Apple Watch vs TomTom Multisport Cardio

…or TomTom Multisport Cardio vs Apple Watch, whichever way you prefer it!

TomTom Multisport Cardio vs Apple Watch

I’m a fairly keen (but not very fast) runner, and I’ve had both the TomTom Watch and Apple Watch for a while now.

I hadn’t compared both, as the Apple Watch was waiting for both the OS2 update, and finally the Strava update that could link in to the heart rate data from the Apple Watch.

Last week, Strava updated their watch companion app, so there was nothing stopping me.

I went out for a run last night, a route I run regularly, with some hills, flats and knew was a nice distance to test the two out on.

Both the TomTom and Apple Watch will monitor my heart rate.  I did my best to start and stop them both at the same time, and you’ll see from the images below that there is only a couple of seconds different between the two times.

Strava didn’t initially see my run from the TomTom watch, only ,y run from my Apple Watch.  I’m presuming that it received two almost identical runs within seconds of each other and chose one.  I was however, able to save both runs as .gpx files to export them.

I exported the data to run keeper, as that’s been my go to running app over the last 24 months since I started running.  I also use the ‘compare’ feature, which gives me a very nice comparison between by two runs.

The images below are from my test run.  The Orange colour is the TomTom, the Blue is the Apple Watch.  You’ll notice they’re almost the same:

IMG_0709 IMG_0708 IMG_0707

Calories, very similar.
Elevation, almost identical.
Pace, similar, although I feel the Apple watch took about 2 mins to get it right.

The strange difference though was the distance.

The TomTom measured the distance as 4.53 miles.  The Apple watch 4.63 miles.  Doesn’t sound much, but one of them is out by 1%.

The TomTom records my average pace as 8.24 min/miles.
The Apple Watch records my average page as 8.14 min/miles.

Thats quite a difference when you run regularly, setting off 10s per mile too quickly or slowly can have a real difference on your performance over a 10k or half marathon.

I’m going ot ask a friend with a Garmin watch to run the same route with me next week to get a 3rd distance measurement.  My gut feeling is that the TomTom is going to be the accurate distance.

Pro’s of the TomTom
You can race previous routes
You can you run in zones; heart rate, pace – I find this very useful
Battery life is outstanding

Con’s of the TomTom
If running at night, you have to tap the screen to see the display.

Pro’s of the Apple Watch
Nice bright screen, very easy to read.

Con’s of the Apple Watch.
You have to run with your phone.
I don’t think the distance is quite accurate.

In Summary  –  If you’re not a serious runner and don’t already have a running watch, your Apple Watch going to be fine what you want to record. You’re probably more interested in your general distance, calorie use and overall distance and time.  It will record everything the TomTom does and its very nice and compact.

However if you’re a more serious runner, in my opinion the Apple watch isn’t quite as good as a running watch designed specifically for the task, but a very good 2nd place.