Sports watch makers have already been getting into the business of adding 24/7 activity and sleep tracking with their products. It’s a good way to add value to devices which have been in demand for many years, but businesses don’t always nail the execution, and such could be the case with TomTom Adventurer – $349.99
Input It is a good watch with extras, such as 3GB of onboard music storage, but the bulky design limits its use. If all you use the TomTom Adventurer for is tracking runs, hikes, and alternative workouts. You ll be pleased with its reliability. For continuous wear though, other fitness trackers are more convenient because they re slimmer.
Table of Contents
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1 Table of Contents
2 Chapter 1
3 Chapter 2
4 Chapter 3
Design, Battery, and Stats
If you’re familiar with TomTom’s Spark 3 Cardio + Music, the Adventurer is quite similar, but has some features that are specific to outdoor activities, namely hiking and trail running.
Most runners and outdoor athletes will be familiar with the TomTom Adventurer. The button features two key benefits. It’s sensitive to pressure, meaning that you can use it while wearing gloves–something you can’t do with an impact-resistant screen. Second, the GPS receiver is hidden behind it in such a way that when your arm is raised into running position, the antenna is oriented skyward.
For the Adventurer, your choices are an all-black look or black with an orange strap. The strap is secured by a double-pronged closure and adjusts to wrists between 5.1 and 8.1 inches in circumference.
The tracker pops off of the band for charging (it uses a proprietary cable), while two pins on the
Battery life varies greatly depending on how you’re using the watch. GPS, music listening, and heart rate monitoring all drain a lot of battery power. If you are just using daily activity track mode and basic watch features, however, it can last for up to 3 weeks before needing to recharge the battery again. The heartrate function may be disabled, but ultra marathoners who use GPS will still get about 11 hours of battery life.
The large (0.87 by 0.98 inches) monochrome LCD screen is easy to read with the time and date appearing by default. When tracking a task, you can switch to different views such as heartrate or distance, and leave them on the display.
The TomTom Adventurer has a heartrate monitor, bluetooth sensors for pairing with compatible phones, and other features such as a barometer (for altitude) and compass that will satisfy both the athlete and casual traveler. In testing, the watch felt heavy. I showered with it on, however, you can- it has a waterproof rating of 5ATM.
The Great Outdoors
The TomTom Adventurer is designed for people who run, hike or trek. The watch features special add-ons that can help outdoor enthusiasts: a compass and real-time altitude information, for example. It’s signature feature may be the capability to save routes before you head outside on a hike. These are easy to find online, on hiking websites for hills and trails.
Poor: You cannot use a Mac with Garmin BaseCamp because of licensing restrictions
Good: Garmin BaseCamp works only with PCs that have access to Windows XP/7 Another great source for routes is MapMyFitness. These are mapped routes made by GPS, you download them to your computer and upload them to the Adventurer with a charging cable and the MySports desktop app on your personal computer.
Loading a route onto the watch was simple. To think it is on the Adventurer, you need to launch appropriate outdoor activity for the route, such as for example hike, and tap a button right down to get settings and choose Trails. Choose your route and it ll appear on the pre-start screen as the Adventurer acquires GPS. Mileage travelled is displayed. The GPS and compass point you along the road, just a little triangle icon moving along a line.
Beyond running, cycling/skating, trail running, and hiking, the Adventurer allows you to record and tag alternative activities such as treadmill workouts. Tomtom’s adventurer model features a choice for freestyle, which captures stops, stores them and even displays you your top 3. It doesn’t do anything with escalations, though – that usually is found in higher end models.
The tomtom adventurer allows users to upload audio tracks files. When you hook up the device to a computer, there is an icon for music and it guides you through selecting the tracks or albums you want to load. You can use MP3 and AAC formats.
Although most Bluetooth headphones are suitable for listening to music, the business suggests one or two options that may not be on your radar. When I tested with the Plantronics Backbeat Pro (not found on their list) they did a great job.
I tested and was pleased when I used Plantronics Backbeat Pro because it is not recommended by tom
I have had so-so experience with almost every other optical heartrate monitors, but TomTom’s surpassed my expectations.
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 and usually off by less than a beat every minute for more than about one second. After the class, I compared graphs of my heartrate the two devices – they were practically identical. The TomTom Adventurer reported a maximum BPM at 150bpm, while Polar H7 recorded it at 159.
-The lowest heart rhythm was much lower on H7 than on TAA. Differently from other readings taken by both products For an optical heart rate monitor, this is the best performance I’ve seen.
The large button on the Adventurer made switching between screens simple. When I needed to view my pace, heartrate or other metric, the buttons were clearly labeled and self-explanatory. Additionally, for the reason that screen is not an impression screen, it doesn’t slip to some other see when you accidentally rub it against your body, which could happen with different running watches.
Pairing the TomTom Adventurer with a mobile device via the TomTom MySports app allows you to sync wirelessly, and you can also transfer routes from your computer to your watch if you download the desktop app. Connectivity was spotty at best. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn’t even though I tried to refresh.
Unfortunately, because of unexpected repairs at the pool I use, I could not measure the swim tracker. However, there are options to make the pool length and an objective for swims, such as time or laps.
One minor complication occurred on my first run. I navigated to the running start screen and attempted to start out, but the words DEMO were overlaid over the screen. I flipped through some other screens, backtracked from running mode, and even tried restarting my run – nevertheless it just said DEMO again. I couldn’t figure out what exactly “demo mode” means, why it was on in the first place, and how to shut it off. I found my smartphone and searched online for answers. One of the remedies was enough to help me get rid of demo mode.
The Adventurer is bulky, sporty, and noticeable. This includes the strap which doesn’t do much work with it, helping the optical heartrate monitor stay static in place perfectly. That’s probably part of the reason that it is accurate. Clothing should not get in the way of your fitness journey, and many different models on the market today are designed with this in mind. TomTom’s Adventurer doesn’t quite make it happen though. Some people find that it is not comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
I ve encountered some running watches that offer the option not to count daily steps or sleep, instead allowing you to assign another tracker for that job. Basically, you have a sports watch that is used for runs and workouts, but your daily step count will be in an app on your phone.
There are also many devices to choose from now. Some people purchase multiple if they want more data tracked like calories and sleep patterns. The other device feeds in information on workouts. That is a great benefit to both buyers and sellers since it helps shoppers make informed decisions.
The TomTom app does not have this feature. Worse, when I took the Adventurer off for a long period one afternoon, it categorized those hours as time asleep and you cannot edit this sleep record. The Misfit software available on other fitness devices (like the Phase and Ray) has that option but the TomTom MySport app does not
The TomTom Adventurer is missing a few features that I would expect near the $400 price point. There are no advanced running metrics, like V02max, which are contained in top end Garmin devices. The fenix series probably offers the most comparable device. Additionally, the optical heart-rate monitor did not work as well in testing. Though this is still more accurate than many chest straps, there was no option to include a chest strap for those who prefer it use when training and racing.
The Adventurer is a good tracker for outdoor activities, but there are too many “ifs” to make it great all-around. The step counter and daily activity tracking work when you can tolerate wearing such a big watch 24/7. The sleep monitor should not cause you to miscalculate your bedtime. Consider instead the Spark 3 Cardio + Music and save a hundred dollars. If outdoor features are more your thing, then consider Garmin’s fenix series or the tactix Bravo with their higher prices.