When Apple unveiled Apple Watch Nike+ last fall, many of us were instantly attracted to the neon band that shipped with this model. We were equally disappointed when Apple announced that this strap would not be available for purchase on its own. Thus, we were left to find alternatives on the third-party market.
Accessory maker OULUOQI has developed a nearly identical version which is now available for purchase on Amazon, alongside a new Metal Stainless Steel band. Over the last month, I’ve been living with both on my wrist throughout the day, including various workouts. Hit the jump for more including an exclusive discount for 9to5Toys readers on both models.
Part of what made Apple’s official Nike+ band so attractive was its unique open-air design that allows your skin to breath during workouts (something that has plagued standard silicone bands). Paired with bright colors and a limited release, it’s no surprise that Watch enthusiasts have clamored for wider availability.
We’ve covered the benefits of hitting the third-party market for Apple Watch bands in the past. Aside from the substantial price difference, you can find a number of styles that didn’t come of out Cupertino’s famed design lab. The long and the short of it is that OULUOQI has largely nailed its replication of the Nike+ band. A soft silicone band, two varieties of colors and metal latches highlight this strap.
Like most third-party bands, you are slightly limited when it comes to fit. OULUOQI does not include a two halves of varying lengths like Apple does on its Sport bands. That said, my wrists are on the smaller side and I did not have an issue with fit and comfort. Through a solid month of use, holiday travel and workouts, there were no problems in terms of wear and build quality.
At $13, this third-party Nike+ band is a solid buy (especially given that Apple charges $50 for a standard Sport replacement). 9to5Toys has partnered with OULUOQI for an exclusive discount on this band (42mm) in both colors, dropping the final price down to $10.99 Prime shipped at Amazon when promo code APVJOHAD is applied during checkout. Grab one today and enjoy the look of jealously from everyone that checks out your new Nike+ (look-alike) band.
OULUOQI also recently introduced a new Space Black Link Bracelet with a butterfly latch system. I’ve always been somewhat down on these types of watch bands, simply because the metal has generally caused a lack of flexibility during use. OULUOQI largely solves this problem with its unique “easy add and remove” system that allows for each individual link to be taken out. In my case, that means doing away with four sections all together. About half of the links have a sliding mechanism that releases, much like the band lock on your watch. I found it to be fairly straight forward and simple enough to bring this band down to size.
Another feature that stands out is the butterfly latch that holds the two ends together while in use. There are two metal buttons on each side that must be pressed simultaneously to unfurl the links. OULUOQI uses 316L stainless steel on this model, which is reflected in the quality fit and finish. Through a month’s worth of use, I have yet to notice any scratches or scuffs on the band.
This higher level of quality is reflected in OULUOQI’s price tag. At $80, the link band is quite a bit more expensive than other options on the market. That said, I think you’ll notice a leap in quality over similar products in the $15-$30 range. Thankfully, 9to5Toys readers can save $24 on this band (42mm) when promo code M39UCBSL is used during checkout, dropping the final price down to $55.99 Prime shipped.
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