173 of 173 people found the following review helpful
Great potential, need to improve on firmware and software
, July 20, 2013
This review is last updated Nov 15, 2013 (firmware 1.5.1)
TomTom has refined many existing features (e.g. Cycle) and introduced new ones (e.g. Interval, Stopwatch). I am rewriting this review as many of the issues has been addressed.
If there's one thing they need to address, it's SWIM. For me, it works less than 50% of the time. When you click "Begin", the clock starts, but accelerometer do not, resulting in ZERO length or stroke count even with hard push offs. If this is fixed, I'd gladly feel it deserves a 4 star.
I'm training for Triathlon and have used the Garmin 910XT (borrowed), and Garmin Swim (owned). Few minutes after I placed my order for 910xt, I learned about this TomTom watch. I canceled the order and eagerly waited for the Tomtom. Garmin 910xt is currently the king of Tri watch, but at twice the price - 399! (It was offering at 299 in May'13. Watch only). While it's unfair to expect this watch to be as capable, it has LOTS OF POTENTIAL though if the TomTom programmers can fix some stuff.
Watch itself - THE HARDWARE IS THE BEST THING. It is Slim and light. This is critical for a sports watch. 910xt is smaller than 310xt but its still bulky and heavy for my taste. You feel it when you're swimming and running, not just the weight but the water and wind resistance. TomTomMS feels very comfortable and effortless when I swing my arms in water or running. I've used it on wetsuit and on bare wrist, and both are fine. Unlike the Garmin 910xt's quick release, which many has complained it may drop into the sea, the TomTom watch is encased in the strap in a smart way that won't dislodge.
Setup: I have the Wahoo Bluetoothsmart Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) as well as the Speed/Cadence (C/S) monitor. Please note that this watch cannot pair with ANT+ devices. Connecting to the HRM and C/S was a breeze. Took less than a minute. Once set up, activating it for run and bike was also very fast (first time 15 sec, subsequent was 3-5sec). After the activity is recorded by the watch, you need to download to PC (via USB connector) and upload to website.
Watch Display/interface - Simple interface and each sports (Swim, Bike, Run, Treadmill) allow you to choose what metric to see on top left and right fields (small but visible). The small screen is a trade off I'm willing to take to have a small slim watch. Garmin 910XT is too bug and bulky. At night, you tap the screen to activate backlight.
Not v good:
Bike Latch - Watch comes with a bike latch that allows you to snap the watch onto the bike's handlebar. This is useful but does not fit all handlebar. Once installed, the watch can hook on the handlebar quickly. 8/28 update: My bike latch BROKE after 1mth (I took it on/off about 5 times. DISAPPOINTED!) See picture. The idea is good but there are some potential stress points that weakens with repeated use.
TomTom's Website - to which the data is uploaded to is horrible. You can't edit and delete activities. In a specific review website, TomTom touted Training views that provide detailed analysis, but these features was never brought to fruition.
Workaround: Perhaps thinking they shouldn't waste time to on their own website, TomTom allow you to generate files of tcx, gpx, fit, that allows you to upload directly to MapYourRun/Ride/Fitness, RunKeeper, Training Peak and Strava. One thing missing though is THESE WEBSITES DO NOT HAVE STRONG SWIM analytics unlike Garmin.
If I were to rate:
Watch hardware 9/10 - the watch itself is superbly design. Kudos to the team! The designer/engineer even build the GPS chip inside the control pad, which reduces bulk on the actual watch. It's light, slim and doesn't drop out from the strap (unlike 910XT)
Watch firmware 6/10 - this watch can really compete with 910XT if it does the following:
a. fixes the accidental stop issue mentioned above (FIXED by firmware 1.5.1)
b. add multi-sport mode (currently it only tracks swim, bike, ride as separate activities
c. add interval training mode (Added in firmware 1.4.1)
d. add OPEN WATER SWIM (believe it or not, I actually tracked my ocean swim with this watch but under RUN mode! I suspect using SWIM mode will turn off GPS because that's for lap swim at pool)
PC software (for Mac) 7/10
This is the software you download into your PC (I use it on Mac) and downloads data to your PC or upload to internet. This software was glitchy but stability is improved. Previously, this software doesn't allow you to re-export files but now you can. It also allows you to export to different formats and websites. However, it appears the websites are not interpreting the data accurately and TomTom is finetuning this.
Internet website (MySport.TomTom.com) 2/10
This is a disgrace. Interface is bad. Editing is impossible. Waste of time to even comment on it! I give it two points for good attempt in linking the data on map, and allowing us to use other websites. TomTom team should perhaps partner with MapYourRun/Fitness or Strava and rebrand that site for TomTom users. I won't even compare with Garmin Connect. (Pls note that on another website, DCRainmaker, there's a mock up of what TomTom aspire their website to look like. But as of Sep 2013, after this watch is selling for more than 2 months, the actual website is NOTHING like what's shown on DCRainmaker. It only has one tab instead of 3)
- At this point, I'm still DISAPPOINTED by the sensor's accuracy or it's ability to track laps and strokes. It works less than half the time. By that I mean the sensor does not even seem to activate. Shows ZERO length and ZERO strokes despite completing few laps. These days, I used both Garmin Swim and TomTom for my swim. TT watch is capable of several metrics - e.g. duration, lengths, strokes per lap, SWOLF, but these metrics while appearing on watch CANNOT be displayed on the website. It's competitor, Garmin 910xt and Garmin Swim, capture these and when uploaded to Garmin website allows you to analyze how your stroke and efficiency vary with time. With TomTom, you can only see speed vs distance. If you try uploading to other sites, these metrics like SWOLF, stroke per lap cannot be interpreted by RunKeeper, MayMyFitness, nor Strava. Also, as mentioned above, the Swim accelerometer somtimes "sticks" and shows ZERO strokes and ZERO length despite completing many laps.
See below for all the complaints on Swim: [...] (Too bad Amazon doesn't allow me to post the link but you can find it on TomTom forum for users.)
- this is the simplest, and fortunately, it didn't disappoint much. I had my HRM connected and it recorded distance through GPS, and speed was calculated via GPS. (On 7/20 ocean swim, I actually tried using RUN mode for my ocean swim. What's interesting is, I could track my swim path with this. The GPS is quite strong indeed, perhaps a saving grace for this watch.)
- The cycle feature has been refined. It takes about 30 seconds to locate your position and you're ready to go. Previous to Firmware 1.4.1, if you have bluetooth cadence/speed sensor on, the speed will be calculated based on the tire circumference, and when you lose connection (sometimes) with your watch, you lose speed info. This firmware appears to address that by taking advantage of BOTH GPS signal and speed sensor. Which is neat!
- I have no luck with this function... Despite seemingly having a calibration feature after the run, it does not appear to do anything to make the reading more accurate. While on treadmill, I set the pace at 8min/mile. But the watch would show 6min/mile or so, and the calculated distance would be excessive. After you stop the Treadmill activity, it asked if you'd like to Calibrate. You get to adjust the distance (as shown on the treadmill). I tried running again, and this time, it's even worst. I must admit I don't use this feature much and on prior firmware releases, there were times where it seems about 10-20% off. I'm not sure if I were lucky then.
Below are my previous accounts to show the problems and things solved by TomTom over the past few months. I would give TomTom a lot of credit for resolving these... but again, shouldn't these be fixed before launching the watch?
Managed to download my data from my ocean swim, ride and run. I'm giving this watch a 4 star rating is because I know the watch firmware and the PC connection software can be fixed and improved. I'm sure the TomTom team is trying their best to fix these. Pls continue to do so and this watch can be 5 stars!!!
I've used this watch for a full triathlon workout (ocean swim, bike ride and run) on 7/20, lap swims on 7/22 and BRIC workout on 7/23. I'm dropping this review from 4 to 3 stars due to the shortcomings below. The watch requires you to set the length per lap in meters but in US, most pools are 25yards. You have to convert to 22.86m and need to round up or down since it stores no decimal places. TomTom should allow users to input either in yard or meters! (This issue was subsequently fixed)
Tested Firmware 1.3.1. Cycling at low cadence improved and no longer intermittently drop to zero (Kudos!). Swim seems to improve slightly but still problematic. Good thing is we can now input in yard and not just meters. But beware, the setting is global. So, if you set to meters and enter pool length in meters, your run will appear in meters/km as well. Not ideal but can't be too picky.
- SWIM: After many more swims - short and long course, the swim function has improved but remains problematic for long course (50m). It sometimes gives zero after one length, and sometimes gives me 3 lengths when I only completed one. I don't have this problem with my Garmin Swim. I've almost given up on this watch to track swim! Until the next firmware comes along.
- CYCLE: With the Cadence/Speed sensor: TomTom listened to the problems and IMPROVED IT! Cadence intermittently showing zero at cadence below 60rpm. Even though the sensor may not detect a revolution at certain 1 second interval, there should be some logic to smooth it out a little. This problem has been resolved and the reading is now smooth.
11/01 update (Tested Firmware 1.4.1)
- SWIM: Watch vibrates when each lap is completed. THIS IS GREAT because it tells you your lap is detected! I need not look at the watch while swimming to check that. (Too bad this feature was removed when firmware 1.5.1 was introduced.)
- CYCLE: previous to this, when you have bluetooth cadence/speed sensor on, the speed will be calculated based on the tire circumference, and when you lose connection (sometimes) with your monitor, you lose speed info. This firmware appears to address that by taking advantage of BOTH GPS signal and speed sensor. (Original Problem: When my Cadence/Speed sensor lost connection to the watch, lost SPEED and DISTANCE altogether. With the new firmware, you'll lose Cadence input, but it appears you continue to get speed and distance info like it should provided by GPS sensor.)
11/12 update (Tested Firmware 1.5.1)
- STOPWATCH: This is a NEW feature. My original review said it's weird to have a sports watch without stopwatch, and I'm glad TomTom introduced it. I'm happy it finally has STOP WATCH standalone function, and I don't need to enter cycling, running or swim as a workaround. This is useful for exercise such as plank, in between sets.
- Accidental stop/pause: The watch was prone to accidental pause/stop but now, you have to keep it depressed 2 seconds to pause and same for stop. I suggested TomTom to provide a warning message before you stop the tracking. Or to pause the activity you're tracking, you click Left button. To Stop, you click Left button again. Too often I accidentally click twice (some times there's a short lag and think it didn't detect your first click), and it end that activity and stops the tracking.
- SWIM: The swim continues to be problematic and inconsistent. When you start the watch, the "Duration" clock shows time elapsed. But the accelerometer appears not to detect a lap even after the kick-off. No matter how hard I kick, the "Length", "Distance", "Strokes", "SWOLF" remains ZERO, even after several laps. Currently, I wear two watches (Garmin Swim and TomTom) and at the end of 10 laps, Garmin showed 10, and TomTom showed zero. I stopped and retested and still the same. In firmware 1.4.1, the vibration/buzz after each lap will tell me it detected a lap. Now, with 1.5.1, this vibration is removed, I have to keep looking at my watch while swimming to see if TomTom watch detects my completed lap, and it mostly did not.
8/28 update (Tested Firmware 1.3.1)