- Editor Rating
- Rated 4 stars
- TomTom MultiSport Cardio
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
- Heart Rate Monitor functionsEditor: 75%
- Heart Rate AccuracyEditor: 90%
- Activity Tracking features
- Running functionsEditor: 85%
- Cycling functionsEditor: 60%
- Fitness monitoring featuresEditor: 30%
- Ease of UseEditor: 95%
- Battery LifeEditor: 90%
A review of the TomTom MultiSport Cardio with strapless, continuous heart rate monitoring by Tristan Haskins
NOTE > This unit was released in 2014 and has been superseded by the Runner 2 with built-in MUSIC storage and activity tracking functionality and again by the Runner 3 / Spark 3 … However, If you don’t want or need activity tracking then this model still offers good value for money as a GPS watch / off the wrist heart rate monitor designed for people who run, bike, swim and gym.
Who’s it for?
The TomTom MultiSport Cardio is for the exerciser who wants to know how far, how fast and HOW HARD they are training whether it’s RUNNING, BIKING or SWIMMING. The how far and how fast is calculated by the QuickFix GPS, just like other TomTom GPS watches … however, what makes the MultiSport Cardio different is the BUILT-IN heart rate sensor that takes HR data directly off your wrist.
Having heart rate measured directly off the wrist is brilliant. It’s accurate and 100% trouble free. We’ve used this watch for hours of training and not once have either myself or Louise seen and spurious spikes or glitches in the HR data. With the Runner Cardio gone are the days of having to spit on the back of your HR belt to get a good reading… just pop it on the wrist and you’re good to go. TomTom use the optical HR sensor from the innovative company MioGlobal .They are the clever team behind the strapless heart rate monitoring technology used by the TomTom and now the Garmin Forerunner 225.
There are plenty of great features with this MultiSport GPS watch. As a runner who wears glasses in the day I am particularly fond of an extra large display. I found the high contrast display clear and easy to read in all light conditions. Another favourite feature is the one button control. Unlike other watches with buttons around the outside of the case, the TomTom MultiSport has a simple to use toggle switch. Moving around the functions of the watch is easy and intuitive. Simply press up-down-left-right to move through menus.
The INTERNAL accelerometer is also a great feature. When running indoors on a treadmill you still have access to speed and distance data from a built-in sensor that accurately measures your running performance when no GPS signal is available.
Sport Specific Training Pages
It’s all very well putting the word MultiSport on a watch in an attempt to gain an new audience but TomTom have come up with a product that is suitable for most people who partake in various disciplines. The most important feature of a MULTISPORT watch is the ability to have sport specific training pages. TomTom have provided a good set of DEFAULT training pages for different sports. The user also has the ability to modify these if necessary. They are not truly customisable, but sufficiently enough.
Is it a TRUE MultiSport watch?
Yes.. but NO! What we mean here is this…. Yes, it does allow the user to select from run, bike, swim, treadmill or freestlye and yes, it also provides sports specific training pages. However, it does NOT allow you to change from ONE sport to another in the same session. Having a Triathlon mode requiring a single button press as transition is entered and exited, moving automatically from swim to cycle to run would be preferred. Unfortunately, as this watch does not adhere to our 3 point MultiSport requirements it is NOT included in the MultiSport section of the website.
Could have been better?
MultiSport – ONE BUTTON issues aside (above)
An area that I could see improving is the MySports APP and web area. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not got the level of detail that something like Polar Flow has. I’ve had it crash quite a few times, for example when changing ACCOUNT data from metric to imperial… as it stands MySports APP is stuck in metric when I want miles/min (which is what the watch is displaying)…. It’s not a huge criticism and I am confident it is work in progress.
If possible, it would be great if TomTom could add an ACTIVITY TRACKER. I’m not a watch engineer, but I would imagine that the internal accelerometer that is already inside the unit could be utilised to provide 24/7 activity tracking. It’s not an essential feature but something more and more competitors are adding to their line up including the Polar M400 and Garmin Forerunner 620 and 15. (and now the FR225)
Freestyle Mode, Turn OFF the GPS
I’d like to be able to turn OFF the GPS when in Freestyle mode. I spend quite a bit of time in the gym and the Freestyle mode would be my preferred option for logging those sessions under. At present the only mode WITHOUT GPS is Treadmill… .but I might not be doing any treadmill work. TomTom, please can we have INDOOR training mode with average HR, live HR, calories, duration and that’s about all I need really.
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Next model UP
This is currently the top of the range for TomTom GPS sports watches. As we’ve said, in our opinion, it’s not a true multisport GPS watch like the Polar V800 or Forerunner 920XT as you cannot change sport in the middle of ONE FILE.. however, for the person who RUNS, BIKES and SWIMS and does NOT need all the data in ONE FILE, then it’s a great option.
Next model DOWN
The next model down is the TomTom Runner Cardio. It’s pretty much the same watch with the built-in heart rate sensor but WITHOUT the multisport profiles.
MultiSport Training Pages
See what you want to see relevant to each sport. The training pages are informative and you should be able to see pretty much everything you’d want to see while training. There is the option to have the TOP left and right showing whatever you prefer allowing for some customisation to suit personal preferences.
Strapless Heart Rate Sensor
That’s easy, this is one of the biggest selling points of this GPS runners watch. We love it. It’s been rested cycling, running, walking. It’s been tested by large people with thick wrists and Louise with her slender 15.5cm circumference wrists. No problems at all getting an accurate HR reading.
Quick Fix GPS Technology
The Runner Cardio uses QuickFix GPS technology to ensure a quicker synching of the GPS satellites. Dock it regularly, about every 3 days, and your TomTom will know where the satellites are without the need to search for them.
Race Previous Tracks
After a run you can pop it in your RACE BANK. Next to you run the same route you can compare your current run with past performances. The Runner Cardio shows you where you are compared to the stored RACE. A great way to motivate yourself running the same local circuit
The Runner Cardio let’s you set a goal based on distance, time or calorie goal. Check progress in a full screen graphics. Get GOAL ALERTS as you run, when you’re halfway there, almost finished and when you have achieved your goal.
The Runner Cardio features ZONE TRAINING allowing you to train in either a Heart Rate Zone or a Pace based Zone. Training at the correct intensity is an important part of the improvement progress. Yes, there are times when you should be training at demanding zones, but there are more times when you MUST train at a recovery / steady pace (or HR zone, eg zone 1-2). This competent training tool will ensure you stay in the chosen training zone.
The very best way to improve speed and cardiovascular fitness is by incorporating interval training in to your sessions. Start with a sensibly controlled warm up, then switch between periods of high and low intensity exercise. You can do this as many times as you like. Then finish with a controlled cool down. Each of these intervals can be either time or distance based.
The MultiSport Cardio provide Swim-Metric data during your swim session. While you swim the watch can display, clock time, duration, distance, average speed, lengths, SWOLF (swimming efficiency) strokes and calories.
TomTom Video Presentation (Built-In Heart Rate)
This is what the TomTom MultiSport Cardio is all about. Heart Rate Monitoring straight off your wrist. No chest strap required the optical HR sensor will read your heart rate directly from your wrist
Heart Rate Based Training Explained
A short video from TomTom explaining the benefits of heart rate training.
TomTom MultiSport Cardio Specification from the Manufacturer
Run with a lightweight watch designed for runners. The slim design comfortably fits all wrist sizes.
Stay focused on your run with vibration alerts. Hear beeps and feel vibrations to get milestone, lap and interval alerts, even when listening to your music.
Run with a durable, scratch-resistant display. Super-tough scratch and impact-resistant display stays easy to read, run after run.
Track your run indoors and on a treadmill. The TomTom Runner’s built-in sensors count your strides so you can monitor your pace and distance. No extra foot pod required.
Train more efficiently. A stop watch can be a useful tool to help you time various routines and improve your performance.
Waterproof up to 50 metres (165 feet) / 5ATM
Run in all kinds of weather. The TomTom Runner is waterproof up to 50 meters (165 feet) / 5ATM and as weather-ready as you are.
Get out on your run faster. QuickGPSFix helps your watch find your precise location quickly so you can start your run.
With the latest in GPS and GLONASS satellite receiver technology, you are sure to get a fast start to your run.
Up-to 10 Hour Battery Life [GPS Mode]
Run more, recharge less, with up to 10-hour battery life [GPS Mode], and up to 30 days on a single charge with normal watch use.
Sync, analyze and share your stats on popular running sites or apps. Easily upload information about your runs to track progress against your goals.
With compatibility across a broad range of online running community platforms, you can choose where you store your statistics.
TomTom MySports Mobile App
Sync your TomTom Sport Watch automatically. Use the TomTom MySports mobile app to easily upload and access your key activity information without connecting to a computer.
Charge and sync your watch. The Desk Dock connects to your PC or Mac easily, quickly and reliably. Connect to sensors using the latest wireless technology. The TomTom Runner uses Bluetooth Smart Technology to connect to the TomTom Heart Rate Monitor* and other compatible Bluetooth Smart accessories.
*Heart Rate Monitor Optional accessory
TomTom are constantly working to update and produce new software updates to make your GPS Watch better with tweaks and new features.
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Dimensions Battery lifetime Up to 8 hours (GPS+HR), up to 10 hours (GPS) Display size 22x25mm Display resolution 144×168 Thickness 11.5 mm Weight 50 Grams Strap length 230 mm Location Location GPS + GLONASS Location boost via PC Sensors Sensors (internal) Motion sensor, compass, optical heart rate monitor Sensor (wireless) Bluetooth® Smart Water Resistance Waterproofing 50m/165 feet (5 ATM) Measurements Pace/Speed Pace Distance/Calories Yes Steps No Heart Rate Yes (Heart Rate Monitor-Optional Accessory) Cadence Yes (optional sensor required) Activities Indoor Running Yes Outdoor Running Yes Cycling Yes Dedicated Bike Mount Yes Swimming Yes Training Race Full screen Goals Full screen Zone Full screen Laps Full screen Intervals Full screen Languages Languages