Nautilus T616 Treadmill Review – An Essential for Your Home Gym?

by Cole Matthews - Last Updated March 7, 2018

One of the first few pieces of equipment that anyone buys to start a home gym is the humble treadmill. Despite there being lots of different gym equipment available on the market, this simple cardio companion continues to be one of the most highly sought after.

Recently, the release of the Nautilus T616 has been making ripples in the industry. This is mostly thanks to its rich functionality that comes at a pretty sweet price. But does it really make the cut as an industry front-runner?

Based on my research, the T616 Treadmill definitely has what it takes to step up your home gym set-up. With its intuitive design and convenient set of smart features, this treadmill can make that everyday run a whole lot easier to stick to.

Of course, it’s not perfect. A few design flaws here and there keep it from being the absolute best treadmill available – but I don’t hate it.

Are you thinking about buying this budget-friendly yet powerful piece of equipment? Find out more about the T616 and discover whether it’s an essential for your home gym by checking out my complete review.

Powerful Performance at a Reasonable Price

The T616 comes equipped with an impressive 3.0 CHP motor. I thought it was important to mention this fact first and foremost because most treadmills below $1000 USD won’t be able to provide you that kind of continuous horsepower. For instance, the Horizon Fitness T101-04, which falls within the same price range, comes with a lackluster 2.25 CHP motor.

This 3.0 CHP motor lets the treadmill reach much faster speeds compared to choices with lower CHP ratings. With that, the T616’s top speed measures right around 12 MPH. So whether you’re going for a slower long distance run, or high intensity interval training, the T616 has you covered.

Considering the cost of the T616, you’re getting some pretty substantial power. Combine that with its spacious 60 inch by 20 inch running belt, and you’re all set for the ultimate indoor running experience.

Based on what I know, there aren’t a lot of home gym treadmills that offer this kind of space since emphasis is often placed on storage convenience and compactness. Despite its large running space though, the T616 is still a foldable design. So it’s the perfect marriage of space-saving design and power.

Smart Functionality at Your Fingertips

The pride of the T616 design has to be its DualTrack display. Two smart blue backlit LCD displays tell you everything you need to know about your workout, and let you customize the experience with nothing more than the push of a button.

At a glance, the DualTrack display gives you insight on thirteen different details so you know exactly how you’re doing without the need to do the math. The treadmill goes as far as measuring your heart rate which it does by one of two ways: through finger sensors built into the console, or through a heart rate chest strap. I also want to point out that unlike the T614 that required buyers to purchase the chest strap separately, the T616 comes bundled with it.

Depending on your goals, the treadmill offers six different workout programs that are preset into the system.

A Quick Look at Workout Programs

Manual offers the most freedom, letting you set the pace for your run if you didn’t have a specific intensity or goal in mind.

Quick Goal enables users to set the objective in the form of calories, distance, or duration, and then leaves you to decide on the incline and the speed. The program ends when you reach your goal.

Heart Health lets you run at just a fraction of your registered heart rate. This uses data from previous uses, and sets the pace for you so that you never overwork your heart’s capacity.

Weight Control helps with weight management by offering two different program schemes – hill climb and steady state.

Interval is a popular choice among users who want to burn up a large amount of calories over a relatively shorter period of time. Interval modes can work in one of three ways: by changing the incline, by changing the speed, or a combination of the two.

Train is almost like having your own, personal trainer by putting you through a boot camp style run to improve endurance and stamina.

Taking Your Step Into Consideration

The T616 boasts what is probably one of the smartest features I’ve seen on a treadmill to date – the StrikeZone. This system was developed by Nautilus in an effort to make your run even more comfortable and natural, and boy, did they deliver.

The running deck on the T616 is built around a 6 hex cell cushioning system. The belt itself is made of relatively thicker material, using a 2-ply tread that minimizes damage from wear and tear.

This combination of features is what makes up the StrikeZone. The cushioned landing paves the way to a more natural, more comfortable step, It also offers quite a bit of responsiveness, letting you save energy and maximize momentum so you can run for longer.

Designed with Convenience in Mind

Another reason why the T616 might just be the right treadmill for a lot of users is because it maximizes convenience. The design is chocked full of features that make it super user-friendly, allowing you to start your run and enjoy the entire experience without a hitch.

The treadmill comes equipped with a Soft Drop Folding System. This enables users to release the running belt from folded position without having to guide it along the way to the ground. The design also folds up pretty easily, making the post-workout fix up a whole lot less taxing.

The console features a number of other great features that make the treadmill a particular joy to use. Bluetooth connectivity and a USB charging port let you make the most of your smart phone. Two large acoustic chambered speakers can be found on either side of the DualTrack screen, enabling you to play your music with crisp, clear sound. To keep you cool during your run, Nautilus installed a 3-speed fan right underneath the safety key slot.

A Few Minor Flaws

After everything, I’ve discussed, you might be thinking the T6101 is a steal. And in a lot of ways, it just might be. But it does come with a few flaws. Although they probably aren’t deal breakers, they may affect your overall satisfaction.

Firstly, the DualTrack doesn’t feature touch-screen functionality. Personally, I thought that with the console’s level of sophistication, a touch screen would have been a no-brainer. But because it is something of a budget treadmill, Nautilus had to do away with anything that could potentially compound the cost.

Secondly, for a treadmill with such a powerful CHP motor, you’d expect a weight capacity of around 400 pounds. But the T616 caps its maximum weight capacity at just 300 pounds. So if you’re a big guy trying to lose a lot of weight, you might need to lose a few first before you can hop on the T616.

Lastly, I want to talk about the warranty on this thing. Most –if not all – treadmills you’ll find will come with a lifetime warranty. It’s something of an industry standard, since they can be a bit costly.

With the T616 though, the lifetime warranty was swapped out for just a 10 year cover. What’s more, that only includes the frame and motor. Any mechanical or electrical parts only get a 2-year warranty, and you only get 1 year for labor.

Personally, I thought the company was being a little stingy with the warranty. This becomes especially apparent when you consider the fact that even cheaper, budget treadmill models get a whole lot more coverage than what comes with the T616.

Pros of the Nautilus T616 Treadmill

  • Powerful 3.0 CHP motor enables you to reach speeds of up to 12 mph without overworking the machine.
  • DualTrack console is intuitive, convenient, and smart, giving you the full details of your performance at a glance.
  • Preset workout modes allow one-button set-up to help you achieve your personal goals.
  • Soft Drop Folding System safely and seamlessly brings the track down from folded position to the floor minus the need for manual guidance.
  • StrikeZone makes for a much more responsive step for better energy management and track-feel.
  • Durable treads can last for years without showing the slightest signs of wear and tear.
  • Bluetooth connectivity lets you sync your treadmill with a number of fitness apps for greater functionality.

Some Downsides

  • Weight capacity seems too small considering the power of the motor.
  • Touchscreen functionality is absent, limiting the user-friendliness of the console.
  • Warranty could have been a lot better.

The Verdict

Is the Nautilus T616 Treadmill the very best treadmill model out there? Probably not. But is it worth buying? I say absolutely. No doubt, the T616 isn’t the perfect design – it has its fair share of flaws and downsides. But when you consider the price tag and what the treadmill brings to the table, it’s easy to see that it’s still a great value for your money.

For just under $1000 bucks, you get yourself a sophisticated, smart, elite treadmill model that has everything you need to maximize your running gains. So even with its minor flaws, I’d have to say that the T616 is still a major investment that anyone would be happy to have in their home gym.

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