The TomTom Runner GPS Watch is the first real product from TomTom in the highly competitive GPS watch category. This watch has some great features, including some fun graphic modes that are almost too good in that you want to look at the screen instead of run. Read our TomTom Runner GPS watch review for why it should be on your short list.
TomTom Runner GPS Watch Review – Design
The TomTom Runner GPS Watch is a nice mid-range running watch. It is lightweight (1.75 oz) allowing for a thin streamlined look. It has a nice large high-resolution display so you can easily see the full screen graphics which are quite helpful during a run. The watchband is comfortable and thin and made of a flexible type of rubber instead of the harder plastic watchband materials other watches use.
The TomTom Runner GPS Watch comes in two colors, black/grey, and pink/grey. Not much variety in terms of color, but I guess it covers the basics.
TomTom Runner GPS Watch – Usability
The TomTom Runner GPS Watch features a one button control, making navigating through the watch features easier than most gps watches. The one button control lies directly below the display, and is a good size, making it easy to change the display while running. Gone are the days when you have to remember what button to to press. The TomTom Runner only has one!
The TomTom Runner GPS Watch is waterproof up to 50 meters. I found the GPS connection very fast, and the GPS itself to be accurate, which is definitely a plus. It has a good long battery life in GPS mode, up to 10 hours. The TomTom Runner also has an indoor/treadmill option and does not need a footpod to work. It also has a nice bright backlight for those late evening or early morning runs.
TomTom Runner GPS Watch – Features
The TomTom Runner GPS Watch allows you to monitor multiple statistics while on your run.It can show you distance, time, and pace all on the display at once. You can change this display setting, and choose to show stats such as calories, heart rate, average pace and laps (if enabled). You can also compare your current workout with your recent runs with one click of the button.
The TomTom Runner GPS Watch provides three different full screen display modes; Race, Goal, and Zone.
The Race mode allows you to compare your current workout with some of your recent run times. When you are just starting out with your watch, you will see that TomTom has a set of race times already preloaded for you to race against. Once you begin using your watch, these times will be replaced by your own race times and you can begin racing against yourself. The Race mode allows you to race yourself in real time. The watch has a great visual display of a road, you on the road (as a little black arrow) racing with your past self (as a little grey arrow). Watching that little grey arrow ahead of your little black arrow can really be a motivator to catch up and keep pace. It also cheers you on by showing a #1 if you are in first place. If you begin to fall behind, it will show a #2, showing you are in second place. Once again, a great motivator to beat your past performances. Race mode can save up to ten workouts, which allows you to race at your normal pace, or to try and beat your best run.
Goal mode allows you to enter specific goals such as time, calories burned, or distance. Goal mode provides you with constant progress towards your set goal during your run. You will get alerts as to when you reach a percentage of your goal, such as 50%, 75%, etc. It will also display your progress in the form of a pie chart, filling accordingly to the percentage achieve towards your goal.
Zone mode allows you to allows you to choose your optimal training zone for your run. Zone mode can be configured for heart rate or pace. When in Zone mode, the TomTom Runner will provide you with alerts to show how you are stacking up to your optimal zone.
Speaking of Zone mode, I tend to zone out a bit too while running with my headphones. Luckily, the TomTom Runner Watch offers vibration alerts in addition to the traditional audible sound alerts.
My Sports Connect
The MySports Connect Application, available on the TomTom website, allows you to upload your running statistics and track your progress. The website is a bit bare bones, and disappointing . TomTom knows their website needs a lot of improvement, and many have commented about the lackluster functions of the site. TomTom seems to have put much less thought into their site than the watch itself. TomTom has plans to upgrade their site and has been slowly doing so, but it definitely feels like the MySports Connect was an afterthought. Fortunately, you can use your data on other running sites such as MyMapFitness and RunKeeper with relative ease.
TomTom Runner GPS Watch Review – Summary
You may notice the similarities between the TomTom Runner GPS Watch and the Nike+ GPS watch. TomTom and Nike worked together to make the Nike+ GPS watch, and the TomTom Runner is TomTom’s attempt to stand alone in running watches.
The TomTom Runner GPS Watch has some really nice functions. The large display is really a plus when keeping track of your stats while running. The three graphical modes (Race, Goal and Zone) are excellent motivators to help you reach your goals in your daily workouts. I especially like the Race mode. Racing against your prior performances can really bring the competitiveness out of you on a daily basis. The only drawback to this watch TomTom’s MySports Connect application, which needs some work. Otherwise, it’s a good mid-range running watch with some nice tracking functions.