TomTom Runner Cardio sport watch has its finger on your pulse
The TomTom Runner Cardio gives rival fitness trackers and smartwatches a run for their money with built-in GPS and heart rate monitoring.
If you have your finger on the pulse of technology, you know smartwatches and fitness trackers are running riot right now -- and the new TomTom Runner Cardio GPS sport watch includes GPS and a heart rate monitor to give those other gadgets a run for their money.
The TomTom Runner Cardio's Mio optical sensor tracks your actual exertion alongside the distance you've covered, shining light through your skin to monitor your blood flow. The screen displays your heart rate in real time, as well as other useful information such as the distance you've run, the pace you're setting and the time since you last had to stop to be sick in a bush.
OK, I made that last one up. But the watch does have five intensity settings: Sprint, for interval training; Speed, for high-tempo training to improve speed and fitness; Endure, for boosting your heart and lung capacity; Fat Burn, for weight loss; and Easy, for warming up and cooling down, and for online technology journalists.
The TomTom Cardio Watch is controlled by a single button, built into a waterproof body capable of diving to 165 feet. While you're outdoors braving the elements on track and field, the GPS sensor records your route to review later, and it works indoors too, with a sensor that counts strides on a treadmill.
Once you've collapsed in a sweaty heap at the end of your workout, you can relive the best bits -- that bit where you nearly got run over on a road crossing, or the bit when you twisted your ankle avoiding a small dog -- by syncing GPS and other data with services such as TomTom MySports, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, TrainingPeaks and Strava.
Unlike TomTom's earlier Nike+ SportWatch, the new model doesn't sync with Nike+, so if you're upgrading you'll have to find a new online service to track your exertions.
Pedal or pool with Multi-sport model
Racing alongside the running-focused Runner Cardio watch is a Multi-Sport version for swimmers, cyclists, and triatheletes. It adds a cadence Sensor, a barometric altimeter, and swimming motion sensor to record laps, strokes, time and speed. The watch also calculates your SWOLF swim efficiency score.
The Multi-Sport model comes with a bike mount to peddle cycling stats as you pedal.
The TomTom Cardio watches comes in red and white or red and black. It hits the ground running in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and 20 European countries including the UK in the next month. The for the Runner Cardio costs $270 in the USA or £250 in Britain, while the Multi-Sport Cardio watch will set you back $300 or £280.
TomTom's first sports watch was the Nike+ watch with GPS to track your runs, wrapping round runners' wrists a few years ago. Since then the smartwatch has become the hottest tech accessory going, with the likes of the Samsung Gear 2 and Under Armour Armour 39 Watch leading the pack. Wrist-worn sports and fitness trackers are all the rage too, like the Samsung Gear Fit, Jawbone Up24 and Nike+ FuelBand SE.