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Apple Watch Series 6 vs Nike (2021): What’s The Difference?

Over the years, Apple’s best-selling smartwatch has taken strides when it comes to fitness and health features. Its latest iteration, the Apple Watch Series 6, now comes with blood oxygen monitoring and a native sleep tracking app. For athletes, there is also the Apple Watch Nike edition. Originally designed for runners, the Nike edition was first introduced alongside the Apple Watch Series 2. Today, it remains a staple version of Apple’s lineup of wearables.

The 2020 Apple Watch Nike is currently available for both Series 6 and SE models. Here, we review how different the Apple Watch Series 6 Nike edition is from the standard Watch Series 6.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Nike Comparison Chart

ModelApple Watch Series 6Apple Watch Nike
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Best Buy
Available Sizes40mm, 44mm40mm, 44mm
Available Modelsn/aApple Watch Series 6, SE
GPS + Cellular OptionsAvailableAvailable
MaterialAluminum, stainless steel, titaniumAluminum
ColorsSilver, space gray, gold, blue, redSilver, space gray
ECGYesYes, on Series 6 model
Blood Oxygen MonitoringYesYes, on Series 6 model
Heart Rate MonitoringYesYes
Watch FacesStandardStandard + exclusive Nike watch faces
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters

Design and Hardware

The Apple Watch Series 6 and its Nike edition are the same watches, save for a few cosmetic differences.

When it comes to hardware, nothing different from the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Nike edition.

When it comes to design, the Apple Watch Nike edition isn’t any different from the standard Apple Watch. In fact, it simply follows the specs you get from either the Series 6 or SE model. This means you can get the Apple Watch Nike in 40mm and 44mm sizes, too. To differentiate from the standard model, the Nike Edition comes with a Nike logo engraved on the back of the case.

The Apple Watch Nike edition is only available in aluminum. With the regular Apple Watch Series 6, you can opt for other materials like stainless steel and titanium. The Apple Watch Nike Edition is also limited to just silver and space gray finishes.

Now in terms of hardware, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Nike Edition are similar as well. The back of both devices houses an array of sensors corresponding to different health monitoring tools. Aside from the electrical and optical heart sensors, both watches come with Apple’s blood oxygen sensor. The Apple Watch Series 6 and Nike Edition come with an always-on retina display, too.

Keep in mind that the blood oxygen app and the always-on display are available with the Apple Watch Series 6 Nike Edition only. The Apple Watch SE Nike version does not have these features. If you’re interested to see how the regular Apple devices fare against each other, check out our Apple Watch Series vs SE comparison.

Bands and Watch Faces

Apple’s sporty Nike Edition watch comes with Nike-branded fitness bands and exclusive Nike-themed watch faces.

Both the standard and Nike edition Apple Watch come with swappable bands.

Where the Apple Watch Nike Edition truly distinguishes itself is in its bands. Apple’s sportier wearable aptly comes with Nike-branded bands that evoke a user’s active lifestyle. You get two options here: the Nike Sport Band and Nike Sport Loop. The Nike Sport Band is made of high-quality synthetic rubber and features several perforations. These holes make the band breathable by allowing moisture and heat to pass through.

The Nike Sport Loop, which is made from a nylon weave, is similarly designed for fitness. The lightweight band features dense loops on the skin side for added comfort. It also comes in several colors that match Nike’s lineup of running shoes. In contrast, the solo loop bands used in the Apple Watch Series 6 are made from silicone rubber. While the material is also swim- and sweat-proof, it’s not as breathable as the Nike Sport Band and Sport Loop.

Apple’s Nike Edition smartwatch comes with exclusive Nike-themed watch faces. These watch faces primarily work with the Nike Run Club app. According to Nike, the Apple Watch Series 6 Nike Edition now offers a modular sport face. This gives users more room for customization with the available multiple complications.

Fitness Features

Regardless of the version you get, Apple’s smartwatch is designed with fitness in mind.

Here’s a look at the some metrics measured by the Apple Watch; on the right, the Apple Watch Nike’s exclusive watch face.

Just like many of today’s smartwatches, fitness plays an important role in the Apple Watch lineup. Users, for instance, can track daily activity through the intuitive Activity app and its rings. Several workouts are also pre-loaded into these wearables. With the watchOS 7, you get four new workouts to track: Core Training, Functional Strength Training, CoolDown, and Dance.

Of course, you also have the standard fitness metrics on both devices. The Watch Series 6 and Nike edition both track calories burned, total steps, and floors climbed. The latest iteration of Apple’s wearable now features an always-on altimeter, too. For those who enjoy climbing and hiking, this means real-time tracking of one’s elevation.

As mentioned earlier, the Apple Watch Nike watch faces are tied to the Nike Run Club app. This program allows users to monitor pace, cadence, and total miles, among others. The app is available for regular Apple Watch users, too. Last December, Apple also launched Apple Fitness+, a studio-style fitness experience that incorporates metrics from your Apple Watch. As expected, both the Apple Watch Series 6 and Nike Edition are designed to work for this program as well.

Health Features

The Apple Watch Series 6 and Nike Edition boast advanced health monitoring tools.

A closer look at the LEDs used for blood oxygen monitoring.

Apple’s new wearables finally come with the long-awaited blood oxygen monitoring. A standard feature on other smartwatches, the Apple Watch’s newest sensor adds to its ECG and heart rate monitoring capabilities. Through the watchOS 7, these premium devices now come with a native sleep tracking app, too.

Both the regular Apple Watch Series and the Nike edition have fall detection, noise monitoring, and menstrual cycle tracking. Again, some of the health-features depend on the watch model. The Apple Watch SE Nike Edition, for instance, does not have blood oxygen monitoring and an electrical heart sensor.

Click here for more Apple Watch comparisons.


The Apple Watch Series 6 is the best device for most people, while runners and athletes might like the exclusive features of the Apple Watch Nike Edition more.

Apple Watch Series 6

Best Apple Watch for most people

Apple Watch Nike

Best Apple Watch for athletes

There’s a reason why the Apple Watch is arguably the most popular smartwatch in the market today โ€” it works. The wearable is sleek, functional, and reliable. With every new model, the device progresses into a complete smartwatch, too. This is what the Apple Watch Series 6 offers. It’s a premium device that boasts advanced fitness and health tools along with powerful smart features. For the general public, this make the standard model the best smartwatch to get.

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts, particularly runners, may benefit more from the Apple Watch Series 6 Nike Edition though. This sporty-looking device comes with special bands designed to be comfortable and breathable even during workouts. There are exclusive watch complications that integrate with the Nike Run Club, too. Moreover, you’re getting the same fitness and health tools as the regular Watch Series 6 models. For those leading an active lifestyle, these extra perks make the Apple Watch Nike Edition a more convincing tech companion.


๐Ÿ“Œ Are the Nike Sport Band and Sport Loop compatible for the regular Apple Watch Series 6?

Yes, the Nike Sport Band and Nike Sport Loop are also compatible with the Apple Watch Series 6 and SE models. These bands, however, are sold separately.

๐Ÿ“Œ Without the bands, how do I know if an Apple Watch is a Nike edition model?

Apple Watches typically come with their series, model name, and size engraved on the back case. For the Apple Watch Nike, the device will feature an engraved Nike logo.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can I use the Apple Watch Series 6 Nike Edition for calls?

Yes, the cellular models of the Apple Watch Nike Edition can be used to answer calls.

๐Ÿ“Œ What are the the different band colors available with the Apple Watch Nike edition?

The Apple Watch Nike Sport Band comes in Blue Black/Bring Mango, Obsidian Mist/Black, Spruce Aura/Vapor Green, Pride Edition, Pure Platinum/Black, and Anthracite/Black. Meanwhile, the Nike Sport Loop is available in Purple Pulse, Obsidian Mist, Spruce Aura, Summit White, and Black.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.