New Nike GPS Running Watch

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03/04/2011 at 11:41
I pre-ordered the new Nike GPS running watch and it arrived this weekend!
I took it out for a spin yesterday and have reviewed it on my running blog if anyone is interested.

Nike GPS watch review

In a nutshell the watch is great for anyone that is only interested in tracking the basics like Speed, Distance, Calories and Heart Rate but the Nike watch lacks the advanced features of some of the Garmin Forerunners, Suunto GPS watches or the Timex Global Trainer.

The online portal is pretty unique and is good for reviewing all of your past runs. Nike also rewards you for good running with virtual trophies and motivational videos from real athletes which is something a bit different. You can also enrol on a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon training plan, and once you download this to the watch it will remind you when it is time to run.
Edited: 03/04/2011 at 11:44
03/04/2011 at 14:08
Appreciate the review. One thing I'd be interested to know is how long does it take to pick up the GPS signal and how often does it have to be re-charged?

Had a Garmin 405CX before selling it, but one of the worst things about it was sometimes having to wait up to 3-4 minutes whilst it acquired satellites, probably didn't help that I live in a flat with lots of trees around but this annoyed the hell out of me. Also having to charge a watch every few days was something I never got used to.
03/04/2011 at 14:23
I had the same reception problem with the 405 but thankfully Garmin seemed to have fixed this by the time I bought the 410!

The Nike GPS watch took about an hour to charge fully using the USB cable and after two runs the battery indicator bar hasn't moved at either the battery life is pretty good or I have a dodgy model lol.

When out running I didn't receive any kind of 'Acquiring Satellite' message like we are used to seeing with the Forerunners so can only assume that the unit was pretty quick to pick up a satellite signal. The watch used the Nike Foot Pod that is supplied in the box to keep track of pace and distance when satellite signal is lost so running indoors and in areas with bad reception should be a problem.
03/04/2011 at 18:10
I worry about the USB connection getting damaged out running etc. Strange they didn't go for bluetooth?
04/04/2011 at 09:44
The USB is well protected, it seems quite a sturdy watch. The satalite has taken me no more than 30 seconds to aquire a signal.
04/04/2011 at 19:32
Excellent review Kinver.

Mine has just arrived today and I'll take it for a test run tomorrow.

How did the pace calculator work? I used to have a Garmin before I sold it, and I used to get wildly fluctuating readings from 8 mins to 12 mins a mile in the space of a few seconds which was useless.

I was disappointed to read that the Nike watch doesn't have an average pace reading built in, which can't have been that difficult to put into the software. Garmin have this as standard.

04/04/2011 at 20:07
The fact that the watch doesnt have Average Pace is very annoying I must admit as after running with a Forerunner 405 and 410 you kind of expect these things a standard! - Especially considering the high price tag.

The watch is very easy to use though which almost makes up for the lack of advanced functionality. It is the quickest out of all the GPS watches that I have run with previously to pick up a satellite signal and the fact that it switches between foot pod and GPS when the signal is lost is a bonus as I so a lot of city running.

Lets just hope for that Average Pace firmware update!
04/04/2011 at 20:13
I did think that, as it would be easy for Nike/Tom Tom to update the firmware with average pace. Fingers crossed.

I'll post a verdict after I try it out tomorrow.

Excellent website by the way.
04/04/2011 at 20:41
Thanks Martin

Have fun trying out the watch!
05/04/2011 at 22:27
My first run this evening with the Nike GPS having had it delivered yesterday.

Initial verdict getting it out of the box is that it's been well designed balancing an easy on the eye product with functionality.

After plugging the device into my laptop, configuring it was really simple. After downloading the Nike Connect software it recognised my device straight away and gave me some basic options on how I want it to display during my runs. It was so easy to configure, I didn't even need to look at the manual.

So how did it perform during my run? Well mixed to be honest, but largely positive.

It found a GSP signal within 30 seconds, owning a Tom Tom Sat Nav for my car and tapping into the same technology I'd expect nothing less than good performance on this. The watch asked whether I was ready to start, and a simple click of the green button and I was away and running.

On my wrist the watch didn't feel too bulky although it is a little larger than the marketing pictures portray. It's very light though compared to some of the garmin devices.

Navigating through the display whilst you're running is an absolute sinch compared to a Garmin. Nike have designed this for simplicity and for me thats a plus point. I used to own a Garmin, and found the bezel a total nightmare. It would automatically do things mid run without touching it, or not respond at all. The Nike GPS basically has 3 buttons and it couldn't be easier.

I'd set my device to auto lap each mile. This was very impressive, at each mile it gave me a split time and displayed this for circa 10 seconds, and then re-set. Being able to pre-set this aspect and not faff about whilst you're running is a good design.

When I got home I plugged the watch into my PC and it logged the run and showed this on Nike Plus. Compared to a Garmin the stats are basic but adequate.

So, to my gripe, and it's a big one. The pace setting is next to useless. I had the same problem on my garmin in that the readings are too sensitive and within the space of 30 seconds I was fluctuating between 8 and 10 mins a mile. I don't blame the technology or design for this, as GPS is a precise thing, and it can't possibly be that accurate. However on a Garmin you get an option to set an average pace. I'm training for a marathon, so on a long training run of circa 20 miles I'm likely to check my watch once in a while and I'll want to know my average pace based on my training goals. To not have average pace is a complete and utter failure by Nike. This is not exactly a difficult setting to have added in, and to have missed this is falling very short. This alone has tempted me to send the watch back or sell it. I'll keep it because I suspect Nike will look at doing a firmware update to add this in. If they include this setting, then the device is an absolute winner.

So, overall verdict... a stunningly designed device, not bulky and very simple to operate. Massive fail on not having average pace. Nike, please listen to feedback and do a firmware update as soon as possible. If you could just add these basics, it will clean up.
05/04/2011 at 23:37
Nice review Martin!

That average pace feature really seems to be a sticking point with the watch doesn't it! Nike have been very quiet with their press after the release and haven't mentioned anything about Average Pace (or a lot else to be honest) so maybe it is just taking them a little while to guage the fedback from the running community.

Having said that, both the UK and USA online Nike Stores have completely sold out so there must be lots of people out there who aren't too bothered about the lack of average pace or just dont know what they are missing compared to a Forerunner!

Have you won any trophies yet on

Blog - Nik+ SportWatch GPS
06/04/2011 at 11:59
nice review KR - but not having an average pace would mean a big NO from me.

ooi - were you aware of this before you bought???
06/04/2011 at 19:44
Hi Kinver, I think I've won the trophy for best winge, you should win one for best review!

Buddha, yes I did know, but I've took the risk that Nike will listen to feedback and issue a firmware update. They've clearly invested a lot of money into this product and linked up with TomTom, who equally will want this to succeed.

The simplicity of the watch is a massive plus, so in the meantime I'll live without the average pace. I agree though, I can see why this is a massive NO for people and hopefully Nike will take steps to sort this out or they'll have no chance of eating into Garmin's market share.

06/04/2011 at 22:05

do u really need an average pace ? i found that the actual pace didnt change that badly for me and after every mile the auto lap gave me the split time

went out for a 3miler tonight just to test mine out and although its simpler than my 305 it may well put the fun back into running instead of looking at all my stats

 maybe having an option between having 2 or 3 options on the screen would of been a nice touch

when i plugged mine in the was an update for it allready so they have changed something straight away

07/04/2011 at 08:58
NEILNEIL wrote (see)

do u really need an average pace ? i found that the actual pace didnt change that badly for me and after every mile the auto lap gave me the split time

You do when you're running intervals.

Another a good review here, theres mention that the GPS distance is out quite a bit.

08/04/2011 at 14:27
Three runs now with the Nike GPS and I'm quite happy with it.

The average pace is the missing link, but for what it is, it's a nice simple to use device that does the basics well.

I've not experienced any of the problems with not finding a single quickly, it's consistently found this within 30 seconds.

It's not as comfortable on my wrist as I'd like, but I'm just being fussy. It does feel a little rigid.

I've been using the autolap each mile and found this very useful. It's been a while since I've used a GPS watch having sold my Garmin a while ago, and this week it's definitely made me run faster as I'm checking my split time each mile and pushing harder.

One happy customer...
08/04/2011 at 17:19
Can you set the 'autolap' distance to 0.5 mile or 400 metres?
10/04/2011 at 14:21
a bit of an obvious one but would it function OK as an ordinary watch. Does it even have the usual watch functions?
10/04/2011 at 17:17
tried mine for the first time today on the interval setting the beep is quite quiet. is there a way to adjust the volume?
10/04/2011 at 17:41
Nice review KR.  Sounds like a really good bit of kit.  Average pace doesn't bother me as I run to heart rate anyway.  Can't really see a need for it.  I like that it seems fairly basic.  I've been using Timex Bodylink for years and the info on that is basic but suits my needs.  I don't bother with the recorder or software though that is pants, so something more modern but just as simple to use seems to fit the bill.
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