TomTom Runner 3 and TomTom Adventurer, now with route navigation : Full analysis


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After a year with its latest model on the market, TomTom decided to update its Runner 2 by introducing the TomTom Runner 3. Along with it came a new model, the TomTom Adventurer, which enters a new category in which it had previously had no presence.

It is not a very important update, as the basic operation of the TomTom Runner 3 (or Spark 3, which is the same in all its features and performance) is the same as in the Runner 2, but now benefits from the possibility of route navigation, including a magnetic compass. And it is a feature present throughout the range, from the most economical Runner 3 model to the top of the range, the Adventurer.

It is a detail that does not go unnoticed, especially in a watch in the price range of the most economical Runner 3. Usually navigation is something that was reserved for the higher range models, so the proposal of TomTom is a breath of fresh air within the most basic range of GPS heart rate monitors.

As I always make clear, the TomTom Runner 3 and TomTom Adventurer units you see below have been loaned out by TomTom, but only for a while, because once the test is completed I will send them back. It is important that you understand this, because there is no compensation of any kind from the manufacturers.

This is why the tests I perform are totally objective, as I can reflect my opinion freely. There is no pressure of any kind because there is no payment from the manufacturer (nor do I allow them to display advertising on this website).

So if you want to show your gratitude for the work I do and want to help support the site, you can buy the watch through the links I provide. This way I get a small commission that helps cover a small part of my work. Or through the Amazon image you can find on the right side of the page (or at the end if you read this from your mobile).

Once you've made your mind up, would you like to learn more about the new features of the new TomTom Runner 3 and Adventurer?


Today we have a 2×1 offer. Because there is nothing better than opening the boxes of two watches instead of one. In this case a TomTom Runner 3 Cardio Music and a TomTom Adventurer.

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

But before going in for the kill, it's interesting to look at the different details, because these details help you to easily understand what the difference is between them and what each one offers. For example, on the side of both boxes you can see the same image composition, but the image inside the phone simulation is different.


In both cases the new route functionality is highlighted, but while in the case of the Runner 3 we have a purely asphalt route within a park, in the Adventurer there is a mountain route (along with the difference between route exploration and trail).

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

As you can see, TomTom directs the Adventurer towards more adventure or mountain sports.

The back of the box, in addition to showing the straps, also leaves room for more details of the Adventurer, highlighting the automatic detection of ski lift and skiing, snowboarding or hiking activities.

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

I take the knife and start the killing. After opening the boxes this is what we have left. Both models include exactly the same, both in accessories and documentation.

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

Let's put the rest of the stuff aside and focus on the watches. If we put one next to the other they look like different models, right? In fact, you might get the impression that the Adventurer is bigger, to make room for a bigger battery or its barometric altimeter.

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

So wait, I'm doing a magic trick. A few turns of the hand and a touch of the magic wand and we have the clocks in different locations. But watch closely, because I haven't changed the screen saver sticker.

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

Indeed, the straps are interchangeable (you can attach Adventurer with a Runner 3 - or Runner 2 - strap and vice versa) because the dimensions of the watch are exactly the same. Adventurer is slightly wider simply because of its strap, which is somewhat bulkier to provide greater protection for the watch against more demanding use in the mountains.

Externally there is only a minimal difference, and you have to sharpen your eye to see it. The TomTom Adventurer (on the right) has a port where the barometric altimeter is located, something that the Runner 3 / Spark 3 lacks.

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

The straps do not only differ in the packaging of the watch. For example, while in the Runner 3 the strap is in one piece, in the case of the Adventurer there is a second strap section that uses a pin.

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

The fastening system is also different. The Adventurer uses a more traditional double buckle system, while in the Runner 3 we find a system similar to the one we already had in previous models, in which we have to click the strap in the corresponding clips.

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

Personally, I find the Adventurer solution a little more comfortable, both when wearing the watch and on my wrist.

Both models share the charger. The charging system is the same as in the Runner 2, with the base at the bottom of the watch being punctured. This can be done by slightly detaching the strap or by removing the watch from the strap and placing it directly on the charger.

TomTom Runner 3 / Adventurer

This cable will be the one you use not only to charge the clock, but also to synchronize it with the software TomTom MySports ConnectThis program is simply the way to synchronize your watch with the cloud, as all your training data will be sent to the online platform TomTom MySports.

But most likely you'll use only the new mobile application you'll see later for synchronization, because now it works the way it should.

But that's another matter, let's first see what the differences are between the two models.

Differences between TomTom Runner 2 and TomTom Runner 3

If you're in a hurry, Runner 3 is a Runner 2 with the added option of route navigationPeriod. But you're not here for the quick explanation and you like things a little more detailed, otherwise you wouldn't be on this page.

The Runner 3 builds on the Runner 2, including new features that the Runner 2 has been receiving such as the ability to monitor your heart rate 24 hours a day. To that base TomTom adds the ability to track routes.

It's not just a software feature; if it were TomTom would have released the update on Runner 2. But there are changes at the hardware level, and that is that Runner 3 includes a magnetic compass to help us in route tracking. In fact, before you start your first workout it will ask you to perform the calibration.

TomTom Runner 3 and TomTom Adventurer, now with route navigation | Full analysis 1

You'll have to move the clock in circles to find magnetic north.

TomTom Runner 3 and TomTom Adventurer, now with route navigation : Full analysis 2

I'm warning you in time so you don't go out in the street at 0ºC and have to turn the clock like a fool, or worse, have to do it in the middle of your city's main avenue in front of hundreds of people. It can be a strange situation. Anyway, you can also skip that calibration and do it later.

The versions available for TomTom Runner 3 and Spark 3 are the same as those available in the previous model, i.e:

  • TomTom Runner 3 / Spark 3GPS heart rate monitor with activity monitor and downloadable route tracking, with the possibility of connecting Bluetooth Smart sensors.
  • TomTom Runner 3 / Spark 3 MusicMusic: Same as above, but with the ability to play music directly from the watch to a Bluetooth headset without the need for any other device.
  • TomTom Runner 3 / Spark 3 CardioOptical pulse sensor: With an optical pulse sensor, valid for both training and monitoring heart rate throughout the day.
  • TomTom Runner 3 / Spark 3 Cardio + MusicThe most complete version, which includes both an optical pulse sensor and the possibility of playing music from the clock.

Differences between TomTom Runner 3 and Adventurer

Let's now turn to the differences between the TomTom Runner 3 and the TomTom Adventurer.

To describe it quickly, the Adventurer is a Cardio + Music Runner 3 with barometric altimeter and some additional sports modesBut again, we're going over all the details.

The barometric altimeter is the most relevant difference, and given the target audience of the watch, it's a pretty important difference, since you will be able to have altitude data in a much more precise way than you can get just with GPS. That data will not only be important after finishing your session, but you will be able to know the amount of meters ascended or the current altitude directly from the watch with a very small margin of error.

Thanks to this altimeter TomTom has been able to include some extra sport modes, focused on the most adventurous users: trail running, hiking, skiing and snowboarding.

All these modes make use of the altimeter in one way or another. In the ski and snowboard modes it will allow you to automatically separate the descent from the slope, completing a lap in which you can see statistics such as speed or vertical descent.

TomTom Runner 3 and TomTom Adventurer, now with route navigation : Full analysis 3

Meanwhile, the trail running and hiking modes will use the altitude data to show the number of positive meters ascended or the current altitude.

TomTom Adventurer - Trail

However, the mode of hiking includes a specific mode of GPS use. Increases data logging time GPS at 2 seconds It's a really good idea because in the low speed walks through the mountain we will hardly have a difference in the quality of the recorded tracks or in the total distance, but it means an important saving of battery.

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As for available versions, for the Adventurer has only one modelAs I said before, it is a TomTom Runner 3 Cardio + Music with the addition of a barometric altimeter and 4 extra sports modes, so it also has an optical pulse sensor and the possibility of playing music directly from the clock.

Basic aspects

Since the changes with the previous model are very focused, I want to focus this test more on specific details of this new version (i.e. the route navigation and the new sports modes of the Adventurer), so I don't want to go into too much detail on settings or training options either.

In its basic operation nothing has changed from the TomTom Runner 2 (and by the way, from the original TomTom Runner either), so if you want to go into more detail about these options you can take a look at the complete test of Runner 2However, I do want to leave a few brief strokes to at least remember the basics of how it works.

The TomTom Runner 3 (or Spark 3, which is the same watch) is, again, a multi-sport watch. It allows you to record various activities such as running, swimming in a pool or cycling. But it is not multi-sport in the sense that it can be used for triathlon, as it does not offer a mode that can chain different sports together, nor does it have a mode for swimming in open water.

Training options remain the same:

  • NoneRunning: Running without any kind of objective, not even separation of turns for each kilometer. The clock will not warn you every time you run a kilometer, but you will be able to check it at the end of the activity separated by kilometer.
  • ObjectivesDistance, Time and Calorie Target: You can select a distance, time or calorie target, and a guide screen will be added so that you can check how you are doing against that target.
  • IntervalsYou set up a workout with warm-up, interval and rest periods, the number of sets and cool-down time. But it's a very simple setup, as you can't have pace or heart rate targets.
  • Back toAutomatic lapping: Automatic lapping by time, by distance, or that you mark manually, simply by tapping on the screen.
  • ZonesIntervals: Training ranges for pace, speed or heart rate, e.g. cycling between 120 and 140 beats. This is the option I would like to be able to select in the interval option.
  • CompeteCompete with recent activities or activities that you have bookmarked on the MySports website. This is a "Virtual Partner".

TomTom Runner 3 - Training goals

The screen configuration options do not vary either, with two fixed data items at the bottom and a larger main data item that you can change using the control dial.

In the case of the TomTom Adventurer and thanks to the barometric altimeterIn addition to the most basic data, you can also select slope and climb, both in the fixed data on the screen and in the data you rotate.

The sensors you can pair are the same as before: pulse (in case you don't want to use the optical sensor or for the versions that don't equip it) or speed and/or cycling cadence, in both cases connecting through Bluetooth Smart.

But now within the sensor option we find the compass.

TomTom Runner 3 - Sensors

With regard to the optical pulse sensor there is no news, being the same sensor of LifeQ that we already saw in Runner 2 / Spark.

TomTom Runner 3 - Adventurer - Optical Sensor

In terms of performance, little more than adding to what was already seen during the TomTom Runner 2The behavior is usually good at almost any time, for example this training ending with five short intervals. The three sensors (HRM-Run on the chest, Scosche RHYTHM+ and the optic of the Runner 3) are in line.

TomTom Runner 3 - Pulse sensor comparison

We can only find some differences in the interval periods, where the TomTom registers slightly higher peaks than the other two sensors.

Another example is much more variable. In the cold, there are different behaviours, as is usual when the temperature is low, but at all times it records the same values as the Scosche, which is one of the best optical sensors you can find on the market.

TomTom Runner 3 - Pulse sensor comparison

Forget about the different initial records of the Garmin sensor. At first I was having trouble keeping the sensor in place (the band was slipping) and later I disconnected the sensor in a snag, so the data is not valid until the 25th minute. Disadvantages of chest sensors...

As for the activity monitor, it was one of the innovations in the Runner 2. There is no variation in the Runner 3 or Adventurer and the possibility of reviewing the data not only daily but also weekly is still available. This detail is somewhat different from what other manufacturers offer and is, of course, a good decision.

TomTom Runner 3 - Weekly Summary

Of course you can access the activity data via the TomTom website.

TomTom Runner 3 - Activity

And if you activate the pulse-tracking option, you can also view heart rate graphs throughout the day.

TomTom Runner 3 - Activity

Or see the weekly trend, something much more useful in preventing overtraining.

TomTom Runner 3 - Activity

Remember that this has only been a brief review of all the options already known from Runner 3 and Adventurer. In the review of TomTom Runner 2 you can find the same information, but much more detailed.

Next we go with the News of the Runner 3 and Adventurer.

Route navigation

TomTom Adventurer - Route navigation

Route navigation is the most important innovation Not because it is a novelty in itself (TomTom was the only brand that did not have a watch capable of navigation in its catalogue), but because it is something that is available across the rangefrom the most economical model.

When navigating a route there is no difference between what a basic TomTom Runner 3 can offer and what you will find in the TomTom Adventurer. All models support route guidance, which is combined with the magnetic compass to guide you in the right direction.

On TomTom they haven't gone crazy and have implemented a very simple solution. There is no application of its own to be able to set up a route, there are already hundreds of applications that allow this. You can create a route on Google Maps, download it from Wikiloc or even create a user on Suunto Movescount (en free and you don't need to have one of their watches) and look at their different heat maps or other users' routes.

Therefore you will start by having a route in GPX format that you can upload to the TomTom MySports.

TomTom MySports - Routes

The procedure couldn't be simpler. Upload the route, save the details and it will be stored in your "trails" section. You can upload as many GPX files as you want and even navigate back to routes you have already done (just check the "Copy to trails" option within any past activity).

TomTom MySports - Routes

You can have as many routes as you want on the web, the only limitation is that the clock can have a maximum of 15. Therefore, all the routes you upload to the platform will be synchronized until there are more than 15, at which time you must start marking which ones you want to be available on the clock.

TomTom MySports - Routes

When you have the routes you want on the web, it's time to put them on the clock by simply synchronizing via USB with your computer or via Bluetooth with your mobile phone.

You can follow routes in any sport profile (not only race, also cycling), you simply select it from the training settings in the same way as you select training goals or data screens.

TomTom Adventurer - Path

TomTom Adventurer - Path

When you start the activity you can access the route by clicking on the right.

TomTom Runner 3 - Navigation

There is multiple levels of zoomIf you scroll to the right again, you will see the track on a smaller scale.

TomTom Runner 3 - Navigation

And if you press the crosshead a third time, you can see the full image of the route, and you can check where you are within the route, represented by an arrow.

TomTom Runner 3 - Navigation

This arrow points in the direction you are located thanks to the magnetic compass. You do not need to be in motion for the GPS to determine where you are going.

As you can see it's a easy navigationThis is not a succession of points to follow, as is usual with other watches, but rather a line is drawn on a non-existent map. As there are no such points, there is no warning of a turn, no notification of leaving the route, and of course there is no possibility of marking points of interest that you might want to use to return later.

There is one thing that is quite unique, and that is that after synchronizing the activity you will be able to see on the map of it the route that you should have followed, along with the route that you finally completed.

TomTom Adventurer - Route navigation

In the image above you can see the two routes clearly differentiated. In dark green the route I initially downloaded, while the light green color corresponds to the route I finally completed.

There are many differences, and I wanted to check the effectiveness of the navigation when it comes to getting back on your feet, so I deliberately chose to follow a different path and, in the end, get lost on purpose in a forest area with no marked path.

Other watches will warn you as soon as you get separated from the route you initially set and indicate the destination and the distance to return to the route (as it is a route of points). In the case of TomTom, you need to keep an eye on the clock display to get back to the route.

Or, if you get lost and are off the trail, return to the path you followed until you get lost, so you can retrace your steps.

To this end, the compass is very helpful (available on all Runner 3 or Adventurer models).

TomTom Adventurer - Compass

Not only does it locate the navigation arrow in the direction you are actually looking at, but it also displays a specific screen where, in addition to having the cardinal points, you can see which direction you should follow to reach the starting point or end point of the route (if they are different).

Hiking mode on TomTom Adventurer

Among the various specific sports modes of the TomTom Adventurer, there is one that is special and interesting, namely the Hiking profile.

TomTom Adventurer - Hiking

In this mode the Adventurer changes the recording behaviour of GPS data and switches to recording position every two seconds, instead of every second. In this mode the most adventurous TomTom watch is able to reach 24 hours of autonomy.

In exchange for this extended duration there are not many concessions to be made, since as it is a hiking activity in which you move more slowly the difference of recording position points every second or every two seconds is practically irrelevant. And yes, the pulse sensor continues to record data every second as in any other mode (although if you activate it you will not reach 24 hours).

In practice there is hardly any difference when we are doing a walk in the countryside. You can see this track recorded with a Phoenix 3 next to the TomTom Adventurer.
TomTom Adventurer - Hiking mode
Don't be guided by the distance it marks under the track, as the actual distance marked by the Garmin was 2.84km (it is when it is passed to the comparator that it has been inflated). But more than the distance itself, you should look at the difference between the tracks marked by the two watches.

You can see how, except for the turns where the TomTom tends to cut back slightly, the record is perfectly valid. And it's a good solution to provide extended range without having to go to GPS record figures every 30 or 60 seconds, where clearly the track is going to be much more affected and by the time there are several turns in the route the distance will have nothing to do with reality.

Battery life

But talking about autonomy in the more complete versions of TomTom is quite complicated, given the different operating options they offer.

Because it's not the same to use the watch only with GPS by deactivating the optical sensor clock, as to be listening to music. Or to tell you that the TomTom Runner 3 has a range of X when it comes to the optical sensor clock and the one you're interested in is the basic model.

So, before we go into detail, I'll make clear the official figures marked by TomTom.

  • TomTom Runner 3The basic model is capable of reaching 11 hours of use with GPS activated, or any other model by deactivating the other options (such as the optical sensor).
  • TomTom Runner 3 CardioIf we go to Cardio, then the maximum duration we can expect is 9 hours.
  • TomTom Runner 3 Cardio + MusicIf you like to train while listening to your favorite music, then you will have up to 5 hours of enjoyment. As you can see, playing music significantly lowers the battery.
  • TomTom AdventurerThe only thing to keep in mind is that using the walking mode allows you to reach 24 hours of battery life without using the optical pulse sensor or music playback.

Of course, the fact that the Cardio + Music has these options does not mean that the autonomy is that one. If you do not use the music, for example, the autonomy will be the same as that of the Runner 3 Cardio.

And what are the real data? Don't worry, you know I always have the information you're looking for

First we go with the exclusive use of GPS, as if it were a basic TomTom Runner 3 without optical heart rate monitor or music. Or for that matter, with these options disabled. Remember, TomTom indicates "up to 11 hours".

TomTom Runner 3 - Autonomy

Slightly short of the target, but it should not be forgotten that the temperature during use is also important in the life of the battery, so this is an aspect to take into account.

The next test is with the optical pulse sensor activated, which TomTom indicates reaches a maximum of 9 hours in use.

TomTom Runner 3 - Autonomy

Again a very similar result, with 30 minutes less than the maximum indicated.

What about the new 24-hour mode on the Adventurer? Well, I've done the test as well.

TomTom Adventurer - Autonomy

In this case the result is favourable for the TomTom, exceeding the time announced by the brand by more than an hour.

Remember also that it is for exclusive use with GPS and in hiking mode (which records GPS data every 2 seconds). If you were to use the optical pulse sensor and above all, music, the range would be considerably reduced.

New TomTom Sports application

During the CES in Las Vegas TomTom presented a new mobile application, something very necessary because the previous application left a lot to be desired as it is very frustrating in several aspects.

The new app, called TomTom Sports (and which replaces TomTom MySports) will be available later this year on Android and iOS, and not only will it be compatible with Runner 3, but any TomTom sports watch will be able to sync with it.

TomTom has completely revamped the application. It is not a version of the old one or an improvement on it, but is developed from the ground up.

I'll show you the Android app below, but it's identical to what will be offered for iOS.

TomTom Sports
Old icon on the left, new one on the right

The new application offers several improvements. synchronisation is now faster. In the original application the activity synchronization (both daily activity and workouts) 1TP10It could take between "forever" or "lifetime". And I am being benevolent. In fact the most common is that the synchronization was done by cable for this reason.

What TomTom has not yet reached is automatic background synchronization. Other competing models are capable of updating data several times a day without any user intervention. In contrast, TomTom still requires a forced connection.

Although it's as simple as accessing the watch menu by simply scrolling down, the Bluetooth connectivity is then activated and it will search for the phone, which will have the application running in the background.

In addition to improved connectivity there is more NewsNew metrics, workout analysis capabilities or trend tab - you may not be able to install it on your phone yet because at the time of writing this test has not yet been officially launched, but I'll give you a quick review below.

The main panel has changed, now offering more information and a much more modern look. The image on the left is the old version of MySports, and on the right the new screen.

TomTom Runner 3 and TomTom Adventurer, now with route navigation : Full analysis 4TomTom Sports

The display of the training sessions is similar, but the details of the training sessions are more important than the map of the route.

TomTom SportsTomTom Sports

The activity statistics now show more complete information, with a specific graph for each parameter as well as a distribution of the heart zones. Previously it only showed one graph where two different data could be selected.

TomTom Sports

The timing section allows you to access lap times, but also allows you to select individual segments to display the heart rate and rhythm graph for that specific segment.

TomTom Sports

The list of activities is also more complete, since in addition to showing better the type of activity performed with a graph of the route (or heart rate if there has been no use of GPS), also allows you to filter the activities by many parameters.

TomTom Sports TomTom Sports

You can see trends from different data such as sleep or steps. And of course the resting heart rate on successive days.

TomTom Sports TomTom Sports TomTom Sports

Finally, the trend tab is totally new.

TomTom Sports

It offers different comparisons in the last activities carried out, comparing distances or rhythms between them. Although the information provided is not very determining either, because for example my last race is slower than the previous one, but it is a training series much more demanding than a race at a continuous pace, but in the final rhythm it is slower because of the rest periods. These are details that it does not take into account.

All in all, a good development by TomTom that was much neededI'm sure all TomTom users will be very happy when the application is launched for the general public.

My opinion

The new TomTom Runner 3 and Adventurer are not a revolution, but they are a breath of fresh air. Bringing navigation closer to the more economical ranges is a real bonus. Navigation may be simple, but it has been done by including the magnetic compass that makes the watch work well.

TomTom continues to exploit the market niche it has found, and remains virtually the only manufacturer to offer a solution that allows you to listen to music without relying on other devices - all without overly complicating the use of the clock.

As for the Adventurer, it seems a bit risky in its segment. It is true that it offers far fewer features than models that are not so far off the mark, such as the Suunto Ambit3 Peak or the Garmin Fenix 3Both use better materials, their online platforms are more complete and the navigation possibilities are much wider.

But it is also true that neither of them has the possibility to play music, they do not have an optical pulse sensor (you would have to go to the Fenix 3 HR with a much higher price) and its use is more complex.

TomTom has a clock with a good GPS, an optical pulse sensor that works reasonably well (at least in racing, cycling is always another story), with activity monitor and a mobile application that is now up to the clock. The web application can be improved, but given the possibilities of automatic export to other platforms it is not very important.

The Runner 3 is a good choice for a very determined audience. If you are a runner who is just starting out or you don't have very high requirements it is a model that will leave you totally satisfied. And if you are one of those who value training with music very much, I can't think of a better option (except the Polar M600but in some respects it is more limited).

Buy TomTom Runner 3 or Adventurer

I hope that this complete analysis has helped you to decide if it is a valid device for you or not. All the work I do you can consult it without any cost, but if you want to support the web and with it the work I do, the best way to do it is to buy your new device through the links I provide below.

Through these links not only will you get a very competitive price and the best customer service, but I will also receive a small percentage without costing you any additional outlay.

And if you have any questions, remember that you have the comments section at the bottom, where I will try to answer all your questions.


That's for the Runner 3. As I explained, the Spark 3 is exactly the same watch, so I recommend you buy the cheapest one.

Finally, if you liked the analysis, don't forget to share it in your social networks, and if you want you can leave your impressions in the comments, I always appreciate it.

Thank you for reading, and especially for supporting the page!


Overall operation - 8.5
Training possibilities - 7
Platform and applications - 7.5
Battery life - 8
Finish and comfort - 7.5
Price/performance ratio - 8.5



User Rating: 4.53 ( 4 votes)

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Very good and interesting article.
    Two things, the Tomtom Runner 3 doesn't come with those photo straps, does it?
    I think the new application has improved the previous one quite a bit, which wasn't too difficult either. But now it works much better

    1. The truth is that I am not very clear about the origin of this strap, because it is not sold as an accessory either. Maybe it is available in some other European country, but not in Spain.

  2. Thank you very much for the article, I was waiting for it like May water.

    By the way, I just saw some Tomtom Adventurer units on Amazon at 241 Euros (!).

    A salute.

    PS: For some strange reason in my browser, the links to Amazon have been badly laid out and the page has become so long that my browser can barely handle it, I don't know if someone else is getting it or it's a matter of my configuration.

    1. Thanks for the notification. I guess you're loading the article from cache. There was a problem and it should be solved. I'm not loading it wrong anymore, try to force reload the page and it should appear correctly.
      I'd appreciate it if you could confirm that.

      Thank you.

  3. It is a pity that the interval mode is not as evolved as the competitors. Even the Polar M200 has it better. I wanted to program the workouts that the trainer gives me but if this menu is the same as the Tomtom runner cardio (the first) I think I'll get an M200.
    Which one do you recommend to do advanced intervals... for example: 5'warm up, 3x(200m 80%, 100 to 50%) 2x( 1500m +200m recovery) 5'cool down.

    What would be the cheapest model to do that, an M200 or a Garmin f235, always talking to the heart sensor in the watch itself.

    1. Yes, the clock menu is the same for training. There's nothing new in that regard.

      That kind of training you can set up in Polar Flow is no problem, so the M200 is a perfect fit for what you're looking for, if the rest of what it has to offer fits you. And with the price tag it has now it's certainly the best option.

  4. Good afternoon! Great post! I would like to comment on a small defect detected, and that is the quality of the strap that comes in the Spark Cardio 3 (which is the same as the Runner 3 and not the one that appears in the post, at least in Spain). In less than 4 months of use it has broken, and I'm waiting for an official response from TomTom in case the warranty covers it.
    On the other hand, and taking advantage, you will not know or be able to inform you, if it is possible to buy the strap of the TomTom Adventurer? I think it is more comfortable and of much better quality. It is true, that also in the TomTom website I have seen that they sell a red premium quality, which in principle is from the runner 2, but it would be compatible with mine, could you confirm it?
    I'm sorry about the badge...

    1. Yes, the strap of Runner 2 and Runner 3 are compatible with each other.

      I don't think TomTom has any additional straps for the Adventurer yet, but I don't think they will take long to have them as an accessory.

  5. Hi,I would like to know if the runner 3 gives us elevations with the GPS ,like the polar rc3 for example..I like the adventurer but 1TP11Could they release a model without music,,for my part I don't give a euro for the music theme.Thanks

      1. Thanks Eduatdo, maybe I have expressed myself wrong, I mean the altimetry that my rc3 marks me on screen without having barometer, so does the tomtom runner 3? Thanks for the information.

      2. Thanks for the answer Eduardo, I don't know if I explain it well, my rc3 marks the altimetry in the clock without having a barometer, the runner3 or the sparc don't... Thanks for the information.

  6. Above all, it's a great article and a fantastic website, where I can find all the information I need.
    I'm pretty determined about the Tom Tom Runner 3 but I have the following doubts.

    If I set the lap mode, can I program it for distances of 300, 500 m? and if so, does it alert you (sound, light or vibration) when you have covered that distance? does the time of that lap remain recorded or does the time run and you have to stop it manually?

    I hope I've explained myself more or less. I really want to prepare short series and I don't know if I would fulfill this function.

    Finally I see that the strap you detailed in the analysis is different from the links you have below. It is simply that they have changed the photo or they have changed the strap.

    Thank you very much in advance for your time and explanation. Best regards.

    1. You can program the distance. Each time you go over it, it will mark a lap and continue on to the next lap.

      The strap of that model is a mystery, because if I look for the EAN that appears in the box, the version that appears does not wear that strap, nor does it appear as an accessory...

  7. Hello and thank you very much for this interesting article! I don't know if you can answer me or if you could find out, but I have been using the Tomtom Spark Cardio+Music for more than a year now and I'm finally delighted with the new app, but what would be a big step forward is if you would update the software of the clock with the new sports. I practice skiing/windsurfing and I used to follow them in free mode. Now I have been able to change the type of activities through the app, but it would be nice to be able to set it from the clock when starting the activity, or at least that's what I think. Do you have any information in this sense? Thank you very much in advance for your answer!

  8. Great analysis. First I read from beginning to end! I have the following doubt; the spark3 and the runner3 have the same functions according to you... then the difference between both would be the green belt of the runner?

    1. Yes, the only differences between the two are purely aesthetic. TomTom wants to target the Spark to the "fitness" user and the Runner to the runner. But both watches are the same.

  9. Morning,
    First of all, I would like to congratulate you for the site and the work you do, since I think it is one of the most useful I have found.
    I wanted to solve a doubt and I am between a tom tom runner 3 cardio or a polar m400 + a Scosche RHYTHM+ sensor.
    The second option is for the battery life, as I find it quite annoying to have to charge the watch every little time.
    Greetings and thanks in advance

    1. It's best to go directly to the TomTom Runner 3. The range using the optical pulse sensor is longer than that of the Polar M400, so if it's the main concern the choice is clear.

      1. Thank you very much for your answer.
        Running twice a week for about 40 minutes each session with GPS and heart rate monitor, do you think that the battery can last about 7 days?

  10. Hi. I wanted to ask you about the functions of the swimming watch. Do you think it's a good watch for this more or less amateur level use? I don't know if it measures the distance you swim and so on like in the running functions.
    A salute.

    1. If it's swimming that interests you most in Runner 3, I'd recommend another option. That's where the TomTom is weakest.

          1. Eduardo first of all thank you for your prompt reply. How about Suunto Spartan Sport, Ambit3 Sport, Tomtom spark3 for swimming?
            More than anything else, because they are models that I personally like more for their design and I would take them to work every day, not really knowing if they are good at counting the lengths and distance in an indoor pool.

            Another function that I would like the watch to have is, that it marks the recovery time after a workout (I don't have a physical trainer).

            If you know another ideal model for time and distance counter in indoor pool and 24 hour movement monitor, I would appreciate your comments.

            Greetings and thank you very much.

  11. Good first thank you for your articles as they have been those that have helped me to get a great idea of what I relo orient myself towards but ... I have not yet clear ... if what I am premium is a good sensor gps, wrist pulse meter, to compete against my own outputs and to generate tracks in my outputs and then improve them ... that pulse meter I recommend ... I am currently hesitating between Tomtom Adventurer and Garmin Fenix 3 is another that fits these requirements that is not as much in price as the Fenix 3 ... thank you very much in advance and a greeting

    1. The Fenix 3 is far superior to the TomTom, of course, but it also has an extra bonus in price.

      With an optical pulse sensor there are not many other options on the market at that level.

  12. Eduardo, very good article!

    I am in the process of deciding which unit to buy and am considering two options:

    Vivoactive HR from Garmin and TomTom Spark 3 with FC

    I've read both of your reviews and I find them quite similar.

    You could tell me which one you think is more suitable, especially if what I want is to get started in the world of running and physical activity.


    1. For generic sports I recommend the Vivoactive HR. You can see more details in the shopping guide

  13. Buff!!! really complicated this world of sports watches, first of all thank you for the effort, fantastic page and fantastic items.

    My doubt between two: TOM TOM adventure or Garmin Fenix 3 (preferably with integrated heart rate monitor)

    Sports I practice: Hiking, canyoning, cycling, paddle and fitness in general (I would not take advantage of running and swimming) The Tom Tom Adventure I think it can be enough, especially thought for outdoors, if you stick 7 hours of mountain I do not want to wear a band on my chest, and the Phoenix with integrated heart rate monitor I think it is too expensive. But the Tom Tom is enough your navigation? if I get lost in a trail, has good guide?

    Anyway, I'm hesitating between the two devices, so I'd appreciate a hand.

    Greetings to all and new mind congratulations.

    1. Garmin's navigation is more comprehensive and offers more options than the more basic TomTom.

  14. hello, I just got a tomtom runner3 cardio and it seems to me that without windows 10 I will not podré update maps because windows 7 does not detect it, and I do not know how to indicate the end of the route, help! hehe.

    1. I don't understand your problem... The computer's operating system is indifferent, and there are no maps to update because the TomTom only shows point routes. I think the article explains the procedure quite well.

  15. Hi Eduardo. As always, great analysis of the products you try. I wanted to ask you a question. My wife is thinking of switching to the Tomtom runner3/Spark3, or the Apple Watch2. She wants to have everything integrated in one device, because when she goes out for a run she carries music and she's a little sick of carrying so many devices around with her. Now she uses the M400 with the MioLink, and she carries an iPod Suffle for music. Which of the two options do you see as the best? Do you see any options other than these two that are better? She uses the device a lot, because she goes to the gym and does a lot of group classes. (Spinning, Body pump, Body Kombat, Abdomen, Body Attack, etc.)
    Thank you in advance, and may you continue with your work which is very useful to the rest of us.

    1. They are quite different, so I would start by seeing if you really want a smart watch (to be charged every day) or that's the least of it...

      The main difference is that the Apple Watch hardly lets you analyze any training.

  16. I have the tomtom multisport for more than two years...and it goes well...but since I do trail running...I take my mobile and download and follow the routes by is worth it to go to 3.

    1. For route tracking Suunto is more complete, both in terms of what it offers on the clock and the possibilities of its Movescount platform.

      On the other hand, you are used to the TomTom, you know the dynamics and operation of everything and you have your training on its platform.

      If we remove the part about being a previous TomTom customer I would tell you to go to Suunto, because it's a little better in navigation, but you should value staying on the same platform.

  17. Morning,

    First of all, I thought it was a great page. Very detailed and easy to understand.
    A query I would appreciate if you could answer me with your opinion. I'm torn between the Tom Tom Adventurer or the Garmin Vivoactive HR. Both fit into the budget I intend to spend.
    My usual is to be able to have a little bit of everything although the normal is that in winter I run on a treadmill and swim in a pool and in summer I do both outdoors. 1 day running and 2 swims per week, usually.
    I've already seen that the Garmin is not designed to swim in the sea, but it's not clear to me if the adventurer can do it (I understood you that it can't, but in Tom Tom's page they let you understand that it can).
    If not, would you recommend the TomTom runner 3, the adventurer or the garmin more?
    Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Neither of them is suitable for outdoor swimming. They do not have a specific profile for open water swimming, so using the normal profile will not process the data correctly. No distance, strokes, etc.

      In that price range and with optical sensor you don't have any option that offers swimming in open water, you would have to go to some other superior model.

      1. Thanks for the information, Eduardo. I think I'm finally going to keep the Runner 3 Cardio as it's my first sports watch and therefore I don't want to spend a lot of money,

        1. It already depends on the importance you give to open water swimming, it is what you have to value.

          1. Continuing the conversation...

            I was almost in favour of the Adventurer but seeing that its direct competition can be the vivaactive HR, what do you recommend for a typical use as well as for a use in the mountains (walking, trail, bike,...)?

            Thank you,

          2. They are quite different... the TomTom has the ability to extend the battery life quite a bit, it can play music, it can set up workouts and navigate... These are all things that you can't do with the Vivoactive HR. If you're going to use it in the bush, I think the Adventurer is a better fit for your requirements.

  18. Hi, first of all congratulations for the website, I didn't know it and it has been very useful (I've been reading articles all morning)
    Mainly the use is going to be in running, but although there are several questions about it, there is something that has not been completely clear to me, in the swimming pool mode there are metrics? I mean something basic of distinction, number of strokes, etc.

  19. Good, very good article.

    Does the spark 3 measure your running cadence and can it be displayed as the main (large) data during training?

    Thank you, a greeting.

      1. Thanks for the answer, having a step counter I thought it measured the running cadence. Could you tell me which wrist pulse meters have this function?

        Thank you, a greeting.

          1. Does Forerunner 35 have this option too?
            I want to be able to see the running cadence (the steps per minute) while I'm training, it's just that other heart rate monitors allow you to see it once you download the data to your computer, but I'm not looking for that.

            Thank you, a greeting.

          2. Thank you very much for your advice and the speed of your answers. In the end I decided on the forerunner 235.

  20. Hi Eduardo. Excellent review. Just a tip: link to the SPARK 3 also when you buy it, because being equal to the Runner 3, there is a lot of difference in price and that can lead to decanting the scale and that, being able to buy from your link you have to do it externally.

    1. You're absolutely right. When I posted the proof, Spark 3 wasn't on Amazon yet, so I didn't include it. Now I will.

      Thanks for reminding me!

  21. Hi Eduardo! Congratulations on your website is very interesting.
    I'm interested in buying a TomTom Runner Cardio 3 or a Garmin Forerunner 35, so I've read they're quite similar, but I've got the feeling that the GPS is better on the TomTom.
    I'm hesitant and I don't know which one to choose, so you could advise me to make a good choice.

    Thank you very much.
    A salute.

    1. They are different in what they offer, especially in the navigation aspect of the TomTom. If you want an easy to use watch the Garmin, if you want more features the TomTom.

  22. Hi, I was looking at GPS watches for a gift. I liked the TomTom adventurer, although I don't know much about it. It is for mountain biking (for which it usually uses wikilok routes), exercise biking and swimming (both swimming pool and open sea), what do you recommend? The music is not essential but it is a detail.

    1. If you value the possibility of listening to music, then the Adventurer is the option. With an optical sensor and barometer it is the cheapest option, and in the Amazon prices you can see at the end of the article there are very good offers. There may be other options such as the Garmin Phoenix 3The new system will have more features but will not include music or an optical pulse sensor (which will increase the price).

  23. Thank you very much for the articles and comparisons.
    In my case, I have to prepare to run a particular distance in a certain time.
    Apart from monitoring my daily training, I would like to know if it is possible to set a maximum time and speed to complete that distance and in case of a drop in speed, if there is a model that will let me know.
    Thank you very much.

    1. The most direct way could be a Garmin FR230/235 or the new Polar M430 (or M400 with chest sensor), programming training with targets and then synchronizing them.

      I hope to have the test of the Polar M430 finished by next week.

      1. Thanks for the advice.
        In the end, as an occasional runner, I decided to buy the Polar M400, with a sensor in the chest; taking advantage of the price drop due to the market launch of the M430. Now to train....

        1. Hi, sorry if it doesn't go into this conversation but I haven't found another place...
          2 months ago I bought a tom tom runner 3 cardio that I use for running and in the swimming pool and I was very happy with it, but yesterday I found it with the screen in gray and the drawing of some hands comes out, after a while it got well and I thought that maybe it lacked battery and I put it to charge but today I have found it again the same and so it has remained. It does not work.
          Has this happened to anyone else?
          if anyone can help me, I'd appreciate it.


    1. If you swim in the pool or listen to music while running, TomTom. For everything else, the Garmin.

  24. Hi, Eduardo.

    Thanks for sharing such a detailed analysis. The truth is that until I read it I was almost determined to buy the Garmin 235, but I listen to podcasts whenever I train in gym-weights (1 day) and running (1 day), and the fact that I can do without the ipod would be fantastic... I also do spinning and paddle. My doubts:

    1) For more detailed heart rate training, could I connect a chest strap I have from an old Garmin 110 (the plastic one)?

    2) I am also interested in monitoring daily activity, especially heart rate. What experience do you have in this regard? I have read the lack of steps and sleep...

    3) As far as autonomy is concerned, now that months have passed since the review, I don't know if you have been able to check or if you have news that it has decreased (it has happened to me with other watches, which start well and end up having to be charged every day...!)

    4) Abusive...I could wait a little longer to buy and I have no problem with price. Do you know if there are any new models, of this brand or not, that could fit my profile?

    Thank you and sorry for the avalanche!

    1. Please note that the clock is only compatible with MP3, not podcast, so you would have to download and possibly modify the file.

      The band you have is ANT+ and your TomTom uses Bluetooth, so they are not compatible. For daily activity monitoring, it is best to opt for Garmin, as the TomTom does not record keystrokes outside of activities.

      If you want it with music playback there's not much else on the market.
      TomTom usually presents products at the IFA in Berlin at the beginning of September, but I'm not sure if there will be any announcements this year.

  25. Hello, good afternoon, I 1TP11Could you tell me if in the tom tom adventurer you can see in real time altitude data, ascents and descents total ... Thank you very much ... greetings

  26. Hi, great reviews and content. Congratulations. One question: How often does the Tom Tom runner 3 record the position. I am looking for GPS watches that record it every second at most. Can you tell me which ones are currently on the market?
    Thank you very much.

  27. Hello
    See if you know how to get me out of my mess. I'm looking for a basic/advanced watch primarily for proper bike training (see pool and some running). I'm not looking for 1000 manual functions, something relatively simple that allows me to progress athletically and tb in the use of the watch. As I already have heart rate strap and cadence meter (ANT and BT) I need a watch that supports the cadence theme. I like the TT Runner 3 (without wrist heart rate monitor and MP3) and the Suunto 230. What do you recommend? Thank you very much in advance.

    1. I wouldn't recommend a TomTom today, they are going through a bad period and they are still not clear about their continuity in the sports market. As for the other model, I suppose you are referring to the Garmin FR230.

  28. Hi. Fantastic review, I don't understand much about this type of watches and I have never owned one but they are starting to interest me. I do running, cycling, swimming and canyoning mainly. I want it to measure my heart rate on my wrist and I'm especially interested in navigation when canyoning so I don't get lost on the trails. I have been given a runner 2 and I see that it does not measure heart rate when swimming. Is there any model that has it? I'm interested in an inexpensive one to start with because at the moment I have no goals or objectives when doing sports other than just exercise and get some background. I see that the TomTom adventure would suit what I'm looking for (the trekking thing interests me but I do not know if it is essential for what I want, in that case I would opt for the runner cardio 3, maybe music) but I do not know if there are other brands or models more specific or better for what I'm looking for. Can you guide me?

    1. I'll tell you the same thing as last time... I can't recommend a TomTom watch at this time. They're not going through their best period and it's not clear if they'll continue with the consumer technology division.

      Take a look at the Suunto Spartan TrainerIt perfectly complies with everything you ask for, including optical sensor in swimming.

      1. In my opinion... The product is what it is, regardless of the company's situation. And with the price of the last few days... without thinking.

        1. I totally agree with you. Besides, the company won't go through its best moment, but being a watch that goes for two years since it was released, it's something to applaud that about two months ago it received a big upgrade. Other brands that are booming don't do that

          1. First of all I want to thank Eduardo for his answer, advice and warning. In spite of it I got the TT. To be exact, the TomTom Spark 3 (identical to the Runner 3) It cost me 77€ at home (Amazon). A 10!!!

          2. Wow! What a chollazo! For that price it is unrivalled no matter what. I also have the spark 3 and I am very happy...although my chollazo was 120 Euros (in May). Congratulations and enjoy it!

  29. Hello, I am looking for a GPS watch for running (asphalt and mountain) and mountain bike, what interests me most is that it has good GPS, a good pulse sensor and navigation to load routes. gpx and poder follow them, I have seen the Tom Tom Tom adventurer/runner 3 but I am hesitating with the spartan trainer and garmin F235 and I do not know which would be better and better value for money, or if you recommend any other.
    Greetings and congratulations on your analysis.

      1. It's true. Tomtom is not in its best shape. However, in the last two months they have made two major updates to the clock twice.

  30. Good afternoon and congratulations on the page and the posts you make!
    I would like you to tell me which watch is best suited to my characteristics, as I have used a Polar RC3GPS up to now. I usually go out for a weekly run and go to the gym when work allows, so my performance is in running, fitness and cycling in the summer. I would like a watch with a good GPS and route selector, which monitors my heart rate in running (if possible at rest as well, but it is not a priority), oxygen consumption levels, calories consumed and also has a good and easy to use APP to know my workouts. My wife is encouraging me to buy the TomTom Runner 3 Cardio + Music because of the integrated music, but I would like to know your point of view regarding what I have mentioned. The maximum price I would like to spend on it would be 200 ?. Thank you very much in advance for your answer and Merry Christmas to all!

    1. I wanted to tell you that in my experience, the Tomtom Runner measures pulses badly, no matter how you put it on, so it's not suitable for running. It gives crazy measurements. I sent it to technical service and they sent it back to me anyway. I don't recommend it

  31. Hello Eduardo first of all congratulate you for the article, I would like to know if the tom tom adventurer vibrates if you select a maximum range of heart rate? Or do you have to keep an eye on the screen? Thank you and best regards.

  32. Hi! Great analysis by you. Congratulations.
    I'm looking for a GPS Clock mainly to measure my races (not many) and if I can interact with the mobile better than better.
    I got the Samsung Gear S3 and as for its use with the mobile in notifications and so on is beastly but I returned it when I realized that the GPS was not very accurate and in short races had a lot of error in the distance measurement.
    So now I'm in the TomTom Runner 3, Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Polar M600, which would you recommend? The Polar M600 has a low battery life? What convinces me most about the tomtom is its price and the music.

    1. The TomTom has notifications at a basic level, quite similar to what is offered by other manufacturers in the industry and in no way similar to what smart watches have.

      The battery of the M600 is very similar to the one the Samsung can offer.

      If you are convinced by the Vivoactive but want it with music, take a look at the FR645 which will be on the market in a few months, although the price range is not the same.

      All in all, I think what you're looking for is Polar M600.

  33. Hello first of all I congratulate you for your article I was very useful. But now I have a question, I wanted to buy the tom tom adventure but I see that it is not very progressive, is there any polar that will serve me for elliptical training and cardio, gym equipment, as well as the basics of swimming and can store some music. Or if not which one could you recommend me.

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