TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio Review

Similar to the Garmin 920XT we have reviewed, the TomTom Cardio is similarly a multisport device that incorporates a plethora of performance-oriented and superior features.

The watch is your partner “cardio” that will track your everyday activities including running, cycling, or cycling activities.

Compared to its closest rivals, the TomTom is by far superior in many ways including the inclusion of a built-in heart rate monitor. At the very best, this device is described as the go-to solution for the serious athletes and fitness aficionados who are committed to getting their fitness/health activity tracking right.

Nevertheless, we should caution you that the price runs a little high, but let us see whether the said price tag matches on performance and whether it`s worth going for alternative devices.

What Makes TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio Awesome?

  • Built-in Heart Rate Monitor. If you`re a fitness enthusiast, you are aware of keeping tabs on your particular heart rate to allow you get the most of your workouts. Traditionally, this meant strapping a device to your chest, in addition to carrying a running watch or smartphone. With the TomTom, however, you can say goodbye to strapping the bothersome and weird looking straps, as it comes with a built-in heart rate monitor that sits neatly in the base of your watch. Now, you can comfortably measure your heart rate from the comfort of your wrist.
  • Built-In GPS. Using a combination of GPS and GLONASS under QuickGPSFix, you can track your workout and calculate the distances you ran, cycled, or swam. Similarly, it can provide you with your speed, pace, and even locate your position. We like that the GPS feature will allow you to track your running route, which you can view later on your favorite device.
  • Multi-Sport Mode. Though it does not feature a "multisport," mode which is a bit puzzling considering it`s focused on the multisport market, it can track three types of sports on a single device. For the swimming lovers, the TomTom can accurately capture swim metrics while in the pool, including distance covered, tracking the length of the pool, tracking the number of strokes, laps, and SWOLF. SWOLF is a swim efficiency score based on the number of strokes taken per pool length.


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TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio (Black)
  • TomTom Multi Sport Cardio Black Red

Unique Features That Make TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio Interesting

Design

The first glance of the TomTom gives the impression of a funky looking, bright and fun timepiece with a solid looking strap and rubber outer that is in line with the latest trend of sports watches.

The edifice of the TomTom is housed by a rubberized casing that separates the square control panel, which is located below the display area. What is unique about the rubberized casing is that it`s skinned allowing you to swap it out. Additionally, the unit comes with a rubberized skin and strap that acts as a bike mount.

In the wearable world where face screens reign, you might get disappointed to discover the screen is not a touchscreen. However, TomTom has turned this defect into one of its strongholds; the device comes with a single square button, which allows you to navigate the entire system by the touch of one button.

Additionally, the lack of a touch screen means the navigation and control of the device are not affected by moisture or sweat as witnessed by a majority of the touchscreen.

Display

The TomTom comes with a square face with a 1” by 0.85” display, sporting a resolution of 168 by 144 pixels. The display is bright enough and provides adequate contrast allowing you to read even on direct sunlight.

If anything, however, the device comes with a modest design, and the screen is too minimalist, though not an acceptable criticism for a running watch. In any case, we would have hoped for at least a large enough screen that supports the display of more data.

Connectivity

With regards to connectivity, TomTom Multi-sport is compatible with selected Androids, iPhones 4s or newer versions, or the second gen iPad or later. The device makes full use of Bluetooth Smart Technology to allow you to connect to a variety of compatible devices.

App

You can either download MySports mobile app to sync data from the watch to your favorite device wirelessly, or sign up and log in to the company`s MySports portal.

Either way, MySports dashboard is easy to navigate, and it allows you to view a list of your workouts in chronological order. Additionally, the app allows you click the expandable tabs on a workout to analyze and see more detailed stats.

On top of that, the device supports an array of third-party apps that will help you achieve your daily fitness and health goals.

Activity Tracked

The TomTom Cardio is a Multi-sport tracking device, and as such it`s quite handy in tracking an array of activities including running, cycling, and swimming.

Let us look at how it does so.

The TomTom running training mode is available in six settings, which are;

  • Free
  • Run
  • Goals
  • Intervals
  • Laps
  • Zone
  • Race

The Zone setting is the core of the heart rate optimal training. The zone is further subdivided into Pace or heart.

Our interest is at the Heart Rate Zones, which are essential in optimizing your training. The heart rate zone allows you to choose custom heart rate zones where a minimum and maximum heart rate is set to a range of a single beat.

The six intensity zones, which will allow you to match your training goals and know whether you need speeding up or slowing down are;

  • Easy- Easy tempo training is mostly used for warm-up and cool down
  • Fat Burn- Used for moderate tempo training, and is awesome for weight loss
  • Endure- Balance between high moderate and high tempo, this intensity zone is great for improving your ling and cardiovascular capacity
  • Speed- The speed intensity is ideal for optimizing your speed and fitness
  • Sprint- It`s often used a party of interval training

Cadence Monitoring

It`s a shame the TomTom Multi-sport Cardio does not come with a cadence monitor to gauge your pedal stroke and wheel rotation and wind sensor.

Even so, the watch has a majority of features that you require to get whizzing along the road, whether on foot or by road.

First, it`s great at finding the GPS signal. And once you`re underway in your selected activity, the face of the watch will record and display your duration, distance, pace, speed, calories burned, and heart rate.

Swim Function

The swim function of the watch is rather limited as it does not support open water tracking. Additionally, it will not track your heart rate while in the water like the Garmin HRM Swim smartwatch for swimmers.

Nonetheless, in the pool, it performs exceptionally well and offers pretty accurate swimming metrics ranging from you’re the number of laps, strokes, length of the pool, rest intervals to speed/pace of your swim.

Generally, the TomTom Cardio Black comes with an intuitive interface that allows you to perform an array of functions.

We, particularly like the “ghost run” session, which allows you to run against yourself. It`s a great motivator that uses a virtual competitor to tell you how much ahead or back you are at your training.

Additional Functions

Two of the notable auxiliaries on the device include a built-in compass for easy navigation, and route exploration feature that shows your last trails by leaving “breadcrumbs.”

Battery Life

When using the heart rate sensor and GPS, the watch lasts for approximately 8 hours.

Box Content

Inside the box, you are going to find a charger, manual, extra bands, and no headphone.

Warranty

The TomTom comes with a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Waterproof. The TomTom Cardio comes with a water resistance of 5 ATM, thus, placing it in line with high-end  waterproof watches models.
  • Plenty of Performance Metrics. There`s indeed an abundance of running metrics for this watch including time, calories, distance, heart rate, pace, elevation, and strides per minute.
  • Right Size and Weight. Though small, this Multi-Sport Cardio strikes a balance between weight and size offering you a compact and performance-oriented piece.

Cons

  • Expensive

Bottom Line on TomTom Multi-Sport

We cannot argue the TomTom is cheap. However, the days of cheap straps are over, and we think cost should no longer be a consideration to make when choosing a fitness device. The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio effectively integrates a plethora of features including an inbuilt GPS and heart rate monitor without sacrificing much on the battery life.


The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is a good buy, especially for those who do not want to get bagged by strapping a weird looking heart rate monitor on their chest. Aside from the liberation of the straps, it`s also an ideal solution for those looking for a device that comes with a professional look and is accurate at the very least.


However, if you cannot live up to its price, there`re cheaper alternatives that work as the TomTom Cardio Black such as the Garmin Forerunner.

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