Nautilus T616 Review 2020

         Our Rating: 4.3/5

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The cheaper of Nautilus’ two treadmill options, the T616 is a well-founded option with a number of impressive features and a price that won’t break the bank.

In this review, we’ll break down what makes this treadmill a standout choice in a sea of options from competing brands, as well as touch on the T616’s better-endowed sibling and why, depending on your situation, you may want to consider upgrading.

 

Build Quality

Nautilus is renowned for crafting treadmills that check the long-lasting box without costing a steep price in order to do so. Specializing in just two treadmills enables them to hone in on what matters most when it comes to build quality. The first treadmill within their treadmill lineup is the T616, a reliably built model that makes fitness magic happen.

An essential factor going in to the decision making process of treadmill purchasing is how much motor power you will require. Intent of use and how many users should play a large role in determining this answer. The motor within this treadmill provides 3.0 continuous horsepower, making it robust enough for walkers, joggers and the occasional runner.

That being said, if you enjoy higher intensity workouts or running for long periods of time, we’d recommend you “size” up to a higher horsepower motor. The T616 contains crowned 2.5” rollers, which relieve motor tension while in use, resulting in a happier motor eager to last longer and also provide a quieter overall user experience. More expensive tech-focused treadmills, such as the NordicTrack T 6.5 Si, often sacrifice on build; the 1.9” rollers and 2.6 CHP motor of the T 6.5 Si make us appreciate the strength of the Nautilus T616 treadmill all the more.

Furthermore, the T616 doesn’t let up when it comes to comfort. The 25 mm deck brings forth the cushioning of a six hex cell design that minimizes physical impact. Referred to as the StrikeZone cushioning system, this technology is just right for those interested in reducing recovery time and bodily wear and tear throughout the years.

The 2-ply treadmill belt, which is precisely 2.0 mm thick, brings the focal point of stretch prevention to the forefront. While resilient, this belt is also adequately sized with a running surface of 20” x 60”, meaning you’ll have the space to move without concern.

While on the subject of space, this model was created to save floor space when not in use with its helpful folding design. A SoftDrop mechanism easily enables you to store your treadmill upright, keeping that floor of yours clear of clutter.

As you move, the included 3-setting fan produces a bay-like breeze to cool you down are your workout heats up. When it comes to both build quality and user comfort, this treadmill delivers.

 

Technology

Since the Nautilus T616 treadmill is so well-priced, it’s only natural to assume that it lacks solid workout programming. That being said, we were pleasantly surprised to find out it packs 26 workout programs. Whether it’s cardio, heart health, weight control, performance training, intervals or even creating your own customized workout, the T616 treadmill brings options to the table.

To understand how well-positioned the Nautilus T616 treadmill is with it’s programming, shift your attention briefly to the Sole F85, which has 10 programs, or the Horizon 7.0 AT, which offers up a measly seven. In addition to 26 varied programs, four separate user profiles can be created to keep track of hard-earned progress.

Keeping the focus on progress are the dual STN backlit LCD displays that display a plethora of workout statistics in real time. Because two is better than one, Nautilus doubled down on displays, and has included both a 3.75” and 5.5” screen with this treadmill.

Further making the T616 treadmill a specialized choice is the Nautilus Fitness Score calculated automatically at the end of each session. This score, based on your workout summary, will advise you of your fitness status in that moment, making the T616 treadmill one that really lends a hand at helping you improve your physical wellness.

Such a positive partnership can only be made better with the ease of Bluetooth capability, which encourages you to connect wirelessly to your devices wirelessly in order to listen to music or watch entertainment of your choosing. The MP3 and USB ports comes in handy should you not want to use Bluetooth or need to charge your device while it’s in use.

Similar to Bowflex, the Nautilus allows you to call upon their Explore the World app in order to do just that, wander gorgeous outdoor spaces around the globe. This app, when paired with a smart device, takes you on an active journey exploring new instructor-guided places while you exercise.

The thoughtfully located media shelf is a wonderful convenience to utilize when it comes to storing your tablet in plain sight as you move. Two huge advantages of this model are the heart rate grips and included chest strap, providing two different options for how your vitals are tracked. Other brands, such as LifeSpan, don’t include a chest strap on even their most expensive commercial treadmill, the TR7000i treadmill, which is nearly double the price of the Nautilus T616.

 

Price Point

Nautilus has built this treadmill with a capable amount of horsepower, a variety of programs, better tech than more traditional treadmills and a whole lot of comfort at a price won’t take your bank account to the cleaners. Getting a 3.0 CHP motor by way of LifeSpan is impossible at this price point; the best example of this would be to compare the Nautilus T616 treadmill to the LifeSpan TR3000i folding treadmill.

Paying hundreds less for the T616 will actually get you 0.25 more horsepower, a 4” longer running surface, four more workout programs and a heart rate chest strap the LifeSpan TR3000i treadmill doesn’t include. Meanwhile, the Nautilus T616 and the LifeSpan TR3000i align with their 2-ply belts, folding capability, 2.5” rollers, 3-speed fan, and bluetooth capabilities.

So, how does one make sense of their price discrepancies? The LifeSpan TR3000i treadmill has a touchscreen, lifetime warranties on both the frame and motor, safety certifications and technology that make it more family friendly as well as a 50 pound higher weight capacity than the T616 treadmill.

All this to say, if you’re on a budget and require a decent amount of horsepower with adequate technology, the Nautilus T616 treadmill is a solid option to consider. However, if you find yourself needing more horsepower should you desire longer or higher intensity workouts, or have a larger household, you can upgrade within the Nautilus family in order to benefit from their well-priced and loaded feature ways.

Now, spending roughly $150 more for the T618 will still keep you under the price of the LifeSpan TR3000i treadmill while granting you 0.5 more horsepower, urethane dipped handlebars, a 3-ply treadmill belt rather than 2-ply, 0.25” larger rollers, 50 pounds of additional weight capacity, as well as increased warranty coverage.

Looking at the T616 treadmill in comparison to the competition when it comes to pricing really puts into perspective just how reasonable Nautilus is without sacrificing the ease-of-use features many high-end treadmills contain. Regardless of if the 3.0 CHP motor on the T616 treadmill or the 3.5 CHP motor of the T618 appeals to you and your wallet more, you can take a deep breath knowing Nautilus refuses to mess around when it comes to being a well-priced alternative that distinguishes itself from competing brands.

 

Pros and Cons

To kick off this section, the 300 pound weight capacity on the T616 could be higher. Weight capacity matters, not simply for the sake of user inclusion, but also to determine overall strength and durability. Take the Life Fitness T5 for example, a treadmill that offers a 400 pound weight capacity. While it comes at a higher cost, LifeFitness is in the business of making commercial-quality treadmills for the home that can last through years of tough usage, a reflection of which can be seen within the larger weight capacities their treadmills offer.

That being said, it’s important to note that Life Fitness’ folding treadmill offers 350 pounds of weight capacity, which is only 50 pounds more than the T616 treadmill can bear. Folding treadmills typically accommodate less weight due to their need to fold up succinctly and easily. ProForm treadmills, such as the Carbon T10, are also more costly than the T616 and afford the same 300 pound limit.

Surveying the field further, many other folding treadmills also top out with a 300 pound weight limit; whether it’s the Horizon Go Series or the NordicTrack T Series, it’s a common offering among reputable brands. When compared to these brands, the T616 is either cheaper or offers more features for the price, which is why this treadmill is such a solid option.

While being able to be stored upright with ease, the T616 treadmill can also be moved about easily due to the inclusion of wheels at its base. Also simplifying things on your behalf is the in-home assembly option offered via Nautilus for an additional cost. If you’ve ever had to put together a treadmill, you know that this extra cost is definitely worth it.

A red flag we’d like to raise is regarding warranty coverage, as we’re assuming to accommodate for its pricing, Nautilus had to taper down the long-term coverage we like to see on residential treadmills. In spite of its low cost, the T616 comes with vast workout programming, Bluetooth capability, a heart rate chest strap, large rollers, a shock absorption system, a built-in fan, a wide running surface and solid horsepower.

 

Nautilus T616 Treadmill Specs

Weight Capacity300 pounds
Running Surface20″ x 60″
Dimensions77.2″ x 35.2″ x 57.6″
Workout DisplayYes; 2 blue backlit LCDs – 3.75″ and 5.5″
Motor3.0 CHP
Speed0-12 mph
Incline15%
FoldingYes
Total Programs26

 

Warranty and Guarantee

In order to keep upfront costs low to consumers without reneging on beneficial features or motor strength, brands seem to sometimes sacrifice the provision of lifetime coverage for their treadmills. Such is the case for the T616, as 10-years of coverage is given on behalf of both the treadmill frame and motor.

Mechanical and electronics are covered for 3-years, which is actually an ideal timeframe as many companies don’t provide electronics coverage at all, including those like NordicTrack and ProForm, despite being high tech brands. Meanwhile, the 1-year labor warranty included with this model is a commonality found between many fitness brands.

As a nod to the lower price, lower coverage argument, you can spend more to receive additional years in coverage if you were to select the Nautilus T618 over the T616. We appreciate how consumer focused and mindful Nautilus is, as should you want more coverage, they have an option for a protection plan that comes at an extra cost. It’s nice to see Nautilus offering an a-la-carte solution should additional warranty coverage be on your mind.

 

Summing Up This Review

The Nautilus T616 treadmill is a Cinderella treadmill fit for those who are on the hunt for adequate motor power, enjoy comforting features and a wider running surface, but don’t have an abnormally large budget. When it comes down to it, this treadmill provides quality while still managing to be affordable.