TomTom GPS sports watch - first look

Entry-level Garmin 200 rival in the making?

Vehicle sat nav specialists TomTom have released details of the Multi-Sport GPS, a slim new sports watch aimed at cyclists and triathletes.

The watch has a large, high-resolution screen and a one-touch button system to navigate through data. TomTom claim the latter feature is an industry first that allows users to flick through key data via an intuitive up-down and left-right navigation system.

Given the level of functionality – it doesn't have a mapping mode – it looks likely to compete against entry-level GPS devices such as the Garmin 200Bryton Rider 20 and Mio Cyclo 100.  

The hardware looks robust. TomTom claim the glass screen is scratch- and impact-resistant. The high-contrast display unit is slim, at just 1cm, and is encased in a sturdy rubberised strap. A handlebar mount is available separately.  

Users can choose from three graphical race training functions: Race pits you against a previous time, Goal allows a target distance, time or calorie count to be set and monitors time to completion, and Zone means you can track a set heart rate.

For cyclists, the Multi-Sport’s speed, time and distance functions can be augmented with a separate Bluetooth heart rate monitor and cadence sensor. The top-range watch also has an in-built altimeter.   

Battery life is 10 hours in GPS mode, and the unit weighs 50g. It should be easy to pick up a signal as the units can lock into the Russian GLONASS satellite array.  

The Multi-Sport is compatible with the Training Peaks, MapMyRide and TomTom Sports data sharing sites, although information given on release day didn’t mention the most popular site of all – Strava.

The watch will be available over the summer. Prices have not been released. For more information see www.tomtom.com.

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