The last of these running related reviews is the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS. I mentioned at the end of the last review that I had purchased the watch and I’ve been running with it for about 3 or 4 weeks now.
It fits nicely on my wrist, but I recommend anyone with thick wrists try it on first as I am almost on the last hole, and I think my wrists are about average. Its light and comfortable, and not overly bulky. The face is easy to read, even in sunlight or when running.
Functionally as a watch its very basic. It has a clock and an alarm. Enough to use day to day, but if you plan on travelling or you expect multiple alarms you should look elsewhere. However as a running tracker I’ve found it performs great. The GPS reception is as competent as the iPhone that I was using, and because of that, the run tracking is very accurate. As a fallback, the watch can also link to the Nike Shoe Sensor. It will also link to some heartrate monitors if you have one.
The display cycles through a list of useful stats, distance, time, clock, pace throughout the run. It can do intervals and laps either automatically or by slapping the screen. This slap needs to be quite firm, a simple press like a touch screen phone will not register. The slap is also used in the stopwatch mode to view lap times.
It connects via USB to your PC/Mac and special Nike+ software. The software pushes the workouts to the Nike+ website, charges the watch and also updates the GPS satellite data (the more recent this data, the faster the GPS lock). The software also lets you adjust settings on the watch (interval times, data display cycle). The USB plug is actually at the end of watch band under a little cover. A great idea that does mean that the strap can’t be replaced as you’ll sever the USB cable.
And this is currently my biggest concern for the longevity of the watch. The watch has a plasticy rubber strap, and in my experience as you take the watch on and off these kinds of bands eventually snap. Does this mean I’ll need a new watch in six months or a year? In its defence, its been many, many years since I owned a watch with such a band, perhaps they have improved.
The battery life isn’t anything like a normal watch (they can last years), I seem to get about a week out of it. I’m not sure how much of an effect going on an actual run affects this duration as GPS functionality is passive. So a week with three runs of about an hour each.
Overall I’m happy. I can ditch the iPhone again and run with my watch and the little Nano again. And its not bulky and odd looking for use in between runs. I recommend considering it, especially if you use the Nike+ website already.
(oh and it has a run reminder function, but I haven’t used it)