TomTom Touch is another addition to the fitness tracker market, but what gives it a unique stand is the sensor to monitor body fat. With this fitness tracker TomTom is trying to cash on the psychological behavior of people, who want to get fit. The Spark is one of the best fitness trackers from TomTom but still it lacks the body composition monitor that the TomTom Touch is branding.
Body fat is a major health concern and targeting this metric can give any fitness tracker edge in the market. With so many competent, TomTom Touch will have to do a lot better than just sensing the body fat to get a new brand of customer. We got our hands on this fitness tracker to check its accuracy and eligibility to be one of the best fitness trackers. Let’s see what we found out.
The Good and The Bad of TomTom Touch
Body composition sensors
Heart rate monitoring
Poor display in bright light
Unresponsive touchscreen at times
Pricey end of fitness trackers
Features of TomTom Touch
Looks is not the best thing about the TomTom Touch as it is not competitive enough in terms of design to the level of fitness trackers from Apple, Misfit and Fitbit. This fitness tracker is as simple as one can get. With rubber band that has no texture finish, a module that’s removable and an old-school clasp is that defines this TomTom hardware’s design. You get to choose the color of the band from black, blue, orange and purple.
The clasp is a little frustrating, the pin through the hole thing was not working properly at times for us and the band was coming free. On a few occasions the Touch ended up on the floor because the band was not able to keep wrapped around the wrist. TomTom need to do better on this front.
This TomTom device is provided with a small OLED monochrome touchscreen. The screen is not provided with any smart tilt gesture to wake it up. You will have to use the metal button at the bottom of the screen to activate the display. On the home screen time is displayed along with a circle that shows your daily step progress. TomTom should have provided with some other mechanism to activate the display as using the button during workouts gets annoying. The sensor that sends the electric pulse for the body composition feature to work is located at the bottom of the screen. It is well designed to support the finger that is important for body composition sensor to work.
The functions on the screen are also not well planned and you may miss on the full potential of the Touch. We missed the final screen that shows the heart rate monitoring data for a while. You have to swipe up on the screen for activity tracking, body composition and more. Swipe down to know about the active time, steps and calories burned. Poor arrangement of tracking data on the UI is one of the major flaw about the Touch.
Notifications are also available on the TomTom Touch but they are only limited to text messages and calls. While you won’t be able to read full text still it works decently of alerting you.
The TomTom Touch is provided with all the features a standard fitness tracker has. It comes with a sleep tracker, step tracker and heart rate monitor. The Touch monitors your heart all day, but the prime focus of this device is on resting heart rate that gives you a better overview of your fitness and wellbeing. General activity tracking with the Touch is good.
The TomTom Touch monitors your calories burnt and the distance travelled. In our review, we found all the tracking data to be pretty accurate. All the data from sensors in logged into the TomTom app where you can view it in chronological order. On comparing the step tracking data with the Fitbit Alta HR, the Touch was very accurate. It was also spot on with heart rate monitoring data and distance measurement like other quality fitness trackers from Misfit and Garmin. Though distance tracking is not that accurate, but with GPS, this fitness tracker is pretty good.
Sleep tracking is not one of the forte of the Touch as it is provided only with basic options. You can only track the number of hours you dozed; no deep insight into light and deep sleep hours. If you want deep sleep analysis you need to look beyond the TomTom Touch. There are no sleep based goals that makes us feel, this fitness tracker is a little weird.
But for most of the other features you can set goals like with sleep tracking. TomTom has tried to achieve a better goal planning with this fitness tracker as it offers you set the numbers and the time period for a goal. For instance, you can set time and distance for running, weight workout goals and more. It is a fine idea to provide the Touch with the goal setting feature, but TomTom fails to implement it well.
If you ask why is that, it’s because the TomTom app doesn’t nudges you to achieve your goal. With no point or incentive system in place, the app may not encourage you enough to fight for your fitness goal. Furthermore, user themselves set the fitness goals, but we think it is better if the device itself learns about your health and automatically picks the goals like the Garmin devices. Altogether we think the TomTom Touch is a decent device which is held back by software flaws.
This feature is touted as the USP of the TomTom Touch. The body composition metrics tell you about the percentage and ratio of fat and muscles in your body, giving you a new goal to work towards. This feature is mostly available in body weight scales that work by sending an undetectable electric pulse from one of the foot and it travels throughout your body. The sensor beneath the other feet detects the pulse and based on how the pulse travelled through your body the fat and muscle composition is measured.
The TomTom Touch makes use of the same principle, the only difference it used the wrists. You put your finger on the round sensor on the fitness tracker and it flies an electrical signal through your body with is detected by the sensor under the band. When the scan is complete you can a tick on the screen, it’s time to check the app to get the results.
Now here’s the real deal-the accuracy. TomTom is selling this fitness tracker high on the body composition thing, but the accuracy of the feature is close but not entirely dependable. For this review, one of our guys got his fat composition checked at his gym. We tested the Touch body composition monitor on the same guy to see how accurate the readings were. While his gym test showed 27% body fat, the Touch said he has 23% body fat. The stats are close we agree, but not dependable because the latter one puts him in the normal category, while actually he is in obese zone.
Before you decide not to bet on the TomTom Touch, you need to consider this. Body fat composition percentage guidelines ridiculously vary on different scales. What actually fascinating is the Touch is consistent every time and that’s the selling point. Your aim should be to bring down the numbers on the body composition metrics rather than worrying about 100% accuracy. For best reading we suggest you to use the body composition monitor in the morning.
You get sports tracking mode in this fitness tracker which is a feature to look up to. In this mode, you can set the stopwatch to track the time when you workout. It will also measure the distance and monitor heart rate through the whole exercise.
If you are not a runner, cyclist or swimmer obsessed with serious pace and distance monitoring, the Touch will be useful for you. The data that the fitness tracker logs is present in the app in form of understandable metrics like average heart rate, calories, heart rate zones, heart rate over time and session duration. The sports tracking is basic but ideal for general fitness needs.
The heart rate monitor in the device is decent, but not as accurate as the TomTom Spark. It is not one of those optical heart rate monitors that go haywire during intensive workouts, muscle flexes or twists. Interestingly, the TomTom Touch is able to lock on to increase in heart rate pretty fast, which improves its accuracy.
Speaking of the flaws, remember we told you that a button press is necessary to wake up the screen, that it messes with activity tracking. While waking up screen we accidentally canceled the activities on some occasion. You need to be careful while activating screen when you are tracking an activity.
MySports app has always been a downfall for the TomTom and unfortunately it continues to be so. With the Spark, brand corrected this mistake as the device was very much compatible with apps like Strava and RunKeeper. The TomTom Touch has no scope to be used with third party applications and you are stuck with using the MySports app.
The design of the app is also a flaw. The UI is not designed to be user friendly, we found ourselves fending for hours before we can find any detailed tracking data in the app. Once you are able to locate the date it is easier to filter it by date, but complicated UI is a mess. The other issues with the app, it can be used only with one TomTom device. If you are already using any TomTom device, then you have to sync it with your PC to give the app over to the Touch. In an era where fitness tracker market is saturated with devices, it is not uncommon for users to have more than one device. TomTom need to work on accommodating more devices in its app like Garmin app that can easily manage over a half dozen devices.
Battery life & waterproofing
TomTom Touch is said to have a battery life of five days. Nothing extraordinary here, but in our test, the Touch we bought lasted only for 4 days before it needed juicing again. Unexpected and disappointing at the same time. There’s a micro USB charging cable you can use, which is handy as the device can be charged from your laptop too.
Unfortunately, the Touch is not waterproof, but with IPX7 water resistance rating we were encouraged to use it in our shower and it did not wipe away.
Reasons to choose TomTom Touch
Body composition monitoring tech is the USP of the new TomTom Touch. While it is not as accurate as the high grade medical body composition monitoring devices, it does nicely at giving you a consistent fat and muscle percentage data. Reasons to consider this as a basis for choosing this device is because,consistency of body composition data gives you a goal to work on, i.e. to bring down the numbers.
With pretty accurate heart rate monitoring and distance tracking, it is one of those few fitness trackers that you can use for activities like cycling and running even when it is not GPS enabled.
Swappable bands make it easier to style the fitness tracker as per your taste.
The TomTom Touch is designed to compete with Fitbit and the likes. The new body composition feature is a new tech for a fitness tracker that gives this device an edge in competition. If your fitness tracking needs are limited up to general wellbeing, then you can think of considering this fitness tracker.