Nautilus T616 Treadmill Review 2020

Last Updated: June 6, 2020
Nautilus T616 treadmill review
The Nautilus T616 treadmill is an affordable folding treadmill priced around $1000 that has cushioning in the deck and syncs via Bluetooth with any number of 3rd party apps. This is the sister machine to the Nautilus T618 with a slightly lower price tag and lighter deck. You get a lot of features for the price with the T616 which is why it is one of Nautilus’s best selling machines. The Strike Zone cushioning reduces joint impact and the upgraded console has two LCD screens with multiple displays. There are 26 preloaded programs (the same as on the T618)and the deck inclines to 15% and provides a 12mph max speed. As you can see, this is a great treadmill for the price!

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Who It’s For: Users who want an affordable treadmill with an LCD console that folds up and locks in place

The Nautilus T616 is an excellent choice for users who:

  • Plan to walk, jog or lightly run a few times per week
  • Have one or maybe two intermediate users in their home
  • Plan to workout at home for safety and convenience
  • Appreciate the locking deck for security
  • Are budget conscious and looking for quality and functionality
  • Are under the 300lb weight capacity
  • Don’t need extra tech or a color touchscreen
Pros
  • Affordable folding treadmill leaves space in your room and wallet!
  • Get a bit of cushioning in the deck with the Strike Zone cushion system
  • A 12mph max speed is the same as that found on high end treadmills
  • Use the incline system which lifts the deck from 0% all the way up to a 15% grade
  • Simple console does not require a subscription service
  • Just plug in and go!
Cons
  • Console is simple and doesn’t feature some of the upgraded tech found on other treadmills
  • Deck size is better for walking or jogging than running
  • 3.0HP motor is not the most powerful
  • 300lb max weight may limit some users


FeaturesSpecifications
  • 15% Incline
    • The T616 allows you to train on hills or work an incline up to 15% grade. Working on an incline engages your glutes and hamstrings and burns more calories.
  • Footprint: 72.2″ L x 35.2″ W x 57.6″ H
    • This machine has a compact footprint so even when open it doesn’t take up much space. You can fold and lock it when you are finished to reduce floor space.
  • 12 mph Max Speed
    • Run fartleks, sprints, intervals or just pick up that pace as you work back towards that flat road from a descending incline.
  • Strike Zone deck cushioning
    • The T616 features Strike Zone deck cushioning that mitigates impact to reduce joint impact and improve your comfort when running or walking.
  • SoftDrop Folding Technology
    • Once your treadmill is locked into position you can release it by pressing the blue lever on the top right of the inverted deck. SoftDrop technology assists the deck as it descends so it doesn’t hit the floor with a thud.
  • Two large blue backlit LCD windows
    • The console is large with two different screens with a full metric display of stats from your workout
  • 26 Preset Programs
    • The T616 comes preloaded with 26 easy to use workout programs that can be selected right on the console.
  • 3 Speed cooling fan
    • A fan tucked in the lower panel of the console provides nice air flow with three different settings.
  • Easy to use Incline buttons and Speed Buttons
    • There are preset speed and incline buttons on the console as well as up/down buttons for specific increments.

Construction:

  • 20” W x 60” L belt
  • 3.0 HP Continuous DC motor
  • 2.5” belt rollers
  • 2-ply belt
  • 15% Incline
  • Open Footprint: 72.2″ L x 35.2″ W x 57.6″ H
  • 300lbs max user weight
  • 241lbs treadmill weight

Functionality:

  • 15% Incline
  • 12 mph Max Speed
  • Strike Zone deck cushioning
  • HR Sensors on handlebars
  • HR Readout on console
  • SoftDrop Folding Technology

Console:

  • Two large blue backlit LCD windows
  • 26 Preset Programs
  • 3 Speed cooling fan
  • Built in speakers
  • Safety Key
  • Incline buttons
  • Speed Buttons
  • Bluetooth enabled

Warranty:

  • Frame: 10 Years
  • Motor: 10 Lifetime
  • Parts: 3 Years
  • Electronics: 3 Years
  • Labor: 1 Years

In-depth Review of Nautilus T616 Treadmill


Construction

Frame

Nautilus T616 treadmill frame
The Nautilus Fitness T616 folding treadmill has structural beams that support the frame to reduce vibrations and wobble underfoot. The 3.0 horsepower motor is quiet and sits under the motor hood on the front end of the deck so it can be folded vertically. The motor is smooth for both speed and incline adjustments. A locking mechanism holds the deck securely when vertical so it won’t accidentally open. Even though this is more of a budget priced treadmill, Nautilus still provides a full 10 year warranty on frame and motor.

Handrails

Nautilus T616 Handtrails
There are two handlebars on either side of the deck. These have a coating for protection which is sweat and moisture resistant. You can easily wipe down the handrails with a wet cloth to sanitize. There is also a curved horizontal support bar that spans the base of the console. This bar has heart rate sensors that will transmit your HR to the console screen for real time HR training. The horizontal bar is slightly narrower and easier to grip while the parallel handrails that float above the deck are wider and provide a solid hand hold for getting on or off the machine.

Deck

  • Cushioning
    • Nautilus equips the T616 with Strike Zone cushioning which allows the deck to flex slightly underfoot. The Strike Zone system absorbs impact and reduces joint compression and fatigue. You can actually see the deck flex when someone is running on it. We recommend this machine for walking, jogging or light running.
  • Length/Width
    • The 60” long and 20” wide deck is roughly on par with other folding treadmills and should provide enough stride length for jogging. This deck size may be slightly compact for users over 6 feet tall. Also, runners who plan to do sprints or run long distances at a fast pace, may benefit from a slightly more powered machine with a larger motor.
  • Belt and Rollers
    • The 2-ply, 2mm belt and 2.5” rollers reduce friction under foot so you can walk comfortably. The belt is gently textured to provide a nice mid foot strike and toe off without slipping.

Motor

  • The 3.0 horsepower motor will support walking and jogging. As mentioned, this may not be powered enough to handle long sprint sessions or extended training at high speeds. The motor also controls speed and incline adjustments. Speed can be adjusted at .5 increments up to 12mph. Incline training burns significantly more calories than walking on a flat plane so you can kick up the intensity but stay low impact.
  • Since this is a folding treadmill, the motor is housed at the top of the deck under the motor cover. Sometimes, when the motor is at the front of the deck it can get in the way of your forward foot stride. Nautilus has limited the size of the motor hood on the T616 so it doesn’t stick up above the deck like others we’ve seen and you don’t have the problem of your foot grazing the hood as you run.

Console/Controls

Screen

Nautilus T616 treadmill review
The Nautilus T616 has two LCD screens which display different metrics. The smaller top screen shows distance and your fitness score which is determined by your personal metrics and your workout exertion. It will also display your heart rate if you are wearing a monitor or if you place your hands on the sensors on the horizontal handlebar. The larger lower screen has readouts for time, distance, heart rate, speed, incline, and your current program. Both screens are backlit blue with white digital numbers that are large and easy to read.

Controls

The T616 uses button controls that flank the screen on either side. There are black buttons to toggle through and select a workout program. There are also preset buttons for speed and incline. Like many treadmills, there is not a single button for each metric. Instead speed buttons move by 2’s from 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12mph. Incline buttons are: 0, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, and 15% grade. The console is Bluetooth enabled and will sync with Nautilus’s Explore the World™ App which allows users to walk through 19 locations with 27 routes. In these routes, you run alongside people from all over the world in real time.

Layout

Just below the main console is a smaller panel that has a large green Start and a large red Stop button. The safety key sits on the bottom of this lower panel and the fan is centered here and blows about chest height. Smaller up/down buttons for smaller increment adjustments of speed (right) and incline (left) are easy to reach. A digital Bluetooth display at the very top of the console indicates which devices are connected to the treadmill. There are two speakers at the top that flank the Bluetooth display.

Tablet Holder

At the top of the console just in front of the Bluetooth display is a tablet shelf that will hold most devices securely. There is also a USB port so you can plug in and charge your device while in use. From here, you can view any number of fitness apps, watch Netflix, or even just read a book. All app services require their own subscription. A tablet is not included.

Storage

The T616 has good storage. There are two large cups on either side of the console. There is also a large storage tray that spans the width of the deck just below the console. This storage tray has three large cups and a narrow slot along the back. It sits up above the deck sufficiently so it is not in your way when running.

Functionality

Performance

The T616 is ideal for walking and jogging. It has a 300lb weight capacity, which may be an issue for some users, but the 3.0hp motor is quiet and still provides a 12mph max speed. The deck will incline to 15% for hill and incline training. The Bluetooth function on the console makes it so users can sync with any number of external 3rd party apps to view on your personal tablet. The tablet holder and USB port provides a great place to set and charge your device when in use.

Incline / Decline range

The Nautilus T616 inclines to 15%. There are several benefits to working on an incline. A steeper incline more directly engages your posterior muscle chain which consequently burns more calories than running on a flat road. It also adds different challenges when you combine various speeds with various inclines. It’s hard to get bored on a machine with this many training options. The incline feature makes it so you can really kick up that heart rate but stay low-impact for a challenging workout that burns more calories and recruits more of the powerhouse lower-body muscles.

26 Preloaded Routines

There are 26 preloaded programs on the T616 which can be selected on the console. These are simple, easy to use, and provide excellent training options for users who want functionality without all the extra bells and whistles. There are programs for calorie burn, hill work, distance, speed, intervals and fat burn. You can use the arrow buttons on the console to toggle through and select your program of choice. Also, the T616 will sync via Bluetooth with external fitness apps for additional training content. For all external apps, you must use your personal tablet which is not included. The console is not video enabled, but the T616 will keep track of your metrics while you use your phone or personal tablet.

Subscription Options

Nautilus includes a free version of their Explore the World app which allows users to walk or jog through any of 29 locations throughout the world in real time with other runners. This is similar to Zwift except for runners. The graphics are crisp and this adds additional training options on top of the 26 preloaded programs. The Explore the World app must be downloaded on your smartphone or tablet and placed on the console tablet shelf. In addition, users can subscribe to any number of external 3rd party apps.

Noise Level

The T616 is relatively quiet for a budget treadmill. Of course, there is a bit of noise from foot impact which is typical of treadmill use. The belt slides smoothly across the deck with minimal friction due to the large 2.5” rollers and the 2-ply belt surface is gently textured for improved foot grip. Like its sister machine the T618, this treadmill inclines to 15% and is slightly noisier when inclined, probably because the deck pivots up so the noise isn’t trapped underneath. But again, it isn’t anything more than we notice on comparable treadmills.

Storage / Folding

The T616 folds in half when you are finished. The deck will pivot up to lock vertically against the console. This makes it so you can open the deck to use when needed, but fold it up to reduce floor space when your workout is over. Also, the locking mechanism is secure so children or pets shouldn’t be able to unlatch it when locked. A soft drop hydraulic system controls the motion of the deck as it descends back to the floor so it doesn’t hit the ground with a thud.

Bottom Line:

The Nautilus T616 is an affordable folding treadmill that features Strike Zone cushioning in the deck which reduces joint impact and discomfort when walking. You can workout longer on the T616 due to reduced muscle fatigue and impact injuries. The T616 also inclines to 15% to provide hill training and incline resistance. A max speed of 12mph should challenge even the fastest runners, although this treadmill is best suited for walking or light jogging. A 3.0 horsepower motor is quiet with smooth speed and incline adjustments. You have a maximum weight capacity of 300lb and the treadmill itself weighs 241lbs. The console features two LCD screens with various workout metrics and 26 preloaded programs. This isn’t as tech-enhanced as other treadmills, but it also doesn’t require internet or wifi to run. Just plug in and go! The Nautilus T616 is perfect for users who want a simple console with the option of additional apps via Bluetooth which can be viewed on your personal tablet. There are a lot of training options here for a very reasonable price which makes the Nautilus T616 a viable option for anyone who wants to walk or jog comfortably in the safety of their own home.

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