The people at TOMTOM sent me over one of their Runner GPS watches to do an review on. I've been using it for about a month and have ran 2 half marathons with it. This isn't TomTom's first foray into the GPS watch world as most of y'all know the Nike GPS watch was powered by TOMTOM but this time the watch is all TOMTOM.
INITIAL IMPRESSION: OUT OF THE BOX
Right out of the box I noticed it was a stylish slim watch that was unlike many of the GPS watches that I've previously owned. GPS watches are notorious for being bulky and weighty but because of the design of the TOMTOM runner GPS watch they were able to make it slim.
It's actually kind off ingenious the way that they ended up designing it. By lengthening the TomTom Runner GPS watches housing it looks like a normal watch and it also has a lower profile than most GPS watches.
ON THE RUN:
To start the TomTom all you have to do is press right on the little directional pad twice. Once it finds a satellite just press the right button once more and you're all set to get your run on. So how long does it take for it to find a GPS signal? With its QuickGPSfix technology it finds the satellite rather quickly in about 5 to 10 seconds with my experience.
It has three areas for data fields where you can see your stats on the run. A large one in the middle and then two at the top left and right. You can set them to distance, duration, clock time, pace, average pace, calories, heart rate (only if you have the heart rate monitor). I would have loved an instant average pace per mile option here as well although you can set it to show you your average pace per mile but that only shows after each mile. I like knowing my current lap pace average at all times so that I can either speed up or slow down accordingly.
Doing interval work with the TOMTOM was interesting. The first time I went out for track work I wanted to set it so I could do 400 meter intervals or quarter mile intervals. Unfortunately the TOMTOM was set to use imperial measurements and is only set to up by tenths. So the problem is if I wanted to do quarter mile splits I could only set my watch to do intervals of 0.2 mile or 0.3 mile
The way to get around this is of course to set it to the metric system and presto your beloved 400 m intervals can be done.
The watch can also be used indoors using it's "Treadmill" mode. It'll measure your metrics by your arm swing. It's nice not needing additional accessories like a foot pod for days when running outside isn't possible.
I took the TOMTOM runner for a swim with me and yes indeed it is waterproof up to 165 ft / 5ATM. I tried to use the manual lap mode in the water but the water seemed to affect its ability to use the touch sensor and it kept going off during my swim rendering the lap mode useless. But as far as the waterproofing capabilities I have no doubt that if that next marathon you run in has some torrential downpours the TOMTOM runner will survive.
There have been some issues with the TOMTOM when I first received in regards to user interface such as pausing the workout and then accidentally ending your workout prematurely but they have updated the TOMTOM runner so that now you must hold the left button on the directional pad for 3 seconds in order to pause or end a workout. They really do listen to what users have to say and act accordingly They are also busy working on an app to get approved so that you can connect to your phone via bluetooth to get all your stats instantly. I'm hoping that they will add the additional average pace per lap into the next update.
Overall I'd say that the TOM TOM RUNNER GPS watch is a nice, sleek, and fashionable GPS watch for runners. With the team behind the watch constantly updating it to make the overall experience better I'm sure that this watch will just get better with time. At a price point of $169.99 it's a tad pricey but that's just about the going rate for GPS watches nowadays. It'll give you all your beloved stats on the run to get you to the finish line.
- Large display for quick glances
- Slim and fashionable
- Ease of use
- Strong vibration alerts
- Great support from TOMTOM. (Constantly updating)
- Charges quickly
- Long Battery Life
- Finds GPS satellite quickly
- Lack of instant average pace per lap
- Limited values to set interval distances