TomTom Spark Review

After Garmin made the huge leap from GPS production into the fitness tracker game, it seems only natural that their eternal competitor, upon seeing the success, would make the jump as well. So they have with the introduction of their feature-packed TomTom Spark.

Aimed at more serious athletes like those who enjoy running, cycling, and swimming, the TomTom Spark packs a huge amount of functionality right onto your wrist in a sports watch-fitness tracker hybrid that aims to fill a broader need than some other models. However, with so many competitors already out there in this increasingly crowded market, how does the Spark stand up? Find out, in our TomTom Spark Review

Design

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B015CDWGQA” locale=”US” localize=”y” src=”https://www.trackershowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/51hFonBFu2BL.jpg” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ width=”457″ alt=”Tom Tom Spark review”]When it comes to design, you probably shouldn’t judge the TomTom Spark by it. It doesn’t exactly jump out of the box with sheer style. While it may sit relatively thin on the wrist, it still looks like a chunky piece of black plastic with its fairly large LCD monochrome screen. The strap is much of the same, lacking the supreme flexibility of silicone and instead being made of sturdy-feeling black rubber. However, the clasp is made up of a loop and two poppers that does happen to give a very secure fit. One plus of its external design is the sturdy rubber is likely what lends to its waterproofing of up to 40m.

However, the initial impressions of the design should fall by the wayside once the TomTom Spark is charged up. It does have some rather unintuitive features to it, like turning on the backlight by placing your hand over the display, for example. However, the display itself is big, bold, and super easy to use and understand if you are in motion and just want a quick check.

Controls aren’t done by touch screen, but rather a four-way button that navigates the menu. While the slight bulge of the button does little for aesthetics, it does make it simple to use with logically laid out menus to boot. Since the [easyazon_link identifier=”B015CDWGQA” locale=”US” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ localize=”y”]TomTom Spark also features music playback[/easyazon_link], the buttons and menus that are easy to use even with sweaty hands are actually quite welcome.

Features

Ah, the features. If you aren’t at all impressed with the design of the TomTom Spark (and nobody blames you for that), it’s okay because it is the features of this fitness tracker that really sell it. It might be faster to put all the things that the TomTom Spark doesn’t do, but you probably don’t mind if it doesn’t tie your running shoes or order a post-gym beer for you.

All joking aside, the TomTom Spark actually does a lot. It does the usual things like tracking your steps, calories burned, sleep monitoring, and stairs climbed, but it also features GPS, music playback, and heart rate monitoring. But wait! There’s more! The TomTom Spark can even go deeper into all your favorite activities like running, cycling, and swimming by tracking your routes as well as measuring more specific metrics like your strokes and your strides.

Not a single one of those features is pioneering in the field of fitness trackers and sports watches, but to find so many features in one product is actually pretty spectacular. What’s more is that almost all of those features work well.

One really great example is the heart rate monitoring. In many fitness trackers, it can be relatively hit or miss, but in the TomTom Spark it gives relatively accurate metrics, and it is the same with calories burned. While you can see many of your current numbers and goals right from the watch interface, you can actually see [easyazon_link identifier=”B015CDWGQA” locale=”US” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ localize=”y”]your heart monitoring and activity log for the entire day[/easyazon_link] and the long-term in the TomTom MySports Connect app. While this app is incredibly detailed and you should take advantage of it for your fitness needs, the Spark also connects with other fitness apps like RunKeeper and Strava.

While the TomTom Spark’s app is incredibly detailed, making it impossible to cover every single metric you can track and monitor. Those not incredibly into every physical activity might find it too detailed. Sometimes the simple things you want to look at can get lost among all the details, which might make it less appealing to less active people.

While it has many features, the Spark lacks a few other small features like the ability to download training plans and doesn’t have the connectivity to other music apps like Spotify. While the TomTom Spark and all its capabilities work without even needing your phone on your person and easily syncs up to wireless headphones, you still have to tediously connect it to your PC or Mac and drag and drop MP3s into a software despite the Spark appearing as a drive, which would have been much easier. Mac users actually have it worse as they are forced to upload their entire iTunes library.

Finally, let’s talk about the battery. At this point, everyone knows that the more a fitness tracker does the less battery life it will have. It is the heart rate monitoring, GPS, and music playback that are the real energy sinks. So the battery life varies.

If you are using the GPS, heart rate monitoring, and the music playback, you only have about five hours of battery. That rises to nine hours with just GPS and heart rate monitoring, then 11 hours for GPS only. If you are just using the watch functions, the charge extends to around 14 days before you will need to juice it back up.

Conclusion

It is important to always remember there is quite a world of difference between fitness trackers and sports watches. Fitness trackers are aimed at a more casual market while sports watches are for more hardcore athletes. The hybrid products of these two fill a market for people that are occasionally casual but want to move into a more dedicated realm.

The TomTom Spark is more sports watch than fitness tracker, and while the huge number of features makes it seem like it is the best of the best, sometimes more casual users will get lost in those features. For those who prize simplicity, this isn’t the fitness tracker for them. However, if you are an avid runner, cyclist, or swimmer and want to get the most accurate and in-depth readings into your desired physical activity, the Spark packs a lot of substance into a tight package for the price.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B015CDWGQA” locale=”US” localize=”y” src=”https://www.trackershowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/51hFonBFu2BL.jpg” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ width=”457″ alt=”Tom Tom Spark review”]

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