When you're done, just press the bottom button again to end your workout. The SportWatch will even give you a little pat on the back by displaying encouraging messages like "Great job!" or "Personal best!" It will also give you a friendly reminder if you haven't run in a few days as a little motivational nudge.
At home, you can upload your workout data to your PC or Mac. Nike cleverly incorporated a USB connector into the wrist strap that you can flip out, plug into the included USB cable, and so connect to your computer.
Once connected, the Nike+ software automatically loads and transfer information to the Nikeplus.com Web site where you can view your workout summary by pace or route, with data on your splits and laps, fastest mile, slowest mile, elevation, and more. The Web site also offers options for creating goals and challenges, custom training programs, and a social component, whether it's posting your run data on Facebook or Twitter or connecting with other runners.
We tested the Nike+ SportWatch GPS in Manhattan and overall, we were quite happy with it. The watch, like the Nike+ Web site, is very easy to use. Setting up and using the watch right out of the box is quick and easy, but if there's one thing we'd change we'd like to be able to actually set the time right on the watch. Right now, you need to connect it to your computer first.
As for the SportWatch's actual performance, we had some initial problems with the GPS. On our first run, the watch couldn't lock onto a GPS signal at all, so we just used the shoe pod to track our distance and pace without route information. We ran into the same issue on our second run, but after toggling the GPS off and on again, we finally got a GPS fix. We didn't have any subsequent problems getting a signal.
When reviewing our run data, however, we noticed that some of the GPS data was off. For example, we noticed the starting point for one of runs was about seven blocks off from our actual position. We didn't experience GPS inaccuracy all the time, but it did happen more than once. Also, while the SportWatch does a good job of covering the basics, it does lack some of the more advanced features of other GPS watches. For example, the Garmin Forerunner 405 has a "virtual partner" to challenge you to pick up your pace and offers wireless data transfer.
Battery life is impressive. After several runs of about 1 hour each, we saw barely a dent in battery life, and needed to recharge after about five days. Nike says the SportWatch will last up to 9 hours of run time and requires about 2 hours to fully charge.
For most runners, the Nike+ SportWatch GPS is a great and simple way to track your workouts. We wish it cost slightly less, but you're also getting the shoe sensor as part of the deal, as well as a good-looking timepiece. That said, serious runners or triathletes might find the SportWatch a little too simple, as it lacks some of the more advanced features, such as multisport use (biking, for example) and the ability to view previous workouts on the watch, and thus, might want to look at alternatives such as some of the Garmin Forerunner devices.