TomTom Spark Review
TomTom Spark (TOMTOM SPARK CARDIO + MUSIC)
First unveiled at the IFA I in Berlin in September 2015, the TomTom Spark is a feature rich fitness watch that is designed for cyclists, swimmers, runners and gym goers alike. You’re probably thinking that there are several watches that do the same exact same thing, but what makes the Spark stand distinct from its competition is heart rate monitoring, GPS and even onsite wrist based music playback – a feature that many fitness watches lack.
In addition to its lightweight design and fairly large monochrome display, the TomTom spark also offers onboard local to store up to 500 (3 GB of local storage) of your favorite tunes and playback via Bluetooth. This feature alone gives the Spark an edge over its competition and makes it a solid choice if you’re looking to incorporate music into your workouts. This latest fitness watch by TomTom is a significant departure from its predecessors, and can be ordered in several different color variants.
In the box you receive:
- TomTom Cardio fitness watch
- Charging cable
- User guide
TomTom Spark + Music Design
The TomTom Spark comes in two parts – the strap frame and the brain unit where one clicks into the other. The watch style strap can be securely fastened offers a comfortable and snugly fit, and can be had in several colors and two lengths ensuring there is a perfect fit for your wrist. This also makes it easy to switch straps when you’re in the mood for a different color or simply when the strap is drenched in sweat.
Weighing just 1.6 ounces and measuring 2.7 by 1.5 by 0.5 inches, the TomTom Spark is appointed with a monochrome LCD 168-by-144 resolution display, which is surprisingly easy to read. The display is also outfitted with a backlight to help you get a better view in the dark or low light conditions, and can be activated by simply placing your hand over the screen.
However, the display of the TomTom Spark is not touch screen, but control is done with the help of a rather large four way button located right under the screen. The button is easy to use even if you’re wearing sweaty gloves and navigating the interface is done by clicking at the top, bottom, right or left of the button. The GPS receiver is located at the bottom of the TomTom Spark and is positioned towards the sky for faster GPS signal acquisition.
Along with the package, you also get a proprietary wall charger, which connects onto the face section of the TomTom Spark. The Spark is easy to setup, and getting started is just as easy. Although initially you will have to connect the TomTom to your computer and setup and link to a TomTom MySports account, that’s if you don’t already have one. Once successfully linked, the Spark pairs seamlessly with your smartphone to display training data on its display.
With regards to what the Spark fitness watch is able to measure, the list is rather extensive and includes the ability to track steps taken, calories burned, active minutes and distance moved. You can also wear the TomTom when you sleep in order to gauge sleep data and even set goals to help you achieve targets based on a number of these metrics.
The Spark also offers multisport modes, meaning that it can be used whether your training involves cycling, running, swimming or even using the treadmill at the gym. GPS tracking or heart rate monitoring is turned on for each of these options depending on which one is the best fit. Battery life is clocked at an astounding 3 weeks with just activity tracking, but diminishes to roughly 5 hours with heart rate, GPS and music playback enabled, which is still very impressive.
Features and App
The TomTom Spark is appointed with a 3-axis accelerometer to measure distance, calories and steps, and all this data can be easily viewed on its display by simply tapping the left button, or by syncing it with a compatible smartphone (Android 4.3 or later, or iOS 7 or later) and using the intuitive TomTom MySports app. To pair the Spark with your device, you first need to enable Bluetooth, download the app and activate pairing mode.
Once paired successfully, you can set fitness goals, configure the clock to 12 hour or 24 hour time, switch to airplane mode, turn on the heart rate sensor, adjust your profile settings (age, gender, weight) and even check battery usage. Although the TomTom MySports app only provides you with data, you can do much more with it by connected the device with the TomTom MySports software available for PC and MAC to view comprehensive workout stats complete with a graphics and even a map of your running or cycling route.
The Spark can also be used as a simple stopwatch and setup specific heart rate zones and compete against previously logged times. The heart rate monitor of the TomTom Spark is robust, and automatically tracks your heart rate when working out. TomTom also provides a heart rate recovery test and score at the end of each workout session. Loading the spark with music is pretty simple, and is done by connecting the Spark to the MySports Connect software available for PC and MAC.
You can even organize your music files into different playlists in order to have a different playlist for each type of activity. But that’s not all, the TomTom Spark even delivers audible performance feedback during training modes when connected with Bluetooth headphones.
This includes things like telling you how far you are from reaching a specific goal and pick up the pace or slow down in order to ensure your heart rate is in the right training zone. The Spark delivers brilliant sound quality when paired with Bluetooth headphones, and it’s nice to listen to music while working out without having to keep your sometimes bulky phone nearby.
Pros of the TomTom Spark Cardio + Music
- Great battery life
- Excellent sound quality
- Ability to listen to music without having a mobile nearby
- Tracks running, swimming, walking and other activities
- Onsite and accurate heart rate monitor
- Waterproof up to 130 feet
Cons of the TomTom Spark
- Slight delay in acquiring GPS signals
- Somewhat limited app
The TomTom excels in several different areas and is simply a pleasure to use. It arrives packed with features, and is outfitted with a plethora of sensors, a heart rate monitor, and onboard 3GB music storage system so you have one less device to carry along when working out.
The only area really worth complaining is the limited app features. But on a brighter note, TomTom says that smartphone notifications are due to be rolled out soon for the Spark, which will definitely make it on par or even better than other more expensive fitness watched in its segment. If you’re looking for a solid fitness watch and one that can track most activities including swimming, the TomTom Spark is definitely worth exploring.