GPS Powered by TomTom -3

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Nike Had Earlier Experience With Wearable Workout Devices

Nike did have lots of experience with wearable workout monitors before they decided to add GPS capability, and it shows. The Nike- iPod sport kit joined an iPod Nano and Nike’s digital pedometer and calorie counter, and it was a big hit.

The Nike Sport Watch doesn’t have much to do with Apple anymore, but it still has an Apple-like design that looks more modern and sleek than anything from other makers. The Nike SportWatch makes no attempt to accommodate a round bezel as a nod to traditional watches. It integrates a vertically oriented rectangular screen into a wide strap that gives all of their models a no-nonsense, high-tech vibe.

The Nike SportWatch Is Designed To Be Read Easily

The Nike SportWatch is a little heavier than other models, but not dramatically so, and the wristband is easy to adjust and resists slipping even on slender wrists. Where the Nike SportWatch really shines it the readability of its numbers. The big, blocky white numbers on a black background are easily read by simply turning your wrist, and for runners and athletes that wear glasses except when they work out, they’ll save themselves a great deal of holding their wrist directly in front of their face to gauge how they’re doing. The screen colors can also be inverted if you’d prefer to read black text on a white field.

Comes With Nike’s Shoepod

All models of the Nike Sport Watch come with a Nike sensor Shoepod, an accelerometer that measures your footfalls to accurately track your pace. Many Nike shoes have a spot under the insole that accepts the sensor, or if you’re not a Nike wearer you can always tie it to your shoelaces to get the same effect. One of the benefits of tracking footfalls to determine your pace instead of relying totally on GPS satellite information is that if you run through tunnels or other areas where a GPS signal can’t reach, your information won’t suffer from blank-outs that can affect all your carefully measured running info.

Nike+ Sport Watch in White/Sport Turquoise

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch, White Sport Turquoise

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A No-Nonsense Design

The Nike SportWatch isn’t a fancy device. Its readout looks is borderline brutish looking, and is doesn’t have a lot of the additional capabilities that some other sportwatches have. The Nike SportWatch doesn’t store routes or allow you to train against a virtual competitor like some other devices, but many users don’t need many of the features on other watches and grow frustrated by the amount of menus they have to buzz through to get the info they need.

The Nike Sport Watch does away with as many buttons and menus as it can while still supplying the athlete with the information they need. The screen is backlit, for instance, but you toggle it on and off by simply tapping the bezel of the watch, which is usually done with a dedicated button on most watches. The Nike SportWatch doesn’t even have a dedicated button to bring up the menu on the watch; you simply use the plus/minus toggle on the side and the menu appears as you start scrolling through the features, all displayed in big, block letters for easy reading.

A Nifty USB Interface

One of the niftier features on the Nike SportWatch is the way it integrates its USB connector into the watch’s strap. When you take the watch off, the end of one strap can be inserted directly into your computer to download or upload your data. It couldn’t be simpler, and it’s one less thing to have to keep track of and potentially lose.

Nike+ SportWatch in Black / Red

Nike+ Sport Watch GPS Powered by TomTom (Black Red)

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Pros

  • GPS enabled sportwatch
  • Big, easy to read dial and text
  • Measures footfalls instead of relying solely on GPS info
  • Water resistant for working out in any weather
  • Tracks heart rate, time, distance, speed, pace, and calories burned
  • Shows mapped route
  • Lithium polymer battery charges via USB
  • USB is built into the strap
  • Tracks your runs even if GPS is interrupted
  • Works indoors or out
  • Provides 8 hours of run time on a charge
  • Functions as a traditional watch for up to 50 days on one charge

Cons

  • Pacing measurement doesn’t average out your time, so if you slow down to check your pace you’ll get a false reading.
  • Can’t switch between miles and kilometers on the run
  • Can’t display run splits directly on the watch after a run, although the information is kept online
  • Doesn’t synch time automatically with local time zone

The Nike Sport watch Works Constantly In The Background

While the Nike SportWatch has a bare-bones mystique about it, it’s still plenty capable as a running companion. It takes the usual measurements like total mileage, but it also keeps track of things like your fastest mile, 5k time, or 10k time, and your longest run. Whenever you beat your personal best at anything, the Nike Sport Watch display a congratulatory message on the screen that Nike calls Attaboys. It’s a nice little feature and the best part about it might be that it takes no effort on the part of the athlete to either program the information or call it up. It all happens in the background and doesn’t interfere with any other function of the watch.

The Nike Sportwatch is very highly rated by both tech and gadget magazines and by thousands of users.