Who likes gadgets? Me! Who was disappointed with the Nike+ Sportband? Me. Well, kind of. I’m still holding out hope. It’s not always love at first sight, right? Tell me it’s not. The thing is there are aspects that I want to like about it, even if I’m not quite ready to move in. Or, even offer it my husband’s side of the bed.
Let’s start with the parts that keep me coming back for more.
I can use it without having to be plugged in to music. I love running to tunes just as much as the next gal. But, I also appreciate my unplugged jaunts to myself. It’s nice to be able to use the Nike+ technology without having to use an iPod.
It’s sleek and not heavy. I have wrists the size of pipe cleaners, and even though I have to clip it in at nearly the tightest notch, it doesn’t feel like I’m carrying around a grapefruit taped to my wrist.
It tells me what I want to know. I don’t (yet) need to know the exact coordinates of where I was 11 minutes and fifty-five seconds into my run last Sunday. The Nike+ Sportband offers me the usual time, distance, and pace parameters that keep me satisfied.
At $59, it’s cheaper than a Garmin. But, maybe that’s not a fair comparison because Garmins and Polars are designed to give you more information than the Nike+ Sportband. It really depends on what information you want to collect from your runs and what your personal needs are.
But then there are the aspects that make me wonder if I’m wasting my time.
The connectivity is not always great. Six out of ten times, I plugged the unit into my USB port and it linked just as any gadget-happy technophile could ask for: it was quick and brought me right to the Nike+ site, without disrupting any of the other tabs open in my browser. But, those other times? They weren’t so good. “No internet connection was found or no server connection was possible.” Yeah, the Web’s not perfect, I know, and maybe I’m expecting too much. But it’s frustrating all the same when you start to see a pattern.
It wasn’t the easiest to get cookin’. I tend to think of myself as pretty tech-savvy. And yet, I had to install, uninstall, and then install the software again before I could get it working right. And while it’s true, many pictures do say a thousand words, the ones that pass as instructions in the Nike+ Sportband package do not. I think there are many out there that might find it more confusing than it has to be.
If you don’t wear Nike shoes, you have to get creative. When it comes to running wear, we can’t be too brand-selective. If it doesn’t fit right, it doesn’t fit right. So, I’m not going to change my shoes just because I want to stick a sensor in it to link to my Sportband. I was hoping there’d be a way to tie it to my shoes. But, I suppose Nike doesn’t want to make it too easy for non-Nike shoe wearers to use it. The sensor’s solid. So, I stuck it into my shoe pocket with my personal information. I wonder what other people have come up with.
I don’t feel it’s completely fair to end on a bad note though. I’m still considering the Sportband. It is sleek and comfortable and I’m sure having one will make me feel included when I go out to London for the Nike+ Human Race on the August 31st. The real test will be if my mileage comes out right on a measured race course. So far, I think it’s about right, but I don’t have the best ways to judge. This could be the deciding factor on whether I pursue this relationship. Or, if instead, I introduce it to my husband to see how they get on.