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TomTom Spark 3 Cardio, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor (Black, Small)
|Price:||$169.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Heart Rate Monitor: No chest strap needed with a built-in heart rate monitor, which allows you to easily see your heart rate at all times throughout the day or while working out.
- GPS Running Watch: Measures time, distance, speed, pace, calories burned, heart rate and live stats on the go
- Activity Tracker: Capture your steps, active minutes, distance, calories burned, and sleep. Set goals to stay on track.
- Multisport Mode: Track all your activities including runs, bikes, swims, treadmill runs, gym workouts, indoor cycling, and more. Waterproof up to 40m.
- Route Exploration: Find your way back to the start and explore new routes. size small: 125-172mm & size large: 145-206mm
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A GPS Fitness Watch that gives you real-time metrics like your pace, distance, heart rate and speed at a glance to your wrist. Track your heart rate with a built-in 24/7 heart rate monitor. You can safely explore new trails with route exploration that will help you get back to the start. 24/7 Activity tracking and multisport functionality means you can capture every active minute of your day. Sprints, strolls, bikes, stairs, steps, swims. Every minute counts. See distance, calories burned, and steps throughout the day. Battery life is up to 3 weeks in non-GPS mode and up to 9 hours with GPS on and heart rate on. List of compatible phones: Apple: all iPhones with iOS 8 and above Android 4.4 and above with following phones: *Samsung: S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S5, S5 Mini, S5 Plus, S4, S4 Mini, A3, A5, Note 3, Note 4, J5, *Nexus: 5, 5X, 6 *HTC: One M8 and M9 *LG: G4 *Sony: Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z5, Z5 Compact *Huawei: P8, P8 Lite *OnePlus One If your phone is not on the list we cannot guarantee that your phone is compatible with our TomTom Sports App. It is possible that it works but there is a chance you may not be able to pair the device with your phone and use the app.
Top customer reviews
Before reviewing a product I try to use it extensively for at least a month. Being a long time user of previous TomTom Spark I was excited to take new Spark 3 for a ride. On one hand, I am extremely disappointed because most of the changes TomTom promised during last year are still missing. On the other hand, launch of this new device resulted in price slash of old model, which is great opportunity for those in market to buy fitness tracking watch.
Right now the old version of TomTom Spark Cardio+Music is selling for $139 while new version is $249. Looking at the price difference you are probably asking - what is the difference between the two? Actually not much, version 3 has:
1. Slightly redesigned wristband - subjectively I would say it is a bit better, but not really a difference maker
2. Bluetooth headphones - included with new version, again not a big deal
3. Compass - sounds great out of box, haven't used it once during my month long testing
4. Breadcrumbs support in software - watch can show you the path you've ran so you can backtrack. It's useful if you are long distance runner in unknown terrain; see picture attached to review
5. Support for uploading GPX files - another feature for advanced runners; you can upload running route to your watch before race and then track the path on your wrist during the race
And that's it. Although all features are improvements, none of them is truly a difference maker. Especially when you take price into consideration, buying old version from this link is no-brainer:
Now, is TomTom Spark Cario+Music 2 or 3 a watch for you? Well, that depends on what you will use watch for... here is the list of things that I find problematic or controversial after long use:
- Long time to get GPS signal - if you are in a new area it may take up 10 minutes to get GPS signal. So, yeah, if this upsets you - definitely skip this product. If you are often running in the same area GPS caching will do the trick and in most cases TomTom Spark will pinpoint your location within 10 seconds.
- Heart rate tracking only truly works for running - for all other activities HR is definitely off. For example, when you are tracking heart rate during weightlifting you'll quite likely experience this. Also, I've read a review where customer was complaining that HR tracking is off for swimming. I understand that some people have high expectations, but be realistic ;) - this HR tracking technology simply won't work in water environment. In a nutshell, expect that HR monitor on this watch will give you pretty accurate reading whenever your wrist is in "I'm running" position; for all other positions it'll be off.
- Activity tracking is not top notch - sleep tracking and calorie counts are definitely little bit off. Tracking steps on the other hand is OK.
- Proprietary USB charger with awkward connection to watch - I seriously have no idea why they made it this complicated to connect watch for charging / USB data transfer. For all practical purposes you'll need to eject watch from wristband EVERY time you want to connect it to your PC / Mac. After a while you may get hang of it - practice will make whole process a bit faster. Water resistance may have played a part in design, but there was truly no need to make it this complicated.
- Speaking of USB charger - I've just ran into problems with it. I've attached image the illustrates the problem - how charger pin bent. I did manage to bend it back and charger still works... will see for how long.
- Lack of touch screen - this watch uses dedicated button for navigation. If touch screen is a must for you, then this is a deal breaker. On the other hand if you don't have formed opinion on this topic, hear my advice - give this watch a chance and try it. I was also on fence before buying when I discovered that screen doesn't respond to touch. Now, I actually prefer it this way - having a solid physical button you can press definitely beats swiping when you are in the middle of the run and sweat is dripping.
- Music is not that useful - while prospect of not carrying phone with you sounds great (and was one of the main reasons why I purchased this watch), I actually never used it after first week. First, you need to transfer music (or in my case audio books) through mentioned USB cable and TomTom software. Second, only MP3&AAC are supported. Third, Spark really relies on playlists so you can't just drag folder with files over to watch. In the end the whole experience and music/audiobooks navigation is far from user friendly. So, if I was buying TomTom Spark I would definitely go with Cardio only to save money. This is the belt that I use to carry my phone:
Conclusion: if you are able to get this watch for $139 - get it. I do like it and use it every day. It's pretty stylish, works well and battery life is pretty good. Too bad TomTom is selling it for $250; at that price point you may as well look at other high end watches. In the end, it's your decision.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to leave comment and I'll try to respond. And if this detailed (just getting to 900 words ;) review helped, please mark it as helpful! Thanks!
EDIT: At this moment new version is $229, while old version is $129 (headphone bundle is $134). I'm on fence to order another old version Spark for this price. I did run into problems with charger. See attached picture.
For Community Manager - can you please provide your view as to why people should shell out extra $100 for new version? I agree 1-5 are improvements, but I don't see them as $100 difference. Thus, I would appreciate to hear your perspective.
As I said in my review I definitely think that price point is biggest hurdle for this watch. For $139 or less I do think buying this watch is great value for what it offers. I appreciate that you are following user feedback, and I hope you'll keep improving your offering.
Definitely a thorough review, appreciate the feedback, and thank you for continued support. If I could try and help with some of your challenges and highlight some differences between the devices:
1. We are continually enhancing our bands to provide all day comfort. We want our users to be able to effortlessly track all of their activities including sleep. Comfort is something we strive to improve with every new product release
2. For the BT headphones - we made a number of changes from the previous version. The design of the headphones allows for a better fit, audio clarity, and button functionality. The inclusion of the headphones is a really great value when you consider all the features of the watch and compare this to our competitors.
3. The compass feature is an additional reference to help with location and part of the overall toolkit to provide our users the ability to explore a new area even if it's just the next town over. We have enhanced the compass feature just recently with a software upgrade that was released on 12/13/2016. Simply connect the device to your computer and update the device.
4/5. I would urge you to try these features as we are very excited about them. We want our users to be able to explore areas they may not be too familiar with. As I mentioned above this could simply be a nature preserve near where they live. Uploading routes from other users or using the bread crumb feature to bring them back to their starting point instills a bit more confidence to explore the unknown.
More information can be found here:
Many features from music to the multi modes have been well received by many users. Just reading a bit more about the product will provide you with the information you need to enjoy these features.
Thanks again for your review
I workout at least 5 days a week, sometimes multiple times per day, so I needed a watch that could take a beating but still fill all the functional requirements that I need (steps, GPS, music, etc...). I was very excited to find a watch that fulfilled all these characteristics, in addition to having on board music storage. I have had the watch for a few days now and subjected the watch to some pretty significant abuse (4 crossfit workouts, some lunch time mountain biking, a couple of runs, and a rather intense period of hill sprints on wet grass). The watch has handled very well. I also had no problem syncing the device to my phone and computer through the TomTom mysports app. All in all, HARDWARE WISE, I have ZERO complaints about this watch. So why the 3 stars???
My employer runs a incentive wellness program, where you can earn money off your health insurance premiums by being active and getting a physical every year. The program is ran through the Virgin Pulse program. Virgin Pulse allows you to link every type of step counter known to man, from a fitbit to a jawbone, to track steps (we need to log so many steps a day to get points, yada yada)... The sole exception seems to be any TomTom product. I couldn't understand why I could not interface my TomTom with Virgin pulse, but wasn't too worried because I could link my TomTom with myFitness pal or Strava, which in turn can be linked to Virgin Pulse. Then I found out a glaring issue with this tracker. While it will track steps and document steps within the TomTom mysports app, it will not export the step tracking to apps like MyFitness Pal or Strava. It will only export an "Activity". So, you have a fun trade off here. You can walk around all day in run mode and eat up the battery, or track steps which can't be exported to other apps. What I found even worse was when I went to the TomTom forum it seemed that this wasn't even a concern of TomTom and the admins at the forum just spewed convoluted excuses for why this hasn't been done or why it probably isn't being looked into. At one point the admin said that no tracker sends step data to another app:
"You can view everything you are looking for in MySports, just click the Progress tab at the top of the screen and you can choose Activity Tracking and see every metric for the day, week, month, etc. The only thing uploaded to any of the partner sites is sports activities; none of the activity tracking is transmitted. The issue with this is that the standard file types used across the industry do not have a place to put activity data so all the major players would have to agree on a format and then adjust their APIs to accept it. This is why activity tracking stays within its environment for the most part (you can only view FitBit data in their app, Garmin in theirs etc.). I can see it coming down the road at some point but I am not sure how much of a priority it is for the companies involved."
Except that is EXACTLY what my fitbit surge did without issue for the last year and my fitbit HR did for two years before that! My fitbit would document steps in the fitbit app which would then communicate that directly to the Virgin Pulse App. Additionally the software GUI has a lot to be desired. Who decided that a watch face should look like this? The hour is stacked above the mins with the date sideways and offset in the upper right corner? Are you kidding me? Also, you only have the ability to set a single alarm and the only sound that it makes is a loud beeping noise with vibration. There is no option to change the clock face or the alarm to just vibration. Anyone who has owned a fitbit knows that the vibrating alarm is a blessing to the person sleeping next to you when you are up at 4 to go workout. Finally, while there is a stopwatch, there is no timer! Come on TomTom! The worst part is that when any of these issues are brought up on the support forum the response is nothing but excuses and misdirection, all while making it seem like the person asking for these simple features are asking for the world.
Like I said, the hardware is solid, and well worth the 300$, but the laziness on the software side and support communication doesn't warrant more than 3 stars!
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