Nautilus T618 Treadmill Review 2020

Last Updated: June 7, 2020
Nautilus T618 treadmill review

The Nautilus T618 treadmill is a compact, folding treadmill with a 20” wide by 60” long running belt. It has Rebound Cushioning in the deck and 26 preloaded programs. The T618 is ideal for light walking, power walking, incline training, and jogging. The 3.5 horsepower motor will support daily use. This treadmill is well priced and feature rich, which makes it a great at home treadmill for cardio conditioning.

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Who It’s For: Walkers and joggers who want a simple console, preloaded programs, and a folding deck

The Nautilus T618 is an excellent choice for users who:

  • Would like to train in the safety and convenience of their own home
  • Don’t want extra tech or other features that require a subscription
  • Could use a folding treadmill where the deck folds vertically when not in use
  • Appreciate added cushioning in the deck for joint support and impact control
  • Want a quality treadmill at an affordable price
Pros
  • 20” W x 60” L belt is plenty long for running or walking
  • 3.5HP Continuous DC motor is powerful and quiet
  • 2.5” front, 2” rear belt rollers keep the belt securely on the deck with no slapping noise
  • 0 – 15% incline range provides added hill variables which engage different muscle groups as opposed to a flat grade
  • 350lbs max user weight supports most users
  • Bluetooth enabled for app compatibility
Cons
  • Console is easy to use, but simpler than comparable models
  • Running belt is slightly smaller than other folding treadmills. Probably best for walking or jogging, not ideal for running


FeaturesSpecifications
  • 20” W x 60” L belt
    • The T618 has plenty of space for walking and jogging with 20” wide and 60” long belt. It may be a bit short for sprinting or long distance running, especially by those with a long stride
  • 3.5 HP Continuous DC motor
    • The 3.5 horsepower motor supports both speed and incline transitions and will provide plenty of power for one runner or two walkers.
  • 15% Incline
    • Train for hills or inclines with the 15% incline range. Incline training allows users to stay low impact to walk or lightly jog while cranking up that calorie burn.
  • 350lbs max user weight
    • Despite its compact size and folding frame, the T618 will support up to 350lbs of user weight so it should work for most users.
  • 12 mph Max Speed
    • Find the right speed at .5 increments up to 12mph for lots of speed variables.
  • Cushioned Deck
    • Nautilus uses the Rebound Cushioning to absorb impact shock which reduces joint discomfort and impact while running or walking.
  • Extended Warranty
    • Nautilus includes a 15 year warranty on the motor and frame of the T618 which is 50% more than on Nordictrack or ProForm treadmills. This extra warranty reflects both quality build and customer support.
  • SoftDrop Folding Technology
    • Using the SoftDrop folding technology, you can fold the T618 up vertically when you are finished. The SoftDrop system also releases the treadmill deck gently back to the floor.
  • Two large blue backlit LCD windows, 3.75″ and 5.5″ wide
    • Various metrics appear on the two LCD windows for plenty of workout data.
  • 26 Preset Programs
    • Select any of the 26 preloaded programs on the T618 for varied training. You’ll never get bored.
  • Bluetooth enabled
    • The Bluetooth enabled console will sync with any number of external apps so you can use the one that works best for you.

Construction:

  • 20” W x 60” L belt
  • 3.5 HP Continuous DC motor
  • 2.75” belt rollers
  • 3-ply belt
  • 15% Incline
  • Open Footprint: 72.5″ L x 35.25″ W x 57.75″ H
  • 350lbs max user weight
  • 253lbs treadmill weight

Functionality:

  • 15% Incline
  • 12 mph Max Speed
  • Rebound Cushioning in deck
  • HR Sensors on handlebars
  • Wireless chest strap included
  • HR Readout on console
  • SoftDrop Folding Technology

Console:

  • Two large blue backlit LCD windows, 3.75″ and 5.5″ wide
  • 26 Preset Programs
  • 3 Speed cooling fan
  • Built in speakers
  • Safety Key
  • Incline buttons
  • Speed Buttons
  • Bluetooth enabled

Warranty:

  • Frame: 15 Years
  • Motor: 15 Lifetime
  • Parts: 5 Years
  • Electronics: 5 Years
  • Labor: 2 Years

In-depth Review of Nautilus T618 Treadmill


Construction

Frame

The Nautilus Fitness T618 folding treadmill has steel support beams to hold the frame sturdy and keep the deck elevated. The 3.5 horsepower motor is quiet and tucked at the front end of the deck which allows it to be folded vertically. The motor provides smooth speed and incline transitions so you don’t need to hold on to the handrails for balance during adjustments. There are wheels under the frame so you can roll the treadmill gently when folded. The deck locks into place when vertical so it won’t accidentally open. Nautilus provides an impressive 15 warranty on the motor and frame, which is more than we see on other machines and reflects the quality build.

Handrails

Nautilus 618 console and storage tray
Two handrails flank the deck on either side so you can hold steady while walking or allow your arms to move freely. The handrails have a urethane coating for protection which is sweat and moisture resistant. Simply wipe the handrails down 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 T618 with their proprietary Rebound Cushioning which allows the deck to flex slightly underfoot. This absorbs impact and reduces joint compression and fatigue. You can actually see the deck flex when someone is running on it. Whether you plan to walk, jog or run, the Rebound Cushioning allows users to train longer and harder without damaging joints or spine.
  • Length/Width
    • The 60” long and 20” wide deck is roughly on par with other folding treadmills although this is slightly narrower than others we see at 22” wide. The width matters less than the length however, and 60” should provide enough stride length for walking, jogging and some light running. For full sprints or those who plan to run long distances at a fast pace, we recommend looking for a slightly more powered machine with a larger motor.
  • Belt and Rollers
    • You have a 3-ply, 2.5mm belt on the T618 which is impressive. 2.75” rollers are larger than most and help move the belt along smoothly to reduce friction and tension. This extends belt life and provides a comfortable feel underfoot.

Motor

  • The 3.5 horsepower motor is good for walking and jogging. As mentioned, this may not be powered enough to handle long sprint sessions or extended training at high speeds. For most users, however, the 3.5HP motor should provide plenty of power. You can walk, jog or work an incline up to 15% grade. Incline training burns significantly more calories than walking on a flat plane so you can kick up the intensity but stay low impact. The motor also controls speed transitions which are pretty smooth. Speed can be adjusted at .5 increments up to 12mph.
  • As with other folding treadmills, the motor is housed under the deck. Occasionally when the motor is at the front of the deck it can get in the way of your forward foot stride. The T618 has a lowered motor hood that doesn’t stick up above the deck like others we’ve seen so you don’t have the problem of your foot grazing the hood as you run.

Console/Controls

Screen

Nautilus T618 more console
The Nautilus T618 has two LCD screens. The top screen is smaller and displays your Nautilus fitness score and distance. Your fitness score is calculated based on your metrics and workout exertion. The bottom screen is much larger with readouts for time, distance, heart rate, speed, incline, and your current program. The screen is backlit blue with white digital numbers that are large and easy to read.

Controls

The T618 uses button controls that flank the screen on either side. On the right of both screens are select or enter buttons to choose and toggle through speed and program settings. Along the edges of the console itself you have speed preset buttons on the right and incline buttons on the left. 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. There are also speed and incline buttons on the handlebars (again, speed is on the right and incline on the left). These are handy because you don’t have to lift your hands off the handrail to adjust settings. A quick touch of your thumb or finger makes it easy to adjust. There are four user profiles on the T616 so up to four users can input personal metrics for an accurate workout and calorie display.

Layout

Just below the main console is a smaller panel that has a large green Start and a large red Stop button. 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. The safety key sits on the bottom of this lower panel. A simple digital Bluetooth display at the very top of the console indicates which devices are connected to the treadmill. Two speakers sit to the right and left of the Bluetooth display. There are two large compartments for water bottles or keys, phone, etc., on either side of the console.

Tablet Holder

Sitting atop the console just in front of the Bluetooth display is a tablet shelf that will hold most devices securely while you use the treadmill. There is also a USB port at the top of the console 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 and are not included with the purchase of the Nautilus T618.

Storage

There are two storage cups on either side of the console as well as a large storage tray that spans the width of the deck and floats just below the console. This has three more large cups and a narrow slot for storage along the back. It sits up above the deck sufficiently so it is not in your way when running. Having a bit of extra storage is very handy since even when working out at home it’s nice to have important items within reach.

Functionality

Performance

The T618 has a slightly smaller running surface than other folding treadmills at just 20” wide rather than 22”. But you still get 60” of length which is the minimum recommended for anyone with a long stride or who is 6 feet or taller. Again, this machine is best for walking, jogging or light running and the 350lb max weight capacity will support most users. The 3.5 horsepower motor is respectable. The motor and build of the T618 along with added incline, top speed and LCD screens make it easy to use and fun to run on.

Incline / Decline range

The Nautilus T618 inclines to 15% max grade which gives you nice variables in your training regimen. 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 allows users to walk on a hill, stay low-impact, but still get a challenging workout that recruits more of the powerhouse lower-body muscles.

26 Preloaded Routines

There are 26 preloaded programs on the T618 which can be selected on the console. These are simple, easy to use, and the same each time. This is an ideal set up for users who want functionality without all the extra bells and whistles that often accompanies upgraded tech. Since you don’t have a touchscreen, the display is simply digital but that doesn’t impede your experience or ability to use and navigate the controls. Since the T618 is Bluetooth enabled, it will sync with external fitness apps for additional training content. Bowflex’s Explore the World app allows users to view different landscape routes filmed all over the world while you run. The T618 will keep track of your metrics while you watch the app on your phone or personal tablet. A tablet is not included, however, and you will need your own subscription to any 3rd party apps.

Subscription Options

There are no subscription options on the T618. The preprogrammed workouts are there to provide you all the training you should need. As mentioned above, you can sync the treadmill with some 3rd party apps.

Noise Level

The T618 is pretty quiet. As with any treadmill, there is a bit of noise from foot impact while running which is obviously noisier when running than walking. However, in general, this is a relatively quiet machine. The belt slides smoothly across the deck with minimal friction due to the large rollers and the 3-ply belt surface is gently textured for a nice foot grip. The machine 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 T618 uses a folding system that allows the deck to pivot up and lock vertically against the console. This makes it so you can open the deck to use when needed, but you can clear floor space when you are finished. Also, the locking mechanism is secure so children or pets shouldn’t be able to unlatch it when locked. A soft drop 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 T618 is a well-priced mid range treadmill with a cushioned deck, simple LCD console, Bluetooth capability, 12mph max speed and 15% incline. While it doesn’t feature some of the updated tech such as a touchscreen or video programs, it is easy to use and provides a great option for those who don’t want to pay for an added subscription or use video content. This is a “push and go” treadmill with easy to reach buttons that are clear and well marked. Speed controls are on the right and incline on the left for consistency. We especially like the handrail buttons that allow you to adjust speed and incline settings without having to lift your hands off the rails. An extra thick belt and cushioned deck add comfort to your training experience by reducing joint impact. The deck folds vertically and locks against the console when you are finished which frees up floor space in your home. In all, this is a good option for users who want a quality, budget treadmill with a usable interface and a folding deck. Bowflex has added value to their treadmill line up with the T618.

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