Gift guide: Nike Apple Watch is sharp bling for runners

December 13, 2016 - running watch

The smartwatch marketplace “took a tumble” in a third quarter, IDC reported this month. Google recently behind a new chronicle of a Android Wear; once-hot Pebble sensitively sole to Fitbit; and Apple has been strike a hardest, shipping 70% fewer Apple Watch units final quarter.

Into that choppy market, Apple launched a Apple Watch Series 2 in September. The new device sells for $369 and includes an endless formation partnership with Nike and a Nike Running Club app. And while many consumers are distant from jumping on a smartwatch bandwagon (including yours truly), a special Nike+ chronicle of a Apple Watch Series 2 could be an appealing appendage for a critical runner.

Nike lent Yahoo Finance a Nike+ Apple Watch Series 2 for a two-week trial. Here’s how it fared on 7 outside runs, all during night, of augmenting stretch and intensity.

A practical using trainer

You have to start by syncing adult a watch to your iPhone, and you’ll need to download a Nike Running Club (NRC) app. Once you’re prepared to go, a watch has a brood of options for your environment and goals: indoor, outdoor, stretch run, speed run, calories, etc. Or we can usually collect adult and go, that is what we did.

Push “start” and a watch depends we down. While running, it talks to we after any mile, announcing your stretch so distant and your normal pace. Some could find that annoying, and so we can spin it off; we found it kind of fun. The voice from a watch (female, nonetheless during times, if we name a Nike inhabitant run, Kevin Hart’s voice talks to you) ends adult functioning as an enlivening coach; any time she told me we had strike another mile, we wanted to keep going.

Nike+ Apple Watch Series 2.Nike+ Apple Watch Series 2.

The watch will automatically postponement your run if we gaunt down to tie your shoe or stop for some other reason. It was a seamless surprise. That underline is not perfect, though: on one run, we stopped to discuss with a friend, and a watch voice ceaselessly announced “pausing workout” and “resuming workout” given any time we shifted or changed slightly, it believed we had begun using again. (You can spin off a auto-pause underline and make it manual.)

My initial run was usually underneath 5 miles on a amiable evening, along a post in Brooklyn. we didn’t try to fondle with a watch while we ran, usually left it there and forgot about it solely for when it unexpected spoke to me to give my mileage.

Solid by breeze and rain

For my second run we cranked it adult to scarcely 7 miles, in torrential rain. My sneakers were puddles by a finish of it, nonetheless a watch had no problems; it’s waterproof adult to 50 meters.

When a watch spoke to me, it felt like we had someone rooting me on as we tore by a rain. Frankly, a stormy run reminded me since we adore running. (I ran in high propagandize and run a integrate 5K races any year, nonetheless we had not run for 6 months before starting this trial.) And a demeanour of a watch face, with corpulent digits in signature Nike neon, is colourful during night.

On my third run with a watch, we did usually over 10 miles, nonetheless a battery didn’t final as prolonged as my physique did. When we left a house, a watch battery was during 35% charge, that we figured wasn’t so low that it wouldn’t make it for a whole run. we should supplement that it was next 35 degrees out.

The battery died about a mile before we got home. Unfortunately, a watch now captures usually your mileage adult until a battery dies, not your lane map. Nike says an refurbish entrance to a NRC app will make it so that your run route, adult until a battery died, will also register.

Show off your run

When we got home from any run, a watch synced adult to a Nike Running Club app on my phone. At that point, we can perspective perplexing information about your run—but from your phone, not on a watch.

From a phone, once you’re home from a run, we can share a run to amicable feeds if we wish. The NRC app loads your sum distance, normal gait per mile, and eventually a minute map of your route. At times it took a prolonged time for a lane to uncover up, nonetheless Nike says a entrance NRC refurbish will make this routine faster.

One approach to share your Nike+ run map on Facebook. (Daniel Roberts)One approach to share your Nike+ run map on Facebook. (Daniel Roberts)

If we do wish to share a run – on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram – we can post a screenshot of a lane or one of many “stickers” Nike has designed and put in a NRC app, vouchsafing we covering on as most or as small information from your run as we wish.

Reliance on a phone

Just as a initial Apple Watch needs to be in operation of your phone, a Series 2 requires connectivity to a phone for a series of functions. For example, we can’t form a content summary from a watch while running, period. You can usually name from pre-loaded messages (think “on my way,” etc., nonetheless we can bucket new ones on from your phone) or “scribble” messages with your finger, or foreordain a content around Siri, nonetheless we can usually do those things if your phone is in range.

Many people already select to run with their phone, given they use it for music. Buying a watch doesn’t make most clarity if we do that, given a NRC app on your phone will do many of a same functions. we don’t run with my phone and don’t wish to, that is since a watch unequivocally appeals to me.

And yet, though your phone, many of a watch’s functions won’t work. This is one of a device’s limitations, and arguably contradictions.

It can’t offer as a map

Seeing a map of your finished run is one of a rewarding tools of a Nike using knowledge (and it isn’t new—this ability dates behind to a strange Nike Plus system) nonetheless now that a Apple Watch has GPS and can map your run, we competence wish to use a map underline while running, and we competence figure that we can. Alas, we cannot.

Although a watch can map out your run, it can't approach we to a specific location, that is a obscure shortcoming. You can’t submit a end during a opening of your run, nor can a watch assistance move we home if we get mislaid on a run.

Nike Apple Watch vs. Apple Watch

It’s critical to note that there aren’t many differences between a Nike+ chronicle of a new Apple Watch and a non-Nike version. All a Nike chronicle offers that we can’t get with a unchanging Apple Watch Series 2 is a sporty, seperated rope for “better movement and persperate management,” Nike says, dual disdainful watch faces, a pre-loaded “quick start” duty we enjoyed so much, “deeper integration” of a NRC app with a watch, and occasional Kevin Hart written shoutouts when we select a inhabitant run like a “Sunday Just Do It” 5K.

In other words, we don’t need to buy a Nike+ watch to take a device running. But if your proclivity to buy it is for running, we competence as good go Nike…

A nice-to-have for runners

And that would be my proclivity to use a Nike+ Apple Watch. Back in September, we wrote a story about since we would never wish to possess an Apple Watch. we wrote that it looks stupid on your wrist; that it outlines we as a snobby techie; and that it’s not something anyone unequivocally needs.

But holding a watch along as a using messenger is a some-more essential use case. Simply owning it done me feel some-more compelled to go running. If we were to buy one, we still wouldn’t wear it as an bland watch, nonetheless wearing it on a run and to a gym would still be reason adequate to have it.

Of course, there are many other wearable aptness trackers out there, many of them some-more affordable. Garmin’s Vivoactive HR watch sells for $199, to name usually one of many Garmin inclination that can lane your mileage and pulse. Pebble, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Vector, and Fossil all make GPS-equipped smartwatches. But a Nike connectivity of a Apple Watch combines dual reward brands famous for their neat design, and if we ask, a Apple Watch Series 2 is a best altogether smartwatch of a year.

There are things a Nike Apple Watch ought to do that it cannot, and things it usually can do when an iPhone is in range. But it gets a lot right, and it’s fun to use.

No one needs a $400 using watch, nonetheless it’s a really nice-to-have for a curtain on your holiday present list.

Daniel Roberts is a author during Yahoo Finance, covering sports business and technology. Follow him on Twitter during @readDanwrite.

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