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Apple Watch Nike+ hands-on

Apple Watch Nike

It feels like the Apple Watch Nike+ has been a long time coming.

Rumours about a Nike-branded Apple smartwatch started flying on tech sites a few months before the first Apple Watch Series One landed. That’s way back in 2014.

In the meantime, 2011’s Nike+ Sportwatch, which was a great bit of kit in its day, started to look a bit tired, hobbled by ageing software and sporadically patchy GPS.

Nike Watch event poster

Not least when pitted against the high-end Garmin 630 and even budget fitness trackers from the likes of FitBit.

There’s much riding on the Apple Watch Nike+, then.

We spent an hour or two with it ahead of its street date of October 28th and took it for a spin on a Nike+ Run Club speedwork session along London’s Regents Canal. And despite a pretty steep price point, on first impressions it seems well worth the wait.

Nike Watch event 1

For starters, unlike the fashion-focussed Edition versions of Apple Watch Series One and standard models that were smartwatches first and foremost it feels every inch a sportswatch.

Although the body of the watch is unchanged from the first-gen Apple Watch, the strap on the Nike edition is all-new.

Fashioned from the same rubbery composite as the Apple Watch Sports Band, but with large perforations, it’s been designed with sweaty exertions in mind.

Find out more and buy the Apple Watch Nike+.

Perhaps the most welcome, most essential addition from the first-generation Apple Watch is GPS.

That means it’s much more accurate than its forbear, which relied on Apple’s M8 motion co-processor to track your movements. With a bit of calibration, you could work with it. But it wasn’t a satisfactory substitute for GPS.

Nike Watch on hand Ru

The addition of GPS also means you don’t need to take your iPhone out on your runs anymore and at last cuts the umbilical chord between your handset and your sportswatch.

At the watch’s heart is custom-built software. This takes in the Nike+ Run Club app, as well as the full range of watch face options (think: Minnie or Mickey Mouse, Swiss Clock-style minimalism), and some exclusive Nike watch faces.

Ru after Nike Watch

As you’d expect, the software is slick. Nike’s watch faces look crisp and clean and feature the Nike+ Run Club app front and centre so you can start your run quickly with no need to trawl through menus.

More importantly, you can see all your running metrics (pace, time, mileage, heart-rate and calories expended) and at all times, while you’re pounding the pedways in the name of fitness.

What we didn’t get the chance to look at is the indoor mode, the smart run reminders and the social elements, such as challenges from friends. And we’d like to check out the swim-tracking features too.

That’ll have to wait for our proper review, when we’ll really find out whether the Nike+ Apple Watch is worth the £369 outlay for the 38mm model and £399 for 42mm edition. But on first impressions, you can colour us very impressed.

Find out more and buy the Apple Watch Nike+.

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