Nike+ Sportwatch GPS

One of the few GPS watches sold with a foot pod, the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS has some unique features that make it a great choice for runners who split their time between a treadmill and the road.

In addition to tracking basic GPS watch information (time, distance, speed and pace, and calories), the Sportwatch GPS has interval workouts for advanced training. Interval workouts allow you to pre-program time or distance intervals on the watch, letting you focus on your workout rather than counting reps and tracking time or distance.

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The optional heart rate monitor measures heartbeats per minute and uses that information to more accurately count calories.

The foot pod not only tracks treadmill workouts when GPS isn’t available, but measures distance outdoors when GPS signals are lost (under heavy tree cover or going through a tunnel, for example). What it doesn’t do – unlike other GPS foot pods – is track cadence, i.e. the number of strides you take per minute.

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Two features on the Sportwatch GPS not commonly found on other watches are run reminders and personal records. Run reminders are messages that appear on the Sportwatch GPS if it detects you haven’t been running recently. Imagine you’ve “forgotten” to run for a few days. The Sportwatch GPS gently reminds you with a message on the watch that you need to run.

Personal records are recorded on the watch, so as your fitness improves, the watch alerts you when you’ve run faster than past workouts.

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The biggest negative to the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS is its computer download functionality. While it works fine using Nike’s software, there is no export function to move workouts to other 3rd party applications like Training Peaks. This is a potential problem if you ever switch to another watch brand or tire of Nike’s limited software.

The design of the Sportwatch GPS may also pose problems for some people. Rather than being round or oval shaped, the watch is long and thin making it uncomfortable for some people with small wrists.

Overall, the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS is a strong running watch. With its advanced features, run reminders, and personal record memory, it’s ideal for beginner as well as intermediate runners.


PROS:

  • Unique features including run reminder and personal records plus more common functions like interval workouts
  • Accessory support: Included foot pod and optional heart rate monitor
  • Easy to use

CONS:

  • Workouts remain trapped on Nike’s software – can’t export to 3rd party applications
  • Sleek, thin design looks cool but may not be comfortable for smaller wrists

WHO SHOULD BUY THIS WATCH
Runners

Primarily designed for runners, the foot pod, heart rate monitor, and interval workouts make this a nice watch for experienced runners. But at the same time, newer runners will appreciate its personal record alerts and run reminders.

Cyclists

The Sportwatch GPS is fine for day to day riding, but it lacks more advanced features like a dedicated bike mount, speed and cadence sensor, and power meter support.

Swimmers

The Nike Sportwatch GPS is waterproof to 50 meters, making it fine for swimming.

FEATURES

Hardware

Battery-life: 8 hours exercise mode

Waterproof to 50 meters

Data Tracking

Time, Distance, and Speed/Pace

Calories

Heart rate calculated calories

Workout History

15 hours of activities

Remembers personal records

Alerts & General Features

Auto lap

Customizable screens

Auto scroll

Time/distance audible alerts

Run reminder alerts

Training Aids

Interval workouts

Syncing

Downloads activities to your computer

Shares workouts on Facebook and Twitter

Accessories

Foot pod (included)

Heart rate monitor

Other Functions

Time of day

Date

Alarms

Stopwatch