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.
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.
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.
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.