AT A GLANCE: QUICK RATINGS
Heart Rate Functions
Fitness / Sport Features
Ease of Use
Where To Get It
A Deep Dive Into TomTom Touch
The new TomTom Touch is the world’s first activity tracker with built-in heart rate sensor and BODY COMPOSITION analysis with muscle mass density. A 24/7 activity tracking wristband style fitness monitor that keeps count of everything from steps, calories and daily distance to all day heart rate monitoring off the wrist and smartphone notifications and alerts. The TomTom Touch fitness band has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic
Who Is It For?
The choice of activity tracking fitness bands is now bigger than it ever was. The truth is there are dozens out there that are all very good and, to be blunt, much are very similar to the others. TomTom have taken all the currently expected features from a fitness band like steps, calories, distance, time of day, heart rate off the wrist and added one NEW function, not found in other fitness bands – BODY COMPOSITION.
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This is what TomTom said at the press launch … “We all know that weight doesn’t tell the whole story. Two people with the same weight can have completely different levels of muscle and fat in their body. TomTom Touch gives more clarity by tracking body composition, so you can really tell whether your efforts are having any effect.” …. This one killer feature is unique, innovative and accurate and should have made the Touch the must have fitness band of 2017. However, due to some other missing functions and features the TomTom Touch isn’t quite what I was hoping it to be.
- Body Fat Analysis
- Wrist based heart rate
- 24/7 Heart Rate tracking
- Sleep monitor
- Smartphone notifications (basic summary)
- Easy to use
- Good build quality and materials
- Fiddly strap fastening
- No option for display ON permanent or wrist gesture
- App a bit too slow responding
- No Daily Alarm
- No Date
- No Inactivity Alerts
Main Features and Functions
- Body Composition - Measure your body fat and muscle mass percentage
- Built-in Heart Rate Monitor - Get 24/7 heart rate information on your wrist.
- 24/7 Activity Tracking - Capture steps, active time, calories burned, distance walked and sleep time.
- Sports Mode - Log your sports and workouts and track your stats.
- Touchscreen - Swipe through the stats on the touchscreen.
- Phone Notifications - Receive incoming call and text notifications right to your wrist.
- Battery Life - Go for up to 5 days of tracking before you need a recharge.
- Splash Proof - The Touch is sweat, rain and splash proof. Do NOT swim in it … for an activity tracker that has been approved for pool swimming (rated to 5 ATM) then please consider the Garmin Vivofit 3 or the Polar A360.
TomTom Fitness Tracker
TomTom Touch can be worn 24-7. It includes everything you’d expect from a top of the range fitness trackers. It monitors and measure all the usual metrics including, tracking steps, sleep, all day heart-rate and calories burned. The TomTom Touch features a sports mode for running, cycling or gym work.
It’s easy to dive into your stats, view progress and share achievements with friends via the TomTom MySports companion app on your smartphone. Performance statistics and graphs help you make sense of your activities and the effect they have on your body composition over time. Being Bluetooth connected to your smartphone you can also stay connected with smartphone notifications.
Related Article: Tomtom Spark 3, Watch for Runners?
All Day Heart Rate
I really like this feature. Knowing what your heart is doping throughout the day is a great way to see just how active / inactive you actually are. It’s all very well doing 10,000 steps per day but if those steps are nothing more than a gentle shuffle around the office is it really keeping you in shape? The TomTom Touch takes a sample heart rate every few minutes to give a clear indication of daily activity & intensity. 24/7 heart rate monitoring is a useful feature originally found on more expensive and specialized products like the Forerunner 235.
Daily, Weekly & Monthly Activity Tracking
The TomTom Touch will transfer your daily activity and exercise data to the TomTom MySports APP and web-service. Both are far better than they were 18 months ago. Not quite perfect compared to Garmin Connect, Polar Flow or the Fitbit’s web-service, but nonetheless more than adequate. It provides an easy to view summary of weekly, daily and monthly activities and exercises.
Main Display Screens
Time of Day with Activity Goal indicator (this shows about 25% of daily target complete)
Minutes Spent Active. Each time you move for more than a just a couple of minutes the Touch rewards you with activity minutes.
Daily Calories Burnt. A daily log of your calories burnt based on general metabolic calorie burn and activity, exercise and HR throughout the day.
Step Counter. A popular daily target is to achieve 10,000 steps per day. Your daily activity, sport and body goals are controlled in the TomTom MySports app and web-service.
Daily Distance – the TomTom Touch incorporates an internal accelerometer that tracks (to a reasonable accuracy) your daily distance walked / jogged. This is also utilised when in exercise mode. It’s NOT GPS accurate but for those looking for a consistent comparison from one day to another it’s good enough.
Full credit where credit is due. The TomTom MySports app and web-service used to be quite poor. As you can see from the image below it’s now got everything you could need to set goals, track activity and motivate. The MySports APP is available for most iPhones and the majority of popular Android smartphones including those from Samsung, Nexus, HTC, Huawei, LG, Sony and OnePlus.
You can set your own goals based on activity, sport and body. In the example below I have set the following goals
- 10,000 Steps Daily
- A Running Goal of 1 x 6 mile run per week
- A Body Fat Goal of 16.5%
When in SPORTS MODE the TomTom Touch gives feedback on real-time heart rate, calories burnt and time active. There is NO feedback on distance or steps during sports mode view?
More Product Images
USB Charging Port
Watch Strap with Buckle and 2 pins (I found this a little fiddly)
Tomtom Touch Cardio/Exercise APP
The TomTom Touch will transfer your daily activity and exercise data to the TomTom MySports APP and web-service. Both are far better than they were 18 months ago.
Not quite perfect compared to Garmin Connect, Polar Flow or the Fitbit’s web-service, but nonetheless more than adequate. It provides an easy to view summary of weekly, daily and monthly activities and exercises.
Alternative Fitness Bands
The best products from the other leading brands are the FitBit Charge 2, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 and the Mio Slice. The Vivosmart HR (and the new Vivosmart 3) & Charge 2 feature a barometric pressure sensor that provides stairs climbed feedback. Both provide OFF the WRIST heart rate monitoring and 24/7 activity tracking. The Mio Slice is the world’s first fitness band to incorporate PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence). More advanced than simply counting daily steps the Slice wants to see elevated heart rates for extended periods throughout the day.
They are ALL very good activity trackers, they all record heart rate to a reliable and accurate level (not quite as good as an HRM belt but 95%+ accurate), they all give an indication of sleep duration & quality and they all motivate you to move throughout the day.
Neither have body fat analysis, that is currently unique to the Touch:
Tomtom Activity Tracker
The TomTom Touch was released to the UK in October 2016. The TomTom Touch is not just your average activity tracker. Track steps, sleep and heart rate, as well as your body composition. Body composition data allows you to measure your body fat and muscle mass percentage to better understand the impact of all your diet and workout activities over time.
Body composition gives you a good understanding of your fitness level and how it’s changing over time. Until now, this metric has been available with dedicated scales or expensive technology. This all changes with the Touch making body fat analysis available to a far wider audience
Is it Accurate?
I have a set of £400 Tanita Body Fat scales from the time I was a personal trainer. These scales have sensors under the feet and handles for the hands. They are considered one of the best methods of conveniently calculating Body Composition.
The problem with the TomTom Touch is that is does NOT measure the body fat in the legs, thighs, waist or buttocks. A place where generally speaking women store more fat than men (who predominantly store it on the belly).
I have only tested 2 males and 2 females. From my simple unscientific test the TomTom Touch was within 5-10% for the males and 5-20% for the females. I myself came out at 17.5% for the TomTom Touch compared to a normal average reading on the Tanita of between 17% and 19%.
Consistency more important than Accuracy
What is more important than accuracy is the consistency. The Touch never altered by more than a measurement of 1% over a course of 2 weeks taking daily readings.
This gave me confidence in it’s consistency to use it as a motivational target when setting a realistic Body Fat goal in the TomTom MySports App. Taking everything in to consideration I believe the TomTom Touch is a useful tool with regard to monitoring and analysing your body composition (Fat % versus Muscle %)
Should you Buy One?
If you’ve been thinking of treating yourself to a discrete, smart, high quality activity tracker that can be worn 24/7 the TomTom Touch could be an option. The key unique selling point is the Body Fat analysis. If that interests you then waste no further time and grab one (please scroll down for my notes on body composition accuracy).
The fact that is records your heart rate (a sample every few minutes) is an effective way of highlighting extended periods of inactivity or unexpected periods of activity. With a solid 5 day battery life it’s not going to spend every night on the charger like some other fit bands.
Setting your own daily step, sport (eg Run 2 miles twice a week) and body composition / weight targets in the MySports APP will help you achieve your goals. The Touch will also provide feedback on your sleep quality and duration.
What’s not so Good
I’m not the biggest fan of this style of OLED display, I find them hard to read in BR IGHT and direct sunlight (same goes for Fitbit Alta etc). The strap locking mechanism is a bit fiddly.
Also, the fact you have to press the button to see the display is a little frustrating (no wrist gesture to turn it on or “permanent on” option). In all honesty, if you are NOT interested in Body Composition Analysis there are more functional Fitness bands at a similar price. The Garmin Vivosmart HR being my personal preference.
When reviewing products it’s important to remember WHO a product has been designed for.
The TomTom Touch is not a fitness tracker for me but that’s not to say it’s not good. If you want the convenience of wrist based heart rate monitoring and a built-in Body Fat analysis sensor the Touch could be what you’re looking for.
If you are particularly interested in Body Composition analysis then it comes highly recommended. If you are a sporty person, not too bothered about body fat and more interested in functions related to performance tracking then consider one of the alternative products.