25 Apr Working up a sweat with the TomTom Spark (Cardio & Music)
When I was given the TomTom Spark Cardio and Music fitness tracker, I was skeptical. I had tried so many others before that made big promises and just ended up disappointing me with its inaccurate numbers and flailing battery and software.
I had heard that this fitness/activity tracker was coming and was salivating by the time it had arrived. I was looking forward to being dazzled.
Off the bat, once it arrived, I was already excited at the prospect that I would no longer need to have my Ipod strapped to my arm because the TomTom Spark device had music capability and a preloaded ‘Ministry of Sound’ playlist already loaded.
It was easy enough to set up, I needed to connect the watch to a computer to link to a TomTom MySports account, and set it up.
Ascetic – In terms of the look of the tracker which can double up as a watch – it’s not bad. Ultra sporty and chunky, which is no problem when dressed casually or in gym apparel, however out of place if going out dressed more smartly. This did not phase me though, as I was not planning to wear it to a red carpet event. I don’t really care that the screen is monochrome and isn’t touch screen.
Functionality – The TomTom Spark (Cardio + Music) is an activity and fitness tracker with a full array of sensors including GPS and heart-rate monitoring, it boasts built-in music storage and playback via Bluetooth. It tracks, running, cycling, swimming, gym and a new feature called, ‘Freestyle’ which can be used for general activities where you want GPS data, and there’s also a more basic Stopwatch mode.
I used the gym setting the most, as I felt it was applicable with most workouts that I did, my hiit training sessions, weight training and yoga. I could track my heart-rate, calorie burn and level of performance.
I liked that if my Bluetooth headphones were linked, in addition to listening to my playlists, I could also hear audio performance feedback during training modes. This includes things like telling you to pick up pace or slow down to get your heart-rate in the right training zone, or how close you are to reaching your goal. All these notifications was accompanied by a vibration when these updates came through which was handy when my headphones were not connected to the watch during a group training class.
I feel the running and freestyle setting took forever to calibrate – so I mostly used it on the gym setting.
Battery Life – I found the battery life was generally quite good, it lasted for two days before it needed to be charged again via a special cable with docking attachment – which also means that if you lose that cable, you’ll have some serious issues.
Music – One of my favourite features on the watch! I loved that I could discard one less gadget when working out. I was thrilled when I got my Bluetooth headphones and now ditching the ipod was even better. I loved just using my watch for everything. The preloaded playlist is a great selection of music with the right BPM (Beats per minute) to keep your workout tempo at the optimal level.
Cost – The TomTom Spark (Cardio & Music) retails for just under R4000, with headphones – just under R5000.
Conclusion – I rather like my TomTom Spark (Cardio & Music) fitness tracker, and yes, I was rather dazzled by its capabilities and functionality. It has become an essential member of my workout apparel. When I do forget it at home, I feel rather lost without it.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
Photography – Tegan Smith