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TomTom Multi-Sport: Performance and Verdict

By James Morris



Our Score:


For biking, behaviour is very similar to running, with GPS tracking of your location and elevation against time. Your biking information will be greatly enhanced by the optional addition of the cadence / speed sensor, giving you details of how fast you are pedalling and the resulting wheel revolutions, although we weren't sent this accessory for our review so can't comment on the Multi-Sport's abilities in this area.

TomTom Multi-Sport

For Swimmers, the Multi-Sport tracks the number of lengths you do, translates this into distance via the length of the pool, and also records both the number of strokes you make and their type. This makes it broadly similar in abilities to the Garmin Swim. The latter had a few issues with stroke detection when it was first released, but later firmware releases have alleviated this almost completely.

TomTom Multi-Sport

Using GPS to track swimming is not really practical even in an outdoor pool, and impossible in an indoor pool. So the Multi-Sport employs its built-in accelerometer, which TomTom calls the Indoor Tracker, to detect your swimming. This is exactly the same as the Garmin Swim, but in our testing the Multi-Sport proved far less accurate than the Swim was even when it was launched.

We tried a test set of 50 lengths of a 25m pool, with one watch on each wrist. The Multi-Sport has a setting for when you are wearing it on your right wrist, which we had enabled. The Garmin Swim recorded 51 lengths, with the extra length due to an accidental collision with a barrier between the lanes. The Multi-Sport, however, thought we had managed 79 lengths, which was flattering but pretty much unusable.

Whichever sport you perform, you can apply some structure to your routines via the Training section. You can set yourself distance, time and calorie goals. You can set up intervals, and record laps either by time, distance or manually. For running and cycling, you can configure training zones, with pace and heart rate available when running and speed, heart rate and cadence when cycling. You can also race against a previous session when running and cycling, which is a great way to use yourself as a training partner.

TomTom Multi-Sport

Our biggest criticism of the Runner when we reviewed it was the software used to track your workouts. TomTom's own MySports website is still in beta, but you can use the MapMyFitness site as well. The TomTom MySports applet will upload your data to both services simultaneously every time you attach it via the USB dock, and also apply any firmware and QuickGPSFix updates that have become available.

Both the MySports website and MapMyFitness provide roughly the same data about your runs, although we prefer the way MapMyFitness superimposes the Pace, Elevation, and Heart Rate graphs (if you have the latter sensor) on top of each other so you can see how they affect each other more easily. The cycling readout is similar, with speed instead of pace, and the addition of cadence information if you have this sensor.

TomTom Multi-Sport

So there's more than enough detail available to get a good analytical idea of how your workouts are working out. The swimming information, however, is nowhere near as detailed as that available from Garmin Connect with the Swim. There is no length-by-length breakdown, stroke data or SWORL, although it appears the watch itself does capture this level of detail. It just isn't being transferred to the online services yet.

TomTom Multi-Sport

Should I buy the TomTom Multi-Sport?

If you're a keen cyclist and runner, the Multi-Sport makes sense as an alternative to separate devices for each of these activities, assuming you haven't yet invested in any ANT peripherals. The one-button system makes it supremely easy to use. Keen swimmers, however, will be disappointed, although TomTom is likely to improve the Multi-Sport's performance in this area, as Garmin has considerably with the Swim. The amount of information on TomTom's MySports or MapMyFitness is also less for swimming than other activities.


TomTom's Multi-Sport is great for runners and bikers, but needs a firmware update before it can accurately track your swimming as well.

Overall Score


James Thompson

October 22, 2013, 7:36 am

A little surprised this received eight out of ten considering the swimming functionality seems next to useless. Otherwise I'd buy one. Price point is great.

Paul Reynolds

December 28, 2013, 10:48 am

I have one and the swimming function has been flawless.


July 25, 2014, 1:38 am

TomTom multi-sport watch is CRAP and TomTom after sales
service is WORSE.

I bought the watch on Dec 2013 and was working perfectly for
few months and then started giving the error: "Activity Error. There was a
problem uploading one or more activities.", I think after a software
update. All of my .ttbin files are saving to my computer, but not uploading to
my mysports / mapmyfitness accounts.

I was advised by TomTom to perform "Recovery Mode"
, when "Recovery Mode" didn't solve the issue I was advised for
"Factory Reset". It didn't
solve the issue either but deleted all data history.

Then I asked for the refund, and TomTom asked me to provide
Proof of purchase and other personal details. When I provided all the details
hoping to receive refund for faulty watch, they changed their tone with reply
as quoted below

"I wish we could exchange the watch as the issue is
with the application and not with watch. Replacing watch will not make any
difference. I understand your frustration. However, I would request you to
please wait while our team is working to fix this issue with MySports connect

First I do not expect such irresponsible response from brand
like "TomTom". They have agreed application issue with watch which
cannot be solved and on other hand they are still selling this watch without
informing customers about this issue which will cause errors while uploading
data on personal computer.

It has been more than 5 months now since I have issue with
the watch, I am still having error message, perhaps software update has not
been done yet (I was advised to wait for software update on 08/05/14)

I would appreciate if TomTom collect their product back and
refund my money back without further torture.

Onam Rubio

August 21, 2014, 7:42 pm

Hi Paul, I am looking for a watch like this but read a few reviews about the swimming mode is not as good as I expect. Can you tell me a little bit more about your experience. I live in a sunny country and the pools are outdoors.

Onam Rubio

August 21, 2014, 7:47 pm

Hi, I am surprise about what happen to you. I want to buy one like this one but I am not sure. And after read this, I feel less sure than before. Did TomTom solve your problem? Did you find a sportwatch witch the same functions? any advice will be appreciate.


August 21, 2014, 10:16 pm

Hi Onam,

Finally TomTom replaced my watch with upgrade version for which I have to fight for more than 4 months. Watch is very good in term of keeping track of cycling and running and also gives very accurate heartbeat per minute (this applies to multi sport cardio). I hve not used it for swimming. I would say this is great watch and love it functions and also admit that tomtom customer service does not meet standards expected in west. Bottom line is it is very good watch, but if you find some issue with it then customer service is very slow.


September 21, 2014, 1:22 am

What is the battery life on this thing like? WIll it last for 9+ hours of monitoring for adventure sports? does it have a standby mode? Can I wear it as a watch when I am not doing sports?

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