TomTom Spark 3 Cardio Watch

8.6
8.6 score
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Editor rating: 8.6 / 10
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TomTom Spark 3 Cardio Watch Review Facts

TomTom has made a name for themselves in the GPS watch industry, and while many users will still prefer to go with Garmin GPS, they are a brand that can be depended on. Today, we want to look at one of their specific models; the tomtom spark 3 cardio. Specifically, we want to see if it is a timepiece that is going to be worth your time and hard-earned money.

As for what it is, the TomTom Spark 3 is a do-it-all fitness watch that is jam-packed with features and superb functionality. From its 24/7 activity tracking to its GPS functionality to its built-in heart rate monitor, this great running GPS watch can be a great companion for you and your fitness needs. It is also highly water-resistant and can be used as a swimming tracker.

Then again, if you did not know any better, you would think the Spark 3 was a relic from the late 1980s as it looks like its interface was inspired by the Nintendo Game Boy (which is not exactly a compliment). Though still semi-decent to view, let’s say it will not be turning many heads on your wrist.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

The GPS is really accurate when compared to the competition

Equipped with multiple different sports modes

Has a built-in heart rate monitor

Compatible with both iOS and Android

The strap has been upgraded and improved

It is water-resistant to 40 meters

Extremely lightweight design

Cons

Connecting to third-party Bluetooth headphones is almost impossible

The display is dated

The interface takes some time to get used to

Not the best battery life

The strap has been known to have longevity issues

Basic Features

Basic Features

At its core, the tomtom spark 3 cardio really is an activity tracker through and through. It is powered by GPS technology and can track many different types of fitness metrics. From calories burned to the total distance to speed to steps taken, you will have a keen insight on how your fitness is progressing. Additionally, you can even track your sleeping patterns when it is time to hit the hay.

Of course, the tomtom spark 3 takes this a step further and allows you to race and compete against yourself. If nothing else, you can also merely set goals for yourself and be notified when you reach them. The cool race mode gives you the chance to best some of your previous workouts.

There are even multiple different sports modes that you can use if you are partaking in a specific activity. For example, you have a bike, running, swimming, gym, and treadmill modes that have been built-in to track accurate and relevant metrics for those specific activities.
Advanced Features

Advanced Features

Past its basic functionality, some really neat advanced features make the TomTom Spark 3 even more capable with its practicality. First and foremost, and this is arguably the feature that the company advertises the most with their watch, this has been equipped with a built-in heart rate monitor.

No external strap is going to be needed, as this bad boy can measure your heart rate straight from your wrist. For a system such as this, the accuracy is quite admirable but is still not at the level of an actual chest strap-based system. Plus, you can train in one of five different heart rate zones. This can allow you to see your results even quicker.

Past this, tom tom spark 3 timepiece also has a built-in compass for navigational purposes. However, this aspect of the watch is a bit limited as you will not receive turn-by-turn directions or a map of the current area. But, at least you are provided with some guidance in the instance you get lost somewhere.
Connectivity

Connectivity

Yes, this does allow for wireless Bluetooth syncing. Granted, you have a compatible smartphone; you will be able to sync directly to this watch in conjunction with the TomTom Sports app. When synced, you will then be able to see all your statistics and progress from within the app. TomTom has a detailed list of what smartphones are compatible but, chances are, if you are running at least iOS 8 or Android 4.4, you will be good to go.

If not, you can use your computer to access your progress, but you will still need to sign up for a TomTom Sports account. However, the issues with connectivity start to surface when you start to use this watch for music (as you can load audio files on it). If you plan to use any Bluetooth headphones that are not TomTom’s own, expect some serious syncing issues to occur.

It is so bad that you may not even be able to use the headphones you prefer. If this is a deal-breaker for you, then you may wind up being infuriated with this GPS watch.
Band

Band

The band on the tomtom spark 3 cardio has been upgraded, and regarding its performance and comfort, it is fantastic. You will find it comfortable to wear for all-day excursions, and this is due to several different reasons. For one, the rubber feels soft against your skin, and it ventilates better than you would imagine it to.

But, it also helps that the band is very slim and lightweight. Oh, and the fastening system is a bit more secure than before to provide you both peace of mind and improved heart rate performance. Heck, you can even swap out the current strap for a different one if you wanted to.

All this praising aside, there is a severe issue with the provided band. It has been known to have durability problems with several users reporting that it only lasted anywhere from three to six months for them.
Watch Face

Watch Face

It is safe to say that this section alone may be the deal-breaker for some of you. The fact that the Spark 3 looks like it was designed in the 1980s or 1990s is going to bother quite a few of you. Given how important the face of any watch is, no one can blame you if you feel this way. But, let’s break down the interface.

It lacks the color of any kind as it is a grayscale display and has a resolution of 144 x 168 pixels. The option is available to turn on the backlight, but if you leave it on for extended periods, the battery life is going to suffer. This becomes an issue as the screen can be challenging to view in low-light conditions.

With all this being said, the interface is still quite clean and not unnecessarily cluttered or anything like that. It gets the job done, but in the world of modern technology, it is fair to say that it is dated to some degree.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

Regarding operating the TomTom Spark 3 cardio, it is far from the most intuitive system that you will use in your life. With that being said, TomTom did simplify things by allowing all actions to be completed with the use of just a single button. The said button could be pushed in four different directions, and this is what is used to navigate through all the menus.

Unfortunately, for some of you, this means there is no touchscreen interface as you will have to resort to the old-fashioned way. As for how the system performs, it is something that you need to get accustomed to. Because everything is mapped to the one button, you will need to get familiar with specific sequences to get to where you need to go.

Get ready to familiarize yourself with it as it is going to take some practice. After a while, however, you will be able to operate it much more smoothly.
Power Source

Power Source

To be perfectly honest, the TomTom Spark 3 falls somewhere in the middle of the pack with its battery life. It is not the most abysmal battery that has even been integrated into a Tomtom GPS watch but it is far from the best. To give you a rundown of what it is fully capable of, here is what TomTom ratings are.

If you were to just use it is an activity tracker without the GPS or the heart rate monitor, you could get up to three weeks’ worth of battery life on a full charge. When using the GPS nonstop, it would only last for up to 11 hours and this decreases to 9 once you bring the heart rate monitor into play.

As you can see, the specs are somewhat average and what you will also notice is the heart rate monitor is the largest consumer of the battery. Unless you will be using this type of functionality for hours on end, the battery life will be reasonable to work with, however.
Waterproofness

Waterproofness

Tomtom Spark 3 was engineered with the ability to withstand water, and this is evident when looking at its 5 ATM water resistance rating. Or, in this case, it means this is water-resistant to 40 meters. In short, it was designed to get wet but only to a certain extent.

If you plan on diving or doing any deep swimming, you will end up damaging this watch if you take it out as is. It is not built to withstand such water pressures, but it is going to combat most situations just fine. For example, you can take it out in the rain, wear it in the shower, and even do laps around the pool with it on.

Given the fact this can also track swimming metrics, it makes sense that it would be optimal for such occurrences. With that being said, it is not the most accurate swimming tracker out there and sometimes fails to record laps.
Weight

Weight

You already know that the included band is comfortable to wear thanks to its slimness, soft texture, and ventilation. But, what makes this even more convenient is the fact that it is as lightweight as it gets. Most of the time, you will probably forget that you are even wearing it.

The official weight of the Spark 3 is just 49 grams, and this works out to the right around 1.7 to 1.8 ounces. No matter how you slice it, this sucker is lightweight and just a joy to wear day in and day out (and even when you sleep).

Remember, however, that you can use other bands with this watch. If you do, you may run the risk of adding a bit more weight. Yet, even if you only added a few more grams to the overall weight, it probably will not be anything substantial enough for you to notice.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

TomTom deserves their props for how they went about designing their tomtom spark 3 cardio GPS Watch. It is a well-rounded model that offers a little bit of something for just about everyone. From its activity tracking to its multiple sports modes to its built-in heart rate monitor to its integrated compass, it is quite versatile in what it can achieve.

It could even be classified as a jack of all trades and master of none type wristwatch. After all, in spite of the excellent functionality, there are just certain areas where this watch falls a little short. The display and interface are both dated and somewhat non-intuitive to operate, the battery life is certainly far from great, connecting to third-party headphones is impossible, and the GPS navigation is limited.

Those may sound like nitpicks, but they are legitimate reasons for some of you to avoid this specific GPS watch. However, when you look at this through objective lenses, you get a really strong outing from TomTom that happens to be flawed in some respects. We hope that our tomtom spark 3 review will help you make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing this watch.