"Great potential, Poor software and seals"2.0 starson by Quinton Marais
Pros: Works with Mac OSX, tracks data
Cons: needs electrode jelly to work, hates rain
Summary: Having owned a basic Polar for 3 years and wanting something I could track my fitness data on my Mac under OSX 10.4 , the choice was pretty narrow. Bought this watch from Amazon and the first watch kit was faulty - the USB Rx/Tx was unserviceable from the get-go. Kudos to Amazon for replacing it promptly. The second USB dongle SMA012 version worked fine with the computer and I could finally take the system for a run.
I usually run after work so it's dark in winter and thats where I found myself wishing for my Polar - only have to bring the Polar up near the HRM and the light comes on - no chance of pressing the wrong button. With NIke you have to know from feel whilst running exactly which button is the light, because if you press the the wrong one in the dark in Chrono the recording will stop.
Next problem is the screen GUI which is a scroll-thru-fest. The watch face is large but the screen uses very little of the area effectively, where you only get one key piece of info at any time, then have to press a button to see more. I set my lap interval to 1km so I see my pace of each km when I return but during the run you cannot tell very much from the smaller line below. If you have the main screen showing your heart rate then the bottom screen is just a rolling lap time? To see distance or to see the pace/km you have to press one of the 5 buttons twice. The workout mode is a bit complicated and I run with the Chrono mode most of the time.
The software is at least 3 years old - since the last update in 2004 and although it works in OSX it uses the computer in a token way. On a 20" Mac screen the software opens in a 9" fixed size window and has multiple pop-up screens which block the info behind. There is no internet link like iPod nike+ and the support website is underwhelming. There is just no customer feedback breathing life into the interface. It feels like version 1 of a DOS based piece of software with monthly stats being the total distance and the total time? . the graphing is OK but the small size is restrictive, and the stats are not able to be assembled or compared like Nike+. Hills present their own problem to this system as there is no barometer or inclinometer to show your HRM/Pace in relation to a massive hill? Even if you could use the software you could map the hill after the run or before you go As I do in Google Earth to estimate the distance - select a section and type in the gradient. That would be too cool for Nike software.
After 200km the batteries in the watch and the HRM CR2032 need to be replaced and the HRM has since become very sensitive to body position compared to the POLAR which was hard to fault for this. The NIKE will often stop recording HRate and the HRM goes to sleep during the run. If you reset the chrono it does wake but the previous data is rendered as run 1 and run 2 then starts from that point. I have found that if I put a small dot of jell on the two chest pads prior to start it works 100% - this is not necessary with Polar HRMs.
Generally very disapointing to see this product still on the market with so little support from NIKE in the software update dept. It would seem they have turned their attention to the iPod interface and the previous team has been sacked from the Triax Elite software dept.
Overall 4 star potential let down sadly by outdated software and a touchy HRM which drops out without electrode jelly, and poor weather seals on the foot pod and HRM 'O' rings, mean you cannot run in a rain shower.
My advice open up the 'O' rings and seal them with underwater camera 'O' ring grease (work for me) or just buy Polar or Suunto and use 3rd party software to run under OSX.