The Apple Watch Series 3 Nike+ edition is the best iPhone-compatible fitness smartwatch for one main reason. You get the broadest wearable experience on iPhone, without missing out on any essential fitness tracking features. The Apple Watch line has many competitors but, in theory, Apple will always have a leg up on the competition.
Why? Because no other wearable company will ever be able to integrate iPhone features into their devices as good as Apple themselves. The watch’s operating system is a scaled-down version of your iPhone’s iOS, so the cellular version of the Series 3 Nike+ is literally the “iPhone Mini” for athletes.
There’s no way most of us are completely doing away with our big screen iPhone anytime soon, so having a watch that enhances the experience of the phone is just as important as the other way around. If you can get past the few things we DON’T like about the Apple Watch Series 3 Nike+, then these benefits should easily make it the #1 choice for your next fitness tracking smartwatch:
Why We Like It For Fitness & Health
Flawless integration with iPhones.Like we briefly explained above, other smartwatch and fitness tracker operating systems aren’t able to get full integration of texts, calls, and other iPhone notifications. Also, the notifications other companies are actually able to integrate are often plagued with bugs, because of the closed-off nature of the Apple environment. This gives Apple, somewhat of a monopoly to keep developing at their own pace without worry of too much competition. On the bright side, this allows Apple to take their time and not rush malfunctioning or dangerous products to the market. (Yeah, we’re looking at you Mr. Samsung Note 7.)
View and answer text, calls, and notifications without your phone.As long as your iPhone is in Bluetooth range, you’ll get all your notifications pushed straight to your watch. For added mobility, the cellular version of the Nike+ themed Apple Watch allows full phone functional independent of your iPhone. On your morning runs, wirelessly connect your AirPods to your watch to enjoy streaming music or use the onboard memory to load your favorite MP3’s. Also, get calls, texts, and notifications without missing a step, while your phone is safely at home.
Heart rate monitorInstalling the Cardiogram app to work in conjunction with the Apple Watch and Health app, will collect data that can AND will be used to diagnose, track, and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. With the biometric data collected on a continual basis by your Apple Watch, researchers are working to develop more algorithms to help us monitor our health better. These advances also allow doctors to see your health and wellness in a more holistic way instead of just the yearly “turn your head and cough” we’ve all become accustomed to.
One of our favorite features is also the simplest. The “Stand Up!” reminder. Time flies, especially when your hard at work. Those large chunks of inactive times have recently been referred to as the “new smoking.” These chunks of time are the main causes of neck, back, and other body pain. A study released late in 2017 by the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows that people who sit for more than 30 minutes at a time have a higher risk of early death because of a variety of linked health issues.
Steps, flights climbed, and total distance
For a full-featured smartwatch, the Apple Watch does a fantastic job of tracking steps, flights climbed, and total distance. Plus, the built-in GPS allows for more accurate readings, with or without your phone.
Fairly good selection of 3rd-Party health & fitness apps on top of the Nike+ integration.
Hundreds of health & fitness apps to partner with your watch to help tailor your tracking to your sport or workout style. Still, the stock Activity and Health Apps that come on iPhone and Apple Watch are already powerful enough for most fitness levels. The biggest benefit of the Nike+ version is the exclusive watchfaces that come ONLY on this version. The watch faces feature shortcuts and added complications for tracking through the Nike Run Club App. So while the app is still available on any Apple Watch model, the special watch faces for the added functionality are ONLY available to download on the Nike+ versions. The NRC App integration also allows you to tell Siri to create and start workouts by speaking directly to your watch.
Waterproof up to 50M
Track your progress on your next triathlon. Track all your activity and biometrics during lap swims, water polo, and other aquatic sports.
Huge selection of watch faces with biometric and activity data available at a glance
Customize your watch to your look and liking with the hundreds of premade options. Also, you can customize your own watch face to show only the activity and biometric data you need at a glance, in order to preserve battery life and, more importantly, prolong tracking time.
Exclusive Nike Sport Loop Wristbands
Of coarse you can just by the Nike band separate, but whats the fun in that! All jokes aside, both premium quality bands are nice, but we like the silicone a little more when getting wet and dirty.
GPS (and Cellular model) for phone-free workout and activity trackingLeave your phone at home without missing a beat…Literally… Apple uses the watch’s proximity to you iPhone to gain greater accuracy when tracking routes, especially for the beginning of the run. No stressing about if your watch is actually tracking the route or not. As for the Cellular model, it’s hard to argue for a better cellular-compatible watch. Like we said before, the wearable Apple iOS version is programmed to perfection for the Apple Watch hardware, functions just as clean. With a pair of AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones you won’t even notice that your talking to people through a watch! For the GPS-only model, all of your route, speed, and elevation data is automatically synced as soon as your in Bluetooth range of your phone.
After a list of features like that it’s hard to get picky about the negatives but there was a few things that people might want to consider when choosing the right fitness tracker for them. Luckily, if your a long time Apple user, you’ve most likely already got over them.
What We Don’t Like
Poor battery lifePoor battery life for a fitness tracker, even when compared to other similar-featured smartwatches. It’s a shame that after all the careful designing, we get shafted with a mediocre battery size. Especially if you want to use the GPS and Cellular features.
ONLY works on iPhones.No cross-compatibility with other OS’s unlike most other wearable makers.
Prone to screen damage because of extruding-screen design.The Nike Sport Loop wristbands that come with the Apple Watch Series 3 Nike+ are the perfect band in every way for fitness, except if you want added protection for the watch face. This has been one of our biggest issues with the Apple Watch since it first came out. Reasons for the design style aside, if your going to make a fitness smartwatch, then MAKE a fitness smartwatch. Either design a raised bezel to protect the screen or include a wristband option that offers a little more protection to the chassis.
Here are our two favorite 3rd-party PROTECTIVE fitness bands for the Apple Watch Nike+:
The Final Verdict
With Apple’s commitment to health and their continual research and development in the medical field, you get a front row seat to all the new software and algorithms being developed to help treat and prevent health issues, simply by reading the data compiled by your Apple Watch.
Before you decide on the cellular version, check with your current carrier to make sure they have a cellular plan that will work for you. With that said, the few deficiencies we found with the Apple Watch Series 3 Nike+ are overshadowed by the many useful features that put the Apple Watch Series 3 Nike+ in a league of it’s own. One of the cleanest smartwatches inside and out, and activity tracking has never been so easy with all the onboard options. Take a quick glance at your progress in the Activity App or go more in depth with your biometric data in the Health App. No matter what goals you set, the Apple Watch Series 3 Nike+ will help you keep your eye on the prize.