The Apple Watch Nike edition is a version of the regular Apple Watch and is available for both the Series 7 and SE models. Though the Nike watches are identical to the regular models in terms of specifications there are a couple of unique features that make them an appealing proposition to those that want to use their watch for sports – particularly for running.
The Series 7 is not just our current pick for best Apple Watch, but it's also top of our list of best smartwatch. So what can the Nike edition really add?
The modular nature of the Apple Watch allows you to dress it to the occasion. By changing the strap and the watch face, you can go from casual to sporty to high fashion. This is true of every Apple Watch in the range, so there's no need to buy a different model for different uses. Simply change the watch face from the app and purchase a new strap from the hundreds of options.
I typically have two or three saved watch face options in my favorites at any time and I swap out my sports band for a Milanese Loop when I need to dress up a bit.
You can find a full breakdown of the main features in our Apple Watch Series 7 review, so here I'm going to focus on the things that make the Nike Series 7 version unique and the reasons you might – or might not want to go for this version.
Apple Watch Nike Series 7 review: price and availability
The Nike version of the Apple Watch Series 7 was released back in September 2021 and available for sale in October 2021 – the same time as the regular Series 7 model. Unlike the Hermès collection, the Apple Watch Nike models are the same price as the regular Apple Watch Series 7. This starts from £369/$399/AU$599 for the 41mm and £399/$429/AU$649 for the 45mm and an extra £100/$100/AU$150 for the cellular version. The Nike edition is only available from the Apple store.
Apple Watch Nike Series 7 review: design and features
The look and feel of the Nike Series 7 are identical to the regular Series 7 version. It's the same size, shape and weight. Coming in both 41mm and 45mm versions, the only difference, physically is the Nike swoosh symbol that appears on the back of the watch.
The case comes in silver (starlight) or black (midnight) aluminum. There's no green, blue or Product(RED) choice for the Nike version, nor is there the option to upgrade to stainless steel or titanium casings.
The strap options are unique to the Nike Series 7, with a choice of Nike sports band or sports loop. The Nike sports band is much like the regular sports band but it has breathable holes throughout. This is to stop your skin from getting sweaty underneath the band when working out. The band comes in five colors: Pink Oxford/Rose Whisper, Olive Gray/Cargo Khaki, Midnight Navy/Mystic Navy, Anthracite/Black, and Pure Platinum/Black. This band is definitely better than the regular model for working out, and the punched holes give a wider range of wrist widths if you need to tighten the band.
Whereas the sports band has a subtle Nike swoosh and Apple Watch logo inside the band, the Nike sports loop is emblazoned with the word Nike and the Swoosh across the outside. This comes in Cargo Khaki, Black, and Summit White. There's also a Pride edition which is white with rainbow pinstripes, instead of the Nike branding. The sports loop is really comfortable to wear, even when not working out, and the hook and loop fastening lets you really tighten it to your wrist to ensure you get a solid heart rate reading.
The packaging for the Nike edition stands out from the regular Series 7. Rather than all-white packaging, the Nike Series 7 comes in a black case, with separate black cases for both the case and the strap inside.
When you first set up the Nike Series 7 it asks you to install the Nike Run Club app as part of the process. Though you can download this app on any Apple Watch, its inclusion is integral to the Nike watch faces.
Apple Watch Nike Series 7 review: watch faces
The watch faces are the only feature that is only available with this watch – the straps can be bought separately. The Apple Watch Nike Series 7 comes with a brand new Nike Bounce watch face. As you move your wrist (or touch the screen) the digital numbers appear to wobble on the screen. The colors here are customizable and the Nike swoosh at the bottom links straight to the Nike Run Club app when pressed.
There are four other Nike watch faces available: Nike compact is a combination of widgets, much like the Modular compact face but with the Nike branding; Nike Hybrid, which is a branded version of the Color face with widget options in the corners; and Nike Digital, which combines a large digital clock with three main widgets. By default, this is the Nike Run Club, Activity and Workout widgets but the last two can be changed.
I actually really like the Nike Bounce watch face. It's really clear to read and the styling is very impressive. This might be the only real reason to buy the Nike edition but it's probably worth it just for that.
Apple Watch Nike Series 7 review: Nike Run Club
Nike Run Club is an alternative to the Apple Watch's Workout app but this one is just for running – as the name suggests. You can choose from indoor and outdoor runs in the settings but the app is principally designed for use out on the street.
As this is just about running, it takes just one simple click to get started with your run. This puts you into the standard run set-up with a nice clean display, showing your distance, BPM and pace. This is much cleaner than Apple's workout display which helps when you're trying to read it mid-run. You can also tap on the display to cycle the main display between distance, time, pace, average pace, cadence, bpm, and calories.
By swiping right on the display you can pause the workout or activate the water-resistance mode (ideal if you're sweating heavily). You'll then need to turn the digital crown before you can access any of the controls again. Swiping left during the workout lets you access any music you have playing on your watch.
in addition to the main run function, Nike Run Club also provides an assortment of guided runs. These are timed or distance runs that come with narration. The narration from Nike's head coach to encourage you during your journey. There are also mindful runs in collaboration with Headspace, athlete stories, treadmill runs, speed runs and more.
The Workout app has always seemed sufficient for my needs but I may well switch to the Nike Run Club app for all of my outdoor runs in future.
Apple Watch Nike Series 7 review: verdict
The Apple Watch Nike Series 7 simply adds to the Apple Watch experience. You get the same great watch but with the addition of the Nike watch faces and the Nike Run Club app installed for you. If you like the look of the Nike branding, and you like to run, this option is an obvious choice as it won't cost you a penny more.
Where this version is slightly limiting is if you want more choice over your case color or material. I'm a big fan of the stainless steel cases and unfortunately, they are not an option here. Of course, you can always choose a regular Series 7 model with a stainless steel case and swap to one of the Nike straps when feeling sporty. The only thing you'll be missing is that Nike Bounce watch face. This way, you can also have your formal strap and your 'Sport' strap options.
Apple Watch Nike Series 7 review: also consider
The Apple Watch Nike is also available in the SE edition. This has all the same features as the Apple Watch SE but comes with the same Nike branding as the Nike Series 7. If you don't need the always-on display, IP6X dust resistance, ECG and blood oxygen readings then this offers a significant saving over the Series 7 and still works great for runners.
If you want one of the more unique casing colors or fancy upgrading to the stainless steel or titanium cases, you can buy the regular Apple Watch Series 7 and then buy yourself a Nike strap for your workouts. This will cost you £49/$49/AU$69 for the extra strap but then you always have a second style to go for.