Gear Reviews

TomTom Cardio Runner GPS Review

tomtom-cardio-runner
My review is gonna be typical of our reviews, laden with personal feelings and opinions about the product, not so heavy on the objective technical side. For a real deep dive on the TomTom Cardio Runner GPS visit this review from DCRainmaker. Finding signal………. Ok, let’s go!

The Good

The look is cool enough, I liked having a red and white option since all my Garmins have been black. The display has good contrast and is easy to read. I was able to pull it out of the box, toggle the menu and find the options easily. I was surprised to see a treadmill option, and tried that mode out first. With the brutal winter we had I actually did several treadmill runs with the TomTom. The distance was never correct, but the time and heart rate data was recorded. The watch allows you to edit the distance before finishing the workout.  The heart rate (HR) monitor being on the wrist is much more comfortable than a chest strap. It was cool to see the HR move as I perceived effort. I would kick it up a notch if it felt hard but my HR was still in a lower than expected zone. The basic functions are pretty easy to use without reading the manual. Once I had the watch set up, I never looked at the manual again. The synch function worked well with Strava automatically posting results for:

  • distance
  • time
  • pace
  • calories
  • map
  • Strava trophies
  • mile splits
  • best efforts
  • elevation

The TomTom Cardio Runner feels well put together and at least at par with the quality of Garmin watches. The GPS had no issues finding satellites again about as fast as Garmin. Battery life is 8 hrs of GPS, enough for most runs under 50 miles. Along with custom workouts, you can set the training for different heart rate zones like fat burn, sprint, speed, endure, and easy.

The Bad

After I finished a run and saved it to the watch it was very difficult to edit the workout. The help on the current website still points to a former version of the interface. Not much help there. The display highlights one metric at a time. For example if you have pace up the distance and time are very small. I mentioned this to a friend (@krittabug) and she said. “Runs marathons, to lazy to scroll.” In all honesty, it is hard to toggle through the screens. On cold days I wear my watch over my jacket so I can see the display. When I did that it pretty much disabled the heart rate monitor.

Conclusion

The TomTom Cardio Runner is a a good option for a runner looking for a GPS watch, and a GREAT choice for a runner that wants to incorporate heart rate training into their work outs. The wrist heart rate monitor built into the watch wins over the chest strap. This review covered the running watch. TomTom makes a multi-sport version that includes biking and swimming modes for an addition $30.  The TomTom Cardio Runner MSRP $269.99

Watch provided by TomTom for the review.

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