Nike+ SportWatch GPS: Sneak Preview

Get an exclusive sneak peak at the Nike+ SportWatch GPS before its release in April


Posted: 4 February 2011

Nike has promised its new Nike+ SportWatch GPS will be a "game changer". Runner's World couldn't turn down the opportunity to take the watch for a test run to see whether it lived up to the hype. We know it looks good, but does its functionality match up to its fashion-conscious aesthetic?

What it is?

The Nike+ SportWatch GPS, which is powered by Tom Tom, was unveiled in January at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in the US. It will be available online and from selected retailers in the UK from April 1. Have a look at a video about the watch here.

What does it offer?

  • The watch uses GPS to deliver accurate time, distance, pace, location and calories burned. However, it can also be synced with a Nike+ foot sensor, which will take over if the signal cuts out under heavy tree cover or if you want to train indoors.
  • Heart rate-monitor compatibility
  • Tap screen for activating the backlight and setting laps
  • Displays run history using data from past runs
  • Easy to use with a clear interface, only three buttons and a tap screen for navigation.

What's unique about it?

  • The watch allows you to connect directly to Nikeplus.com and join a running community of almost four million members.
  • Get recognition (or "Attaboys") when you set personal records.
  • Reminders appear after five days if you fail to log a run.
  • Search a catalogue of routes logged by other runners and mapped using Tom Tom technology at Nikeplus.com. Search for routes by location, length, difficulty and landmarks.

Our verdict

"RW were the first people outside of Nike to get their hands on this new GPS watch - one of only two samples in the UK presently. I used it on a lunchtime run in the centre of London and the results were mixed, but mostly positive.

The watch picked up the satellite signal in under 10 seconds each time, functionality was a doddle, with logical, Nokia-like simplicity, and it was easy to see your stats thanks to the clear pixellation and large numbers. I particularly liked the split-screen effect whereby the bottom two-thirds would keep your overall time on display while the top third would scroll through your other data if you prompted it.

A couple of small irritations were that the signal strength appeared rather variable even in open ground, and the three buttons on the left of the watch are closer to the underside than to the top, meaning you almost have to wedge your thumb underneath the watch to press a button on the run.

However, it's worth pointing out these are only initial observations and we look forward to putting the Nike+ SportWatch GPS through its paces properly when further samples become available." Kerry McCarthy, RW Gear Editor



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Discuss this article

I really like the look of this watch - very cool & trendy! It's good that there is now competition for Garmin and Timex. Will be interesting to know if the tap screen function still works if you have sweaty hands or if it is raining? Do you think the back up of the watch syncing with a Nike+ foot sensor is because the overall signal of the watch is weak? It looks very thin compared to the Garmin 405 as well?
Posted: 04/02/2011 at 23:08

seen a video on youtube and it looks pretty cheap and tacky imo


Posted: 05/02/2011 at 08:30

Not convinced about it I am afraid. Some of the failings with the first sports watch apear to be still there, such as having to use their website to look at your runs - no offline facility (Nike+ website or Nike advert?), and as a runner who loves numbers (we all do) the very basic information shown on the website doesn't compare to other software packages for other GPS systems.

"reminders after 5 days if you haven't logged a run".... sorry but the watch isn't stylish enough to wear every day, or smart enoug to wear to work - so it will get worn when you are going for a run - and so when would I see the reminders, yup, just before I am about to go running.

Still if it creates a bit of lower end competition in the GPS watch market then bring it out!! Garmin, Polar, et al. might drop their prices and that must be a good thing.

 I might be wrong and when I get the time to have a good read about it and what you get for your money, I might change my mind, but I am sceptical that I will.


Posted: 05/02/2011 at 19:51

its all about the price, if its much under £100 stack them high! if its over £100 I shall be shy!
Posted: 06/02/2011 at 20:05

Rick, Nike have yet to decide on a price point for the UK market but expect to have one in the next few weeks. According to their PR agency the price in the US will be circa $300, but this doesn't necessarily mean that they'll simply extrapolate that over here.We'll have to wait and see.

Kerry RW


Posted: 07/02/2011 at 12:25


Olb
Kerry RW wrote (see)

According to their PR agency the price in the US will be circa $300, but this doesn't necessarily mean that they'll simply extrapolate that over here.

Knowing normal business practises, that's exactly what it will mean! 

 For that price I'd definitely stick with a Garmin.


Posted: 07/02/2011 at 19:32

I think price will be an issue too. Something new, expensive and untested will take a while to gain momnetum.
Posted: 07/02/2011 at 20:29

Looks slightly less Star Trekie than a 305 or 310XT but doesnt seem to offer any advantages. What I really want is a whizzy new watch from Garmin. Anyone have any insider gen on 310XT future versions?
Posted: 07/02/2011 at 23:57

See, for me the 305 is perfect.. It does everything you need it to do and it's really simple to use.. And generally it's around £130 on amazon which is better than most!

I also think that Nike+ website is fun but not very comprehensive and so flash intensive and fiddly! Ok the Garmin Connect site could be better but still prefer it and wouldn't be lured away...

Oh and I think touchscreens are a bad idea!


Posted: 08/02/2011 at 00:08

i hope they test it in the rain to see how that touch screen handles a bit of moisture,if its anything like the garmin 405 with its touch sensitive bezel it'll be a nightmare.
Posted: 09/02/2011 at 20:36

Know where you're coming from Mark. It's not just rain it's sweat too. And let's face it when you run, you sweat! I tend to lock the bezel now on most runs to get over this.
Posted: 09/02/2011 at 22:55

I must admit to being very interested, but it will have to be under £100 or it's a no go for me.
Posted: 10/02/2011 at 10:44

$300 = £200

Not a cat in hells chance will anyone pay over £200 for this.

Yes the gps speed is awesome compared to my £130 garmin 305, but I just turn in on pop it outside put the rest of my clobber on and its ready for me to put on. No way will runners pay £200 plus for this cheap looking watch. 


Posted: 10/02/2011 at 12:33

I have just started to run at the age of 66 ,last time i ran I was 12 ,just got myself a pair of salomon xt wings 2 any idea what other bits of kit i might need to make my runs compfy ?
Posted: 10/02/2011 at 17:51

It's ludicrous to expect this watch to be priced under £100, it is a GPS watch after all... 

I think it looks pretty good, hopefully the build quality will be decent too, I'd expect that Nike has learnt their lesson from the first gen Sportband. 

What I'd love to see is a GPS enabled G-Shock.


Posted: 10/02/2011 at 18:33

I never realised it was a touch screen... sweaty hands, bit of a sugar coating from an energy gel. Another reason not to get one I am afraid - the price will have to drop to below £100 for me to even consider looking at it. I'll stick with the Garmin with no beep
Posted: 10/02/2011 at 23:18

to Quote "It's ludicrous to expect this watch to be priced under £100"

if only you knew how low the manufacturing costs are in china!*.. my guess is under £15 for this watch. I think this watch will launch at £199 and be discounted by christmas to a more realistic £99 and thats my jumping in point! now if they launched at £99 that would be a real market shaker...

*(having previously imported computer cables by the thousand from china at 0.20p delivered!) Rick Ryder..


Posted: 12/02/2011 at 19:54

does anyone have any experience of the Ventus GPS watch ? which seems to have a heart rate monitor also... £79 Ventus
Posted: 12/02/2011 at 20:19

By saying that it will launch at £199 more or less backs up my point. Of course it'll be manufactured at a tiny fraction of the retail price, but you can say that about quite a lot of other consumer products as well, theres no reason this should be any different, it is Nike after all... It's not as though they pitch much stuff at the lower end of the market either.

For it to be discounted by 50% inside 8 months means that it will have to be a colossal failure, even the disastrous first gen Nike Sportband didn't result in any subsequent price reductions.


Posted: 13/02/2011 at 16:32

I have heard that it is really good with no issues with the touch screen. The Nike Watch will be available from the TomTom & Nike websites from early April, it will defo be over £150. It wil have a 'soft' launch in the UK at first, to drive purchases through the Nike store. It may be may be  availble from more high street retail/etailers from May/June.
Posted: 16/02/2011 at 22:49

Quick update guys, the watch will be on sale at the Nike Store online from April 1 at an RRP of £179.99.
Posted: 03/03/2011 at 18:20

Blimey that's expensive when  you think what you get with the Garmin 305 for £70 less.
Posted: 03/03/2011 at 18:30


Olb

They seem to be getting preorders organised now:  Achilles Hell say they're taking them from the 1st April for £180, but the units won't ship until March 2nd.

Seeing as the apparently-more-fuctional 305 has just about hit £100 on Amazon I doubt the Nike will take the market by storm...


Posted: 06/03/2011 at 11:13

I just heard a rumour that it will be £99
Posted: 07/03/2011 at 07:10

Yep so i have just brought a non working/charging Garmin 305 on ebay £30, garmin refurbed it for £40 i have enough change for a years worth of race entries!  simples! tch...
Posted: 11/03/2011 at 18:42

Hail Hail

Got one!!!  Its incredibly user-friendly, and as accurate as a Garmin.  Available from Sweatshop online now, and in-store from tomorrow.  £179.

Anybody who seriously thinks that they can get a brand new top of the range GPS unit with all the functionality that this has is deluding themselves.  Older Garmin models are cheaper, but nowhere near as easy to set-up and use as this.


Posted: 31/03/2011 at 14:48

Hail Hail

Oh yeah, forgot to say - no other UK retailer will have it until May1st.  Achilles Heel will just have to wait!


Posted: 31/03/2011 at 14:49

The touch screen is to switch the light on. One tap and it's on for around 5 seconds.
Posted: 01/04/2011 at 09:45

On the Ventus watch, I have it and it's a great product, especially for the price. One issue is that you need to leave the watch sitting for 30 seconds before it synchs with the GPS, but is fine after that. 

I think that it may now be discontinued by maplin where I bought it. 

Colum


Posted: 30/10/2011 at 00:51

clearly the reviewer of this product has not - like me - spent hours in help forums and on the phone to Nike trying to get the damn watch to connect to the computer. This watch is the coolest design ever but a total disaster. I have tried other computers but same experience - the watch is just not picked up (on either a Mac or a PC). I would thoroughly recommend that you do not buy this product. If in doubt do a search to see how many people have had the experience that I have had. NOT RECOMMENDED.
Posted: 22/11/2011 at 13:21

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