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January 12, 2010 / elodie kaye

Nike Sportband Redux

I’d hoped to follow up my earlier post with a more informative review, but I think fate has decided that the Sportband and I are not meant to be.  Because of the poor documentation that’s enclosed with it, I went online to figure out how to sync the wrist unit.  After getting through that, there is another part to the set-up before you can record a run.  The Sportband and the foot sensor will not recognise each other until they talk it over.

I couldn’t get the Sportband to receive transmissions from the foot sensor, no matter what I did.  I reset the Sportband to factory settings.  I re-charged it to full.  I put the foot sensor to ‘sleep’, and woke it up.  I flipped it around forward and backward.  Negotiations remain at an impasse, so back it goes.

To make this post slightly useful, I offer a few observations for consideration if you’re thinking about getting one.  First is simplicity.  The Sportband is really meant to do only one thing: record your run in terms of distance and time.  The watch aspect is very rudimentary so it cannot record laps, or lead you through workouts, or give you interval timers.  If you run long enough, regularly enough, this will eventually be very limiting.

Second, your data is not available except through Nike’s website.  While I like their community very much, I also like to analyse my own training logs with my own metrics, as I discover trends, successes or failures in my training.  Their interface doesn’t give you access to your own raw data, so this is impossible.

Third, it would be very simple to add a backlight to the display.  The lack of one makes the Sportband unsuitable for low light conditions.

In summary, I had intended to use the Sportband to measure out some routes and record some of my runs while I’m building base.  For this, at a price of $60, the Sportband is a decent value.  If it had worked.

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3 Comments

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  1. Keith Peters / Jan 13 2010 8:18 am

    I highly recommend the Garmin 305. Being an “older” model, you can get it at a really good discount. Down to $150 US. A bit (LOT) bulkier than the Nike sportsband, but does so much more. The software that comes with it clunky, but does the job. But the Garmin Connect website is pretty nice, and you can also sync the data with other 3rd party programs like SportsTracks.

    • elodiekaye / Jan 13 2010 8:30 pm

      I really like Garmin. I think they have great products and top-drawer support. I already have a Polar system with its own speed sensor though, so I would only make good use of the 305’s mapping ability. Which is also awesome, but I can’t really justify $150 for pretty maps. Maybe if I cycle more this summer… 🙂

      I probably should have linked to my first post about the Sportband, which goes into the impetus behind my dalliance with it. Simplicity was what I was after, and the Sportband might have fit the bill, if it had worked.

  2. Keith Peters / Jan 14 2010 10:24 am

    Right, I read those later. “Simple” is not a word anyone would use to describe a Garmin. 🙂

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