Review Snapshot

It's light, easy to use, and should be very useful for people who want to track their running data.


It breaks and malfunctions often, according to customers.


If you can't afford a Garmin, consider this as a back-up watch.

Reviewed by:
Annie Oh : I am a 20-something freelance writer who specializes in technology and health re...Member Reputation 124 • 110 active Krits
Nike+ SportWatch GPS from Nike
Nike SportWatch GPS Review
Annie Oh rates this 2.5/5
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REVIEW: Nike SportWatch (with TomTom GPS Built In)

At $199, the Nike+ SportWatch GPS isn't cheap, but its easy-to-use design, multiple tracking features, and slim feel may make it worth that investment--and an easy competitor to the Motorola MOTOACTV.  Here's my review.

  • Lightweight; easy to use
  • Clear, easy-to-read display screen
  • A good asset for runners

  • Watch is mainly marketed to runners
  • The price--it's one of the most expensive sport watches on the market
  • Has serious software and connectivity issues


While I won't dwell on this subject--chances are if you're reading this, you don't care too much about its looks--I will point out some of the Nike+ SportWatch GPS' physical features.  For starters, the watch is extremely slick and comfortable; there won't be metal or anything uncomfortable rubbing against your wrist while you run.  Its large display screen is also a nice touch, and most customers were able to read the numbers on the screen comfortably.  

Its weakest point, arguably, is the sheer size of it, however--although it's light, it's pretty big, measuring at 1.46 inches wide by 0.63 inches thick.  Don't let its size fool you, however, because it is deceptively light and feels non-obtrusive on the wrist.  Overall, it's a good, modern design that isn't too flashy or demanding of your attention.


While the watch's screen isn't touchscreen-compatible, runners can still use its screen to scroll through selections, turn its backlight on, or mark miles.  Clearly a runner's watch, the numbers are also displayed in its largest fonts--so while you're on the run, you don't have to struggle to see the numbers on the screen (fatigue kills reading comprehension, unfortunately).  Two scroll buttons and a selection button--located on the left side of the watch--also allow you to scroll through the watch's various features, such as your time, pace, calories burned, and distance.  Heart rate trackability is also available, but only if you cough up $69.95 for an optional Polar WearLink+ heart rate monitor.  
As for its GPS, its functionality is limited: It is only used to improve the accuracy of the watch's distance-tracking feature.  It is a big disappointment, considering the watch is mainly marketed as having a built-in GPS system.


To allow you to track your overall running data, the Nike+ SportWatch GPS also comes with computer software, which is used to track your performance, improvement, and even allows for sharing of data on social media websites.  To load the necessary data to the software, you'll need to plug your watch to the computer, via a USB device built into the watch--a neat and convenient feature.  You'll also charge your watch (which you'll need to do a lot; battery life is shoddy) using the USB device, which plugs into any standard PC computer.

While in use, many customers complained that the software often did not work right; other times, the USB device or the watch itself would break.  While it is an innovative device, its software could use some work.

What the Customers Say

As a runner's watch, most customers seem conflicted--while they do agree it is nicely designed, the mechanics just don't work out.  "The plastic band started cracking around the USB connection on the watch," says one customer. "It was a matter of time before the connection would be compromised by sweat or water."

Another customer also agrees.  "The watch wouldn't reliably connect to the computer," he says. "Sometimes it would download my run data and then lose connectivity when updating the GPS info on the watch."

Despite these problems, however, most customers like it--they just don't love it.


As a runner's watch, the Nike+ SportWatch GPS is not without its problems: Aside from intermittent connectivity problems, the watch just appears to be cheaply made, with numerous reports of breakage.  This would not be a concern if the price were cheap, but unfortunately, this isn't the case.  Still, the watch is able to track multiple features, remains one of the easiest watches to use, and is easy to navigate, so I won't tell you to avoid it completely.  Verdict: If you can't get your hands on a Garmin, consider this as a good back-up device.
Date Reviewed: April 12, 2012, 6:22 pm
Reviewed by Annie Oh
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