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Best TomTom Running GPS Watches Compared & Reviewed

last updated Sep 21, 2018
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 non-issue. This is why we looked at a variety of different offerings from TomTom when compiling our review list.
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By Max Knapp:

We updated our review criteria and looked at the newest features on the watches. The products listed are a great asset for runners everywhere! 09/21/18 This update brings all of our great up-to-date info about the best TomTom GPS watches in a new format that is easier to read and that has more accurate ratings and breakdowns to give you the most in-depth look at our hand-picked selection.

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In Depth Review Top 10
  • Spark Cardio Plus Music
  • GPS Runner 3 Music
  • Runner Cardio
  • Runner 3 GPS
  • Runner 3 GPS Cardio + Music
  • Spark 3 GPS Cardio (No music)
  • Spark 3 GPS Music
  • Spark 3 GPS
  • Adventurer GPS Cardio + Music
  • Multi-Sport GPS Cardio
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Spark Cardio Plus Music

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99
Spark Cardio Plus Music
Use
99
Style
99
Price
99
best offer for today
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

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.

Read more

Use
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. If you're not running the GPS 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. You won't 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.

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

Price
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. The price is a little high for those who don't want to make a large initial investment, but for all of the features it provides and with additional music storage it is definitely worth the cost.

2. GPS Runner 3 Music

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
GPS Runner 3 Music
Use
98
Style
97
Price
99
best offer for today
$119.26
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 

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?

Read more

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

Style
This watch has easy operation via a single touch button and very clear display of data. Predominantly offered through most outlets in a solid black but sometimes you might see a choice of black with orange or green.

Price
This is a pretty good option for budget-conscious buyers looking for a GPS with music options. You can load and keep a good number of songs and you get headphones. Nice tech and very reliable for tracking. This is a light-weight model which feels comfortable.

3. Runner Cardio

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.7
Runner Cardio
Use
95
Style
97
Price
98
best offer for today
more shops
$295.50
Pros:

A light-weight product

Nice readout display

Good interphase

Stand-alone heart monitor with no chest-strap

Cons:

No music option

Extreme upper body training may produce inaccurate results

Less reliable battery power

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.

Read more

Use
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. 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. 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.

Style
The visual/interface and font style is readable clearly and quickly while you are on the move. A combination of colors, red/turquoise, red and black, red and white.

Price
This is a watch of exceptional quality with clever design and technology to match. The cost is significantly less than other GPS options on this list that may be a little more modern, but it's a good option for those who just need the basics. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued by the manufacturer, so it does have limited availability.

4. Runner 3 GPS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.7
Runner 3 GPS
Use
96
Style
95
Price
96
best offer for today
$119.26
Pros:

Even 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

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.

Read more

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.

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

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

5. Runner 3 GPS Cardio + Music

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.7
Runner 3 GPS Cardio + Music
Use
95
Style
95
Price
94
best offer for today
more shops
$295.50
Pros:

As with the other Runner 3 models 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

On par with the Runner 3 top of the range model, this model 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.

Read more

Use
As with the other modern TomTom models, everything here works very well and is simple to implement.

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

Price
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.

6. Spark 3 GPS Cardio (No music)

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.7
Spark 3 GPS Cardio (No music)
Use
94
Style
94
Price
93
best offer for today
$189.99
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

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.

Read more

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.

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

Price
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.

7. Spark 3 GPS Music

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Spark 3 GPS Music
Use
94
Style
92
Price
93
best offer for today
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

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.

Read more

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.

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

Price
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.

8. Spark 3 GPS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.3
Spark 3 GPS
Use
92
Style
92
Price
93
best offer for today
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

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.

Read more

Use
This basic Spark 3 model offers good reliability and functionality across all aspects of the watch, most importantly in the GPS area.

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

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

9. Adventurer GPS Cardio + Music

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Adventurer GPS Cardio + Music
Use
92
Style
91
Price
91
best offer for today
$329.99
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

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.

Read more

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.

Style
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.

Price
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.

10. Multi-Sport GPS Cardio

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.7
Multi-Sport GPS Cardio
Use
91
Style
90
Price
91
best offer for today
$249.99
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

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.

Read more

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.

Style
Even with the large display, the watch is lightweight and slim in design, allowing it to fit wrists comfortably.

Price
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.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

You want a TomTom GPS watch that can do everything you need it to--and then some! Choose features and perks that can match you mile for mile.

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.

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.

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. 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.

Style

Style is about looking good and feeling comfortable doing it.

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!

Also 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.

Value

Cost is definitely a factor when sorting out the best of the best and we took this into consideration when taking a look at the value of our selection of the best TomTom GPS watches.

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.

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.

Other Factors to Consider

Advanced Features

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.

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.

Bottom Line

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

All of the TomTom 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?
a:

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?
a:

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?
a:

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?
a:

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.

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