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TomTom Runner review

Michael Sawh

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Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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TomTom Runner
  • TomTom Runner
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  • TomTom Runner
  • TomTom Runner
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  • TomTom Runner
  • TomTom Runner
  • TomTom Runner
  • TomTom Runner

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Pros

  • Impressive QuickGPSFix technology
  • Light, comfortable watch design
  • Motivational graphical virtual trainer

Cons

  • Very basic TomTom MySports web tool
  • Watch doesn't fit securely inside strap when not worn
  • Lacks built-in USB charging

Key Features

  • QuickGPSFix technology
  • Bluetooth Smart support
  • Waterproof design
  • Indoor tracker
  • Manufacturer: TomTom
  • Review Price: £149.00

What is the TomTom Runner?

The TomTom Runner is a GPS sports watch for runners who want to track their performance outdoors and on the treadmill in the gym. All the running data can be uploaded to the TomTom MySports website and a host of running websites.

TomTom previously collaborated with Nike on the Nike SportWatch. Like Asus and the Google Nexus 7, Nike got all the love despite the fact that TomTom actually made the watch. This time TomTom is going it alone.

TomTom Runner – Design

If you’ve seen the Nike SportWatch, the Runner shares many of the same design characteristics. There’s a big, visible display and the same easy to use menu system. The display has shaved off some of the screen size from the top and bottom, making it closer in size to a sports watch like the Garmin Forerunner 10.

The TomTom Runner is available in grey and pink, and comes in two parts. There’s the watch module, made up of a scratch resistant LCD display, and a ‘One Touch control’ that surrounds the GPS receiver. The ‘One Touch control’ is not really an accurate description. It’s actually a four-button control pad. Alongside the display you’ll find a row of three dots that when pressed activate a backlight that’s bright enough to illuminate the display for a late evening run.

The display and control pad can be taken out of the rubber watch strap to charge inside the dedicated charging dock. Yes, the built-in USB feature is gone, which is a major disappointment. There’s also a selection of different coloured watch straps available if you really feel the need to customize.

The rubber, perforated watch strap is slim and extremely light. The small rows of dimples on the inside of the strap mean the TomTom Runner does not sit right against the skin, which makes it more comfortable to wear and prevents it from feeling too sticky when you take it off.

Weighing in at 50g, the Runner is lighter than the Nike Sportswatch (63g) but still heavier than the Garmin Forerunner 10 (42g). At 11.5mm thick, it’s far less clunky than most sports watches, making it ideal to wear as an everyday watch. Like the Forerunner 10, the TomTom Runner is weather- and waterproof up to 50m. We can confirm that it can survive a morning shower and a few laps in the swimming pool.

The watch is secure in the strap when out running, but it’s a different situation when you take it off. The watch part sits quite loose inside the strap and can easily fall out. If you plan to throw this into your bag, be prepared to have a rummage around for the watch part when it comes to your next run.

TomTom Runner – Features

The TomTom Runner has a built-in accelerometer and sensors to work both outdoors and on a treadmill offering the kind of data you’d expect to find on most sports watches. You can view distance, pace, average pace, stride length, calories burned and lap times all in real-time. Bluetooth Smart support lets you sync the TomTom Runner with additional devices, including a heart rate strap if you want to train in specific running zones.
There’s also regular watch features, including 24-hour format display and an alarm option if you need a nudge to get up for that early morning run. Like the Nike Sportswatch, there’s vibration alerts if you run with music to prompt you on your progress.

The new graphical training partner is all about pushing you to work harder in your running sessions, whether it’s competing against your last run or setting a precise goal for a running session. When you race against yourself, the training partner will display the current run and previous run on the screen. If you’ve set a goal to run 10km, the Runner will display progress in a percentage.
One of the most important features is the QuickGPSFix technology. Many sports watches, including the Nike Sportswatch, are plagued with GPS signal issues. TomTom incorporates technology it uses for its satnavs to improve the time it takes to receive a GPS signal. The decision to separate the GPS receiver from the watch display is clearly a move to improve getting a connection.

Once you’ve been for a run, you can sync and share the data through the TomTom MySports web tool. Powered by MapMyFitness, the web tool lets you uploading data and includes support to upload data to MapMyRun and Runkeeper. You can also export data in a series of file formats including FIT if you want to keep it as part of a training plan.

Andrew Davis

August 1, 2013, 7:19 pm

FWIW I thought the My Sports page sucked compared to everything else out there. I especially hated that I couldn't delete anything. However, I had zero issues connecting it to RunKeeper. My biggest gripe is the lack of an ability to sync it to my iPhone. I hate having to plug it into my laptop to get my data sync'd up. Hopefully they'll get this fixed. Their My Sports site is basically back-ended by the MapMy guys so maybe we'll see some of their functionality soon. That said, I'm one week and 4 runs into using mine and its been great to leave the phone at home. Battery life for me (even with an HR monitor) is better when outdoors in the clear than when running with buildings near me.

Kevin Smith

August 4, 2013, 10:16 am

Bur can I use it with Strava?

Geoff

August 15, 2013, 3:55 pm

1 mm thick? Wow!

Michael Sawh

August 16, 2013, 12:43 pm

Hi Kevin, Strava is not one of the apps currently supported. TomTom have told us that it is trying to add more app support

Michael Sawh

August 16, 2013, 12:43 pm

Sorry, that should be 11.5mm thick!

compact treadmill

September 16, 2013, 6:20 pm

The ‘One Touch control’ is not really an accurate description.

SlightlyMiffed

October 17, 2013, 8:42 am

"The new graphical training partner is all about pushing you to work harder
in your running sessions, whether it’s competing against your last run
or setting a precise goal for a running session. When you race against
yourself, the training partner will display the current run and previous
run on the screen."... Really ? REALLY ? Because it doesnt work - never has - you can only run against the FIVE preset distances and their associated times - you can NOT run against a previous run.

Reki

October 19, 2013, 7:07 pm

Thanks for that information...I was close to buy it.

Alex Song

November 19, 2013, 12:44 pm

Question of details. The lack of USB charging seems a silly mistake by TomTom in a quite brilliant product. Crazy detail.

ninja_eggroll

November 19, 2013, 1:07 pm

Can your activities be posted on facebook from this watch?

simoin fox

November 29, 2013, 1:18 pm

is it water proof?

TTRunnerUser

December 15, 2013, 2:29 pm

In fact in the current firmware version (1.5.4) I was able to race any of my recent sessions (Run -> Training -> Race -> Recent). As mentioned in the review the watch displays distance behind / ahead and gives a signal when surpassing the previous run time.

JC

January 26, 2014, 3:20 pm

In response to the question about posting activities on facebook the answer is yes. When viewing your activities via TomTom MySports, a webbased software, you can make use of a link called mapmyfitness. It offers you the possibility to post your activities on various social media.

JC

January 26, 2014, 3:23 pm

There is one concern I have about my TomTom runner. For some reason it seems to have difficulty with uploading my activities to TomTom MySports. Thought this was just an update issue but I'm afraid its not. Anyone with this experience and a solution?

xplot

January 29, 2014, 9:41 am

Just got this device. Maybe you can help in getting answers to some questions?
1) What should be changed in settings in order to display lap (km) times during a run?
2) How to change main display settings if I want to see something else, not the pace?
3) the same issue as JC - how to solve problem with uploading activities to Mysports? Doesn't happen.
4) any idea when there could be app for iPhone (possibility to upload activities via phone) if any?

Ben Matthews

April 29, 2014, 3:20 pm

I've had this watch for a while now and love it. I have to say though, charging it is a pain. I do it at work, but if I forget and it is running low at the weekend (and I have a long run to do) it really is annoying.

Has anyone tried charging it using a USB port that is not connected to a computer (e.g. a car USB port) - does that work?

I sync it directly to my MapMyRun account, and it works brilliantly.

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