Runners and cyclists who are looking for a high-quality, simple and functional device to track route, time and distance should definitely take a look at the New Balance NX950 GPS Runner Watch. It’s a multi-functional GPS tracker and watch that provides users with detailed route tracking as well as speed and pace data. It also functions as a basic sports watch with a multi-function stopwatch. The New Balance NX950 watch, when its price (under $90) and features are considered, is a great choice for people who want a simple watch to track their running and cycling workouts.
The New Balance NX950 watch is currently offered by Amazon for $88.41, and on the New Balance website for $99.99. This price includes the GPS watch, a USB charging cable and a small brush, which is used to clean the charging contacts. It’s available in a single color scheme of black with neon green highlights.
- GPS – The GPS feature is pretty simple. It track the user’s location and uses the data to calculate speed and distance traveled. There is no way to enter a route or to set waypoints. After a workout, users can upload the data to a PC or Macintosh computer using the included software. This will allow you to view your route on a map overlay as well as download the GPS data to use on Google maps and a variety of other workout tracking sites.
- This is one of the only entry-level devices that offers dual profile modes for running and cycling. With a couple of button pushes, the watch allows for the tempo change and also allows separate lap/distance profiles. For triathletes or dual-sport athletes, this is a nice feature.
- The watch is also water resistant to 50 meters, which means it’s fine for triathletes to leave it on after a bike/swim transition. There’s no word on how well the GPS tracking will work while swimming, but the stopwatch and workout timer will continue to function.
- Stopwatch – The stopwatch has all the features one would expect in a sports watch, including:
- 1/100 second timer
- Track 99 laps or splits
- GPS integration for automatically calculating and counting preset lap distances.
- The watch function is also complete with the following features:
- 12/24 hour time modes
- Date/Day function
- Alarm function
- During workout mode, the display can be set to show any one of the 11 modes, or can be programmed to continuously cycle through all modes. These modes are:
- Average pace
- Average speed
- Workout timer
- Lap number
- Lap timer
- Lap distance
- Calories burned
Overall this unit seems to be a solid performer in the entry-level category of GPS running/biking watch trackers. What especially stands out is the $88 Amazon price, which is about what you would pay for a non-GPS integrated sports watch. According to Amazon reviews, these are some of the most frequently mentioned pros:
- The display features a large, easy to view readout. Users can customize what data is shown or simply scroll through to the desired display. In this fashion it’s easy to see the data, even once sweat starts to blur one’s vision.
- Buttons are large and easy to manipulate with gloves or cold fingers.</>
- The software offers a lot of flexibility and allows for a detailed, easy to view record of runs.
- New Balance offers a full two-year warranty on this device, which is considered good for this type of item at this price.
- The NX950 watch has an above average battery life of up to 12 hours. This is several hours better than that offered by most similar GPS devices.
- Ability to store up to 100 hours of workout data.
- GPS reception – This is a common complaint with GPS run trackers, but the majority of reviewers cite excellent reception, even in wooded terrain.
The device markets itself and operates like an actual watch, but most will find it too large and cumbersome for everyday wear. It’s stylish enough in a sports watch sense, but will definitely stand out.
The NX950 does not offer heart rate monitor integration like its more expensive big brother the NX980. But, if that doesn’t bother you, there is no reason to opt for the more expensive model.
A few users on Amazon have complained that the software occasionally displays a route that is not exactly aligned. This could be due to spotty GPS coverage in some areas.
The current reviews on Amazon are mostly positive, but since the device is fairly new, there are not enough reviews to draw the best conclusion. The overall percentage of 4 and 5-star ratings is 69%. For runners and cyclists that are looking for a budget device that will do the basics, the NX950 watch is a good buy. For those who are looking for more features, such as a heart rate monitor, VO2 monitoring, etc.,it might be better to pay a little more for a model with more flexibility and function than the NX950.
New Balance NX950 Video Review