Review: TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio GPS Sport Watch with Heart Rate Monitor built-in

The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio GPS Sport Watch comes with built-in Heart Rate Monitor. The watch works for running/treadmill, cycling and swimming activities.

The TomTom Cardio GPS Sport Watch comes in Runner or Multi-Sport versions.

The TomTom Cardio GPS Sport Watch comes in Runner or Multi-Sport versions.

The built-in Heart Rate Monitor is in the base of the watch, and measures your heart rate the moment you put on the watch.

This means you do not need to wear a separate chest strap or place a finger on a separate heart rate monitor (say on a smartphone) every time you want to take a reading.

You can vary the heart rate zones and vary the intensity of training depending on the goals you want to reach.

The embedded GPS receiver provides real-time exercise information at a glance, tracking your distance, time, pace, speed and calories burnt as you run, cycle or swim.

After the activity, users can view their routes and other key stats on TomTom MySports and other popular sites, such as, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, TrainingPeaks and Strava so that they can monitor their progress over an extended period of time.

With the TomTom MySports app (available on both iOS and Android), data from the sports activities are automatically uploaded.

Last Word:

The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio GPS Sport Watch motivates you to monitor and improve your fitness and training by monitoring and keeping track of your exertions using its built-in heart rate monitor. It is a useful tool for anyone desiring a finer resolution in charting the progress of his/her training regime.

Getting started

Getting started is simple. First visit the TomTom Get Started web page (www.tomtom.com/123) and download the MySports Connect desktop application.

This will automatically send any updates to your watch each time you connect your watch to the computer.

Before using the Multi-Sport Cardio for the first time, plug the watch into its desk dock and connect the desk dock to a USB port on your computer.

This will charge the watch and update the watch with the latest updates.

Take this time to register at the MySports website to track your exercise statistics. Input your personal settings for greater accuracy.

Likes

First off, I like the large display on the watch face. It’s easy to make out the time, distance and pace on the display even while running, cycling and swimming.

The Multi-Sport Cardio has only one control button – you press the up, down, left, right edge of the button for navigating through its menus and selecting the options.

This saves having to remember which button is for what and when to press each button.

The single control, together with the on-screen choices makes navigation and usability intuitive and straightforward.

On rainy days, I run on the treadmill and the Multi-Sport Cardio has built-in sensors to count strides to help me monitor pace and distance and subsequently upload these to MySports for long term progress monitoring.

The watch is waterproof up to 165 feet / 5ATM so you can not only swim but run in all kinds of weather.

The four-way single control button is right below the watch face. The built-in Heart Rate Monitor is in the base of the watch, and measures your heart rate in real time as you exercise.

The four-way single control button is right below the watch face. The built-in Heart Rate Monitor is in the base of the watch, and measures your heart rate in real time as you exercise.

The screen is supposed to be scratch and impact-resistant – so far it is still in pristine condition despite having been dropped and knocked into a rough concrete wall (unintentionally of course).

Dislikes

The GPS can take some time to get a fix before the exercise begins.

i like the sporty red and black design of the TomTom Cardio GPS Sport Watch.

I like the sporty red and black design of the TomTom Cardio GPS Sport Watch, although my wife dislikes it.

This is more a problem of getting strong and clear GPS signal reception if you’re surrounded by tall buildings around.

Fortunately, the Multi-Sport uses TomTom’s proprietary QuickGPSFix Technology to help get faster GPS fix times.

When the watch is connected to TomTom MySports Connect, it will download satellite locations for the next 3 days, so that it can more quickly locate the satellites in their orbit, establish its position.

I found that this helped reduce the time to get a fix, but it does mean you have to connect the TomTom once every 2-3 days or at least three days before each exercise, which is quite manageable.

Heart Rate Monitoring

What I like most with the Multi-Sport Cardio is its heartrate-based monitoring which tracks in real time the heart rate of the body even as I exercise.

You can tweak the heart rate range for each of these zones yourself in MySports.

You can tweak the heart rate range for each of these zones yourself in MySports.

That provides a direct measure of how my body is responding to the exertion and provides an accurate real-time indication of how to ramp up or down the intensity.

The data is also useful as a basis of longer term monitoring of training progress.

Heart rate monitoring provides the fine-grain resolution that distance tracking provides an estimation for.

In the Multi-Sport Cardio, the watch uses your age and translates the heart rate into one of 5 zones below.

  1. Sprint – All out: mostly used as part of interval training
  2. Speed – High tempo: training improving your speed and fitness
  3. Endure – Moderate to High tempo: improving your lung and heart capacity
  4. Fat Burn – Moderate tempo: great for weight loss
  5. Easy – Easy tempo: mostly used for warm-up and cool down

These can be represented in various graphical ways so that you can tell where which zone or heart rate you’re at with a glance in the midst of exercising.

During your run/cycle you can view your heart rate as a number or see which zone you are in so that you can adjust and speed up or slow down if needed. You can access the Cardio data screens at any time by pressing right during an activity. Pressing right again scrolls through several screens of extra information. During and at the end of each activity a clear full screen graphic will show you how long you spent inside each zone as a %.

You can access the Cardio data screens at any time by pressing right during an activity. Pressing right again scrolls through several screens of extra information. During and at the end of each activity a clear full screen graphic will show you how long you spent inside each zone as a %.

Using Multi-Sport Cardio and the heart rate monitor, you can follow different regimes of training depending on your goals. Here are a few courses.

Becoming faster
Going further

The prices for the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio GPS Sport Watch, as well as other models in the series is shown below.

Prices for the TomTom Cardio GPS Sport Watch series. Note the COMEX 2014 offer.

Prices for the TomTom Cardio GPS Sport Watch series. Note the COMEX 2014 offer. Click to to view/download a larger version.

7 Responses to “Review: TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio GPS Sport Watch with Heart Rate Monitor built-in”

  1. Stephen Forshaw says:

    How’s the battery life? Does it drain fast?

    • tech4tea says:

      It was ok for me. If you use it as a watch, it lasts forever. It only starts draining when you’re using it while exercising cos that’s when the GPS works continuously. Even then, I haven’t had it run out of juice in the middle of a session before. Typically I can go a few sessions in between charges. It’s supposed to last 8-10 hours.

  2. Ling Hui says:

    Is it backlit? Can you read it at night?

    • tech4tea says:

      You can just touch the left side of the display and a faint light will come on, good enough to read what’s on the screen in the dark.

  3. Sally Thomas says:

    Was looking for an anniversary gift for the hubby. This is just right!

  4. […] aficionados will find the full range of TomTom GPS Sport Watches on display at the Show, including the TomTom Golfer and the popular TomTom Cardio range with […]

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