OCR Gear Review: Tom Tom Adventurer GPS Watch April 03 2017, 0 Comments

Tom Tom has produced a new Adventurer GPS outdoor sports watch that looks like it's going to be a hit with trail runners and those who like to minimize the gadgets they carry on their runs.

I'm a long time Garmin user, but it's always been the lower end models that can track pace and not a lot else, so I knew the Tom Tom would take some getting used to.  It is packed with features you expect in a higher end GPS watch and a few surprises as well.  Here are my overall impressions after a couple weeks of testing...
  • As an F3 guy, I frequently combine running and boot camp workouts.  One of my pet peeves with my Garmin was that I was constantly stopping my tracking by accidentally hitting the buttons.  Doing merkins (American style pushups) cased the back of my hand to hit the buttons on the right side of the watch.  I quickly became a fan of the Tom Tom nav button which is large and placed centrally to avoid those inadvertant clicks.  It took about a week to get accustomed to the new button style, but now I dig it.
  • The Tom Tom is fast charging and fast to grab a signal before a run.  No more waiting at the end of my driveway looking up at the sky like an idiot forever.
  • I never tried a fit bit or other activity tracker so having those features was new to me.  It's great to have it in a single device.  The sleep tracker was disappointing to only show total hours - I was hoping to see some analysis of sleep time/patterns/restlessness etc - not worth wearing for sleep yet, but an update may improve that.
  • The Android phone app was a surprising highlight of my testing.  It is really well done and easy to use.
  • Navigating the menus take a bit of time to understand.  It took me 4 runs before I finally found a workout summary.  It's there, but I hope this gets updated to be displayed automatically after a run and included a review of each mile split.
  • The Tom Tom also comes with a wrist-based heart rate monitor.  I could not get a consistent read with this but that is likely due to my sasquatch-like hairy arms.  It can also be paired with a chest strap for improved results, but I've not been able to test that yet.
  • The built in music player allows you to load the watch with music files and play them through the included blue tooth headphones.  These paired easily for me, but unfortunately, my new PC doesn't have any music on it.  I've gone to Pandora/Spotify so this doesn't quite replace my music for me but it will for others.
  • The ability to save runs as routes and download others to try to run and navigate with a built-in compass is pretty sweet.  Trail runners will especially enjoy playing with those features.

Overall Impressions:  "A-"   The Tom Tom Adventure Watch is a huge step up from my old basic Garmin, loaded with features, great battery life, and an impressive phone app.