Best TomTom Running GPS Watches Compared & Reviewed

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Wearable GPS devices are great asset for all types of runners. They can track your progress, keep track of exactly where you are, and even provide you with an analysis of your performance. This helps to keep you motivated, and aids in your workout development. Whenever you’re planning on running or doing anything else, you need to make sure that what you’re doing is within your capabilities. If you’re not doing enough, then you’re not challenging your body. If you’re doing too much, then you can end up injuring yourself or over stressing your muscles.

TomTom GPS watches are one of the hottest new innovations in workout technology. We’ve all seen the evolution of fitness trackers. As more and more companies have become involved in the progress, we’re seeing more sophisticated products. The TomTom GPS watches are one of these really sophisticated and technologically advanced products. The newest generation of watches can link users to other devices using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities. They also come complete with a number of different sport modes. This lets you track your activity regardless of what you choose to do.

A lot of runners are also concerned about safety while they’re outdoors. Having a GPS tracking watch on can help you know exactly where you are at all times. This can keep you connected to other people, or just stop you from getting lost. There are plenty of times when runners enjoy remote trails. This gives them the opportunity to unwind and to really cut loose on new and challenging terrains. Going too far and not knowing how to get back can be dangerous, though. Using a TomTom GPS watch can make this a nonissue. This is why we looked at a variety of different offerings from TomTom when compiling our review list.

Last Updated: August 18, 2018
By Patricia Howard:

We updated our review criteria and looked at the newest features on the watches. The products listed are a great asset for runners everywhere!

Spark Cardio Plus Music
  • Spark Cardio Plus Music
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Cardio & Music + Heart Rate Monitor
  • Price: See Here
Men's GPS Runner 3 Music
  • Men's GPS Runner 3 Music
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • GPS, music, heart rate monitor
  • Price: See Here
Runner Cardio
  • Runner Cardio
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Cardio + Pulse Rate
  • Price: See Here

10 Best TomTom Running GPS watches

 

 


Spark Cardio Plus Music

A nice upgrade for performance.

This watch hits the first choice and deservedly so, offering an impressive array of features which will appeal as being incredibly useful or all sports people, this high-performance watch rounds of with an ability to store up to 500 of your favorite music titles. This means while you work out you can take along a big choice of tunes to suit your different moods.

A number of TomTom watches offer the ability to carry tunes but this model takes the lead.

We are looking for a seriously good invest via this product, read on and see if it meets your needs.
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Software
First and foremost the watch is equipped with a very high performing and reliable tracker for activities such as sleep, pace, distance and number of calories which you use up and the GPS system is reliable and consistently accurate in all terrains. 


Additional Capabilities
Put away the fiddly need to sync into your smartphone for your tunes, this model will carry/store up to 500 choices for you, the heart rate monitor is accurate and gives a nice reader-friendly display for you if you get caught in a rain downpour, this watch is fully waterproof.


Display
The display system projects comfortably and no need to squint or get close to read it because you get a large clear data readout, it"s good for all types of light conditions.


Battery Life
If you're not running the GPD constantly, all the other features are powered for around three weeks, if you're out in a hike and running the GPS, you will get constant power for a full eleven hours on a single charge, logically for even longer you can bring along a reserve power-pack


Color Options

You get a nice choice, haze, purple, pink, a light blue and a dark blue version and a nice neutral black


Overall

Overall all the watches produced by this brand are very impressive, this model edges up to being the best choice for music lovers because it carries a whopping number of tunes and the GPD technology is superb.
Pros

500 tunes carrying capacity

A thoughtful range of color options

High performing GPS tech

Nice readout screen

Excellent tracking capabilities

Cons

Sometimes can be a bit fiddly to sync to playlist on iTunes



Men's GPS Runner 3 Music

All the features you want and need and a capacity to load and store 500 great self-motivating selection of the tunes you love to hear while exercising.  It was challenging to choose the Spark Cardio Music or this model for the first choice. Here we are at the second choice and this watch is very impressive, check the features and see if you agree?
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Software

GPS performs really well and gives reliable data, for outdoors or in a health gym you can measure used calories, speed, and distance, consistent accurate data for pace and a choice of five zones offering various levels for intense training.


Additional Capabilities

Waterproof down to a depth of around 50 meters, built in alerts via a beeping system and vibration to guide you to stay on track with your goals.


Display

Easy operation via a single touch button and very clear display of data.



Battery Life

With GPS switched you get around/up to 8 hours of power, longer without using GPS. Advice: bring a power back just in case.


Color Options Predominantly offered through most outlets in a solid black but sometimes you might see a choice of black with orange or green.



Overall

You can load and keep a good number of songs and you get headphones. Nice tech and very reliable for tracking. A light-weight model which feels comfortable.
Pros

Store songs

Nice selection of modes for training

Light-weight

Water-proof

Clear read-out

Good tracking

Cons

Sometimes you need patience while syncing 



Runner Cardio

Runner Cardio
Edging in as the third best choice, this watch performs comparably with the Spark Cardio-Plus Music but cannot store your choice of up to 500 tunes, for that you need to sync to another device.
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Software

Nice hi-tech software features, the GPS Quick-Fix system gives the required consistent accuracy for your personal target/aims, you get five choices of zones for tailored to your needs personal training.


Additional Capabilities

A water-proof capability deep to a depth of down to 165 feet, this model can be synced into MySports and the heart monitor is quick to read clearly and gives a nice consistent accurate readout.


Display

The visual/interface and font style is readable clearly and quickly while you are on the move.


Battery Life

Constant GPS, the battery will go up to 10 hours, using the heart monitor and GPS in conjunction, you get 8 hours. Don't forget the option to bring along a power pack for reserve.


Color Options

A combination of colors, red/turquoise, red and black, red and white.


Overall

A very good product, exceptional quality and very nice designed in and current technology.
Pros

A light-weight product Nice readout display Good interphase Stand-alone heart monitor-no chest-strap

Cons

Music, you have to sync to another source Double-check heart monitor during extreme upper body training Keep an eye on battery power

Runner 3 GPS

Runner 3 GPS
This is the most basic model of the Runner 3 range, offering only GPS as a premium feature. It foregoes the heart-rate monitor and an inbuilt music player which are available in other Runner 3 models. However, it has the same useful and worthy upgrades as the previous Runner 2 model, still benefiting from a longer lasting battery as well as incorporating the most up-to-date versions of the technology, with the Bluetooth showing an improved connection to the smart App.
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Ease of Use
This revised version of the Runner model offers improved reliability and functionality across all aspects of the watch, most importantly in the GPS area.

Aesthetics
The design remains on point, being understated and subtle, offering two sizes of a strap.

Cost
This is the budget version of the Runner 3 range and represents value for money against the more premium offerings.
Pros

Even though being a basic model, the watch is laden with useful features, allowing measurement and tracking of progress in many ways. 

Version 3 brings improved battery life, GPS and Bluetooth.

It does the basics extremely well.

Cons

Only basic features

3 GPS Cardio + Music

3 GPS Cardio + Music
On par with the Runner 3 top of the range model, this Spark 3 gives the best of TomTom GPS watches. All the functionality a serious sports participant would need, presented in a fantastic package. GPS, heart-rate monitor, 3GB of music and great usability. It is pricey it is one of the best if you are willing to spend the money.
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Ease of Use
As with the other modern TomTom models, everything here works very well and is simple to implement.

Aesthetics
Again, like the other models, this looks great. The design remains on point, being understated and subtle, offering two sizes of strap.

Cost
With this premium model you get what you pay for – the functionality is great, as are the music and heart-rate features. It does it all.
Pros

As with the Runner 3 the watch is laden with useful features, allowing measurement and tracking of progress in many ways. 

Great battery life, heart-monitor, GPS and Bluetooth.

This is another really serious piece of equipment which gathers all of your needs and packs them into one handy little gadget.

Cons

The price is high and some buyers opt for cheaper

Spark 3 GPS Cardio (No music)

Spark 3 GPS Cardio (No music)
This version of the Spark 3 come with the same premium features and functions as the top of the range Spark 3 including the heart-rate monitor but excludes the music player. As such, if you are more interested in tracking your pulse and not too bothered about listening to music during your activities, then this may be one of the best TomTom watches for you.
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Ease of Use
The ease and function of everything here, as with all Spark 3 versions, is very good, and the added pulse functionality is very easy to manage and understand.

Aesthetics
This has exactly the same appearance as the other versions of the Spark 3 range. It looks good.

Cost
This is slightly more expensive than the TomTom 3 with music, owing to the cardio monitor technology, however, you are paying for high-end functionality and accuracy, all wrapped up in one fantastic device.
Pros

The watch incorporates a wealth of useful features, allowing measurement and tracking of progress in many ways. 

Excellent battery life, heart-monitor, GPS and Bluetooth.

For serious runners and casuals alike, being for those who have no need of the music functionality offered in other models in the range.

 

Cons

Some users state that the strap can be weak and prone to breaking.

No music 

Spark 3 GPS Music

Spark 3 GPS Music
The TomTom Spark 3 with Music brings the fantastic functionality and features of the TomTom Spark 3 with the added benefit of 3GB of music, which translates as over 500 music tracks. This non-cardio version still benefits from a long-lasting battery as well as incorporating the most up-to-date versions of the technology.
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Ease of Use
This music player version of the Spark 3 offers great reliability and functionality across all aspects of the watch, most importantly in the GPS and Music areas.

Aesthetics
The design remains discreet and unfussy, offering two sizes of a strap.

Cost
The cost of incorporating a music player but not a heart rate monitor is reflected in the cost and will most likely only be attractive to the runners who already have an independent heart-rate monitor.
Pros

Fantastic functionality

Store 500 tunes

Accurate GPS function

Full features for monitoring physical/performance

High tech features

 

Cons

A high price for some who are looking for a watch

Spark 3 GPS

Spark 3 GPS
This is the most basic model of the Spark 3 range, offering only GPS as a premium feature. It foregoes the heart-rate monitor and inbuilt music player which are available in other Spark 3 models. However, it has many useful and worthy features, still benefiting from a long-lasting battery as well as incorporating the up-to-date technology, with the Bluetooth showing an improved connection to the smart App.
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Ease of Use
This basic Spark 3 model offers good reliability and functionality across all aspects of the watch, most importantly in the GPS area.

Aesthetics
The design remains true to the range, being discreet and unfussy, offering two sizes of strap.

Cost
This is the budget version of the Spark 3 range and represents value for money against the more premium offerings.
Pros

Even though being the basic Spark 3 model, the watch is laden with useful features, allowing measurement and tracking of progress in many ways.

Good battery life, GPS and Bluetooth.

It does the basics extremely well.

Cons

No heart rate monitor

Adventurer GPS Cardio + Music

If you are passionate about your outdoor activities, not just running, then this is the TomTom watch for you. Combining GPS, heart-rate monitor, music player, along with multiple outdoor sports modes (hike, bike, swim, gym, ski to name a few) this adds up to a serious device for a serious adventurer.
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Ease of Use
This watch has it all and allows it to be accessed and implemented with ease. GPS, Compass and Barometer Tracking. All give real-time stats adding up to an ultimate watch which even a seasoned experienced outdoor pioneer would be impressed with.

Aesthetics
Even with all its design features and functionality, the Adventurer keeps itself in-line with the rest of the TomTom watch range, being both understated and subtle.

Cost
Yes, this is a feature packed watch and so has a premium price. Those considering this adventure model over regular running watches will find that it does indeed offer good value for money.
Pros

Compass and Barometer Tracking

Accurate real time data

Multiple sports modes

Full range of features for monitoring

Waterproof

 

Cons

Cost more than a standard price

Multi-Sport GPS Cardio

Multi-Sport GPS Cardio
An older model, possibly appearing outdated next to the Runner 3 and Spark 3, but still a good value TomTom watch offering the user core functionality. A large display allows progress and cardio to be monitored easily and simply, thus allowing the wearer to stay focused on achieving their core goals.
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Ease of use
The extra-large display allows simple distraction free monitoring of activities such as cycling, running or swimming, making this watch far from obsolete and one of the easiest to watches from TomTom.

Aesthetics
Even with the large display the watch is light weight and slim in design, allowing it to fit wrists comfortably.

Cost
Now possibly showing its age, with the Runner 3 and Spark 3 ranges offering better value for money. However, the price may be worth it for focussed free running.
Pros

Large display allows distraction free monitoring of sporting activities.

Easy operation due to its one button control for all menus that is easy to navigate. 

Has features such as a graphical training partner to assist with training and help wearers stay motivated, along with its robust heart-rate monitor to help keep track of cardio activity.

Cons

Lack of fitness tracking for popular activities, such gym exercises.

Now superseded by the Runner 3 and Spark 3 ranges.

The benefits of products like this are expansive. You’ll get real-time and accurate reading of your GPS location, along with consistent tracking of your speed, distance, pace, and heart rate. This can improve your cardio workout and help you to achieve your peak performance. TomTom watches also allow you to activate alerts that can tell you every time you pass another kilometer or mile. You can start at a lower fitness level, and then build up to customizing your own workouts. These watches come with a multiple display feature that enables you to navigate several things at the same time. If you prefer something simpler, you can also switch over to a data display. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just to improve your workout routine, these watches can give you the motivation you need to keep going. There’s nothing like ticking off the miles while you sweat it out on the trail. Even if you prefer the gym, these watches still make a great asset to your running routine.

Overall, this guides shows the evolution of the TomTom Runner watch.  The earliest and cheapest model will do what is needed at the basic level, but with no frills.  If extra features are desired there is a requirement to dig deeper in terms of money, for functionality such as heart-rate monitoring and the ability to play music from the watch itself, with the results absolutely worth the investment.

All of these devices will provide basic GPS tracking and performance monitoring, with the pricier and more premium models being where the quality and features shine – and they come with the added benefit of more reliable and consistent functionality.

The Criteria We Used for Our Evaluation

Regular watches are just an accessory that can help us keep track of the time or as a way to set off our latest outfit. A GPS fitness tracking watch is so much more than your standard clock. It’s constantly connecting with other devices, gathering data, and giving you an accurate reading of everything that you’re doing.

The criteria we look at when choosing the best TomTom GPS Watches are based on research, personal accounts, and reviews that we found from a variety of sources. The criteria below can help you to narrow down your decision and to choose the watch that’s going to work best for your needs.

Data Tracked

The data being tracked is a huge deal for a lot of runners. Keeping track of your elevated heart rate, the distance you go, and the calories burned can be a great way to motivate yourself to keep going. When you look down and see that you only have a 10th of a mile to go before you reach a new goal can keep you moving forward. This also helps you to take exact measurements of what you’re doing each day, and to track your progress. Being able to see your running habits, the places where you have trouble, and the places where you’re improving can completely change the way you look at working out.

TomTom GPS Watches come with the huge range of different features. If you don’t want to consistently track all of your data, then you may want to get something that’s a little simpler. The type of watch that you choose is going to be based on your needs and your capabilities. If you’re not tech savvy and you prefer a more streamlined program, then there are plenty of options for you. We tried to include watches for just about every type of runner in our list.

It must be user-friendly

A watch that you wear while out on a run has to be easy to use while you are in motion.  If you have to interrupt your run to use a feature on the watch, it most likely isn’t a good choice to use as a running watch.

A running watch should be easy to operate mid-stride and should have a large display that makes it easy and quick to view. The locations of the buttons or touchscreen functions should be convenient and make sense to the average runner so that the use of the watch enhances the run, rather than inhibit it.

Find the functions which suit your use

Modern watches offer quite a few features, to the point that it can be overwhelming to try and decide if one watch is better than another.  But luckily, you have RunnerClick to help you make a decision!

Some features, in addition to GPS, that a watch can provide are music capabilities, heart-rate monitoring, distance tracking, pace tracking, third-party app connectivity, smartphone connectivity, and pre-programmed workouts.  And… that is not an exhaustive list!

The features and functions offered by the GPS watch on our list were taken into serious consideration during our research.  It is important that these functions enhance your run and make you the best runner you can be, rather than become a hindrance to your performance.

It has to look good

Does this seem silly?  Absolutely.  A pretty watch won’t make you a better runner. But let’s be honest- we, as consumers, buy accessories (like GPS watches) because they provide us with a function we need and we like how they look.

According to psychological research, the style of our clothing and accessories provides us more than just a fashionable look. Liking the style of the things we wear on our bodies, watches included, actually, boosts self-esteem, is empowering, and demonstrates to ourselves and others that we respect our bodies.  These are definitely three qualities to have a successful and happy runner!

Find an option within your budget

Money is important, and most people live on a budget.  The cost of technological accessories, like a GPS watch, can be prohibitive to many individuals, nor does RunnerClick want to encourage runners to empty their bank accounts just to have the latest in GPS watch technology.

What we do want, however, is for our readers to know what technology is available and how much it will cost so that they can purchase a watch that meets their needs and fits into their budgets.  Or, if they have their eyes set on a watch a little out of their price range, they can save to buy it later.

 

  More Factors To Consider

Typically, when runners are presented with a wide range of similar products offering a slight variance of features, they can get a little confused. In fact, most runners agree that an exhaustive number of products and features can sometimes be overwhelming when selecting new technology to incorporate into their regimen.  To help our readers along with their search, and to provide a clear and concise list of things to consider when selecting their a GPS watch like this, we have compiled the key factors to keep in mind to maximize the positive impact that such an important tool like this can have on your run.

Music

Another question that you should ask yourself is: how important is music to your run? A large population of runners has actually found that music with a strong beat has helped them to keep their movements consistent and on pace. One of the best benefits to taking the leap into utilizing a one of these is being able to leave your cell phone or MP3 player at home and streamlining your training without sacrificing the motivation that your favorite playlist can bring to your daily run or intense marathon. Just be sure to select a model with the “+ Music”.

Trackable Activities

Another important factor to consider is what you will be doing with your particular model and where would you like to take it.  TomTom goes above and beyond to bring cutting-edge technology to athletes everywhere, so it’s crucial to pick one that’s right for your sport.  For example, if you plan on taking advantage of its waterproof design and keeping track of laps in the swimming pool and having all-day battery life, the Runner 3 or Spark 3 Cardio is your best bet.  It’s their answer to most fitness-lifestyle minded individuals who like to keep track of sleep, calories burned throughout the day, and swims to name just a few “all day long” activities.

Wearability

Think about your comfort levels when it comes to wearing a watch all day long to get all the advantages of the unit.  Are you looking for a “run only” watch, or do you need a more robust adventurer timepiece?  All the options are covered above.

Running Enhancements

Finally, and perhaps the most crucial thing to consider when selecting your model: What will it do for your run?  Sometimes runners or cross trainers can forget just how critical maintaining focus and pace can be during a run or specific exercise.  They are really good about not overlooking this important factor.  Whenever runners have to fumble with a bulky cellphone in their pockets or strapped to their arms (of all places), they lose invaluable focus on endurance and pace.  This company has developed a number of GPS watches that will keep track of advanced metrics and play music, all while being tucked conveniently out of the way and available at a glance.

We hope that we have helped you to consider what factors are most important to you how to best match them with the right model for their needs, we have also compiled some frequently asked questions that most users had when making their choice.

 

FAQ

Q: I am already using Nike + on my smartphone, are these watches compatible and if so, will I lose my current data?

All of their GPS watches are compatible with Nike +, as well as with Endomondo, Strava, Runkeeper, and MapMyRun. Additionally, no data is lost when switching over. Just be sure to follow the instructions for this process.

Q: I run outdoors about once a week, but I use a treadmill more often. Will this still keep track of my distance, even though I’m running in place?

Yes, their technology captures your strides to keep track of your distance as well as pace without the need for a foot or heel pod. Whether outdoor running, indoor running, or treadmill running.

Q: Can I set a distance goal for myself and track progress without having to look at the watch itself?

Yes, the watches can be set to alert you when you are halfway there, almost there, and when you’ve made it via beep and vibration. Additionally, you can set time and calorie goals as well, no matter which model you choose.

Q: I have an above average body fat that does not allow chest sensors to accurately measure my heart rate, will I have a similar problem with their Cardio models?

No, the Cardio models measure your heartbeat by shining light through your skin and onto your capillary veins, then it measures the reflection feedback. It’s accurate and is not affected by body hair, skin type, or body fat percentage.

Q: Is there a subscription service or a fee for keeping track of metrics or storing information long-term?

No, you can pair any TomTom watch to your iPhone or Andriod device for free via their app stores. From there you can configure the app preferences as well as keeping records of all your activities. You will have to create a free account using an email address. You can also do this on your computer by downloading the free MySports Connect program directly from their website.

Q: What is the storage capacity of the TomTom Spark Music?

The TomTom spark music and similar music player models have three gigabytes of storage which enough space to hold about 500 songs. They also come with wireless Bluetooth headphones so you can enjoy your music while running, unconcern with a cumbersome cord.

Here is a list of sources we used when conducting our research:

 

Sources

  1. Kieran Alger, How to Choose and Buy the Right Running Watch for You, Informational Technology Website, Jan 04, 2017
  2. Sally McGraw, 4 Important Links Between Personal Style and Positive Self-Image, Informational News Website, Oct 18, 2012
  3. Joachim Bardua, What are the differences – TomTom Spark 3, TomTom Runner 3, TomTom Adventurer, Informational News Website, Dec 13, 2016
  4. the5krunner, Review Website, Sep 20, 2016
  5. tomtom.com, Forums, Aug 31, 2017
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