Reviews: Wearables

Tomtom Touch Cardio is a basic and sleek fitness tracker

The Tomtom Touch Cardio does not have a built-in fat and muscle analyser like its predecessor but is $80 cheaper.
The Tomtom Touch Cardio does not have a built-in fat and muscle analyser like its predecessor but is $80 cheaper.PHOTO: TOMTOM

The Tomtom Touch Cardio is a toned-down and cheaper version of its more feature-packed cousin, the Touch Cardio + Body Composition.

The latter, launched last September, has a built-in fat and muscle analyser. The new Touch Cardio does away with that and shaves $80 off the price tag.

Apart from the lack of body-fat readings, the Touch Cardio can do exactly what its cousin does. It automatically tracks your steps taken, distance walked, calories burnt and sleep time, as well as measures your heart rate all day.

Looks-wise, the Touch Cardio looks almost exactly like its cousin - which is a good thing, as it looks pretty sleek.

It still consists of a tracking module and a swoppable rubber wrist strap, but the module does not have the metallic round button below the display like its cousin.

Instead, the Touch Cardio's touch-sensitive monochrome display continues down into a round concave indent, which you press to wake up the device. However, I found that at times you have to press really hard for it to work.

Thankfully, swiping up and down the display to toggle through the various fitness statistics panels is slightly easier. But, still, it could be more responsive.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $159

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    WEIGHT: 10g

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

Step tracking is on the stingy side, tracking around 8 per cent fewer steps than my calibrated Fitbit Alta HR. While 8 per cent might sound like a lot, it is still within the typical 10 per cent accuracy range of fitness trackers.

Heart-rate measurements differed by no more than 3 beats per minute (bpm) from the Alta HR through the day. The resting heart rate measured by both fitness trackers differed by a mere 2 bpm.

Like the Touch Cardio + Body Composition, the Touch Cardio's sleep tracking is too basic. It shows just the duration of your sleep, without differentiating whether it is light or deep sleep. Some Fitbit fitness trackers are able to show you your sleep cycle.

As the Touch Cardio does not have built-in GPS, runs are tracked by using its accelerometer. Unlike Fitbit's automatic detection of workouts, you need to activate Tomtom Cardio's Sports mode before you start running. I found it tracking up to 800m less on my usual 5km running route.

The Touch Cardio is supposed to last for five days on a full charge. But I found it lasted for around three days when connected to a smartphone for notifications. Thankfully, it uses the ubiquitous micro-USB cable to charge, unlike with Fitbit and Garmin devices, which use proprietary cables.

In addition, the Touch Cardio is rated at IPX7, which means you can shower with it but not swim with it.

• Verdict: For those who want a basic and sleek fitness tracker, the Tomtom Touch Cardio is an affordable choice.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2017, with the headline 'Tomtom Touch Cardio is a basic and sleek fitness tracker'. Print Edition | Subscribe