What I love:
What I love less:
- Charging / Syncing
With all my training in the warm weather I got to a point where I really disliked having my phone strapped to my arm. Its truly uncomfortable and I don’t listen to music anyway, so I wanted to get a watch which allowed me the freedom of just throwing on my shoes at 5am in the morning and running out the door. I also wasn’t ready to dish out the $500 to get the consensus favorite Garmin Forerunner 910XT. At $169 from Amazon this watch accomplished just that.
This watch is pretty sleek. Its not everyday that I would say you could get away with a runner’s watch while wearing a suit in a business environment. Getting the black and grey version accomplishes just that. It’s very discreet when compared to a lot of the oversized GPS watches.
The Runners perspective
The functionality for running handles all of the basics and enough when it comes to more advanced features. You can easily change the face settings of the watch to see your current pace, average pace, distance, calories etc. There is the optional heart rate monitor as well. There is an option to enter training information like intervals and goals, although its less useable since this needs to be entered directly into the watch.
It’s worth noting that while you have great battery life compared to the competition at around 10hrs; using the external sensors will reduce battery life. Furthermore, if you are a morning runner like myself night mode will destroy your battery life down to about 2 – 2.5 hrs. I’m all about efficiency and taking the extra energy to tap the face of my watch to see my stats is something that I would prefer to avoid. This has led to my watch running out of juice a number of times as my average run length is 1.5 hrs these days and if you forget to charge one day it will not last. Not to mention that I had my watch in night mode while running a marathon and was extremely frustrated when at mile 22 I felt the vibration from the watch signifying that it was out of battery.
The Swimmer’s / Biker’s Perspective
To be updated.
The major problems with this watch come on the software side. There are options for creating workouts like intervals or setting goals. However, who wants to spend time punching this directly into the watch. Since TomTom already is forcing me to connect the watch to my computer daily (also for the gps fix) why not give me the ability to make all changes to the watch from the computer and sync.
It’s also worth to point out that the computer sync is far from flawless. I am yet to understand when the gps fix will happen. I just need to reconnect the watch several times until it actually updates the gps fix. There is also problems detecting the watch itself at times.
Furthermore, to get a full charge the manual clearly states that you need to connect the watch to your computer and not to an outlet… why?
Finally, the online application for viewing your activity details and statistics is currently unusable. This is a non-issue for me as it allows you to upload all your activities to other programs like runkeeper and mapmyfitness.
This watch is beautifully designed to the point that one can even get away with wearing it in a business setting. From a cost to reliability / functionality perspective there is no competition. While there are still a number of software challenges TomTom regularly releases updates to address them and I can see it only getting better over time. So if looks and price are just as important as functionality, then I would definitely recommend this watch.
*Note: I will update the review with the biker’s and swimmers perspective once I have enough training with this watch.
One of the benefits of this watch was that TomTom regularly releases updates to its watch. This has happened recently with update 1.6.13. Now there is an iPhone application which allows you to automatically sync your workouts as well as getting the gps quick fix without having to take off your watch every day which was the biggest hassle.
I have started to bike with this watch and it mounts very easily and is everything that you would expect from a cycling computer. Even better than the standard. The only thing I have a problem with is that it is not a quick process when going from watch mounted to bike mounted. This is potentially problematic if there was any thought of using this watch during an actual triathlon race and not just for training.