Review: TomTom Runner GPS Watch

Although Garmins have got more attractive over the years, no one’s ever going to accuse them for putting looks before functionality. So, when a pretty watch comes out, there’s a collective gasp of (at least from the more shallow amongst us) ‘ooh, pretty watch’.


The TomTom Runner GPS Watch definitely comes under the ‘ooh, pretty watch’ category, despite it being not exactly dinky. I do like chunky watches though. Just not as chunky as my old Garmin 301 which took up most of my arm. The Garmin being compared below to the TomTom is a Garmin 405.


(Now is probably a good time to confess – as you’ve probably spotted the date in the photos – this review is a bit overdue. Oops. If you didn’t notice the date in the photos, well, um… as you were.)

If you get bored of your chosen colour, the screen snaps out of the strap so you can change this, as I found out when I was playing with it (I’m assuming that’s why it snaps out, anyway – it could be for a far less girly reason than this).


It’s easy to set up. You just plug it into your computer and set up TomTom MySportsConnect desktop application and it asks you a load of stuff like what do you want to call your TomTom Runner. I unimaginatively called mine Tom. I know, I know… It also asks you your date of birth so your performance is measured more accurately, and if you have an account with one of the MapMy thingies (Run, Fitness, etc.) it’ll link you up automatically.  If you don’t have a MapMyThingy account, you can see your stats in MySports or download them in various formats.


But what about the actual functionality of it? The actual ‘how does it work on a run’ bit? Well, it got a signal as quickly as my Garmin and gave a little vibration when it was ready to go. This means you don’t have to stand there staring at your wrist – you can just stand in your front garden in your running gear like that’s a perfectly normal thing to be doing.


As you can see from the photos (no, not the one with the girl staring at her wrist – the ones further up the page), it’s got a big, clear screen which you can change to show the usual distance, speed, calories, etc. I wore my Garmin and the TomTom together and the results were almost the same, only the calories burnt were shown to be higher on the TomTom.

The TomTom doesn’t have the multitude of functions a higher spec Garmin has (it’s purely for running, no option for cycling) but if you want a basic GPS watch for running, then the TomTom is a good choice and not just because it’s pretty.