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Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer Review

Nautilus E616 Elliptical review

If you are looking to add some spice to your workouts, take out the boredom and focus on intensity then the Nautilus E616 Elliptical may be the machine to consider. Launched for 2015 this machine sets new standards in connectivity and performance in the sub $1000 market.  Nautilus have come from virtually no where to dominate the fitness market with their new ranges for 2015.  The Nautilus E616 Elliptical is no exception.

My first dealings with Nautilus were years ago when they produced the static weight machines at my old gym.  Now they have overhauled their range, and look to be filling a gap left by the collapse of the Livestrong Brand.

Produced by the same company that makes Schwinn and Bowflex they have some serious clout in the fitness world, and know how to put together good machines.  In this review we will be looking at the E616 elliptical and deciding if it will be able to stretch and motivate us to do more!

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What new features does the E616 bring?

These days if you are anything like me you will have some form of smartphone, or tablet with you at all times.  It has taken a while for fitness products to adapt to this, but last year we started to see some great machines launch with connectors, or chargers built in.  Nautilus have gone full ahead with the ability to integrate this machine with your modern workout requirements.

Connectivity – Nautilus Connect and Myfitnesspal.com

The Nautilus connects to my favourite fitness app – myfitnesspal.com.  If you have not checked out this app, you really should its superb!  The best feature of MFP is the huge food database, which lets you easily workout how many calories you are eating.  The app then works out how many you should eat in a day based on your height, age, weight, target weight and how long you want to take to reach the target.  What’s brilliant with the connection from the elliptical is that if you burn 200 calories in a workout MFP will take this into account and an show this as a deficit, helping you meet your goals quicker.

To set this up you will need a (free) account with nautilus connect to enable the data transfer.

What is excellent is that this can all be done via Bluetooth!  While you can also as a back up use a usb stick the Bluetooth connection is slick and easy.

Huge Console!

This means that now you have a console with two screens, a lower one showing the key workout stats:

  • TimeNautilus E616 Console
  • RPM
  • Heart Rate


A higher screen shows more detailed information such as time through the workout, what resistance is coming up and the name of the program you have coming up.

Why the two screens you ask?  Simple, if you would rather be watching a movie on your tablet rather than see the workout progress you can simply place your device on a little ledge fitted below the upper screen.  This will hold your tablet in place securely while you workout.

We really like this way of setting up the E616 Elliptical.  The advantage is that the tablet is held securely, and more importantly at eye level, so its really comfortable to watch while exercising.

My only complaint about the console is that in most cases you have to scroll up and down options using the up and down arrows.  This can become a little laborious after a while, a quick start option with your favourite workout selected would be a nice addition!  At the moment the quick start just jumps into recording the workout out without your user details being tracked.

What is nice though and a great little touch is the “Achievement Display” when you have reached your workout goals you get a little congratulation and fanfare!  Makes it all feel worthwhile especially if you have pushed a little harder than usual…

More Workout Programs

Nautilus Workouts
Click for larger image of the Nautilus T616 Workouts

The nautilus comes with a reasonably good selection of workout programs already built in.

For each workout you can define your goal, whether this be Distance, Time or a number of Calories to burn.  The system will then adapt your workout based on the info from your user profile and give an accurate workout. The image to the left gives an idea of the main fitness programs, in total there are 25 different workout programs, including the ones listed below.

Fitness Test

In addition to these stock workouts there is also a useful Fitness Test Program.  I like to run these once a month or so and check my progress!

You do need to have a heart rate picked up to make this work, so you can either hold the handle bars for the Contact Heart Rate, alternatively the T616 will also work with the polar chest straps.  Chest straps are my preferred choice, as they seem to make a more reliable contact!

The way the fitness test works is to start the workout slowly and bring you up to 75% of your maximum heart rate.  This is then held steady for exactly 3 minutes.  During this time the machine works out how much resistance is applied and how fast you are going.  By combining these data with your age and weight it gives a score.  This score is unique to you though and can’t be compared to other users.

Recovery Test

The recovery test is another great addition to the Nautilus.  Your recovery speed after exercise is a great indicator of fitness.  The speed that your body can bring its heart rate down from a fast moving exercise to a rest can show how fit your are.

Running the test is simple, and again the machine needs access to your heart rate, simply workout for a while to build up your heart rate, start the Recovery Test Program and stop exercising.  So long as you continue to grip the hand sensors (or wear a chest strap) the machine will monitor your heart rate for 60 seconds and give a recovery score.

When doing recovery test I would generally set a manual program so the resistance levels and speed are constant prior to the test.

Summary of these new E616 Features:

So quickly just to recap the new features that I have not seen on an Elliptical at this price level:

  • Console that works well with a tablet
  • Fitness tests
  • myfitnesspal connections

In-built speakers and fan.

While you cannot connect your phone to the elliptical to transfer sound, there is a built in 3.5mm jack that will plug into an ipod ect.  This will play music through the speakers that are actually not bad quality.

There is a small dashboard mounted fan and its very underpowered. If you need a flow of air to keep cool when working out then a proper standing fan along side the elliptical is probably the best way.

E616 Elliptical: Comfort and Quality

Elliptical builders have learned a lot since they launched the first machines back in the 1980’s.  Technology that was only found in high end machines is now found in machines costing less than $1000.  So what you have here is a machine that has some great high end features that we really like, in an affordable package.

The main one is that the steps are designed to keep your legs very close together, this means that you don’t have your legs unnaturally far apart when riding.  The second advantage is that it makes the most benefit of the smooth ride path that results from a well setup flywheel and riding position.

Moving your hands and feet

Yes you can synchronise movement of your feet and hands.  Although you may find this tricky when you are adjusting the settings, so there is also a set of stationary hand grips to keep you steady, and not have to interrupt your workout while changing speed or shuffling your music!

Nautilus E616 Pedals

 

Incline Workouts

A nice feature of this Elliptical is the incline workouts. Vital for making the workouts challenging is the 25 levels of workout resistance.  This gives a fine level of control over the total 11 degree range of movement.

Bottle Holder

This may sound trivial, but its a little thought from Nautilus that I really appreciate.

The bottle holder is a good size, and can hold my big water bottle securely.  However it also doubles as an Phone holder, whats neat is that its in a separate compartment, so there is no chance of accidentally spilling water on your phone while working out.

Assembly of the E616

Another small issue with the E616 is that it will require home assembly.  I have built a few of these and this is no harder than any other machine. You should plan on no more than 2 hours to have this all set up and ready to go. A couple of things to watch out for though.  The tool kit is not great, however all the bolts are standard so a good set of Alan keys, and a decent spanner will really help.  Also some of the diagrams in the guide are not really clear.  The thing to remember is that you need to have washers between every moving part.  There is a small tube of silicone grease supplied to lubricate the runners. Use this sparingly!  A little goes along way, plus any spare can be used to lubricate any last little squeaks!

The box is quite heavy, and will take a couple of people to lift safely.  However none of the individual components weigh too much.  If you want to build this on a second floor just open the box and carry up the components.  The biggest part is the main flywheel assembly, everything else builds out of this.

Most importantly we have found no evidence of missing parts! So you can be sure that if you build it then you will have everything you need.

Other Features of the E616 Elliptical:

Warranty

At this price the warranty is pretty reasonable it consists of:

-10 years frame

-2 years mechanical

-1 year electrical

-90 days labor

Specifications

  • Maximum user weight 300lbs
  • Shipping weight 191lbs
  • Integrated wheels

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Comparison of the E614 Elliptical with the E616:

Model
  • Incline
  • Stride
  • Resistance
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Bluetooth
  • RSP

Nautilus E616 Elliptical
  • 0 to 11% Motorized Adjustment
  • 20" Comfort
  • 20 Levels
  • Grip
  • Yes
  • $899

Nautilus E614 Elliptical
  • 6 Position Manual
  • 20" Comfort
  • 25 Levels
  • Grip and Chest Compatible
  • No
  • $649

Pros and Cons of the E616 Elliptical

Pros

  • Sturdy construction, comfortable ride
  • Great looking machine, punches above its weight
  • Good connectivity including myfiitness pal
  • excellent range of workout programs

Cons

  • Self assembly can take a few hours
  • Nautilus Connect to upload data to MFP (although it is free)
  • Low powered fan

What are others saying about this Elliptical?

Most reviews are on Amazon, all are positive with this elliptical scoring 4.7 with a total of 12 reviews at time of writing.

“Gym Quality with great Display”

I was ready and willing to spend several hundred dollars if it meant getting great machine. The Nautilus E616 doesn’t disappoint

“Sturdy well featured machine”

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Our Verdict

There are no shortage of features on this elliptical that makes it stand out for us.  The automatic incline, bluetooth connectivity and split screen display are my favourites.  These are all great features that will either make your daily workout more enjoyable, or more challenging! Either way this elliptical ensures that you get the best out of your workouts.

We recommend this machine for anyone looking for a durable, yet comfortable machine that does not skimp on either features or build quality.  The fitness tracking software and programs built into this machine makes it outstanding in this price range.

With any big purchase its always worth reading around.  We may be the experts on Elliptical machines to really get the feel of the Nautilus E614 elliptical we recommend reading what long term in their personal reviews.

Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer Review Summary:

  • Blue backlit Dual Track LCD display - two LCD windows display the status up to 13 workout details
  • Bluetooth LE connectivity and Charging USB port
  • 20-Inch stride length, 29 programs, 25 levels of resistance, 4 user profiles and more
  • Acoustic chambered speakers for big sound
  • Grip heart rate or telemetry enabled for chest strap