I’m not trying to brag or anything (I am), but I comfortably ran a half marathon wearing the first version of the 42mm Apple Watch with a classy, stainless steel band. So, when I heard about Nike’s version of the Apple Watch, it’s not like I thought, “Finally! I totally need this because running with the regular Apple Watch sucks.”
That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed running with the Apple Watch Nike+. I’ve enjoyed the fact that it takes a lot fewer swipes to get started running, thanks to the prominent placement of the Nike+ Run Club app on the front screen. I also like that the watch elegantly displays how long I’ve been running, my heart rate, pace and miles run. The watch talks to me to tell me my pace after every mile, and also has a sweet auto-pause feature just in case I have to stop to tie my shoe and don’t want to mess up my recorded pace.
What makes the Apple Watch Nike+ different from the other Series 2 Apple Watch models are the Nike watch faces; the quick, one-tap functionality to launch the running app; and the lighter, more breathable sport band that comes with it. The Nike+ version of the watch also comes with the Nike+ Run Club app, though, people without an Apple Watch can use the Nike+ Run Club app on their phones.
In general, the Apple Watch Series 2 is better for running than the first batch of Apple watches because of its built-in GPS, which makes it so you don’t have to carry your bulky phone with you in order to track your pace, distance and route. Though, when I’ve gone on runs wearing the Apple Watch Nike+, I’ve still brought my phone so I can listen to my music.
There is a feature on the Series 2 watch that lets you download music to it, but you can only do that with music from Apple Music or iTunes Match. So, that feature is useless to me because my go-to music for running, and in general, lives on SoundCloud.
The Apple Watch Nike+ costs $369 for the 38mm and $399 for the 42mm version — the same prices as the standard Apple Watch Series 2 devices. As a semi-legitimate runner, I’m into Nike’s version of the Apple Watch, but I can’t quite bring myself to describe it as a must-have, rather than just a nice-to-have smartwatch.