It’s pink (or green or black), it’s plastic, it’s on Xmas lists all over the globe – but it’s not a Barbie playhouse, it’s the new TomTom Multisport watch. I was lucky enough to have a play with this a couple of months back and can safely say that if you have a present to buy for an exercise nut (and a fairly hefty budget as it’s £179.99) then this will make them happy.
First, a disclaimer. As the ‘multisport’ name suggests the watch is designed not just for runners but also cyclists and swimmers. Because I had to send it back to TomTom I was a bit scared to test it in water (I’m aware that’s kind of the point of reviewing things but I didn’t want a big bill if for some reason it went bang as I breaststroked) and, anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not safe on a bike, I therefore only tested the running functions. And only the outdoor one at that. There is a treadmill option,but frankly – why? You’re on a large machine which controls your pace and tells you your time and distance – what’s the watch for?
First Impressions of the TomTom Multisport
Acting like Runkeeper on your wrist it’s selling points are the super large display (which I did like a lot), and the fact that it supposedly picks up GPS super fast. I say supposedly because if you live at my house you have to walk about 60 metres down the road before it picks up and signal and starts vibrating demanding you push things. Cue much fiddling about because the TomTom Multisport’s other selling point is that everything is set via a single button which, although super easy to use, doesn’t work well with extremely long fingernails. There was some swearing while I pushed back and forth trying to remember where things were. Let’s just say while using it the first 2-3 minutes of my ‘runs’ were normally walks while I faffed about – I figure after a while though you’d easily learn where everything was and this would no longer be a problem.
Then what does it do?
What doesn’t it do! The thing I really liked about this watch was that it’s not just a tracker – you can also use it as a coach set yourself goals like time or distance and try and beat them each run. You can also race yourself by competing against your last few workouts or set a desired pace (and it’ll let you know if you deviate from it) all of which can help keep things interesting – which means I think I just answered my own question about why it has a treadmill setting right there and then. To be honest, this watch does more than I had time to test – for example, there’s an intervals function on it which I just didn’t get the opportunity to use. Therefore if you are umming and ahhing whether to buy one and my ‘it’s really nice’ review hasn’t quite cut it, I’d suggest checking out this post here by dcrainmaker.com who had the watch about three times longer than I did (and wasn’t testing a fitness app a day at the same time!). It’s probably THE most comprehensive review of it ever and reading back over it has made me even more convinced that I really would like to play with it more so if Santa would like to bring me one of my very own, I wouldn’t mind.
The Bad Bits
The only problem I did find with it was that if tried to toggle between functions while running it did once or twice just decide to stop completely – unlike most other devices I’ve tried there’s no ‘would you like to stop this workout or have your fat little fingers just pressed this in error?’ option. It just decides you’re done. I have heard rumours though that they’ve now uploaded a fix for this which stops it happening. The other downside I have discovered many years after writing this post when I actually bought myself a TomTom Multisport and that is that it stores your data on the watch – and, quite rapidly it fills up. This wouldn’t be a problem if someone at TomTom had thought to put a delete button on the watch, but no. To delete it, you have to sync it to the computer (I didn’t care about my data so I reset it to factory settings). Apparently if you synch the watch to the app you can do this on the move but I haven’t got technical enough to try that yet.
Oh, and yes, for those who are interested it does allow post run navel gazing. As I’ve said before, I don’t track my workouts on computer – I take each one individually and am not interesting in comparing, but if you do like that type of thing the watch also syncs to your computer and gives you whizzy charts and what have you to play with. Frankly I’d rather be out running that looking at a computer telling me that I’ve been out running. On which note, it’s time for me to hit the road. I’ve got a tip straight from the mouth of an Olympic medal winner I want to try out. More on that another day…….
In the meantime, if you do want to buy yourself a TomTom Multisport, the link will take you to the amazon page which helps you find out more.
NYNHB is a now an amazon affiliate but this post was originally written long before I signed up for the scheme so my review is completely independent.