In Friday’s blog post, I wrote that I had just purchased a Tomtom Runner Cardio and I detailed my thoughts on it up to that point.
My prime concern at the time was the tomtom wasn’t syncing. I had wasted an evening and an entire next day trying to get it to sync. I tried everything, including unlinking the tomtom from my smartphone, turning off bluetooth, uninstalling the tomtom sport app, shutting down and restarting the smartphone and on and on and on. Nothing worked.
After I got back home that evening, I plugged it into the computer to see if I could get it to sync. I had plugged it into the computer when I first got it to charge it. This time I plugged it in and it started downloading an update, as well as a GPS map. I’m not sure why it didn’t install the update when I first plugged the watch in, but there you go.
After the updates were done installing, I went through the whole process of reinstalling the tomtom sport app, turning on bluetooth, and trying to get the phone and watch to sync.
This time, they synced. Yay!
Now I could play with it. So I went running on my treadmill. The tomtom Runner Cardio seemed to do a pretty good job figuring out my speed and tracked my treadmill run as well as the treadmill itself did. Yay! That was the main reason I bought the watch, because as I said, I do a lot of treadmill running, especially in the winter.
Two issues down. Now to play with the app itself. Well, let me tell you, the app still sucks. It’s as minimalistic as they come. Maybe that’s because the watch itself is very simplistic, only designed to track running, outside or on a treadmill, so the app has very few features.
Sure it has some great feedback for the run. But it really doesn’t do much else.
Unlike the Garmin or Fitbit phone app, which have several useful features to help you monitor different activities, this pretty much just tracks your heartbeat and your runs.
And with regards to your heartbeat, that never seemed to show up on the app. Ever. It said something that if you wear the watch at least two hours a day, it’ll provide you with a resting heart rate. Or something. But it never did. The app never showed me anything about my heart rate.
It said it was syncing. It did upload my treadmill run info. But the heart? Nothing.
And also unlike the Garmin or Fitbit, syncing wasn’t automatic. You had to have both the app open and menu down on the watch to wake it up in order to sync. Way too much work.
So at this point, I’ve chalked the watch up as a Big Fail as a fitness watch. It doesn’t do step counting, it doesn’t monitor sleep, and the heart rate monitor is questionable at best. Sometimes it wouldn’t read anything when on my wrist, other times it was reading a heart rate of well over 100 when I was supposedly resting. So unless it realized I was stressed over the fact that the watch sucked, it just did not work very well. Additionally, the watch itself was bulky and uncomfortable. Not to mention, the app is a fail as well. Too minimal in feedback to even be useful.
So the bottom line? I’ve returned the tomtom Runner Cardio. I’m not sure I’d even recommend it to people who just want it for running. It was just too unreliable.
And I’ve picked up the Misfit Shine 2 in red. The fitness tracker I should have gotten the first place.
Maybe I’ll post a review. Maybe not. I already know the Misfit phone app is pretty awesome because my wife has the Misfit Ray. And the Misfit Shine 2 is similar in function to the Misfit Ray, it just has a different look to it. Both are very stylish. Both are comfortable and unobtrusive.
I like red.
2/28/2017 — I completely forgot to add one other point against the tomtom, and I believe it’s something in common with even their popular Spark model: the USB charger dock.
That bulky end piece on the left docks with the watch behind the menu button. I had some trouble getting it to fit, but then it finally clicked on.
No big deal until the watch was done downloading updates and had finished charging and it came time to disconnect.
I pulled and tugged and wiggled it, but nothing. I looked for a hidden tab or anything to indicate how it separated, but it seemed once joined it didn’t want to unjoin.
I was afraid if I used too much force, I’d damage something.
So I Googled how to disconnect the dock from the watch. It appears that is a common problem because there were tons of people asking the same thing.
The answer? Just yank hard.
Yes, well, I finally got it after several minutes of tugging, wiggling, and jerking. And the second time I attached it, removing wasn’t any easier.
So keep that in mind if you’re considering a tomtom Runner or Cardio.
TomTom needs to work on that. What’s wrong with a universal Mini-USB plug?