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Sports watch makers have already been getting into the business enterprise of adding 24/7 activity and sleep tracking with their products. It’s a good way to include value to devices that contain been in demand for many years, but companies don’t always nail the execution, and such may be the case with the $349.99 TomTom Adventurer. If it were simply a running watch filled with extras, like 3GB of onboard music storage, a trusted heart rate monitor, plus some neat outdoor hiking features, it might be an excellent device. The addition of step counting and sleep tracking, however, indicates it’s designed to be worn all day long, the design doesn’t surpass that expectation-it’s heavy and irritating on the wrist after a couple of hours. If you only use it to track runs, hikes, and alternative activities, you’ll be pleased with the TomTom Adventurer’s reliability. For continuous wear, though, other fitness trackers are slimmer and convenient.

Design, Battery, and Stats


If you’re acquainted with TomTom’s Spark 3 Cardio + Music, the Adventurer is quite similar, but with a few added features that are specific to outdoor activities, namely hiking and trail running.

Chunky, heavy, and loaded with hard plastic, the Adventurer appears like fairly typical running watch. Like many of its predecessors, like the TomTom Multi-Sport and Spark 3, it has a huge display and square button beneath it, curved to the within of the wrist. The button includes a two important purposes. First, it’s pressure sensitive, meaning you can operate it even though you’re wearing gloves, that you can’t do with an impression screen. Second, the GPS receiver is hidden behind it, this means it’s pointing toward the sky whenever your arms are in running position.

The Adventurer will come in all black, or black with an orange strap. The strap runs on the classic double-pronged closure, and fits wrists that are 5.1 to 8.1 inches. The tracker itself pops from the band for charging, and a proprietary charging cable is roofed.

Battery life is good, nonetheless it varies tremendously according to what areas of the Adventurer you utilize. For instance, using GPS, music, and the optical heartrate monitor drains the battery in about five hours, whereas you may get an excellent three weeks from it only if using daily activity tracking and basic watch mode. Ultra marathoners who disable the heartrate function but nonetheless use GPS will get about 11 hours usage.

A big (0.87 by 0.98 inches, HW) monochrome LCD is simple to read, with enough time and date appearing by default. When tracking a task, you can flip to different views, such as for example heartrate or distance, and leave them on the display.

In addition to presenting a heartrate monitor and music storage, the TomTom Adventurer also packs in a barometer (for altitude), compass, and Bluetooth sensors for pairing never to only compatible phones, but also wireless earphones. Each one of these goodies then add heft. The half-inch thick device weighs 1.94 ounces. Personally, i find watches comfortable if they weigh about 1.5 ounces or less, with 2 ounces being the hard cutoff for what I consider tolerable. I wore the Adventurer constantly for many days, although I had to remove it to type, and I couldn’t wait to have sufficient sleep recordings therefore i didn’t have to use it during intercourse anymore. I also didn’t shower with it on, nevertheless, you can-it includes a waterproof rating of 5ATM.

The Great Outdoors


The TomTom Adventurer really shines during runs and alternative activities, especially outdoors. The watch has several special features for outdoor enthusiasts. And a reliable GPS component, it includes a compass and real-time altitude information. Its signature feature may be the capability to store routes that you load onto the watch before aiming on a patio activity. You can head to any site which has .gpx files for routes, which are normal on hiking, trail running, and cycling websites. The website MapMyFitness is another great source. These files are mapped routes created by GPS. You download them to your personal computer, and upload them to the Adventurer by connecting these devices via charging cable and launching the MySports desktop app.

Loading a route onto the watch was simple. To think it is on the Adventurer, you launch the correct outdoor activity for the route, such as for example hike, and tap the button right down to get the settings, and choose Trails. Choose your route, and it’ll appear on the pre-start screen as the Adventurer acquires GPS. Each mile (or kilometer) of the route becomes among your view options through the activity. The GPS and compass point you along the road, just a little moving triangle along a line.

Beyond running, cycling, trail running, and hiking, the Adventurer enables you to record and tag alternative activities, including treadmill, indoor cycling, skiing, snowboarding, and general gym workouts. A choice for “freestyle” captures other things you might like to record. Gleam generic stopwatch function. Everything you won’t find, however, are any kind of push notifications from your own phone, that is a fairly common feature even among less costly trackers.

Uploading music or other audio tracks files is comparable to uploading a route. When you hook up the Adventurer to a computer, the MySport iphone app comes with an icon for music, and it walks you through selecting the tracks or albums you intend to load. MP3 and AAC formats are supported.

You will need Bluetooth headphones to really hear the music. The business recommends a few options. I tested with the Plantronics Backbeat Pro, which aren’t on the recommended list (they aren’t suitable for sports), nevertheless they worked just fine.

Experience


I wore the Adventurer on a few outdoor runs, and during an inside fitness class. What surprised me most was the accuracy and consistency of the optical heartrate monitor. I’ve had so-so experience with almost every other optical heartrate monitors, but TomTom’s surpassed my expectations.

Throughout a barre class, I wore the Polar H7, my gold standard of consumer heartrate monitors, concurrently that I wore the Adventurer to compare the readings. Spot checking my heartrate in real-time, both devices were practically identical, never off by multiple or two beats each and every minute for more than in regards to a second. Following the class, I compared the heartrate graphs that all device generated. Again, these were practically identical. Both reported a maximum heartrate of 150bpm. The Polar H7 listed my lowest heartrate at 79bpm, as the TomTom Adventurer got 71. For an optical heartrate monitor, that’s the best performance I’ve seen.

Running with the Adventurer was an excellent experience, too. The large button really did make it simple to toggle to the screen I needed to see, whether it had been pace, heartrate, or various other metric. Also, for the reason that display is not an impression screen, it never slips to some other view when you accidentally brush it against the body, which could happen with other running watches.

The Adventurer syncs wirelessly with iOS and Android devices when you pair it with the TomTom MySports app, and it could sync via Mac or Windows computers via the charging cable in the event that you download the desktop app. Mobile syncing was just a little unreliable. Several times it worked, and some times it didn,’t even though I tried to force a refresh.

Unfortunately, I possibly could not measure the swim tracker because of unexpected repairs at the pool I take advantage of. However, there are options to create the pool length and an objective for swims, such as for example time or laps.

One minor annoyance occurred on my initial run. I navigated to the run start screen and tried to start out, however the words DEMO were overlaid over the screen. I flipped to some other screens, backed out of running mode, and even tried restarting my run, nonetheless it just said DEMO again. I couldn’t find out why it had been in demo mode, what that meant, or how exactly to stop it. I eventually pulled out my phone and searched online for answers, where I finally found a remedy. Whatever the argument is for including a demo mode and leaving it on by default eludes me.

All-Day Wear


The Adventurer is bulky, sporty, and noticeable. The strap does not have much share with it, helping the optical heartrate monitor stay static in place perfectly. That’s probably portion of the reason that it is accurate. However the best fitness trackers are comfortable and stylish, blending in with different sorts of attire rather than getting in just how, whether you’re typing or napping. The TomTom Adventurer doesn’t make it happen. It’s unpleasant to wear for long periods of time.

I’ve run into some running watches with daily tracking, generally from Garmin, offering an option never to count daily steps and sleep, instead permitting you to assign another tracker compared to that job. Basically, you have a sports watch that you utilize for runs and workouts, and you have a different device for counting steps and sleep. The Garmin Connect iphone app lets you assign among your devices as the principal daily tracker. The other device only feeds in information regarding workouts. That’s an outstanding approach both for the buyer and for the business (because it’s supportive of shoppers who would like to buy several product).

TomTom doesn’t have such option in its app. Worse, when I took the Adventurer off for a long period one afternoon, it categorized those hours as time asleep, and you can’t edit the sleep record. The Misfit software (for Misfit devices like the Phase and Ray) has that option, but TomTom MySport doesn’t.

Conclusions


The TomTom Adventurer has some neat additions over the Spark 3, but it’s still missing a couple of things that I expect in a wrist watch nearing the $400 mark. There are no advanced running metrics, like V02max, which are contained in top end Garmin devices, the fenix series probably being the most comparable here. Additionally you do not get push notifications from your own phone on the TomTom Adventurer. Even though the optical heartrate monitor did perform much better than expected in testing, there is not an option to hook up a chest strap, which many athletes prefer to use when training and racing.

Ultimately, the Adventurer is excellent tracker for outdoor activities, but there are way too many “ifs” to create it excellent throughout. The step counter and daily activity tracking work when you can tolerate wearing such much watch 24/7. The sleep monitor is effective if it generally does not miscalculate your bedtime. If the music storage is what sold you, consider the Spark 3 Cardio + Music instead and save a hundred bucks. If you are more in to the outdoor features and price isn’t a consideration, look at Garmin’s fenix series or the tactix Bravo.

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