I've been using a TomTom MultiSport Cardio for several months now and this is my users review...




Love it!


Initially I loved this sports watch. I was looking to lose a serious amount of weight (7 stone lost so far at the time of writing this article) and needed a watch I could wear all the time. I wanted to do a lot of swimming and walking and needed something that would run interdependently of a phone. I had used Strava on a phone for a few months but wanted more accuracy from a heart rate sensor and using Strava on a phone really runs down the battery quickly and with the amount of weight I needed to lose having a working mobile was essential. The Tomtom MultiSport Cardio was about only sports watch out there that combined all the features I needed. I wasn't interested in smart notifications and having a display to show heart rate zone information and other metrics such as duration etc seemed to make the Tomtom the only choice.


When my watch arrived it connected perfectly to my HTC One Mini (M7) and worked flawlessly... however....


Loathe it


My watch was so successful my wife wanted one too. We had tried a Mio HRM to tether to her Strava on her phone. Her walks were much shorter than mine so there were no issues with battery run time etc. Unfortunately the Mio didn't work with her phone so reluctantly I ordered up another Tomtom. That is when my opinion on this unit changed.


The Tomtom also didn't work with her phone. Silly me for not checking the supported phone list. Turns out her phone was too old to support Bluetooth Smart. So we just USB'd it into her laptop. Unfortunately after a short period of time it started to lose walks, factory resets later and various software updates and firmware updates to the watch occasional bouts of data loss still persisted. Whereas my MultiSport Cardio hadn't missed a beat. I thought this was because I'd only ever used the desktop application 'Tomtom MySports Connect' to initially configure the watch and only used the mobile app to sync. We realized that my wife's iPod touch was compatible and started to sync her watch using this.


About this time I changed out my HTC phone for a Samsung S5, although Tomtom said it was compatible in order to get the watch to connect I had to delete all my associations with all my other Bluetooth devices and connect to the watch using the mobile app. This was lousy as I then had to repair everything else back up. Thankfully this was only necessary for the initial set-up. Then along came Lollipop and when I updated my phone the Tomtom was not compatible and I found myself having to sync up to my iPod the same as my wife. The update to allow the Tomtom to connect to a Lollipop device has taken months to come out as of the time of writing this update has only just been released.



 Hate it


Recently my watch has started losing walks again. About two weeks ago one went MIA and today both of my walks including a biggie went missing. Also today my wife's watch has lost all of her walks. We think there is a fault at Tomtom HQ but there are no notices on the Tomtom website, Facebook page of forums. Recovery of the walks today was possible by using iTunes to get the ttbin file off the iPod then using the Tomtom MySports Connect app to import the file but it’s still a pain in the arse.


Swimming is also useless as the lap counter is junk I can do 30 lengths and it will count maybe 8. (Luckily Strava seems to cope with the Tomtom's inability to count)


I'm using the Tomtom to upload data into Strava for all my exercises as this will 'normalize' my exercises before they go into MyFitnessPal. I'm working on the assumption that all of my devices may not always be Tomtom so if I use Strava it will take the data and will make it the same from whatever device I'm using.


'Freestyle' exercise needs a GPS fix. This is utterly useless, if I'm in the Gym doing Kettle-bell or rowing machine why would I need a GPS fix for an exercise I'm doing standing in one place? The watch will not start logging until it has a fix. Then because it has a GPS fix it will upload that data to Strava which will ruin the accuracy as the GPS fix dances around all over the place it thinks I've been teleporting.



What Tomtom need to fix


  1. Firstly it needs to stop losing data!
  2. Lap counter for swimming need to be better.
  3. For a 'MultiSport' device being limited to Running, Cycling, Swimming, Treadmill and Freestyle is quite poor. There needs to be a Strength training option, and options for Gym based exercises like a static cycle, rowing machine etc.
  4. I actually think it needs a small wizard menu that you can use to select your exercise and if you want the HRM on or off and also if you want GPS data.
  5. The ability to turn off the GPS requirement for Freestyle.
  6. Also get the HRM working for swimming, if it’s a different strap or a shim between the watch and the skin then so be it.



The Future


I'm planning to do an all-day charity walk in the summer, my training walks all exceed the battery life of the Tomtom. The battery life of the Tomtom is very good actually at a little over 7 hours with HRM and GPS turned on with my device being more than 6 months old. I'm in the position where at the moment to do a training walk I stop for 'lunch' and I connect the watch to a portable USB charger for that time and it juices it up enough to do the rest of the way. This isn't going to work for me for the big event and I'm considering my options on what to do.


I either buy another identical Tomtom MultiSport Cardio and swop over watches over half way through the walk or buy something else. My walking partner's Mio is working great to a phone and I can run the phone off the battery pack but I'd lack the HRM data on the screen.  Really I'd prefer to go with another Tomtom but I'm still hating it and don't want to give Tomtom another £230 of my money for something should be better given its supposed to be a premium device.


I do have a Garmin VivoSmart which I do like but it has had its issues. The new Fitbit Surge looks good but it’s no good for swimming...


I'm guessing the above products will push Tomtom into improving the MultiSport Cardio v2 whenever it comes out but the issues on the current model should be fixed because I wouldn't recommend it to a fiend at the moment.