TomTom Spark Cardio + Music watch: A great all-rounder

TomTom Spark Cardio + Music watch
TomTom Spark Cardio + Music watch

The TomTom Spark Cardio + Music GPS Fitness Watch not only tracks your runs with its built-in GPS and heart-rate monitor (HRM), but it is also an integrated music player with 3GB of internal memory for music storage.

Add $80 more, and you can get a bundle that includes a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

In terms of looks, the Spark follows the mould of most fitness watches. In other words, it is not something I will wear to a wedding dinner.

The Spark consists of a watch module and a rubber strap. You need to remove the module from the strap for charging.

The watch module has a square four-way button sited just below the watch display. The strap feels comfortable and secure.

Other than tracking runs, it also tracks other indoor and outdoor activities, such as swimming, cycling and treadmill.

Like the other two watches in this roundup, the Spark is also a fitness tracker that automatically monitors your steps and sleep duration. It tracks your heart rate all day, in 10min intervals.

To start a run, press the button's right side for workouts that include Run, Cycle, Swim, Treadmill or Gym.

Press the right side again to select the workout. In Run, you can select Training that includes Goals, Laps or Zones. Each represents a different objective. So if, for example, you set the run as Fat Burn (in Zones), the watch will display your ideal and current heart-rate zones during the run.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $399 (without Bluetooth headphones) and $479 (with Bluetooth headphones)

    WATER RESISTANCE: 40m

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    WEIGHT: 51g

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 5/5

    BATTERY LIFE : 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The Spark needed only 10sec to get a GPS signal lock from the streets in my HDB estate. The process took just 3sec on the open running track.

My run distance readings were accurate, only a few metres off from the actual distances. Heart- rate readings during runs were consistently very close to the readings by the Wahoo Fitness Blue chest-strap HRM.

For step tracking, I found that the Spark closely matched my calibrated Fitbit Charge HR. The difference was a mere 0.4 per cent.

Only with sleep monitoring did the accuracy falter. It did not track the correct time I fell asleep or woke up.

Battery life is around 5hr when you utilise Spark's full suite of GPS, heart-rate monitoring and music playback. Use it as a fitness tracker, and it can last around two weeks before you need to charge it.

Trevor Tan

•Verdict: The TomTom Spark Cardio + Music GPS Fitness Watch is a great all-rounder with consistent performance in terms of tracking run, heart rate and daily physical activity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2016, with the headline 'TomTom Spark Cardio + Music watch: A great all-rounder'. Print Edition | Subscribe