TomTom are better known for their in-car satellite navigation systems than their Running watches but the new TomTom Runner is shaping up to be a heavyweight contender and could even give the likes of Nike and Garmin a run for their money.
The TomTom Runner is the first GPS watch that the company has launched on completely their own, without the support of any other company. Previously they paired up almost exclusively with Nike to launch the Nike SportWatch GPS almost two years ago but since then they have been busy developing something equally as special. So what is all the fuss about?
Essentially the TomTom Runner takes the simplicity of the Nike+ SportWatch but incorporates a much more sensitive and advanced GPS receiver. Using Hotfix technology the watch can locate and hold a signal faster than almost any other competitor (including Garmin), which means less waiting around in the cold before you start your training session.
That being said, the Runner is lacking in a few key areas. The MySports online training portal is very much a work in progress and unfortunately is little more than a place to store your data at the moment. T2 have big plans for their website though so watch this space to track some of the exciting news features that are rumored to be in the pipeline (advanced courses please!)
The only other minor negative point about the Runner is that TomTom have made it almost too simple. How can a gadget be too simple you ask? Well if you try one of these out you will see what I mean. The unit has been designed so that you can navigate your way around the user interface with no more than five clicks, which sounds good in theory but in practice actually means missing out a few key prompts. For example, when you come pause your training session mid workout you can very easily tap one button too many and cancel your entire training run – not idea if you are trying to track average statistics across the duration of your training session.
So parting thoughts…The TomTom Runner starts around £140, which is a little on the steep side when you consider that the Nike+ is a similar price and gives you a very elaborate online training portal. On the plus side it is incredibly easy to use and the GPS receiver is one of the most accurate that I have ever used so if you are a casual runner who likes to get up and running quickly then this could be the watch for you.
For images, videos and an in-depth review of the TomTom Runner, check out the post over on LondonTri.com. The Runner is due for launch in the UK in early September 2013 and will be quickly followed by a multi-sport version.