Over the last eighteen months I have been running fairly regularly and have been trying to improve my overall fitness and activity levels too. Regular readers will have seen me review different activity monitors and I have used other ones I haven’t blogged about too but nothing ever seemed to tick every box.
I was looking for something that I could push a pushchair with that would still log my steps, something that would work for running as well as day to day walking, something that could also work as a watch so I didn’t have to wear both a watch and an activity tracker and also something that would work with two of my favourite apps – My Fitness Pal and RunKeeper. I did quite a lot of research and decided that a sports watch was the way forward, specifically a TomTom sports watch. It was at this point that I was actually sent a TomTom Spark watch to review and I couldn’t have been more excited to start using it – and to get out running with it too!
The TomTom Spark comes in two sizes and a range of colours however the straps are adjustable, like a traditional watch, to give a good fit. I’ve found it really comfortable to wear and although it looks quite big on me I do have incredibly slim wrists, it’s not that much bigger than my previous watch.
When you first unbox the TomTom Spark you have to install software onto your computer, then plug the watch into the computer via the included USB cable so software can be updated and it can be paired with your computer. You set up an account with TomTom so that it can track your progress.
There’s then a TomTom MySports app that you can install on your phone that the watch syncs with to keep track of all your activity. As well as this I linked the TomTom software with my RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal accounts so that every time I wore my TomTom Spark the data would be sent directly to the apps – great for my overall health and fitness routine.
Once the watch is set up and synced everywhere you can start using it. I wear the watch as a normal watch and not only tells me the date and time but also counts my steps throughout the day. It’s really accurate compared to other activity monitors I have had – doesn’t track steps when I’m in the car or on the train, it tracks well when I’m pushing a pushchair and going up and down stairs. It keeps a log of your steps for the day and your steps for the week but you can get individual daily history on the TomTom MySports app.
The watch lets you create goals for yourself for things like steps, calories or distance and also keeps track of your heart rate whilst you’re active. It also monitors your sleep although I can’t sleep with a watch on and so I haven’t used this function.
As well as using the watch for everyday life I also use it for running but it can be used for a whole host of fitness activities – swimming, gym or cycling for example. Whilst you are active the watch keeps track of how long you have been active for, your distance and your speed. You can also do interval training, running to a set pace or running within a set heart rate range. You can even compete with yourself to see how you do against your previous runs which is great if you often run on the same route or track. The TomTom Spark really does have so many activity options.
One of the best things about this watch is how it also incorporates music and so, with bluetooth headphones, you can listen to music on the go without having to take your phone, mp3 player or anything else with you. It holds up to 500 songs which can be arranged into playlists and easily cycled through during exercise.
Since starting to use the TomTom Spark I have found it to be really comfortable to wear and only slightly more effort than a typical watch as it needs charging. It does charge quickly, within an hour or so, and the battery lasts for about a week if I don’t go for a run. If I go for a run the battery life is reduced and I have to charge it every few days but it isn’t a problem at all – I just plug it in when I’m inactive, at my laptop, and so it still logs all my activity for the day.
The TomTom MySports app is a great way of keeping track of any goals that you have set yourself, your activity levels and statistics for any training you have done. All of my runs are logged with all the information I need along with a map of my route and it keeps this information indefinitely – I can scroll back a couple of months to when I started using the watch and all of my past history is there.
I have been using the TomTom Spark for a couple of months now. I do forget to put it on in the morning every so often but most of the time it is on my wrist, tracking my activity and encouraging me to move more. It ticks every box that I wanted from an activity tracker – but does so much more too. If you are looking for something you can wear all the time, that comes in a range of colours, fits effortlessly into your lifestyle and can be used for a whole multitude of activities then the TomTom Spark could be the watch for you. I know that I won’t be using any other fitness tracker in the future.
The TomTom Spark has an RRP of £189.99 although if you didn’t need cardio or music options cheaper versions are available.