TomTom Runner Cardio run watch
Gear > Run > Run Computers

TomTom Runner Cardio run watch review

We review TomTom's Runner Cardio and decide we’d wait for the second-generation to iron out the flaws

Key information

Our score




Like the Mio Alpha (who TomTom licensed the technology from) the Runner Cardio is a heart-rate monitor minus the chest strap, with the sensor integrated into the watch itself.

Unlike a chest strap that detects electrical impulses, it measures the colour of your skin, which changes slightly depending on bloodflow, via two green LEDs shining onto your wrist and then detecting light reflection.

It’s also a GPS, giving you the usual pacing metrics. In theory it’s brilliant. In practice it’s disappointing. Satellite pick-up is laboured – nay zero when running beside tall buildings – although you can improve this slightly via TomTom’s online ‘Quick GPS Fix Updates’.

Mio optical heart-rate sensor on TomTom Runner Cardio

Heart-rate pick-up is equally slow and inconsistent. Sometimes it matched our Garmin Forerunner 620, but it was tanker-like when recognising sharp increases of heart rate during intervals.

We’re not fans of its bulk and strap. On the plus side, you can download data swiftly to the TomTom MySports website or download the app for further analysis.

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