Wearables

Tomtom Touch, your personal fat tracker

Looks aren't everything about the Tomtom Touch fitness tracker.
Looks aren't everything about the Tomtom Touch fitness tracker. PHOTO: TOMTOM

The Tomtom Touch looks like your average wristband fitness tracker with its monochrome touchscreen display and single front button. In other words, there is nothing visually exciting about it.

But the Touch distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack by having a built-in fat and muscle analyser. That's right. With a simple press of the button, it tells you what percentage of fat and muscle reside in your body.

The Touch consists of a tracking module and a swoppable rubber wrist strap.

Remove the module from the wrist strap and you can charge it using any micro-USB cable, unlike with Fitbit and Garmin devices, which use proprietary cables.

The Touch automatically tracks your steps taken, distance walked, calories burnt andsleep time as well as measures your heart rate. You can toggle through these statistics by swiping up and down the display.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $239

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    WEIGHT: 10g

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

To measure your fat and muscle percentage, swipe up on the display until you see the percentage sign. Press and hold with your finger on the button, while making sure your finger is in the same orientation as the tracker.

It usually takes a few tries before you see the tick sign, which indicates successful measurement. A simple trick to get a reading more easily is to make sure the button and your finger are moist.

You have to sync with the MySports app on your smartphone to view your body fat and muscle composition measurements.

I used the Omron BF511 fat analyser weighing scale to compare with the Touch, as I found the BF511's readings to be close to the readings in my medical checkups.

Readings using both devices were taken at the same time of the day, as body fat readings fluctuate through the day.

I found the Touch's body-fat readings about 3 percentage points higher than that from the BF511.

This may not sound like much, but 3 percentage points could be the difference between average and obese.

On the other hand, the Touch's step tracking is very accurate, with readings varying by no more than 2 per cent from my calibrated Fitbit Charge 2.

Its heart-rate measurements also differed by no more than 3 or 4 beats per minute (bpm) from results taken with my Apple Watch Series 2 and Fitbit Charge 2.

But you need to wear the Touch really tight in order to get accurate heart-rate readings. I found that if I wore it loosely, the readings can be off by as much as 20bpm.

Sleep tracking is too basic, as it does not even show the period of your light and deep sleep. Just the average amount of sleep.

Like most fitness trackers, the Touch does not have the GPS function. Runs are tracked by using its accelerometer.

I found my jogging distance readings to be around 9 per cent less than the same readings from my Apple Watch Nike+.

Battery life is supposed to be five days. But I am getting at most only three days, with the tracker connected to a smartphone.

• Verdict: If you want a convenient way to track your body fat and muscle composition, the Tomtom Touch is the fitness tracker to get. Just make sure you wear it tightly.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2016, with the headline 'Tomtom Touch, your personal fat tracker'. Print Edition | Subscribe