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TomTom Runner Cardio review



Manufacturer: TomTom
Price: R3,300
Gadget Categories:


Good battery life | Accurate heart rate measurement


Wrist strap is a bit small | Interface is confusing at times

Bottom Line

Pricey yet convenient heart rate monitor with GPS functions all on your wrist.

Posted September 15, 2015 by

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I know what you are thinking. Who thought to give the fat guy a running watch to review? Still, I warned everyone that there would be no running involved, but luckily the TomTom Runner Cardio has a treadmill option which is great for my walking.

The first thing I noticed about the watch was the tiny wrist strap. It fits comfortably on the last set of notches. I never really thought of my wrists as large, but apparently it is. You also have to wear the watch in a pretty specific place on your wrist thanks to the protruding charger. This took a bit of getting used to as the curvature of this extra bit isn’t quite the same as the curvature of my wrist. Once I found the right spot, it is pretty comfortable to wear and is easily forgotten about at a paltry 63 grams.

If you are worried or curious about your heart rate, this watch is amazing. Using bright green LEDs on the underside of the watch it watches the blood coursing by in your wrist. This feature can be used even when not running or training, turning the device into a heart monitor instead of a watch. As a person whose medication can affect heart rate, knowing when to calm down and stop getting uptight about whatever I was thinking about at the time was really helpful. Seriously, 145bpm when I am doing practically nothing except stand around? Using this feature for long periods of time does make the watch rather warm, but not uncomfortably so.

Most of the real information that the device gleans for you is only seen when you use the TomTom app. Here is what the app looks like after running the watch in treadmill mode to use it as a heart rate monitor. (I only discovered after this that you could use the monitor without setting it as a run.


As you can see it picked up a hilarious 45 minutes per kilometer while I was at an event chatting to friends. Why did my heart rate spike to 150? I have no idea, but now I know to try relax a bit more.  Having a track record of how you are doing, and being able to look at what your heart was doing in various parts of your exercise routine is pretty handy, especially if you are pushing for cardio workout. In the run mode, the GPS chip will track where you go, so you can see where your speed decreased or your heart rate climbed. Sadly the watch is not waterproof, thanks in part to the open section where the green LEDs work their magic.

So is it accurate? The TomTom Runner Cardio gives the same heart monitor results as the heart monitors in the larger machines at the gym, without the fuss of having to hold onto specific parts of the machine. The watch can also be set to vibrate to either tell you to slow down or speed up, depending on the type of workout you want.

At R3,300 the Runner Cardio is in a price range for someone who takes their running and cardio seriously. It is comfortable enough to wear all day, without attracting too many odd looks in the office. The battery will also last all day and be ready for your walk or run after work.

Now get, there is no video or pictures of me running to be seen. NONE.

Garth Holden

I like so many things that it would take me several lifetimes to get through them all. So I tell you about them, so you can choose where your time and money gets spent.

  • http://sagamer.co.za/ antiredcap

    “Now get, there is no video or pictures of me running to be seen. NONE.”