Tom Tom Dashes To Your Wrist

by editors on June 6, 2013

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After working with Nike on the Nike+ GPS watch TomTom’s recent announcement that they were launching a sports watch of their own should not have been that big a surprise. What was surprising is how good the watches look.

The TomTom Sport watch comes in two different configurations: The Runner and The Multi-Sport. Both styles feature well-designed, yet slightly different, modular straps and are operated with a “one button control.” That button, located just below the watch face, makes it possible to scroll through menus up and down as well as left and right making it easy to get to the data while eliminating the button clutter that plagues other watches in the category.

The Runner and Multisport versions both read and record time, distance, speed, and with an optional sensor, heart rate via Bluetooth Smart. Treadmill runners need not worry because the data is tracked both outdoor and indoor without needing that pesky foot pod that Nike+ requires. One of the cooler features is what TomTom is calling a “graphical training partner.” Almost like the ghost racers on many video games, this function will allow users to race against a previous performance, train against a specific time, distance or calorie goal, or stay within a pre-designated pace or heart rate zone.

Where the Multi-sport configuration stands out is with its added cycling and swimming functionality. For cyclists TomTom has added Bluetooth Smart cadence and heart rate sensor connectivity. And in the pool the Multi-sport will keep track of distance, speed, efficiency, laps and strokes. A lap counting watch would be a godsend to us as we are continually losing count after six or seven laps and end up swimming way more than we should. Which isn’t exactly a problem most days, but it would be nice to know the real lap score for once.

The downside to all of this? The watches aren’t out yet and when we tried to get a test watch we were told we’d get one as soon as they became available. Visitors to the TomTom website are still being invited to sign up for an email list that will notify them when “the TomTom GPS Sport watches are available.”

At the launch on April 17, 2013 TomTom officials said the watches would drop in summer 2013. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see because they days they’re getting longer and longer.

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