10/10/2016

TomTom Spark Cardio + Music + Bluetooth Headphones - Review

Ever since I embarked on my "New Me" challenge back in November 2014, to lose weight, get fit and live a healthier lifestyle I've used a fitness tracker. 

I got it having heard it was one of the best on the market and apart from when the first one stopped working and had to be returned for a replacement I've been happy with it. Despite that I have looked out for what's new, bigger, and better and gives me the overall tracking I'm looking for! Que a review for the TomTom Spark Cardio + Music + Bluetooth Headphones.

About the TomTom Spark Cardio + Music + Bluetooth Headphones.
"70% of people who workout do so with music so TomTom have created a GPS Fitness Watch that enables all exercise enthusiasts to train to the rhythm of over 500 songs.

The combination of an integrated music player, built-in heart rate monitor, 24/7 activity tracker, multi-sport modes and GPS in TomTom Spark makes it easier than ever to track your progress, improve overall fitness levels and get more from your workout.

Fitness fanatics will no longer need to strap a phone to their arms or worry about wires getting in the way during their workout, as they will have everything they need in one single device, which they can wear on their wrist".
Having a fitness tracker already I decided from the off that both Hubby and I would review this device seeing as we both love keeping fit and keeping active. He though, works in the industry so I knew he would be keen to put the TomTom Spark to the test!
What's in the box?
TomTom Spark Cardio + Music - Black - (Small in this case)
TomTom Watch Charging Cable
User Guide
 
Bluetooth Headphones and Charging Cable
What features does the TomTom Spark Cardio + Music have?
Over 500 songs of Music Storage (that's 3GB)
Built in heart rate monitor
24/7 Activity tracking
Multisports mode
GPS Tracking
You can set goals. It has automatic sleep tracking, audio performance feedback, 5 heart rate training zones, wireless syncing, is water resistant to 50M, has an ultra slim design and you can customise the straps. 
The strap is perfect fit meaning once you have ordered the size to suit (small or large) it adjusts within that size range.We have the small which comfortably fits us both.

Using and wearing the tracker
Having visited the TomTom Get Started web page I downloaded the MySports Connect desktop application and charged my watch by connecting my watch to my Macbook using the desk dock provided. It slides onto the watch, which I think is quite a funky feature. Downloading the app will automatically send the latest updates to my watch. 
 
I then registered on the MySports website to enable me to track my statistics. You can also view your activities and upload to MySports via the MySports mobile iOS or Android app. 

The watch is very well designed, comfortable and easy to wear. Each setting is easy to navigate through and start.
It gives you very good stats on a day to day basis regarding your general activity (i.e. steps taken, calories burnt, active time and distance travelled).
After a few days of wearing it I deleted my details and registered hubby's details so that he could wear the watch and put it to the test. As a personal trainer he works out daily, I however only do so 3-4 times a week.
The watch in time and date mode
Hubby's thoughts
"As a PT I use the stop watch a lot but unfortunately I have to come out of the activity I've set for myself to use the stopwatch and then go back to my activity (most days I set it to freestyle). This, therefore resets each activity. It's me belief that the power gets used more in this setting and or during any active activity.

I like the idea of interchangeable straps and although I haven't bought any yet, the colour choices are good. I would like a few different choices.

From a fitness professionals point of view the Tom Tom Spark is a very good Smart Watch to encourage activity. It gives you a very quick analysis of what you are doing. Be it a run, cycle, treadmill activity or in freestyle mode.
Miles covered in a day
Hours of active movement in freestyle mode
Resting heart rate
When I recently did a run (after some time off from running due to hamstring strain) I wore the TomTom Spark and set it to the Run mode. I set the pace to 5 1/2 min per km and off I ran. The TomTom Spark regularly gave me updates of run pace. As I hit 5 1/2 minutes run speed a target icon appeared on the watch to notify me that my pace was correct. It would also notify me if I slowed down or sped up. Very handy indeed. Once I completed my run I synced the watch with my phone and had a look at the stats with interest. Very accurate in distance, max heart rate and pace speed. Very interesting stats.
The image that comes up when sharing stats!
The above images show the varying ways the run stats are displayed when the watch is synced.

The Bluetooth Headphones 
The bluetooth headphones are very easy to link to the watch. Just make sure there isn't another Bluetooth device in close range as the watch will try to look for it. The music is crystal clear and each music track name appears on the watch display. A fab addition to the TomTom Spark! 
The volume control is on the wire that goes from one ear phone to the other. Labelled left and right the ear pieces fit quite comfortably within the ear and are very easy to use.
The MySports Mobile App 
"The TomTom MySports mobile app automatically uploads key activity information without connecting to a computer and is compatible with all TomTom watches. It allows users to upload information such as steps, distance, pace, duration and calories".

Key features include:


  • Upload and view activities on the MySports account automatically after a training.
  • Automatic upload of activity to other preferred platforms – MapMyFitness, Nike+, RunKeeper, Jawbone, Endomondo, Training Peaks and Strava.

Conclusion and overall thoughts
A great watch/tracker to wear everyday. The stats are looked at throughout the day to see how active hubby has been. It's a good incentive to keep moving for anyone inclined to need a push. I would say the steps per day could be slightly inaccurate but this is not confirmed. The watch is easy to navigate by using the button to click up, down, left and right. It will run through the settings and modes you wish to use. It gets charged here overnight so that it can be used through the most active hours of the day. We both feel this is a great piece of kit which at £229 (including the Bluetooth headphones) is pricey but we feel you get what you pay for! We would recommend it to others and are very grateful to TomTom for sending us the watch to review. 

A full user manual can be downloaded here. It's good to remember that GPS satellites move all the time so it is important to update your watch regularly to ensure a fast GPS fix. The best results are obtained when standing still, outside, with a clear line of sight to the sky.

We were kindly send the TomTom Spark + Bluetooth Headphones for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Tried and Tested







 



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