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TomTom Cardio Runner Review

We look at the latest GPS watch from TomTom, which features a optical heart rate monitor built straight into the back of watch, called the TomTom Cardio Runner. Using a sophisticated senor that can measure your heart directly from your wrist, the Cardio Runner provides heart rate information without the need for a separate chest strap. Read more for the TomTom Cardio Runner review.

TomTom Cardio Runner Review

Overview on TomTom Cardio Runner
First impressions are is that the TomTom Cardio Runner watch pod itself is pretty much identical in size and shape compared with the previous model, which means it’s fully compatible with previous straps.

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TomTom Cardio Runner White/Red Color Combo

Of course, the main difference here is the Cardio Runner features a built-in optical heart rate sensor at the back of the watch, which directly reads your heart rate via your wrist. This is done by shining light through the skin and detecting the changes in light reflections, which essentially provides your heart rate data in Beats Per Minute (BPM). To most runners, the big advantage here is that you won’t need to wear a separate chest strap.

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TomTom Cardio Runner Optical Heart Rate Sensor

As standard, the TomTom Cardio Runner also provides real-time running information that allows runners to track their distances, time, pace, speed and calories burnt on an large clear display. Another interesting feature of the Cardio Runner is the Zone Trainer, which allows you to select a zone to match your training goal, which essentially lets you know whether you need to speed up or slow down during your workouts.

Like with most GPS sports watches, you can track, analyse and share your training stats on popular running sites or apps or automatically sync with TomTom MySports app.

As standard, the TomTom Cardio Runner comes boxed with the watch pod, strap, USB desktop charger and user guide. Priced from approx. $269.99, the TomTom Cardio Runner is available in black/red, white/red or black color combinations.

Positives

  1. Built-in optical heart rate monitor at the back of the watch means no separate chest strap accessory needed to measure your heart rate. It’s measured at your wrist.
  2. Optical heart rate monitor provides pretty accurate data
  3. Zone Trainer useful for runners that want to achieve a specific goal
  4. Large display screen provides clear real-time running information such as distances, time, pace, speed and calories burned.
  5. Backwards compatible with previous model straps
  6. Strong and durable rubber strap
  7. Easy to track, analyse and share running stats on sites or on apps such as TomTom MySports app.
  8. Available in a variety of color combinations such as black/red, white/red or black
  9. Reasonable good value for all-round GPS and heart rate monitor sports watch at approx. $269.99
  10. Easy to set-up and use straight out-of-the box.

Negatives

  1. TomTom MySports training website (which allows you to see activity data from your watch) needs a little improvement. The good news here is that TomTom have made the watch itself easy to use with other 3rd party websites such as MapMyFitness.
  2. Lacks some advanced features of the Garmin FR220

Specifications
Colors: White/Red, Black/Red and Black
Display Size: 22 x 25mm
Display Resolution: 144 x 168
Thickness: 13.8mm
Weight: 63 grams
Strap length: 233mm
Battery life: Up to 8hrs (GPS+HR) or up to 10 hrs.
GPS: GPS + GLONASS and QuickGPSFix
Sensors: Motion sensor, compass, optical heart rate monitor
Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart
Alerts: Beep and vibrate
Pace/Speed: Yes
Distance/Calories: Yes
Heart Rate: Built-in heart rate monitor
Cadence: No
Training:
– Race: Past activities + Favorites
– Goals: Time, distance and calories
– Zone: Pace or Heart rate
– Laps: Time, distance or manual
– Intervals: Yes

What’s in the Box?
1 x TomTom Cardio Runner
1 x USB Desktop Dock
1 x User Guide

What Other People Say About the TomTom Cardio Runner
Device for about two weeks now and I’m incredibly pleased with it“I’ve been using the device for about two weeks now and I’m incredibly pleased with it. The heart rate monitor has been working perfectly even when I’ve been incredibly sweaty. The GPS does take a little while to connect on occasion, but this issue seems to be common amongst many watches. I would highly recommend this watch to all of my friends.” By David S. Morris

Great Multi Sport Watch“Great multi sport watch…The recent update has freestyle exercise but requires GPS. It would have been better if it had a non-gps freestyle for indoor activity. But nevertheless great for SBR” By Chronic (Quezon City, Philippines)

Really good sports watch with user-friendly menus“Really good sports watch with user friendly menus. Quick to get a GPS fix and found the heart rate monitor really accurate. The clear leader in sports watches at the moment.” By Gus

Video On TomTom Cardio Runner

Conclusion
The TomTom Cardio Runner provides a simple solution for anyone looking for a GPS sports watch that just works straight out-of-the box. Easy to use and set-up, TomTom have done a really good job on delivering on these fronts. And with the built-in optical heart rate that provides pretty accurate heart rate information via your wrist, the Cardio Runner is great for anyone that dislikes wearing a separate chest strap.

Although the TomTom MySports website does need improvements in providing more advanced data metrics, which most other 3rd party companies are already offering, TomTom does make it easy to use other 3rd party apps. For a mid-range running GPS sports watch, the TomTom Cardio Runner definitely does stand out within the category.

Where to Buy the TomTom Cardio Runner?
Priced from approx. $269.99, you can order directly from Amazon.com or TomTom who both offer free shipping.

As always, please feel free to ask questions or share your own experiences if you own the TomTom Cardio Runner watch in the comments below.