Great GPS watch that could be even better
I bought a TomTom MultiSport Cardio Performance Bundle to compare side-by-side with my Garmin Forerunner 620. Over the past two weeks, I did several 10K runs indoors and outdoors with both watches on.
These are the highlights of my comparison:
All the functions of the TomTom Cardio worked just as advertised. This included all the in-watch workout functionality, Bluetooth Smart connection with my Android smartphone and synchronization with third party apps. The watch looked great and fit on my wrist perfectly. It is a joy to run without sensors like straps and footpods.
The built-in HRM produces almost identical HR stats to the Garmin with the HRM strap. I was not able to detect any deviations in the HR graphs. This is a clear advantage of the TomTom.
I found that on several of my trail runs, the TomTom's GPS tracks were closer to the trail than the FR620 - not by much but noticeable on the satellite maps when you zoom in. Perhaps the strap mounted GPS sensor of the TomTom (which, due to its position on the strap, is always facing upwards towards the sky when you are running) Vs the FR620's GPS sensor mounted under the LCD, is more sensitive/effective. If that is in fact the reason, kudos to the design engineers of TomTom.
If found the TomTom's Treadmill function to be better than the FR620 because the Accelerometer calibration is manually adjustable (after each treadmill run) on the TomTom where as it is purely automatically calibrated on the FR620. Several times, I did long (4 hour+) hikes where my strides and cadence were quite different from my runs. After those hikes, the FR620's treadmill calibration got really messed by due to the way it calibrates itself, and there is no way to adjust that calibration short of a master reset and not using it for non-running (or non-cycling) activities. The manual calibration of treadmill functions after each run is definitely a better way to do this preventing bad data from being captured.
I don't usually like inverted LCD displays (like on the Garmin Fenix 2 which I found hard to read). So I was a little skeptical of the inverted LCD of the TomTom. But, after having used if in various lighting conditions, I found that the main display was actually very easy to read. The top left & top right secondary displays were made slightly larger by a recent software update, but I think they should make it even larger by sacrificing the size of the main display a little.
The menu system is really simple and intuitively obvious. The dedicated treadmill option is easy to select whereas on the FR620, you have to go 3 menu levels down and manually turn the GPS off before each treadmill workout.
I bough the Performance Bundle mainly because the watch that comes with the bundle has a built-in barometric altimeter. Therefore, I found the elevation reading form the TomTom to be more accurate / realistic than the ones coming out of the FR620 which relies on GPS.
So, the TomTom will be my Multi-Sport watch going forward replacing the Garmin FR620. Although, it's a great watch and perhaps the best option in the market right now for my needs, it could be a lot better. If TomTom is listening, here are some suggestions most of which I believe can be implemented through software updates.
Watch needs to update its clock automatically when a GPS signal is detected. This is a must have for most people who move between time zones quite often.
Since you pause an activity by pressing the left side button, and stop/end an activity by pressing it again, it's very easy to accidentally end an activity when you attempt just to pause. Ending an activity should require a manual confirmation to make sure its not accidentally done.
Ability to see and delete select activity history items in-watch will be nice especially if you accidentally or prematurely start an activity.
The Freestyle mode is good to separate and track activities like skiing, rollerblading etc, but not suitable for indoor fitness equipment such as (elliptical machines, stationary bikes and steppers) where the GPS should not be active. Since there is no way to manually turn the GPS off, it would be nice to have a mode (indoor freestyle) where the watch can be used to track time and HR of a such activities (without GPS).
The TomTom MySports website is missing a lot of features and is not doing the MultiSport Cardio watch justice. Some examples that should be added are: edit an uploaded activity (add/change activity name, add description or course name, etc.); delete an activity; add a manual activity (such as if you workout without the watch or an indoor stationary bike workout); cadence graph should be added for running activities; and the Activity Totals should also report elevation gain.
When transferring data to Strava, Runkeeper and Map MyFitness, I noticed that MySports does not pass on the accurate elevation information, instead those sites display GPS based elevation information they determine. So I have different elevation stats on different sites for the same workout. Since the MySports site has the elevation information detected by the Barometric Altimeter, and therefore the most accurate, that should ideally be passed on to the third party sites as well.
The battery is good, but not enough for an all-day activity since the watch is always using 1-seond GPS sampling. At least a 15-hour battery life would make this watch an awesome piece of hardware.
Great Product, Pre-Ordered and used it for 2 weeks!
The Cardio Multi-sport works flawlessly. I only tested it while running for 90 minutes a few times and biking. I haven't tested the swimming function. The watch connects with the iPhone and transfers all your data, which gets uploaded on the TomTom app and MapMyFitness App.
So far no problems of any kind.
Update July 24, 2014
After a full 2 months of daily use, the watch is really useful. I'm sure some people may lack some interactions with their favorite software, but for my daily 1-2 hour run and 1-2 hour bikeride, is perfect.
The best sports watch to meet your fitness goals and lose weight/get fit!
I got this watch after reading several pre-release reviews by various tech guys and gals and wad hesitant because of some negativity. Boy were they wrong. I have the Cardio Runner model and am also aware of the feature set on the Multisport model. I am an eleven time Ironman triathlon athlete with over two decades of experience in competing and coaching triathlon and swimming /biking /running individually. What makes this watch my goto training watch is its ease of use, durability and functionality. Yeah, I have also owned Garmin, Timex, and other training watches but for most of us in reaching our fitness goals the single most important thing is will I use it consistently in my training program to set reasonable goals which can and will be met. The best watch will never make you fit or swim, bike and run faster without actually practicing swimming, biking and running. This watch makes it easy with no heart rate strap necessary and an easy to use and view display. It also syncs easily with Tom Tom's website or exporting the file to a third party application like Strava or even Garmin Connect. It consistently keeps an accurate heart rate, distance and pace, my big three most important metrics If you want more you can set heart rate zones, alarms and other things but for most of us trying to get fit and lose weight those metrics are more than enough because then we wind up analyzing data, not creating data which means no exercise. It's light weight, then strap is heavy duty but also fits my wife who is tiny at 5'3". I am 6'2", 250. The biggest advantage is not having to put on adjust and then readjust the heart rate strap at the beginning of or middle of run. Yes, this functionality is lost if you get the Multisport model because you will have to wear a heart rate strap on the bike if your watch is affixed to the bike (never use a watch like this on your wrist while cycling) but that's ok because it retains all the other functionality. The company has terrific, friendly and knowledgeable customer service and technical support with short hold times, a key for novices, because I have sat on hold for Garmin for over an hour several times only to get a technician who had no idea how to use the watch, a bummer. Overall, this watch and its sister Multisport model, will suffice for 99% of us and if used consistently will give you easy to understand data which will encourage you to walk, run or swim, bike and run. more which means losing weight and getting healthy. Setting goals which can be met is the key to losing weight and getting fit, uniformity and consistency are what this watch will encourage.
The best cardio running watch on the market!
I love this watch. I read many reviews and was somewhat skeptical before purchasing the watch. I have used it almost daily for the last six weeks and have not had any issues.
The main thing that steered me towards this watch is the fact that up don't have to wear a chest strap. As an avid runner for the last 30 years, I have been waiting for this technology for a long time. So glad that TomTom has finally put it on the market.
I would highly recommend this to anyone
Works extremely well for me. No issues with picking up HR.
This thing is freaking awesome. Super quick satellite acquisition. So fast in fact that it often grabs the SAT before it can pick up my HR. Both are quick. 5-10seconds for the SAT and 20-30 second for the HR. Works well, it's light, least expensive offering with this level of features. Obviously there are better multi-sport watches (Suunto Ambit 3 comes to mind) but I REALLY like not having to wear a chest strap. Kudos to TomTom.
Love this watch
This watch replaces a Basis I purchased about a year ago. While the Basis is more about longer term after the fact tracking, it was as close as I could get to what I wanted... a way to track my heart rate and distance. This watch is really wanted and works perfectly for me. The GPS does a really good job and the heart rate monitor seems to be spot on.
but I considered it an investment and months later I'm glad I made it
I'm very impressed. The heart rate monitor works just as well as any other I've used, the battery life is impressive and the interface and display are, as with previous TomTom's, top notch. This is expensive, but I considered it an investment and months later I'm glad I made it.
Having read some negative reviews which may easily put off potential customers from an excellent product I ...
Having read some negative reviews which may easily put off potential customers from an excellent product I thought to write my own review. I have been using the watch for about 10 days now, mainly for running, and I have to judge it flawless. The freedom of a chest strap- free HR is itself a great achievement but also a very friendly interface, bare but to the point, do we'll justify choosing this model over many of its rivals. The watch is quick in fixing the position, couple of minutes at the most in unusual environments, and the localizations is excellent, despite a sustained discrepancy between runkeeper and Mysports/Mapmyrun websites (in my case the runs appear to be on average 10% longer on Runkeeper website.
WiFi connected to any iOS device (from iPhone5 up) for downloading runs and info
Frequent OS and GPS upgrades available online
Night mode with light on
Customisable views of run info
Proprietary charging cable to USB
No charger in the package
Website still in development
Occasional large difference (distance) between MySport and other websites
No GPS direction abilities (it does not work as a car GPS unit)
In conclusion, the product is under active development but it is already a very complete product, mature for any type of audience. Battery life is about 8 hours (under an activity) or weeks in standby mode. The wifi download works seamlessly and the minimalist strap given in the box is very good for swimming. Finally, I did not personally record any flaw in the HR monitoring, despite running under heavy rain or in very hot weather and sweating in proportion. This watch meets all of my (and my wife's) expectations and I am very confident that with the latest and coming updates it will be the best running/tri watch on the market!
This is the greatest swimmer watch
Every morning I swim 3,000 meters. The watch is set for 30 100's on the 2:30. The watch tracks my times, distance, cycles, cals burned and most important my set number. This is the greatest swimmer watch. Does not do HR in swim mode. Did some runs and it is great.
Love the built in heart rate monitor. Easy interface online and on the watch. Something I would recommend for sure