Posts Tagged ‘TomTom’

Nike Plus GPS Sports Watch

MRSP: $199
Weight: 2.33 oz

This is the watch I am personally using for my training. It has many benefits over others on the market, from simple design features to pragmatic ones. There are some flaws in the design as well.  Let’s take a quick look at the features presented by Nike:

No, there are no holograms.

First, the look of the watch is quite sporty. When it’s on your wrist, there is no question that this is a running watch, or at least sports related. If you are looking for a watch to wear with a suit to dazzle others in a meeting, this is not it. The only color combination is comes in is black and volt green.  The screen is large, as are the numbers on its face. This makes it easy to read while running and an interesting time keeping piece when you are not. It was designed that if you tap the face of the watch, the backlight turns on for an easy read while running at night. This feature can also be set to mark laps as well, a feature I have not used much. I prefer the static lap indicator. This light can also be set to go off during interval training or a lap has been completed. I run primarily at night, so looking at the watch constantly while running can be dangerous. To have the bright backlight turn on when the interval ends or begins is great.  You can customize the watch to have a primary stat showing, and a loop (auto cycle or static) of customize statistics.

Statistics you can see while running:

  • Pace
  • Average Pace
  • Distance
  • Time Elapsed
  • Lap Time
  • Calories
  • Clock
  • Heart Rate
  • Clock
  • Heart Rate

The watch links up not only with satellites to compute your location and pace, but also uses an optional shoe sensor. This is to gather additional data for shoe strikes, pacing, and a back up if the satellite link is lost during the run. There is no other watch on the market using a shoes sensor as well. The watch will also link up with a heart sensor to gather even more data. Given the number of devices that it is attempting to synchronize, there is a small delay before the run. People have complained about the long link up time. How long is long? It has taken a couple seconds to a couple minutes for me.  I have seen complaints from people who say that it will not link with satellites until about a mile into the run.  I found from reading the manual, the support forums and personal experience, that if you synchronize to your computer before the run, it will update the current location of the satellites and the start time is drastically reduced.  In addition, you are not supposed to move until the watch is linked up.  This can be done in advance of a run and can wait until you are ready.  I spend those couple minutes getting in a some extra stretches.

At the end of the run, you get instant feedback. You get your statistics, and if this is a personal record, it informs you with a digital set of fireworks and celebration. The display varies. After seeing it after a long run, it is very refreshing to receive that instant gratification.  In addition if you have not been running in five days, the watch will remind you it is time to hit the pavement.  The battery life is very extensive as well.  Personally I have taken it out on a two and half hour run and the charge was still well over 50% remaining.  The controls are simple to use.  There are only three buttons, yet it carries a full suite of features and data.  It is most likely one of the easiest to use models on the market.

There are two parts to every GPS watch, the road and at home. This watch must be plugged into your computer to synchronize. There is no wireless connection, and some  people have complained about this. Personally I don’t mind since it recharges at the same time, and stepping out to have a run and seeing your watch needs to be charge is disheartening. This forces you to stall your run by a few minutes and recharge.  The charge time is rather quick.  The watch can hold 14 runs before it must be downloaded, not bad if you are traveling. Normally it should not be a problem for most people to upload before their 15th run. Recently there has been some reports of downloading issues. In response Nike has issued an update to their software and firmware for the watch. This seems to have solved the issues.  The watch is supported by vast website full of programs, running history, and fellow runners.  Since this website works with all the Nike Plus products, I will look at it under a separate review.

At the end of the day, the watch is a nice piece of hardware.  Given how varied pricing is on GPS running watches, it lands in the sweet spot at just under two hundred dollars.  You can pick it up from or your local retailer.