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Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+ review: The Apple Watch for Nike addicts

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The Good A bright display, onboard GPS and waterproof to 50 meters. Integration with Nike+ Run Club. Comfortable strap and comes with two exclusive Nike watch faces.

The Bad GPS battery life is short. No altimeter for measuring elevation. Workout data can't be exported to other services. Lacks always-on display.

The Bottom Line If you're a loyal Nike user, this is the Apple Watch to get, but it's really just an Apple Watch Series 2 with a few minor changes. There are cheaper alternatives for pure fitness and run tracking.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

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If you're ready to run and want an Apple Watch, you should know there's a Nike edition available this year. Do you care? Should you care? Well, no, not unless you're addicted to Nike+, the shoemaker's fitness tracking system.

The Apple Watch Nike+ Edition isn't all that different from the Apple Watch Series 2. It's the same size and weight, and it can be used to make phone calls (when your iPhone is connected) and run apps. It also features the same ultra bright display, dual-core processor, GPS and swim-proof design as the Series 2.

The difference is the integration with the Nike+ Run Club app. You also get an exclusive silicone two-tone strap and two exclusive Nike watch faces. Essentially, this is the same Apple Watch we already like -- you can read our full review on the Apple Watch Series 2 here.

I've logged more than 100 miles testing both the Series 2 and Nike+ Edition over the past few weeks. Both watches get the job done, but unless you're set on a full-blown smartwatch, there are arguably better and cheaper alternatives to consider for running and overall fitness tracking.

What's different?

The Apple Watch Series 2 and Nike+ Edition both start at $369, £369 or AU$529, but that's for the smaller 38 mm model. Most people will likely opt for the larger 42 mm model, which will cost you $30, £30 or AU$50 extra. Here's everything the Nike+ model can do over the Series 2:

  • The Nike+ Run Club app comes preloaded on the watch and works with exclusive Siri commands, such as asking her to start a run. The app also offers daily motivation through run and weather reminders -- exclusive to the Nike+ Edition -- and will show when a friend has ran more miles than you.
  • The watch comes with a lightweight, breathable (i.e. it has holes in it) two-tone silicone strap that's exclusive to the Nike+ model. Color options include black and silver bands with accents in either gray, white or yellow-green (a shade Apple calls "Volt").
  • It also has two exclusive Nike watch faces (a digital one and an analog one) that can be personalized to show activity data and heart rate, or provide quick access to the Nike+ Run Club and weather apps.
apple-watch-nike-edition-18.jpg
Sarah Tew/CNET

Features

The Apple Watch is waterproof up to 50 meters (164 feet), has GPS, an optical heart-rate sensor, all-day fitness tracking and can run dozens of third-party apps. There's also 8GB of storage, 2GB of which can be used for music storage (about 500 songs). When connected to your iPhone, it can be used to make calls, respond to messages and view incoming notifications from apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

apple-watch-nike-edition-10.jpg
Sarah Tew/CNET

Running features vary from app to app. I used both the default Apple workout app and the Nike+ Run Club app, which includes auto pause and auto lap, and will display pace, distance, elapsed time and beats per minute. That's all most people will want (and need), but given the high price I was expecting the Apple Watch to do a little more. The Garmin Forerunner 35 (£118 at Amazon.co.uk) offers all of these features, can display notifications from your phone, and includes structured interval workouts and information on specific heart rate zones -- all for half the price.

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