Fitness tracking in India is growing and devices from top players like Fitbit and Jawbone are now easily available here.
Fitness tracking in India is growing and devices from top players like Fitbit and Jawbone are now easily available here. Unlike an Apple or Samsung watch, the focus for Fitbit has been towards health. TomTom is another such player, making watches aimed at those who are heavily into their fitness regime; the gym-rats, the swimmers, the runners, or those who do all of this.
We reviewed the TomTom Spark Cardio+Music GPS Fitness Watch, which is priced at Rs 21,999 and here’s what we thought of it. For starters, this watch is not meant to look pretty and I don’t see that as anything to complain about. While the large sized, black colour watch looked way to big for my hand, the tight plastic strap means that this is uncomfortable to wear. So, if you’re looking for a fitness device that is light and comfortable, the TomTom is not for you. However when it comes to the actual fitness bit, this is the one of the most accurate watches you’ll get.
Accuracy is its biggest asset. On the treadmill, the watch will count the distance walked based on pace and steps; the heart-rate sensor reflects the accurate number while exercising. I could see that this one was accurate, because it showed the exact same heart-rate as the treadmill.
Yes the total distance differs at the end, because the watch is calculating based on pace, but it’s actually closer to the real distance that you would have walked. I liked the fact that I could use the watch for regular exercises as well, and it tracked the heart-rate along with the amount of calories burnt in this mode.
Additionally there’s option of setting a goal before one starts, based on either distance or calories. The watch reflects how one is doing based on preferences set; these include pace per minute, heart-rate etc. I preferred keeping the goal in terms of distance covered, and the watch reflected what percentage of that goal I had achieved.
The app is where I could see the exercise session in detail. It showcases the pace, the heart-rate, the speed; all of it is charted beautifully. For those obsessed with health numbers, it’s full of details. A lot of it I personally didn’t care for, but someone who’s running judiciously will probably be taking this very seriously. Where it helps mid-level beginners like me, is that I could see my daily progress for my running capacity goes.
TomTom’s watch has a daily activity tracker as well, which is accurate. The total weekly steps, daily steps, calories are displayed in this part. But like I have said the watch is meant for big sports, rather than just calories counting and steps. The sleep tracker is also accurate on most days, except sleeping with watch is not really that comfortable.
The watch connected easily with the Plantronics Bluetooth headset that were sent along with this. I didn’t face any
issues while transferring music to the watch either. To transfer music, one needs the TomTom app on their PC and has to transfer playlists, rather add each individual song or album.
What’s not that good?
Accuracy of the watch aside, I faced a daily struggle trying to connect the watch with the app. It would never detect the watch in one go, and I kept tapping on the Pair New option at all times. My other big problem with the TomTom Watch is the way the data is reflected live, when you’re exercising.
Honestly figuring out the watch takes time. The giant button/trackpad at the bottom is not easy to navigate, and sometimes I would find myself needlessly going back and forth in an attempt to find one piece of data on the watch.
Is it worth a buy?
At R21,999, this version of the TomTom Spark Fitness competes right in the big league. There’s the Gear S2, which costs slightly more than this but has a lot more features ( R24,300); Fitbit has a whole series of popular bands, sleeker, costing much less.
With TomTom Spark Fitness, there are versions that costs less, though the cheapest version doesn’t have the heart-rate sensor. TomTom’s Spark watches are geared towards giving data to monitor daily fitness goals, and if you’re one of those who strictly swears by these goals, then this is an option to consider.
Estimated street price: Rs 21,999