TomTom Adventurer

2/14/17 1:17 PM

The latest member of the range is the TomTom Adventurer, a version of the Spark 3 that’s more closely focused on outdoor pursuits such as hiking and snow sports.

Aside from an orange strap, there doesn’t look to be much that’s physically different between the two, and indeed there isn’t. In fact, aside from a slightly chunkier strap surround, the Adventurer looks as if it has rolled off precisely the same production line. Look closely at the rear of the watch module and you will see one small difference, however: a couple of small holes in the bottom-left-hand corner. These betray the presence of a barometric altimeter, which allows the watch to track your altitude far more accurately than GPS is able to.

Otherwise, it’s largely identical. It charges using the same USB clip as the TomTom Spark and TomTom Runner watches, so if you’ve owned a TomTom fitness watch from a previous generation, you should be able to reuse the charger here. And you’ll feel instantly at home with the way the watch works, as there’s nothing at all different about that either.

The watch module houses the same old, slightly drab monochrome 22 x 25mm LCD display, which snaps neatly out of the watch housing for charging, and it’s controlled not via touchscreen, but a four-way button that sits on the strap below the screen. This is an ideal setup for active pursuits of the kind the TomTom Adventurer is aimed at. Touchscreens are all well and good, but they tend not to function particularly well when pool water, rain or sweat are involved. And the Adventurer’s navigation button is large enough that it’s possible to use it without cursing too much while you’re running, hiking or working out in the gym.

It comes out of the box offering specific modes for running, generic gym, exercise bike and treadmill sessions, plus outdoor cycling and swimming. There’s also a “freestyle” mode that enables all sensors for activities that might not be in the above list.

The watch also offers all-day activity tracking, including steps, sleep and resting heart rate. the Adventurer has onboard GPS, an optical heart-rate monitor, accelerometer and gyroscopes for motion sensing, plus a digital compass, and like the Spark 3, you can sync the watch directly to your smartphone and access all your stats and progress there or on an online dashboard. I like TomTom’s software, it’s clearly presented and easy to digest, but this is nothing particularly new. What the Adventurer brings to the table is its barometric altimeter, which unlocks a selection of extra modes aimed at outdoor pursuits.

THE VERDICT -this is an excellent multi-sport watch for the outdoor enthusiast and comes warmly recommended.

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