Apple Watch Nike+ review: Great smartwatch, only not a ideal runner’s watch – Pocket

January 24, 2017 - running watch

We can all determine that a Apple Watch is one of a best smartwatches out there. Its user interface is slicker than many rivals, it works seamlessly and exclusively with a iPhone and comes wrapped in high-quality, understated hardware. 

The Nike+ book of a Series 2 Apple Watch comes with an disdainful competition rope and singular unsentimental watch face designs. That doesn’t lead to a disproportion in cost – both start during £369 for a 38mm (or £399 for a incomparable 42mm model, as pictured) on a Apple Store – nonetheless while a unchanging Apple device has a disposition toward aptness in general, a Nike+ book is pitched during runners specifically. 

With so many regulating watches on a marketplace already, however, is a Nike+ Apple Watch a ideal regulating partner?

Apple Watch Nike+ review: Design

  • 38mm and 42mm sizes available
  • Same aluminium physique pattern unchanging Apple Watch S2
  • Exclusive Nike+ competition band

We’ll not dwell too prolonged on a speak of design, since a looks of a Nike+ Apple Watch are a same as a rest of a Apple Watch family. The usually disproportion is a tiny fact of a Nike swoosh as partial of a lettering on a rear. 


The Nike+ chronicle is a solid, reward and appealing device, hewn from aluminium and accessible in grey or china finishes. Our 42mm chronicle isn’t too massive and a H2O insurance takes divided any worry about persperate or sleet damage.

The Nike Sport Band (as Apple calls it) is a biggest visible partial of a Nike+ chronicle that creates it mount detached from a normal siblings. This rope is soothing and flexible, creation for a gentle wear. It’s liberally seperated with holes, regulating a two-layer construction to benefaction resisting colours. The neon yellow interconnected with black is something of a Nike hallmark, carrying been a colours of 2011’s Nike+ SportWatch GPS (which was constructed in organisation with TomTom).

While a tag is gentle to wear, it’s not a many practical. The pin and hole complement is a small fiddly and is nigh-on unfit to adjust when on a run. On a prolonged run, if it’s started feeling too parsimonious since your extremities are swelling, it’s some-more formidable to adjust than something some-more conventional, like a buckle. 


That pronounced we can change a tag in a peep to something reduction sporty, if we wish to switch out and make things smarter. That’s one of a advantages that Apple Watch offers that we won’t find on other sports devices: it’s flattering many variable to any mode of fashion, during a whim. 

Apple Watch Nike+ review: Unique watch faces

  • Included faces for discerning entrance to Nike Run Club

The whole raison d’être behind this watch is sport, hence a Nike Run Club app being pushed to a fore. It’s designed to work with this watch, in cahoots with a app on your iPhone and a wider Nike+ star over that.

There are dual tradition watch faces to go along with it and these are one of a additions disdainful to a Nike+ chronicle of a Watch.

The initial pairs vast digital time – unequivocally many like a aged TomTom watch – alongside live Complications, holding we by to a Run Club app, Activity or Weather. It’s useful at-a-glance information. The second face gives we hands, nonetheless taps by to a regulating app too.

That’s unequivocally where a differences between this watch and a normal Apple Watch Series 2 ends: it’s a special tag and those watch faces, as a app that indeed runs a uncover from Nike is accessible to all Watch users.

Apple Watch Nike+ review: Nike Run Club app

  • App accessible to all
  • Offers stretch and generation runs
  • Easy one-tap run options

Nike Run Club, as a name suggests, is all about running. You can name indoor or outside – cancelling a GPS tracking as suitable – nonetheless other than that, you’re left selecting a form of dimensions we want: distance, time or speed.


These, respectively, open adult a categorical regulating activity screen, streamer with a metric you’ve selected. The aim of picking stretch or time is to set that in a watch, so if we wish to run 10km or 40 minutes, we contend so, strike start and off we go. 

There are dual categorical views on a Nike Run Club app: a default perspective is basic, usually arrangement stretch and time. You can use a climax to switch between a value that’s larger.

There’s an choice on a start screen, however, to spin on all metrics, that is a perspective you’ll want. If you’re a runner, this is a contingency to entrance a other information you’d design on a regulating watch – heart rate and pace. Again, we can change by carrying time, stretch or gait as a widespread value displayed with a spin of a crown. 


Aside from these dual categorical views, we can name distance, generation or speed. The initial dual options are sincerely self-explanatory, vouchsafing we possibly daub a + or – black to change a value in increments, or spin a climax to get accurately a value we want, so if your training devise calls for 10 per cent stretch increases in your prolonged run, that’s no problem during all.

Apple Watch Nike+ review: App downfalls

  • Speed runs (intervals) not supported
  • Heart-rate zones not mentioned or displayed
  • Seems a bit buggy

The latter option, speed, appears to be a dead-end. Tap that choice and it tells we to lane a speed run (intervals) regulating a Nike Run Club app on your iPhone. In all seriousness, if we wish to run with a phone, a structured intervals event is substantially a misfortune probable solution, since a watch is ideal for glanceable/vocal reminders about what you’re ostensible to be doing.

You’ll also notice that there’s no discuss of a heart-rate view. Your heart rate is shown in a tip left-hand dilemma when we have all a metrics switched on. But we can’t have this as your categorical perspective or have any perspective of HR zones; in fact there’s no discuss of heart-rate zones opposite any of a Nike+ Run Club star during all. It seems to be a metric that Nike doesn’t caring about, that will make this a non-starter for a lot of runners.


Your heart-rate information is collected, however and you’re given a snippet to perspective on a graph during a finish of your run, as good as an average. But if there’s one sold component where this app fails to deliver, it’s in giving we options to use heart rate as a training tool. You get NikeFuel reported – an wholly capricious magnitude – nonetheless not a singular many critical cause for gauging training intensity.

There’s also another arrangement shade that a app shows: a month total. This has always shown us 0 runs and 0km since for some reason it doesn’t work.

Apple Watch Nike+ review: Performance and accuracy

  • Good GPS opening nonetheless startup lag
  • Good heart-rate monitoring

One of a things a Apple Watch is good during is avoiding loiter or delays. We’ve been contrariety a Nike+ Apple Watch for about a month and it never stops we to contend it doesn’t have a satellite tie or that your heart rate can’t be found. We think this is as many to do with good hardware as it is Apple wanting to safeguard that you’re removing a near-faultless user experience.


Strap a Apple Watch on and it’s good during giving we a heart-rate reading. It’s mostly accurate too, tighten to a averages that we’d expect. Compared with a Garmin heart-rate strap, however, over a generation of an hour-long run, it was an normal of 5 beats per notation out. That’s not a ubiquitous rule, however, as other runs have been within a few beats. 

That’s a existence when opting for a relations leisure of an visual heart-rate sensor on your wrist, rather than a chest strap, nonetheless a Watch is also concordant with Bluetooth heart-rate sensors, like a Polar H7, if we need some-more accuracy. Bearing in mind it’s not unequivocally upheld by Nike during all, we competence wish to be regulating a opposite app or totally opposite complement if heart rate is what we want.

GPS mapping is generally good too. As we pronounced there’s no pointer of a check when streamer out a doorway and looking during a trace. The track traces are generally accurate, with some teenager flapping off line, withdrawal we regulating by buildings or in a center of highway when looking during routes in some-more detail, nonetheless that’s not unusual.

Distances are generally tighten adequate and any of a runs came out within a few hundred metres of accurate distance. That competence sound like a lot of blunder over 5-10km, nonetheless that’s also standard of this form of device and it was tighten adequate to a Garmin device we tested it alongside. 

We do find a arrangement of information a small too smooth. Nike’s arrangement of gait and heart rate (the usually information we can unequivocally access) both seem as ideally smoothed lines on a graph. Compared to a soreness of something like Garmin or Polar presentation, it feels reduction useful – nonetheless afterwards it unequivocally many depends on how many information we wish and either it means anything to we in a initial place.

Apple Watch Nike+ review: Battery life

  • Two day battery life max
  • A prolonged run will eat half a battery

Battery life is a downside of this form of smartwatch. With a unchanging battery life of about dual days during a push, a run of about an hour can carve a approach by a vast cut of battery life.

Head out a doorway with 30 per cent or reduction and it competence conk out mid-run. That’s a cause that needs offsetting opposite a other facilities that this watch offers. Certainly, if you’re wearing it all day and regulating it for exercise, you’ll be charging it each night.


That’s not too opposite to a device like a Polar M600, that is substantially a closest choice we could buy (in a Android space) – nonetheless Polar’s app seems some-more entirely dull than Nike’s, giving it a healthy advantage (and copiousness of heart-rate functionality).

Compare that to a “normal” aptness watch like a TomTom Spark 3 – where you’ll substantially get a week of use per assign – and and we can see a apparent disparity. As a device for regulating only, a Nike+ has sincerely bad battery life – nonetheless afterwards we don’t trust anyone will buy a Nike+ Apple Watch and usually use it for running.

Apple Watch Nike+ review: Double-edged display

  • Great peculiarity OLED display
  • Lacks always-on capability

The Apple Watch Series 2 is a gentle watch to wear on a run, a compress inlet and comparatively light weight assistance with this, as does a splendid and colourful display.

The thing that unequivocally outlines a Apple Watch aside from other inclination (both sports or smartwatches) is a peculiarity of that display. It’s OLED, that helps, definition that it has low sable blacks, smashing contrariety and double a liughtness of a strange Apple Watch. It looks fantastic, sum are transparent and bright, easy to review either it’s splendid fever or raining.


The thing we don’t like is that Apple unequivocally doesn’t wish this arrangement to be on and it turns off whenever possible. That’s a common critique of a Apple Watch in general, that there’s no “always on” mode, as there is on Android Wear or only about each other sports watch out there.

We can live with that for day-to-day wear, nonetheless it’s grievous when running. It denies we a possibility to crack your eyes down and check your stats while regulating hard. Instead we have to make a unwavering bid to stagger your wrist to perspective a details. We’ve infrequently carried an arm and seen it’s remained dark, definition it’s some-more bid than we infrequently wish it to be.

We only wish there was an choice to have it always on as it would make this a improved device to actively run with on a unchanging basis. It’d also impact battery performance, nonetheless for a alleviation in user knowledge that’d be value it for us.

Apple Watch Nike+ review: Music, sounds and voice

  • Can play offline music
  • Connects to Bluetooth headphones

To maybe get around this need to demeanour during a watch, there are voice reminders or beeps to let we know your progress. The voice instructions work by a speaker, or headphones, vouchsafing we know time, stretch and gait each kilometre. If you’re on a time or stretch run, it will also describe your progress, switching from counting adult to a half-way point, to relating a time remaining as we quarrel by a shutting half, for example.

You can name to spin these off – as carrying someone scream your swell each kilometre can get a small irritating, generally on longer runs.

One of a advantages in selecting a smartwatch as a sports device over a dedicated sportswatch is a fuller operation of functionality. For a Apple Watch that means song with seamless formation with iTunes.

However, even once synched, within a Nike+ Run Club app there’s a territory that says “selected playlist” that has remained vacant a entirety of a time we’ve been regulating it.

There’s also no approach control from a watch when you’re in a Nike+ app. You have to switch to song to get control. That’s not a finish of a world, though, as many Bluetooth headphones have a elementary control to skip marks and this is mostly easier than violation walk to fiddle with a watch when running.

Apple Watch Nike+ review: The extraordinary box of a blank sync

  • Syncing not always seamless
  • Lacks pity options for other services

The information from your runs syncs into a app on your phone and to your Nike+ account. This means entrance in a series of places – solely on a Watch, it seems, that will uncover a outline of your run when we finish, nonetheless afterward won’t let we perspective your stats.

This all has to be finished on a phone or in a browser, that is a small tedious, generally when you’re walking behind home and wish to peek over your before performances. One of a oddities we found was that nonetheless heart rate was displayed as a trace, it refused to stock a place in a iPhone app – as was a box with a impotent NikeFuel value.

Ironically, when we commissioned a Android chronicle of a app, we found all those sum correct, as they were on a website, so this competence only have been a gift with a iPhone we were using.

Your information is afterwards rather static. You can share runs with friends on amicable media and build a village of Nike+ regulating chums, that is what Nike seems to wish we to do, as good as join in with internal Nike regulating groups. But there isn’t a approach pity that some apps offer. If we mostly use Apple’s local apps that’s no problem, as it seamlessly appears in Apple’s Health and Activity apps, nonetheless if we wish your Nike runs in your Fitbit app, you’ll strike a section wall.


The Nike+ Apple Watch Series 2 is a good smartwatch. It offers seamless formation with a iPhone, high peculiarity hardware, a good arrangement and eye-catching sporty band.

But a Nike+ chronicle isn’t about only being a smartwatch – and as a regulating watch it’s got a share of issues. The Nike+ Run Club app has shortcomings for critical runners (especially around heart-rate readings) and that means it isn’t as appealing as some other devices. The miss of an always-on arrangement irritates us, and a rope could be improved nonetheless for sport.

Then there’s price: during £369/£399 (38mm/42mm) it’s an costly sports device. You could pick-up a glorious Polar V800 or Garmin Forerunner 920XT for reduction – both of that are tip behaving multi-sport devices. There are copiousness of other inclination out there that perform a same operation of regulating functions as a Nike+ Apple Watch for a lot reduction money.

So is a Nike+ Apple Watch suitable as a regulating watch? Yes. However, it’s not utterly a ideal regulating partner.

More watch ...

  • The Apple Watch: Is it right for runners?The Apple Watch: Is it right for runners? After eight months on the market and the evolution of some key fitness apps, is Apple Watch ready to be the go-to running watch? The Apple Watch brings to the mainstream what running […]
  • Moto 360 Sport reviewMoto 360 Sport review If you have an iPhone, you can still pair the phone to the watch,  receive notifications from your smartphone, and use the built-in Moto Body Running app on the watch. And you’ll still […]
  • The ultimate runner’s review of Apple Watch Series 2The ultimate runner’s review of Apple Watch Series 2 With the launch of a GPS watch, and a renewed Nike partnership, Apple is getting serious about targeting runners. So is Apple Watch Series 2 the perfect running partner that Cupertino […]

› tags: running watch /