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Nike+ Sportwatch GPS In Depth Review

There was no doubt when the Nike+ GPS Sportwatch was announced back at CES 2011 in January it caused many heads to turn.  After all, it triggered a bit of a departure from Nike’s traditional role with Apple via the iPod/iPhone and the Nike+ experience based on those devices.  More importantly however, it sounded a bit of a warning call to the rest of the industry that they better wake up in the GPS fitness watch category.  But how would this new entrant compare to some of the existing powerhouses?  And would it meet all the fanfare associated with it?

Like all my reviews, they tend to be pretty in depth (perhaps overly so) – but that’s just my trademark DC Rainmaker way of doing things.  Think of them more like reference guides than quick and easy summaries.  I try and cover every conceivable thing you might do with the device and then poke at it a bit more.  My goal is to leave no stone unturned – both the good and the bad.

Because I want to be transparent about my reviews, I want to be clear that I paid for the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS myself.  Though, after my initial paid unit arrived, another trial unit from Nike/Tom-Tom PR arrived.  However, that PR trial unit will be heading back shortly.  Simple as that.  Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints.  If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon links from this page to help support future reviews.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular triathlete out there.  I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background (my day job), and thus I try and be as complete as I can.  But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out.  Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

While Nike+ Sportwatch GPS is the new kid on the GPS athletic device block, how does it stand up to real world pounding and day to day use? For that…onto the review…


When you first get ahold of the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS box, you’ll find a very compact design cleverly packs everything inside like levels in an apartment.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch BoxNike+ GPS Sportwatch Unboxed

In many ways you see Nike taking some cues from Apple on device packaging, with everything neatly organized and without layers upon layers of useless plastic:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Unboxed

Once you’ve unboxed the unit the watch itself will be standing on a small platform, with the included footpod sitting snugly behind it:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Side Profile

Below that level sits the USB extension cable:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch USB Extender

As I’ll discuss later in more detail, the watch band itself is actually the USB plug, so the cable is merely for extension purposes.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch USB Wrist Strap

Next we have the small paper manual.  It’s offered in approximately 925 different languages…and includes exactly four pages per language.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch ManualNike+ GPS Sportwatch Manual

Finally, we have the watch itself:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Newly OpenedNike+ GPS Sportwatch Newly Opened Back

Now that we’ve got it all unpacked, let’s see how it sizes up.

Size comparison to other watch sizes:

The Nike+ Sportwatch is interesting size-wise in that it has a thinner width than most GPS watches today, but it makes up for it in its depth (thicker).  I’ve put together my trademark kitchen rolling pin comparison between a number of the most popular watches on the market today, to help you get a better view of them side by side:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Size Comparisons to Garmins

(Left to right: Garmin FR60, FR110/210, FR610, Nike+ Sportwatch, FR310XT)

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Size Comparisons to GarminsNike+ GPS Sportwatch Size Comparisons to Garmins

One area of concern for many is how it fits on ones wrist.  For me as a guy with relatively small wrists (skinny runner dude), it actually fits pretty good:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch on Wrist

But for my fiancée, a 5’2” petite runner, she found it simply too big and uncomfortable.  It had to be on its very last setting to fit, and yet still had some room to float around:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch on Small Female WristNike+ GPS Sportwatch on Small Female WristNike+ GPS Sportwatch on Small Female Wrist

That said, unlike many of the other watches out there, this one is quite functional as a day to day watch – and some might even say a bit more stylish than others.  Though I have found that it doesn’t quite mesh with a business suit.  And yes, I tried.


Now that we’ve got it all unboxed, it’s time to get it out for a run! Once you head outside you’ll select to start a run…by pressing the run menu option:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Start Run

After thats complete it’ll bring you to the run options page, which allows you to choose which sensors you’ll be using for the run.  This includes GPS, Footpod and Heart Rate strap.  You simply tap to enable/disable each sensor for that run.  It’ll remember these settings for next time:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Sensor Options

Additionally, if it’s your first run with those sensors, you can select to ‘Add sensors’ and add a new footpod or heart rate strap:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Looking for Sensor

Once that’s done you’ll select to start searching for satellites.

This is sometimes pretty quick, but in general I found it takes 1-2 minutes to complete after its started searching.  This is a bit longer than most other watches take.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Looking for Sensor

Once it has completed satellite acquisition (or linking, as it calls it), then you’re ready to run!  So, off we go!

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Ready to Run

As you’re running the main display will show the overall distance of the run. The upper display rotates through a list of data fields that include heart rate, distance, calories, clock, elapsed time and clock.  You can see this below during my run:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch while running

Depending on how you’ve configured the watch you can tap (or slap) to create a split/lap.  To do this, you simply tap/whack the top of the watch and it’ll automatically demark a lap:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Tap to LapNike+ GPS Sportwatch Tap to Lap

While in theory this is very cool, I’ve found that it’s not quite perfected.  On the first Nike+ GPS Sportwatch I had it worked flawlessly.  However the second unit I have it’s super-sensitive and often triggers while I’m running along and hit a bump – such as stepping down from a sidewalk to the road to cross a street. I’m optimistic this can be tweaked with a bit of firmware work, given it seems to work well on some units and not so well on others (though they are currently running the same firmware version).

If you want to pause, you can do so at any time by pressing the little neon green button, which temporarily stops the counter:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Paused

Once you’re complete, you just tap ‘end’ to finish up the run.  At this point, it’ll give you a bit of encouragement about the run – including if you hit a new record:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Encouragement Notes

Following which, you’ll get a summary page regarding the run:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Run Summary


This is a good time to discuss accuracy.  Based on my testing, after the first firmware update accuracy of the device is on par with the Garmin units I’ve tested, and on par with measured routes that I have.  Here’s a few snippets of runs where I ran with the Nike+ Sportwatch and Garmin GPS unit to compare distances.  Due to the nature of GPS accuracy (usually allotted about 2.5%), I’d never expect them to exactly align – so I was happy that they were ‘close enough’:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Run Distance ComparisonNike+ GPS Sportwatch Run Distance Comparison

I did find that my one longer run saw a bit more differential than I expected, but not beyond the 2.5% per mile:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Run Distance Comparison

I’ve done running both in the trees and on the road, and it didn’t seem to affect GPS accuracy compared to other devices that are considered ‘known goods’.

If you’re interested in some of the past GPS accuracy tests I’ve done, check out my two part series here.  I’ll be testing the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS unit more in depth later this spring as part of a roundup of other new GPS devices on the market.


As you may have previously read around these parts – I had a bit of bad luck initially (Day 3) when the watch fell out of my bag and onto the floor.  Upon impact, the glass immediately cracked.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Cracked Screen

While the watch continued to work just fine, it did get a bit of fogging during some runs in the rain, but each time cleared out.

The good news here is that the Nike support folks were great and offered to let me return it, including the prepaid postage.  They had no idea who I was, as I just called the generic support line.  They were super friendly and apologetic as well.

Ideally a slightly raised rubber bezel would resolve the issue, which also affects the Garmin FR310XT as well, as it has a glass screen that’s directly exposed to impact.


Like virtually any GPS unit, it can almost always be used for uses not originally intended.  And in the case of the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS, cycling is one of those activities.  While I’ve taken it out for some pretty long rides (50+ miles), you’ll start to run into some issues in the first few hundred feet.

First up is that as of this writing the Sportwatch doesn’t contain any cycling mode, which means it can’t show you speed in MPH/KPH, but rather instead shows it in Minutes/Mile (or Minutes/Kilometer) – as if you were running [Update: This has been added in a firmware update, speed can now be shown].  I see this as an area that could be easily modified in a future firmware update, and doing so would make quite a bit of sense without taking significant effort.

The second area that’s problematic is the lap function for creating splits.  As I’ve noted elsewhere, within the software you have two basic options for creating splits.  One is to have it automatically create laps/splits every X miles (such as every 1 mile).  The second is to allow you to manually create laps/splits by simply taping/whacking the unit.

The problem is that the second option is easily triggered by cracks and bumps in the road.  I found on a typical road ride that it was triggering as often as every few hundred feet – making the splits/laps essentially useless.  While I could certainly look to go back to auto-lap splits, that doesn’t meet my typical objective – which is to demark parts of the ride.  I often use splits to later analyze a given portion of the ride such as the warm-up, main sets, or cool-down.

As the Sportwatch wasn’t specifically marketed for cycling, it’s hard to fully blame them for these oversights.  But at the same time, looking at competitive offerings in the market, all of them offer the ability to switch to a basic cycling mode that shows MPH/KPH.


While the Nike+ Sportwatch wasn’t designed with swimming in mind, it has no issues playing around in the water.  The unit itself is fully waterproofed to 5 ATM’s.  Wait, you don’t know what ATM’s are?  No worries, neither does the rest of the world.

ATM’s are simply Atmospheres, and it’s one method of stating a specific waterproofing level.  Typically speaking 5ATM’s is equivalent to about 50 meters, or about 165 feet (though I’ve found slightly varying calculations – but this puts it in the general ballpark).  Of course, they could have just simply stated that depth in feet or meters on the back of the unit, instead of stating ‘5 ATM’s’.  No worries though, it just means its simply well waterproofed (and better than the IPX7 level typical of most Garmin units).

I’ve taken it swimming a few times doing a few thousands yards of laps each time without any issues at all in the waterproofing department.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch in the pool

The only challenge to using it while swimming is that you can’t engage any simple timer mode – like a normal stopwatch.  So you’d have to get it started in either GPS, Footpod or Heart Rate mode (with those accessories) before you used it as a standard stopwatch.

As for day to day water, I’ve got more than my fair share of wet runs in lately.  In fact, I think every time I wear it out for a run…it rains.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch in the rain

The good news is the unit performs without issue in the rain – no matter how light or hard the rain is.  And even better is that even if you do manage to crack the glass, I found that it still works just fine in the rain and didn’t die despite being soaked.


The Nike+ Sportwatch offers two accessories that are compatible with it, both of which have previously been on the market and are compatible with existing Nike and Apple products.


First up is the Nike+ footpod.  Within every Nike+ Sportwatch box is one footpod (you only need one per pair of shoes). The footpod enables you to track speed and distance indoors on a treadmill, or outdoors if you choose to turn GPS off.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Footpod

The footpod is easily paired by selecting to add a sensor through the menu on the watch.  Once you’ve linked the footpod it’ll remember that particular sensor for future use.  You can choose to enable/disable a sensor prior to any given run, as it’s the last display screen before starting the run.  This makes it easy to switch back and forth should you need to.

Because I lack a fancy Nike shoe, I just use this $5 footpod holder.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Footpod on shoe

Additionally, if you’re in a situation where you don’t have time for the unit to locate the required satellites, you can utilize the footpod to start running in ‘Quickstart’ mode, which will use the speed from the footpod to determine distance.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Quickstart Mode

Once satellite reception is acquired, it’ll switch back over to GPS speed/distance.

It should be noted that the footpod does not record or display foot cadence (turnover) in any user consumable method.

Heart Rate Strap

Nike has partnered with Polar to offer a heart rate strap that’s compatible with the Nike+ Sportwatch.  The strap is dual-frequency, which is pretty cool.  On one channel they support standard 5kHz, for use with existing Polar watches and exercise equipment, and the other channel is for the Nike+ using Nike’s proprietary 2.4gHz frequency.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch with Polar Wearlink+ Strap

The strap itself is made out of a soft fabric, and contains a small plastic transmitter that you snap into place:

Nike+ Polar Wearlink+ Strap UnboxedNike+ Polar Wearlink+ Strap Back of Strap

To pair the strap with the watch you simply go into the options menu and choose to add a new sensor.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch looking for heart rate strap

At this point it’ll search for your heart rate strap and a few seconds later it’ll find it and add it.  Like the footpod, you can choose to enable/disable it on a per run basis.

Once the strap is enabled and used on a run you’ll have both heart rate data during the run on the display, as well as after the run on the site.  After you’ve uploaded the run you’ll see heart rate graph depicting your heart rate during that activity:

Nike+ website heart rate detail

The only problem with the heart rate graph and data provided by the Sportwatch is that it heavily generalizes your heart rate data.  Most heart rate monitors will give you feedback in data blocks as frequent as one-second.  In the case of the Sportwatch, that data is averaged over longer time periods such as laps or entire runs.  As you can see, there isn’t really that much detail offered compared to most heart rate monitors.

When the Polar Heart Rate strap is attached, the unit will utilize heart rate based calorie calculations to generate calorie numbers.  Otherwise, it will utilize weight/height/age based calorie calculations with simple distance/time formulas.

Downloading to your computer:

The Nike+ Sportwatch turns the typical athletic watch downloading experience upside-down on its head.  Normally most devices have a cradle or dock, something that sits in between it and the computer.  In the case of the Sportwatch though, the watch band itself is the connection straight into the computer.  Yup, the band is actually a USB plug.  Check it out:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch USB wristband

From there you literally just plug it into your computers USB port:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch USB wristband charging

Of course, it’s possible that your computer doesn’t have an easily accessible port (such as behind a desktop computer deep under your desk), so in this case they’ve included a handy dandy little USB extender cable that you can plug the Sportwatch into instead:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch USB wristband charging

Once the watch is plugged in, the Nike+ Connect software will automatically launch.  This software will immediately begin downloading your data from the watch to the computer, and then from the computer to the Nike+ site:

Nike+ Connect for Nike+ GPS Sportwatch

The whole process takes about 30-60 seconds for a typical run.  After it’s done uploading your workout/run, it’ll automatically check for any updates on the watch itself.  This is great, as it helps to ensure that your watch stays current:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Firmware Update

In the event an update is available, it will only take a minute or two to download and install.  This includes both firmware updates as well as simple updates to device data such as satellite updates:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Firmware Update for satellites

I’ve already seen that the firmware updates do indeed make a difference.  When the device was first made available I saw some initial issues with satellite accuracy in distance measurement, however the first firmware update fixed that up right away.

Changing Configuration Settings:

Now that you’ve got the watch plugged in, you can take this opportunity to modify a few of the devices configuration settings.  You do this directly within the Nike+ Connect desktop software, and the changes are made immediately on the watch.

The configuration options are divided into four pages.  The first page covers your profile, which allows you to modify things such as weight and height:

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Connect Software Setting Changes

The second page covers time and date.  This enables you to either set a given time zone, or simply have the watch sync with your PC.  I love this second option as I travel constantly and can just update the time zone on my PC and the watch follows suit.  Very cool.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Connect Workout Upload

The third page covers display customization.  This controls the data displayed on the unit while you’re running, sounds, as well as whether to enable run reminders.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Connect Software Customize

In addition to the display stats shown below (Pace, Distance, Time Elapsed, Calories and Clock), The Nike+ team tell me that Average Pace is on its way in a firmware update shortly – perhaps within a week or so.

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Connect Software Customize

What are run reminders you ask?  Well, if you don’t run for a few days the watch will remind you that it’s time you start running.  Since I have a few of the Nike+ Sportwatch’s around my place right now, I left the broken one off to the side for a few days and noticed it displaying a message telling me to ‘Run again soon’!.

As for the fourth configuration page, it covers lap and interval configuration options.  This includes whether to use automatic laps on a pre-set mileage, or to instead use the automatic tap-to-lap capability (aka: Smack to lap).

Nike+ GPS Sportwatch Connect Lap and Interval Configuration

Additionally, you can setup a basic interval workout here with simple work (run) and rest (walk/lie on the ground) intervals.  You’re unable however to configure a warm-up or cool down, should you want to include that.

Nike+ Website:

Once you’ve uploaded your run the software will automatically open up your Internet browser and display the run you’ve just completed:

Nike+ GPS Website Run Review

From here you can start to dig into the run by clicking on ‘See GPS route’, which will show you the below map of your run:

Nike+ GPS Website Run Review GPS Route

While it’s showing your run route played back as a small animation, it’ll show your instant pace, duration and distance on the right hand side, corresponding with the dot on the map at that point.

Down along the bottom you can choose to display more stats about the route, including splits for each mile – even if you didn’t manually create them during the run:

Nike+ GPS Website Run Review Lap/Splits

You may have noticed above that you can select to go into Nike+ Beta mode, which will launch a separate site that offers a bit more information about your run.  I’ve found the beta mode pretty cool, though it seems to still be a work in progress as it was occasionally unavailable (hence, the beta part).

Nike+ GPS Website Run GPS Hot Zones

Once this releases I’ll swing back to this section and update it accordingly.

The bigger draw of the Nike+ website for many though is the community features.  This includes everything from goal setting of run paces to calorie burn, allowing a way to motivate you to reach your goals:

Nike+ GPS Website Goals

Meanwhile, the Challenges section gives you ways to encourage you to complete a given run or workout.  You can also create your own Challenge.

Nike+ GPS Website Challenges

Additionally, there are built-in coaching plans to different events and distances  This part is really pretty cool, and unlike anything that any other sports device is including out of the box.  The below plan would take me from today until the New York Marathon in 15 weeks.  I also like that you can download the PDF for easy reference offline.

Nike+ GPS Website Featured Challenges

Finally, as you go along you reach different ‘levels’ within the Nike+ site, based on how much you run.

Nike+ Website Nike+ Levels

Each level has a different meaning, and as you cross levels you get small video messages of encouragement from various celebs:

Nike+ Website New Level Achieved

Now much of the websites infrastructure has been in place for quite some time supporting the various Apple driven Nike+ components such as those involving the footpod and the running app that’s previously been so popular.  So it’s important to keep in mind that they’ve been doing this for quite a while on the web front – and thus they do it really well.

The only complaint I have with the site is around data, and it’s two fold.  Firstly is that the data displayed is very high level, and doesn’t allow you to really zoom in to any detail.  It’s pretty much at the mile-split data height.  Anything under that gets lost in the graphing.  So you can’t zoom in and see minute by minute changes in pace or heart rate.  What’s interesting here though is that Nike+ team has confirmed to me that the data is actually recorded at 1-second intervals – so the data’s there at a deeper level, it’s just not visible at at that level.  Nor do they have any plans to change that level of granularity shown.

The second is the lack of ability to export out the data.  There’s no way to get my data out of the site and into either another program, or even a simple Excel sheet.  At the end of the day, it’s my run and my data – and no matter how much I may love the site, I get fairly annoyed if my training log is completely locked up into Nike’s site forever.  I’d highly encourage them to consider an export function, after all – every single other GPS sports device vendor out there – allows their users to export their run data.  Nike+ should too.

Feature Comparison Chart:

The Nike+ Sportwatch GPS is more comparable to the Garmin FR110 from a feature set standpoint, so I’ve decided to stack rank the two side by side to allow you to get a feel for how the two differ:

Function/FeatureNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated September 18th, 2023 @ 6:13 pm New Window
Price$165.00$449$449$249/$299 (cellular)$399
Product Announcement DateJAN 7, 2011August 30th, 2023Mar 2nd, 2023Sept 7th, 2022Nov 3rd, 2022
Actual Availability/Shipping DateAPR 2011August 30th, 2023Mar 2nd, 2023Sept 16th, 2022Nov 3rd, 2022
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYesYes
Data TransferUSBUSB, BLUETOOTH SMART, WiFiUSB, Bluetooth Smart, WiFiBluetooth SmartBluetooth Smart (smartphone)
Waterproofing50 Meters50 meters50 Meters50m50m
Dive/Snorkel FeatureNoNoNo
Battery Life (GPS)9 hours26 hrs (just GPS), up to 11hrs GPS+MusicUp to 20 hours (FR265), and 24 hours (FR265S)12 hours GPSUp to 45 hours
Solar ChargingNoNoNoNo
Recording Interval1-second1s or Smart Recording1-second, Smart, UltraTracVaries1-second
Dual-Frequency GNSSNoYesNoNo
Backlight GreatnessGoodGreatGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoYesYesYesNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoYesYesYesYes
Voice IntegrationNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Has Mic/SpeakerYesNoYesNo
Can make/receive callsWith phone's cellularNoNon-cellular editions with phone/Cellular Editions without phoneNo
Voice AssistantApple Siri, Google Assistant, Samsung BixbyNoApple SiriNo
MusicNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Can control phone musicYesYesYesNo
Has music storage and playbackYesYesYesYes
Streaming ServicesSpotify, Amazon Music, DeezerSpotify, Amazon Music, DeezerApple MusicNo (MP3 files only)
PaymentsNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Contactless-NFC PaymentsYesYesYesNo
ConnectivityNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingNoYesYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoYesYes (with connected phone)YesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoYesYes (with connected phone)With 3rd party appsNo
Group trackingNoYes (with connected phone)NoNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoYesYes (with connected phone)YesNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoYes (with cellular version)No
CyclingNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Designed for cyclingNo (Speed only mode)YesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableNoYesYesWith 3rd party appsYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsNoYesYesN/ANo
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFNoNoYesN/ANP only
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableNoYesYesNoYes
Strava segments live on deviceNoNoNoNo
Crash detectionYesYesYesNo
RunningNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Designed for runningYesYesYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)YesYesYES (Also has INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER)With 3rd party appsYes
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)NoNoYesYesYes
Running PowerWITH 3RD PARTY APPSYesYesYes (Built-in)
VO2Max EstimationNoYesYesYesYes
Race PredictorNoNoYesNoYes
Recovery AdvisorNoYesYesNoYes
Run/Walk ModeNoYesYesWith 3rd party appsNo
Track Recognition ModeNoYesComing Dec 2022Yes
SwimmingNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Designed for swimmingNoYesYesYesYes
Openwater swimming modeN/AYesYesYEsYes
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingN/AYesYesYesYes
Record HR underwaterNoYesYesYesYes
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AYesYesBasic stroke type onlyYes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AYesYesBasic stroke type onlyYes
Indoor Drill ModeN/ANoYesNoNo
Indoor auto-pause featureN/ANoNoYes-
Change pool sizeN/AYesYesYesYes
Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsN/A13M/15Y TO 150Y/M14M/15Y TO 150Y/M1y/m to 1,500y/m+15y/m-300y/m
Ability to customize data fieldsN/AYesYesYesYes
Captures per length data - indoorsN/AYesYesYes
Indoor AlertsN/AYesYesYes (goals)Yes
TriathlonNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Designed for triathlonNoNoYesNot reallyYes
Multisport modeN/ANoYesYesYes
WorkoutsNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Create/Follow custom workoutsNoYesYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYesYesYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoYesYesWith 3rd party appsYes
FunctionsNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Auto Start/StopNoYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureNoNoYesYesNo
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoYesComing Dec 2022No
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesYesYesNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)NoYesYEsYesNo
NavigateNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)NoNo (but some 3rd party apps can)YesWith 3rd party appsYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionNoNoYes (Up Ahead support)Yes (Backtrack)Yes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoNoWith 3rd party appsMaps but not routable
Back to startNoYesYesYes (Backtrack)Reverse course
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNoWith 3rd party appsNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitNoNoYesWith 3rd party appsYes
SensorsNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Altimeter TypeGPSBarometricBarometricBarometric with real-time watch faceBarometric
Compass TypeN/AMagneticMagneticMagneticMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyYesYEsYesYes
SpO2 (aka Pulse Oximetry)YesYesYesYes
ECG FunctionalityYesNoNoNo
HRV RecordingYesYes (nightly and on-demand)YesYes (Manual)
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableNoYEsYesNoNo
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableNoYesYesnoNo
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoYesYesNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableNoYesYesNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlYesYesNoNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationYesYesNoNo
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)YesYesNoFTMS (Bluetooth) only
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNOYesYesNoNo
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoNoNoNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoYEsYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoYesYesNoYes
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoYesYesNoYes
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoYesYesNoYes
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoNoYesNoYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoYesYES (TEMPE)NoNo
SoftwareNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
PC ApplicationNike+ ConnectGarmin ExpressGarmin ExpressNoneNo
Web ApplicationNike+ SiteGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectNoneNo
Phone AppNike+ AppiOS/Android/WindowsiOS/AndroidiOS onlyiOS/Android
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNo
PurchaseNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
DCRainmakerNike+ GPS SportwatchGarmin Venu 3Garmin Forerunner 265Apple Watch SE (2022)COROS APEX 2 (Base)
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

As you can see – both are very similar.  The areas they tend to differ are in the software components and the flexibility pieces.  Both offer heart rate, yet only the Nike+ watch offers footpod compatibility – and actually includes it in the box (the more expensive Garmin FR210 offers footpod compatibility).  On the flip side, the FR210 offers a cycling mode, whereas the Nike+ watch does not.  Both are $199.


I think the Nike+ Sportwatch represents a great addition to the GPS-based runners watch market.  It differentiates itself by including some accessories that are usually extra (the footpod for treadmill use) and brings with it new ways of doing old tasks (the slap to lap feature).  The watch also steps up the game when it comes to style, offering a bit of edginess that many may find appealing.

At the same time, I felt like the watch is limiting when it comes to software options.  By restricting users to only using the Nike+ website, they are significantly limiting how we can use our own data.  After all, it is my run.  Like most new watches, it has some minor software bugs – but that’s no different than most other devices out there in the first few firmware releases (Garmin and Timex units most definitely included here), so I’m not as worried about that as I feel these will be resolved pretty quickly.

I also see the potential for new features to be added as the product team gathers feedback from users, and understands better the direction of the product that the community wants it to go in.  As of today though, the Sportwatch GPS is primarily aimed at the runner wanting a very basic data experience in running – whereas over time I could see the watch broadening its reach to different market segments.


Finally, last but not least – here’s the list of pro’s and con’s as I see them today.  If and when things change, I’ll update this section accordingly.


– Easy to use GPS sports watch
– Fairly fashionable design
– Completely waterproof
– Tap to lap is pretty cool
– Nike+ website is great for new runners, and to keep you motivated with running
– Watch is very easy to configure, ‘just works’
– Software is simply to install and allows configuration of the watch from the computer


– Glass susceptible to breakage
– Limited data field display/selection
– Tap to lap occasionally misfires
No cycling mode (MPH) [Update: Added in a later firmware update]
– Unable to export your own data from website in supported way
– Data views/graphing are very high level compared to most watches

Found this review useful?  Here’s how you you can help support future reviews with just a single click!  Read on…

Hopefully you found this review useful.  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device.

The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).  As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.  If you found this review helpful in your purchasing decision, you can support future reviews like this by using any of the Amazon links (accessories above), or for the actual Nike+ GPS Sportwatch unit.

Alternatively (and a better deal), is to use the DCR10BTF discount with Clever Training for a 10% discount on your entire shopping cart.  Plus, within the US shipping is free on anything over $75.

Nike+ Sportwatch GPS – Clever Training

Thanks for reading!  And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  Further, you can always e-mail me at the address on the sidebar.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!

Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful.  These guides are all listed on this page here.

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  1. Thanks for the great review – as in-depth as always! We in the southern hemisphere are heading into winter and so most of our runs are now going to be at night. Does the Nike+ have a backlight? Can you read it in the dark?


    • Seth

      Yes the watch does have a backlight. I like that you hit the watch to turn it on…me i like hitting things…Not being a touchscreen it reacts to a decent tap on the band or on the watch but doesnt automatically react to random bumps while you are running. A really nice feature if you don’t want to destroy the battery. If you want you can manually set laps by tapping the face of the watch and this can all be set up prior to the run. Again its not a touch screen so it takes a pretty solid tap!

    • Armando

      So is the Nike sports watch powered by Tom Tom waterproof?

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yes, fully waterproofed. You can see some of the photos above, and information about the waterproof ranking within the review.

    • Bram

      Unfortunately I can’t agree with the statement that it is fully waterproofed. I have this watch for over a year now, never had any trouble with (heavy) showers, which are common in the Netherlands :-). Now I took it out swimming two weeks ago, and didnt encounter any trouble directly after. However, the pixels are dying slowly, increasingly as Time passes. Luckily it still works, but its getting harder and harder to read.

    • Paobulaowai

      I had a similar problem with the waterproofing on my watch. I was given the watch as a Christmas gift and used it on a pretty much daily basis, but by the following September (10 months later) the display was gone. I live in Shanghai, where the summers are hot (30C) and the humidity is high (80%), so the watch was sweat drenched on a pretty much daily basis from about June until it died in September. The death rattle occurred during a 24 hour relay when I wore the watch for the 8 legs I did.

      I’m now in the market for a watch that’s more rugged. Anyone have a recommendation?

  2. This website allows you to download GPX files of your Nike+ GPS runs: link to eagerfeet.org I’ve done this a few times and uploaded to RunKeeper.com and Garmin Connect for comparison of times and features. The times were actually different for the same run on the different sites after uploading.

  3. Any word on when these will be available again?

    No one seems to have them in stock. Nike is sold out and you can’t even put in a placeholder order for when they come in again 🙁

    • Alia

      It’s available in eBay and Amazon.

    • I guess the better question is why you’d buy it at this point. The reason it’s hard to find is that Nike has stopped making them, let go of the entire division that designed it, and thus you won’t see any future updates there. There are so many better units on the market these days for the money (see my 2014-2015 winter recommendations post).

    • Alaina

      Does this watch allow you to track daily miles or steps like the fitbit (not running, just daily activity/daily motion?)

      I just bought this watch ( a little delayed with my electronic devices). But, the reason I bought it is because I have been using the nike+ running ap for years and I want to make sure I can still track my runs on it. I know there are 1 or 2 other watches out their that are compatible with the nike+ ap. Do you have recommendations? (I have a 30 day return period so I need to figure this out quickly!)

      Any advice is appreciated.

      Thank you!

    • No, no activity tracking on the Nike GPS watches (they’re all fairly old these days). I’d look at some of the Garmin ones, which actually can integrate with Nike+.

  4. Thorough and great review. If possible it would be great to see the FR210 added to the comparison chart. Given that the Nike + and 210 are compatible in pricing I’d like to see a side by side comparison how they stack up.

    For that matter I’d love to see a review that reposts the table in the 2010 GPS summary updated to include the Nike + and newer Garmin watches.

  5. all i can see is a broken usb connection in front of my eyes…and tears…many tears.. some nice ideas though.

  6. You can also sync your Nike+ data with dailymile.com. Not sure how well it works, but you can.

  7. Anonymous

    I didn’t know the 110 had the courses feature (follow waypoint).

    I own the 210 and i haven’t seen this feature?

    So maybe it’s a typo?

    BTW regarding the Nike watch: Competition is of course always good, but I have to say that this new watch is ugly. Guess they can improve it in future versions.

  8. Tim K

    A co-worker is using the Nike website coaching feature, specifically the walk to run training plan. It tells her to walk for X minutes, run for Y minutes and repeat Z times. Will the training plan download to the watch and alert her when to do what? When she uses her iPod with the Nike+ foot pod, there is currently no alert when to do what. If the watch would alert her/interact with the training plan, she’d buy one tomorrow.

  9. I also read there is no stopwatch feature. Pretty important in a watch designed for running.

  10. If you like the Nike+ website, you can get the best of both worlds and use it with a garmin watch and heartrate monitor using this upload tool…

    link to awsmithson.com

  11. J

    RubiTrack can import all of Your Nike+ data and let You have a closer look. Mac only though (link to rubitrack.com).

    You can also get all Your data in wonderful XML format like so:

    link to nikerunning.nike.com

    This website provides more detail:
    link to labs.interfacedigital.co.uk

    Not sure if other software can make use of the XML file, but it’s probably not too hard to convert it into some Garmin format and then import it into your software of choice.

    Thank You for the review.

  12. Anonymous

    What about changing the battery?
    Do you have to send it in to Nike?

  13. Armcaret

    Thxs for the review. Do you know how many different fields can be shown at the same time?


  14. Jon

    Ugh, so torn between this and one of the Garmins. (maybe 405/410?) I’m really thinking that being a newer runner maybe the basics of the Nike would better suit me.

    Any advice?

  15. I use the nike+ site (logging runs from my ipod touch with the nike + gps app, but no gps data…). This watch seems cheaper than the other “similar” options (like the garmin 210, or 610). But it does much less. As i want to be able to improve my running, wouldn’t it be better to go for the 210 with pod and heart rate monitor? It would be about 100$ more, but seems to be worth it, as the 210 seems to deliver more data than the nike watch. Do you agree??

  16. Hi Toni-
    RE: Backlight

    Yes, it does include a very nice backlight. I’ll snap some photos tomorrow and include them in the review.

    Hi Matt, Colin, Time2Change, J
    RE: 3rd party ways to pull data

    These are all great options where developers of sites have come up with creative hacks to gather data. And as a bit of a geek – I think these are really cool (especially the last link that J posted). But at the same time – it’s hard for other companies to invest in supporting the Nike+ watch based on an undocumented and unsupported trick that Nike could change at a moments notice.

    I asked specifically whether there were any plans to support API’s into Nike+ and the official response was: “We do not have any plans for this option, at this time.”

    That said, I will be poking around at the XML options a bit more and seeing what can be done with sites like TP, etc…

    Hi Maddocks-
    RE: FR210 adding to chart

    Sure, I can do that. I’ll knock it out tomorrow. And indeed, the FR110 with courses was a small typo, I’ve corrected.

    Hi Tim-
    RE: Training Plan download to watch

    No, you cannot download a training plan to the watch at this time.

    Hi Ohio-
    RE: Stopwatch (none)

    Correct. I did slip that up above in the section regarding pool use, but agree I should make it bolder. I aked about this as well as part of a question around swimming (just using it as a stopwatch since it was fully waterproof) and was told: “Since either GPS or the footpod is required swimming is not an option.”

    You can use it with the HR strap though as a stop watch.

    Hi Armcaret-
    RE: Data fields

    Two data fields at any one point in time on the Nike+ unit.

    Hi John & Pablo-
    RE: FR405 or FR410

    I’d highly recommend looking at the FR610 over the FR405 or FR410 – a far better watch. Check out my sidebar review for more details. For a more basic watch, I love the FR210, as it includes footpod support (the FR110 does not).

    I agree that the FR210 does indeed deliver more data than the Nike+, both in data screens, as well as data recorded (cadence, cycling, etc…)

  17. Interesting that you mention how a raised rubber bezel would have prevented your screen breakage, as this is a feature of Nike’s Mettle range, of which I have both a Chisel and and Anvil Super and both of which have just the kind of built-in screen protection that’s lacking on the Sportwatch.

    Also, do you know if they’ll be available in languages other than English?

  18. Steve

    Hi good reviews
    I’ve narrowed things down to either the 210 or the Nike and as new runner from the start of the year which watch of these two would you go for?
    410 looks a better option but might be out of my price range. If i get the watch on it’s own would the hrm from my Edge305 (plastic strap) work with the 410.

  19. Anonymous

    Very nice, in depth review. With regards to the breakage – is there not something like a raised rubber bezel that one can glue to screen, perhaps? Just thinking out loud…

  20. Hi Ray,

    Thanks for another great review.

    I have read almost all your reviews and have a suggestion to make which may help those looking to buy a GPS watch to help track their training.

    This is quite dear to me but is it possible to include how well a GPS equipment acquire and hold the GPS signal in a city environment (skyscrapers, etc)

    Background to this: One of my colleagues and myself wanted to train for our 1/2 marathon later part of the year and we started to go for runs after work (in the city with lots of skyscrapers). My buddy has a Timex Global Trainer and I have a Garmin 305.

    What we experienced was quite unexpected, the TGT took a really really long time to acquire a signal and mostly lose it less than 1 km into the run while the 305 had no problems for the entire run (about 12 km).

    I’m not sure why an older GPS chip in the 305 can out-perform the new GPS chip in the TGT but I realised that this will be an important feature to consider when buying any GPS watch.

    Anyway, your reviews are already great so this is just me sharing my experience.


  21. Anonymous

    I recently received my Nike sportwatch and I had one possible problem. During the run every time I looked at my pace it showed mid 7 to low 8 minutes. When I finished my avg pace was 8:55. Now honestly I thought the 8:55 was actually what I was running but I dont like the fact that during the run it said I was running about a minute faster. I did not stop for a significant amount of time either. Any thoughts?

    • jon

      i have a similar problem. My mile splits are recorded on my watch at a slower pace than what i am running and subsequently displays..it would seem the nike watch is recording my average splits and not current splits…very annoying to the point were i am seriously considering returning the watch.

  22. Conrad

    Good in depth review but I think you are wrong to say it is on a par with a Garmin for accuracy.

    I’ve had mine for about a month and it consistently shows a shorterer distance than it should. Not a huge amount in percentage terms but enough to significantly worsen your time.

    For these reasons I’m going to be changing to the 610 when it is available.

  23. Great review! Can you set a timer to beep at you during your run? I like my garmin to remind me to eat during my long runs and is wondering if the Nike watch has that feature.

  24. Anonymous

    I share the same experience as the post above. The pace shows a minute or so faster then the actual average pace once the information is synced to Nike+.

    Any resolution? thoughts?

  25. I tried mine today in my long run, and the accuracy was very poor. I did run a few short runs (5-10k) during the last weeks, and I got the feeling that the Nike+ was not considering every meter I run. Last Thursday, I went to the track, and after 16 laps (ie 6.4 Km), I got only 6.1 Km.

    So today, I took my Blackberry 9700, using Adidas app, and my Nike+ (using also the foot pod). The course was open (no big buildings around), and so was the sky. The results are:

    Nike+: 16.68 km
    Blackberry (miCoach): 17.45 km
    Google Maps: 17.84 km

    Difference between Google maps BB: -2.2%, Nike -6.5%;

    I also took a split on a measured distance of 3 km (the KM markers of a race that happened earlier today), and the Nike+ reported:

    1st Km: 950 m
    2nd Km: 870 m
    3rd Km: 1020 m

    Average difference is -5.6%.

    I understand that GPS accuracy is not perfect, and I also undestand this is a matter of adjusting the firmware (mine was updated, but I can´t find the version – the PC SW version is v3.0.6). I hope Nike fix this quickly,because it is a terrific product. On the funny side, now I have to run a little further to keep my weekly mileage …

  26. After doing 3 runs with my sport watch, I have the same issue as the two anonymous posters with the pace times being horribly inaccurate. Easily a minute faster than what I’m actually running. I proved this by running along with my wifes Garmin 210. Also, when you review your run on the website (just like in your pic above) it shows a sudden dropoff where it has to compensate for the actual time/distance run compared to the tracked pace.

    It really sucks. I was willing to get over the lack of an average pace because the design of the watch is so awesome….but if I can’t even get an accurate current pace, what’s the point of keeping it. I plan on calling Nike, and if I get no fix for it, it’s going back to the store.

  27. Great review. Where did you get the pod attachment you have pictured in the review?

    Felix Alicea

  28. Hi Steve-
    RE: FR210 vs FR410 VS Nike+

    I’d look at the FR210 as being most competitive to the Nike+, from a feature standpoint. Though, it (FR210) has more features than Nike+ does at the present.

    Hi Anon:
    RE: Rubber Bezel

    Yes, that would indeed solve it…though with a loss of ‘sexy’ on the watch design. 😉

    Hi Song-
    RE: Skyscrapers and TGT

    There’s numerous issues with the Timex Global Trainer and the satellite acquisition and tracking pieces, as evidenced in my Accuracy Tests (on the sidebar).

    Hi Anon & Mr. Mom
    RE: Different paces

    One of the challenges with instant pace is the inability to easily pace on it. I’m looking forward to the addition of an averaged pace – or at least a more stable instant pace.

    Hi Conrad & Anon-
    RE: Accuracy

    I can only base it on my runs – which after the initial update, have been very close to the Garmin (both slightly long and slightly short).

    Hi Nicole-
    RE: Timer to beep

    No, you cannot set additional alarms.

    Hi Richard-
    RE: Comparison to BB

    I’d be highly hesitant to use cell-phone GPS technology with software apps, as it’s one of the most inaccurate methods of measurement today – depending on how each app handles GPS interference and issues. It’s an area I intend on detailing in some upcoming spring accuracy tests.

    That said – I’d agree that the numbers your seeing aren’t ideal.

    Hi Felix-
    RE: Pod Attachment

    The footpod comes with the Nike+. The cheap little footpod holder I have can be found here: link to amazon.com

    Thanks all!

  29. wes

    I’m a new reader to your blog and really appreciate these in-depth reviews. Even with its flaws I think you’ve actually convinced me to go with the Nike+ I have run a marathon but will not be a major competitor. My goal is to run a little faster and a little farther each time for my own benefit so it sounds like this might be the watch for me (not to mention it won’t break the bank so I don’t earn a scolding from my wife 🙂 ) Thank you again for your in depth reviews.

  30. Anonymous

    Brilliant review. love your site.

    I have a garmin forerunner 310xt, and notice ‘on-line’ inaccuracies with pace as well, so don’t think that is exclusive to NIke.

    Before i used the forerunner, i had a nike+sportband – and became very attached tot he nike software. so easy to use, and was thinking this might get me back to it.

    after reading the review, i am sure i will just use the nike site with the sportband, and just stick with the garmin 310 for functionality until i upgrade to the 610 – can’t live without the distance and heart rate alarms, particularly for interval training.

  31. Anonymous

    FYI – I believe the chipset in this watch is the SiRF GSD4e. (The latest Garmin Forerunners utilize the SiRF GSD4t.)

  32. Hello my name is Arthur and I bought a nike gps watch sportwatch last week and the truth is that I like a lot, but I have a question deleted as careers in the history menu?


  33. Sarah B.

    Hi DC Rainmaker!

    Your posts are great and just what I needed, I have a question for you. Have you tried any of the Garmin forerunners in the gym? Not on the treadmill but to test HR and calorie burn levels on weights, aerobic classes etc.? I’m an aerobics instructor and this information would be of great interest to me, I also regularly run half marathons. I currently track with the Nike+ system (no gps watch, just the footpod) it’s decent but I would like something with GPS for more accuracy. Have you or any other readers tested any of the Garmins in this manner? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Also, I’ve looked at the polar fitness watches, and although I love their capabilities I do not love the giant GPS or footpod units. Thanks!

    P.S. I’ve been looking at the Garmin Forerunner 210 and 405cx…

  34. Ruben

    I have seen that you use the sensor in other brand of shoes(new balance) it is posible to get same benefits/information without specific nike+ shoes?

  35. Hi Wes-
    Thanks, enjoy!

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Plans

    Sounds like a solid plan to me.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Exact GPS chip

    Thanks for the heads up, appreciate it!

    Hi Arturo-
    RE: Question on careers

    I think I may be misunderstanding. Can you clarify? In history, you’re seeing your previous runs. Do you mean online?

    Hi Sarah-
    RE: Forerunners in the Gym and HR

    The Forerunners that support heart rate based calorie calcuations would do fine, but those that don’t would trouble. Here’s a pretty detailed post I put together on all the models:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi Ruben-
    RE: Footpod sensor

    No ties to the Nike+ shoes. They just have a nice little spot for them. Otherwise, you can use it with any shoe you please. Enjoy!

  36. Hi !
    This is the best review that I saw. Congrats !!

    let me ask you a question:

    As per I understood the sync with Polar heart rate strap is specific for one kind of Polar heart strap ? I mean…there’s nike logo in the polar sensor… If I use another Polar heart rate strap probably will don’t be sync !?!? I’ve one Polar heart rate strap of the same model..but without this nike logo stamped and I’m guessing that will not work. Have you tried sync another Polar heart rate strap with the watch?

  37. Felix

    Hi DCRainmaker:

    I downloaded a firmware update today from Nike for the Nike Sport Watch GPS and it included the average mileage that you mentioned would be out soon. Just to let you know. You might want to check it out when you get a chance. All the best.


  38. Darren

    Wonderful review!

    Just one question: can the Sportwatch do zone alarms with the heart rate monitor, i.e. can you make it beep if you exceed, say, 140bpm or go under 160bpm?

  39. awesome blog. This is a fantastic review. I just started doing triathlons and I’m starting to look for stuff to help me train. For running I think the Nike would be great for me but I also want something that I could use for cycling. I do already have a speed sensor on my bike, so I’m wondering if the Nike+ will be a better fit for me or the Garmin 405cx. I’d love to have you pro opinion as a triathlete and as a tech guru! Thanks so much! Steve

  40. Anonymous

    Thanks for a great review. I have 2 questions

    1) the calorie counter, is that based on the heart rate strap and the info it deals with, or simply the persons weight, speed, distance?

    2) can the heart rate strap and watch be used while not running to log the heart rate during a weightlifting session or sprint work when milage does not matter?


  41. Thanks for such a brilliant review. I have now bookmarked your page. I have only recently taken up jogging after spending most of the last 15 years doing classes at the gym. I have been using an app on my android phone to measure my distance when jogging. However, sometimes it hasn’t picked up a GPS signal and due to time constraints I have to set off. This is why the nike GPS appeals due to the quick run feature. In your opinion would the nike GPS be better than my phone? Cheers Allison

  42. Hello
    Does the watch measure km/h as well as miles?

  43. Hey, cool review!

    One thing I’m curious about… does this watch have any alarms? Like any decent digital watch would have?

  44. Anonymous

    great review,

    I was wondering if the nike watch can show actual pace per km instead of an average over the entire run?



  45. Amazing blog! I just signed up for my second Half Marathon, so I have minor timing goals in mind. I trained with the Nike+ Sport Band and am curious to know if the GPS will sync to the same account? Starting over would be a kink in the chain for me. Any idea?

  46. Tyler

    I just bought the watch and updated it. The only problem I’m having so far is logging onto nike plus website! I made 2 new accounts and even tried linking a fb account and could not log on using three different browsers.

    I’ll be doing some 400 – 800m runs tomorrow so I’ll test the accuracy of the watch (just GPS until the pod cases come in—- I don’t own nike running shoes). I’m hoping it to be accurate since I really wanted to utilize the pace feature… ESPECIALLY when this watch LACKS a stopwatch/timer feature! I really hope they implement a stopwatch/timer/alarm feature so I can use the watch every day and not just for running.

  47. Anonymous

    I purchased one earlier in the week, and I had issues getting the nike connect software to detect the watch. This was an issue with their firmware/software because the computer was detecting the watch. Nike support couldn’t resolve the issue, and I found forum complaints about this from 2+ months ago. Disappointing. I returned it for a garmin 210.

  48. Great review!!

    I am an open water swimmer. My question is if this model records the route in the water, or lose the signal to put the arm in the water?

    Ricardo from Spain.

  49. Anonymous

    I bought this watch and really wanted to like it. Great look, comfortable, stunning display, but that’s it. Features are very basic for the price. There are plenty of feature rich watches out there for far less. A Garmin 410 blows this watch away. You are better off buying a $40.00 Timex Ironman and using Google Maps then to buy this watch. Like some have already said, its all flash, no substance. I cant check my heart rate unless a run is initiated. So if I want to keep track of my hr in a weight lifting session or a cool down, I must start a run. The plastic usb connector with a flimsy clasp that snaps over it is likely to break the day after the warranty expires. This watch is for the house league runner that wants a gadget. I returned this for a Timex Global Trainer at the same price and couldn’t be happier. Typical Nike flash.

    • Kyle

      This watch is designed for running. Hence, the problem with weight lifting HR, etc. It wasn’t designed for that. I mean, you do have to buy the HR monitor separate after all. We must consider the intent of its design, not what we want it to do outside of its design.

      I am in the Army. I use it for tracking runs, and road marches. I have also used it to ensure time on target when moving to objectives. It gives me what I need. For me, mile pace is good enough to determine how loud I need to yell to move faster…I mean, whether I need to push my guys harder, or if we are doing fine.

      I think it is a nice gadget, as a “house leaguer”.

      The GPS seems to work very well, even through dense brush and trees. No issues with water, either. I have even banged it into trees and smacked it on the barrel of my rifle, I have been lucky, it hasn’t broken.

      There’s my two cents.

  50. Jeney

    Great review! I was considering this watch until I saw it on your fiance’s wrist. I’m 5’3 110 and cannot stand it if my watch isn’t tight on my wrist. The Nike+ watch doesn’t appear to be a good fit for those with smaller frames/wrists. THANK YOU FOR THAT COMPARISON! Can you give an idea of how the Garmin watches match up on the wrist? in terms of size? I obviously don’t want something that’s super big and heavy either…

    Thanks again! Bookmarked your review page!

  51. Hi Francisco-
    RE: Polar Straps

    Correct, it’s specifically the Polar strap with the Nike+ Symbol

    Hi Felix-
    RE: New firmware update

    Yup, they’ve added a few new data fields – which is great!

    Hi Darren-
    RE: Zone alarms

    No, not at this time.

    Hi Steve-
    RE: Speed sensor

    It depends, if the speed sensor is ANT+, then the Garmin is the way to go. If not, then it probably won’t matter. From a triathletes standpoint I’d go the route of the FR305 or FR310XT.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Calorie Counter

    It uses the HR strap

    RE: Using it while in gym

    Yup, see the section in the review on that.

    Hi Allison-
    RE: GPS Quality better than phone

    Yes, it’s better than most phone GPS’s, and scored fairly well in the GPS accuracy tests.

    Hi Emily/Sander/Anon-
    RE: KM/H

    Yes, it has this option.

    Hi Evan-
    RE: Alarms

    Yes, you can setup basic alarms

    Hi More than just a verb-
    RE: Nike+ account

    Yup, all to the same account

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Swapping for FR210

    Hope it’s working out for you!

    Hi Ricardo-
    RE: Openwater swimmer

    It would model the water route if you use the swimcap method (see sidebar), otherwise no, it won’t work in the water on your wrist from a mapping standpoint.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Thoughts on which watch

    Generally agree with what you’ve said on watch options.

    Hi Jeney-
    RE: Watches for smaller wrists

    She uses the FR310XT generally speaking, but she also has a FR60 that’s smaller for her. The FR110, 210, 610 all work fine for her. The FR405/FR410 are a bit bulky though. For smaller watches, I’d recommend either the FR210 or FR610.

    Thanks all, and sorry for the delay here – been a bit of a crazy few months with wedding and honeymoon, just getting a chance to catchup on all the past comments.

  52. Thank you for your review. I tried the sports watch out when first released and found it to be very inaccurate. I just purchased it again for another try and the firmware update has fixed the accuracy problems and I NOW really enjoy using this watch. My wife uses the Nike iPhone GPS app and we are very, very close after every run. I realize that maybe the accuracy is not the greatest compared to others on the market but it gives us a decent idea how far we have ran. We have only been running now just under 1 year and enjoy doing this together. We have even entered a couple races already. 🙂 Keep up the good work loving your reviews!

  53. this watch shouldn’t have been released. after 3 months my watch is no longer recognized via usb
    link to forums.nike.com

  54. mdjenni

    Hi. I just went to the Nike store yesteday to have a look at the Nike GPS watch myself. They told me they have stopped to sell it as they had many returns as the watch does not link with the Polar transmitter. Any experience on that?

  55. Pepijn

    Great review, just found your site because a coworker has this watch and referred me to this review as I was interested in it… I’m tempted mainly by the nike site behind it and the social features, to help me stay motivated, as I’m a very new runner.

    One thing I did notice though, you say 5 atm is about 50 meters under water. Not that it really matters that much, but it’s actually about 40 meters. Every 10 meters you dive the pressure level increases by 1 ATM, but since at sealevel you already start with 1 ATM (pressure from the air around you) you end up at 5 ATM at 40 meters depth. Not that anyone that doesn’t know that would ever dive to 40 meters (I’m only certified to dive to 18 meters myself, and that’s pretty deep already imho), but figured I’d leave a note anyway. It’s a very widespread misconception actually, my own (normal) watch says both 5 bar (roughly the same as 5 atm) and 50 meters on the back as well.

  56. Anonymous

    hey dc rainmaker
    i just have a few questions i need answered in relation to this watch, any help is appreciated

    is it possible to lap split without using the tap function ie can you set it as a button instead?

    is it possible to view lap splits (non-automatic splits) after completing a run?

    also can you view the cumulative time of the run and the elapsed time of the split during the run (like a traditional lap watch)

    thank you so much for your feedback

  57. T.O.guy

    thanks for a great in-depth review, DC. I wish I read this before purchasing the watch!

    To answer questions from the previous poster:

    1) The watch records laps either automatically, or via tap function depending on the settings. There is no other way to record laps.

    2) Yes, lap stats are viewable on the watch after a run and when uploaded to the Nike+ website. It does not matter if the laps were recorded automatically or by tapping, if that was your question.

    3) Yes and yes. Elapsed run time is one of the scrollable options that you get to by pressing up or down button, and elapsed lap time is set as the main display when you select auto laps.

    My biggest beef with the watch (actually two):

    – No fixed backlight. Come on Nike, do you think people only run during the day?

    – No average lap pace DURING THE RUN. This is completely retarded and needs to be fixed ASAP. Every Garmin watch has this, and every GPS watch must have it as a bare minimum.

  58. Anonymous

    Hi DC Rainmaker:

    I just wanted to congratulate you and your newlywed wife. All the best!


  59. Ismael

    Hello, do you know if the band polar nike + is compatible with Garmin watches?. It is assumed that the two work on the same frequency 2.4 Gz.
    Thanks for the product reviews you do.

  60. Hi Ismael-

    No, the two companies use different and non-compatible technology. Sorry!

  61. Im planning on getting a new sport watch, so the question here is (after reading all the comments and the review) with the new nike firmware, which one would you recommend? the Garmin 210, 410 or the Nike Sport Watch?

  62. Anonymous

    Just a warning on the 5 ATM depth rating. This can be very misleading. The actual depth a 5 ATM watch is good for is not going to be anywhere near 50m. This is due to the test being conducted in a pressurised canister of water with no movement. Introduce movement (currents etc) and the depth drops dramatically. Also, using buttons/functions at ANY depth is not tested unless there is an ISO6425 (created for diving watches) certification along with the 5 ATM rating.
    5 ATM (ISO2281) basically means you can get it wet but swim at your own risk.
    Just want to save someone from wasting their $200.

  63. Anonymous

    Excellent review!
    Similar to the poster before me, i’m in between NIKE GPS WATCH ($200) – GARMIN 405CX Refurb ($170) – GARMIN 210 ($200) at the moment..
    Running mostly but would be nice if i can track my heart rate while cycling..already have a speedometer..THanksssss guys

  64. Anonymous

    Excellent review!
    Similar to the poster before me, i’m in between NIKE GPS WATCH ($200) – GARMIN 405CX Refurb ($170) – GARMIN 210 ($200) at the moment..
    Running mostly but would be nice if i can track my heart rate while cycling..already have a speedometer..THanksssss guys

  65. wow great review,

    i’m interested about ur nike service, i owned a nike + watch remote, and it broke down less than 1 year,
    i’ve been googling and send tons of emails to nike, never had any satisfactory answer, and until now i can not find any way to contact nike on how to repair the watch,

    could you give me the emails/phone number on how to contact nike customer service?

    thanks a million

  66. Stevie

    DC have you heard about the widespread problems people are having with the watch not interacting with their computers? The nike forum is a buzz with it. I’m on my 3rd watch. Nike don’t know what’s going on either.

  67. Rob


    Your reviews are really awesome. I am the captain of my XC team (high school) and as part of our end of the year banquet I have managed to raise enough money to buy each of our two coaches a new GPS watch. Obviously you have great experience with just about every watch on the planet, so your opinion is greatly appreciated in helping me make the right decision. I’ve got about $200 for each watch, and the coaches are both teachers who would wear the watches all day, not only on the run. They both run about an hour a day and both do trail runs in the mountains (we live in colorado) every weekend. The FR405 was my original choice, but the bezzel has really turned me off. What would you suggest? Thank you so much


  68. Anonymous

    Hello Mr. Rainmaker,
    some questions.

    I would like to know if it’s possible to see the “Speed” (in Km/H) instead of the Pace (in Min/Km) on this watch.

    And, when there is, can you please tell me how to change this in the settings so I can see this ???

    Is there also a “Average-speed” to be seen on the screen ???

    And can we trust on this “Average-speed”-value ???

    Thanks !!!


  69. Anonymous

    Another question,

    is the “Average-speed” during the run to be seen or just after when you have finished your run ???

    Thanks again !!!

    Great site with good information,


  70. Wondering how good the watch would be for walkers and not runners?

    Would it work the same?

    • Walk2bfit2685

      Hi Teets, I know it has been a long time since you posted your question but on the off chance you or someone else is still wondering about walking instead of running with the watch – I bought mine for just that purpose and it works great. I am a geek for statistics and this watch is amazing.

  71. Great review!

    Just one question, can I use the ipod charger? I am now abroad and I do not have a PC…


    José luis

  72. Great review!

    Just one question, can I use the ipod charger? I am now abroad and I do not have a PC…


    José luis

  73. Hi!
    Thank you for your review.
    5ATM is 40 meters. At least it is what PADI tells you if you take diving course. Normally you don’t dive that deep, so watch will work for any water activities.
    Still, Nike+ is really great comunity to find motivation and make me go out and run. But – it’s childish level. If you consider real training, then you need some real GPS-clock with detailed information about your runs.
    If your still want to have Nike+ information, there is a web-page that can help you to transfer your Garmini data to Nike+: link to awsmithson.com

    I’m using Nike+SportBand at the moment (had it for almost 3 years) but I think it’s time to move on. Thanks to your review it will probably be FR210.

  74. Anonymous

    Is possible to get more then 2 parameters on screen. If we have 4 or 5 parameters on screen, will be briliant.

  75. Marco

    Hello ,its time to made a new review after the big changes in the FW of Sportwatch +GPS…

  76. Dale

    Thanks for a great review. Any update with the latest firmware? I am debating to get this one or the Garmin 305. The305 for it’s price point or the Nike for the sleekness.


  77. Like the review, very usefull.

    The new firmware seems to be better, I do Agree with your view on the data , not being detailed enough.

    I have been looking around a bit and found a exellent piece of software called trail runner (Sorry mac only).
    check link to trailrunnerx.com.

    I have also been looking for a windows version, could not find one so far, I’ll let you know once i will find it.

  78. Hello together

    I have this watch but till now I can’t connect to my PC. I tried a lot of times without succes. Can anyone tell me how to adjust the time.


  79. Can you toggle the display while running? My dad complains he can’t see his time or pace as he’s running because it’s too small in the upper corner. Any way to get that to show on the larger numbers?

  80. Anonymous

    It looks like the new update DOES have a “mph” option in the setup section. If you update the review you might want to include that.

    Thanks for the great reviews!

  81. Outstanding review of the product. I have had the Nike GPS for about 3 weeks, and I love that it is so easy to use. I have one issue if anyone can help me. I just went for a run and forgot to turn off the unit. When I drove home to upload the data I realized that I had ‘run’ 38 miles at a pace of 3 minutes a mile. Obviously the GPS picked up info from my drive. The run did not upload to the site and I can not figure out how to delete it from my watch. Any help or suggestions on this?


  82. Hi Ray!

    I have the Nike+ Sportswatch from when it first came out last year. For Christmas, I received the Nike+ Polar heart rate monitor. It wouldn’t like. I called Nike, they had me do a few resets and the like. Still no go. I called Polar and they had me ship it back. Received new monitor and still not working! Called Nike again who tried a few things and ended with “well R&D is looking into and we have had a few lemons where they won’t like – it isn’t you”. They said they’ll keep me posted but offered nothing to resolve.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on how to continue to follow up with them? It seems absurd that they can’t do anything about it and I just have to live with it!

  83. Anonymous

    Thx for another great review.

    IMO this watch will be a real “garmin killer” if they release a firmware update which allows a you to see speed (km/h and mph) AND altitude. Shouldn’t take much effort!

  84. Ole

    For intervals, does the watch beep? Or can you also make it vibrate? I’d like to wear headphones, and just have the watch vibrate when the interval/rest period is over. Any watches to this? thanks

  85. As other posters have asked, would you mind adding an addendum addressing the changes made to the firmware this past…October, I think. At present, I am on the fence between the Nike+ GPS Sportwatch and something from Garmin. Updated comments on the FW would help in the decision making process.

  86. Roger

    Hi, great review of the product. Unfortunately, my experience after using it for about 1.5 months (I got it for Christmas 2011, it’s now mid Feb 2012) is less positive. My watch started getting the dreaded USB Device Not Recognised error that is all over the Nike facebook support app intermittently about 2 weeks after receiving it and I´ve now not been able to get the watch to sych for about 2 weeks of runs. I found this review while doing web searches to try and fix it (Nike tech support not very helpful to fix, they just say return). Nike´s advice on face book and after trying to troubleshoot it is to return the product to the store, which I guess I´m going to do. When working, the product is ok, but it´s incredibly frustrating not being able to upload runs. Web search turns up this is pretty common. I´m going to return it to the store, exchange it for some nice Nike running clothes and then get either a Suunto or a Garmin…as well as try and come up with a good `story` for the person that gave it to me. Honest advice from someone that used it – if you want Nike+, get the Nike+ band instead, if you want GPS and heart rate monitoring, get one of the aforementioned brands.

  87. Dan

    If you could have just one GPS watch, would you buy? I’m torn between the Nike+ Sportwatch or the Garmin 210. Thank you.

  88. TT

    Great review! The only thing i have to mention is about altutude recording. The Device records altitude data from gps. You can have a look at that in the details of a run on the nikeplus site. When using Eagerfeet.org or nike-plus-php to get the gps data there is also elevation in it.

    – TT

  89. Billy C.

    Just want to warn those interested in the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS to strongly consider another alternative. The watch seemed to work well, but I suffered the same fate as many other users have with the watch not being recognized by the Nike+ software on several computers (multiple Mac and PCs). In fact, I returned my watch once and then had the same problem with another watch. Extremely frustrating, especially since I am a long standing user of the Nike+ platform. Look elsewhere for a watch with GPS and heart rate monitoring. Total fail by Nike in my book.

  90. Anonymous

    First off, I just wanted to say I love your reviews. I’m going to be starting highscho cross country next year, and due to me not wanting my watch to get stolen, I plan on wearing it for the duration of the scho day. This means aesthetics are a big deal to me, so I was looking at the Nike sport watch. I wouldbt say that I’m a novice runner, but I don’t need all of the features the carmine offer. Would you say that this would be a good watch for my situation? Thanks for any reply

  91. What a great review! Today on one of my runs, my watch cracked. I just got off the phone with Nike and they said they cant do anything about it, what support line did you call? Do you have any other suggestions?

  92. Im a serious highschool runner who logs roughly 65 miles a week. In the past, I have run with the nike sportband. It served my purposes well, but as my training became more intense, I began to consider higher end gps watches- something that had more features that would help me track what I was doing. The sportwatch caught my eye and after some research, I ended up buying one. Best decision of my running career! It rises to any possible expectations and surpasses them. While in a run, you can keep track of distance, elapsed time, instant pace, avg pace, calories, and the actual time. It has features for lap counting and lap splits, and you can even program interval workouts. Additionally, its backlight makes night runs a non-issue. In a recent software update, a very detailed stopwatach feature has been added that can run even when a run is not in progress. Some concern has also been raised over the expediency of the gps locator. From my experience, it has taken no longer than 10 seconds to locate a satellite in a suburban to rural setting.
    The menues and software are very user friendly and effortless. Through the nike website, you can see your running routes mapped out. It allows you to find all the stats for any given point during your run, including the elevation. Some cyclists have shown concern over the display of speed in mph. This is one of the many customizable settings that can be choosen. Overall, the watch has been an extremely satisfying purchase. So I recommend it with the highest regards.

  93. Anonymous

    Wow, they need to get you to write the instruction manuals. So many points you make are NOT included anywhere. ie: download software before trying anything! (and when you get to that point, the page is not available as per the tiny book). Finally got it working, but only because of your amazing instructions. Thank you. Now, looking forward to a run in the morning, with it on one arm, Garmin on the other 🙂 I’m in Bali, distance to one point does change daily, but it seems to even out by the end of the run to same same.

  94. teo

    Thank you for your great review. You convinced me and few weeks ago I bought a nike+ sportwatch. Everything is fine with the release 3.3.0 on my mac book. Today I tried the intervals option by setting 1.7 minutes (for 400m) followed by 1.5 minutes (rest) and I remarked that starting at rest the watch needs several seconds to compute the real instant pace. This is somehow disappointing mainly for short distances: finally once at home I realized that I ran faster than expected. Do you have any idea how to fix this point?

  95. Bobby Greenwell

    I didn’t dig through all of the comments left on this review, but wanted to take a few minutes to add my .02 …In the past few weeks I started to have trouble with the USB connection into my Laptop. I was able to “gently” nudge either the laptop/watch into connecting and downloading my runs. As with most things, this band-aid went steadily downhill fast, and I finally gave up and called customer support. Very quickly “Travis” was able to diagnose the failure…almost too quickly. I had micro-cracks just behind the USB cover hinge on the exterior of the watch band. I am not a high impact user of this watch, but have taken a couple of spills on the trail (My mom used to say I was the only kid she knew who could walk across a flat parking lot and fall down). So, I am thinking that maybe moisture has gotten into the cracks and is wrecking havoc with the wiring. Otherwise, the watch is still performing handsomely. All things said and done, I am being sent a new watch, along with being emailed additional instructions on how to transfer the UN-downloaded runs into the replacement. I provided customer support with a credit card to “hold” so that they can ensure I send my fallen comrade back. Very efficient and pleasant process. I will have to give Nike an A+++ so far in the process.



  96. Ed

    Same as Bobby Greenwell, I have had hardware issues with 2 of these watches now. Basically, the plastic of the band at the base of the USB port is cracking open. It happened on one watch, I took it back and they gave me another one straight away. It’s now happening on the replacement one, too, and I have only had it for 10 weeks. I run about 30 kms a week, so not a very heavy user. Hadn’t thought about weather before, but worth noting that I live in the UAE. Too annoying to buy another and have this happen again, so will probably get a Garmin when this one dies. Pity, I have really loved its simplicity…

  97. Einar

    Your review needs to be updated!

    Nike has updated the firmware to enable the watch to be used for multisports ie: it can now display speed (not just pace) and it can be used as a simple stopwatch.

    I think it is a bit unfair that you do not mention these updates in your review.

  98. Love your blog, thanks for what you do.

    I’m extremely torn right now. I’m currently sporting the FR 405 and can’t stand it. I’m ready to move on from the “chirping birdy”. The thing goes bonkers when it is encounters any wetness. I’m currently deciding between the 610, 210 or the Nike+ SW. I miss the power button that my FR 201 had. Does the Nike and or the 210 have a on/off button?

  99. Superb explanation. Unfortunately till now this watch still not available in my country – Singapore. Haizzz

  100. Conrado Porta

    Hello. I’ve had my Nike sports watch for almost 7 months now and the USB connection started to break from the very beginning and it finally broke loose a week ago…I’ve tried to contact Nike but they won’t answer my claim and since I’m from Argentina and the watch is not sold here there is no way to get it fixed or changed. I think Nike did a very poor job designing the USB connection…..I’m not the only one complaining abut this.
    I love the watch and I used to wear it all day long…now I’ll just have to put it away since I can’t even charged it. I’m very upset with Nike.

  101. Really complete review thanks. I got here because I googled, nike+ and swimming. I would really love to find a device that works as well as the nike+ sports band (which I have) but for swimming.

  102. Can you let us know the circumference of your now wife’s wrist?

  103. You have got to help me! wich would you recommend for a tri-athlete, garmin forerunner 405 or the nike+ sport watch.

    I should mention that in South Africa the garmin is about $120 cheaper! Weird I know, still can`t explain it!

  104. manhkkal

    how useful is the sportwatch in a swimmingpool? is it able to track your time, pace, etc? or it is impossible to get that information in the water..¿?

    Seeing the problems people are reporting regarding usb connector, i think i am going to buy fr210, and the only thing is stopping me from that is that sportwatch is 5atm..but don’t know if is able to provide any valuable information.

    (BTW, if you check the official nike website, they say you can not use this watch for swimming :O ..so it seems if something happen with water probably guaranty won’t cover it).

  105. Just returned the NIKE GPS to the store (Best Buy who was VERY nice about the problem). Purchased for my boyfriend who has an older Garmin for his birthday. Love the design but it wouldn’t connect to our MacBook Pro laptop and today after using just two times the battery went dead.

    It was not very user friendly at all and was impossible to even enter the current time / date etc. Now we’re back in the market for the most functional GPS sport watch. Would appreciate any feedback along the lines of negative experience we had. Thanks cboyajian@gmail.com

  106. I’d love to know your thoughts about the Nike software only displaying data for full miles. It is really frustrating for me to run races like 10Ks or half marathons because when I review my data I can only see the full miles. Even running 4.99 miles will only show me 4 in my data. I don’t understand why Nike doesn’t fix this?

    I’m loving my Nike watch though. I had the Garmin 405 for two years and had really terrible experiences with its ease of use and battery life. My only other issue with the Nike is that they sent me a dead sensor and won’t replace it unless I return the entire watch. Luckily I had an old sensor from a few years ago that works.

  107. Bryan

    I am a huge nike fan, but had been apprehensive about purchasing the Nike GPS watch due to the mixed reviews. I have been using a Garmin 205 for the last few years. I recently got the Nike watch for my birthday. I decided to try it out, and I have to say I am very pleased with it. I’ve been following the happenings with Nike and their watch/site, and am very impressed at how much they do to make things work better. The Nike watch is simple to use. Average pace works great, don’t even bother with instant pace. Accuracy has been almost exactly the same as my Garmin 205. One thing I really like is that I can set it to manual laps, and it tells me average pace, distance of the lap, and time for any time I slap the watch (great for surging and wanting to know how much you picked up the pace). Then when I upload to Nike’s site, it separates the mile splits from the laps. With Garmin, I would have to have it set on auto lap for 1 mile if I wanted it to show my my splits when I uploaded to Garmen connect. I am looking forward to Nike rolling out the new site in June, things are only getting better. So far the Nike GPS watch has exceeded my expectations.

  108. Anonymous

    Thanks for the great review. So, am I correct in assuming that you can only set your intervals from your computer? You can’t change/set up interval timers from the watch alone? This is not helpful for those of us who use interval training and may need to change our set-up when we are out on the road…Hmm…design flaw?

  109. This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. Great review! Thank you very much. Used your review to help narrow down my watches and decide to get this one. Have had no problems with the watch at all. It’s great to see to that Nike has been working out their kinks with the software as I’ve had this watch for about a month now and have updated it 3 times already.

    Thanks again for the helpful review!

  111. Anonymous

    Hi, I have been a Nike+ Sportswatch fan for over a year. Really enjoyed how simple it is and its interaction with Nikeplus website. However, 2 weeks ago I became the latest victim of the dreaded USB connection failure. Physically, the USB connection on the watch looks fine – no obvious damage or cracks etc. However, it will not recognise any PC or Mac when plugged in. Nike support were pretty useless. They told me that this was the very first case of this happening – ha! ha! ha!. They suggested doing a soft reset which just killed the last of the battery life. So now, they refuse to take it back because its over a year old. My advice to everyone thinking of purchasing it – beware!!! It is fabulous at the start, but like many many other committed Nike users, we have found to our disappointment that it just doesnt last. I’m off to buy a garmin now.

  112. I am a big fan of your reviews which led me to buying the 310XT a couple of years ago. I love my 310XT, however it has been having problem lately; freezing, taking a long time to acquire the satellites (often have to power down/up), wrist strap pops off sometimes, often takes multiple passes to get workout data to the computer, and most importantly it seems to be off quite a bit (yesterday ran 3 x 2M intervals and the 310xt gave me an average of 6:40 vs 6:46 which I calculated based on change in my cadance). Based on your reviews, I think the accuracy isn’t going to be that much different among the various GPS watches. I use my watch to train for various road races, 10k’s, Half and Full marathons. I use the runnersworld uk site to download daily workouts to my 310xt, which is great! I don’t usually have the need to change workouts on the watch, but I have done that a few times. I also have the Tamina BC-1000 weight scale, which is great for tracking my weight, body fat%, etc that loads to both the healthy edge software and to garmin connect. The more I write, the more I am convincing myself that I should either live with the 310xt until it is completely useless, or upgrade to another garmin GPS watch. I don’t swim or cycle much, what do you think?

    Thanks, Curtis

  113. Anonymous

    hey man, thank you very much for the extensive review, respect

  114. Anonymous

    Have had the watch for 1 year and 4 months. I have used it on probably 75 runs. it now will not connect to any computer as USB does not connect. Nike told me in a polite way they would do nothing as it was out of the warranty period. So, 1.5 year for 200.00. Poor deal. do not buy there are better options that will last longer and work better.

  115. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for your in-depth reviews, and for including your wife’s take on the watches too. You helped me make the decision to get the Nike+ and so far I love it. I’m a little concerned with the comments regarding the USB connection, but I’m hoping I won’t have any trouble. Thanks again!

  116. Once again, an old post for you but I just found it. I have the “original”, pre-buy model of this watch. At that time the power cord was not included and I am postive that my watch is NOT waterproof. I actually like the simplicity of the design/data mode and my ONLY complaint with this watch was that I couldn’t swim in it and use if for TRIs. Also, you know by now that one of the firmware updates added a stopwatch function. I love all the updates we get for free via firmware. Love this watch!

  117. Heather

    Thank you for your amazing review! Wonder detail, you should have had chance to provide input for the owners manual! I struggled in setting up my HR monitor when I got that, could not find any instructions for it. Like your petite other half, my watch has extra room for me, but it doesn’t bother me, I love my Nike+ SportWatch and you totally addressed my question of if it would be safe to do laps and wear in an up comping Triathlon. Thank you!

  118. Davide

    Hi from Italy!
    I use the sportwatch since January but now (2 weeks) I have the same problem of other runners.. It doesn’t syncronize with the pc!
    You can charge it yes.. but forget your stats!
    Now I’m waiting for the decision of the shop (nike told me to change or ask money back)
    It’s a very nice watch but not for a runner ;(
    Don’t buy it..

  119. Hey dc rainmaker thanks for the great review… One question does the Nike+ sportswatch calculate calories accurately during swimming workouts?? I swim almost everyday and am looking for a watch that can calculate those calories lost along with the Nike+’s features designed for running. Thanks

  120. I just stumbled in here and i think i have figured out why the watch stops connecting to computer,it is not faulty in the watch itself,it is the USB connector! Although the watch may be waterresistant,the USB connector IS NOT!!! meaning that sweat from the wrist eventually breaks the connector! Please spread the word!

  121. Anonymous

    Hi, what if there are no road on maps, can i still track it with gps, i dont need to see street, etc. thanks

    • Yes,you can! No matter where or how you run it plots your route when you connect the watch and upload the data to your account,
      If i understand you question right…!
      (but keep it as loos as you can on your wrist, read my earlier post)

    • Yes,you can! No matter where or how you run it plots your route when you connect the watch and upload the data to your account,
      If i understand you question right…!
      (but keep it as loos as you can on your wrist, read my earlier post)

  122. Barry

    So far it has worked flawlessly for the past week…The only issue I have is my wrist is almost too big…The watch is on the last set off holes and its tight……

  123. Anonymous

    Really helpful review. . . Thanks!


  124. Anonymous

    GREAT Review – thanks for all the work.

  125. I just returned a Garmin 610 because the instant pace was virtually useless unless you had a foot sensor sync with the watch. Knowing that the Nike GPS watch comes with a foot pod, I wonder if the pace readout is accurate (instant pace)
    I currently use a Nike sport band which is great if you like to know you current pace but I would like to upgrade myself to a GPS watch since the Nike sport band needs calibration every so ofter.
    Does anyone know if the Nike GPS watch tracks instant pace as good as the Nike sport band?

  126. just to add some more details to the above, I returned the Garmin 610 because I expect a watch that cost $400 to eliminate or improve the instant pace without making you spend an additional $60 for a foot pod. Not to mention the battery life is waaayyy to short, it is published at 8 hours but experience shows to be more like around 5.

  127. I only run trails and based on many positive review of Nike+ watch thought it would be an ideal choice. I had hoped the foot pod would counter act any effects from GPS loss of signal. I generally run about an 8 1/2 min mile. The watch has me running around 12min miles. Does anyone know how the watch use the foot pod and gps data or ideas about how I can improve the accuracy. I have calibrated it on a known street route and it worked well.
    I really want to make this thing work.

  128. AdelaidePete asks…
    Any chance that they will enhance the firmware to automatically set the time based on the GPS signals GMT/UMT data and a lookup table based on LAT LONG for the offset? That would be a winner at airports so you always had correct local time (within a few minutes) to make the gate in time.

  129. Hi,

    Did Nike ever end up replacing your sports watch after the screen crack?

    Exactly the same thing happened to mine and when I sited your replacement as a president for mine they declined a replacement saying: “He is sending his watch in for an inspection first. The inspectors will determine it was excessive wear and tear no doubt and send him his original product back.”

    Is this true? Did they not replace your watch?


  130. Hi Adelaide-

    It’s possible they could enhance it, but always hard to predict firmware updates unfortunately. 🙁

    Hi Jana-

    Yup, they replaced it. Keep in mind, this was VERY early on with the watch, just after it came out – and before they could really figure out thier policies around rejection. There wouldn’t have been excessive wear/tear since it was literally brand new (and the product had only been out a couple weeks).

  131. Mitch

    There is still confusion about if the clock is water resistant. Nike writes “It’s water resistant up to 5ATM. Dancing in the rain is not a problem.”

    Wikipedia writes: “Water Resistant 5 ATM or 50 m Suitable for swimming, white water rafting, non-snorkeling water related work, and fishing.”

    I need the watch for swimming in the open in regular and salt water. Outdoors i will put it in my cap anyways. But is it water resistant for swimming in the pool? Anyone tested this for a longer period?


  132. Anonymous

    I just got this and it’s can’t seem to keep track of a “There and back” run. I leave my apartment and run to the top of a hill in the park then I run back along the same path. The watch got the correct distance and after I uploaded my data the route was mapped but the mile markers were all wrong.
    For instance the mile 1 marker is at about 0.6 miles and the distance between markers 1 and 2 is about 0.7 miles. The total distance there and back should be 5.7 miles, but it placed the stopping point not too far from the turn around point.
    Is there something I’m missing here or does this watch not work if you back track on your path? I tried Nike+ support but they were not helpful.
    I think this is going back in favor of a Garmin.

  133. “In fact, I think every time I wear it out for a run…it rains.”

    Hey guy, you’ve choosen that name “Rainmaker” for yourself so what you expect of weather to do as soon as you go out running 😉

    just kidding

  134. Anonymous

    I was using my watch while on holiday without access to a pc and all my runs we’re In history . When I charged the watch via a USB/power charger all my history was deleted. I had charged it the same way previously so what went wrong? I am gutted.

  135. Eri


    First, allow me to congratulate you for your magnificent in-depth reviews. Overall, I find your blog useful and inspiring.

    I am beginner running enthusiast. Having used the nike+ iphone App sucesfully for a couple of months, I decided to buy a NIke+SportsWatch (it looked so promising). My main complain is that it does not calculate accurately burned calories. Now I find myself running with both my old Polar FT7 and the Nike+Sportswatch (plus the nano), something that I think it’s ridicoulous. Both devices receive the same data from the HR sensor so I don’t understand the reason of the abismal difference. For example, on my most recent run, Polar reported 250 cals whereas Nike only 20!
    I wonder if you or some of your readers have had the same experience with the SportWatch?


  136. Do you think the garmin f10 and the Nike+ gps sports watch are comparable? Any major differences?

  137. Great review! Thanks!

  138. Great review! I found you by searching but I think I’ll check you more often…
    A question I still have is: Can I get ‘mileage’ out of this product in my own private program without using the online component? I.e., does the downloaded software offer any exercise analysis without using the web data upload approach?

  139. Inge

    Hi from France ! Just greatfull review !
    Can’t comment in english but reading it, I think it’s one off the best !
    Thanks !

  140. Thank for a great review!! I really need to get a gps heart monitor and you offered some great information! I really appreciate you taking time to write such a detailed review!

  141. Thank you so much for putting this together! I know they are in a little bit different price categories, but I’m deciding between the Nike+ Sport Watch (with sensor) and the Garmin Forerunner 10. Any suggestions? They both seem to have their pros and cons. I am a runner and do half marathons and full marathons. Thanks!

  142. I recently (as in a week ago) bought a Nike+ Sportswatch, and love it, but I noticed some weird anomalies with their website – so I thought I would investigate. Im not commenting on the accuracy here of what the watch records, but actually of what their website tells you you ran, when it actually knows something different:

    link to squashednewt.com

    Hope it helps some users.

    • I’ve also wrote a small tool to compare what Nike tell you, to what they actually have stats for:
      link to squashednewt.com
      If you’ve got a Nike watch, maybe have a look to see how much your runs differ. If its not by much – great.
      But some of my runs are off by at least 10% – but Nike have the correct data. Weird!

      I’ll update that page as when I get more info from Nike.

  143. Jenny L

    Dear DCrainmaker, re Nike+sportwatch kindly could you help on the following questions:
    1. In order to use the GPS and be able to measure distance and speed of my run must I use the foot pod? I want to be able to measure run distance and speed but I don’t want to have to attach anything to my shoe.

    2. If I must use the footpod to use the GPS can I put it in my shorts pocket or must it be attached to my shoe?

    3. Is there any comparison available with Garmin 10?

    Thank you very much.

  144. Anony

    Excellent review, as are all of your reviews. You have now steered me away from Nike + SW since I am interested in cadence (not involving a bike aka steps per minute (spm)) or ). 35 year old trying to “fix my stride” by getting my cadence up to 90 or so (currently takes a lot of effort to hit upper 80’s and causes my HR to skyrocket relative to speed / pace). Counting steps then looking at my watch doesn’t work as well since I only check portions of workout with this method and sometimes I feel I ‘stomp’ with the foot I am counting. It’s sad that Nike+ gathers this data then doesn’t provide it to the runner. Cadence not provided at all is just absurd and a deal breaker for me. Nike keeping my data and not allowing me to ‘own’ it is also absurd (I get it from their pov they want to be able to advertise to me, provide tailored marketing, and perhaps eventually charge for the website). I considered the TGT, but was put off by then being forced to pay to retrieve my data (your excellent review there mentions the free version, but notes that what you see expands significantly for $120/yr). Other than this the watch sounded great with the ease on creating laps on the fly (to exclude warmup / cool down as well as demarcating intervals). GPS dropouts aren’t a significant concern for me as I have a path with 1/4 miles marked (if you’re ever in Houston check out Terry Hershey Park which runs east and west along Buffalo Bayou), so GPS is mostly a novelty that I would like to incorporate just because. I will keep reading your reviews and hopefully find something that meets my needs (perhaps stand alone software so I can own the data and not pay recurring fees, even if it doesnt let me export to Excel).

    A side note, I read your TGT review after a google search. Then I moved on. Eventually ran into a Runners World forum discussing GPS HRMs and quite a few folks on there said that your site influenced their buying decision and the watches they chose varried. That’s when I knew I had found a true gem of a site because you and providing real, unbiased reviews of all the models out there. Thank you!

  145. HotRod

    I’m new to this GPS game. Received some $$ to purchase a watch. Wanted to do so for some time, but my budget is tight and I don’t tend to spend a lot on myself. First, what is the difference/or what does one offer over the other in the Nike+ watches? (sensor or not) Basically looking for something to keep track of a new run, accurate time, pace. Also have an eye issue which makes it hard to focus on smaller things when running. Which in the market would be best to consider this issue? Not going to spend more then $200. Thanks and this sight is great for the rookie in gadgets, but long time runner.

  146. Niko

    Awesome review!

    I think Nike fixed a lot of the issues you had mentioned. I was slightly wary of getting anything else besides a Garmin, but man am I impressed with it! It’s great looking, and it gets the job well done. The one thing I guess I couldve used would be a physical ‘special’ button to start/stop or demarcate laps, because the slap to mark is great, but it is shared with the light function, and I run at night often enough that it is kind of annoying.

  147. I need the support of an Asics shoe, so I’d like to know where I can buy one of the shoe lace components that will hold the Nike Pod like I saw in your review photo.

    I just got the Nike sportswatch from my sons for Christmas and can’t wait to use it.

    I echo the sentiments of others…extremely thorough and unbiased review.

    Please and thank you–


  148. Nick Sedreg

    Ok very good review but I have a question. In your chart u say it has auto start an stop. I own the watch and don’t believe it has that feature and do you think the USB is actually water proof? I can’t honestly believe that it could be and am hesitant to use it swimming

    • DC Rainmaker

      It looks like the auto-start/stop was an error when I converted the charts a couple weeks ago over to databases. I’ve fixed that. Sorry!

      As for waterproofing, yes, it definitely is. You can see the swimming pics in there. Obviously, just don’t insert it into your computer while still wet.

  149. Pieter van der Westhuijzen

    Any news on support for multiple sports? using the watch while cycling really messes with the website…

    You website remains my primary reference point for all sports electronics!

    • DC Rainmaker

      No, I wouldn’t expect to see multisport at this juncture on this watch. Given it’s been almost two years since release, I think they’ve moved on.

  150. Lisa Ward

    Hello. Thank you so much for such an excellent, informative review. In your opinion, for daily short runs… 3.5 miles, just for recreation but I definitely like to increase pace and get better and faster, would you recommend Nike or garmin 210. The Nike just looks so much better! But I want something that will work and I tend to backtrack back home and I saw one reviewer had trouble with the Nike on that. Thank you! Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and when I buy, both for my husband and me, I will use your links here. Thank you.

  151. Danielle

    This watch is AWESOME!!! I am an avid runner and just recently received the watch as a Christmas gift. I use it everyday and its’ features are incredible. The watch makes me motivated to get out and run. I love the feeling I get when it tells me that I have reached my milestones and am on my way to conquering a level. The easy plug in to the computer brings you right to your online profile as it downloads all of your workout data! EVERY RUNNER SHOULD OWN THIS WATCH! SERIOUSLY!

  152. Charlie

    Hi iv been looking at this watch for a while but read lots of stories about poor USB connections (either with the watch or the website). Have you had any trouble with USB recognition ??
    Btw great review. First one iv read from you and it won’t be the last 🙂

  153. Mat

    I have been running with the Nike Sportwatch for a couple of years now and sum it up as follows. The actual Sportwatch is a nice bit of kit, just right to provide some basic but accurate info while out on a run. The problems arise once you sync with the Nike+ website. Sometime ago there was an apology from Nike for their poor website, promising a new one and exciting things in the future. New website, with improvements, but just a new set of bugs, Account settings resetting, so miles become km’s, i suddenly lose 80lbs and become female. While not major, but when this happens every few days, it become annoying. Talking of miles, one one page it says you are 100 miles till your next milestone, yet the milestones page is displayed in km’s, so you don’t know where you’re at. The report emails you are supposed to get once a month are non-existent. The one really good part of Nike+ was the Challenges, where you could take part in individual or group challenges. These disappeared with the new website with a promise of them coming back Autumn 2012, we are still waiting.
    To top it all off, I contact the support team about these issues and get what seems to be like a generic email response saying they will pass the information to the feedback team without addressing any of the issues.
    My review would be, good product, let down by their own website and support team.

  154. Nicole Champion

    Just to let those who are curious know… I found a little exporter this guys made that allows you to export your Nike+ account info and transfers your Nike runs into .gpx files so you can transfer them into other software, etc. (in my case Strava). Just a little fun fact 🙂 The website is link to mattstuehler.com

  155. Garry

    This is a good watch but the accuracy is a bit off with the calories, for that you will need a heart rate strap.
    For example it said i did a run with the Nike GPS watch and it said i burnt 1671 calories.
    I did the same run with a polar watch and it said i burned 1171 calories.
    The Nike website said that i am a female.
    Not sure if this has anything to do with the calculation

  156. Graham

    Hi There –
    Great review first of all.
    So I’ve been reading your reviews and while all are very good I’m struggling to determine which watch to purchase.
    Ok, I’ve ruled the Nike out!! 🙂
    My main activity is cycling (on and off road) and I want something with GPS tracking. I was considering the Polar RCX3 but would really appreciate your advice.

  157. lakawak

    I know I am a little late to this thread, but hopefully someone will still see it. According to the review, while it is not ideal for cycling, it still seems to work. But has anyone else tried it? I’ve been told by Nike support many different variations of “yes” and “no”. At first, I was told that that watch would save your data fine. But that if you go over a speed that no human could possibly run, like 20 mph, then it will simply reject the data altogether and you get nothing. Then, after the guy did more research, he said that apparently it was updated and that it WOULD upload the data, but it would just interpret it as a run. This was fine for me. I don’t care about all the silly motivational videos or goals. I just want to see my route and time(s) after I get back from a ride. But then I was told again that it would not work, or at best, it would be totally inaccurate.

    So, has anyone used it for cycling at speeds of more than 20 MPH and if so, does the data show up correctly on the site?

  158. Anika

    How about using it in saltwater?

  159. Mitch C

    Hi there! Awesome review…. I am a motocross rider (plan on wearing it as I ride) and love the look of this watch… I am looking for a watch that measures heart rate and can GPS track if I decide to go bush (would like to see where I have ridden) I also plan on wearing this watch everyday even for swimming training. At the moment I plan on getting this watch but I was wondering if anyone could reccomend a better one for around the same price.

    • DC Rainmaker

      The FR210 is pretty solid, though it won’t meet your requirement of being fully waterproofed for swimming (fine for rain/etc…).

  160. Phil

    Thanks for all your reviews, the are fantastic!

    Just a little note ive found out about the nike+ watch,

    stupid me left it in my pocket of my running shorts and then stuck it into the washing machine for a full cycle….
    guess what? It still works fine!!! No cracked screen or anything! =)

  161. Matt

    When using automatic splits, will the watch show you your split time in mid run?

  162. Justin

    By the way, you can buy screen protectors for the Nike + watch. I looked on Ebay. Maybe that would help with the screen breaking, and they were only like $2. Thanks for the great review, I learned a lot.

  163. Rene Aguilar

    Thanks for the great great review!!!

  164. Lc

    Love the watch but am new to hr monitor features which I now need in order to keep my heart rate below 140 because of pregnancy. I have tried to check it out but have not had any luck I’m just wondering if I can make the watch beep at a certain heart rate or if I will just need to continue manually checking every so often. Thanks 🙂

  165. Joseph Michael

    I have had the Nike GPS watch for about a year and have had to replace it at least five times. The watch is supposedly water resistant but do not take it in a Sauna or steam room. The solution to this problem told to me by a Nike representative was don’t use it in a sauna and steam room in a sarcastic tone. Considering the watch is almost $200 and the heart rate monitor is another $75 and the shoe pouch is $15 this watch was a waste of money. I loved using it when I had it but I had some issues with it.

  166. Steelo

    I’ve had my Nike plus for just over a year now and I am happy with the watch. I recently completed a 15km run that included a 1.5km run through a tunnel. The GPS signal was lost in the tunnel. I didn’t realise that it didn’t automatically resume once out of the tunnel as all other data was available during the run and while in the tunnel I was more focused on not running into other runners than checking if the GPS signal had dropped out. Apart from resetting the GPS signal once out of the tunnel was there anything else I could have done so that the GPS signal would have restarted automatically.

  167. Matheus Mendonça


    Thanks for all your reviews!

    I’m training for aquathlon competitions and I’d like to know if you have tested the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS with your “in swim cap” technique.

    And how is it compared to the Garmin FR10 for aquathlon training?


    • DC Rainmaker

      Yeah, I’ve done it a little bit. It’s pretty much good in the swimcap, no issues there. Similar to FR10 in that respect. The Nike+ unit can connect to footpods and HR straps, the FR10 can’t. But, the FR10 means you can use it with any log software on the planet.

  168. Great review. Couple of (probably old) questions. I assume the closest to stopwatch mode in the pool, and the easiest, is to simulate a GPS run?
    Also, can you recommend a good online site that delivers the Nike sensor casing that attaches to shoelaces, but for international delivery.
    Thanks, Nick

  169. I always love your reviews! And I’m so glad you wrote this one. Recently, my second Garmin 405CX has gone dead and I’m in the market for a new one. I thought about getting this for the prettiness factor and because my husband has it but from what I see here, I don’t think I’d be happy with it.

    Now, I just have to decide – stick with the 405CX (its only $160 on Amazon with the HRM), downgrade slightly to the Garmin 210, or fork over the money for the very pretty, lovely Garmin 610? Oh decisions!

  170. DC Rainmaker

    I think you’ll really like the FR210…just my opinion. 😉

  171. Andrea

    I would like to know if you have a Review about Garmin Forerunner 910XT. I am in doubt between in Garmim 910 XT and Nike Plus GPS SportWatch.
    I read on review about both in Portuguese and they said that Garmim is better in usability, funcionality and performance. able to switch from one to four data points at a time. Up to 4 screens can be pre-configured and saved for each sport. link to gizmodo.com.br
    It records distance traveled on water, count laps, laps and even your score swolf (a unit of measurement of swimming efficiency).
    So, I would like to read your opinion about Garmin 910 since this product does not exist when it was written.
    Thanks in advanced.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, check out my FR910XT review (under product reviews, then Garmin).

      In short, comparing the FR910XT to the Nike+ watch is sorta like comparing an RV to a compact car. The FR910XT does significantly more than the Nike+ GPS in virtually every category.

      You can utilize the Comparison tool (see the right hand side) to compare every specification between the two watches.

      Hope this helps!

  172. Bryce

    Your major con about the watch seems to be about the ability to access/export your data. Don’t know if you know about this simple workaround yet or not, but here it is: Dailymile.com

    Dailymile will sync to your Nike+ account and automatically import your Nike+ workout data into your profile there. Dailymile then gives you an option in your acct settings to export all your data from Dailymile in csv format, including the data it imported from Nike+.

    Problem solved in two clicks.

    Thank you for your site and the effort you put into these reviews. It helps me and so many other runners. Thanks!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Indeed, Dailymile has been using a bit of a backdoor to access the data. And recently, there’s a slightly more straightforward API for developers to use (though still limited).

      That said, you still can’t just go to Nike’s site and export data straight up. And that’s my problem. I shouldn’t have to use a second service just to get my data out.

  173. DC Rainmaker

    For those asking/e-mail about the small footpod holder I show above, here’s the link to the $5 footpod holder: link to amazon.com

  174. heather

    you said there is a cycling update? how do you use that?

    • DC Rainmaker

      The Nike software on your computer will automatically update the firmware to include speed (MPH/KPH) as a metric.

  175. Great review. It really helps me to know what I can/can’t do with my watch. I just got it, and I am pretty happy with given the reviews you have put up. Granted, I am just a simple runner, I just want something that works – like you said. I had a Garmin 410 and the bezel would start to go crazy when I would sweat too much and the sweat would get on the bezel and the watch would go crazy thinking that I am trying to use the bezel, when in reality it was just sweat.
    Great review! Thanks a lot!

  176. Shrenik

    I hope you answer this one in time for my friend in New Jersey to bring it with him to India. He travels May 1. So, I will need to order and ship this ASAP.

    Should I go for Nike+ GPS Sportwatch or the Garmin FR10. I already have a FR310XT and will probably use this one sparingly or even as a watch. I am a 4hr15min finisher. Given my current pace if battery duration ought to be the decider, then Nike is a better bet but it costs about $30 more. Is it worth spending that extra $30?

    PS: It was after reading your review of the Forerunner 310XT that I bought it. So, a big thank you.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Given you already have the FR310XT, I’d stay within the platform for the FR10. That way you’ve got the same training log etc. I think the two units have fairly similar features (though the Nike+ does both indoor and HR, but you’d have your FR310XT for that). Enjoy!

  177. Shrenik

    Thanks for your help. I ended up buying the Nike plus GPS simply for the kick of trying out something new. Will let you know about my experience with this one. Good luck with your next run, ride and swim.

  178. Treeninja16

    Hi there,
    Thanks for the review, it was really helpful!!
    I’ve read other reviews, that have mentioned the Nike+ sensor (Footpod) has a very bad battery life, how long has yours lasted?
    Also, how does the Nike sportwatch compare to the other Garmins? And would you say that it makes up for those differences in the simplicity of the website and to access stats etc?
    Does the watch come with the heart rate strap, too?

    Thanks so much again, your review was far better than any others that I have seen and that you put time into replying to comments!

    William, a budding high-school competitive runner

    • DC Rainmaker

      Because I’m usually running with ANT+ enabled footpods, I’m probably not a good sample on the battery life of the Nike+ footpod.

      As far as comparing to the others, it’s so-so these days. The Nike+ website has social features, but lacks being super-open and compatible with other software suites.

  179. Zach

    Hi rainmaker,
    Thanks to your previous review of the rcx5, I have already bought one, but since I bought the run bundle of the rcx5, I’m torn between getting the gps pod for the rcx5 and getting one of these, since I already have a nike+ pair of trainers, would you get this or the g5 gps pod for gps tracking.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hmm, honestly..neither.

      Look instead at some of the other options. Start with something like the Polar RC3 instead of the RCX5, or the Timex Run Trainer 2.0. Or consider the FR310XT – which these days is down to sub-$200.

      Just my two cents…

  180. Danielle

    I’m debating on either the Nike sportwatch (and I would purchase the hr monitor) or the polar ft4 watch/hr monitor. My only concern with the sportwatch is its bulkyness as I have small wrists. Was it really annoyingly big on your wife? my wrists are about the same size. I want it mainly to count calories during my weight training/running/insanity and to see my hr. I also run. Which do you think would be best?

  181. Douglas

    My results … Nike Sportwatch GPS outperformed a Garmin 210 GPS … and I didn’t expect it would. Previously I had run for two years with the Garmin watch, which died (water damage). I replaced it with a Nike SportWatch GPS, because I’m shallow and liked the design better, but was honestly expecting it not to be up to Garmin’s GPS performance. The Nike, I gotta admit, is better.

    Acquires satellite signal faster. More accurate-seeming pace time (no jumping between 5-minute miles and 11-minute miles when I’d guess I’m running 7:30s). More accurate tracking of the route, vis a vis the Google map (the Garmin would sometimes leap 30 yards off course to the north or south). More accurate in varied conditions – wide open bike path, wooded trail run. Fast charging. And yes, a nice design, decent fit, cool, easy to read display.

    For me, the bad: No switch to miles per hour for cycling. Annoying Nike website will never stop trying to sell you other Nike stuf, and a non-stop push to tie in your Facebook page. Stop it already! Gimicky, yahoo messages like, “great job!” and “awesome run!” on the website and display, which is all the more irritating when you really just turned in a so-so effort. Stop it already, again. It tries to be more of a toy, but actually it’s a better tool.

  182. James


    I’ve been running with the NIke GPS watch for a few months after my Garmin 205 stopped working. Anyway, I’m just wondering if anyone else experiences the “instant” pace being considerably off. It’s the most inaccurate GPS watch I’ve ran with for the past 7 years. My Garmin 205 was so much more accurate! Essentially, the Nike GPS watch will tell me I’m running, say, a 7:00 minute per pace for an entire mile, fluctuating a few seconds throughout. However, being an avid runner for year, I know it’s wrong. So, when the auto lap kicks in (set for a mile) it’ll give me a pace of, say, 7:25 … even though throughout the entire mile it gave an instant pace of 7:00 to 7:05. It’s frustrating. That said, what watch would you recommend that has the best and most accurate instant pace feature in the $150 or below price range! Or can this watch be set to be more accurate in terms of instant pace. Please help! I start training for my next marathon in a few weeks.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi James-

      Any chance that you’re using the footpod with it? Meaning, that perhaps it’s using the footpod for pace, but the GPS for distance – hence the difference.

    • Martin

      I train on flat terrain and can keep a very steady pace.I have noticed on my long runs that the instant pace is always roughtly 10 secs per km faster than the average pace when I run at 5 mins per km. The average pace shows the proper figure. I havent tried doing a long steady run at a significantly slower pace to see if there is a difference in the variance relationship.

  183. James

    Sorry about typos above. Meant to say “7:00 minute per mile pace for an entire mile” and “being an avid runner for years.”

    That’s all.

    • James

      Hey again Rainmaker,

      Nope. Not using the footpad. Just can’t figure out why it so inaccurate. Nike support was helpless too.

    • DC Rainmaker

      🙁 Bummer. I’m not sure on that one then. I really wish I could help – just fairly limited for troubleshooting when it comes to the Nike side.

  184. Ashley Fellows

    Hi Rainmaker,
    Firstly brilliant review!
    I have a Polar FT60 with the Polar foot pod, I am torn on whether to get the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS with foot pod and Nike+ Heart rate monitor. I use the Nike+ Running app on my iPhone 4S and I do like the software that nike produce. I also have the nike+ fuelband but starting to think that that might just be a gimmick. Have you gt any thoughts on this or done any comparison reviews?
    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Ash

    • DC Rainmaker

      I’ve done a review of the Nike+ Fuelband (up under reviews). That might help you a bit on deciding how gimmicky the Fuelband is (hint, sorta).

      For comparison with apps, it really comes down to whether or not you want to wear a phone with you or not (or have easy access to read the display on the watch).

  185. Ashley Fellows

    Hi Rainmaker,
    Sorry maybe I wasn’t totally clear, I don’t know whether or not to change from my Polar FT60 with foot pod to the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS with foot pod & heart rate monitor. Not sure out of the two which is the better?
    Especially when (I think I’m right) the FT60 does not have software updates unlike the Nike+ GPS.
    Also if I did get the Nike+ sportwatch GPS and ran with that as well as the Nike+ running app on my phone would it clash or have any issues ie: thinking I’ve done two runs

    • DC Rainmaker

      No worries!

      The FT60 is definitely a subpar watch compared to the Nike+ watch. But, at the same token, I’d suggest you also look at some of the other options on the market as well, as the Nike+ watch is 2 years old now and hasn’t had a lot of updates lately.

      For duplicates, you would indeed get them – but you can avoid that pretty easily.

      Hope this helps!

  186. Sue Jeff

    I did have the Nike+ GPS watch. Until they took the “total height gain” function off. All my running is off road on hills and mountains so the THG was a big issue for me. Seeing my stats showing 25min mile was understandable if I’m on the way up a 400mtr slope. I contacted them on at least 10 occasions asking for a refund as when I bought the watch it was for that function. On the first occasion they said “it’s still there but you have to add it up yourself.” after that it was “we are not bringing the function back “. No refund so I’ve now bought a garmin that still does everything is says on the tin 🙂

  187. Daniel Revez


    I´m about to buy one of this: Nike + Sportwatch or the Garmin Forerunner 10. I have a lot of doubts between those two…

    I consider myself an occasional runner (about 20km a week) and i always used the Nike app for the iPhone. Sometimes i enter runs in my town (10k, 15k max) but nothing more than this.

    I think the HR monitor ability is not a plus in my case (the forerunner 10 doesn´t support it) but i´m used to the Nike “environment” and from my search, i think the Forerunner 10 is more “professional” than the Nike (altough i´m searching for something durable). Nike seems to me more “upgradable”, ie, in the future i may want to use the HR or the cycling feature, but Garmin is a company dedicated to GPS devices…

    Between those two, can you advise me the best?


    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi Dan-

      In many ways, both devices are similar in that I expect neither to get any further upgrades – especially not the Nike+ unit at this point. And the Garmin FR10 won’t because any further features and it continues to eat into their higher end units.

      Your assessment is correct in that the FR10 is more ‘professional’ feeling, whereas the Nike+ is more social, especially on the website side. On the devices itself they are actually fairly similar in that both have various PR notifications.

      If you plan to fully use the Nike website, then stick with the Nike unit. But if you plan to use other 3rd party sites, nobody has as wide a partner ecosystem as Garmin does (as far as supporting the files generated).

      Hope this helps!

  188. Sean

    I’ve been looking at getting the Nike+ Sportswatch GPS, but I cycle more frequently than running. I already use the Nike+ Fuelband, hence almost automatically choosing the Sportswatch when looking to track my activity. Basically I’ve been trying to find out if it can be used effectively while cycling – I’ve read comments that say it can’t be used if you cycle faster than is humanly possible to run? (Which is pretty much guaranteed I would have thought). Is this comment up to date or does the firmware you mention address this issue? I want to be able to use it to track my cycle routes, speed etc effectively otherwise I needn’t bother buying it.

  189. Tara

    I would like to add my 2 cents to this review. I am now using my FOURTH!! Nike SportWatch. That’s right. I bought the original watch in August 2011. In the span of 16 months Nike replaced my watch 3 times! So I’ll give you a list of all of the issues that I’ve had (and continue to deal with). I think this watch is terrible.

    1. “Instant Pace” (current pace) jumps around like crazy – never reliable.
    2. Heart Rate jumps around like crazy or drops out to zero – never reliable – totally useless in a gym.
    3. Watch face gets clogged with sweat, fogs over, can’t read the screen at all.
    4. Watch became unglued after a 3.5 hour run on a hot day – the back side separated from the top side – the rubber/plastic actually wilted and deformed.
    5. USB connector cable always ends up rusting inside – not the USB on the watch itself, but the cable it comes with.
    6. Satellite signal sometimes never syncs so you have no choice but to turn off the GPS and run without it.

    I also want to add that this watch is too big around the wrist for those of us that are on the small/light side. I’m 5’7″, 120lbs with small wrists and although I do not have a problem with the watch slipping around, there is a small gap between my wrist and the watch band (on the sides). It does stay on tight though.

  190. Blake

    I have contacted the Nike store and Nike customer support and they are adamant that this is only water resistant and should not be used in a pool. I am wondering if they had a large amount returned due to water damage qnd changed the specs. They said they have no waterproof watches for heart rate monitors at this time.

    Any thoughts in this new info?

    Also, if my wife used the foot pod with this watch at school could she track steps and calories burned?


    • DC Rainmaker

      You’re best bet is to simply call back and yell at someone else. 🙁

      The reality is their own manual and marketing documentation clearly states 5ATM, which is a waterproofing level at about 50m.

  191. A customer has a Sportwatch which works perfectly except that he loses 2-3 minutes on the clock each day and has to reset the time weekly to keep it accurate. Have you heard of this and is there a firmware update that would correct this?

    • DC Rainmaker

      There’s a number of firmware updates available, but I’m not aware of anything like that. And likely if he’s used it at least once with a computer it’s already on the newest firmware. It sounds like it may have an internal problem that may be worthwhile swapping out for.

  192. Ajan van Schijdnel

    Thank you very much, this is a very useful review.
    Gave me an answer to all the questions I had regarding the Nike+ Sportswatch.


  193. karen

    Thanks again for the review. I am deciding between this Nike + sportwatch (I would get the hr strap) and the garmim fr110. I just want to make sure I understand the differences.. Nike+: has the foot pod so indoor will be more accurate, you can see calories in real time rather than having to wait until after the run on the computer. Fr110: more detailed heart rate data, and more detailed other information on the computer afterwards.

    Is this correct?

  194. Kjoz

    I bought this watch 2 years ago when I started running. It’s been a love/hate relationship. I am a huge fan of the display, the fit of the watch & the website. However, the fact that I have to plug it into my Mac to update software before EVERY single run is ludacris. If i don’t get the update, it won’t connect to satellites turning it into an extremely expensive stopwatch. I have complained to Nike to no avail. Are all watches like this? Is it time to go with a Garmin? I’m so torn! What are your thoughts?

    • DC Rainmaker

      No, not all watches are like that. Are you waiting before you start running, or? You shouldn’t be having to plug it in every time – that’s not right.

  195. Bruce

    Hey rainmaker! I’ve been reading your site recently for the best reviews and i really must thank you! i went with this watch because i love the nike+ community. Anyway i have a question for you. Have you ever charged this watch using a phone charger power adapter? i don’t have a desktop computer i have a laptop which is off most of the time, and so turning my laptop on for 2 hours to charge this watch seems a little ridiculous. If i plug this into a phone charger will it fry it? thats the last thing i want to do with my new baby lol. Thanks for your help.

    • No problems with this. And in fact, I’m actually doing it right now off of just a cell phone USB block (charging it up for a photo shoot comparison).

      The key item to remember is that the way USB power drain is designed, the USB device itself ‘requests’ how much power it needs. The block is merely how much power is ‘available’ to it. Thus, you don’t ever have to worry about USB over-power situations.

  196. Mark

    Can you go into more detail of how to setup the Nike+ SportsWatch for cycling. THanks

  197. Rex

    Nice!!!! Just wondering if you still using the the NIKE Sportwatch? Anyway, U think they can update the firmware and add CYCLING option? Hoping that will add it.

  198. Ami

    This is the best review ever! I just got my watch today and was more than annoyed that it was lapping every couple of seconds after the first mile. The users manual didn’t help me at all and I’m old school only having internet on my phone and my work computer so hooking my watch up at home did no good. From your info, I realized I could turn off the lap function and also further notes that the previous owner (bought mine used on Amazon) info hadn’t been erased. I know what I’ll be doing after work Monday!I was also stuck in a downpour praying it was waterproof as many other models I researched were not and I didn’t see on the downloaded info whether it was or not. Again, thank you for being so in depth as you are! Training for a marathon and think this will be an excellent tool to improve my pace and keep an eye on my heart rate along with accurate distance! Job well done. It saved me a lot of frustration.