Spark your fitness with the TomTom Spark fitness watch. Multi-sport options, GPS, a built-in heart rate monitor & Bluetooth connectivity make this baby a must-try for any fitness tech enthusiast.
This post is sponsored by TomTom.
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About two weeks ago, I attended a really fun event hosted by TomTom & Sound Off to test out TomTom’s new fitness watch: The TomTom Spark Cardio + Music. I attended a Sound Off Yoga event before, so I knew it was going to be awesome.
I arrived at the Bryant Park Hotel and was greeted with a sweet swag bag. They made me my own special shirt with my favorite number and got me all set up with a TomTom watch and Bluetooth headphones. I was super pumped that I’d get to keep the watch! I thought I was just going to get to try it out for the workout. #winning
One of the first things I noticed was how comfortable the watch was. The strap comes in different sizes, and snaps into place easily. It needs to be snug so that it can pick up your heart rate, but I didn’t even notice it really. It’s nice and light and not too bulky.
I played around with the watch for a bit before TomTom talked to us about some of the features. Here’s a quick overview (I’ll go into more details below).
Then the workout was under way. Rob from Bandana Training took us through a fun warm up. He preloaded the warm up onto the watch so we could see how the headphones worked. It was pretty awesome.
Then we put on our Sound Off headphones, the lights got all crazy, and we did a really fun dance workout thanks to 305 Fitness. Let it be known that I am a terrible, I mean TERRIBLE dancer. I have zero, actually, I have negative rhythm, but I still had a blast. I didn’t feel like anyone was judging my spazziness, and it was cool to see how my heart rate shot up during the workout and how quickly I recovered afterwards.
I went home really excited to try the watch during my runs, but first things first, a quick overview of how the watch works.
The home screen simply displays the time. If you scroll to the left, you can see your daily totals for sleep, steps, distance, time active, and calories burned. If you scroll to the left again, you can see your weekly totals. If you scroll up from the home screen, you can connect your headphones, and if you scroll down from the home screen, you can get to all the watch settings. Scroll to the right from the home screen, and you can select your activity (freestyle, running outside, running inside, gym, bike timer and swim – yes! It’s waterproof up to 50m, but you can’t track your heart rate while under water.)
Two days after receiving the watch, I had a 20-miler on tap – perfect testing ground. I strapped on the TomTom watch and my Garmin 610 to do a comparison.
The TomTom picked up the GPS right away. My Garmin can sometimes take upwards of 5 minutes to find a signal, so this was a pleasant surprise. I also really like the size of the TomTom. It’s not as bulky.
As I started running, I noticed that the TomTom wasn’t alerting me to my pace at each mile. I learned later that I need to put it in lap mode to get alerted to my distance and pace, so that’s an easy solve.
I will say I got nervous every time I had to stop at a light and pause my workout. To pause the TomTom, you press the cursor over to the left. If you accidently hit it twice, though, it will stop your workout and you won’t be able to restart it. I think I’m used to how much pressure to apply on the cursor now to ensure I only scroll over one time instead of two. However, the pause button on the Garmin is much easier.
Now let’s talk GPS accuracy. By the end of the 20 miles, there was only a .11 mile difference between the TomTom & the Garmin. Not too shabby.
I was pretty bummed that post workout, I couldn’t see my mile splits on the watch. However, later I synced the watch with the app and all the splits showed up there.
Speaking of the app, it is well-organized and super simple to use. You can download it on your phone and sync to the watch via Bluetooth, or you can use the desktop version and simply plug the watch into the computer to sync it up.
Plugging the watch in to charge is kind of a pain. The charger is a little bit finicky and not the most intuitive thing. However, once it’s plugged in, the watch charges quickly, you can see all your stats and you can add music very easily (you can add 500 songs!).
I also tested the watch in gym mode for CrossFit, in interval run mode and in treadmill mode. I think it’s great for monitoring my heart rate in CrossFit and in any outdoor run mode. However, the treadmill mode seems to be a bit off. I did 5 miles of speed intervals and at the end of the workout, the watch told me I’d only burned 178 calories. Uh… I don’t think so, TomTom. I’m sweating up a storm over here! It also said I’d only run 3 miles. Fortunately, you can adjust the distance run, but the calories didn’t adjust.
Then, last weekend, I decided to test out the music feature for a 6 mile run. I uploaded a sweet running playlist, connected my Bluetooth headphones easily, left my phone at home and headed out for a run. That’s when I hit a snag.
I stood outside of my apartment for over five minutes waiting for the GPS signal to connect, and it never did. I don’t know if the watch couldn’t handle the Bluetooth and the GPS at the same time or if the signal was just particularly bad in the city that day – but I lost my patience. I was really surprised considering it connected in no time at all for my other two outdoor runs.
I wanted to just start my run and hope the GPS signal picked up eventually (my Garmin lets you do that), but the TomTom won’t let you start going on outdoor running mode until it finds a signal. Sooo I switched the watch to treadmill mode and estimated my miles. I’ve done the route a million times, so I’m pretty sure I was close to my 6-mile goal.
**UPDATE** TomTom read this review and reached out to me with some tips for fixing the GPS signal issues. I’m happy to say they worked! Now the GPS connects in under a minute. How’s that for great customer service?
I wore this watch for a week and a half to really test out all the features. Here are some overarching pros and cons:
- multi-sport option/use beyond running
- daily tracking of steps, calories and sleep
- built in heart rate monitor
- GPS signal connects quickly
- **UPDATE: Excellent customer service!**
- treadmill feature doesn’t seem accurate
- pause button is tricky
I know this post got lengthy, but since fitness watches are a bit of an investment (this one retails at $250, but you can get options without the music and without the heart rate monitor for less), I wanted to give you all the details. Overall, I’m a fan of the TomTom Spark. I’ll definitely continue to use it for every day tracking and will probably rotate use with my Garmin for tracking runs.
Alrighty, now let’s see what you’re up to on the Wild Workout Wednesday. Check out the link up rules here and join in!
Oh and don’t forget about the Skoop GIVEAWAY!
How do you track your fitness?
Do you own a fitness watch?
This post is also linked up with the Wunderful Best of Blogs Link Up!