Nike+ Run Club is a fantastic app for runners, and it doesn’t matter if you are an Apple Watch or Android Watch owner, you are going to get it for free. However, most of you here would be looking for the App on a non-Apple device. Even though the smartphone app for NRC is quite impressive, people don’t want to carry the weight of their phone while out on a run. I believe most of you are looking for a standalone smartwatch/fitness tracker that has a wearable version of NRC installed.
The only real competitor to Apple in terms of fitness and Sports Tracking is Garmin. Unfortunately, there is no Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app for Garmin. The same is the case with Fitbit, which now is owned by Google and it would get the upgrade to Wear 3.0. Surprisingly, the old limping Wear OS had the NRC app, so it is reasonable to expect that the new Fitbit running Wear OS, would be Nike+ Run Club Compatible.
So for now the list of NRC Compatible devices starts from the Apple Watch and ends at Wear OS running devices. Despite there is no standalone Nike app for these watches, the devices by Garmin, TomTom, Wahoo, Netpulses, or Polar can sync your run data to NRC when you integrate their smartphone companion app with it.
What makes the NRC so popular? Probably the social aspects. Despite its ability to run basic run data (distance, time, and pace), its accurate GPS tracking, and personalized running plans, its biggest draw is the community. You can keep track of your friends and set your goals accordingly.
Now as you have some background, let us discuss some of the best fitness trackers/smartwatches that are compatible with the Nike app.
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Apple Watch Series 6: Best Apple Watch for Nike+ Run Club
The Apple Watch Series 6 is available in two sizes with a variety of finishes. One of the reasons the watch is most suited for NRC is the well-established business partnership between the two companies. Remember the Nike edition of the Apple Watch 6 and SE? They come with a custom Nike band, have Run Club preinstalled, and include some exclusive Nike watch faces with support for complications (widgets).
Apple Watch 6 has an OLED Retina display that changes depending on the lighting conditions you’re running under; it also comes equipped with a built-in GPS for accurate distance tracking (as well as pace and heart rate). Battery life is the same as previous models (up to 18 hours), and it offers a wide range of connectivity.
Did you know Apple has been doubling down on fitness tracking capability by making robots to run marathons? Though the upcoming Series 7 would get the true benefits from this project, Series 6 is a serious smartwatch for runners. It tracks accurately and comprehensively and allows you a true standalone experience.
The watch is sweat-proof and even swim-proof to a fair degree. Plus, it offers the most advanced health sensors.
The Apple Watch NRC app features custom Apple Music playlists, words of encouragement from athletes around the world, and in-run cheers from your friends. You get the fastest chips when compare to other NRC-compatible devices to run the apps smoothly.
Also, like the phone app, you can compare your runs with your friends instantly right from your watch, and even compete with other runners via specific hashtags.
For an NRC lover, the only major shortcoming of the Apple Watch is its short battery life. The watch in other aspects is absolutely remarkable.
Fossil Gen 5 LTE/Fossil Sports:
The Fossil Group has remained the staunch supporter of WearOS as all of its watches run on the Google-made OS. Gen 5 comes with Nike+ Run Club preloaded on the watch, plus you have access to thousands of third-party apps.
Although we have picked the recently released LTE variant, you can opt for older versions like Fossil Gen 5, Gen 5e, and even Gen 4. Fossil Sport is yet another affordable watch by the same company that comes with NRC. Or you can pick the sister watches like Skagen Falster 3. So you have got a lot of options for you depending on your budget range.
I don’t recommend buying Fossil Gen 5 for a couple of reasons. You should hear this out.
- Google in partnership with Samsung is set to introduce Wear 3.0 this summer and the old Fossil Watches are not getting the update.
- Fossil Gen 5 despite having some remarkable battery management tools doesn’t last as long as we expect. This, at least for me, is quite frustrating. Garmin and Fitbit are best in this respect, but unfortunately, they don’t fall under the umbrella of ‘NRC Compatible Devices’.
- This one is first and foremost a lifestyle smartwatch with a lot of connectivity options but limited sports and fitness features. So you can’t be expecting comprehensive and accurate data tracking from this watch.
- Though there is a GPS onboard, it is not as accurate as those in the Apple Watch or Garmin Watches.
Fossil Sports would also have all these drawbacks but it is lightweight, available in different sizes, waterproof for up to 50m (5ATM rated), and most importantly, It is inexpensive. Its price would further drop down in the upcoming month before the Gen 6 release.
Both watches would afford you AMOLED display (crisp, bright, vibrant), strap customization, Wear OS apps, music storage (Spotify support), and contactless payment. However, Gen 5 would also allow you to call right from your wrist and control IoT devices via Google Assistant.
Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 3/Ticwatch E3: Cheapest Nike+ Run Club Compatible Smartwatches
Although all the watches by these Chinese manufacturers can run Wear OS and therefore have full compatibility with the NRC app, we deliberately enlisted these two models. Why? Both these watches are getting the upgrade to Wear 3.0. And if you don’t know the context, please go through the Google i/O event this year, especially the part where it heralds a new alliance with Samsung.
Anyways, both these watches have one major feature in common: The latest chip by Qualcomm. The Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset in these watches gives them an edge over their brothers in terms of speed and performance and is probably the reason they leaped to the next era of Wear/Android watches and others didn’t.
Despite not being dedicated sports watches, Both Ticwatch E3 and Pro 3 delivers a quite satisfactory performance as far as the essential sports tracking is concerned. They have long battery life and a GPS on-board. Plus, they offer a wide range of smartwatches and health features at a cheaper price point.
One thing you might not find impressive about them is their plastic built which feels inferior when compared to other watches. But this also means a lightweight design, mostly preferred by runners and athletes. They are pretty big and thick (more fitting for a masculine wrist).
Although E3 is recently released it undercuts the Pro 3, offering nearly similar features and specs. However, Pro 3 keeps the edge in battery life and durability.
If you don’t care about the Wear 3.0 and want anything cheap, you can pick from the cheaper predecessor of these watches like Ticwatch S2 and E2 to run the NRC app. Or else, you can choose the cheapest watch (Ticwatch E) for Nike Run Club. The application would offer its full features like guided runs; speed, distance tracking, and so on.
Most of these watches have huge storage and can pair with your earbuds/headphones. They have a decent battery life even when you turn on the built-in GPS (pretty accurate as they say).
Smartwatches by Mobvoi are the most affordable options if you want the NRC app on an Android Watch.
Suunto 7 is a dedicated sports watch with remarkable GPS connectivity. And as it runs Wear OS, you would get a wearable app of NRC right on the watch.
However, like all Wear OS watches we discussed above except for the latest by Mobvoi, it has a caveat. The company hasn’t confirmed whether this overpriced watch is getting the upgrade to the Wear 3.0 or not. Most probably, it won’t as it runs three years old Wear a 3100 chip. Its storage and Ram are borderline specs needed for Wear 3.0 compatibility.
Again, if you don’t care about the new OS, and just want the practical features as long as they don’t cost you a fortune, Suunto 7 is a right fit. However, we would recommend that you wait for this summer as the company might drop the price following the Galaxy Watch 4 launch.
The watch has Google Fit preinstalled, but as you are looking for NRC I can imagine your love for Google Fit (I hate it too). The Run Club app on Suunto 7, like In all android watches, offers indoors and outdoors tracking, a powerful community and training-focused experience on the watch, and a smartphone app to dig deeper into your stats.
In the design and display department, the watch is made for a large/thick wrist. The AMOLED display shines above all its feature easy to view in outdoor conditions. It is 5 ATM water resistance and has a rugged construction.
The watch offers a versatile sports experience and in essence an outdoor watch. It can last for at least two days, a promise that Suunto full-filled even while running the old limping Wear OS. If the watch is available at a discounted price, and you don’t care about the Wear Upgrade, get your hands on Suunto 7, you will never regret it.
Conclusion: What Is The Best Fitness Tracker For NRC?
Nike Run Club has its most trusted partner in Apple Watch, but most people don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on Apple iPhone & Watch Duo just for the application. Luckily for Android Users, there is a dedicated Nike app for Wear OS devices that is fully developed.
Though Apple might offer you the best experience, Wear OS/ Android smartwatches offer you competitive rates with the freedom to connect to both IOS and Android smartphones. I hope that you liked this roundup of the best fitness trackers with the Nike Run Club App. We have named all the prominent ones and touched upon the best in this league.
Other watches by Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, and Amazfit don’t have the Nike Run Club App, but we can expect one in the future at least for the first two. Fitbit being owned by Google now would get the NRC app in its future health-focused watches, whereas Garmin being a major player in Fitness and sports-centric wearable would have to introduce the NRC (for its large community) sooner rather than than later.