It's no closely guarded secret that a treadmill is a staple in any sort of home gym setup these days.
And when it comes to affordable, feature-packed, and durable treadmills for at-home use, Nautilus is one of the most respected brands in the space. You want a good treadmill, you best keep them on your radar.
After all, they're the folks behind the Bowflex! Nautilus owns Bowflex for those that did not know.
The T618 and T616 models are some of the most popular and best-selling among their lineup of treadmills. Both models have amazing ratings, come with lots of fitness features, and offer tons of creature comforts - while also being fairly light on the pocket.
So, which one should you go for?
A few years ago, I found myself asking the same question. And after countless hours of deep-digging and thorough research on the T616 vs the T618 (which I've owned for just over 3 years now), I'm here to share my ownership experience and know-how to give you a quick walkthrough of both models and help you find the perfect treadmill for yourself.
For those that want to know which one I ended up going with after my research, I ended up going with the T618. It was by far the better bang for buck treadmill between the two.
You can see the reviews and check out the one that I got on amazon by clicking here.
A Bird's Eye Overview Of Each Treadmill
Before we cover some of the key differences, let's get familiar with both treadmills. I'll cover the gist of what each model has got to offer, including some of their key features, benefits, and a bit of a back-drop to help you familiarize yourself with the options in front of you.
The Nautilus T618
The T618 was built upon the already very successful T616 framework to integrate some noticeable improvements in the comfort, reliability, and functional departments.
This treadmill features a 20" by 60" running track that's operated by a 2.5mm-thick three-ply belt. This provides for some solid long-lasting durability as well as a good bit of traction as you run.
As you work your way through the digital console, you'll find 26 pre-programmed workouts to try, a Bluetooth connector to sync with your smart devices, as well as inter-connectivity with the RunSocial app that allows you to experience running circuits across various locations around the globe from the comfort of your very own home.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to covering the full host of features you'll find!
The powerful yet subtle 3.5 horsepower motor is incredibly efficient, and thanks to their new and improved motor response tech - you won't feel much lag when switching between various modes, speeds, and programs on your treadmill.
In turn, this not only makes the workout far more pleasant but also reduces the risk of any sprains (among other injuries) while also making the whole experience more fruitful in the end.
One of the key differences from prior models of the T6XX lineup lies in the fact that the T618 features handrail-mounted controls, as well as incline functionality that allows you to refine the degree of control you've got over your workout.
It's also worth noting that despite being slightly bulky, the T618 (and the T616) are both foldable treadmills - meaning you can fold it and stow it away for easy storage. This makes it a perfect treadmill for the modern apartment-dwelling folks that want to keep up with their fitness in space-challenged living conditions.
- 26 Pre-programmed workouts including weight control, cardio health, interval training, and custom options.
- Bluetooth module for seamless connectivity with your smart devices.
- Brightly back-lit LCD display that is easy to navigate and use while running.
- Up to 4 custom user profiles that allow you to track your fitness performance against prior workouts and access custom workout programs at the push of a button.
- Effective heart-tracking & connectivity with wireless trackers.
- Speed & incline controls integrated into the treadmill's handrails.
- Built-in speaker unit, mp3 port, and amply-spaced media shelf to keep yourself entertained while you exercise.
- Built-in towel & accessory bar, alongside an adjustable fan to help you run in total comfort.
- Maximum weight capacity of up to 350-lb.
- Foldable frame that helps you conserve space and stow the treadmill away when not in use.
The Nautilus T616
As the predecessor of the T618 model, this treadmill shares a lot of the key features with its successor, save for a few notable differences.
Featuring a familiar 20" by 60" running track driven by a 3.0 horsepower motor, this is a solid treadmill that's built for long-term performance. And just like the T618, prospective owners get to enjoy a stellar LCD console that comes packed with a whopping 26 workout options, a DualTrack display, as well as the standard Bluetooth, RunSocial, and media connectivity options.
The standout difference to be noted about the T616 model lies in the fact that the cushioning system is based around the prior iteration of the StrikeZone setup that Nautilus uses, which means that there's a bit of a harder impact and a slightly less grippy tread to it than the more cushioned treadmill deck of the T618. But if you are on a tight budget and can only afford to get the 616 then just make sure to get yourself a good pair of running shoes and this shouldn't be an issue at all. You can find our favorite women's treadmill running shoes here.
- This one as well as the 26 pre programmed workout features that are also included with the T618.
- Bluetooth connnectivity for hooking up your phone and other bluetooth devices
- Extremely Bright LCD Treadmill Screen that is easy to use
- 4 custom user profiles that allow you to log in and access your custom workouts and track your personal progress.
- Heart rate monitors and tracking
- Built in Speaker for cranking your tunes while your get your workout in
- Shelf for you to place your things.
- Fan to keep you cool
- Built in Bar and accessory fan that will adjust automatically as you increase in speed
- Foldable frame that helps you conserve space and stow the treadmill away when not in use.
Nautilus T618 vs. T616 - Which Is The Better Treadmill?
Now that we've covered the lay of the land when it comes to these incredibly closely matched models - let's dive into a comprehensive comparison of the different areas these treadmills stand out in.
Below, I'll cover some of the essential questions that many would-be buyers ask themselves when doing their research, as well as provide a straightforward answer to which treadmill wins out in any given aspect.
Which Treadmill Is Built Better?
The first thing to note here is that both treadmills are absolutely solid. Nautilus is a brand known for their long-lasting fitness equipment and neither of these models disappoints in that regard.
However, if you're looking for the absolute edge of longevity - the T618 would be crowned winner here. This is because it employs a sturdier and bulkier frame alongside a thicker heavy-duty drive belt and a significantly more powerful motor. It is much closer to a commercial grade professional treadmill than the T616 is.
Thanks to these perks, this treadmill is also a better fit for the larger and heavier folks among us - with the T618 featuring a maximum weight capacity of up to 350 pounds.
Which One Offers More Features?
Inherently, as with most brands out there - newer iterations of popular models tend to boast more features. And this is definitely the case when it comes to a comparison between the T616 and the T618.
Aside from the improvements that we've just covered relating to the build-quality of either model, the T618 also comes with several key tweaks. These include an improved cushioning system, larger rollers, and intuitive handle-mounted speed and incline controls among a whole host of bells and whistles.
So, if you're looking for the largest amount of features and improvements added into the package - the T618 is definitely the better buy.
Available Workout Programs
Obviously enough, you're buying a treadmill to stay fit, improve your wellbeing, and keep yourself in good shape. As such, having a good handful of effective pre-programmed workout programs and modules to choose from is absolutely crucial.
That being said - both the T618 and the T616 treadmills come with 26 integrated workout programs for you to explore and try out.
These programs include modules for:
- Weight loss & management
- Cardiovascular health
- Fitness goals
- Fitness training
- Interval exercise
- Manual workouts
- And a host of customizable workout programs.
So, in this department - both treadmills are very evenly matched.
What Are Customer Reviews Saying?
On paper, both models look and sound absolutely stellar - but as they always say - "The proof is in the pudding (or in our case, reviews)!"
So, what do the customer reviews say about the T616 and the T618?
Let's start with the T618!
Featured as the treadmill of choice on multiple respected editorial magazines - and being the treadmill that I ended up owning after my own research - it should be obvious that the improvements and tweaks Nautilus rolled out in this model were a total success. At the moment, this treadmill is rated a solid 4.9 stars across several hundred online reviews, which is indicative of the fact that it's simply one of the best treadmills out there in today's day and age.
Now, let's take a peek at the T616!
If you do any amount of snooping around online, you'll quickly discover that among all the various customer reviews and editorial pieces that this treadmill appears in - it's actually quite well-loved. Sitting at an average of 4 stars across hundreds of different ratings - it would appear that this treadmill has left a very positive impression on most owners.
How Do They Compare Price-Wise?
First and foremost, it's important to note that both of these treadmills are very affordable given what they offer to the prospective owner.
At just $1,149 USD, the T616 stands toe-to-toe with many of the high-end competitor options at only a fraction of the cost. And given how geared it is towards at-home use, it's the perfect affordable treadmill to pick up.
However, if you're not shy of spending another $250 USD - you can get the vastly improved T618.
Clocking in at $1,399 USD, the T618 is undeniably one of the best treadmills that your money can buy you. And it's a treadmill that will last you a lifetime of use.
Where the T616 is geared more towards the average fitness enthusiast - the T618 is built as a flagship that can easily give anyone a good dose of cardio, from newbie runners to professional athletes alike.
And the whole world of difference runs you a mere $250 at the end of the day.
What's The Warranty Like On Both Treadmills?
While the lifetime warranty model is definitely a crowned favorite among any would-be treadmill owner - unfortunately, Nautilus doesn't follow that school of thought. And nowadays not many brands do.
The T616 comes with a 10-year warranty on the motor and frame. At the same time, the electronics are backed by a 2-year policy, and the labor comes with a 1-year warranty attached.
On the other hand - being the "more premium" model - the T618 features a whole 15 years on the motor and frame. And where the T616 only offers 2 years on the electronic components, the T618 gives owners a whopping 5 years of zero headaches in that department. Lastly, the labor on the T618 is covered by a 2-year warranty to top things off.
While some people will definitely be irked by the lack of a "lifetime" stamp on Nautilus' warranty policies - these treadmills are definitely built to last. In all rationale, 10-15 years is plenty of coverage, with many fitness enthusiasts moving on to newer models long before that expiration date.
And if you really take a moment to ponder - 15 years ago we all lived in 2005, that oddly charming time where guys bleached their hair and Facebook was still just some gag website that barely anyone knew of. How about that?
The Size Showdown - Which Model Is Better For Small Spaces?
When it comes to figuring out whether or not either model of treadmill will fit in your home or flat - there are a few numbers to consider aside from the shared 20" by 60" running track that both treadmills feature.
First and foremost - the Nautilus T618 is 72.5" long, 35.25" wide, and stands a nice and comfortable 57.75" tall. It's also worthwhile noting that once it's assembled - this treadmill weighs around 253 lbs.
On the other hand, the T616 is just shy of 220-lbs when assembled and comes 77.2" long, 35.2" wide, and 57.6" tall.
These are not very tall but they are also not short enough to be considered a low profile treadmill, so you will need to keep in mind how tall your room is that you are putting it. If you have somebody that is considered very tall you will want to measure to make sure the tallest user is not hitting their head if they go for a run on either one of these treadmills.
So, even though the T618 may seem somewhat bulkier at a first glance, it's actually slightly shorter than its predecessor, the T616. And when you account for the fact that both treadmills are foldable - either model is a great fit for a modern dwelling, with the T618 having just a slight upper hand in this department.
These are both considered to be very compact and easy to store away options, and although they are not the type of treadmill that fits under your bed they are the type that will fit easily in your closet or in the corner of your apartment home gym.
The Setup - Which One's Easier To Put Together?
If you're a hands-on DIY enthusiast like me - you may choose to skip over the $249 USD in-home assembly option that Nautilus offers in favor of rolling up your sleeves and slapping the whole thing together yourself.
According to my own personal experience, as well as just about every other instructional video I found online when putting it together - the Nautilus T618 takes 2-3 hours on average to assemble from shipping boxes to a sparkly-new treadmill.
However, if you're keen to learn from my own personal mistakes, then you may want to enlist the help of a friend for the job under the premise of a top-secret project, with a solid compensation in the form of treating them to a meal down the line.
The instructions are pretty clear, and the entire process is relatively straightforward, being more or less comparable for either model. However, you should definitely expect to put a good deal of elbow grease in as putting the whole treadmill together is not exactly the easiest task in the world.
Which Treadmill Should You Get? My Recommendation
So, now that we've covered the ins and outs of both models, and having pitted them closely against one another - it's time to get back to the all-important question of which one you should go out and get for yourself.
My recommendation? The T618 - Far Better Bang For Buck
This model wins on practically all accounts in my books and despite the fact that both treadmills are so closely matched, the T618 simply offers so much more for only a tiny sliver more overtop (comparative to the total cost of the T616).
You get all of the new and improved tech, a whole lot of extra durability tweaks, and a basketful of extra features that really make a world of difference when it comes to your finite fitness experience.
In addition to this, one of the things that worried me personally when I was picking between the two was the warranty policy. And even though realistically speaking 10 years offered with the T616 is plenty, the 15-year warranty that you'll find with the T618 spoke volumes about how darn rugged these machines are.
As I've said earlier on, you should expect yours to last you practically a lifetime, and from everything I've seen over the years - it will!
As I noted earlier throughout this article, I personally settled on the T618 as my treadmill of choice. And having owned it for around 3 years now, it hasn't let me down in any regard, ever. I'm still just as awed by it as I was on the day that the whole package arrived - and I'm absolutely confident that I made the best possible choice.
Let me know what you think in the comments down below.
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