Outdoor Gear Review: Nixon Mission

nixon mission

Fitness watches have been all the craze for quite a while now. As technology expands and increases, more people want the all-in-one approach that smartwatches offer. To have your phone and fitness tracking all in one place on your wrist is a huge appeal, and companies from all over the world have taken advantage of the market. There are countless sports watches out there from brands that have been around for a long time and new ones trying to get their foot in the door. Every watch has a specific target audience, and different watches are better for different people depending on your preferences.

Nixon is a company that has been dedicated to outdoor and sports gear for quite a long time. Since 1997, they have been putting out watches found across thousands of snow, surf, skate and sports shops. They have multiple sports watches for sale, and one of those is the Nixon Mission released in 2016. Designed as a higher-end watch, it attempts to offer both on-par athletic tracking, smart features and connectivity so you can bring your smartphone with you wherever you go. Nixon has targeted skiers and surfers with the Mission, creating a rugged watch that will last in snow or water and in the coldest temperatures.


The Nixon Mission is a watch that doesn’t play games. It is designed for a specific group of people, and those outside of that group may not find much use out of it. It has a rugged, waterproof design for the most adventurous activities. Its tracking is accurate, and it features smart connectivity to your phone so that you can read text messages or control music playback.




Nixon App


Initial Thoughts


    The Nixon Mission has an incredible screen with 400×400 pixel resolution. It’s made of stainless steel that is surgical grade to endure the roughest conditions and biggest dings. The screen has both adjustable and automatic brightness. You can turn the screen asleep as well in order to save battery. The screen has a round angle for optimal viewing.

    Apart from the strong steel, it also has polycarbonate plastic and Gorilla glass display. No matter how cold or hot the conditions, the Mission is built to withstand. Inside, there’s a Qualcomm chip that runs Snapdragon that drains the battery quickly.

  • GPS sports watch
  • 2 x 1.9 x 0.6 inches
  • 56 ounces
  • Comes in black, gray and orange
  • Made from stainless steel and fiber-reinforced polycarbonate
  • Vibration alerts
  • Connects via Bluetooth
  • Supports Android 4.4 or later and iOS 8.2 or later
  • 39-inch Gorilla glass display
  • Touchscreen
  • Audio output via speaker
  • Media playback
  • Sensors include digital compass, altimeter, humidity, ambient light, barometer,        thermometer, gyro, accelerometer
  • Waterproof up to 383 feet
  • Shockproof up to 3.3 feet
  • Lithium-ion battery, 400 mAh
  • Battery life up to one day
  • 9-inch band width
  • Released in 2016


No matter where you look, the price for the Nixon Mission is going to be the same price: $400. Regardless of if you’re on the Nixon websiteNordstromBaitREAL Watersports or Amazon, the price is generally the same across the board. However, you can find a used or refurbished Mission on Amazon from $290.

Nixon Mission Action Sports Smartwatch A1167001-00. All Black Men’s...
  • MISSION, ALL BLACK. Compatible with Android, iPhones and the Nixon Mission App, this watch has 10 ATM water resistance,...
  • WORLD’S 1ST ACTION SPORTS SMARTWATCH. Featuring real-time surf and snow shred alerts by Surfline and Snocountry,...
  • BUILT SMART. BUILT TOUGH. The mission can withstand the elements so you can take it anywhere: in the water, on the hill,...

How It Compares

The choice lineup for comparisons consists of one watch from Apple (the Apple Nike+ Sports Watch); the Garmin Forerunner 935, which is the high-end option; and the Polar M400, which is the low-end option.


Nixon Mission


Apple Nike+


Garmin Forerunner 935


Polar M400


The Garmin Forerunner is the most expensive, which is understandable considering all of its features. The Apple Nike+ is about $70 less than the Nixon Mission. The Polar M400 comes out as the least expensive.

Apple Watch Nike+ 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black/Cool Gray...
  • Heart rate sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope, Ambient light sensor
  • Water resistant 50 meters,Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)
  • Built-in GPS and GLONASS, Up to 18 hours of battery life

Polar M400 GPS Smart Sports Watch
  • GPS WATCH: Built-in GPS technology keeps track of your pace, distance and altitude
  • FITNESS TRACKER: Tracks your workouts, steps, distance, calories burned, sleep quality, and activity 24/7
  • WATERPROOF FITNESS TRAINER: Use the fitness tracking watch to keep an eye on your running cadence to improve your...

Ease of Use

Nixon Mission

Apple Nike+

Garmin Forerunner 935

Polar M400

The Apple Nike+ comes out on top. It’s incredibly user friendly and easy to use with compatibility across numerous Apple and third-party apps. The Garmin Forerunner is a close second with a simple user interface and great app capability. The Nixon Mission takes some getting used to, but once you’ve had the chance to play around with it, it becomes fairly easy to use, and the Nixon app is very good, but not great. The Polar M400 can be confusing along with the compatible app.

Setup Time

Nixon Mission

Apple Nike+

Garmin Forerunner 935

Polar M400

Apple wins again with an incredibly quick and easy setup, with Garmin close behind. The Nixon Mission takes just a little more time, especially if you have an iPhone. The Polar M400 comes in last again with a slightly more complicated setup process.

Build Quality

Nixon Mission

Apple Nike+

Garmin Forerunner 935

Polar M400

Both the Nixon Mission and the Garmin Forerunner 935 have incredible design quality and are durable for any condition. The Nike+ comes in next with its long-lasting, trusted Apple quality. The Polar M400 is the low-end option, so obviously it’s quality won’t be as great as the others.


Nixon Mission

Apple Nike+

Garmin Forerunner 935

Polar M400

All watches except the Mission offer only one-year limited warranties, while Nixon offers a two-year hardware and repair warranty.


  • Great quality
  • Durable build
  • Lots of sensors
  • Incredible waterproofing
  • Surf and snow features
  • Tons of display customization designs
  • Excellent smart functionality with Android


  • Doesn’t track sleep
  • Doesn’t have heart monitor
  • Poor battery life
  • Mediocre iPhone compatibility
  • Large and bulky
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Too expensive for what it offers


The Nixon Mission is a great fitness watch for skiers, snowboarders and surfers. It has a huge array of sensors and is 10-ATM waterproof. Its snow and surf features offer a lot for athletes in those conditions. Its rugged design will withstand the worst weather conditions. The GPS isn’t the best, though, with just basic functionality. The Mission’s poor battery life and buggy iPhone compatibility really make it lose out in the long run.

When paired with an Android phone, the smart features truly shine. With voice commands, audio playback and full app functionality directly from the watch, it becomes one of the best smartwatches on the market. However, this is also a downside. For a $400 fitness watch, it is expected to be mostly a sports watch and less of a smartwatch. However, with the Nixon Mission, it is more of a smartwatch than it is a sports watch. Other watches within the same price range have heart monitors and track sleep, but the Mission does not.

Overall, it’s a great smartwatch with good sports-tracking capabilities. If you are a skier or surfer looking for a smartwatch that will also track your activity, this is a great choice for you. For others focused on different sports activities or who are looking more for fitness features than smart features, there are other choices out there that will get you more bang for your buck.

Last update on 2021-12-05 at 15:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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