Some reviewers call the new TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch a liberating device because you won’t be trailing those pesky wires required to keep your music playing nonstop.
Did we say music? You read that right. The Spark Music and the Spark Cardio + Music puts your favourite tunes right at your wrist and these cleverly-designed watches have no shortage of features that also enhance your wellbeing and physical health. Think of the Spark range as half coach and half DJ, only this coach won’t scream at you if you don’t follow your programme to the letter!
Is this new range of watches range just another lot of gimmicks that have hit the marketplace to lure runners into buying more technology? Hardly. There are so many features and benefits associated with this device that you could find yourself wishing it was also able to give you some advice on your love life since it’s capable of doing just about everything else.
Keep reading to discover why the TomTom Spark Fitness Watch is more than just a pretty face — it’s an accurate, multi-functional performance tracker with the capacity to host 500 tunes you can’t run without.
What do you want to track when you undertake a typical run? If you wear a Spark, you can keep tabs on the pace you are keeping, track your steps and compute the number of calories you burn on the fly. Real time reporting also includes a recovery advising feature (yes, the watch will give you tips on your personal recovery rate) and if you insist on sleeping through your early morning run, you can count on it to track your sleep, too. The optical heart rate sensor is accurate and irreplaceable, so you can make sure your ticker is staying in its optimal zone when you train.
The Spark Watch is GPS/satellite detectable so you can track your run, even if you wander off your beaten or unbeaten path, if you’re a night runner, the scratch-resistant face provides clear illumination in addition to the time. There’s an alarm, a stopwatch feature, pedometer and even if you’re the most far-sighted person on Earth, you won’t misread data that pops up on the lighted display, including interval training information and smartphone notification features.
Further, the Lithium ion battery remains alert for up to three weeks and if you switch up your training methods, you can even monitor pool laps at a depth of up to 40 meters if you undertake aquatic cross-training activities.
How About the Music?
We wanted to impress you with the fitness features and specs before we pushed you over the edge and sent you screaming for a place in line at a nearby sporting goods store or sent you scurrying about on the Internet to find the versatile Spark watch that’s so innovative, if you find one priced below the recent introductory S$329 price tag for the Spark Music or S$399 for the Spark Cardio + Music, grab it and don’t let go. You’re going to feel smug and savvy at the same time as you listen to the music of your life courtesy of your new wrist candy.
These little gems have a capacity that belies their size: within these watches, there is the potential to load and stow up to 500 tunes gleaned from your personal library and/or downloaded from iTunes, Windows Media and other such services. When the watch is in music mode, it comes at you loud and clear after you synch your playlist directly to the speakers/headphone. You can leave your phone at home. This 500-tune figure is based on 3GB of storage, so if you can fit only 499 tunes on the watch because some of them are mega-long, we don’t want you to be disappointed.
When you wear the Spark to play your favourites as you run, you won’t be uncomfortable because the fit is comfy, so even if you wind up snapping your fingers wildly to a hot track, the snug band will stay put and not fly off your wrist. It’s incumbent upon us to mention that the watch itself comes pre-loaded with some of the most energetic music this side of Motown courtesy of the Ministry of Sound, one of the top curators of contemporary music on Earth — and maybe Mars, too.
- The Spark supports many languages, so your apps can speak to you in Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Finnish, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese and Swedish.
- Get up to eight hours of music, heart rate and GPS tracking before requiring a recharge using the dock that comes with the Spark. It lasts over 3 weeks with 24/7 activity tracking.
- This fitness watch is lightweight, sturdy and hasn’t been overly designed since engineering emphasis is placed on performance not fashion.
- The Spark interfaces with RunKeeper, Strava and lots of other plug-ins and is the only watch on the market to pair with Nick+
- A handy, proprietary USB charger that slides into the watch face is included.
- To be honest, I find the sound quality is surprisingly high.
- The watch is designed as two parts so if you lose one while cleaning off sweat and grime, you’ll be sorry.
- we found the Spark a little difficult to manipulate when switching music in mid-run.
- That fashion thing we mentioned? Style mavens could be turned off by the bump that houses the GPS works.
- The entry S$249 price tag doesn’t appear to be going anywhere because this product is so new.
- While the TomTom MySports app is an improved version, it could still stand further improvement as TomTom do launch updates every couple of months to add new features and bug fixes.
Today’s runner wants it all and the more condensed their activity trackers, the better they like it because having everything in one place makes life and running simpler and more efficient. TomTom’s engineers have done a great job of adding the music feature to a watch that already functioned nicely as an activity tracker, GPS and progress monitor, so if you don’t mind forking out over S$249 to get your hands on one now, you probably deserve one.
On the other hand, if complex technology eludes you because you are completely right-brained and even programming your microwave oven is a mystery, you might want to spend more time than most having a salesperson show you how to work this gadget.
What are your thoughts on devices that do everything but cook eggs? Are you so impressed by the TomTom Spark that you’re already putting aside money to buy one or will you take a pass and hold out for the day TomTom finds a way to put a TV on your wrist?