January 12, 2017 3:21:56 pm
TomTom, known for its navigation and GPS solutions, has been adding Fitness bands and watches to its portfolio over the past few years. It recently introduced the Spark 3 series in India along with the TomTom Touch Fitness Tracker band. The Spark 3, just like the previous Spark versions, are multi-sport watches geared towards those who really work on their fitness regime. The Spark 3 has a version with just the Music option, one with Music and Cardio, and another with just Cardio. I reviewed the TomTom Spark 3 Music and Cardio watch and here’s what I thought of it.
Specifications, features: 24/7 activity tracking | GPS tracking | Multisport mode | Route exploration| Built-in heart rate monitor | Over 500 songs of music storage (4GB storage) | Bluetooth headphones included
Price: Rs 21,999
TomTom Spark 3 Cardio+ Music GPS Fitness watch
The new Spark 3 has a design similar to an earlier TomTom Multi-sport I had reviewed. This one is supposed to be slimmer than the previous version, but feels and looks just as bulky. The design is the same old rectangular watch face with a giant squarish button at the bottom. Not the prettiest design in the market. But then you can’t worry about a stylish watch while going on a hiking trip. TomTom’s Spark 3 Music+Cardio also comes with a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones included in the box, and there’s a proprietary charger for the watch.
So what’s good?
For those who are into multi-sports, and like to do hiking, cycling, swimming and then are ready to hit the gym, this watch is one of the better options. The cycling data on the watch was pretty accurate, and the same as the one reflected on my Strava app, which was also recording my bike sessions on my iPhone.
There’s a trail function as well, where you can upload a hiking trail on the watch, and then rely on the in-built navigation while you go out. You need to convert a route into a gpx file, and then add it to the TomTom desktop app for the same to start showing on the watch. Trails are shown in the outdoor cycling, and running modes of the watch. It took me sometime to figure this out, but once I had successfully uploaded the trail, the watch was a pretty good guide when I went out cycling. Of course, I’m pretty familiar with this so called ‘trail’ I had created, but the watch will constantly show you whether you are on the right path or not. Again this is a feature that adventure freaks will appreciate, especially those for whom every weekend is an opportunity to go hiking.
For the rest of us folks, who don’t have time or money to go hiking, the watch can also record gym data. Whether you’re on the treadmill or on the indoor spin cycle, the TomTom Watch is pretty accurate when it comes to keeping a track of these numbers.
The other advantage with the TomTom Spark 3 is that this one comes with a heart-rate sensor. Once the data is collected after an exercise session, and synced on the app, you can see real-time heart rate data from your session. The watch is also accurate when it comes to sleep-tracking.
The other advantage is the watch lets you store music, but you can only add playlists from iTunes, etc and not individual songs. Plus this is not entirely a smooth process as I found out.
So what’s not good?
I didn’t care for the headphones that came with the watch. They are way too big for my ears, and I just didn’t bother using them. Additionally, the TomTom Spark 3 detected some playlists on my iTunes, and automatically added them to the watch, but the songs wouldn’t get played or only one or two songs were reflected from the playlist.
I had to do a factory reset to fix some issues that kept cropping up like with music and the fact that it wouldn’t detect sleep data. It would also take way too long to sync with the app, but this got sorted post the factory reset. However, the app is a bit slow. For instance, I synced the TomTom account with Strava in order to share the data with the latter. While TomTom’s app says the data is being exported, I still don’t see it reflected on Strava, which is strange.
I’m not convinced by the step count on this watch. It is definitely on the higher side. The watch would say I’ve walked a 1000 steps very early in the day, while my iPhone would say 500 and that’s something I carry on my person at most times. Given how little I walk on a daily basis, I’ll go with the iPhone on this.
Should you buy?
TomTom Spark 3 Music+Cardio is for those into multi-sports, and not if your main purpose is to hit the gym once a month or just count steps. I don’t hike so much myself, and for me the Strava app is good enough to record my cycling sessions, so I don’t see the need for a separate watch. However, those into hard core training, and like to combine their love for running, swimming and cycling can definitely consider this.
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